April 25, 2019

W is for Wyvern

        My theme for this year’s April A-Z Blog Challenge is fantastical creatures, celebrating my upcoming book, On the Virtues of Beasts of the Realms of Imagination.  Please check out my Kickstarter Campaign to find out more.

        As mentioned before, I’m not trying to make an encyclopedia in which I merely accurately report the research on these myths and legends.  I’m trying to start with the research, but then imagine the next step.  If these creatures really existed, how might they actually behave?  How might people interact with them?

“The wyvern dwells primarily in Europe, and is frequently employed in heraldry, where it poses fiercely on coats of arms.  There it is thought to bring fortune in battle to those who bear its symbol, but what of the wyvern's own fortune?  Though wyverns have rampaged over the countryside and posed on coats of arms for centuries, it is not inevitable that they do so always and forever.  I myself in my travels once encountered on a rocky tor a restless wyvern who had left his shield to seek his own fortune, hoping to discover what new possibilities the world might hold for him.
        This wyvern teaches us the power of envisioning new possibilities, for it is easy to assume that the way things are is the only possible way for them to be, and difficult to break free of the assumption that the world cannot be changed or improved.  Let us be reminded by the adventuresome wyvern that we need not remain enslaved to things as they are, for the way things are is not inevitable, and we can, with imagination, seek for freedom in new ways of seeing and living in the world.”

        If you could pick any creature for your own personal symbol, what would you pick and why?

        The alphabet of mythical creatures doesn’t stop there.  You have to click the link to read 

[Picture: Freedom, rubber block print by AEGN, 2017.]


Kristin said...

Your end comment about changing is worth remembering

Rob Z Tobor said...

Europe has a great selection of mythical beasts that crop up in all sorts of places. I'm sure there are things in the bit of woodland next to me that are not in the Boys Own book of Natural History.

Rob Z Tobor

Not many letter left to go in the A to Z now

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Great theme! I'll have to check out your other posts. Good luck with your book!

Ronel visiting from the A-Z Challenge music and writing:Most Amazing

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Kristin, I believe that's one of the most important jobs fantasy has: to remind us that there are far more possibilities than we see in our real world in the present time.

Rob, keep your eyes open, and report back!

Thanks, Ronel!

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

I like these words of wisdom :) Especially because they are so creatively attached to a wyvern!

The Multicolored Diary

Melanie said...

Aw one of my favourites!

Sue Bursztynski said...

I have a very pretty silver wyvern pendant I bought years ago at a craft market. As a member of the SCA I got a couple of unicorn heads as part of my personal device, so I already have my heraldic animal! 🙂

Pax said...

Not to change the topic too much, wyverns and lions and dragons and griffins and eagles and dangerous fierce animals are what is usually chosen. So I have a quite warm feeling for colleges that choose things like banana slugs and aardvarks, Quakers and burrowing owls, chaparral and ducks.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Sue, that sounds lovely. I have a small collection of dragon brooches and pendants, too. And what fun to have an official heraldic animal!

Pax, I agree. I get a kick out of some of the quirkier mascots. But I still wouldn't mind a mythical one, either. Perhaps Williams College's Purple Cow counts as both!