Comparative Religion Creation Stories and Theories

bri-marie posted on Sep 10, 2012 at 06:13PM
So, I don't know about anyone else, but I love creation stories. So, I though I'd start a forum where people could share the creation stories of their religions, or just share their own creation theories :)

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lebih dari setahun yang lalu bri-marie said…
So, my religion is Asatru, which means my gods are the Norse gods. Before I give you my (incomplete) creation story, I think some back information is in order:

We get much of the information about our gods (heroes, such as Beowulf, and kings) from The Prose and Poetic Eddas, and the Sagas. However, our books and stories are problematic. The Nordic peoples, like most ancient civilizations, spread these stories orally. So, obviously, stories varied constantly, as each story teller had their own interpretation, and some of the more unpopular stories were not told as often.

To make matters more complicated, the stories were not written down until the late 1100s, long after Northern Europe had been taken over by Christianity. And they were written down by a single man, Snori Sturluson. While Snori was a great historian, there was no paper work for him to check. Most of the works are done from his, and others memories, making the Eddas and Sagas fairly incomplete. Also: Snorri was a dedicated Christian, and many Lays and Sagas are clearly influenced by those religious ideas.

The fact that the Eddas (where we get the creation story) are so flawed and incomplete makes it very hard for Asatruar (Heathens, Norse and Ne-Norse Pagans) to take them all literally. But they still make good stories to tell!. So, the Norse creation story (the most commonly used one, anyway):

First there was Muspellshiem. It was a world of great heat and fire. Next, there was Nifleheim (which would eventually become the world for the dead.). It formed above Muspellsheim. Nifleheim was all frost and ice. (Both Muspellshiem and Nifleheim's origins have been lost to us, if they ever existed at all.) There was nothing between the two worlds, so Muspellshiem's fire began to melt Nifleheim's ice. Water and flame collided, and from their collision, another world was formed. Between the cold of Nifleheim, and the heat of Muspellsheim, life began to form.

First, there was the giant, Ymir. Ymir wandered the world the day of his creation, and wound up in the South, near Muspellheim. He was bathed in sweat, and fell asleep. From under his left arm came a man and a woman, both giants like him.

From a block of ice came a cow, called Audumla. Ymir wandered back to the North, and drank from her udders. For refreshment, Aumula liked the ice block she had come from. Her licking birthed another being, Buri. (Most likely another giant, but it's never specified.) Buri had a son, Bor (who's matronage is lost to us), who went on to marry Ymir's daughter, Bestla. Bestla and Bor had three sons: Odin, Vili, and Ve.

Eventually, Odin, Vili, and Ve attacked Ymir and killed some. (Some sources say they "rebelled" which implies Ymir having become some kind of tyrant. Some say there was always fighting, and eventually it just peaked.) Ymir had become so large, that his blood caused an entire flood, killing everything except the three brothers, and two giants (who later when on to re-create the giants).

Odin, Vili, and Ve used Ymir's body to create the Earth (Midgard)between Muspellsheim and Nifleheim. His skin became the land, his blood became the ocean, his bones the mountains, his skull the sky. The sky contained the sparks from Muspellshiem's fire, which birthed Sunni, the sun goddes, and Manni, the moon god. (Eventually, Loki would birth the wolf Fenrir, who would sire two wolves that would chase Sunni and Manni across the sky, creating night and day, and summer and winter.)

(The rest of Ymirs body decomopsed and formed maggots, which Odin, Vili, and Ve formed into dwarves and elves).

The sun created the grass, and Ymir's hair became the trees. Soon, other gods joined. (Some stories say they were "created out of an abyss", some say the brothers created them, and some say they came much the same way the brothers did.) The gods created Asgard, their world, and put it above Midgard, so they could watch over it. They then created Bifrost, so they could travel to and from the worlds more easily. Heimdall took up the post of guarding Bifrost.

Odin, Hoenir, and Lodur formed the first humans out of two dead Ash trees. (Some sources say Hoenir and Lodur are kennings for Loki and Heimdall. Some say they're kennings for Vili and Ve, and some say they're two different gods all together.) The Ash trees were then named Ask and Embla, and they went on to produce the race of man. (Which would later be split into three groups created by Heimdall.)

After the creation of the different level, or planes of existence, the great ash tree Yggdrasil began to grow and connect all of the levels. Its first root form in the land of Niflheim, from this root bubbled the spring of Hvergelmir, the source of the primitive rivers. The second root of the great tree extended into the land of the giants, covered with frost and ice (called Jotunheim). The third root extended all the way up into the heavens, and issued the spring Urd. The Norns (goddess of Fate) sprung from the Abyss. They reside in the spring Urd, and they take care of Yggdrasil by sprinkling water from Urd of the tree's roots.

The worlds (and Yggdrasil) are not eternal, and are destined to be destroyed during the great battle, Ragnarok.
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