By Mat S
There have been few fabled creatures that have captured the heart and the imagination in quite the same way as the Unicorn. This one horned creature has appeared in many different cultures for thousands of years and in almost every instance, it is an enduring symbol of good, hope and majesty.
In ancient China, around 3000BC, the “qilin” was not considered a mythical creature at all. The ancient Chinese believed that these were real creatures and did not seek proof of their existence, but actually sought to find them. They were believed to be a sign that all is right with the world. But the Chinese qilin bears very little resemblance to the western ideal of the unicorn. In it’s Chinese form, it appears to be more of a dragon-like animal with scales and more of a reptile appearance. The outside color of the animal was one of five colors; white, yellow, red, blue or black, these five colors are sacred to the Chinese. The horn was also made of soft flesh, not bony material as in western lore and the Chinese believed them to be a symbol of wisdom.
The Ancient Chinese are not the only culture to believe in it’s existence. Ancient Greeks were also convinced that the animal not only existed, but appears in some of the earliest writings of Aristotle. There have been many reported sightings throughout history, beginning with some references in the Hebrew Bible. According to very early writings in the Book of Genesis, Adam saw one of the creatures in the the Garden of Eden at the very beginning of time. Also in the Bible there is also a description of an animal that bears what appears to be a strong resemblance to the creature in the book of Job (Job 39:9-12) and in the Book of Isaiah (34:7). There are also reported sighting’s by Alexander the Great in Asia back in the third century B.C., and by Julius Caesar back in the first century.
The creature’s single horn, or Alicorn, is said to have many magical properties. The Alicorn is quite valuable and is said to have been a main ingredient in many medieval medicines. It is also believed to have the power to neutralize many different types of poisons. Due to it’s extreme value, items made from the Alicorn were often presented as gifts to royalty. The alicorn could be up to 9 feet long and weigh as much as 20 lbs.
Article Source: The Meaning of the Unicorn