Ode to Anonymous – Let’s Talk About Lyrical Poetry

Poetry

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Ode to Anonymous - Pindaric Ode - Lyrical Poem

New beauty with frosted skin and colorful harmony,
Singing warrior songs, under skies covered with nightfall.
A sleek princess with a voice like warm honey,
Your soft tongue, well-influenced by life’s days, your arsenal.

You sound just like a fantasy, and never could be heartless; I am consumed. 
With piercing eyes, like sapphire ocean waves, you struck me leaving wonderful wounds.
A whirl of energy enters me, and I’m enthralled with you; it is so wrong,
Searching for your taste, to you I do not belong.

Your lips are unafraid, and bitter as vinegar.
Grim lady, you are genuinely magnetic. 
Your melody is lucid; haunting and sinister.
The chaos that is you, inspires only those most poetic.
My captivating, candy-coated glacial Queen,
Your euphonic touch is so surreal, this must be a dream. 


by KimberlyAnneInc
Art by Mélanie Delon

My poem was definitely inspired by someone. It’s an Ode, so that should be pretty self-explanatory.

For all you know, it could be the Queen of England, or Betty White. Maybe I’m a bit fond of her. Whoever this is about, can be revealed at a later time. For now – let’s talk about lyrical poems.

The more I’ve been studying poetry, and its different forms and structures, they less intimidated I feel by it. I remember writing poems as a little kid in my bedroom. Music and words have somehow always made me feel more complete. For as long as I can remember I’ve considered music, poems, storytelling, art and everything in between as the most important and valid forms of expression. Emotional expression, artistic expression – these are actual declarations of human existence.

Despite writing little rhymes when I was a kid, somehow in my adult life within the last decade or so I started to let poetry intimidate me. I thought I couldn’t do it. I thought it would be pointless or a waste of time. Somehow along the way, I lost a piece of my creative self-expression. I’m grateful now to have put more time into learning, and I mean truly learning more about poetry and reconnecting with my own creative spark of self-expression.

My poem above, Ode to Anonymous is an example of a Pindaric Ode. During my studies, I learned about many different kinds of poetry; and lyrical poetry was one of them.

Lyrical poetry does not just consist of odes, but in this blog – that is what I’ll be focusing on. Generally, lyric poetry focuses on a brief description of intense thoughts and emotions. Sometimes this style of poetry is about nature, romance, grief, or death – just to name a few.

In my example above, it does have a bit of romance, but there are plenty of other elements that are hidden and not so hidden. Lyric poetry is also meant to be read aloud. By studying even further, I realize how important it is now to read poems aloud and hear them read aloud by others.

The thing with poetry is that when it’s spoken, and you hear it vs. just reading it, it can be interpreted differently. It’s like you experience the words differently. You feel the emotion differently. The message that the poet is trying to send is just absorbed so much better when you hear the words aloud.

The form of my poem above is called Pindaric Ode. The Pindaric Ode originated in ancient Greece and is named after Pindar. He was known as one of the most epic lyric poets of all time. Pindar is also the reason why Odes exist.

The word ode derives from the Greek word oide, which means “to sing or chant.” Odes were originally performed to music. The duration, metrical patterns, and rhyme of these songs were certainly different long ago. Since the time of the ancient Greeks, odes have evolved into three different varieties, but the core form and premise have remained the same.

Pindaric

Horatian

Irregular

If you want to learn more about all three types of Odes, check out the Poetry Foundation website. (By the way, The Poetry Foundation is based in my hometown, Chicago – so you know I have to show love!)

The structure of an ode is distinct from that of other forms of poetic expression. Each of the three varieties of odes has its own particular characteristics. In contrast to Pindaric and Horatian odes, which must adhere to strict rules, irregular odes are free to take any form. It is common for odes to be constructed of several lines or stanzas of poetry, but they can be of any length.

In ancient Greece, odes to sports or other events were designed to be performed with dancers and a chorus. Odes were used in celebration of major athletic affairs, such as the Olympics.

Pindar enjoyed including mythical allusions in his art as a way of paying homage to the gods. See, now this is something Pindar and I have in common. If you know me, you know how much I love allusions and mythology. Pindar was spot-on by making sure everyone knew that mythological allusions are the best. Pindar was one super cool dude; he even taught Sappho a thing or two. Epic.

Before I get carried away about mythology and allusions, let me get back to the point!

The particular form that I used above is the Pindaric three stanza form, also known as a public/celebration form. The reason for this is due to Pindaric odes commonly being used for public events, sports competitions, or celebrations.

Generally speaking, Pindaric odes are separated into three sections, or stanzas: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode.

  • strophe – first section of an ode; a group of stanzas of alternating metrical form (see my 1st stanza and check out the ending words of lines 1-4)
  • antistrophe – second section in a poem consisting of alternating stanzas in contrasting metrical form (kind of like the 1st stanza, but AABB pattern instead of ABAB for rhyming end words)
  • epode – third section that follows the strophe and antistrophe and completes the movement (Stanza 3 (6-line sestet) – lines 9-14)

And there you have the structure and form of a Pindaric Ode! Writing poems with strict form and rules is actually quite challenging – especially if you’re a rebel writer like me. One time I did get in trouble for writing too many words over the limit on a school assignment. I have issues, I know – but only the best kind. It’s embarrassing since that happened not so long ago, but it’s true! If you are a rebel writer, tend to overwrite or just totally despise following forms and structures of any kind – but especially in writing, then you understand what I mean. 🙂

An Ode that I read, that really helped me understand the form of a Pindaric Ode was the poem, The Bard by Thomas Gray.

Here’s a stanza from his poem:

II.2.
"'Mighty victor, mighty lord,
Low on his funeral couch he lies!
No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the Sable Warrior fled?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm, that in thy noon-tide beam were born?
Gone to salute the rising Morn.
Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the Zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;
Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm;
Regardless of the sweeping Whirlwind's sway,
That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.

See the rhyme scheme and pattern?! The poem was crafted with excellence and has provided me with a perfect example on how I could attempt to write my own Pindaric Ode (even though mine is much shorter!).

In this poem by Gray, he presents ideas about two nations sharing a common history. Gray sought to investigate the concept of the significance of Wales within an old British nation.

Gray chose the poem’s structure and words with care and intention in order to make his poem appear a bit more ancient, and more important, so that he could use it to convey his ideas.

The conflict between Edward I, the English invader, and the last bard of Wales is depicted in Thomas Gray’s poem “The Bard,” which was written in 1757. The poem was a major success, and it played a significant role in establishing the image of the Welsh mountains as a symbol of liberty in popular culture.

I could probably go on and on about this, but it’s late so I’ve got to stop right here. A post from me was way overdue, so I figured this would suffice. If you’ve read this far, thank you. Your attention span makes me extremely jealous! I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe learned something new. Let me know in the comments.

To read more, you can check out these links for reference:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44298/the-bard-a-pindaric-ode

https://www.historyextra.com/period/medieval/edward-i-the-dutiful-conqueror/

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/sappho

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/pindar

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/thomas-gray

https://www.instagram.com/melaniedelon/?hl=en

Nixie

Experiences, Poetry, Thoughts

Do you remember the first time you brought your newborn home from the hospital? Your first baby. Do you remember counting every breath? Feeling their chest? Putting your ear next to their tiny little lips that would one day ask, “WHY?”

I’ve recalled that feeling and lived it again. But this time with no bassinet, no crib, no play pen. Instead I’m laying on the bathroom floor, worried sick. Counting breaths per second as the clock ticks. As I think of my foolish ways, and the dismay that was brought on by today, I ponder it all as I stare at my new stray. With all that I can and all I’ve got, an offering should take place.

She’s eating and breathing and drinking which is a relief. Considering her condition, as told by the vet it’s somewhat of a rendition of – well, I don’t even need to tell. You already know. She’s mostly silver, grayish, kinda blue. She has a tiny white patch on her chest too. Her eyes are the darkest green, but somehow resemble emeralds or jade that have been spun into a galaxy that lives in her gaze.

Mystic as she is no matter what is wrong, I’ll treat her like my own and sing her all the songs. The ones I always chant to the other two I have, like a ritual I plant and water what I can.

Filled her water several times, because she kept drinking and drinking. Water is a gift of life, primordial and consistently. Thinking and thinking, I call her Nixie. Tiny little sprite, washing everything down. I watch her, observing as she circles around. 9 times like the waters of Styx. If she has 9 lives, then I hope they let me have – at least one.

I hope she doesn’t go yet, because we’ve only just begun. But if she has to take her journey, she won’t do it alone. Precious little Nixie Styx, this can be your new home. ✨

Celestial Windows©

Experiences, Mythology, Poetry

Celestial Windows© – a Prose Poem by KimberlyAnneInc

Running again I see you chasing me. Is it impossible for me to see without eyes on the back of my head? I’m cornered as you climb through the window to get inside. The tiny little white square window that you somehow managed to open. How can you fit inside? In a world where nothing is solid of course, it makes sense. You push your way through and seep inside like liquid. This is impossible but you have your ways. I cannot escape and I’m trapped. Pushed into the corner and the walls made of light brown wood melted and pushed into me right back. You’ve done this many times and when I try to run you always catch me. Sometimes I want to make up with you but I know that when I do it will always end the same. It always ends the same. You grab the cell phone out of my hand. You question me again. You corner me. You squeeze me and it hurts. You do not let me go. In fear and fright, I scream and I cry but only in a way that I can recognize. You are not able to see. The walls start to melt around us as they push us closer together like flowing waters against rock pushing, pushing, pushing, until the imprints are made, the curves are present on the gray cold stone. Exactly what I don’t want. In terror, I freeze. I won’t let you see it. Smile at you so I can play tricks too just like you. I wish I could be like you. I want to crawl out of the window that you climbed in but my feet do not work. Solid like a cold gray stone. How can I escape this moment? The only thing that is left for me to do is wake. Wake. At my wake, they will stand vigil. 

They will stand watch like Cerberus who barks in the lot. Watching and waiting like I will wake up. Wake. I just want to wake. Up. Lately, I’ve been so down. Like the pits within the earth, the ones that are covered in green moss and brown dirt. How much farther can I go? Digging and digging, below. Picking the colors from the earth as I become the meadow and picking at my flesh; this is what I do now. I pick them and dig. I cry out for Charon, please come and help. Escaping this place is what I must do. Digging and digging I want to go. I’ve had my wake and I cannot wake, take me across the waters made of souls dark and light and warm and cold. The agony above somehow compares to Theogony of all. Styx pushes and it melts but it’s nothing like you, not even with all of its shadows. Yours tops it all as a veil over the sun. 

Running again the craft of Charon cruises down the bed made of spirit as it carries me to a castle. Here you will find me but you certainly won’t catch me. I’ve found something much more powerful than you but only in the most fervent way. Abducting myself to travel to another realm with a barrier in between and live with all of the things unseen. It’s better this way I think while passing through Elysium and the Meadows of Asphodel. Finally making my way through after many journeys I find myself in Tartarus which somehow is better than being Up and awake and in the presence of you. Persephone may want to run and if she does I hope she comes to you. I will send her myself and then take her place and look into the eyes of a god who can’t be worse than you. Hades would stand with a seraphic grin as I tell him all of the things and with his own celestial windows bearing his spirit I’d feel safe and warm in this otherworldly underworldly place that is somehow swarming with the ice of frozen souls but none would compare to you. Tired no more I wouldn’t run. No longer can I see you chasing me. I’m too busy filling bowls with seeds of pomegranate fruit and all on my own because it’s all much better than you. Shoving the seeds into my mouth and swallowing them down, planting myself there forever so that I never see you again but somehow if I do in this world they will already know you. Seeds, all of the seeds make it easier for me. You can run now I am the Queen and in the realm of the dead in the far depths of the Underworld, I am more alive than ever. This new sweet taste of disposition is something I envision Cupid’s bow and arrow would never be vigorous enough to create as I stare into the celestial windows.

Monster

Poetry

A monster
Wandering in the snow.
Freezing in the cold.
Hair blowing.
Can’t stay afloat.

Sinking,
Drowning,
The horns are crowning –
The top of her head.
Pushing out,
Breaking through her skull.

Just like the doubt.
The monster trips,
But will it fall?
Is anyone there to catch the one who walks alone?

Who can see what is underneath
the rough skin and coarse fur?
Concealed and unrevealed.
Clenched jaw and grinding teeth.
Please don’t,
Force her.

All she needed was warmth.
Retreated to an open space,
Deficient of a hearth.
With no pressure.
No eye could see the monster’s face.
Invisible beast,
No one can tamper with.

The flowers spring out,
Like the horns;
From the dirt in the ground,
Now she is a myth.

Words by: @kimberlyanneinc
Art by: Inna Vjuzhanina

Elements of Eros

Experiences, Mythology, Psychology, Thoughts

Elements of Eros 

Isn’t it fascinating that in many pantheons of mythology, there are gods and goddesses strictly for LOVE? Personifications of human feelings and emotions via deities are nothing new to discuss. We have all heard of them before. Freyja, Aphrodite, Cupid, Juno, Parvati, and Eros just to name a few. Eros was the son of Chaos (in some variations). Interesting how love and turmoil have been intertwined since ancient times, isn’t it?

Eros was a Greek god of love. He was the embodiment of passion and desire. Some may recognize him better as the Roman Cupid. Without warning, he selects his prey, the innocent and the lonely. He targets the unexpected. With great force and might he strikes their hearts and they are left feeling fluttery and confused. As quoted by Hesiod, he ‘loosens the limbs and weakens the mind’ (Theogony, 120)

Photo by: Kimberly Anne – St.Louis, MO 2021 (Eros Bendato, a massive sculpture by artist Igor Mitoraj)

As quoted by Hesiod, he ‘loosens the limbs and weakens the mind’ (Theogony, 120)

Hesiod, theogony

If you have fallen in love, you know exactly the feeling that is described. 

I certainly know the feeling very well. When thinking of love, I think of also my own solitude as of the last few years. I’ve been so accustomed to life without that significant other now that sometimes I believe it all to be a myth. A real partner surely does not exist in my world. The only people who exist in my world in that respect are people who do not want to stay around. (Please hear: “People Disappear Here” by Halsey) I’ve often found that I am good enough for a little while, but not for anything long-term. But whose fault is that?

Download Halsey - People Disappear Here Mp3 Download - GoodLuckExpo
Photo credit: Halsey

That’s how it feels, it seems. Sometimes. The same ones who crave me for just a little while, are the ones who will not give me monogamy when I ask; but they always return. They always come back. Every single one of my “exes” has always come back at some point or another. Considering I’m “alone” it’s like they think I will just be there for them forever – just for them – even though they do not offer me the same in return. It’s a vicious cycle. Satisfying, but rather annoying as well. It’s one of the most contradictory things I think a woman can experience. I’m sure I’m not alone. 

To have one solid person who can just go through life with me and only me would be a dream. I wish I had someone to build with. We’d probably be a great team. I imagine it often! Other than that I do not think anything else is missing from my life. Just a true love. Not lovers. Lovers are easy to find. A true love is not. A consistent love. One that I can make sacrifices for, and one that will do it in return for me. One love that does not hold things over my head. One that does not want to fight, but one that wants to build and go through this very short life together. 

If there is something that I wish I still had that was from my past it would probably be my high school sweetheart, but he is long gone now. That’s a pretty morbid statement considering I am just in the earliest portion of my 30’s. We had our ups and downs, but I miss him all of the time. He was a love that I could write a whole book on, I think. 

Photo by lilartsy on Pexels.com

Sometimes it does feel like I’m destined to not have certain things. For example, once I had my son – the only thing I really craved was normalcy. I wanted a “normal life”, which I don’t know if I even knew what that meant. I don’t know if I even know what that consists of. All I knew is that I wanted life to be different than what I witnessed in my childhood. At one point, someone told me, “You can’t have a normal life. You’d be bored with it.” 

Sometimes, I think that is true. But as life’s circumstances have caught up with me and I’ve finally realized the extent of my anxiety – I now disagree heavily, even more than before with that particular quoted statement. All I want now is simplicity. That is really it. The belief that I’m not destined to have certain things probably stems from my experiences. Failed relationships are to blame for the belief, but I am personally to blame for failed relationships. I’ve purposely chosen (in the past) people who were not good for me. Trying to solve childhood trauma via adult relationships will never end well. That is something I’ve learned. I have also learned it is okay to be alone, and it’s okay to be quiet. My solitude now is my joy. 

After three major long-term relationships, all of which so far have not worked out completely for a variety of reasons, I guess I thought at some point that having “the one” just is not possible for me. I did think that before, but I do not think that now. Thoughts change over time of course. If I was in pain and mourning the death of a relationship or marriage, of course, the “woe is me” mentality would be in effect. It’s easy to be bitter when you are hurt! It’s natural to feel that way. But feelings are a temporary state. Love is a choice.

Photo by Meruyert Gonullu on Pexels.com

 

Thinking of people around me, there is one couple that stands out in my mind. I will not name names, for obvious reasons. But they have been married for many years now and are actually happy. They have a sense of teamwork in their household. There is no misery or hostility. They celebrate their love quietly. They don’t blast all of the social media with their love. They keep it within the home. They get mad at each other of course, but it’s not something publicized. They have balance! I am now thinking about another couple I know just like the first I mentioned. The two couples each have something in common. They are not from the United States! Is this a coincidence? It could be. I’m also partially biased now because I’ve been reading more and more about the differences in mentality of Americans vs. Non-Americans. The differences in thought processes, relationships, and methods of raising children are ASTONISHING. I love this country, but many of the things we have learned are very questionable and should always be questioned! 

Personally, I think my “true love” is missing because I have not been able to experience, or meet that person yet (at this phase in my life). I believe I have had “true loves”, before. I’m also questioning, like mentioned before if “true love” is even a concept that exists or makes sense. What is even a true love? Is it possible to have several over a lifetime? Of course. Is a true love something you feel from another person, is it another person themselves? Or could it be the actions taken by someone who can prove in a sense, that this “true love” thing is not just a fallacy? Is it all of what is mentioned, combined? I’m sure I could put more effort into “finding” this “true love”, and recently I believe I have put more effort. The only one who really knows the answer as to whether or not my effort will work is time. Time knows all things. I like to imagine that, at least. 

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

As humans, it is in our DNA and very existence to crave love and desire and the want and need to be connected to people around us. In many ways, I feel connected to people “around” me. That is mostly due to social media. If social media is taken out of the equation, then will I be as connected? Certainly not. There seems to be a drought in my life and country (it feels to me at least) that there is a giant lack of community and family (outside) of social media. In the future, if time allows, I would love to start an organization of my own that can help people establish a sense of family and community – without social media being involved. 

In the last 15-20 years, technology has been both a blessing and a curse to us all. However, before technology, meaning apps like Facebook, IG, and TikTok took over our lives, things were so different. I just remember not knowing where my friends were. I remember not having cell phones. I remember going outside to find them. I remember randomly running into them at random bus stops, parks, or at the train stations in Chicago. That is what I remember. We felt more connected back then, and we actually met up and made plans. Not everyone was easily accessible via social media. We were more connected back then than we are now in a sense. Things were more personal. They were face to face. It’s such a strange time we are living in now. We are connected, yet so disconnected. 

Photo by Darrel Und on Pexels.com

In a world full of disconnection, it can be a struggle to exhibit values. Values correlate to community, family, and love. When thinking of values, I think many of my own values that I learned in my childhood and teen years still resonate with me today despite the many changes in our world. The values that I believe in, are ones that I’m also still trying to perfect. Lately, I am trying to practice kindness, empathy within my parenting, and as always – being courageous. Not that I lack any major values (I don’t think), but it’s my personal belief that as humans we must constantly strive to improve ourselves in every single area. Nobody is perfect, and this I know, but room for improvement will never hurt anyone. Unless you of course pull a muscle at the gym! Shit happens. When I catch myself having a negative thought or a serious case of road rage, I try to stop myself and redirect my thoughts. It is the least I can do, for my own mental well-being. 

Focusing on well-being, I feel is a good decision and does make me feel like I’m headed in the right direction. Mental health and well-being are important factors for any individual and also for the success of relationships. When things around us go haywire, sometimes the best thing we can do is look within, instead of outward. Look within, right within your heart – right where Eros strikes. 

Photo by Mario Wallner on Pexels.com

Celtic Mythology – Is There a Celtic Pantheon?

History and Mystery, Mythology

In different kinds of mythology, there are gods of war, the gods of the sea, gods and goddesses of fertility, and so on. Many mystical deities rule and are in charge of various elements of the earth and the cosmos. 

There are also names for different pantheons of gods and goddesses. For example, the Greeks have the Olympians; the Norse have the Aesir & Vanir. Both of these are pretty well known – but what about the Celts? To be clear Celtic myths are not limited strictly to the people of Ireland. Celtic is a term that many people assume relates solely to Ireland. Celtic describes people and ancient tribes across Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany, and the Isle of Man. In Celtic mythology, you have the Tuatha De Danann (pronounced Thoo-a day Du-non). The Tuatha De Danann are the most well-known pantheon in Celtic mythology despite not being as popular across the world as Norse or Greek mythology.

The title Tuatha de Danann means: People/Tribe of Danu. 

Danu was one of the most notable Goddesses of Celtic Mythology. She is often known as a divine creator goddess or a mother goddess. However, the issue with Celtic mythology is that much of the legends and stories were lost over time. There is not one single creation or cosmogony myth that is widely accepted in Celtic mythology. 

9 - DANU - MAXINE MILLER STUDIOS
Art by Maxine Miller Studios

Some of the legends say that the Tuatha De Danann were not the first people to inhabit Ireland. Some say that there were several generations before the magical Tuatha De Danann fully occupied Ireland. From what folklore tells us, the Tuatha De Danann almost had a war with a group of entities called the Fomorians. Like the Tuatha De Danann, the Fomorians were also a supernatural race of people in Irish mythology. Fomorians were usually hideous, monstrous, and sometimes even giant-like. 

After avoiding and escaping wars with the Fomorians, the Celts migrated farther north of Ireland to some empty islands and populated four mythical cities – each city had druids who were knowledgeable in different types of magic and lore. The druids taught the Tuatha De Danann the secrets they knew of magic and tradition. Once the Tuatha De Danann had learned everything the druids offered to teach them concerning the art of sorcery and magic, they returned to Ireland.

Art by John Duncan

When the Tuatha De’ Danann returned to Ireland, they did not go home empty-handed. They brought treasures back with them from those mystical cities that included:  The Sword of Light (once drawn from its sheath, no one can escape this sword),  The Spear of Lugh( a powerful weapon of the sun god which offered the ability of protection during battles, and whoever carried this spear would remain undefeated),  The Stone of Destiny also referred to as the Coronation Stone (the stone would scream out a joyous cry whenever the rightful King of Ireland would step upon it. AND, the stone can be found at the Inauguration Mound on the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland today), and last – but not least, there was the Cauldron of the Dagda, which was able to provide the Tuatha de Danann an endless amount of nourishment.

When the Tuatha de Danann arrived on the shores of Ireland, they intended to stay put this time and not leave. They burned all of their ships as a way to remove any chance of leaving; led by their King whose name was King Nuada. King Nuada was a righteous and honorable first King of the Tuatha de Danann. The only problem they faced when returning to Ireland was that the Firbolg inhabited the land. The Firbolg were another race of mystical and supernatural beings. The Tuatha de Danann told the Firbolg to give up at least half of Ireland – if not, there would be a war.

The Firbolg did not take lightly this threat, and there ended up being a battle between the two. After four days of bloodshed, the Tuatha de Danann won and took back their Ireland. The Firbolg were eventually offered a single region or province after the wars. During that great battle, King Nuada lost his right hand as it was mercilessly cut off by one of the Firbolg. This resulted in King Nuada losing his throne and being replaced by Bres. King Nuada had a new hand made of silver, which then gave him the name King Nuada of the Silver Hand.

King Bres was half Fomorian, so it was only natural for him to side more with monstrous beings than that of Tuatha De’Danann. Fomorians can be compared as similar to Jotuns (Giants) of Norse Mythology. Once Bres became the King he turned the Tuatha de Danann into his slaves. Bres ruled over the Tuatha de Danann for seven long years, and eventually, King Nuada reclaimed his throne. Bres was very displeased with being usurped from his reign and he asked Balor – King of the Fomorians for assistance in fighting against the Tuathade’Danann as retaliation. Balor agreed to help Bres and offered a large army as help. Unfortunately, King Nuada, the first King of the Tuatha de Danann; was killed during the battle by Balor.

It is said in the folklore that his death would be avenged by the mighty sun god Lugh. Lugh also came across Bres during this battle and offered to spare his life only on the condition that Bres would share his knowledge about agriculture with the Tuatha de Danann. Lugh became the new King, and the Fomorians were forced to go back to the undersea civilizations. As with many stories of mythology, it seems that some battles are never-ending. The Tuatha de Danann faced another challenge by battling against a group called the Milesians. 

The Milesians tried to invade Ireland and a battle broke out between the two groups. This resulted in the Tuatha De’Danann making a peace treaty with the Milesians. It was agreed that the Milesians would rule the land above, and the Tuatha De’Danann would rule the land below – which was the spirit world also known in Celtic mythology as the Otherworld. This is another huge reason why the Tuatha De’Danann as a pantheon is associated with magic and spiritual beings and entities. Throughout history, the Milesians would later become known as the Irish, and the Tuatha de Danann were referred to as Sìth or aos sí (pronounced “she”) which means people of the mounds.

The aos sí is the ancestors of spirits of nature, gods, and goddesses. Some believe that they still walk the earth among us. The Otherworld was often described as a place of everlasting youth and was the main home of the gods & goddesses. In many tales of Celtic mythology and folklore, some heroes have visited the Otherworld and have been lucky enough to do so and it is said to have changed their lives forever. The Otherworld was and is a very important and magical place in Celtic lore. Although most of the information of Celtic & Irish mythology has been lost due to the spread of Christianity and the Roman Empire,

Many efforts have been made throughout history to preserve this information. As with other parts of European mythologies, most of it was written by Christians years after the ancient stories and myths originated.

Celtic & Irish folklore are rich in different tales of heroes, villains, and creatures alike. Many famous stories include tales of Finn MacCool (Fionn mac Cumhaill), Leprechauns, Faeries, Banshees, Dagda’s Harp, Changelings, The Pooka, The Hound of Culann, Blodeuwedd, and more!

References:

https://www.libraryireland.com/Druids/The-Lia-Fail-or-the-Stone-of-Destiny.php

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Tuatha-De-Danann

https://www.ireland-information.com/irish-mythology/tuatha-de-danann-irish-legend.html

Adventures in Aztalan State Park, Wisconsin – Experience and Mysteries

Experiences, History and Mystery, Travel

This was originally posted last winter when I was able to travel up to Wisconsin and visited Aztalan State Park. I found it to be a beautiful place even while it was 22°F/-5.56°C and covered in ice and snow. The opinions in my blog post are solely mine and not influenced by anyone or anything. I want to make clear that not everyone may feel the same way or believe in things that may seem otherworldly. Relating folkloric or mythological views to the current mounds of Aztalan may not be appreciated by all, but I am writing this post with good and honest intentions.

Topics like these are ones that I am highly interested in. There are organizations and people who do everything they can to protect the mounds and historic sites across North America, especially those specializing in preservation of sacred Indigenous lands. I applaud and appreciate them because preserving culture, history and nature is very important to me personally. Taking care of the planet is our responsibility and we owe it to the future generations. If you want to learn about Aztalan, and also different theories of giants – keep reading!

Disclaimer: Some things mentioned in my post are considered controversial and pseudoscience. You can decide for yourself.

ADVENTURES THROUGH AZTALAN STATE PARK – EXPERIENCE & MYSTERIES

Originally published by Kimberly Anne on February 2, 2021

My journey through Aztalan State Park was full of tranquility and magic! 

Aztalan State Park is not just a State Park; but also a National Historic Landmark. Aztalan is quite extraordinary and incredibly ancient. This beautiful area was once home to many early indigenous people in the state of Wisconsin. The native Aztalan people stemmed from a group known as the Mississippians, a tribe who lived around the Mississippi River Valley from approximately 900 C.E. to 1450 C.E. The most fascinating feature of Aztalan State Park is the ancient burial mounds. Before I get a little deeper into that, let me tell you what led me to this magnificent site. 

It was a typical evening in my home, one filled with curiosity and learning. My son and I were watching a documentary called, “A Race of Giants”. In this documentary we heard numerous stories and accounts of literal giant skeletons being found in various excavation sites all over the world, some being specifically located in the United States. If you are familiar with certain parts of mythology or cosmogony tales, you’d recognize that a common theme is giants. I wouldn’t be myself if I did not further investigate what I was hearing in this documentary!

Aztalan State Park, Wisconsin – 2021

According to “A Race of Giants”, many of the “giant” skeletons that were excavated were found near – you guessed it – ancient burial mounds. In the United States, there are at least over 20 major ancient burial mound sites most of which are focal points for archaeologists and students in North America. These mounds are also sometimes known as effigy mounds. Effigy mounds are large raised pieces of land that were used for ritual or spiritual purposes in Indigenous American/First Nations culture. Many of the mounds are in various shapes, including the form of animals or symbols. 

While watching the documentary, suddenly, one story caught my attention completely. That was the discovery of the “Princess Burial”, at Aztalan State Park. The Princess Burial was found in 1919 and consisted of the remains of a female skeleton in her early twenties. Some people suggest that the Princess was over 7 ft. tall, which indicates that she could have been a “giant”, (I have found no supporting evidence stating she was 7-8ft tall – this is a widely speculated theory). During the excavation, it was documented that the remains of the Princess were discovered with hundreds of beads and shells. Most of the shells that were found on-site in the grave were local clamshells, but some were marine shells that are native to the area of the Gulf coast! That is a clear indicator that the shells were imported at that time. The Mississippian nations scattered throughout North America, from Wisconsin down to Mexico, so this could be a reason why imported beads were found in the grave.

In total, the Princess Burial had over 1,900 shell beads. In ancient times, it is known that prominent figures in a society or culture were buried with such items. Emperors and pharaohs have been buried with similar items that would indicate them as important people of high status, so this discovery at Aztalan holds a major significance in the history of ancient America. Interestingly enough, there was a similar burial at another Mississippian site which is known as the Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, IL. (The Cahokia Mounds are much larger than Aztalan. The Cahokia Mounds are classified as the largest archaeological site in the United States). The burial found at Cahokia also included beads, and they were placed in the shape of a bird.

Photo Credit: Cult of Weird Website

 

Before I get too carried away with the Princess mound, let’s discuss a little myth history! In many indigenous myths, there are stories of giants; who were much larger than an average-sized human. There are stories of giants from a variety of First Nations groups including the Apache, Navajo, Hopi, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, and many, many more. One particular group that I’d like to mention is the Paiute. I won’t go too far into this one, but I highly recommend doing a little research on the giant skeletons found near Paiute territories. Have you ever heard of the Lovelock Cave? The Lovelock Cave in Nevada is full of ancient history and indigenous American legends according to the Paiute nation. Through oral traditions, the Paiute told stories of giants that roamed the earth thousands of years ago. It is said the giants were very tall, had red hair, and were cannibals who constantly attacked humans. This story is known as the tale of Si-Te-Cah. The Paiutes could no longer bear to see their people suffer at the hands of these cannibalistic giant creatures. So, as the legend goes, the Paiutes went to war with the giants. The Paiutes teamed up and led the giants into a cave where they would find their ultimate death. That cave is known as Lovelock Cave in Nevada. By the way, the skeletons found around that area are reportedly larger than any man or woman. The skeletons were reported to be 8-10 feet tall. 

Finding all of this information enchanting, you can see why it led me to Aztalan State Park. Being that I already have a tremendous love for native myths and culture I just could not resist taking a visit to some nearby mounds. I’m also marveled by many accounts of legends, sagas, and “mythical” creatures – so giants are “right up my alley”, so to speak. I won’t go too far off the deep end, but many people out there do believe that these gargantuan mounds found all over the U.S.A. were built to cover up skeletons of a substantial size. There have also been rumors that the Smithsonian Museum has destroyed and/or lost the skeletal remains of hundreds of giants. I am not in any position to say that is true or false. There have been books published on the matter, but many believe that to be a conspiracy. I suggest always doing your research and making your conclusions regarding such incidents. 

Whatever the case may be one key point to always remember is to respect land and culture no matter where it is you find yourself. So now that I’ve explained what led me to Aztalan, I’ll share what the experience was actually like. I’m a Chicago native and do live in the area, so the drive to Aztalan was only a couple of hours. Aztalan State Park is located in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. Naturally, I would have visited the Cahokia Mounds in my home state but that site is currently closed due to COVID. I do plan on making a trip there in the future! Upon arriving at Aztalan State Park you will notice that the park is not very large, and the parking lot itself is incredibly small. I’d say it can fit about 20 cars at most. However, I don’t mind that because I hate being in crowded spaces. When I say this activity was great for social distancing, I’m not kidding! One of the first things I noticed was a sign that said, “Sledding on Mounds Prohibited by Law”. It was upsetting to read that as it shows how out of touch people can be with history, nature, and respect for spirituality as a whole. 

Aztalan State Park, Wisconsin – 2021

Despite that though, I was very excited when I arrived. When you arrive you instantly notice the stockade and the trails leading to the mounds. There is also a ton of signage throughout that gives you insight into the history of Aztalan and the people who inhabited the area before settlers invaded. The main sign at the entrance of the park tells a short story of the people who lived there, and their way of life including information about their crops, hunting, and other activities. Aztalan State Park will forever be known as a major archaeological site that gives us a look into the ancient history of the Great Lakes region. Near the entrance you will also find a few signs, including one that shows a Site Map. According to the information found on the signs, “Aztalan itself has been recognized as one of only 2500 federally-designated National Historic Landmarks. Recognizing Cahokia’s status as a cultural heritage site of international significance, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Cahokia a World Heritage Site in 1982, placing it on par with England’s Stonehenge, Peru’s Machu Picchu, Egypt’s Great Pyramids, and other remarkable places of the ancient world.” 

Wow! When I read that I was even more excited. I followed the trail to the first mound and stockade fence. The entire area was once completely guarded by a stockade fence, which at one point in time was a large wall of protection for the village now known as Aztalan State Park. Upon walking through the park, (even though the snow on a 22°F day) I could not help but feel a wave of peacefulness come over my entire being. As the snow was crunching under me with every step, it seemed to be the only sound I could hear for what felt like miles. The silence of Aztalan is remarkable in the wintertime, and hearing the nothingness felt ethereal! As the stockade towered over me I could not help but feel a sense of security and protection. I imagined what this village must have looked like so long ago. To be standing within the park gave me such a genuine sentiment of gratitude. I am convinced that as humans, it is part of our job on this planet to try and reconnect with nature and the people who lived before us. Aztalan State Park gives the perfect opportunity to achieve just that. As I ventured down the trail in at least a foot of snow I stopped and read every sign the park had in place that described the details and pastimes of the Mississippian peoples who once populated this area. They played games for fun; they made art, pottery and were deeply invested in their community. One of the most mysterious events to have ever happened at Aztalan was the disappearance of the entire village. To this day it is still a mystery why the people who lived in this specific area just up and left.

Aztalan State Park, Wisconsin – 2021

Curiously, I wondered and wandered and found myself headed toward the largest mound in the park. The Southwest Platform Mound is the largest principle mound and was not a burial mound. This mound is thought to have been used for communal ritual activities. The shape of this mound (and many others) is eerily similar to those of “Aztec pyramids” or Mesoamerican pyramids. Many believe that the Mississippians eventually migrated south and became what we know today as the Aztecs. There are a few theories on this, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is what. It’s possible there was contact from the Gulf region to the Mid-west region of the USA (and vice-versa) due to travel via rivers or on foot. The fact is that there are many similarities between ancient Mid-western and Mesoamerican art, culture, and religion.  

Aztalan State Park, Wisconsin – 2021

Once I got within about 10-15 feet of the Southwest Platform Mound, I could instantly feel an energy shift. I was able to pick up forceful and passionate energy once I got closer to the mound. It was almost overwhelming but in a good way. The energy change that I felt did not feel terrible, and the vibes that I was able to pick upheld a multitude of power. Some of you reading this may think this sounds a bit odd, but as a person who is incredibly in tune with nature and animals among many other things, I found that I was only experiencing a gift! What I felt there was only a stronger feeling of other places that I have been before. I believe that the earth does present us opportunities for healing, and it is no surprise to me that the specific mound that I stood upon and felt such magnified vibrancy on, was used for ritual purposes. The entire Aztalan State Park is beautiful, and carries its essence of magic – but if you do go there; let me know if the particular mound I mentioned calls you, or if you feel a force radiating from it. I’m curious to know others’ thoughts on this. 

Aztalan State Park, Wisconsin – 2021

Aztalan State Park, rich in ancient mystery and history also has another wonderful feature. Part of the Crawfish River borders this land, and the river is directly accessible from the park. At some point on my adventure, one of my friends met up with me to explore the park. We walked down near the river which was covered in ice and snow. I also slid down a nature-made icy slide (which was not on purpose by the way), and almost landed straight in the Crawfish River! Luckily I was layered properly with warm clothes and snow boots.

The Crawfish River is captivating and goes on as far as the eye can see. It is bordered by beautiful trees. Many animals inhabit the area surrounding the river. Once it got a little bit dark we even started to hear the sound of owls in the distance! My exploration of Aztalan was about 6 hours. I think a recommended trip would be much less than that, but I stopped and inspected almost every inch of the park. I also read every post in the park that had information or messages. I took my time that day so I was able to enjoy the true beauty of this ancient land and absorb as much of the natural energy as I could. 

Aztalan State Park, Wisconsin – 2021

Close to the park, a museum dedicated to Aztalan holds hundreds of artifacts unearthed at Aztalan State Park. The museum officially opened in 1942, and it would have been great to visit, but unfortunately, due to the building being so old (est. 1852), there aren’t any modern heating systems in place. The museum is only open during the spring and summer seasons due to that. Overall this trip was still one that was worth taking. To end the day, my friend and I visited a local restaurant, Crawfish Junction. Ending our adventure by eating local crawfish and even some alligator bites were another highlight of the Aztalan experience! I highly recommend visiting this area at least once. There are other notable sites nearby like the Glacial Drumlin State Trail and the Richard C. Smith House by Frank Lloyd Wright that may be worth checking out!

Well, that’s a wrap! I have to mention again, the crawfish dinner from Crawfish Junction was so good! I would certainly go back. Please feel free to leave some comments below, and be sure to let me know if you have ever visited Aztalan or any other mounds or pyramids! 

Update: Since this was first written I have learned about geodetic systems of energy. This would explain the feelings I have described above in regards to the energy I felt at Aztalan that day. I plan to discuss this subject in detail in the future. Thank you for reading. 

References: 

HOME | lakemillsaztalan (lakemillsaztalanhistory.com)Aztalan Wisconsin State Park System | Wisconsin DNRWisconsin (oldest cities and towns) | Wisconsin Historical Society (wisconsinhistory.org)Aztalan Site History | Milwaukee Public Museum (mpm.edu)ANCIENT MYSTERY AREA STATE PARK OFFERS A GLIMPSE INTO A LOST SUN-WORSHIPPING SOCIETY | Entertainment | madison.comWisconsin Historical Markers: Marker 515: Princess Burial MoundLEARN – Cahokia Mounds

 A Race of Giants on Apple TV

Native American Indian Giants of Myth and Legend (native-languages.org)

The Ancient Giants Who Ruled America | Book by Richard J. Dewhurst | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster (simonandschuster.com) 

The Princess Mound of Aztalan (burlingtonnews.net)

 Ancient Race of White Giants Described in Native Legends From Many Tribes | Ancient Origins (ancient-origins.net)

Lovelock Cave: A Tale of Giants or A Giant Tale of Fiction? | Ancient Origins (ancient-origins.net)

 Lake Mills, WI – Princess Burial Mound (roadsideamerica.com)

Red-haired Giant Cannibals at Lovelock Cave? Really? | NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network

http://genealogytrails.com/wis/jefferson/Aztalan_State_Park_History.htm