Welcome to Tursan Tuesdays, where I take you on a journey through the Celtic world.
Today we’re going to get up close and personal with the big daddies of all the Gods – the GodFathers.
Nice, eh? Yeah…my husband made fun of me too, go ahead, laugh it up.
Are you done now? Ready to get serious? Let’s do this…
First we’ll get to know Cernunnos, from Celtic mythology, next will be Ometecuhtli, from Aztec mythology, and finally, Apsu, from Sumerian mythology.
No, no Zeus this time. I know, I’m sorry. He is just too obvious, I can’t do it.
Cernunnos is known by many names, two of which, interestingly enough, are the ‘Horned God’ and the ‘Green Man’. You’ll recall from my earlier post, The God, these monikers have also been associated with him. It seems that along with being a fertility god, Cernunnos is also God of Nature, the Underworld, virility, life, animals…the list goes on.
He is described as having a cyclical lifespan; born during the winter solstice, marrying The Goddess at Beltane, and dying at the summer solstice. It is also said that he is the Lord of the Wild Hunt ~ guiding souls to the afterlife, and paying karmic debts.
It is believed that Cernunnos is the same creator God in every tradition, only known by different names depending on each tradition’s language and culture.
According to Celtic tradition, Cernunnos is the first-born of and consort to The Goddess (All Mother, Anu). He is the diversity of life, the Ancient One, Lord of the Animals and the Green World.
Ometecuhtli is the creator God in the Aztec tradition. He is the Lord of Duality, and together with his consort or female counterpart, Omecíhuatl, he rules Omeyocan, the Dual Heaven (Double Heaven, Two-Place).
He is a fertility God, like Cernunnos. Makes sense considering he is responsible for all life on Earth. It is also said that he releases the souls from Omeyocan and carries them to the infant bodies within the mother’s womb before birth ~ an intriguing mirror-like parallel to the Lord of the Hunt (or Wild Hunt) aspect of Cernunnos.
The story of Apsu is a bit different than any other I’ve come across thus far.
Apsu is the god of the ocean. He created the sky and the Earth. He exemplifies the elemental nature of the deep waters of the earth, and together with his consort, Tiamat, created life and all of the gods.
This next part is a bit murky… It seems, that Tiamat, or possibly Apsu himself, could not bear the noise and chaos of their children. Apsu, wishing peace for his mate, planned to silence the gods, but was instead murdered by Ea (Enki or Enkil), whom we would call his great-grandson.
This is the first instance I’ve found where the creator god was mortal. I assume the finality of death was not the real result. I imagine his “death” was more of him becoming nature itself, or something along those lines. Very interesting!
So talk to me. What do you think about these GodFathers? How fascinating are their similarities and differences? There wasn’t much on either Ometecuhtli or Apsu, do you know of any stories or traditions involving them? What other creator Gods do you know of? Besides Zeus…sheesh.
2 thoughts on “The God-Fathers”
Great post Kate. I am always interested in expanding my mythological database.