So-called “universal myths” fascinate me: Humanity’s loss of innocence (whether it’s fire-theft and Pandora’s box, a Tree of Knowledge, or anything else) and of course the first man and woman, a great Deluge that covers the earth, Giants (or any other abnormally tall humanoids) wiped out in ancient times, lands of the dead (aka the underworld e.g. Sheol, Hel, Elysium, Heaven, “the West”) and Otherworlds, a mysterious garden of trees that hints at familiarity but is not, virgin births of miraculous and resurrecting Beings, mountains where gods and mighty beings live, warring brothers (usually twins), mighty women often in threes, Fates (fae, fairies, elves), dwarfs (although I’m still not sure why dwarfs are so prevalent), wars between old and new, animals that talk. And the more I read and study these tales (and let’s be honest – I’ve barely touched the surface of a fraction of the regions of earth), the more interwoven it all reveals itself to be. It’s absolutely fascinating, and why? Perhaps, in part, because often these stories originated in different parts of the world cut off from each other, and yet the underlying stories they tell are the same, as if not only true are the implications of such a story (the morals, values or ethics, or “real-world value” of said story), but also in some foggy, hazy sense, the actual stories are true as well.
Are there any universal tales that particularly fascinate you?