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Aatxe is one of the many animal-shaped geniuses present in Basque mythology. These animal shaped geniuses typically come in the form of male animals such as bulls, rams, goats, pigs, dogs, and vultures.[1][2] They are mentioned in mythical stories of a subterranean world, and are often found near the openings of caves and grottos. They are closely associated with the Basque goddess Mari, and are seen as either being manifestations of Mari, or servants and underlings of her. These geniuses represent the forces of the earth, and natural phenomena are attributed to them.[2]

Etymology[]

The name Aatxe translates into English as "young bull" or simply "calf." It is sometimes called Aatexegorri, meaning "red calf," due to it's reddish color.[1]

Myths & Legends[]

The Aatxe is the guardian genius of Grottes de Sare (Sara's Cave), France. Aatxe comes in the form of a red bull, or sometimes a man, and is known to punish those in his domain that have offended him. Because of this he is sometimes known as the "enemy" or "demon.[1]"

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