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Creation Myths
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 6:56 pm    Post subject: Creation Myths Reply with quote

I was reading about this, and thought it would be neat to write up something about it.

There were several creation myths. Religion developed parallel in different areas of Egypt.

It seems impossible to say which myth was the most widely accepted at any given time.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh gosh, don't even get me started on the Atum myth...lol
I'm surprised ol' Atum never went blind from it Laughing Laughing Laughing
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Creation Myth of Memphis - Ptah

Ptah was a self-engendered creator-god who was referred to as the "father of all the gods from whom all life emerged"

Ptah created the universe by conceiving all aspects in his hart and then speaking the his thoughts out loud.
He first created the other deities, then towns with shrines for them.
All things including people and animals were created by declaring their names.


In short he imagined the universe including our world and his words made them reality. "Power of the spoken word" indeed Cool
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Creation myth of Elephantine - Khnum

Khnum, the ram-headed god created the universe by modelling the gods, people, animals, plants etc out of clay on a potters wheel.

He was said to pay special attention to the human body.
Afterwards he ensured the continuity of the human race by watching over conception and labour.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen a theory linking Ptah's creation to the 'Word of God'...
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The creation myth of Hermopolis

Four fundamental elements were water, air, darkness and infinity .
These elements interacted to create a burst of energy, allowing creation to take place.
Then there are two versions:

I. A primeval mound of earth - The Isle of Flame - arose up from the primordial waters. The god Thoth in the form of an Ibis lay a cosmic egg. This egg cracked, hatching the sun which immediately rose to the sky.

II. Another version has the sun bursting forth from a lotus flower bobbing on the surface of the primordial waters. The sun was Identified as Horus.


Note that the four fundamental elements were water, air, darkness and infinity were represented by pairs of gods and godesses.
Nun and Naunet - primordial water
Amun and Amaunet - air or hidden power
Kuk and Kauket - darkness
Huh and Hauhet - formlessness of infinity
The males were frog headed and the females were snake headed
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The creation myth of Heliopolis - Atum

Before creation there was darkness and endless lifeless water (Nun).
A mount of silt emerged, and the creator god Atum appeared.

By sneezing (or some "do-it-yourself-action") he spit out the gods Shu (Air) and Tefnut (moisture). Together Shu and Tefnut created Geb (earth) and Nut (Sky).

Geb and Nut had Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephtys as offspring.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our present theory, the Big Bang, seem to have the most in common with the Hermopolis creation myth.

It's not VERY close of course, but seems to do a lot better than the others Laughing
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't you mean Heliopolis?
I read a book linking the Atum myth to the Big bang. I mean, in Atum's case, it really was a big 'bang' lol. I've mentioned this joke on some other thread...but his actions were rather 'explosive' lol
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isisinacrisis wrote:
Oh gosh, don't even get me started on the Atum myth...lol
I'm surprised ol' Atum never went blind from it Laughing Laughing Laughing


I thought it was funny that another version of the myth had him sneeze everything in existence Very Happy
Maybe that's the PG 13 version of the myth Cool
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isisinacrisis wrote:
Don't you mean Heliopolis?
I read a book linking the Atum myth to the Big bang. I mean, in Atum's case, it really was a big 'bang' lol. I've mentioned this joke on some other thread...but his actions were rather 'explosive' lol


No, I really meant Hermopolis.
Besides the pun of Atum's behaviour, I don't see much that relates to our modern day theories.

But in the hermopolis myth you have
"create a burst of energy, allowing creation to take place. " This kind of energy is more reminisccent of the Big Bang I think.

Then the sun being created from the same material as the earth also seems closer to our theory.
But this is stretching it quite far anyway. None of their creation myths can be considered scientific in any sense of that word.
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Raia
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't know that there were the other theories. The only one that I have heard of was the Ptah myth. Would there be a reason for all the different myths?
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see. I never heard that version of the hermopolis myth. I have heard that it was creation by 8 frog deities but not about the big bang stuff.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raia wrote:
I didn't know that there were the other theories. The only one that I have heard of was the Ptah myth. Would there be a reason for all the different myths?


I think it's because the country is very old, and different gods developed in different areas.

Egyptian mythology is fairly diverse, and has always appeared a bit "jumbled" to me. It seems most big cities had their own deities. Once in a while a different one rose to great heights.

Amon-Re really became famous/powerful in the 18th dyn I think.
In the age of the first pyramid builders Re seemed more important.
Seth gained some prominence under the rammesside kings, etc.

I thought it was interesting to see the different myths.
They are fairly different as well.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
I thought it was funny that another version of the myth had him sneeze everything in existence Very Happy
Maybe that's the PG 13 version of the myth Cool

There's a lot more to be said about creation myths, I know, but I'll single this one out.
Forgive me, I'm in the need-coffee-or-fall-over state. And it's not even morning yet. Rolling Eyes
It's the one and the same version with the handjob and the sneezing.
It's one of the Egyptian word-jokes. Yeah, a pun, annie. Cool
When an Egyptian "sneezes" he goes "ysjsj".
When an Egyptian "spits" he goes "tf".
Atum did the same. Smile

You have to take this dubious, I'm afraid.
Atum gave himself some manual satisfaction and the result is described as spit and snot.
I'm really oh so sorry...

But anyway: here's the reason.
The snot and spit are a metaphor for his semen.
Since from that, there came Sjoe (ysjsj) and Tefnut (tf).
The likenesses of the gods' names with these two terms are coincidental.
The names existed long before the written record, so when the writer introduced "spit" and "snot"...
It was not simply for being funny, but because Egyptian text-writers often seemed to like playing with words.
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