Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of January 10th - January 16th,  2003

Creation Myths

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Mountain Spring

Mountain Spring

   Few would argue that spring is a time of new beginnings. This can, perhaps, be most easily seen in nature, when seeds are sown, and the increasing rays of the Sun begin to nourish and strengthen the young shoots of the season. But what is perhaps not so obvious is that this springtime point is also the author of creation, and the genesis of myths for various cultures.

Spring is marked by the position of the Vernal Equinox (VE). When the Sun stands over the Earth's equator, day and night are equal, and many cultures celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. But the VE slowly shifts when measured against the backdrop of the stars, and it is this shift which astrologers term 'The Ages.' The VE is currently approaching the segment of heaven known as 'The Age of Aquarius.' During the Age of Pisces, the creation myth told of a divine child born of humble birth to a common laborer, a carpenter, who rose to become a spiritual prince. During the Age of Aries, we were told of the first man fashioned by God, living in a garden with a tree in which resided a serpent. During the Age of Taurus, Osiris was a nature spirit who died with the harvest and was reborn when the grain sprouted. His first act was to abolish cannibalism and to teach his still half-savage subjects the art of fashioning agricultural implements. He taught them how to produce grain and grapes for man's nourishment in the form of bread, wine and beer.

   Naturally, these are simply a few selections from each of these epochs. Not only did each culture develop their own creation myth, but even a single culture might have several. Both the Egyptians and Greeks have at least three with which I am familiar, and the roots of one of the earliest Greek myths may hearken all the way back to the Age of Gemini, as it incorporates many themes which this age astrologically might have been expected to observe.

   Last week we examined how in the Babylonian Creation Myth Marduk forced a huge wind between Ti'amat's jaws, shot an arrow through them, and then split the body in half, with one half becoming the sky and the other the Earth. This notion of duality and the cosmic Egg is a common Geminian motif. This week, we see these same themes in a Greek myth, which Robert Graves calls,

Pelasgian Creation Myth


'The Pelasgian Creation Myth.'
In the beginning, Eurynome,
The Goddess of All Things,
Rose naked from Chaos.

She found nothing upon
Which to rest her feet, and thus,
she divided the sea from the sky.

She danced lonely upon
The waves of the sea.

   The myth goes on, and Eurynome catches the wind (Gemini is an air sign) which is generated by her dance, rolls it in her hands, and forms the great serpent named Ophion, with whom she mates, assumes the form of a bird, and lays the Universal Egg, which splits into our familiar Heaven and Earth. In variations on a theme, we are seeing our Geminian clues rising to the surface once again. Like last week's myth, motifs of wind, snake, egg, and duality (the egg being split in half) return in a familiar refrain. If the origins of this myth indeed correlates with images of representations of eggs dating back to 5,000 BC, then we may have discovered the source of the inspiration for all of these myths, and more, the world over.