Presentation on theme: "We’ve all got to start somewhere.. Necessities Myths use metaphor to explain higher concepts. Many of the stories of mystical monsters were merely representations."— Presentation transcript:
Necessities Myths use metaphor to explain higher concepts. Many of the stories of mystical monsters were merely representations of the fear conquered. Metaphors need to fit their culture. Metaphors should be universally acknowledged images. Or at least, universal to your people.
Necessities Part 2 The existence of the world must be explained. According to Joseph Campbell, “The question being answered is not who made the world or how, but rather the need for presence of a creator being visible in all things.
Necessities part 3 The metaphors and explanations are relevant to the geography where the culture lives. The Japanese myths have a lot to do with the ocean. The Midwest Indian tribes do not. The Creation myth should define the roles of men, women, animals, and possibly interrelations with other cultures.
Necessities Part 4 The creation myth should also include explanation of basic human behavior and possibly the separation between the god(s) and Man. Pandora Prometheus The One Forbidden Thing
Part 5 A question to consider: Is your societal view of your god one of perfection or imperfection? For example is your god(dess) all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good, or any combination of these three. If not, what are your god(s)’ limitations and why do they exist. What characteristics of your culture are captured in that imperfection.
The Creation Archetypes Creation from Primordial ‘soup’ Creation from Nothing Creation by Deus Faber Creation from Clay Creation from Dismemberment of Primordial Being Creation by Sacrifice Creation by Secretion Creation by Thought Creation by Word Creation by Trial and Error Earth Diver Creation from Cosmic Egg Creation from Division of Primordial Unity Creation from Chaos Creation by Emergence Creation from Ancestors Creation in Science
Primordial Soup PRIMORDIAL: Something exists, and then out of this something new is made. Often begins with water, chaos, darkness, etc. Modern evolutionary theory and ‘Big Bang’ theories use this base to explain their beliefs.
Creation from Nothing Ex nihilo or de novo. Ex Nihilo = from nothing. De novo Particularly popular in monotheistic religions. In ex nihilo myths the god figure creates the universe from nothing, by thought, word, or breath. Sometimes secretion is used as well. Greek, Hebrew, Indian, Mayan, Maori.
Creation by Deus Faber Creation by Deus Faber is the fabrication of the world by the Creator in his/her form as an Artist/Craftsmen. Uses the analogy or metaphor of a craft. In the Book of Job (34:4-5) Yahweh refers to creation as “laid the foundation of the earth” and “took its measurements.” This lends to the Hebrew architect image of God. Hebrew, Huron, Spider Woman, Yuki
Creation from Clay Man created from clay, the ultimate symbol of the Earth. Being created from earth (clay) exists across many different cultures. Some theorize this is due to the maternal image of the earth. Others look at the malleability and see an easy creation concept. Blackfoot, Hebrew, Dyak, Egyptian,Polynesian.
Creation by Dismemberment These myths involve the cosmos being created by cutting up a pre-creation monster. Babylonian, Indian, Big Veda, Norse.
Creation by Sacrifice Creation through the sacrifice of a god. Often dealt with as renewal through sacrifice as well. Jesus, Osiris, Attis, and Dionysus all have stories of this type of myth. Related heavily to Creation by Dismemberment.
Creation by Secretion (eww) Just what it sounds like…creation via bodily fluids. Very focused on the ‘divinity’ of life fluids. Creator’s bodily fluids: feces, urine sweat, semen, spit, vomit, and blood are all used in the creation of the world. Typically a solitary male god figure. Bantu, Boshongo, Chuckchee, Egyptian
Creation by Thought Ex nihilo Creation is a projection of the creator’s thoughts. This theory is hinted at in aboriginal dreaming creation. Powerful supreme being preexists existence, world contained in the Mind of God. Buddhist, Laguna, Navajo, Winnebago
Creation by Word Ex nihilo The Supreme Being speaks the Word and connects Logos or Cosmic Order. “And God said…” Hebrew, Christian, Mayan, Navajo
Trial and Error Also thought of as Creation via aborted attempts. Initial attempts to create humanity are unsuccessful. First Man through poor or immoral behavior, may cause a fall. Heavy on instructional morality. Flaw may be either intentional, or creational. Often includes a destruction cycle as well.
Earth Diver Supreme Being sends an animal (duck, turtle into the primal waters. The water can often be seen as the unformed female principle, and the diver is the creator’s emissary to the principle. The Diver finds “earth” (sand, mud, rock, etc.) and it is brought to the surface. Water and descent have key importance in this mythic pattern. Common Native American creation.
Cosmic Egg Pre-creation void is a giant egg. Eggs are symbolic of the beginning of life. Logical connection between visible birth (hatching eggs) and universe creation. Cosmic egg is typically silver or gold, like the sun or moon. Chinese, Finnish, Indian, Japanese
Creation by Division of Primordial Unity Breaking of the Cosmic Egg or the separation of cosmic parts from one another to make the universe. In many of these myths there is a newer god who must separate the “parents” to create the new world. Egyptian, etc.
Creation from Chaos “Out of Chaos…” Chaos is the Greek word for primal void. Chaos is often seen as a swirling mass of nothingness, out of which the Creator(s) craft the universe. Greek, Babylonian, Japanese, etc.
Creation by Emergence Mostly Native American. Involves the emergence of the people from an underworld. Underworld is typically seen as a “world womb” where all things are gestated until birth.
Creation from Ancestors This belief is that a prior people created the universe. Australian aborigines believed that their ancestors dreamed the world into existence.
Creation in Science Many creation theories in modern science have the myth of the beginning- less beginning. Scientists theorize that something existed before existence as a basis for the cosmos. Loosely called myths. Big-Bang Theory
Archetypal things for which to look: Character archetypes. Look for common character/deity roles. Numbers as symbols. Often Creation myths use numerology relevant to the culture. Anima/animus roles Male/Female gender roles/expectations defined. Cultural and moral values The ‘folk’ portions of the myths. Local instruction and behavior.
Your Culture You will need to create the culture around which you will build your mythology. Be cautious and thoughtful in your process, this culture must be viable for all forms of myths. Important elements to document: ○ Environment – Geographic, weather, wildlife ○ Intra-Cultural relations – gender, politics, power ○ Inter-Cultural relations – other cultures that relate directly to your own. ○ Cultural behavior – violent/pacifist, hunting/agricultural, diplomacy/conflict.
Your Culture’s Creation Myth Establish the state of existence pre- creation. Establish your Creator(s). Define them well. What type of Creation myth are you going to create. Establish your cast of characters. Tell your story.
Tips to remember Keep it appropriate to the culture you have created. It needs to fit the geography, scientific timeframe and the world you have created. Be creative, but at the same time, keep it reined in. This is a primitive culture with no exposure to modern cynical, sadistic culture.