—-Greek / Roman, Zoroastrian, Native American, Japanese, and Norse / Viking: Tales of Creation—-
—The Grecco-Roman Myth of Creation: When TITANS roamed the Earth!
Many of the tales from ancient Greece have slight variations over the eons, but the themes and symbolism remain the same. Much of what we know about the Greek creation myth comes from the Greek poet Hesiod.
(for another popular Greek tale, click for The Epic of Troy)
According to Greek mythology (and by extension Roman mythology) the Universe began in pure chaos. This amorphous void was surrounded by the raging seas of Oceanus. A goddess by the name of Eurynome decided to bring order to the chaos of the endlessness. This goddess hooked up with a snake and from their union love was born with the god Eros.
Eurynome separated the sky from the sea while she danced on the waves of Oceanus’s domain. Meanwhile Erebus slept with Night, and gave birth to the Ether (air) and Hyperion: the sun. Gaea, the Earth, appeared in the newborn light of day break on the sixth day. Gaea gave birth to Uranus (lol), and together these Elder Gods created the Twelve Elemental TITANS! Among these colossal behemoths of unparalleled power was Kronos…
Kronos (or Saturn) was the youngest Titan, who married Rhea (his sister) and had many offspring: Demeter, Hera, Hades, Hestia, and Poseidon among others…
It is said that Kronos murdered his father Uranus by castrating him with a sickle (Ouch) to free his brothers. From the blood of Uranus, Giants and Nymphs came into being. From his severed balls, Aphrodite manifested herself. With his dying breath Uranus cursed the Titans and foretold that one day, one of Kronos’s own sons would overthrow him. Kronos scoffed at his old man, but then he thought about it. In order to avoid this potential forecast Kronos figured it wouldn’t hurt to kill all his kids, just in case one of them got smart.
Gaea, the goddess of the Earth, was rightly horrified by Kronos’s insistent habit of systematically devouring his offspring like a starving African kid in a buffet, so Gaea saved his youngest son by tricking Kronos with a pet rock in a cradle. (Kronos wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed) She subsequently sent this newborn god to Crete to be raised by Nymphs. The god she saved would grow up to become Zeus, King of the Olympian Gods.
Zeus / Jupiter grew up, grew out an epic beard, and learned how to wield lightning bolts like atomic-powered javelins. He then decided to get revenge, save his siblings, and take his throne as King of the Planet, just because. When Zeus returned, he infiltrated Mount Olympus as Kronos’s royal cup bearer and spiked his drink with a vomit-inducing concoction. Zeus’s plan worked and Kronos barfed up Poseidon and a partially digested Hades.
The gods, led by Zeus, faced down an army of Titans led by Atlas. Poseidon polished his trident for the battle to come as the Cyclopes came to the aid of Zeus by forging him his lightning bolts. In the ensuing ‘Clash’ of Titans and Olympians, the Gods narrowly came out on top, and exiled the Titans to the Dark World at the bottom of an endless pit known as Tartarus, all except for Atlas who was given the honor of benching the planet on a daily basis.
So Zeus declared himself Supreme Ruler of the Universe and brought order to chaos. He allowed his brother Poseidon / Neptune dominion over the seas, married Hera (Juno), and gave the shit job of keeping an inventory of the Underworld to the black sheep of the family, Hades / Pluto. Zeus and his homies kicked back and threw a series of epic parties at his palatial estate at the top of Mount Olympus (located in Thessaly) and they lived happily ever after… well, for a while.
Then Prometheus came and rained on their parade.
Prometheus was the last of the Titans, and became the champion of the world’s inhabitants below, people made of Earth and Water. Prometheus saw that the Olympian Gods were too busy enjoying the high life to notice Stone Age Man suffering in the harsh climates of the world. Prometheus decided to do something about it, regardless of the Olympian Prime Directive.
Prometheus essentially saw that Zeus and the gang were ignoring the starving peoples of Earth and decided to steal a little fire from their heavenly hearth and brought it down as a pirated gift to the freezing, starving populations of mankind. Zeus didn’t take this very well. Apparently, back then, the legal ramifications for theft resulted in being chained to a rock and having your guts pecked out by an eagle, every day, at noon, for all eternity, which sucks for Prometheus.
As for the human race, Zeus sent Pandora and her curious little box. Pandora’s box was clearly labeled ‘Do Not Open’, and yet she inevitably did it anyway releasing all the evils into the world. Luckily for us she closed it just in time to trap in hope…
–Zoroastrian Creation (Persia)
Ahura Mazda the great Persian deity created the world (according to the Bundahishn). Alburz, a great mountain grew steadily for over 800 years until it literally scraped the sky. This sky-piercing peak caused rain to leak out. The rain created rivers which sprouted plants and animal life. Angra Mainyu, the evil spirit, attempted to ruin Ahura Mazda’s plans for the world by murdering both the first animal (the white bull) and the first man (Gayomard), but luckily the animal’s seed was purified by the moon (?) and the remains of Gayomard eventually became a rhubarb plant that then gave birth to the first two mortals: Mashya and Mashyanag.
—Native American Creation Tales: ‘How Man Was Created’
—According to the Comanche Tribe: The Great Spirit took swirls of dust from the four directions of the Earth to create the Comanche peoples with the strength of mighty storms.
—According to the Mohawk Tribe: The Good Spirit (Sat-kon-se-ri-io) first made plants and animals to populate the Earth. As he rested he noticed something… lacking. And so he went to the river bank and fashioned a clay man. He then built a fire, and baked the clay dude sculpture. As he waited he fell asleep when he awoke he panicked and realized he had left the little clay guy in the fire too long and created the first black person (Don’t look at me, I didn’t write it!). Next the Good Spirit repeated the process and removed the second clay person too early, this half-baked person was the white man (Lolz). Finally the Good Spirit found a batch of red clay which he used to form the first Mohawk Indian in his image, the color of the sunset sky.
—According to the Apache:
At the start of time nothing existed, except for darkness. It was in this void that emerged a thin disc. Within this disc sat a small bearded entity known only as the Creator: the One Who Lives Above. As he stretched and awoke, he rubbed his brow. As he opened his eyes light illuminated the black chasm. He painted with a sea of light and colors in the wind. He created the other celestial beings to aid him in his latest project at hand, the formation of the Earth.
And so the Sun-God, Big Dipper, Lightning-Maker, and Lightning-Rumbler all came into being.
Creator first started with a small round ball the size of a bean. The gods helped expand it, at first by kicking the small ball around like a hacky-sack, then a soccer ball. Wind inflated the brown sphere and Tarantula stretched it out on its enormous web until finally the Earth was a large enough mass to sustain the perfect amount of gravitational pull.
As he set about creating the world, with the help of Tepeu and Gucumatz (Feathered Serpent) they fashioned prototype people of clay who washed away in a flood, so then they attempted to use wood, but they were too.. stiff. Finally with the aid of the Totem Spirits (Humming bird, Mountain Lion, Parrot, Crow, and Coyote) they helped fashion the new beings.
One-Who-Lives-Above rubbed his sweaty hands together and gave life to Girl-Without-Parents and Small-Boy: the ancestors of all people.
—According to the Cherokee:
Long, long ago, The Great Chief Above created the Earth, a great island floating above endless oceans, below a crystal sky, held up by four sturdy ropes.
The animals descended to land from a rainbow. The Great Chief in the Sky challenged the inhabitants of the Earth to stay awake for Seven Days and Nights. Those animals that succeeded became nocturnal, gifted with sight in the darkness, while the plants that failed to stay awake lost their ‘fur’ in the winter.
The Creator named all the creatures and commanded them to serve the humans he would return from the sky to create one day. He put Coyote in charge while he was gone. Three wolves attacked beaver and separated him into twelve pieces, it was from these slabs of raw meat that Creator made the Twelve Tribes.
As the years went on, the Great Chief became concerned with the humans overpopulating the world too quickly, so he limited their ability to create babies only once a year.
–The Japanese Creation Story: Earth Island.
Once upon a time, Izanagi and his twin sister Izanami, rowed across the primordial oceans on a raft with a spear of the gods, when they accidentally churned up the first island (Onogoro). The two then created the islands of Japan. They got married on land and gave birth to many of the Japanese deities and their human inhabitants. Unfortunately when Izanami gave birth to the God of Fire (Kagutsuchi-no-Kami) she died. The grieving Izanagi followed her spirit to the nether-realm of Yomi, the land of the dead. When Izanagi saw her terrifying zombie-esque visage he flipped out and ran the other direction from a horde of undead women. He blocked off the entrance to Yomi with a ginormous boulder, forever sealing off the land of the dead from the realm of the living.
—The Norse / Viking Origin Story: Creation from DESTRUCTION!
The viking creation story from the Scandinavian, Icelandic, and Germanic cultures naturally begins with bloodshed and is reminiscent of a bad acid trip at a heavy metal concert.
The Vikings were a hardcore band of sea-faring ass kickers. These brutal warriors believed that they could only get into Valhalla (heaven) by dying a worthy demise in the heat of battle. It was from this violent outlook on life that brought about their war-mongering mythology of gods and creatures. This is one of many stories which was often told in song around a campfire by drunken Vikings before, after, or hell even during a battle where they would raid and pillage towns!
The Poetic Edda (13th Century) is where most of our modern knowledge of traditional Nordic pagan belief is derived from. According to Norse mythology the Nine Realms are interwoven in the branches of Yggrasil, the World Tree: a massive and equally magical tree reaching from the underworld tangled in its roots to the halls of Valhalla at its zenith. At the center of this gigantic behemoth of lumber exists the realm of Midgard, what we affectionately call Earth.
According to lore, when the World Tree first began to sprout in the darkness of the Great Void (Ginnungagap), the frozen wasteland of Niflheim collided with the fiery pits of Muspell and thus the giant, Ymir, and a massive magical cow emerged from the subsequent chemical reaction. The cow (Auohumla) gave birth to the gods.
The three godly brothers: Vili, Ve, and Odin rose up against the tyrannical Frost-Giant (Ymir) and straight-up murdered his ass. Apparently that wasn’t enough, so Odin and his bros decided to butcher the ogre and magically recycle his corpse.
Waste not, want not, I suppose?
Odin, Ve, and Vili set about transforming this enormous crime scene into a full-fledged eco-system. The giant’s skin formed the land, his bones became mountains, his hair made up the trees of the forests, and his blood became the seas. They even carved out his skull cap to create the sky. The clouds are supposedly remnants of Ymir’s brains floating around…
Yep, (according to the Vikings) you’re a parasite living on a gigantic, mutilated corpse. Fun Times.
Odin and his bros walked along the beach (of their vanquished foe) and gazed out over their work and smiled. But then, Odin scratched at his scruffy beard in contemplation… “Hmm, it’s missing something…” he then took two trees and carved out two creatures to which he gave the spirit of life: man and woman. Vili then gifted them with the ability to move and the power of understanding while Vé named them Ash and Embla respectively, and threw some clothes at them. And so the race of men inherited Middle-Earth… along with the Dwarfs and Elves of course.
Odin would later go on to sire the rest of the Norse pantheon earning him the title of ‘All Father’, one of his most famous sons would go on to become the God of Thunder: THOR.
The End of the Beginning, or the Beginning of the End?!
—Coming Soon: The End of the World – from Revelations to Ragnarok!
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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