One of our favorite storytellers Patty (aka Sage of Earth) came on Universe Box recently to teach us all about mythology. We recommend checking out the episode for a full discussion, but we figured we throw this up for a handy dandy reference.
Before I begin, I would like to thank Bill and Ane Marie for inviting me to speak to all of you about this particular subject. Let’s face stories that emerge from the mythology is just as popular now as it was back in the day. These stories have inspired countless book, television shows, and movies. For example if it weren’t for the tales of mythological heroes were probably used to create the comic book hero Superman, and without him other heroes like Batman, Captain America and Dog Boy wouldn’t have emerged. At the same but it is hard to remember that there were people who actually believed these stories to be true. While I do believe that some of these story are exaggerated version of true historical event, but at the same time I’ll admit that other could have just been made up.
That being said before going into any details I do think it is very important to first understand exactly what a myth is. Since according to the Oxford dictionary a mythology is “collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural traditions (Oxford University Press, n.d.)”. If mythology is a collection of myths it is imperative to know myth is “a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events (Oxford University Press, n.d.)” While it is true that Greek Mythology, Norse Mythology and Egyptian Mythology are the most popular and well known that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the only mythology. For example in Irish mythology the hero Fionn Mac Cumhail was a leader of band of Irish warrior known as the Fianna, Whose famous tail involved him receiving special knowledge from tasting a Salmon of Knowledge after the burnt oil that fell on his thumb. Ironically the only way he could have access to this knowledge is by sucking his thumb, why is heroic name wasn’t Thumb Sucker I will never know, because let face it Fionn Mac Cool doesn’t do it justice (Ask about Ireland, n.d.). There are interesting, and funny stories from other mythologies that could potentially be explored.
It is possible to find that some of these mythologies do share some similarities a good example of this would be the various flood stories, but at the same time these mythology do shares differences as well which could be a result of difference in cultures. For example the Chinese do have a lot of respect and admiration for the dragon, since one of their mythological deity does involve wing dragon rain deity named Yinlong (Mythos, n.d.), who had served the yellow emperor in times of war (Rosen, 2009). Just because one culture had respected the dragon that doesn’t mean other cultures like the Greeks didn’t have stories of heroes slayed them like how Cadmus slayed Dragons of Ares (Struck, n.d.).
These difference emerged between two pantheons, but it can also emerge within the mythology as well. There are time where one will find that that there different versions of the same story that exists within same mythology. For example in Greek mythology emerges a story when after a fight with Hera, Zeus was in the dog house. Had decided to win Hera over by making a wooden statue dress it up like a bride, and start a false rumor that he was going to marry someone else. While this idea may sound like a plan that would blow up in his face, but it worked. The moment Hera heard the rumor, she got upset and in that state uncovered that the bride was a statue then proceed to make up with Zeus (Atsma, n.d). While this part of the story is same in nearly every version, unfortunately the difference within these version lies in who gave Zeus the idea. Apparently Zeus received the advice by either from wise man (WorldwideGreeks.com, n.d.), King Cithaeron (Mythagora., n.d.), river god Aspos (Dillian, 1997), or Mountain God Kithaeron (Atsma, n.d.). Regardless in how he got the idea, the only question that remain is why did this plan worked again? .). If it were me, I would be divorcing Zeus, instead of taking him back. The only reason I say she was upset instead of jealous is because after hearing all the times Zeus had cheated on Hera, I honestly don’t see a reason why she should trust him. Besides I don’t think jealousy is the only thing driving her anger, especially when she is the goddess of marriage (Atsma, n.d.).. I could see there a different side to the story when she is supposed to be in charge of marriage, but her husband continues to disrespect their vows by cheating on her with everyone under the god dammed sun. Despite of this fact the one reason I can respect Hera that despite of this she still loves him and hasn’t left him. Whether or not it’s a healthy relationship, but one has to respect that about her. At the same time in that anger she does take out her frustration on others, instead of her husband. Through that anger has harmed people that he did cared about, and yet he doesn’t leave her. I do have give Zeus some props for not leaving his wife. I would leave off with this question for you guys and chat to discuss if your significant other had pulled off the same trick that Zeus pulled on Hera would you have taken them back?
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