Dictionary of Nature Myths: Legends of the Earth, Sea, and Sky
This engaging reference work explores our age-old desire to interpret and control natural phenomena. Without the benefit of science, our ancestors sought to explain forces--such as wind, clouds, earthquakes, and stars--in a manner they believed to be inexorably connected to the will of the gods. Mythology afforded them the means to make sense of the world's seemingly senseless aspects.
The Dictionary of Nature Myths is a unique addition to the mythological literature. It pulls information from a variety of disciplines including archaeology, anthropology, religious studies, astronomy, meteorology, and geology. The book's main subject areas concern natural forces, gods and goddesses of natural forces, terms relating to the myths of natural forces, and broad geographical areas. Within these categories Tamra Andrews groups stories from cultures around the globe, tales of an animated universe moved by supernatural power. Her volume is comprehensive and fully cross-referenced, and it contains a lengthy bibliography and an innovative guide to primary sources. Readers young and old will delight in reading about ABSU, a freshwater ocean that the Mesopotamians believed flowed beneath the earth; about IX CHEL, the Mayan moon and water goddess who controlled floods and rainbows; and about YGGDRASIL, the huge evergreen ash tree of Norse mythology that marked the center of the world. These entries and hundreds more will enchant and inform as they show how and why people from all ages and all cultures found power and magic in the natural world.
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Absu Amaterasu ancient animals appeared Aztec battle believed bird caused cave celestial Celtic chariot Chinese clouds connected constellation controlled cosmic order created creator creator deity cultures darkness death deities demons dragon drought early earth goddess Egypt Egyptian embodied Enki evil fertility fire flood forces frost giants Greece Greek myth heavens Hindu Imdugud immortality India Indra islands Ix Chel Izanagi Kamapua'a land light lived magic Mesoamerica Milky monster mother mountain mythmakers mythology myths and legends nature myths night Nile Ninhursag Njord Norse mythology North ocean Osiris personified phenomena Poseidon primordial primordial sea Quetzalcoatl Rain Gods rainbow realm represented revered rituals river rocks role rose sacred sacrifice sea gods seasons serpent shamans sky god sky gods snake solar solstice Soma spring stars storm Sun and Sun sun god Sun Gods sun's symbolized Tezcatlipoca Thunder Gods Tiamat Tlaloc trees Tsuki-yumi Underworld Water Spirits waves Wind Gods winter worshipped Zeus zodiac