Neatest religious folklore?
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22-04-2013, 11:01 PM
RE: Neatest religious folklore?
(22-04-2013 10:52 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I like the Enuma Elish. The Babylonian creation myth.
Much of Genesis was "appropriated" from it.
It's very poetic. Lot of monsters, and flying beasts, and sea monsters.

When above the heavens were not named
Below the earth was not called by name
Apsu, the primeval, was their progenitor
Mummi-Tiamat was the bearer of all of them

They got "Leviathon" (in Isaiah) from it, almost word for word. Baal defeats a dragon-like monster: “You will crush Leviathan the fleeing serpent; you will consume the twisting serpent, the mighty one with seven heads.” (see Isaiah 27:1 which uses the same phrase.)

An older version of this myth is found in the Babylonian
Creation Epic, in which the storm god Marduk defeats the sea monster Tiamat, (in other places, the Dragon of Chaos), and creates the earth and sky by cutting her corpse in two parts. The latter motif appears a number of times in the Bible verses that extol Yahweh’s military skills: “Was it not you who split Rahab in half, who pierced the dragon through?” (Isaiah 51:9; see also Job 26:12; Psalms 74:13, and 89:10). The writers of Job were at least aware of the Dragon Myth.

The Enuma Elish, and was recovered by archaeologists in 1849 CE, in the ruins of the Royal library at Ashurbanipal, in the ancient city of Nineveh. It was written on clay tablets. In the Enuma Elish the head of the council of gods, is Apsu, and he is identified with sweet/clean/fresh water, and the goddess, Tiamet, with the sea, (salt water). Their son Mummu symbolized the mist that rises from the waters.

In the myth, (the Enuma Elish),Tiamat marries Apsu, and many evil deities were born. Tiamat was an evil woman, whose purpose was to create conflict, strife, and confusion. She decided to kill her children, and a great war followed. Apsu, her husband was killed by Ea, (his son), and he, fearing Tiamat, fled to the farthest distance of the Fresh Waters. Tiamat, then remarried her son Kingu, and had more kiddies, and battled them also, and eventually was killed by her grandson, Marduk, the Sun God.

Also the Egyptian god "Nun" is cool, and the cosmic egg and the Ogdoad. )

Too many others to list.

This actually reminded me of a religious folk story I quite like. Aboriginal creation story. The Rainbow Serpent.

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23-04-2013, 03:11 AM
RE: Neatest religious folklore?
I love to study a cultures religion. An examination of the Pantheon really gives an insight into how things work and what the prevailing attitudes were. Every Pantheon is interesting in it's own way, the Egyptians for instance seem to be the first religion with an organised afterlife and a God who job it was to look after the dead. The Greeks being a nation of islands and plains had 3 major gods and then a host of lesser gods the 3 being Sky (Zeus) Water (Poseidon) and Death (Hades). Of course they had such fabulous stories to go along with them every city had a Patron god and usually had at least 1 Demi-god in the folklore of it's history.

My favorite pantheon is the Celestial Bureaucracy of the Chinese folklore. As opposed to all the other pantheons they didn't have a King of the gods and then a pecking order they had a full blown government agency in the afterlife that one could apply to. It just tickles me to think of a worship service explaining how 1 god then did fill out the form in triplicate and did have such notarised as the Jade Emperor hath decreed.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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23-04-2013, 05:57 AM
RE: Neatest religious folklore?
(22-04-2013 07:36 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  My Gwynnies! HeartHeartHeartHeart

I remember living in the bushes, drawing that girl all day... Hadda make myself go eat... out of dumpster. Big Grin

I'm such a tool. Thumbsup

As well as a glutton for punishment, obviously. Those things would suck the life out of you. And not in the fun way. Rolleyes

(22-04-2013 08:19 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  If it has anything to do with folk beliefs with ties to religion of any kind, I'm interested.

The folk beliefs of Daoism are extremely interesting. Adherents view the Daoist heaven (well, at least the lower level) as being a bureaucracy complete with judges, guards, clerks, and messengers. They control everything, even the number of years that someone lives. This "allotted lifespan" can be as short as a few years or as long as a few centuries. The only way to live out this full time is to be a good person. The deity responsible for reporting offenses to heaven once a month is the Kitchen god (灶神). Daoists believe their are several ways to escape the watchful eye of heaven and not only live out the rest of your allotted days, but become immortal. One method is to slip a death certificate with your name into the casket of your recently deceased grandfather. This somehow tricks heaven into thinking you are dead. Another method is using a magic spell to make an object like a bamboo pole, a wooden sword, a talisman, or a shoe to take on the appearance of a dead body. People who chose these methods must move away and change their name in order avoid heavenly retribution. This does not make them immortal, however.

Daoists have two main modes of becoming immortal: external alchemy and internal alchemy. External alchemy is the use of elixirs, while internal is breathing exercises. After achieving immortality, one must remain on earth as an "Earthbound Immortal" until they have accrued enough good deeds to be accepted into the heavenly realms. They then slough off their flesh and rise in spirit to heaven, where they become apart of the heavenly bureaucracy.

A good (but expensive) book to read on this is To Live As Long As Heaven and Earth (2002) by Robert Campany.

I must say, I do prefer their way to the Xtian one - not so much scaring people into being good, by threatening them with endless torture, as baiting them into it. I still do not get how anyone would want to be immortal, scariest thing there is, if you ask me, but...

I've been trying to finish Mahabharata and Ramayana since forever (or more correctly, since I was a kid and had this book with some stories from Mahabharata and just fell in love with it, the illustrations (and one of the characters Blush ). Same with a book with African tales, the illustrations were stunning and the tales were great. Not sure which part of Africa exactly they were from though). Same goes for the Kalevala (and the Eddas). I think verses just do not agree with me Confused

Loving Astrid Lindgren as much as I do, I really like Scandinavian folklore (not the gods and stuff, those are not that different across Europe), but the little creatures they have, like the vittras, the tomtes and mylings.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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