Cosmic Creations

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Cosmic Creation Myths across Cultures
Shelley Elkins
November 11, 2012
Marianne Murawski

Cosmic Creation Myths across Cultures
Norse creations and Chinese creation have similarities and differences. Both creations were formed by one entity with help from other gods or entities. Darkness is a similar theme in the stories of both creations. Both creations start with an emptiness. They both entail elements of the earth and sky yet their creators are different. The Norse creation myth begins with a void that is called Ginnungagap that means “beginning gap”. To the south of Ginnungagap was a fiery realm of Muspell that had really hot rivers full of poison and lakes of fire. To the north there was a dark and cold realm of Niflheim, with freezing rivers and the mountains were blocks of solid ice. Over numerous years the heat from Muspell began to melt the icy mountains of Niflheim began a giant Ymir and a cow. Ymir was the first being of the Ginnungagap. As the cow licked the salt from the ice mountains, Ymir drank the cow’s milk and grew larger every day. Eventually, she licked away enough ice that two more beings appeared, Buri and his goddess wife. Together they had a son named Bor and his son was named Odin. In time Odin became the king of all gods. Odin and the other gods could not abide by the evil acts of Ymir and they killed him. They used Ymir’s body to form the earth. His blood converted into the sea, flesh became the land, bones were the mountains and his hair became the trees. They formed the sky with Ymir’s skull which was held up by four towering pillars. Odin then acquired sparks from Muspell to create the sun and moon and put them in the sky. Over time the ice melted and trees and plants started to grow. In the center of the earth was the grandest tree of all with its roots piercing into the bottom of creation and the leaves reaching up to the sky. When this was done Odin named the new world Midgard, ‘The Middle Land’ (
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