For thousands of years, mythological tales have nourished human imaginations and souls. Passing down the great majority of these legends happened simply as myths through the generations. However, a select handful is based on actual geological occurrences from the past, alerting us to possible hazards and expressing our respect for the planet’s might. The observations of those events are present in these accounts. Mythology is always playing a part in society, providing answers for phenomena that do not have an explanation and giving people hope in terrible times.
Even in current times, we turn to our interpretations of mythology in the form of superheroes and science fiction epics. There are many different cultures and religions across the world. All of them are based on legendary ideas.
Mythological Tales in Greece
Greek mythological tales about gods, goddesses, and heroes are one of the most prominent aspects of Greek civilization. Because these stories were so compelling, the Greeks had a long tradition of storytelling that lasted for thousands of years. It’s no wonder that Greek mythology continues to be popular in films, novels, and video games today. Greek mythology is seen as an early kind of psychology or sociology, with each deity expressing a fundamental archetype in society. The Greeks had a strong impact on the Romans, who continued to practice Greek culture and traditions. The major transmission of the Greek myths happened to go to the Romans, although there were a handful that were not.
A beauty contest between rival goddesses sparked the Trojan War
Except for Eris, the goddess of discord, all the Olympian gods had an invitation to Peleus and Thetis’ wedding. Eris became enraged and resolved to teach the gathering Olympians a lesson. She tossed a golden apple among them with ‘For the Most Beautiful’ etched. Three gods fought over the apple:
- Hera, goddess of the home
- Athena, goddess of talents
- Aphrodite, goddess of beauty
No god, not even Zeus, dared to decide which of the three goddesses was the most attractive and deserving of the apple. Paris accepted the invitation from Aphrodite. But unfortunately, he handed her the apple, and as a result, he and the country of Troy incurred Hera and Athena’s hate for all time. As a result, the Trojan War happened because of the gods’ pettiness rather than human error.
Cupid and Psyche Psyche’s Myth
Once, a king and queen ruled over an unknown city and had three beautiful daughters. Psyche, the newest and most beautiful of the goddesses, had her followers pray and make gifts to her instead of the traditional devotion of Venus, the love goddess. The speculation was that she was the goddess Venus’s second coming or the goddess’s offspring from an improper coupling with a mortal. Venus is angry and hires Cupid to exact vengeance on her. She dispatches Cupid to shoot Psyche with an arrow for her to fall in love with someone he finds repulsive. Instead, he uses his dart to itch himself, causing any living thing to fall in love with the first thing it sees. As a result, he falls in love with Psyche and defies his mother’s wishes.
Abrahamic Mythological Tales
The mythological tales of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim peoples is known as Abrahamic Mythology. Yahweh is the most significant deity in Abrahamic Mythology. He created the earth with a word in Genesis and is the giver and sustainer of life in all beings – human and animal – since he is considered one.
Other significant deities include Allah, the Giver and Sustainer, who embodies kindness and is a loving father to his offspring but can also be angry if disobeyed, resulting in hellfire.
Then there’s God’s Son, Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin named Mary and 12 apostles, including Paul. Paul was serving as guides during difficult times when humankind had forgotten God’s teachings. Then there are archangels like Michael and Gabriel, who collaborate with God/Allah to protect and balance the earth.
Adam, Eve, an apple, and a slithery serpent were the original sinners
In six days, God made the world out of nothing and rested on the seventh. He made Adam, the first man, in his image, and Eve, the first woman, from Adam’s rib. He instructed Adam and Eve to enjoy the lovely garden of Eden but not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. The Forbidden Fruit was that. Although Adam and Eve obeyed God, the Devil, disguised as a snake, enticed Eve and persuaded her to eat the Forbidden Fruit. She then persuaded Adam to consume it as well. The innocence had vanished all of a sudden. Humans were conscious of their nakedness and attempted to conceal themselves.
God was dissatisfied with his creatures and expelled them from Eden for this first act of disobedience. He also ordered that woman would be accountable to man and that the transgression would be paid for by the progeny of Adam and Eve – all of humanity.
Various Jewish, Christian, and Islamic schools of thought dispute the specifics of this tale. The fruit is referred to be a pomegranate in Jewish mythology. It is described as an apple in Christian legend. It is the banana in Arabic tradition since they regarded India as the Garden of Eden with its silks and spices.
While Original Sin is a central feature in Christian mythology, Allah forgives Adam and Eve in Islamic mythology. Thus, there is no idea of original sin or the transmission of misdeeds to subsequent generations.
Egyptian Mythological Tales
Egyptian mythological tales is a vast subject. It consists of several mythologies, each with its gods and goddesses. One of the reasons Egyptian mythology is still significant today is its incredible diversity.
Egypt’s most well-known God, Horus, was sometimes represented as a falcon or a man with a falcon head, wearing the twin crown that signified Upper and Lower Egypt. Other prominent Egyptian gods include Anubis, the deity of embalming and mummification; Bastet, a cat-goddess with a human or cat’s head; Sobek, a crocodile or man with a crocodile’s head; and Bes, another god in Egyptian mythology.
The ankh and hieroglyphics, for example, demonstrate the centrality of Egyptian mythology in art and literature as well as other aspects of daily life. Their beliefs were so essential to the ancient Egyptians that they had ceremonies for everything they performed, even their funerals and graves. Moreover, the ancient Egyptians thought that while on their route to the afterlife, they would be evaluated and punished if they were not good.
” The True Heir ” is an ancient tale of sibling jealousy and betrayal
The cosmos began as Nu waters, from which the first pyramid-shaped mound developed, similar to the earth that rises after the Nile rivers recede. On this mound, Atum gave birth to the deity of air Shu and the goddess of moisture Tefnut, who gave birth to Geb, the soil god, and Nut, the sky goddess, who gave birth to Isis and Osiris, the first queen of and king of human civilization. Because he masturbates to generate his male and female descendants, Atum is frequently described as macho. However, he is also known as ‘the Great He-She,’ referring to the androgynous condition of existence before introducing the two genders.
Osiris created a large dominion as the first king of the Nile valley, but his brother, the lord of the desert, got envious of him and invited him to supper before showing him a box. ‘Does the box have a smaller or larger size than you?’ Seth inquired, almost innocently. Seth requested Osiris to lie in the box and check since he wasn’t sure. Osiris entered the box without a second thought. Seth shut the casket and buried Osiris alive right away. He then dismembered his body and tossed it into the Nile.
Isis scoured the fields for fragments of her husband’s body and pieced them together. She then used her magical abilities to resurrect her husband long enough for her to have a child, which she called Horus, Osiris’ rightful heir. On the other hand, Horus had to fight countless wars to cement his dominance over Seth.
Norse Mythological Tales
Germanic tribes in northern Germany and Scandinavia developed Norse mythology. The Germanic people thought they were descended from two groups: the sir (gods) and the Vanir (gods and goddesses) (nature spirits).
Odin was the monarch of Asgard, which he and his brothers Vili and Ve created after slaying their father Ymir to establish Midgard, or “middle earth.” Odin is considered aware of all things past, present, and future. He was linked to combat, knowledge, magic, battle triumph, poetry, and writing.
Thor, another well-known Norse deity, was a thunder god who used a hammer manufactured by dwarves named Mjolnir to protect Asgard from the giants of Ginnungagap (thunder).
The account of the god-king Odin’s spiritual progress and the sacrifices he made
Odin was the Aesir tribe’s monarch and God of war and earth and sky, knowledge, poetry, and magic. He was a shaman, a trance and ecstasy lover, frequently ‘effeminate,’ humiliating the Viking warriors who loved his manly side. His solitary, penetrating eye is one of the most distinctive features of his look. His other eye socket is empty; the eye that used to be there was sacrificed in the name of wisdom. He gave it up so he may draw wisdom from the well.
Odin is sometimes shown as the head of the Wild Hunt, a spectral procession of the dead that travels across the winter sky. He rides an eight-legged horse. He travels with his raven and wolf, and they give information about the happenings in every corner of the world.
Mythological Tales of the Mesopotamian
The mythology of Mesopotamia, which spans back millennia, is still important today. This is because Mesopotamia was the birthplace of civilization and one of the world’s oldest civilizations; hence its tales are incredibly ancient! Therefore, all tales from Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, and Babylonia that were part of modern-day Iraq are referred to as “Mesopotamian Mythology.”
Anu (the sky god), Enlil (ruler of the earth/storm god), Ea (God of water), Ishtar-Inanna, a goddess linked with fertility and battle, and Tammuz, his consort, were among the Akkadian gods. The Hittites, on the other hand, worshipped storm gods such as Tarhunt and Teshub.
Marduk, a sun deity who ascended to power by destroying an older generation of gods, was one of the most famous Babylonian stories in Mesopotamia (Tiamat). In addition, Enkidu, Gilgamesh’s friend/companion; Humbaba, their nemesis; Lilith, according to Jewish belief, Adam’s first wife; and Siduri, a siren or wise lady dwelling near the seashore, are all characters from the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Gang battles are older than you would believe
Inanna, who governed the earth, the realm of the living, and Ereshkigal, who ruled the underworld, the country of the dead, were rivals. Inanna decided to travel to the underworld. She informed the underworld’s gatekeeper that she wanted to attend her brother-in-law’s funeral. Inanna commanded her minister Ninshubur to plea to the gods Enlil, Nanna, and Enki to save her if anything went wrong before she departed.
Inanna went through seven gates, each requiring her to remove a piece of clothes or jewellery she had been wearing at the outset of her journey. She was completely nude and vulnerable as she approached her sister. Inanna was transformed into a corpse and hanged on a hook by Ereshkigal.
After three days and three nights, Ninshubur went to Enlil, Nanna, and Enki’s temples and requested that the goddess of life, love, and living be saved. The first two gods refused to help, claiming that it was her fault, but Enki was upset and consented. He made two asexual figures (neither male nor female). He told them to please Ereshkigal by asking for Inanna’s body and sprinkling it with the food and water of life when she inquired what they desired.
The two sexless entities were able to resuscitate Inanna as Enki predicted. However, Ereshkigal’s demons trailed Inanna out of the underworld and told her she couldn’t go until someone else took her place. The decision was then taken that Dumuzi would spend half of the year in the underworld with Ereshkigal and the other half with Inanna.
Killing the mother: When generations became bloodthirsty in their quest to build the world, sky, and humanity
All of Tiamat’s kids dwelt within her body since she was the great mother of all gods. Everything was okay until the children created such a racket that the old gods requested that the new gods be destroyed. Tiamat cautioned her children the first time this happened. Tiamat commanded her consort to annihilate the new gods the second time this happened.
The new gods united around Marduk, who defeated Tiamat and her consort and all the ancient gods who stood with them after a fierce battle. Marduk formed the earth below and the heavens above from Tiamat’s body. Tiamat’s tears formed the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Humankind was born from her consort’s blood and the crimson soil. Humanity, being the offspring of the ancient gods, was compelled to serve the new gods in perpetuity. Floods and storms resulted from failure to serve the new gods. The Enuma Elish tells the story.
Inuit Mythological Tales
Animism, or the concept that everything has a spirit, is the foundation of Inuit beliefs. This belief indicates that not only do animals but so do trees, water, and heavenly bodies.
Inuit mythology, the gods are no different from any other spirit; they are merely higher-level types of spirits. Shamans, who are Inuit religious leaders, are said to have the ability to manipulate spirits. On the other hand, the gods’ spirits were so strong that the shamans couldn’t control them. Therefore they were tasked with speaking with them and attempting to please them.
Creatures of the Sea tells the gruesome tale of how life began in the oceans
Sedna was a lovely young woman whose widowed father always attempted to marry her off, but she refused. She continued to turn down her countless admirers. One fateful day, a sea bird offered to whisk her away to his “comfortable, sumptuous” house. The rash young lady eloped with the bird, but their “pleasant, sumptuous” abode turned out to be a dirty, stench-filled nest and her new husband treated her as if she were a slave.
Sedna pleaded with her father to take her home, and he consented. A group of sea birds surrounded the boat as they crossed the waves. The constant beating of their wings created a massive storm, tossing their little craft from side to side. Sedna’s father flung her into the water to satisfy the furious birds, fearing his safety. He hacked off Sedna’s fingers when she tried to get back into the boat. He hacked off her hands and flung her and her appendages into the river while she fought to use her disfigured hands to try again. Her fragmented parts evolved into fish, seals, whales, and other marine creatures as she sunk to the ocean’s depths.
Japanese Mythological Tales
The stories of gods, devils, and monsters are central to Japanese mythology. Izanagi-no Mikoto is a deity in Japanese mythology who, with his sword, formed the many islands that make up modern-day Japan. Tsukuyomi (goddess of the sun) and Amaterasu (goddess of the sun) were born to him and his wife (God of the moon). Because they dwelt at the summit of the old world tree, which symbolized life itself, these two are known as “the celestial deities.”
Susanoo, or Susa-no-o, was a significant god in Japanese mythology who fought Yamato Takeru, the son of Emperor Keiko. Susanoo fought for territories on earth until he perished after falling off a cliff during the fighting.
The first couple: When a despondent husband accompanied his wife to the Land of Death
The initial human couple, Izanagi the man and Izanami the lady, were in charge of churning out islands from the sea. They inhabited the islands with their kids. These various deities populate the Japanese countryside. Unfortunately, Izanami died while carrying the fire god, and Izanagi was so heartbroken that he vowed to bring her back. So he travelled to Yomi, the mysterious realm of death, searching for his bride. Unfortunately, Izanami had consumed Yomi’s meal and was unable to return.
Izanagi, yearning to see his wife, ignited a lamp. He was horrified to discover that her once lovely corpse had rotted and was covered with maggots. Izanami, who yearned for her husband and wished to stay, chased him out of the underworld in dread. Finally, Izanagi arrived on earth and erected a massive boulder to block the underworld’s entrance. “I will slaughter a thousand live animals daily,” his enraged wife shouted. “Then I will produce 1,500 new life every day,” Izanagi screamed back. As a result, the narrative concludes with lifelong estrangement and hate.
Finally, these myths have key parts that we can connect to, so they are significant and worth studying. Mythologies are significant because they reveal how people used to interpret the world and how we still do now. The themes and concepts conveyed by these stories have the potential to be beneficial in today’s culture.