A unicorn (from Latin unus ‘one’ and cornu ‘horn’) is a mythological creature often used in fantasy stories and novels.Though the modern popular image of the unicorn is sometimes that of a horse differing only in the horn on its forehead, the traditional unicorn has a billy-goat beard, a lion’s tail, and cloven hooves – these distinguish it from a horse. Marianna Mayer has observed (The Unicorn and the Lake), “The unicorn is the only fabulous beast that does not seem to have been conceived out of human fears. In even the earliest references he is fierce yet good, selfless yet solitary, but always mysteriously beautiful. He could be captured only by unfair means, and his single horn was said to neutralize poison.”
There are thousands of storys about these mythical animals.
The First Unicorns
In Chinese mythology, the Unicorn was an animal of good omen that came to humans only on important missions. Its appearance was interpreted as a sign of good times, and the fact that it has not been seen in many centuries suggests that we are living in “bad” times. It will appear once again when the time is right and when goodness reigns.
One of the first Unicorns is said to have appeared almost 5,000 years ago to give Emperor Fu Hsi the secrets of written language. Then, almost 4,700 years ago in 2697 B.C., another Unicorn made an appearance in the garden of the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di). This auspicious omen was seen by the emperor as a sign that his reign would be long and peaceful. Two Unicorns also lived during the reign of Emperor Yao, the fourth of the Five Emperors who shaped the world 4,000 years ago.
Birth and Death of Confucius Foretold by Unicorns
The Chinese also believed that the Unicorn could foretell the birth of great men like the philosopher Confucius. In 551 B.C., Confucius’ pregnant mother met a Unicorn in the woods. It gave her a small piece of jade and placed its head in her lap. She realized the importance of the event and knew it was a good omen from the gods.
An inscription on the piece of jade told of the great wisdom her son would possess; and, sure enough, Confucius became the most respected of all Chinese philosophers. Even today, 2,500 years later, his prophetic words are still honored and revered. In his old age, Confucius reportedly saw the Unicorn for himself and knew that it meant he would soon die.
Did You Know?
In most legends the blood of a
unicorn give the person how
drank it ever lasting life or healing abilites.