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Spiritual & Religious Origins
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God and nature made us what we are, and then out of our creative genius, we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always the great law: Let the sky and God be our limit, and eternity our measurement, [I]

Marcus Garvey

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The power of the spirit that our people have is intangible. It is a great force that must be unleashed in the struggles of today

It is time for this spirit to be evoked and exemplified in all we do, for it is a force mightier than all our enemies and will triumph over all their evil ways.

Paul Robeson


 Our self-worth comes from God, who created us in His image and likeness. An African professor from Mali once told me, "Before Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, we had religion in Africa. We believed in God. We believed in a spiritual world and life after this life. We believed in a savior." Let us practice Sankofa. We will be Uplifted, Liberated, and United.

Elston Perry

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“Owning one’s identity is important in living authentically.”[iii]

Carlyle Stewart

Culture is the vast structure of behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values, habits, beliefs, customs, language, rituals, and practices peculiar to a particular group of people. Culture is the invisible medium in which all human functioning occurs.[v]

Wade Nobles

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Self-knowledge comes to us through our families, through our culture, and through society's educational and informational institutions.[vi]

Naim Akbar

“To be free means the ability to deal with the realities of one’s situation so as not to be overcome by them. It takes strength to affirm the high prerogative of your spirit. And you will find that if you do, a host of angels will wing to your defense, and the glory of the living God will envelop your surroundings because in you He has come into His own.”[vii]                              Howard Thurman


  Ancestral Veneration

The veneration of the dead, including one's ancestors, is based on love and respect for the deceased. In some cultures, it is related to beliefs that the dead have a continued existence and may possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Some groups venerate their direct, familial ancestors. Certain sects and religions, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, worship saints as intercessors with God and pray for departed souls in Purgatory.

Ancestor veneration is prevalent throughout Africa and serves as the basis of many religions. A belief in a supreme being often augments it, but prayers and sacrifices are usually offered to the ancestors who may ascend to becoming a kind of minor deities themselves. Ancestor veneration remains among many Africans, sometimes practiced alongside the later adopted religions of Christianity (as in Nigeria among the Igbo people) and Islam (among the different Mandé peoples and the Bamum) in much of the continent. In orthodox Serer religion, the pangool is revered by the Serer people.[ix]

The ancestors, in the African spiritual traditions, after death have moved into a different vibrational dimension of light. They remain associated with the earthly dimensions of life by the collective gravity of ritual rhythms and the harmonics of sympathetic connection in a nonlocal way.[x]



Candomblé (meaning "dance in honor of the gods") is a religion that combines elements from African cultures including the Yoruba, Bantu, and Fon, as well as some elements of Catholicism and indigenous South American beliefs. Developed in Brazil by enslaved Africans, it is based on oral tradition and includes a wide range of rituals including ceremonies, dance, animal sacrifice, and personal worship. While Candomblé was once a "hidden" religion, its membership has grown significantly and is now practiced by at least two million people in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

Followers of Candomblé believe in a pantheon of gods, all of which serve a single all-powerful deity. Individuals have personal deities who inspire and protect them as they pursue their own individual destiny.

Candomblé, initially called Batuque, emerged from the culture of enslaved Africans brought to Brazil by the Portuguese Empire between about 1550 and 1888. The religion was an amalgamation of the West African Yoruba, Fon, Igbo, Kongo, Ewe, and Bantu belief systems intertwined with indigenous American traditions and some of the rituals and beliefs of Catholicism. The first Candomblé temple was built in Bahia, Brazil, in the 19th century.

Because of its association with pagan practices and slave revolts, Candomblé was outlawed and practitioners were persecuted by the Roman Catholic church. It wasn't until the 1970s that Candomblé was legalized and public worship was allowed in Brazil.

Candomblé was practiced freely in African communities, though it was practiced differently in different locations based on the cultural origins of the enslaved groups in each area of Brazil.

The Bantu people, for example, focused much of their practice on ancestor worship—a belief they held in common with indigenous Brazilians.

The Yoruba people practice a polytheistic religion, and many of their beliefs became part of Candomblé. Some of the most important priestesses of Candomblé are descendants of enslaved Yoruba people.

Macumba is a general umbrella term that refers to all Bantu-related religions practiced in Brazil; Candomblé falls under the Macumba umbrella as do Giro and Mesa Blanca. 

Beliefs and Practices 

Candomblé has no sacred texts; its beliefs and rituals are entirely oral. All forms of Candomblé include belief in Olódùmarè, a supreme being, and 16 Orixas, or sub-deities.

 Individuals determine their destiny when they are possessed by their ancestor spirit or Egum, usually during a special ritual that involved ceremonial dancing.

Candomblé is not focused on the afterlife, though practitioners do believe in a life after death. Believers work to accumulate axe, a life force, which is everywhere in nature. When they die, believers are buried in the earth (never cremated) so that they can provide axe to all living things.

Orixas offer a link between the world of spirit and the human world, and each nation has its own Orixas (though they can shift from house to house as guests). Each Candomblé practitioner is associated with their own Orixa; that deity both protects them and defines their destiny. Each Orixa is associated with a particular personality, force of nature, type of food, color, animal, and day of the week.

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In Yoruba belief, Olorun, also known as Olodumare, is the supreme creator, embodying both the aspects of creation and celestial authority.

As the ultimate deity, he exists beyond all realms, having crafted the entirety of the universe, encompassing both the physical and spiritual worlds.

The Notable Male Orishas

The Yoruba mythology is rich with diverse deities, each playing unique roles. Let's dive into the world of male Orishas, their attributes and roles they play.

Male Orishas

  1. Eleguá

    • Description: Guardian of crossroads, doors, and paths. A trickster and messenger.

    • Physical Description: Often depicted as a small boy or an old man with a hat, holding a staff.

    • Power: Controls destiny and fortune; opens or closes the path to mankind.

    • Relations: Interacts with all Orishas as he opens and closes the way.

    • Different Names: Eleggua (Santería), Elegbara (Candomblé), Legba (Vodou).

  2. Ogún

    • Description: God of iron, war, and labor.

    • Physical Description: Warrior-like, often depicted with iron tools or weapons.

    • Power: Mastery over iron, war, and labor-related activities.

    • Relations: Brother of Eleguá and Ochosi, forming a trio.

    • Different Names: Ogum (Candomblé), Ogun (Vodou).

  3. Oxóssi

    • Description: The divine hunter and the embodiment of justice.

    • Physical Description: Depicted as a fierce, agile hunter with a bow and arrow.

    • Power: Patron of justice, hunting, and those who seek fairness.

    • Relations: Close to Ogún and Eleguá.

    • Different Names: Oxóssi (Candomblé), Ochosi (Santería).

  4. Shangó

    • Description: God of thunder, lightning, and fire.

    • Physical Description: Kingly and powerful, often depicted with a double-headed axe.

    • Power: Controls thunder, lightning, fire, and drums.

    • Relations: Has connections with Oyá and Oba.

    • Different Names: Xangô (Candomblé), Sango (Vodou).

  5. Orunmila

    • Description: Deity of wisdom and divination.

    • Physical Description: Sage-like appearance, often depicted with divination tools.

    • Power: Possesses knowledge of the future and human destiny.

    • Relations: Works closely with Eleguá, the opener of ways.

    • Different Names: Orunmilá (Candomblé), Orunmila (Santería).

  6. Obatalá

    • Description: Father of all Orishas and humans; god of peace and purity.

    • Physical Description: Elderly, wise figure, often depicted in white clothing.

    • Power: Represents peace, wisdom, and purity.

    • Relations: Seen as the father figure to many Orishas.

    • Different Names: Oxalá (Candomblé), Obatala (Vodou).

  7. Aganyú

    • Description: Deity associated with volcanoes, the wilderness, and the desert.

    • Physical Description: Strong, powerful figure, often linked with the earth.

    • Power: Represents the primal energies of the earth and volcanoes.

    • Relations: Father of Shangó; linked with Obatalá.

    • Different Names: Aganjú (Candomblé), Aganyu (Santería).

  8. Olokun

    • Description: Ruler of the deepest parts of the ocean.

    • Physical Description: Often depicted as a merman or a mysterious sea entity.

    • Power: Controls the ocean's depths and mysteries.

    • Relations: Related to Obatalá, as an aspect of depth and serenity.

    • Different Names: Olokun (in most traditions).

  9. Babalú-Ayé

    • Description: Deity of illness, healing, and the earth.

    • Physical Description: Often depicted as an old man covered in sores or rags.

    • Power: Governs over disease and healing.

    • Relations: Associated with Naná Burukú and Orunmila.

    • Different Names: Omolu (Candomblé), Babalu-Aye (Santería).

  10. Orisha Oko

    • Description: Deity of agriculture and the harvest.

    • Physical Description: Often depicted as a farmer with tools.

    • Power: Oversees agriculture, fertility of the land, and the harvest.

    • Relations: Linked with earth and fertility deities.

    • Different Names: Orisha Oko (in most traditions). (Culture Bay)



The word 'vodun' — the Haitian word 'Voodoo' comes from the African Fon Language, which is still spoken today in Benin. Vodun means "divinity" or "Idol." The history of voodoo does not start, as many people believe, around 1500 AD in Haiti, but about 15,000 years before Christ in Africa. Thus, the real source of voodoo is the Egyptian pyramids. These people would later come to be called 'Yoruba.' They were slaves to the Pharaohs and Kings. These people were later released; however, they never forgot the unbelievable things that they saw. They had a profound admiration for God and desired to know him. [xvi]

It is in Africa's indigenous religions, where the holy rites of sacrifice originated and are still extant. The same animals utilized in Vodun’s propitiation, atonement, and ancestral ceremonies are the same ones demanded in the Old Testament; in the book of Leviticus.

Because African religions were the dominant transforming, experiential force popular throughout the ancient world, its powerful clerics' demonization began during the rise of the competing Roman Church and its colonial/economic ambitions in Africa. It has continued unabated in the West ever since. However, the practice of making holy offerings to the Vodoun has been the sacred rites since the beginning of time and will always remain an integral aspect of this ancient religion.[xvii]



LA SANTERIA is one of the most important religions in Cuba. Its origins date back to ancient Africa. Santeria retains the basic characteristics and traditions of an ancient African religion practiced in Nigeria by the Yoruba people. When the Yoruba were sent as slaves to the Caribbean islands between 1770 and 1840, they took their religion with them. Once in the new world, they were forced to accept Catholicism, but they refused to abandon their customs altogether. So, they created a new cult with elements of both religions, a phenomenon known as syncretism.

To preserve their old religious beliefs, slaves identified Catholicism's saints with the African gods, granting each one of them special characteristics and powers. In this way, their gods and goddesses, called orisha, took such saints' names and forms. However, the rituals, customs, and beliefs they brought from Africa did not change. A Cuban priest Santero, explains: "Syncretism allows us to worship the Catholic god on the altar, although we really see the African god."

The santeros worship a supreme being and a group of deities or orisha, which form the Yoruba pantheon. Sanctified priests interpret the will of the orisha employing divination. Altars play an important role in worship. The santeros have one in their home and offer flowers, rum, sweets, and cigars to keep the deities happy and win their favor.

Each deity represents nature, such as thunder, and a human characteristic, such as power. Sanitarium priests help people solve everyday problems by consulting the orisha. They are not Catholic priests and usually carry out their rituals in a house, not in a temple. Believers belong to a specific community with a godfather (or godmother) who is both a counselor and priest. It begins the new members in a ceremony with music, dance, and animal sacrifices officiated by the priest.[xviii] The major Orishas are Obbatalá, Elegguá, Oshún, Changó, Oggún, Yemaya, Orula, & Oyá.

The Notable Female Deities

  1. Oyá

    • Description: Goddess of the wind, storms, and the cemetery gates.

    • Physical Description: Warrior-like appearance, often depicted with a sword and a nine-colored skirt.

    • Power: Controls winds, storms, and the transition to the afterlife.

    • Relations: Associated with Shangó and considered a fierce warrior.

    • Different Names: Iansã (Candomblé), Oya (Santería).

  2. Ewá

    • Description: Goddess of the river, purity, and virginity.

    • Physical Description: Depicted as a beautiful, chaste maiden.

    • Power: Embodies purity, chastity, and secrets.

    • Relations: Often associated with Obatalá and Oyá.

    • Different Names: Yewá (Santería), Iewa (Candomblé).

  3. Oshún

    • Description: Goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.

    • Physical Description: Often depicted as a beautiful, seductive woman adorned with gold.

    • Power: Governs over rivers, love, fertility, and gold.

    • Relations: Has a special connection with Changó.

    • Different Names: Oxum (Candomblé), Ochun (Santería).

  4. Naná Burukú

    • Description: Ancient deity of swamps, rain, and the earth.

    • Physical Description: Elderly woman, often associated with mud, swamps, and rain.

    • Power: Represents the primal waters and earth.

    • Relations: Mother of Babalú-Ayé and sometimes linked with Yemayá.

    • Different Names: Nanã (Candomblé), Nana Buruku (Santería).

  5. Obá

    • Description: Warrior goddess and the deity of marriage and rivers.

    • Physical Description: Warrior-like figure, sometimes depicted with a sword.

    • Power: Governs over marriage, fidelity, and rivers.

    • Relations: Associated with Shangó and Oyá.

    • Different Names: Obá (in most traditions).

  6. Yemayá

    • Description: Goddess of the sea and motherhood.

    • Physical Description: Often depicted as a mermaid or a motherly figure.

    • Power: Controls the oceans and embodies motherly love.

    • Relations: Mother of many Orishas, including Shangó.

    • Different Names: Yemanjá (Candomblé), Yemoja (Santería).

  7. Ibú Kolé

    • Description: Goddess associated with vultures and cleanliness.

    • Physical Description: Often linked with the imagery of vultures and purity.

    • Power: Symbolizes cleanliness, transformation, and vultures.

    • Relations: Associated with Yemayá and Oshún.

    • Different Names: Ibú Kolé (Santería), Cólera (Candomblé).

  8. Ayao

    • Description: Orisha of air, the hunt, and divination.

    • Physical Description: Depicted as a young huntress with bird features.

    • Power: Mastery over air, birds, and divination practices.

    • Relations: Sometimes considered a companion or relation to Oyá.

    • Different Names: Ayao (Santería), Iaô (Candomblé).

  9. Oduduwa

    • Description: Primordial goddess of the earth and creation.

    • Physical Description: Often depicted as a wise, motherly figure.

    • Power: Associated with the earth and the creation of humanity.

    • Relations: Linked with Obatalá, considered a creator deity.

    • Different Names: Odudua (Candomblé), Oduduwa (Santería).

  10. Yemú

    • Description: Deity of mud, marshes, and the earth.

    • Physical Description: Often depicted as a maternal figure, associated with the earth.

    • Power: Represents the nurturing aspect of the earth and mud.

    • Relations: Linked with Yemayá, as an aspect of motherhood.

    • Different Names: Yemu (Santería), Yemowó (Candomblé). (Culture Bay)


In The Spirit


Black Spirituality is about relationality, maturity in the faith, and the skillful, seasoned use of wisdom and insight [xx]

Dwight Webster

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We must reclaim a tradition of holiness. There are certain energies and powers that arise from holiness and sanctification. Holiness has its own energy, trajectory, powers, and capacities. Holiness means adding spiritual value—divine power—to people, places, and things of this world. [xxi]

Carlyle Stewart III


Holiness does not consist of mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervors, or uncommanded austerities; it consists of thinking as God thinks and being willing as God wills. [xxii]

John Brown

Spiritual Possession

Spiritual baptism is a flow of energy experienced anywhere from a gentle serpentine undulation upward to a flood of liquid light bathing the brain, radically transcending all prior conceptualization of self and others.[xxiii]


Spirit possession is the religious phenomenon wherein a person experiences their consciousness being temporarily displaced by a spiritual entity that inhabits the person and is recognizable by other cult members by its peculiar speech, gestures, and the efficacy of its interventions via counsel miracles.[xxiv]

James A. Noel


Finally, the Frenzy of "Shouting," when the Spirit of the Lord passed by, and, seizing the devotee, made him mad with supernatural joy, was the last essential of Negro religion and the one more devoutly believed in than all the rest. It varied in expression from the silent, rapt countenance or the low murmur and moan to the mad abandon of physical fervor --the stamping, shrieking, and shouting, the rushing to and fro and wild waving of arms, the weeping and laughing, the vision and the trance. All this is nothing new in the world, but old as religion, as Delphi and Endor. And so firm a hold did it have on the Negro, that many generations firmly believed that without this visible manifestation of the God, there could be no true communion with the Invisible.[xxv]

SHOUTS After regular worship service, congregations used to stay for a "ring shout." It was a survival of primitive African dance. So, educated ministers and members placed a ban on it. The men and women arranged themselves in a ring. The music started, perhaps with a Spiritual, and the ring began to move slowly, then with quickening pace. The same musical phrase was repeated over and over for hours. This produced an ecstatic state. Women screamed and fell. Men, exhausted, dropped out of the ring.[xxvi]

To be filled with the Spirit means simply that the Christian voluntarily surrenders life and will to the Spirit. Through faith, the believer’s personality is filled, mastered, and controlled by the Spirit. To be filled means “to take possession of the mind.[xxvii]

Spiritual Worship

4 Features

are common to West African traditional religions: percussive music, dance, divination, and spirit possession. [xxviii]

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 Symbols represent spiritual truths using images or properties of natural things. A symbol is sealed until the right spirit is given for its understanding, and God’s symbols are undetected unless His Spirit is in His child to enable him to understand.[xxix]

Oswald Chambers 

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The Kemetic Tree of Life


The Tree of Life is a roadmap of a journey, which explains how Creation came into being and how it will end. It helps one discover the meaning of life and the means to break free from the pathetic condition of human limitation and mortality to discover the higher realms of being by discovering the principles, the levels of existence beyond the simple physical and material aspects of life.[xxx]

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The Eye


In Kemet, the eye was associated with the eye of the soul.

The eye is our most direct access to the vibrating fifth dimension of light itself.[xxxi]

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The Pineal Gland

The pineal gland is a transducer of light, a kind of biological clock that regulates the system.[xxxii]

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The Pinecone

Throughout recorded human history, Pinecones have served as a symbolic representation of Human Enlightenment, the Third Eye, and the Pineal Gland. Conifer Pine Trees are one of the most ancient plant genera on the planet, having existed nearly three times longer than all flowering plant species.[xxxiii]


The Ankh

The ankh represents the concept of eternal life.

It signifies wisdom and insight on the highest level, and it is also a fertility symbol.

It is the key to life. It includes vitality and biography. The circle symbolizes eternal life, and the cross represents the material plane.[xxxiv]


MAAT is order of the world established at creation. The 7 Principles of MAAT are truth, justice, balance, order, compassion, harmony, and reciprocity. There are forty-two laws of MAAT.[xxxv]

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The theory of karma is that every soul is on a journey. While on our journey, we are accountable for our thoughts, words, and actions, for they ALL have consequences. There are consequences for everything we do and don't do. The Consequences are karma. Karma runs from lifetime to lifetime – so if you die with unresolved issues with people, or you've done more negative things than positive, your soul wants to come back and try to make amends.[xxxvi]



2 Peter 3: 5-7


For this, they willfully forget that by the word of God, the heavens were of old, and the earth is standing out of the water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth preserved by the same word are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.


John Mbiti reported that the Herero of Africa “have sacred fires on the village altars, with which the whole welfare of the people is intimately connected. They mention God as responsible for this fire, which symbolizes national life, prosperity, and contact with the unseen world.”


One of the oldest recorded uses of the swastika in Africa is found in artwork by the Akan people of Ghana. It is also found on servants’ dresses in the Ashanti Empire as well as carved into one of the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, dating back to the 12th or 13th century.
It means "good fortune" or "well-being." It is a sacred symbol in many religions. 

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Black prophetic fire is the hypersensitivity to the suffering of others that generates righteous indignation that results in the willingness to live and die for freedom. Cornel West

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Jesus Christ authenticates our will to be-to survive as a Black people in a racist-controlled environment. Jesus Christ must have something to do with our affirmation of Black being, our “power to be,” or he was not involved in the creation, does not know who we are, and therefore, cannot be our Savior.
Gayraud Wilmore
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Though slavery officially ended after the Civil War, the Christianity that blessed white supremacy did not go away. It doubled down on the Lost Cause, endorsed racial terrorism during the Redemption era, blessed the leaders of Jim Crow, and continues to endorse racist policies as traditional values under the guise of a "religious right." As a Christian minister myself, I understand why, for my entire ministry, the number of people who choose not to affiliate with any religious tradition has doubled each decade. An increasingly diverse America is tired of the old slaveholder religion.


In a movement based upon moral dissent, defeat does not cause us to doubt our purpose or question the ends toward which we strive. We do not belong to those who shrink back, for we know the tragic truth of history. When oppressed people shrink back, they will always be forgotten and destroyed. Faith-rooted moral dissent requires that we always look forward toward the vision of what we know we were made to be. But defeat can and must invite us to question our means. While realism cannot determine the goals of our faith, it must shape our strategy in movements of moral dissent.


We need a Moral Movement across the nation. An indigenously homegrown, state-based, state government-focused, deeply moral, deeply constitutional, anti-racist, anti-poverty, pro-justice, pro-labor, transformative, Fusion Movement. A Movement that is about the moral fabric of our society guided by a deeply moral and constitutional vision of what is possible. William Barber




The Dogon are an African tribe that live in Mali. Their creation stories are believed to go back thousands of years and some claim that they may be descended from the ancient Egyptians. What really sets the Dogon apart is that they believe in an “egg of the world” out in space which is now known to modern astronomers as “Sirius B.” How astrological maps depicting this star exist on ancient Dogon artifacts is baffling since the star was only discovered in 1970.

The creation myth of the Dogon begins with Amma the God who existed in the before time and created the world. The egg of the world or Sirius B is sometimes referred to as the original placenta, which may refer to Amma’s origins. Amma then creates the Earth and marries her. However, the clitoris of the Earth is opposed to Amma’s penis. Therefore, it is only after Amma removes the Earth’s clitoris that they are able to conceive four sets of twins.

The twins are known as Nommo. One of the twins is referred to as O Nommo, while another is Ogo. The Nommo has the shape of fish and require a watery environment to live but they also have arms and legs. Ogo removes himself from Amma’s womb before he is finished in order to take over creation. With no partner of his own, he mates with the Earth, and that act of incest brings disorder and chaos into the world. From the incestual union comes the first menstrual blood and the spirits of the underworld.

Amma sends O Nommo to Earth in an ark in order to quell the chaos of Ogo. Ogo realizes that O Nommo is stronger and demands that Amma give him his placenta so he can be strong too. Instead, Amma uses the placenta to create the sun. Then she turns Ogo into a fox but he continues to wreak havoc on the world. Amma then sacrifices O Nomma. His blood purifies the earth. Amma then cuts his body into pieces in order to create the stars, plants, and animals.


Vishnu and the Lotus Flower

Hindu Creation Myth

The Hindu creation myth has some links to other creation myths in that it begins with a watery world of nothingness. There was a large expanse of ocean, and on the water floated a giant cobra. Within the endless coils of the giant snake lay Lord Vishnu. The large snake was the protector of Vishnu and watched over him as he slept. Lord Vishnu remained sleeping because everything was so quiet and peaceful.

Then there came a humming sound, Ohm. The sound grew louder and spread, moving through the emptiness and throbbing with energy. The humming sound meant that night was over and it was time for Vishnu to awaken. When dawn broke, a magnificent lotus flower grew from Vishnu’s navel.

From the center of the lotus flower emerged Brahma, the servant of Vishnu. Vishnu spoke to Brahma and commanded him to create the world. Then a wind blew over the waters and caused Vishnu and the snake to disappear, leaving only Brahma. Brahma stayed alone in the lotus flower floating upon the turbulent sea. Then Brahma lifted his arms and calmed the seas and the wind.

Next, Brahma split the lotus blossom into three pieces. With one he created the heavens; with another, he created the earth and with the third, he made the skies. From his buttocks, he created demons, and from his body, he created the darkness. Donning a new body, Brahma then brought the gods from his face and then cast off that body as well to create light. By taking on more bodies, Brahma would create all the things that inhabited the world. His powers of concentration created humans, snakes, and birds. Goats were brought from his mouth, sheep from his chest, and cows from his stomach. Horses were made from his feet, and the other animals were made from his arms. The hairs on his body were used to create the plants.

Japanese Creation Myth

The Japanese creation myth is first told in the Kojiki, the first book written in Japan in 712 CE. The Japanese creation myth begins with chaos, as do many of the others. At the start of the universe, it was a shapeless sort of matter that remained in silence.

But then came sounds that indicated the particles were moving. The lightest particles and the light rose up. The particles rose but could not reach the same height as the light itself. Therefore, the light became the top of the universe, and the particles below became the first clouds and Heaven. The particles that had not risen came together to form one large mass known as Earth.

At first, the mass of the Earth was just like oil floating upon water and was not solid at all. From this emerged a reed that grew up and sprouted two immortals from its bosom. More Gods were formed but they had little to do in the chaos that was the universe and with no solid ground. So they called Izanagi and Izanami to work together to create terra firma. The gods gave them a jeweled spear with which to create the world.

Upon reaching the waters, they thrust the spear into the sea upon which it created a large mass that became the first island. Here the couple wed and Izanami gave birth to many of the gods of the world. However, it was upon giving birth to the fire god that Izanami perished. Izanagi went to the underworld to retrieve her and she told him she must first ask the gods of Yomi if she could return but that he must not look back at her. Izanagi grew impatient and looked for her, only to find that she was a disfigured corpse. Terrified at the sight, he left and sealed the exit. When he went to purify himself in the river, the goddess of the sun was washed from his left eye, the god of the moon from his right eye, and the god of storms from his nose.

Zuni Creation Myth

The Zuni are a Pueblo people that reside in New Mexico. Their religion continues to be integrated into their daily life and their respect for their ancestors, nature, and animals. They have been persecuted for their religion and therefore remain very private about their beliefs.

In the beginning, the people of the world lived crowded together in a place of total darkness deep down in the earth in the fourth world. The daylight world had streams and hills, but there were no humans there to offer prayer sticks to Awonawilona, the Sun and creator. He called two of his sons to lead the people to the daylight world. His sons, who had human features, descended down through the first, second and third worlds to get to the fourth world.

Upon arriving the humans called them their bow priests and told them they were eager to leave. Before leaving the sons planted four seeds, a pine, spruce, silver spruce and aspen. The brothers created prayer sticks from the branch of each tree. The pine prayer stick was planted and grew all the way to the third world. The son and humans then climbed the tree to get to the third world. They traveled to the second world by planting the spruce prayer stick, and to the first world by planting the silver spruce prayer stick. At the first world the last stick was planted, and the humans emerged in the daylight world.

In the light of day, the sons realized that the humans were covered in filth and green slime, with webbed feet, horns, and tails. When the two sons grew corn to feed the humans, they realized they had no mouths and therefore cut slits in their faces for mouths. Soon after they realized the humans had no anuses either, so holes were cut again. Then the sons cut the webbing of their feet and removed their horns and tails until they appeared as humans are known today.

Doodle of the Mole and the Bee with the String.

Romanian Creation Myth

The Romanian creation myth begins with God creating heaven. After creating heaven, he measured the space beneath with a ball of thread. He then asked the Devil to bring him up some clay from the large ocean over which they resided so that he could shape the Earth. The Devil tried to bring up the clay by invoking his own name but it was only when the Devil invoked God’s name that the clay rose and grew so that God could shape it into the Earth.

As God was weaving the string and the clay into the patterns of the Earth a little mole asked to help. He bid the mole to hold the thread as he wove and the Earth continued to grow. As the Earth grew, God rested and fell asleep, leaving the mole to slowly let out the thread. As God rested, the Devil decided to push God over the edge.

The mole kept pulling out the thread and didn’t realize that the Earth was growing too large. As the Devil tried to push God over the edge, the Earth grew, keeping God from falling. The Devil tried to push God in all four directions but each time the Earth grew. After pushing God in the fourth direction, the Devil became scared of the cross he had created in the dirt.

The mole knew nothing of God’s plight and instead feared that he had ruined Earth. He burrowed himself underground to hide. God awoke and sent a bee to find the mole so that they might find a way to fix their mistake. The mole refused to return, unwilling to believe that God would need advice from him. The bee refused to return without the mole’s advice and instead hid in a flower. As the bee hid he heard the mole talking to himself about squeezing the Earth in order to create mountains and valleys which would make the Earth smaller. The bee told God the mole’s plan and God thought it a good idea and thus finished the creation of the world by making mountains and valleys.

Boshongo God Bumba creating the world.

Boshongo Creation Myth

The Boshongo are a Central Bantu tribe of the Lunda Cluster. They have a long history despite being fairly unknown among the Bantu tribes. Their origin story is one of the strangest largely because it begins with a stomachache.

In the beginning, there was nothing but dark water and Bumba was on his own. Then one day he was in great pain in his stomach. His discomfort grew so great that he vomited up the sun. The sun then spread its light all over the world. The heat from the sun dried up the water and black sandbanks and reefs were exposed. Bumba was still in pain and next, he vomited up the moon and the stars which then lit up the night.

Bumba’s stomachache continued and he retched up nine animals; the leopard, the crested eagle, the crocodile, a fish, the tortoise, the white heron, one beetle, a goat named Budi, and Tsetse, the lightning. The last creature to come forth out of Bumba was man, but only Loko Yima was white like Bumba. The rest of the world’s creatures were then created by the animals that had come forth out of Bumba, each of them responsible for creating their own group of animals.

Bumba then gave his three sons the tasks of finishing the creation of the world. Nyonye Nagana made the white ants but died at the effort it took. Chonganda brought forth a plant from which all other trees and plants and grasses of world came. Chedi Bumba tried for something different but could only make a bird called the kit. The world was peaceful with the exception of Tsetse who continually stirred up trouble so Bumba banished her to the sky. Without lighting man, had no way to make fire, and so Bumba showed man how to make the fire drill and liberate the fire that was within the trees. Thus the world was created.

Schoppert, S. (2017, July 7). Emerging from the Darkness: 9 Creation Myths from Different Cultures. History Collection.

Rudy, L. J. (2019, August 5). What is candomblé? beliefs and history. Learn Religions.

Santos, G. (2023d, November 21). Olodumare (Olorun): Supreme God above Orishas in Yoruba. Culture Bay.

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