We’ve all heard creation stories, right? Most of us are familiar with Adam and Eve. They live in the garden of Eden for a time before partaking of the forbidden fruit, and thus are cast out.
But what do you know about the creation myths of other cultures? In Greek myth, Cronus devours his children to keep them from overthrowing him, only to be overthrown by his son, Zeus.
The tale of a primal deity whose body suffers mutilation is common in more than one culture’s beliefs. In Scandinavian myth, the Norse creator gods slay Ymir, a huge frost giant. They disassemble him, making the earth from his body, the oceans from his blood, and the dome of heaven from his skull.
Wikipedia gives Ymir the following description…
Ymir birthed a male and female from the pits of his arms, and his legs together begat a six-headed being. The gods Odin, Vili, and Vé fashioned the Earth (elsewhere personified as a goddess; Jörð) from his flesh, from his blood the ocean, from his bones the hills, from his hair the trees, from his brains the clouds, from his skull the heavens, and from his eyebrows the middle realm in which mankind lives, Midgard. In addition, one stanza relates that the dwarfs were given life by the gods from Ymir’s flesh and blood (or the Earth and sea).
I find Ymir’s story fascinating. It’s gory, yes, but it’s also an effective way of describing how the death of one being brought life to countless others. A theme which is found in Greek myth also, in the form of sparagmos (a dollar to anyone who can tell me what that is!)
Sparagmos is the ritual tearing apart of a sacrificial victim.
Do I owe anyone a dollar?
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