The Making of the World

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In the spirit of Lorna’s recent post about giants, a repost from our website of a Brythonic creation myth…

 

Before men and gods,

before birds and fish, before beasts and trees and before the world itself; there was nothing. There was only a cold vastness of immeasurable size, blacker than the deepest of caves. So dark, that in it, darkness itself would have shone like the sun. Colder than the bitterest of winters, colder than the shell of a bird left dead by a frost. In this vastness of nothing there came to be the first being, the first father: Dyeus. A vast beast headed man beyond any who have lived since, and in this void he slept and dreamed. He dreamt of everything that was and everything that is and everything that might some day be. He dwelt in this dream for an eternity and in it his mind made flesh the things he dreamed: from his breath in that vastness Taranis was born, from the sweat on his brow Tigernonos grew and from the antlers on his head was Rigantona made flesh. His three offspring knew his dreams, knew all that was, all that is and all that would be and with this knowledge they killed their All father. The rent him asunder; tore the flesh from his bones, drained the blood from his veins, ripped the marrow from his bone and the breath from his lungs.

Tigernonos took his blood and from it formed the vast oceans, the lakes and every stream that flows. Rigantona took the bones and the flesh on them and from it made all of the land; the plains, the valleys and the highest of mountains. Taranis took the antlers from his head and across them draped the heavens. He took the last breath from the lungs of Dyeus and created the winds. He took his right eyeball and blew into it the heat of his body and set it into the heavens, he took the left eyeball and drew out of it all the fire it held and set that too in the heavens.

In the remains of the body of the dreaming Dyeus they found seven writhing things of fur and teeth and claws. Tigernonos poured life into their blood, Rigantona grew life in their flesh and Taranis blew life into their lungs. Then they set these seven first beasts into the worlds: they were the first Swine Father, the first Hawk Mother, the first of all Fishes, the Owl, the Bear, the Bull-Son of Taranis and the Grey Mare.

All that remained of the First Father Dyeus was his dreaming spirit in that cold endless nothingness. Rigantona seized hold of a portion it and wove it through the world and through the heavens and through the oceans. She took a portion each for the seven first grandchildren and gave one to each so that they may pass it on to their offspring and to every living thing that was to come into being.

Tigernonos built up a fine hall upon great island behind the waters of the world and let life flourish upon it; he took the finest of animals, fruit trees and grains and set them to grow upon its back. It was into this shining fortress of unending feasting that the spirit of Dyeus took himself and it is there in that Hall he remains to this day. Every living thing still holds a portion of his spirit, and that is why it is able to find its way to that Island of Apples upon it’s death, there they may cross the golden fields and rejoin with the First Father in His place.

And when all of this was done, the three children of the First Father took to their realms of Sky, Land and Sea and surveyed all that they had made.

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