Tag Archives: gods

Mythology {3} ~ Gods & Goddesses {9} ~ The Native American

Creators, Gods, and Spirits. Many Native American mythologies have a high deity—sometimes referred to as the Great Spirit—who is responsible for bringing the universe or the world into existence. Often, however, the Great Spirit merely begins the process of creation and then disappears or removes itself to heaven, leaving other gods to complete the detailed work of creation and to oversee the day-to-day running of the world.

In many Native American mythologies, Father Sky and Mother Earth or Mother Corn are important creative forces. The high god of the Pawnee people, Tirawa, gave duties and powers to the Sun and Moon, the Morning Star and Evening Star, the Star of Death, and the four stars that support the sky. The Lakota people believe that the sun, sky, earth, wind, and many other elements of the natural, human, and spiritual worlds are all aspects of one supreme being, Wakan Tanka. The secondary gods are often personifications of natural forces, such as the wind. In the mythology of the Iroquois people, for example, the thunder god Hunin is a mighty warrior who shoots arrows of fire and is married to the rainbow goddess.

For many centuries, Native Americans have passed their myths from generation to generation though oral stones and artistic repesentations.

The character Coyote figures in some tales as a trickster and in others as a creator whose actions benefit humankind. Kachinas, spirits of the dead who link the human and spiritual worlds, play an important role in the mythologies of the Pueblo peoples of the American Southwest, including the Zuni and Hopi Indians. In Hopi mythology, the creator deity is a female being called Spider Woman. Among the Zuni, the supreme creator is Awonawilona, the sun god. The mythology of the Navajo Indians—who live in the same area as the Hopi and Zuni but are not a Pueblo people—focuses on four female deities called Changing Woman, White Shell Woman, Spider Woman, and First Woman.

Source: http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Mi-Ni/Native-American-Mythology.html

Mythology {3} ~ Gods & Goddesses {8} ~ The Aztecs

The Aztecs had a complex and diverse group of Gods and Goddesses. Scholars that studied the Aztec deities established more than 200 gods and separated them into three categories. Each of these groups supervised one aspect of the universe such as heaven or the sky, agriculture and the war and sacrifice. Whenever they took over a new tribe or culture, they often take up the conquered tribe’s gods as well.

The Aztecs had three main gods, four sub-gods and an infinite amount of gods underneath the sub gods. Here are just some of the most important deities in the Aztec culture.

Huitzilopochtli (Weetz-ee-loh-POCHT-lee)
Huitzilopochtli was the most fearsome and powerful of the Aztec gods. He was the god of war, the sun and sacrifice. During the migration of the Aztecs, he was the god that pointed them to the place Tenochtitlan, the capital city of the Aztecs which Huitzilopohctli is the patron god of. He also has a temple built in honor of him at the center of the city. Huitzilopochtli required blood sacrifice to help him win the battle against darkness. Humans were sacrificed for him as it was thought that the sacrificed warriors were to rise and fight with Huitzilopochtli. But blood sacrifice was not always in the form of human sacrifice. Sometimes there was ritual blood letting used instead of human sacrifice. Huitzilopochtli means Hummingbird to the Left. He was often drawn with feathers and holding a scepter made from a snake.

Tlaloc (Tlá-loc)
Tlaloc was the god of rain and water as well as one of the most ancient deities in all of Mesoamerica. His origans can be traced back to the Maya, the Olmec and Teotilhuacan. He was associated with life giving, fertility, agricultre as well as springs, mountains and caves. He was worshipped at the Great Temple in Tenochtitlan. He had a shrine decorated with blue bands representing rain and water. Tlaloc helped the Aztecs most of the time by sending rain and causing plants to grow. However, Tlaloc could also get angry and send thunder storms and hail. The Aztecs believed that in order to keep the god happy and for rain to come down, they must sacrifice their children as the cries and tears of newborn children were sacred to the god. Children were expected to weep in order to bring the rain. Another kind of less gruesome sacrifice to him was having little statues in the shaped children made of dough and offered to him. They were eaten at banquets. He is also worshiped at the top of a tall mountain named Mount Tlaloc where the sacrifices of the children were made to him. He is often drawed with fangs and goggle-like eyes.

Quetzalcoatl (Keh-tzal-coh-atl)
Quetzalcoatl was the god of life and wind. He was known as “the Feathered Serpent” and is probably the most famous Aztec deity. He is also known in many other Mesoamerican cultures such as the Teotihuacan and the Mayas. He was a very creative god and he was the patron god of knowledge and learning. He is the twin of Tezcatlipoca and is also often known as White Tezcatlipoca due to the contrast between Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca as he is the complete opposite of Tezcatlipoca. After the Fourth sun was destroyed, Quetzalcoatl went to the land of death, Mictlan and created our current world and the Fifth sun by using his own blood to give life to bones. He is also the giver of maize to mankind. Quetzalcoatl is known as a hero to the Aztecs because he made their city flourish and prosper. But due to being tricked by his twin brother into breaking Quetzalcoatl’s vow of celibacy, Quetzalcoatl fled the place but not before promising to return. Quetzalcoatl is described as a white, bearded god who came from the sky therefore leading some Mormon scholars to believe that Quetzalcoatl was actually Jesus Christ. The Aztecs mistakened Hernan Cortez for Quetzalcoatl which led to the downfall of the great civilisation

Tezcatlipoca (Tez-cah-tlee-poh-ka)
Tezcatlipoca was a very powerful god associated with many things such as magic, the night and the earth. Tezcatlipoca was the god of the nocturnal sky, the god of ancestral memory and also the god of time. He is also known as the Lord of the North and the twin brother of Quetzalcoatl who was also his arch rival. Tezcatlipoca was the first god to create the sun and earth, however he was defeated by Quetzalcoatl and turned into a jaguar. He had a large temple built for worshipping him in the city of Tenochtitlan. His name means “Smoking Mirror”. He often represents an evil power and is the counterpart of Quetzalcoatl. He is also known as “Black Tezcatlipoca”. Tezcatlipoca could also transform into a jaguar called Tepeyollotl “Heart of the Mountain” and also into a turkey, Chalchihuihtotolin “The Jewelled Fowl.” Chalchihuihtotolin is a symbol of powerful sorcery. Tezctalipoca can tempt humans into destroying themselves but when he takes his turkey form, he can cleanse them from contamination, free them from guilt and help them overcome their fate.

Chicomecoatl
Chicomecoatl was the Aztec goddess of agriculture, nourishment and maize thus making her one of the most ancient as well as important goddess in the Valley of Mexico. Her name means seven snakes and the number 7 in her name is associated with luck and abundance. She was often portrayed as the wife of the corn god, Cenetéotl. She is often drawn as a young girl or a woman using the sun as a shield with her body and face painted red, wearing a distinctive rectangular headdress or pleated fan of red paper. In sculpture, she is also often holding a double ear of corn in each hand. Every harvest season, a young girl representing Chicomecoatl would be sacrificed. Her head would be cut of and her blood would be poured over a statue of Chicomecoatl. Her skin would then be worn by a priest of Chicomecoatl.

Source: https://aztecsrcool.weebly.com/gods-and-goddesses.html

Mythology {3} ~ Gods & Goddesses {7} ~ The Mayan

The ancient Maya had over 150 Gods in their complex religion, each with clearly defined characteristics and purposes.

1. Itzamn (or Zamn )
Itzamn, the lord of the heavens as well as night and day; could be called upon in hard times or calamities.

2. Chac
Although second in power, Chac was first in importance as the god of rain, and by association, the weather and fertility.

3. Ah Mun
Ah Mun was the corn god and the god of agriculture. He was always represented as a youth, often with a corn ear headdress.

4. Ah Puch
The god of death, ruled over the ninth and lowest of the Maya underworlds. He was always malevolent.

5. Ek Chuah
Ek was the god of war, human sacrifice, and violent death. Not the kind of god you’d want to meet in person.

In addition to these, there were patron gods, 13 of the upper world and nine of the lower, plus numerous calendar gods who posed for glyphs. Other deities, such as Kukulcan and Chac Mool, came into the line-up as the society changed in Post Classic times. The religious hierarchy became so bewildering that it was beyond the comprehension of the average Maya, who relied on priests to interpret the religion (so what’s new?). To the common man, who lives or dies by the cycle of rain and drought, Chac remains the god most frequently involved in daily life.

Source: https://www.tulum.com/information/mayan-history/

Mythology {3} ~ Gods & Goddesses {6} ~ The Hindu

1. Vishnu

The god of preserver, Vishnu is also known as the divine arbitrator. Symbolically, Lord Vishnu represents justice and moral order. Comes after creation, Vishnu sustains the universe and upholds its many laws. You might call on Vishnu if you’re seeking protection, patience, knowledge, or prosperity.

2. Shiva

The god of both protector and destroyer, Lord Shiva is a powerful god and is widely worshipped for its potent destructive energy. Shiva is married to Parvarti, also known as Shakti, with whom he has two sons: Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles; and Skanda, god of war. Shiva is the ultimate representation of how great destruction precedes new opportunities. You might call on Shiva as a source of inspiration as you try to achieve a goal or when experiencing hardships in life.There are many mantras reciting Lord Shiva, one of which is Om Namah Shivaya.

3. Brahma

The god of creation, Brahma is the creator of the world and all creatures. Lord Brahma represents the source of the universal mind as well as intellect. Brahma is the least worshipped god in Hinduism today. Currently, there are only two temples in the whole of India devoted to him- one in Pushkar and the other in Kerala. One of the reasons why Brahma is rarely worshipped is that Brahma’s role as the creator is over. It is left to Vishnu to preserve the world and Shiva to continue its path of cosmic reincarnation.

Trinity of Gods (Trimurti)

Trimurti, the term denotes “having three forms,” refers to the three main Hindu gods mentioned above: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Initially, the Trimurti was worshipped as a single entity- the Supreme Being. Later, the three gods were separated and took on their own individualism. It is commonly believed that these three forms actually represent earth (Brahma), water (Vishnu), and fire (Shiva).

4. Kali

Powerful yet widely misunderstood, Mother Kali is the goddess of death, time, and doomsday. Albeit her immense destructive power, she is a strong mother-figure and symbolic of compassionate-love. Kali is said to remove our attachment with the body reinforcing the awareness that the body is a temporary condition. In a sense, Kali grants liberation by demising the illusion of the ego.

5. Lakshmi

For Hindus, the goddess Lakshmi is the symbol of prosperity, fertility, purity, generosity, and the embodiment of beauty and grace. Known as the daughter of mother goddess Durga and the wife of Vishnu, Lakshmi is an important domestic deity and her presence is found in almost every household. In statuary and artwork, Lakshmi is usually depicted as a beautiful woman with four hands, sitting on a full-bloomed lotus and holding a lotus bud. Her four hands symbolizes the four ends of human life: dharma or righteousness, kama or desires, artha or wealth, and moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

6. Saraswati

Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts, represents the free flowing of wisdom and consciousness. Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. She possesses four hands, which represent the four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness, and ego. You would call upon Saraswati for the power of speech, wisdom, and learning.

7. Ganesha

A very popular god in the modern yoga world, the elephant-headed god Ganesha is one of the most important deities in Hinduism. The son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha is the lord of success and the remove of all obstacles. He is commonly worshiped as the god of education, wisdom, and wealth. Ganesha’s head symbolizes the eternal soul (Atma), while his body signifies illusion in the material world (Maya). You would call upon Ganesha for protection and removal of any obstacles that may come your way.

8. Hanuman

Hanuman, the mighty monkey god, is the ultimate image of faith and devotion. Hanuman’s tale in the epic Ramayana- in which he is given the mission of locating Rama’s wife Sita who was captured by the demon king of Lanka- Ravana, is known to inspire readers to face adversities and overcome obstructions in the way of the world. Hanuman’s strong character is used in the Hindu religion as a metaphor of the unlimited power that lies unused within each human individual. In times of doubt and great difficulties, you would call upon Hanuman for physical strength, perseverance, and devotion.

Source: https://www.allyogatraining.com/the-8-hindu-gods-and-goddesses.html

Mythology {3} ~ Gods & Goddesses {5} ~ The Chinese

1. Guanyin

Guanyin, also known as Guanyin Pusa, is Chinese “Goddess of Mercy”. She is considered to always help the distressed and hungry and gives comfort and aid wherever it is needed. Among all the Buddhist Bodhisattva, Guanyin is the most well-known one in China and liked by both young and old people.

2. Jade Emperor 玉皇大帝

Jade Emperor (or Yuhuang Dadi in mandarin Chinese) is considered the highest deity ruling the universe in Chinese Taoism. In Chinese mythological stories, he is the most powerful god and controls all gods from the Buddhist and Taoist and other religions. Jade Emperor is worshiped by ordinary Chinese people throughout all China.

3. Wangmu Niangniang 王母娘娘

Wangmu Niangniang, or the Queen Mother of the West, is the highest goddess and is the wife of the Jade Emperor in Taoism. She commands all female gods and is also a god of happiness and longevity and has magic pills which can make people live forever. She owns a Heavenly Peach Garden in which magic peach trees grow. The peach can make people perpetually young.

4. Yan Wang 阎王

Yan Wang is Chinese god of death who commands all the gods of the underworld. He has a filing book which records the life and death of every person. He gives appropriate punishment according to the conduct of each’s acts during his lifetime.

5. Long Wang (Dragon King) 龙王

Long Wang, or Dragon King, is the Chinese god of the sea. He rules his own royal court and commands all creatures in water. The Dragon King also controls the rain and winds and can bring rainfall to the earth according to the order of Jade Emperor.

6. Nüwa 女娲

Nüwa is the Chinese goddess who created human beings. It was said she molded yellow mud into a figure like her, which was then alive and became the first human being. Nüwa is also known for mending the sky with five-colored stones.

7. Nezha 哪吒

Nezha is a great teen deity in Chinese mythology. Nezha was most well-known for assisting Jiang Ziya against the Shang Dynasty in the 16th-century Chinese novel Fengsheng Yanyi. In Journey to the West, Nezha was a general of the heaven. She fought the Monkey King and helped him defeat powerful demons.

8. The Eight Immortals 八仙

The Eight Immortals are a group of legendary immortals in Chinese mythology. Each Immortal has his/her own power tool to bestow life or destroy evil. They live on five islands in the east China’s Bohai Sea including the famous Penglai Island in Shandong province.

9. Caishen 财神

Caishen is god in charge of wealth in Chinese mythology. Chinese people especially businessmen often offer sacrifices to Caishen at home or shops, hoping to become richer with the help of this “Chinese god of money”. He is usually depicted in red clothes holding a golden rod.

10. Chang’e 嫦娥

Chang’e is the Chinese goddess of the Moon and the wife of Hou yi, a hero who shot nine suns in the ancient mythology of China. During the traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn festival, Chinese people usually offer moon cakes and stare at the moon in hopes of seeing her.

Other Chinese gods and goddesses:
Yuelao 月老 – Chinese god of love
Fuxing 福星 – Chinese god of happiness
Gonggong 共工 – Chinese god of water
ZhuGeliang 诸葛亮 – Chinese god of wisdom
Tudiye 土地爷 – Chinese earth god
XieZhi 獬豸 – Chinese god of justice
Shennongshi 神农氏 – Chinese god of medicine
Jiutianxuannv 九天玄女 – Chinese goddess of war
Xihe 羲和 – Chinese god of sun

Source: https://www.chinawhisper.com/top-10-most-well-known-chinese-gods-and-goddesses/

Mythology {3} ~ Gods & Goddesses {2} ~ The Greeks

ACHELOUS
The patron god of the “silver-swirling” Achelous River.

AEOLUS
Greek god of the winds and air

AETHER
Primordial god of the upper air, light, the atmosphere, space and heaven.

ALASTOR
God of family feuds and avenger of evil deeds.

APOLLO
Olympian god of music, poetry, art, oracles, archery, plague, medicine, sun, light and knowledge.

ARES
God of war. Represented the physical, violent and untamed aspect of war.

ARISTAEUS
Minor patron god of animal husbandry, bee-keeping, and fruit trees. Son of Apollo.

ASCLEPIUS
God of medicine, health, healing, rejuvenation and physicians.

ATLAS
The Primordial Titan of Astronomy. Condemned by Zeus to carry the world on his back after the Titans lost the war.

ATTIS
A minor god of vegetation, fruits of the earth and rebirth.

BOREAS
A wind god (Anemoi) and Greek god of the cold north wind and the bringer of winter. Referred to as “The North Wind”.

CAERUS
Minor god of opportunity, luck and favorable moments.

CASTOR
One of the twins, Castor and Pollux, known as Dioskouri. Zeus transformed them into the constellation Gemini

CERUS
The large and powerful wild bull tamed by Persephone and turned into the Taurus constellation.

CHAOS
The nothingness that all else sprung from. A god who filled the gap between Heaven and Earth and created the first beings Gaia, Tartarus, Uranus, Nyx and Erebos.

CHARON
The Ferryman of Hades. Took the newly dead people across the rivers Styx and Acheron to the Greek underworld if they paid him three obolus (a Greek silver coin).

CRONOS
The god of time. Not to be confused with Cronus, the Titan father of Zeus.

CRIOS
The Titan god of the heavenly constellations and the measure of the year..

CRONUS
God of agriculture, leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans and father of the Titans. Not to be confused with Cronos, god of time.

DINLAS
Guardian god of the ancient city Lamark, where wounded heroes could find comfort and heal after battle. He was the son of Aphrodite.

DEIMOS
Deimos is the personification of dread and terror.

DIONYSUS
An Olympian god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, religious ecstasy and theatre.

EREBUS
Primordial god of darkness.

EROS
God of sexual desire, attraction, love and procreation.

EURUS
One of the wind god known as Anemoi and god of the unlucky east wind. Referred to as “The East Wind”.

GLAUCUS
A fisherman who became immortal upon eating a magical herb, an Argonaut who may have built and piloted the Argo, and became a god of the sea.

HADES
God of the Dead and Riches and King of the Underworld.

HELIOS
God of the Sun and also known as Sol.

HEPHAESTUS
God of fire, metalworking, stone masonry, forges and the art of sculpture. Created weapons for the gods and married to Aphrodite.

HERACLES
The greatest of the Greek heroes, he became god of heroes, sports, athletes, health, agriculture, fertility, trade, oracles and divine protector of mankind. Known as the strongest man on Earth.

HERMES
God of trade, thieves, travelers, sports, athletes, and border crossings, guide to the Underworld and messenger of the gods.

HESPERUS
The Evening Star – the planet VENUS in the evening.

HYMENAIOS
God of marriage ceremonies, inspiring feasts and song.

HYPNOS
The Greek god of sleep.

KRATOS
God of strength and power.

MOMUS
God of satire, mockery, censure, writers and poets and a spirit of evil-spirited blame and unfair criticism.

MORPHEUS
God of dreams and sleep – has the ability to take any human form and appear in dreams.

NEREUS
The Titan god of the sea before Poseidon and father of the Nereids (nymphs of the sea).

NOTUS
Another Anemoi (wind god) and Greek god of the south wind. Known as “The South Wind”.

OCEANUS
Titan god of the ocean. Believed to be the personification of the World Ocean, an enormous river encircling the world.

ONEIROI
Black-winged daimons that personified dreams.

PAEAN
The physician of the Olympian gods.

PALLAS
The Titan god of warcraft and of the springtime campaign season.

PAN
God of nature, the wild, shepherds, flocks, goats, mountain wilds, and is often associated with sexuality. Also a satyr (half man, half-goat).

PHOSPHORUS
The Morning Star – THE PLANET VENUS as it appears in the morning.

PLUTUS
The Greek god of wealth.

POLLUX
Twin brother of Castor, together known as the Dioskouri, that were transformed into the constellation Gemini.

PONTUS
ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god of the deep sea, one of the Greek primordial deities and son of Gaia.

POSEIDON
Olympian Greek god of the sea, earthquakes, storms, and horses.

PRIAPUS
Minor rustic fertility god, protector of flocks, fruit plants, bees and gardens and known for having an enormous penis.

PRICUS
The immortal father of sea-goats, made into the Capricorn constellation.

PROMETHEUS
Titan god of forethought and crafty counsel who was given the task of moulding mankind out of clay.

PRIMORDIAL
A group of gods that came before all else.

TARTARUS
The god of the deep abyss, a great pit in the depths of the underworld, and father of Typhon.

THANATOS
A minor god and the god of death.

TRITON
Messenger of the sea and the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite.

TYPHON
The deadliest MONSTER in Greek mythology and “Father of All Monsters”. Last son of Gaia, fathered by Tartarus and god of monsters, storms, and volcanoes. He challenged Zeus for control of Mount Olympus.

URANUS
Primordial god of the sky and heavens, and father of the Titans.

ZELUS
The god of dedication, emulation, eager rivalry, envy, jealousy, and zeal.

ZEPHYRUS
A wind god (Anemoi). God of the west wind and known as “The West Wind”.

ZEUS
God of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order, justice, King of the Gods and the “Father of Gods and men”.

Source: https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/gods/

Mythology {3} ~ Gods & Goddesses {1} ~ Japanese

Major Deities
Amaterasu
Amaterasu is the sun goddess of Japan, the central goddess of Shinto, and the center of Japanese spiritual life. As the mythical ancestor of the Japanese Imperial Family, she forms the basis of their right to rule.

Izanagi
Izanagi is one of the first gods of Shinto’s cosmology. Together with Izanami, his female counterpart, he created the islands of Japan and populated them with many kami. Though he suffered a great tragedy, he went on to rule the Heavens and later help his daughter Amaterasu ascend to the divine throne.

Susanoo
Susanoo is the Japanese god of the sea and storms. A chaotic, stubborn, and foolhardy soul, he is also brother of Amaterasu, the Rising Sun and Queen of the Heavens. His quarrels with his sister eventually put him in conflict with Orochi, the eight-headed dragon.

Tsukuyomi
Tsukuyomi is the Japanese moon god, a proud deity who represents the beauty and power of the moon. He committed an egregious crime in front of his wife Amaterasu, and was forbidden from ever seeing her again.

Inari
Inari is the kami of prosperity, rice, smithing, cunning, and craftsmanship. Portrayed variously as male, female, and androgynous, Inari is a complex and popular deity worshiped for more than a thousand years throughout Japan. Their prominence has led to the creation of a special type of shrine, focused primarily on smithing and rice cultivation as well as the preservation of foxes.

Raijin
Raijin is the Japanese god of storms, a spirit of destruction and chaos who throws lightning and powerful thunderbolts while riding atop dark clouds. He is always accompanied by his companion gods, Fujin and Raitaro.

Fujin
Fujin is a Japanese god of the wind, a demon born of the underworld who is a destructive force of nature, controlling all the winds of the world. He appears alongside his brother, the thunder demon Raijin.

Ame-no-Uzume
Ame-no-Uzume is the Shinto goddess of dawn, an inventor of dances and comedy, whose positive self-image and quick thinking helped bring the sun goddess Amaterasu back to the world.

Ebisu
The Japanese god of luck and prosperity, Ebisu is a manifestation of the abundance of the sea. He is always shown with a smile and a laugh. Though he was rejected at birth, Ebisu would go on to become a benevolent, kind kami and one of the Seven Lucky Gods.

Ninigi
Ninigi introduced rice and civilization to Japan, then founded the Japanese Imperial family. He is the grandson of Great Amaterasu, the goddess of the heavens and the sun.

Source: https://mythopedia.com/japanese-mythology/gods/

Mythology {2} ~ Creation Stories {4} ~ The Greek

In the beginning there was an empty darkness. The only thing in this void was Nyx, a bird with black wings. With the wind she laid a golden egg and for ages she sat upon this egg. Finally life began to stir in the egg and out of it rose Eros, the god of love. One half of the shell rose into the air and became the sky and the other became the Earth. Eros named the sky Uranus and the Earth he named Gaia. Then Eros made them fall in love.

Uranus and Gaia had many children together and eventually they had grandchildren. Some of their children become afraid of the power of their children. Kronus, in an effort to protect himself, swallowed his children when they were still infants. However, his wife Rhea hid their youngest child. She gave him a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he swallowed, thinking it was his son.

Once the child, Zeus, had reached manhood his mother instructed him on how to trick his father to give up his brothers and sisters. Once this was accomplished the children fought a mighty war against their father. After much fighting the younger generation won. With Zeus as their leader, they began to furnish Gaia with life and Uranus with stars.

Soon the Earth lacked only two things: man and animals. Zeus summoned his sons Prometheus (fore-thought) and Epimetheus (after-thought). He told them to go to Earth and create men and animals and give them each a gift.

Prometheus set to work forming men in the image of the gods and Epimetheus worked on the animals. As Epimetheus worked he gave each animal he created one of the gifts. After Epimetheus had completed his work Prometheus finally finished making men. However when he went to see what gift to give man Epimetheus shamefacedly informed him that he had foolishly used all the gifts.

Distressed, Prometheus decided he had to give man fire, even though gods were the only ones meant to have access to it. As the sun god rode out into the world the next morning Prometheus took some of the fire and brought it back to man. He taught his creation how to take care of it and then left them.

When Zeus discovered Prometheus’ deed he became furious. He ordered his son to be chained to a mountain and for a vulture to peck out his liver every day till eternity. Then he began to devise a punishment for mankind. Another of his sons created a woman of great beauty, Pandora. Each of the gods gave her a gift. Zeus’ present was curiosity and a box which he ordered her never to open. Then he presented her to Epimetheus as a wife.

Pandora’s life with Epimetheus was happy except for her intense longing to open the box. She was convinced that because the gods and goddesses had showered so many glorious gifts upon her that this one would also be wonderful. One day when Epimetheus was gone she opened the box.

Out of the box flew all of the horrors which plague the world today – pain, sickness, envy, greed. Upon hearing Pandora’s screams Epimetheus rushed home and fastened the lid shut, but all of the evils had already escaped.

Later that night they heard a voice coming from the box saying,

“Let me out. I am hope.”

Pandora and Epimetheus released her and she flew out into the world to give hope to humankind.