August 14, 2012
Creation Myths: Norse & Egyptian
Creation myths are present in all cultures of the world, and while these stories reflect very different beliefs of creation, they also possess many similarities as well. Each culture from around the world has developed beliefs and cosmogony that help them to understand the most ancient and primordial of questions: where did we come from? Ancient civilizations bore stories of primitive worlds, gods, and creators who sprung forth to create the world we live in and who created the first man and woman.
Experts have come to find that there are common themes of creation myths which all myths can be classified into; accretion and conjunction stories, secretion stories, sacrifice stories, division or consummation stories, earth-diver stories, emergence stories, two-creator myths, deus faber (the maker god), and ex nihilo (out of nothing). Some cultures usually bear more than one type of theme for creation. Two creation myths that bare similarities and differences are the Norse and Egyptian. The theme of Norse creation is based on accretion and conjunction, secretion, and two-creator myths, while Egyptian creation myths follow the themes of secretion, deus faber, and ex nihilo (Leonard & McClure, 2004).
Norse creation myths spring forth from the Swedish and Scandinavian cultures. The Norse myth begins in a world called Ginnunngagap, which was the earth before the heavens were created and before any living thing existed. In the Southern end of Ginnungagap was a land called Muspelheim, a fiery realm of fire and poison, and to the North was a land of ice and cold called Niflheim. The gods that came after, created Midgard which was the middle land born from the great Yggdrasil tree; a pleasant and habitable place for humans. The gods resided in a different realm in the center of the earth called Asgard; from Asgard, the gods watched over all