The headless mule

headless-mule
Headless Mule (I do not own the image, if you do and would like me to remove it, please do contact me)

Hello, visitors! How are you? Well, I hope!

Today I come here, once again, to talk about random matters. I also come here with a slight change to the theme. I’m not sure I’ll keep it as it is yet, but, for now, this new color scheme will be staying. I’m more than open to suggestions if you’d like to share them, thank you!

With that out of the way, let us move on to the theme I’ve set for today’s post, shall we?

The headless mule, or mula sem cabeça in Portuguese, is a creature of the Brazilian folklore.

She – yes, it’s a she – could be placed in the category of cursed creatures, just like the werewolf (which I will probably be discussing in the future). 

Her curse derives from the sin of being a mistress to a priest (a Catholic priest, bound by the Church to celibacy). According to the myth, the woman who commits this sin becomes cursed, and changes into the creature, sometimes from Thursday sunset to to Friday sunrise, or, in some places, during the full moon.

It is said she will run through seven crossroads during her time as the beast, or spend the entire night as such, and that she will turn into her other form much in the same way the werewolf does (I will definitely be touching the Brazilian legends regarding werewolves in a future post). 

To break the curse, one has to either remove her harness or wound her badly enough to draw blood. She will then turn back into her human form, and remain a regular woman as long as the person who has broken the curse lives in the same area. Should the person move away, the woman will again become the cursed creature. An alleged way of preventing the curse is for the lover (the priest) to curse his mistress seven times before Mass.

Alternative versions:

There is one version that says that the woman who loses her virginity before marriage becomes a headless mule.

Another version claims the headless mule was a queen who used to leave her home at nights, and come back hours later. One night, her husband followed her to see where she was going, and found her at the local cemetery, eating the dead body of a child. Once she was found out, she let out a terrifying scream and morphed into the monster.

The legend of the headless mule is very old. The first written reports date from the Middle Ages, and, even then, it held much of the original ideas I have presented above, with only slight changes here and there, mostly due to the the legend being passed from place to place. Unlike other legends, I have yet to hear someone currently saying they have seen it. It still remains very interesting, and a part of our very rich folklore.

Some researchers say the origin of the legend – which has never been confirmed – comes straight from the Catholic Church itself, as a means of controlling the believers and putting the fear of a terrible fate in their hearts should they sin against the established rules. This has been unconfirmed, though, mostly due to it being a very old myth and originally passed down through word of mouth, to the point where its origin was lost in time.

Well, I guess I have said enough for now about this bit of folklore, haven’t I? If there are any questions you have, please do post them in the comments, and I’ll be happy to answer!

Many blessings, and see you on the next post!

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