I know there are Personas such as Odin, Ares, Thor, and more, but I wanted to go for some perhaps lesser known, or at least not immediately identifiable, names from the Persona franchise.
Izanagi is seen as one of the creator Gods, as he is linked with the creation of Japan and other deities, particularly through his wife and little sister Izanami. Izanagi’s story closely resembles that of Orpheus and Eurydice, in which he attempts to rescue Izanami from hell (Yomitsu Kuni), but fails. You can read the story of Orpheus and Eurydice here or here in Ovid’s The Metamorphoses. Personally I would recommend checking out Ovid’s version.
The story of Izanagi failing to retrieve Izanami includes another Persona character, Yomotsu-Shikome. In another version of the tale, Izanami cannot return from Yomitsu Koni because she has eaten the food in the Underworld. This version of the story aligns a bit more with the tale concerning Persophone. A simple version of her tale can be found here. To read more about Izanagi and his tales, I suggest taking a look at the myth encyclopedia.
Amaterasu is the Goddess of fertility and the sun, essentially she rules the skies, bringing daylight to the people. She is also the daughter of Izanagi! Eventually she would be considered the ancestor of Jimmu, the first Imperial ruler of Japan. There seems to be contrasting details as to whether or not the storm God Susano-o was her brother or husband, but no matter which way the story is told, neither of them got along with each other. Susano-o is also a persona in the Persona series. The Myth Encyclopedia states that Amaterasu taught people (particularly the people of the Shinto religion) how to grow rice crops and weave cloth. Seriously useful things to know. For more information on Amaterasu, you should definitely check out this place!
I really like this picture! You will notice that Lachesis is the one in the middle, allotting how much time each person has. Her two sisters are Clotho (the one holding the spindle) and Atropos (the one menacingly holding the shiny scissors). The three of them together make up the Greek mythology’s Fates. Her sisters, Clotho and Atropos, make multiple appearances through-out the Persona franchise. In mythology, particularly Greek, Lachesis would not only measure out the lives of people, she would also help with the reincarnation process once individuals had died. She would allow spirits to choose what they would be in their next life, whether that be animal or human.
Tam Lin is an elf-knight most recognizable from Francis James Child‘s ballad “Tam Lin.” In this Scottish ballad he is under the service of the Elf Queen and impregnates a woman who is essentially a Lady who happens to own the area he is in, Carterhaugh. At one point in time Tam Lin was human, but once the Elf Queen got a hold of him he was made into an elf. He eventually escapes her clutches to be with the woman he impregnated. Child’s ballads are sometimes difficult to read, but you are free to do so here. Tam Lin is a commodity through-out the Persona franchise, and I really like how they didn’t try to do anything too odd or too far fetched with his character.
I know these don’t even scratch the surface of the meanings behind the Personas within the Persona franchise, but I found it really interesting and I hope to be able to cover more of them in the future.
I cannot wait for Persona 5, which should hopefully be released this year!!!