——–Egyptian, Celtic, Aborigine, and Chinese: Tales of Creation————
—The Egyptian Creation Myth: Pharaoh Family Feud – Deity Edition
According to the Ancient Egyptians, (or at least the hieroglyphs that we might have mistranslated) from ‘the Pyramid texts’: Amun (the air) was the supreme invisible creator who had no mother or father, nor was he adopted by a fairly odd pair of god-parents for that matter, and is said to have been born in secret (explain that one). The world began in primordial water (Nu), and from this murky sea emerged a mound. And on this mound ‘Khnum’ (aka Atum) came into existence by merely uttering his own name (that’s just how gods roll).
“Heaven and earth did not exist. And the things of the earth did not yet exist. I raised them out of Nu, from their stagnant state. I have made things out of that which I have already made, and they came from my mouth.”
Atum quickly set about creating Man on his custom-made potter’s wheel. I can only assume he later created Woman too. I guess being the only God in the universe can kinda suck, so Atum made out with his own shadow or something?
Long story short, one of the first gods to emerge from ‘the primordial chaos’ was Ra!
It was Re, or Ra (the Sun God, sometimes referred to as Aten or Khepri in different animistic forms) whom established the Foundation of Maat: Law, order, and stability. Truth Justice, and the Egyptian way!
According to the Osiris Myth, as told by Plutarch in about 100 CE, Ra was the one who emerged to disperse the darkness of Nu. Ra then created Shu (Air), Geb (Earth), and Nut (Sky). Then (because they were obviously bored) they created Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys.
Osiris was said to be the first Pharaoh, charged with guiding and protecting man. One day Osiris was randomly murdered by the jealous Seth (the lunar god) who nailed him in a coffin and threw it into the Nile chained to a few bowling balls. When Isis heard of her lover’s demise, instead of grieving she set out on a quest to… find him?
With her wings stretched out, Isis soared across the world in search of Osiris’s remains, till she found her dearly departed hubby’s coffin lodged in a dune near Byblos. Regardless of the fact that Osiris was deceased, Isis um… later gave birth to a son, Horus.
Osiris went on to rule the Netherworld to judge souls for a living, while they’re son, Horus, grew up in secret until one day he could challenge Seth and take the thrown back, a ‘la Lion King. As it turns out, the eagle-faced Horus was not Osiris’s only son. Seth’s wife, Nephthys, got Osiris drunk this one time, dressed as Isis, and well … the jackal-headed Anubis was born.
Eventually Horus returned to the Kingdom to challenge his uncle, Seth / Set. Horus and Seth were locked in combat for some 80 odd years. This never-ending, episodic battle included crazy twists, and cliff-hangers to boot. Isis attempts to aide Horus by harpooning Set, but instead manages to impale her own son! (Plot twist!)
Horus and Set eventually decided to settle things like men… er gods, and competed in several contests to prove which was superior: everything from hippo-wrestling to boat-racing. This ‘Contending’ episodes go on for about 80 seasons… Now this is where things really start to get weird: To get back at Seth, Horus devices an intricate prank in which he puts something really gross into his salad. In enraged retaliation Set tears out one of Horus’s eyes! (Jerry Springer would have a field day with this family.)
Eventually Horus manages to overthrow Set’s evil reign and restore order to the fertile lands of Egypt, well at least until the Romans came knocking… (Click Here for more on Egyptian History)
–The Aborigine Tale of Creation (Australia)
The Native Australians believe in several gods and goddesses. Among these, the greatest of all celestial beings was Wandjina. Wandjina is responsible for making the Earth along with its delicate ecosystem, including but not limited to plants, and animals, as well as the weather, and astrological phenomenon. Wandjina’s second-in-command, Baiame, was put in charge of maintaining this world that Wandjina was so proud of creating. So, because Baiame was lazy, he created a work force to take care of the Earth and its inhabitants: humans. The humans were charged by Baiame with one simple commandment: Eat thy Veggies!?
Baiame essentially told the human race to be vegan, because the animals were their friends, not for eating. One day a drought seized the planet, and man’s primal, carnivorous, cravings kicked into high gear. Tofu and Soy-burgers no longer cut it. At that very moment a kangaroo hopped on by. A few hours later, the tribe was roasting Marsupial steak in the Outback. The Aborigines believe that our meat-eating tendencies brought corruption, and death into the world.
Moral of the story? Don’t think with your stomach.
–The Celtic / Druid Creation Myth?
What was the Creation Myth of the Celtic or Druid pagans you ask? One does not exist.
If there ever was a Celtic or Druidic Creation Tale it has since been lost to time, all thanks to the conquest of Christianity throughout Europe. What is known is that the Druids and Celts believed in an eternal world, a patchwork of lives on an endless tapestry.
A Scottish song known as the ‘Oran Mor’ is probably the closest thing we’ll ever get: Quiet— Eternal Quiet. Not even the sound of the restless, stirring, dark waters could be heard. Then, a great spiraling strain of Melody moved across the endless waters. Subdued at first, then quickly gathering momentum until it reached a great crescendo. -And, then, there was Life! –But the Melody did not stop. It continued its song, filling all of Creation with its divine harmony. And so it continues today, for all those who listen…
—Chinese Creation Myth(s) : Five Emperors, Three Sovereigns, and One Giant…
Like many other cultures, the Chinese also believed in a creation tale shrouded in mystery. The ancient Chinese admitted that they had no clue as to how exactly the Earth came into existence seeing as people hadn’t been created yet, however that didn’t stop them from hypothesizing. There are a few different ‘theories’ on how mankind first came to be.
I will do my best to convey them.
Way (waaaaaay) back in the day, heaven and earth were all mixed together inside of a colossal egg. At the center of this enormous egg was a dude named Pan-Gu. Pan-Gu was a giant with a never-ending growth spurt. On his eighteen-thousandth birthday Pan-Gu busted out of his shell with his mighty axe that he happened to have lying around, inside said gigantic egg. When he did so, Pan-Gu unleashed the opposing elements of land and air, light and dark, good and evil: Yin and Yang! Heaven rose up, Earth sank down, and eventually Pan-Gu died, becoming one with the wind between the two realms.
The Square Earth was below the Round Sky which was held up by four pillar-like mountains of jade. Beyond the far four corners of the world were the unknown expanses of land and sea where the domain of dragons, barbarians, and demons lay. This world existed in a time before humans when gods and dragons roamed the shifting earth, turbulent seas, and numinous heavens.
It was during these times when the Three Sovereigns came to be, in the paradise of immortals. A smoking-hot goddess, Hua-Xu, whom bathed in the waters of Thunder Lake, mysteriously became preggo. Hua-Xu gave birth to Fu-Xi, a bearded snake-man with the teeth of a turtle and… lips of a dragon?! Fu-Xi’s sister, Nu-wa was also serpent like, but with the random super power of being able to shape-shift exactly Seventy times a day. There was also Shen-nong, born of a goddess and dragon who somehow had the features of an man-ox.
Fu-Xi, Nu-Wa, and Shen-nong were the Three Sovereigns, the gods responsible for the Human race, their reign lasted 120 years. The story goes that Nu-wa was bored one day so she took a bit of yellow clay from a pond and shaped it into a brand new humanoid creation. She made several replicas, and eventually ran out of clay so substituted mud for the cheaply made multitudes that followed (The clay originals were said to be the first nobility).
Fu-Xi, the wise and magical, was watching a fiery Pheonix (according to Chinese mythology: part Peacock, part Rooster, and part Pheasant) set a forest a blaze when he suddenly had an epiphany. Fu-Xi taught mankind how to utilize wood and the power of fire. He trained them to hunt, fish, and the art of calligraphy. Then Shen-nong, the fugly horned god, brought the miracles of medicine, agriculture, arithmetic, and the concept of trade to the humans. Shen-nong would (literally) whip nature into shape for the benefit of mankind. He eventually died of poisoning while experimenting with ‘medicinal’ concoctions.
Gong-Gong, a water demon rose up to rebel against the Sovereigns of Earth and shattered the sky (simultaneously creating night and rain), unleashing floods and weather upon the helpless humans. Nu-wa and her brother, Fu-Xi, did their best to repair the damage done, while Gong-Gong was defeated by Yan-Di, the God of Fire.
The ancient Chinese also believed in floating islands that were in fact the backs of ginormous turtles, shape-shifting demons, and greedy dragons with hordes of treasure.
The Three Sovereigns were eventually succeeded by the Five Emperors. These Five Divinities: Qin-Shi-Huang-Di, Yao, Shun, Yu the Great, and Qi were descended from the Celestial Emperor and are said to be the ancestors of the Chinese dynasties that followed.
(Creation Tales still to come: Norse, Greek, and Native American!)
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“The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology” by Arthur Cotterell and Rachel Storm
“The Humanistic Tradition” Vol. 1 (Third Edition) by: Gloria K. Fiero
“Chinese Mythology: Stories of Creation and Invention” by: Claude Helft
“The Timeline History of Ancient Egypt” by: Shereen Rathnagar