Did You Know {23} ~ What Do All Mythologies Have In Common?

Many eighteenth and nineteenth century scholars believed that all world mythologies showed signs of having evolved from a single mythical theme.

There are over a hundred different world mythologies that we know of today. Among these are the Greek, Roman, Norse, Etruscan, Celtic, Slavic, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Arabian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, and many more myths.

Anyone with the knowledge of more than one of these world mythologies would realize that there are some glaring similarities between them including ~

~Creation ~ From Chaos Or Nothingness ~ Similar creation myths involving the world being created out of chaos or a vast, empty, nothingness can be found in the myths of ancient Babylon (the Enûma Eliš myth), ancient Greece (the golden egg laid by Nyx or Night), the Book of Genesis (Elohim creating the heavens and earth in six days), and in Norse mythology (the yawning void named Ginnungagap), among numerous others.

~Sacrifice For Creation ~ Many cultures have stories about divine figures whose death creates an essential part of reality. In Indian Vedic mythology, the Purusha Sukta narrates that all things were made out of the mangled limbs of Purusha, a magnified non-natural man, who was sacrificed by the gods. Similarly, the Chinese myth of Pangu and the Norse myth of Ymir both tell of a cosmic giant who was killed to create the world. A myth from the Wemale people of Seram Island, Indonesia, tells of a miraculously-conceived girl named Hainuwele, whose murdered corpse sprouts into the people’s staple food crops.

~The Great Floods ~A flood myth is a narrative in which a great flood, usually sent by a deity or deities, destroys civilization, often in an act of divine retribution. In the Genesis mythology of the Hebrew Bible, Yahweh (God) decides to flood the earth because of the depth of the sinful state of mankind. That’s where we get Noah’s ark. The Hindu myth of Manu (found in the Satapatha Brahmana and the Puranas) is similar to that of Noah’s story, albeit less popularly known today. A similar theme is seen in the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Mesopotamian flood stories, Deucalion’s story in Greek mythology, and Bergelmir in Norse Mythology.

~Centre Of The World ~ Many world mythologies mention a place that sits at the center of the world and acts as a point of contact between different levels of the universe. Vedic India, ancient China, and the ancient Germans all had myths featuring a “Cosmic Tree” whose branches reach heaven and whose roots reach hell. Mount Meru is a sacred mountain with five peaks in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cosmology and is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. Yggdrasil is the tree connecting the nine worlds in Norse cosmology. In Greek mythology, Omphalos stones are considered to be the “navel” of the world.

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