Monday, November 2, 2015

Fertility Folklore

 Conception Myths 

The world of folklore includes mythology about our origins as a species as well as members of specific communities. These creation myths explain the how and why of our world, beginning with birth. Birth is one of the more prominent life passages and so myths, stories and legends about how to bring new life in the world abound.

Here are three myths from around the world about conceiving a child that we found very interesting:

China: Stepping on a God’s footprint.

In China, the mythical god of agriculture is Houji. Considered to be one of the sons of the Emperor Ku, he was conceived by the emperor’s wife, Jiang Yuan, who was infertile.

One day, while out for a stroll she came upon the giant footprint of the sky god Shangdi. After stepping on the footprint she had a strange sensation and discovered later that she was pregnant.

Ancient Greece: Being Showered By Gold  

Zeus loved love and fertility. Upon hearing that King Akrisios of Argos locked his daughter Danae in a tower to prevent her from ever getting pregnant because it had been prophesized that her son Perseus would murder the king, he made gold rain fall from the sky. The rain entered the tower and Danae becomes pregnant.

The prophecy is fulfilled.

Norway: Eating a Flower

A queen, wanting to conceive, seeks the help of a wise woman. The crone instructs her to eat one of two flowers—a red one or a white one. The queen eats both and gives birth instead to a snake. Only later on in life does the snake get married and turn into a handsome prince.

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