Sunday, August 26, 2012

Creation myths and gender polarity

I've recently thought a lot about various circles / wheels / cosmological compasses and the stories they tell about the cosmos and creation.

As most of you know some pagan traditions work with a circle of four elements & directions, which are often put into boxes of male (air & fire) and female (water & earth) attributes.

Some people work with a (neo)wiccan wheel of the year telling the reproductive story of a god and a goddess.

I've recently encountered a newly constructed 'medicine wheel' for European 'shamanic practices' which starts off at the point of 'primordial essence' and then divides the universe into 'primordial god' and 'primordial goddess' as 'primordial polarity' and then tells a creation story of how the elements, the ancestors, the plants, the animals, the humans etc. came into being from the interaction of these two primordial deities...

There are also a couple of ancient creation myths starting off with a god and a goddess...

At this point I wonder if there are any creation myths where the gender polarity isn't the first thing coming out of the primordial soup. Are there any ancient or recent creation stories not starting off with some kind of primordial male and female?

When I look at how science theorizes about the beginning of the universe and the beginning of life the development of sexes seem to be a pretty late step of evolution. Not that I'm an expert, but as much as I know primordial lifeforms where sexless protozoa...and even today there are some lifeforms which don't reproduce sexually.

Maybe the strong notion of primordial male & female is due to the fact that every human child is produced in a sexual way (unless we start to clone people).

But attributing female and male polarities to everything (sun/moon, elements, etc.) seems some kind of overgeneralisation in a human-centric worldview to me.

Does anybody know any non-gender-polaristic creation stories (ancient or recent ones)?

Do you still find gender-polaristic creation stories valid because of most people's 'mun & dad-experience' or would you rather use a creation story for your pagan tradition which isn't gender-polaric?

I was also thinking it would be interesting to write a creation story which adresses different kinds of polarities than sexes/gender and tells the story about men and women in a less binary way, including GLBT+ aspects and also doesn't put gender as the primary boxes everything is sorted into...but at the moment I'm at a loss and looking for ideas and suggestions.

Any thoughts on this?

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