Question via Facebook:
Why indeed? Most people who know would not associate unicorns with my personality or character at all. I am loud, straight forward to the point it has lost me friends, rather chaotic, speak often on subjects that rub people the wrong way, and am the ‘mom/ big sister’ friend. I am often told by acquaintances and friends alike I am very intimidating upon our first meeting. So, why unicorns when you’d probably first think of a predator that’s ready to claw your eyes out?
Well, I could just say The Last Unicorn movie was a big part of my childhood and shaped me and my creativity in many ways, as the novel did later. Which it did.
But if you research the mythos surrounding the unicorn I think that’s where my answer really lies. For people see this seemingly delicate creature and have already decided it must be gentle, just as they see me, tall, loud, a bit mad, and have already decided what I am. But everyone and everything is so much more.
Take these examples from history when the unicorn was believed to be real (most probably it was a rhinoceros they were talking about, which is also why I love rhinoceroses).
He (Cosmas Indicopleustes) states, from report, that “it is impossible to take this ferocious beast alive; and that all its strength lies in its horn. When it finds itself pursued and in danger of capture, it throws itself from a precipice, and turns so aptly in falling, that it receives all the shock upon the horn, and so escapes safe and sound.
That’s pretty badass. And then Leonardo da Vinci even wrote on the subject of unicorns:
The unicorn, through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself, for the love it bears to fair maidens forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it.
Now, I’m not one for the whole Mother Mary and purity interpretation of the unicorn, but it fascinating how we went from 6th century ‘this animal will jump off cliffs’ to 13th to 16th century ‘virgins will make this beast take a nap’.
And the unicorn is not contained to Europe, oh no, my friend. The unicorn is an international beastie.
We’ve got the qilin in China ‘said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or illustrious ruler. It is a good omen thought to occasion prosperity or serenity. It is often depicted with what looks like fire all over its body.‘
Then there’s the kirin in Japan, which occupies the most badass mythical beastie position in the country, followed by the phoenix, and then the dragon. That’s right unicorns over dragons!? It’s like Boys Over Flowers, but infinitely more interesting and dangerous probably.
The Quẻ Ly of Vietnam is a symbol of wealth and prosperity that made its first appearance during the Duong Dynasty, about 600 CE, to Emperor Duong Cao To, after a military victory which resulted in his conquest of Tây Nguyên. So now we’ve got unicorns showing up to those who conquer and rule!?
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. Basically, to me unicorns are a conundrum of being something people don’t expect. They’re powerful, wise, ferocious, free, and good. So, yeah, unicorns are awesome. I’m glad I’ve got one on my leg to remind me to be all the things a unicorn is.
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