Creation myths have been around since the dawn of civilization, many of which are still known and remembered today. Among them are some of the most fascinating and inspiring stories that have ever been heard. Here are some of the ones that got me thinking the most.
1. The Gods of Japan
In one of the most complex ancient creation myths from around the world, the ancient Japanese gods gave birth to divine siblings Izanagi and Izanami, who would create the islands of Japan, along with numerous other deities. After Izanami died and Izanagi realized she could never return, he blocked the entrance to Yomi – the land of the dead – with a large boulder, to separate life and death forever.
2. The Spirits of Ancient Egypt
There have been many fascinating ancient creation stories in ancient Egypt, one of the most significant being that of Atum, the primordial god, who willed himself into being, creating the first piece of land among the chaotic waters of Nu. He then gave birth to a son (Shu) and a daughter (Tefnut), who would become lost in the darkness of their newly created world. After being reunited with them, Atum wept, and his tears became humankind.
3. Hindu Cosmology
One of the most interesting creation myths comes from the Rig Veda, the earliest Vedic text found in the Hindu Cosmology. It tells of an enormous god with 1000 heads named Purusha, whose body created purified butter to give rise to the animals of the world, his body parts later transforming into the gods Agni, Vayu and Indra, as well as the many aspects of the physical world as we know it.
4. Sumerian Legend of Creation
Sumerian texts tell of a race of human-like gods that ruled the Earth and toiled the soil to discover minerals and make the world habitable. Their supreme god, Anu, ordered the creation of man, in the likeness of the gods, to take over the hard work.
5. The Cosmic Egg
In one of the most unique myths about creation, the Ancient Chinese talked about the cosmic egg, containing the universal forces of yin (negative) and yang (positive), from which the earth and the sky, as well as Pan-gu – the first being – arose. Afraid that the egg might return to its initial form, Pan-gu stood on the Earth and held the sky in his hands for 18,000 years. After his death, his body became the elements, animals and humans who would populate the Earth.
6. The Greeks and Titans
The Titans, parents of the Ancient Greek gods, were born after Mother Gaia (the Earth) became enraged at her husband, Uranus, the god of the sky, for imprisoning her monstrous children. Kronos, her strongest child, became the first Titan after slaying Uranus and later swallowing all his children for fear of being overthrown. Salvation came from Zeus, who managed to kill Kronos and establish the new hierarchy of the Olympian gods.
7. The Inca Account of Creation
The Inca had many myths and legends about creation, one of the most well-known being the story of Viracocha, the ancient god who rose out of the darkness and formed the moon and the stars to light up the world. He later created human beings from large stones to populate it.
Do you believe there might be some hidden meanings behind these legends that scholars have yet to uncover? Also, if you're interested in mythology, you might have noticed there are many curious similarities between the ancient creation myths that are still known today. What do you think the explanation for this might be?