Divine bloodshed and human sacrifice

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DIVINE BLOODSHED AND HUMAN SACRIFICE:


SHIFTING BOUNDARIES BETWEEN SELF AND OTHER

IN 4500 YEARS OF MYTH


by




John Howie (jhowie@pc.edu)




Carol Grizzard (grizzard@pc.edu)



Darrell Riffe (rowzdowermst3k@yahoo.com)
From Pikeville College, Kentucky

Paper Presented at


The Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences

13th Annual Conference

at Boston University

August 8-10, 2003

Cosmogonic Myths of Divine Agony
by

Carol Grizzard

Many patterns emerge in mythological systems: cosmic creation beginning from a void or with a single entity (Pangu in Chinese mythology), pantheons essentially made up of a family of deities (for example, the Sumerian, Egyptian, and Aztec); conflicts within the divine extended family affecting humanity (the Trojan War in Greek mythology; the Sumerian/Akkadian Enuma elish); deities interacting particularly with one people, family, or heroic individual (the Jewish and Christian Bibles); the legitimation of sacrifice and other rituals used in worship (the Vedas); overt and/or implied divine standards for human behavior which do not necessarily apply to the divinities themselves (Ovid’s Metamorphoses), and so forth. None of these are in all systems, of course. One element common to many mythological systems is the existence of a creation story; this may be organic to the culture using it or borrowed from elsewhere. Creation stories express the essential values of a culture and its understanding of its purpose, if any. They also show the most important connections in the cosmos, the ones most vital to individual and societal life. These connections often include the quality of and possibilities in the relationship between the divine and humanity, the relationship both have with other things (particularly the earth, its other species, and astral bodies), and why people live according to certain rules and where important cultural institutions come from. Many creation stories begin with a single creation and then present separating or dividing it as essential tasks of the primal divinities and first people: male/female, day/night, heavenly/earthly, divine/human, animal/human, and sometimes also living/dead (Genesis, Hesiod’s Theogony). In dualistic systems where only two options are possible, one of these pairs is often seen as good (or at least better) and the other as evil. More pluralistic systems do not lend themselves as easily to this kind of thinking.

The main mythological pattern found in many creation stories to be investigated here is the dismemberment and/or death of a divine figure and the creation of something from the deity’s body or body part. The myths cited are the ones I found that included this motif; there may well be others. The deity involved in these cosmogonic-agonic myths may be male or female; in the myths referred to below there are more dismembered/killed male deities than female (6 female and 8 male) as well as one heterosexual couple. Some are connected to the creation of the world and some to other things later in time (see tables on pp. 5, 6). Many involve family struggles, more overtly generational than gendered. All indicate that pain and destruction have been part of our world since its inception—or before. In most cases, the pain is divine and caused by other divinities. This could be read in at least two ways: 1) the things created through this suffering are more valuable, being made at great price (which makes the physical world more dear), or 2) the fact that these things are made through acts of hostility and violence taints them and makes clear that violence in this world is inescapable (which puts a negative spin on human possibilities and certainly provides a context in which ritual human sacrifice is good and probably necessary). Only in the story of Ninautzin is the sacrifice voluntary with no hostility involved; the world is created out of Pangu’s body after he dies naturally, so his is the only story without any violence whatsoever. The second way of reading this material could lead to the idea that such a myth of origins entails an apocalyptic ending: the only way to end the violence is to blow everything up and start over. This is what happens in Christianity: the serpent that started all the trouble in the Garden of Eden grows into a dragon by Revelation 12 and is destroyed in the end; a new heaven and new earth are created and he isn’t there.

Sacrifice of some sort is often associated with an individual’s or culture’s relationship with the divine This may take the form of giving up time, money, and/or goods in service; giving up habits seen as harmful or against a deity’s command in obedience; or giving up human characteristics that impede our spiritual growth (such as desire) in discipline. There are other kinds of sacrifices as well: offerings made to the divine to atone for wrongdoing, beg for mercy or favors, or offer thanks for blessings. Blood can play an important role in sacrifices of this sort. It is vital, precious; it is sometimes understood as life itself (Genesis 4:10, 9:4). Isn’t that why vampires drink it? Animal blood can be acceptable, but it is only a substitute for the real thing (Leviticus 1:2-4). These sacrifices keep the cosmos moving smoothly and help preserve the sacrificing community as well; Rene Girard suggests that human sacrifice is particularly important in the case of warriors returning to the community since they have been allowed to give their violence full rein on the battlefield and must do so no longer (Girard, 39-43). In a worldview in which earth and sky come from the same goddess’ body or humanity is made from the bones of the Sun, there are all kinds of connections: it is therefore reasonable to believe that the stars know the secrets of human life or that our sacrifices can influence the deities and therefore the weather or the behavior of our enemies. Some societies, such as the Incas, sacrificed their children in the spirit of giving what they valued and loved most to their gods and goddesses. Likewise, the Mayans offered up the captain of the winning team in their ball court game, giving the strongest and best of their youth at the moment of his triumph. Others like the Aztecs offered people they valued less, such as slaves or captured prisoners. Since these often came from different cultures, they were offering the product of their own bravery and military strength in giving their deities those who belonged to other divinities.

I am not prepared to argue that all cultures with cosmogonic-agonic myths practice human sacrifice, but it is clear that many of them have. Mircea Eliade argues repeatedly that religious humanity engages in repetitions of the cosmogonic act (Eliade 1959, pp. 29-36, 51; Eliade 1963, pp. 106-7). This is particularly true when there is a murdered deity to commemorate, and human sacrifice is the best way to do so (Eliade 1963, pp. 99, 106-7). If divine blood was shed in the creation of things needed for human existence, it is a small (theo)logical leap to believe that the shedding of human blood can also be powerful, although to a lesser extent, and that offering it may obtain divine favor: if humanity has benefited from divine suffering (whether the suffering was voluntary or not), then surely deities will appreciate such a sacrifice from humanity in return. This makes sense on psychological grounds as well: what is it that we believe “no pain” leads to?

The sample of cosmogonic myths of divine suffering used below come from the Sumerian, Toltec/Aztecs, Japanese, Maori, Greco-Roman, Phrygian, Egyptian, Norse, Chinese, and Polynesian cultures. Of these, the Sumerians, Toltecs and Aztecs, Maori, and Polynesians did practice specific human sacrifices to deities. The Chinese and Egyptians buried living family members and slaves along with their royal (and, later, upper-class) dead, but they were not offered to the deities as much as they were sent to help the honored dead. Greco-Roman myths of youths who die young and are resurrected as flowers suggest that there were human sacrifices offered at some point in the past (Adonis, Hyacinth, Narcissus). It is clear that at least to some extent ritual practice and mythology have a mimetic relationship (in one direction or the other): the castration of Attis explains and justifies the self-castration of the priests of Cybele.

The tables below give 1) reasons for the dismemberments and deaths and 2) how this is connected to creation. The female deities are listed first, then the heterosexual couple, and then the males. Synopses of the stories follow the conclusions on page 9.

REASONS FOR DIVINE DISMEMBERMENT/DEATH




Deity Killed, Castrated, or only Dis-membered

Violence begun by others/self

Generational power struggle

Gendered power struggle

Family conflict

Seen as evil

Self-sacrifice

Natural

death


Tiamat

(Sumerian)



K, D

X

X

X

X

X







Coyolxauhqui

(Toltec/Aztec)



K, D



X

X




X








Coatlicue

(Toltec/Aztec)



K, D

X

X




X










Goddess of Harvest/Food

(Japanese)



K, D

X










X







Tlaltecuhtli

(Toltec/Aztec)



K, D

X










X







Hainuwele

(Marindanim, New Guinea)



K, D

X










?*







Father Rangi Mother Papa

(Maori)


D

X

X




X








Uranus

(Greco-Roman)



C

X

X

X

X










Attis

(Phrygian)



C

?*




X







?*




Ninautzin

(Aztec)


K
















X




Osiris

(Egyptian)



K, C, D

X







X










Ymir

(Norse)


K, D

X








X







Pangu (Chinese)






















X

The Sun

(Toltec)


K, D

X

X




X










Te Tuna

(Polynesian)



K, D

X



















*they fear her rather than considering her to be evil

*in some versions of this story Cybele castrates Attis, while in others he does it himself.

THINGS CREATED FROM A DIVINE BODY





Earth

Humanity

Divinities

Sky, astral bodies, night/ day


Vegetation

Animals

Other

Tiamat

(Sumerian/

Akkadian)


X







X










Coyolxauhqui

(Toltec/Aztec)












X










Coatlicue

(Toltec/Aztec)












X










Goddess of Harvest/Food

(Japanese)















X

X




Tlaltecuhtli

(Toltec/Aztec)



X







X

X







Hainuwele

(Marindanim, New Guinea)















X







Father Rangi/ Mother Papa

(Maori)





X




X










Uranus

(Greco-Roman)









X













Attis (Phrygian)













X







Ninautzin (Aztec)










X










Osiris (Egyptian)













X




X

Ymir (Norse)

X




X*

X







X

Pangu (Chinese)

X

X




X

X

X

X

The Sun (Toltec)




X
















Te Tuna (Polynesian)













X





*The ancestors of the deities, not the deities themselves, are made from Ymir’s body.

In the ancient Egyptian creation myth, everything comes from a chaotic whirlpool of water (Nu). The earth is the goddess Geb and the sky is the goddess Nut, but Geb and Nut are not damaged in any way; their living selves are earth and sky.

Patterns in the table on page 5. 1) The conflicts that lead to divine dismemberment and/or death tend to be more generational than gendered in origin (6-3; these labels reflect whether age or gender is the reason for the conflict rather than whether the combatants are of different generations or genders). There is more competition seen between youth and age than between male and female, although both appear.

2) Three of the female deities are perceived as evil; only one male is so seen.

3) All of the female deities but in this sample but Mother Papa are killed, three because they are perceived as evil and one because people fear her. Only one male is killed because he’s seen as evil.

4) All of the females who are killed and/or dismembered are the victims of violence. One male dies through self-sacrifice and one dies naturally. One male and one female are destroyed in violence that they initiated.

5) There is no link between gender and family conflict; both genders are equally involved.

Patterns in the table on page 6. 1) The things most commonly made out of the dead or dismembered divine bodies are astral: the sky, sun, stars, etc. (eight times).

2) Vegetation is associated with six dead and two castrated deities (Osiris is in both categories).

3) In two myths the earth is created from a female body and in two from a male. In each case the sky is created from the same body.

4) Three of the four deities out of whose bodies the earth is created are definitely perceived as evil (Tiamat, Tlaltecuhtli, and Ymir). Only Pangu is not.

5) All four of the deities whose bodies are used (in separate myths) to create the earth and heavens are dead rather than only dismembered.

6) There are three stories in which humanity is created from the bodies of deities; two of these are dead (Pangu and the Sun; Father Rangi and Mother Papa are not). Uranus, the only one from whose body divinities are created directly, is dismembered but not dead. Ymir is a special case; it is not the deities but their ancestors that are created from his dead and dismembered body.


Conclusions. 1) It is rare for a divinity to be created through the death or dismemberment of another. This can be understood as indicating that the origins of the divine beings are purer than those of humanity and its home.

2) More females than male are killed because they are seen as evil or fearsome.

3) Seven dead and two castrated deities (Osiris is in both categories) are associated with vegetation; in this sample the only vegetation deity who survives is Attis. This may be associated with the life cycle of most plants: they die back or lose their leaves every year and, especially in the case of many fruits, require radical (painful?) pruning in order to bear heavily.

4) In spite of the frequent personification of the earth as “Mother,” in the stories in this sample the earth was equally likely to be created from a male as a female body.

5) Earth and sky are consistently linked and are created through the death (not just dismemberment) of a divinity. This indicates that they are seen as organically related. The fact that all of the deities definitely or probably perceived as evil provide the raw material out of which they are created shows that in several systems the framework of the world humanity inhabits is seen as tainted.

6) Far more cosmogonic-agonic myths deal with the creation of the sky or astral bodies than anything else. It may be that the brilliance of the sun, moon, and stars lends itself to the idea that they are of divine origin.

7) In these stories humanity and the things most needed for human life (earth and waters, sun, food) are created at the cost of divine bloodshed. It would therefore follow that the most valuable and necessary things would need to be bought by blood.

Questions for further study: 1) Does the belief that divine blood was shed in the creation of things needed for human existence lead inevitably to the sacrificial shedding of human blood to gain divine favor? Do such sacrificial systems incorporate the killing of the “evil Other” represented in some of these cosmogonic-agonic myths?

2) Cosmogonic myths from pre-scientific cultures were interested in explaining the origins of the physical world and its inhabitants as well as rituals and mores. In the 21st century we tend to look to science to answer questions of physical ontology. Will cosmogonic myths yet to be developed therefore focus more on the origins of a culture’s worldview than of its world? In mythologies where the world comes to be through physical processes rather than supernatural agencies, there can be no cosmogonic-agonic origins. Will this lead to myths that lean towards embracing and learning from the Other rather than destroying it?


Synopses of the stories of dismemberment/death/sacrifice and creation referenced in the charts on pages 5-6. Most of these stories are found in several versions and most names can be spelled in several ways.

1) Tiamat (female) in the Mesopotamian Enuma Elish (used in Sumer, Akkad, and Babylon): the mother goddess (goddess of salt waters) who cannot control her children, the rowdy younger gods, and whose husband Apsu decides to destroy them. Tiamat doesn’t support him or avenge his murder by Ea, chief of the deities and father of Marduk. Later she leads the younger deities in a rebellion against the rest (most of those on both sides are her children), creating eleven monsters “with halos like the gods” (viper, dragon, sphinx, great lion, mad dog, scorpion-man, 3 storm demons, dragonfly, centaur); they’re also called “serpents.” They essentially come from her milieu since she is a sea goddess. Marduk defeats her with powerful winds (Do not be concerned! . . . After all, it is not as if a male has come against you. Tiamat, for all her weapons, is only a woman!”) and creates the earth (including sky) from her evil corpse. (From the Enuma elish as found in Pritchard)

Referenced in Gen. 1:2: “Darkness was upon the face of tehom (“the deep).” Job 9:13, 26:12; Ps. 89:10; Isaiah 51:9 also refer to God dismembering a great dragon as part of creating the world. The murdered and dismembered deity is evil, a bad parent who attacks (some of) her children (probably reflecting the move from a matriarchal to patriarchal system), creates monsters from the sea; she is dismembered in order to make the world. The conflict is generational but later is strongly gendered.

2) Coyolxauhqui (female), a lunar goddess in Toltec/Aztec myth, whose name contains Co, meaning “serpent.” Her mother Coatlicue is the earth goddess who becomes pregnant by a ball of feathers; her child will be the Sun, Huitzilopochtli or Quetzalcoatl (in the Toltec version the Sun, who is the father of her other children, impregnates her this time as well). Coyolxauhqui thinks this is shameful and urges her brothers the Stars to kill Huitzilopochtli in the womb; they are afraid that this new brother will take their place in the heavens. As they are attacking their mother, Huitzilopochtli is born. He decapitates Coyolxauhqui and throws her down the hill, dismembering her. Her head becomes the moon. Since she is a lunar deity, her dismemberment causes/reflects the phases of the moon, which in turn affect the oceans as well. The killed and dismembered deity is jealous; the violent family conflict that kills her is at her instigation. Confrontation is more generational than gendered. Dismemberment affects both moon and earth, but that is not its intent. (From the Chimalpopoca Codex)

3) Coatlicue (female), the Toltec/Aztec earth goddess. In some versions of the story of the birth of her son Huitzilopochtli (see above), she is killed by her jealous children as he is born. Part of the reason for their jealousy may be the idea that a divine mother has only so much “divinity” to bestow; in that case further siblings would limit the power of those existing. In a sense, her death is part of the birth of the Sun: his birth itself does not require that, but his siblings are trying to kill him before he is born. The conflict is generational, not gendered; the main force behind the attack is her daughter. (From the Chimalpopoca Codex)

4) The Goddess of Harvest/Food (female) in Japanese myth offends the God of the Moon (the brother/husband of sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami); the god kills her. His wife is horrified and the two live separately from then on. The ox and horse come from the head of the dead Goddess of Food; grain grows out of her forehead, silkworms from her eyebrows, cereal from her eyes, rice from her stomach, and wheat and beans from her abdomen. Killing is in anger, not apparently gendered or generational; the fact that creatures and grains emerge from the corpse is unintended. (From the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki, cited in Leeming, 2001)

5) Tlaltecuhtli (female) in Toltec/Aztec myth. Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca see the many-mouthed monstrous goddess eating everything they create. They become serpents and pull her apart: her upper body becomes the earth and her lower body becomes the sky. In order to make up to her for her dismemberment, the other deities create trees, vegetation, waters, hills, and so forth upon her. Still, sometimes she longs for human blood and will not stop crying until she has been sated. She provides what humans need to live: it is her right. This story is reminiscent of Tiamat in the Enuma Elish. The killing is to save what is being created, although at times the earth turns on humanity as a result. (From The History of Mexico [16th century, French; no author given], cited in Rosenberg)

6) Hainuwele (female) in the myth of the Marindanim of New Guinea. Ameta, a primordial man, finds a coconut, plants it, and accidentally bleeds on the flower. A female grows from it. Soon she is adult. She dances , creates jewelry, knives, and other implements and gives them to Ameta’s people, but they bury her alive because she is mysterious to them. Ameta digs up her body, dismembers it, and buries the pieces, from which grow tubers. He gives her arms to another divinity, who makes a door out of them and orders the killers to pass through it, telling them she is leaving them and will be available to them only after death. Some pass through the door and remain human, although mortal; those that cannot become animals. This story shows the primary food source of the culture being created from the body of a primal deity killed by human beings; this results in their separation from their deities and, perhaps, their own mortality. (From A. E. Jentsen, Mythes et cultes chez les peoples primitifs, [1954], cited in Eliade, 1963, pp. 104-6)

7) Father Rangi and Mother Papa (male and female) in Maori myth. The original “idea” becomes conscious, desires to create and does so: first Father Rangi (the Sky) and then Mother Papa (the Earth). They love each other and have 6 sons, but because the parents cling so tightly together nothing comes between them, not even light, and their children grow tired of darkness. They decide to push Father Rangi away from their mother to give them room. But it is difficult; the two are joined by tendons and resist this rending. Eventually Tane, the god of trees and birds, accomplishes the separation of earth and sky (which already existed, joined). This leads to Day and Night; it also leads to strife among the brothers and their descendants. Tane later creates woman from the bloody tendons that were torn in the separation of his parents; he impregnates her and this begins the human race. Father Rangi and Mother Papa continue to grieve their loss of each other. A generational conflict in which the children are threatened by their parents’ closeness. The human race is—literally—the product of a broken home. (From Sir George Grey’s Polynesian Mythology and Ancient Traditional History, cited in Rosenberg)

8) Uranus (male) in Greco-Rroman myth, the sky god who hates and imprisons some of his children by Gaea, the earth (who gave birth to him first). She creates a steel sickle (presumably from ores within her] and gives it to their son Cronus. When his father approaches their mother for sex, Cronus castrates him. His blood falling on Gaea creates the Furies, the Giants, and the Melian nymphs. From his separated phallus cast into the sea Aphrodite is born, always accompanied by Eros and Desire, and her destiny is “the conversations of young maidens, and smiles, deceptions and sweet delight.” Eros, by the way, was created after Gaea but before Uranus; Eros is “the fairest of the immortal gods, who relaxes the limbs and overpowers the resolution and thoughtful determination in the hearts of all the gods and all mankind.” This sets up male Cronus as the head of the Titans, but Gaea gets what she wants; she wasn’t interested in ruling. [Note: Cronus himself becomes a monstrous father, eating his children because he fears they will threaten his power. Rhea, his sister/wife, appeals to their parents (who, oddly, seem to be on speaking terms) for help, which is forthcoming. His son Zeus overthrows him and the other Titans; Cronus goes into exile.] The castrated deity is evil, a bad parent who hates/fears/imprisons some of his children. Violent family conflict results. Gaea makes steel in heart of earth and the castration creates the goddess of love from the primal act of coitus violentus interruptus. The conflict is more generational than gendered. (from Hesiod’s Theogony).

Incidentally, paternal fear of sons killing them/taking their power is found throughout Greco-Roman myth: Zeus swallows Metis because he’s told she’ll bear a son more powerful than his father, Danae’s father imprisons her because an oracle said her son would kill him (Perseus), Laius sends Oedipus away because of a similar oracle, and Thetis has a hard time marrying because of a prophecy that her son will be greater than his father (Achilles; even Zeus who loves her won’t marry her because of this).

9) Attis (male) in Phrygian myth is the consort of the mother goddess Cybele. When Zeus attempts to rape Agdus, a Phrygian mother goddess, he impregnates her and their child is the bisexual Agdistis. He is ambitious and cruel and the other gods “violently castrate him” (as opposed to those gentle, friendly castrations one so often reads about). His seed on the earth creates a pomegranate tree; later, when a woman eats of its fruit, she becomes pregnant with Attis. Cybele falls in love with him and either castrates him to make sure he will be faithful to her or (in various ways) drives him insane because he is unfaithful and so he castrates himself. He is associated with the growth of fruit and grain. The castrated deity is not evil, but jealousy leads to his suffering. No generational conflict involved; gender is. His agony is connected to the plant life cycle but he wasn’t cut to create them. Main function of story is to explain castration of Cybele’s priests. The stories of Persephone, Dumuzi, Tammuz, Adonis and Dionysus are similar in that their suffering is reflected in the life-cycle of fruits or grains. (From Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Catullus).

10) Ninautzin (male) in Aztec myth agrees to help give life to the sun without knowing what that means, but goes ahead and jumps to his death in a fire to create the sun for our world; his example leads a more cowardly deity (who had also volunteered and then reneged) to leap in as well. Ninautzin was deformed, covered with sores, and generally despised by the other gods, but from then on he was honored by them. Some say he was a form of Quetzalcoatl. No one is evil, although one god is cowardly. No generational or gender conflict. Ninautzin’s destruction is intended to create the sun (it’s not an accidental effect). (From the Chimalpopoca Codex)

11) Osiris (male), the king of Egypt, is tricked and murdered by his jealous brother Set, who seals him in a coffin and cuts his body into fourteen (or so) pieces. Isis, the sister and wife of Osiris, wanders the world until she finds all the parts of his body. She and her sister Nephthys join them together with spells, ointments, bandages, and spices that keep it from decaying. She also gives birth to Horus, Osiris’ son. Ultimately Osiris becomes the just judge of the dead in the Other World. The liquids from his body are identified with the Nile, which fertilizes all Egypt; he is also associated with the growth of grains. The murdered deity is one of the heroes, attacked by one who is jealous of his power. The conflict is intergenerational and largely between two males. The result of the dismemberment (in addition to the Nile) is a judge in the underworld who can reveal to the living what they will face after death as well as the birth of Horus who acts as an intermediary between living and dead (although Set did not intend either of these). This ultimately becomes a myth in the Isis cult rather than one that celebrates Osiris. (From Plutarch’s Isis and Osiris; also referred to in the Egyptian Pyramid Texts and The Book of the Dead)

12) Ymir (male) in Norse mythology, an evil Frost Giant and the first being to exist in a world made of frozen venom. His sweat produces other Frost Giants and a cow licks the ancestors of the deities into being. Odin, Vili, and Ve kill Ymir; the Frost Giants drown in his blood and the gods make the earth, the sea, the mountains, the rocks, the sky, and the Midgard Bridge to Asgard from his corpse. The murdered giant is evil by definition; his dismemberment intentionally leads to the creation of the earth and safe places there for human beings. No gender or generational issues, although the dismemberers are three generations younger than Ymir. (From the Gylfaginning in The Poetic Edda)

13) Pangu (male) in Chinese myth is the first being. The cosmos is a chaos egg; Pangu is born there and lives in it for 18,000 years. When he finally dies, his head and feet become the eastern and western mountains, while his trunk is the central country and his arms are northern and southern mountains. His eyes become the sun and moon, the hair on his head is made into planets and stars, his flesh and blood become terrestrial earth and waters, his breath is the wind and clouds, his voice becomes thunder and lightning, his perspiration becomes rain, his bodily hair becomes vegetation, and his parasites become animals and fish. Nugua, the mother goddess, makes human beings out of the clay (which is made from his body). The death is natural; his body becoming earth seems to “happen” as well (but human beings are intentionally made). (From the Shui Ji, cited in Leeming, 2001)

14) The Sun, Quetzalcoatl’s father (male) in Toltec myth. He is killed by his children, the Stars, and buried in the sand. Quetzalcoatl gets the bones from the Lord of the Dead Land in order to create human beings from them. The Lord didn’t want this to happen and so trapped Quetzalcoatl while birds pecked the bones to bits. Quetzalcoatl added his own blood and made humanity from the paste. The Sun is killed out of jealousy and lust for power; the creation of humanity from the bones is a separate act. (From the Chimalpopoca Codex)

15) Te Tuna (male) in Polynesian myth is the Monster Eel or Phallus. His wife Hina leaves him to find another mate; she ends up with Maui, a trickster figure. Te Tuna hears where she is but isn’t interested in pursuing her until he is shamed into it by others. The two males eventually decide to compete for Hina by seeing who can possess the other most successfully. Te Tuna is unable to stay in Maui’s body, but when Maui enters Te Tuna the Eel is torn to pieces. Maui buries Te Tuna’s head near his house; it grows into a coconut tree which provides food for all the people. The deity is killed and dismembered because of the action of a woman, but it is his sense of pride rather than love for her that leads to his attacking her lover. Ultimately the context is decided by psychic/spiritual strength rather than physical. (From J. F. Stimson’s The Legends of Maui and Tahiki, cited in Campbell)

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