Hmm, I thought, what a great idea for a post. The question being which story/stories to use? How about .........
- The Four Creations (Hopi)
- The Separation of Heaven and Earth (Maori)
- Pan Gu and Nu Wa (China)
- Birth and the Dawn (Hawaii)
- OR perhaps one of the other stories mentioned HERE?
Take for example writer Robert Grave's reconstructed Pelasgian Creation Story which tells the tale of Eurynome, Goddess of all things, who danced upon the waters, and dividing the sea from the sky, became a dove and laid the World Egg thus defeating the Dark Serpent, 'Ophion', by crushing his head with her foot.
Then of course there's always the 'Rainbow Serpent' of Australian mythology of which there are as many legends as there are tribes of people. The creation story known as Dreamtime tells how the Rainbow Serpent descended from the sky and moved over the face of the Earth creating deep valleys and rivers, nourishing the planet and giving it form, other versions telling the story of the Rainbow Serpent populating the world with plants, humans and animals, and yet others, of how the great serpent called out to all the living creatures of the planet to come out of hiding and enjoy the land.
Or how about 'Adishesha', sometimes known Ananta (the endless one)?
The one thousand headed (representing infinity) ruler of the serpent race known as the Nagas, Hindu legend tends to depict Adishesha as floating on the ocean, his body, soft and gentle enough to serve as a couch for the God Vishnu who rests on it during lulls in the creation, and yet, firm and steady enough to to support whole Earth.
Then again, what about the 'Ouroboros' ? An ancient symbol of a serpent devouring its own tail (representing the cyclic nature of the Universe:creation out of destruction, Life out of Death), the Ouroboros though first seen in Egypt as early as 1600 BC is also to be found in several other cultures, Phonecian, Greek and Norse included.
Pictured to the left is perhaps one of the better known depictions of Ouroboros which was taken from the "The Chrysopoeia ('Gold-Making') of Cleopatra during the Alexandrian Period, the inner words meaning 'The All is One', the darker half portraying the night, the Earth, the destructive force of nature, the lighter half, the Day, Heaven, the creative force.
Oh, and lets not forget 'He' as the serpent in the Christian creation story of Adam and Eve is referred to in Genesis 3:1-5.
Able to speak (and thus tempt Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil ) and yet unable at first to crawl (it was only able to do this after being cursed by God) 'HE' is in fact often depicted as a she in early artwork, cleverly identifying both the source of evil and its nature.
PPS. Like my Folk Lore feature? Why not go visit CAROL'S NOTEBOOK on a Thursday for her weekly Thursday's Tales. Yesterdays post, THE DEAD MOTHER , was a spooky and yet moving story from Russia.