Marysville, United States

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Myths of vultures and vulture gods come to us from all over the world.

the Middle East, there was a vulture deity known as Nasr who was also sometimes called an “Eagle God.”

In Egypt, Neret is the male counterpart of the vulture goddess Nekhbet.

The Native Americans of North America told many stories about the vulture or buzzard (although in none of these was he named a god or even a king.

“Grandfather Buzzard” is the preferred association.

In Egypt the bird is an emblem of Isis, who once took this form, and is also sacred to Mat as goddess of maternity; she can be depicted as vulture-headed or with a vulture headdress.

Hathor can also be vulture-headed and Nekhabet of Southern Egypt sometimes appears as a vulture.

The bird was known as “Pharaoh’s Hen”, representing the feminine principle associated with the Scarab as the male.

In Graeco-Roman myth the vulture is associated with Pallas, Ares/Mars and Apollo and is the mount of Kronos/Saturn.

Hercules slew the vulture which tore the liver of Prometheus and the bird was sacred to him.

Harpies were represented as having the body of a vulture with the head and breast of a woman.

There was a legend that the vulture, like the eagle, did not lay eggs but gave birth to fully-fledged live young.

Aelian says that sweet perfume kills vultures and that myrrh and pomegranates are also fatal.

The claw of a vulture, like the horn of a unicorn, detects the presence of poison in food or drink.

The Griffin Vulture was a royal emblem on the standards of Assyrian and Persian armies.

There was an Arabian vulture god Nasr.

In West Africa the vulture Fene-Ma-So is the Bird of the Sky, the King of the Birds.

In China myth, the buzzard is not specifically mentioned instead the following bird exist;

Sanzuwu (三足烏; sānzúwū): three-legged crow that represented the sun birds shot down by Houyi

Qing Niao (青鳥; qīngniâo): mythical bird and messenger of Xi Wangmu

Fenghuang (鳳凰; fènghuáng): Chinese mythical bird, sometimes translated as “phoenix”

Bi Fang
crane: linked with immortality, may be transformed xian

Jiān (鶼; jian1): mythical bird supposed to have only one eye and one wing; 鶼鶼: a pair of such birds dependent on each other, inseparable, hence representing husband and wife

Jiguang (吉光; jíguāng)

Jingwei: mythical bird which tried to fill up the ocean with twigs and pebbles

Jiufeng: nine-headed bird used to scare children

Peng: giant mythical bird

Shang-Yang: a rainbird

Sù Shuāng (鷫鷞; su shuang): mythical bird like a crane; also described as a water bird

Vermilion Bird: icon of the south, sometimes confused with the Fenghuang

Zhen: poisonous bird

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