Atargatis, originally the Goddess of fertility, fell in love with a shepherd-boy.
Being a mere human mortal, he was killed by her divine lovemaking. Anguished in her mourning, Atargatis was distraught with guilt and heartache.
It didn’t take long for the Goddess to realise she was pregnant. She became distraught, almost wishing she had never pursued the mortal in the first place. After all, if it wasn’t for her, he would still have his life.
Giving birth all alone by the sea, she named the baby Semiramis, suddenly choosing to leave her on the shore, and throwing herself into a the ocean to drown.
The powers that be at the time would not have her die over a simple earthly circumstance, choosing instead to turn her into a fish woman.
Atargatis grew a long, fish tail covered in shimmering coral scales. She instantly had the ability to breathe and see under water perfectly, swimming and splashing around while communicating with the other sea creatures. Atargatis was finally home.
Later on as the mermaid species grew, myths and stories of their evil ways spread.
Mermaids, having beautiful voices whose hymns would echo for miles, would sing to men on ships or shores nearby, practically hypnotizing them with their beauty and song. Those affected would rush out to sea only to be either drowned, eaten, or otherwise sent to their doom
But where does this maliciousness come from? Perhaps with time, mermaids began resenting men for fishing in their seas and eating their sea creature friends.
But many believe that even mermaids with pure intentions would be great danger to men, who upon seeing a mermaid would believe they were looking at a drowning woman, and would dive into the waters to save her.
Other stories suggest that mermaids either forgot, or couldn’t grasp the concept that humans could not breathe underwater. They mermaids would be so excited over seeing a human, thrilled to finally be able to talk and connect and share their world, they would pull the humans down into the depths of the sea, accidentally drowning them in the process.
Perhaps that is why mermaids finally decided it was best to keep their world and the human world separate… Choosing to keep themselves hidden until the day when our worlds can come together, once and for all.
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artwork by Elena Dudina
Wanderer. Healer. Chef. Writer. Lover. Admirer of all things magical.