(8/21/03 10:34 pm)
Cloud myths and Spurned Gift myths|
I realize this is mythology - not fairytales, per se. But I'm wondering if someone can suggest where I might find the following:
1. Myths of a deity or deities coming to our world, and giving us a gift (eg. knowledge, wisdom, understanding, fire, rain, etc.) but we spurned the gift and the deit(ies) and so it/they departed, depriving us of the gift. It doesn't matter which tradition the myth comes from.
2. Myths of how the clouds came to be, the rain, and how man came to have fire (other than Prometheus).
3. Myths dealing w. the atmosphere.
(8/22/03 4:58 pm)
Re: Cloud myths and Spurned Gift myths|
star and sky gods (like dictionary entries, but maybe a good starting point):
weather myths (of the Bantu):
fire myth (of the Shasta):
In the book Jivaro:
pages 149-151, the afterlife of the 'true soul' goes through three stages, ending in becoming one with the atmosphere. First, the soul lives in a ghost town, in a facsimile of the house in which it was born, visiting with neighbors and hunting for the span of it's natural lifetime, always hungry as the food it eats is really air. Next it becomes a visible 'true demon', uglier, lonely, and still hungry. after another 'lifetime', the soul becomes a wampan, a species of enormous butterfly. Finally, its wings injured by raindrops, the wampun dies and becomes water vapor, one with the raindrops that caused the final change. "All fog and clouds are belived to be the last form taken by true souls. The true soul...persists eternally in the form of mist." -Michael J. Harner
as for spurned gifts- what about the Garden of Eden? Immortality, paradise, and innocense lost (amid gains).
or the myth of Tantalus, who spurned the honor of feasting with
the gods by (in some versions) stealing some of their divine food
and (or) serving his son to them in a thank you banquet (some say
he was testing their ability to know all, some that he thought they'd
be pleased he gave them what was most precious to him). His fate
in the afterlife is the origin for the word 'tantalize'. One version
of the myth can be found at www.theriverstyx.net/tantalus.html
(8/23/03 12:50 am)
I'm following all those links now, thank you very much. But I think
Tantalus may be the reverse of what I want, and I misspoke - it
can't be Christian myth for the purpose. Wont' work in the setting.
I like the Tantalus idea, but I need the god(s) coming w. a gift
to man, which man spurns.
(8/23/03 8:17 am)
In the myth of Cassandra, Apollo gives the gift of prophecy in return for her love; she rejects his love, and he curses her- the prophecies she makes, all true, will be ignored. All through the Trojan war she forecasts downfall and how it will happen, but no one listens, and in the end she and almost everyone else is enslaved or killed.
tells her story.
I hope that is nearer to what you need!
---sorry, I should have read your reply more carefully, you're looking for a more general gift and rejection, humanity's, right? Almost every culture has a story of humanity growing too wicked, even with the wealth of the earth given to them by the gods, so the gods wipe almost everyone out by fire flood, winter, etc, to start fresh.
sorry, i know it all misses the mark, it seems so simple!
Edited by: gormghlaith at: 8/23/03 11:18 am
(8/24/03 9:00 pm)
Woman Chooses Death|
In Jane Yolen's <i>Favourite Folktales From Around The World</i> (appropriately, one of my favourite folktale repositories) there's a Blackfoot Native American story about how Woman brought death to the world. Old Man creates the world, creates Woman and a Child, and brings them to life -- after which Woman asks if she'll always be alive. Old Man thinks about it, and says that he'll throw a buffalo chip on the water. If it floats, then people will die and come back to life four days later.
Woman says, no, the chip will dissolve. She insists on throwing a stone in the water instead, saying that if it floats, people will live forever without death; if it sinks, people will die. (Woman, young thing that she was, knew little about the world). The stone sank, and Old Man says that because of Woman's choice, people will die.
Hope that suits,