Cosmogony vs Cosmology

When approaching the myth of creation, it is important to make yet a clear distinction - that between cosmogony and cosmology. Numerous myths contain more or less elaborate cosmological explanations, stating in what manner different parts of the world function - but if there is no mention of a process leading to this state of things, only a circumstance presented as constantly one and the same, then this is a cosmology, though not a cosmogony. All cosmogony is always cosmology, but only if a beginning of its mechanism is described is a cosmology a cosmogony.

In God's Good English, this means:

  • Cosmogony- a theory about the beginning of creation.

  • Cosmology- a theory about creation of things not necessarily in the beginning of time

    Therefore, all cosmogony is cosmology, since the origin of all life is indeed a theory about creation. However, since cosmology has a broader scope, only cosmological theories concerning the origin of life are cosmogonical.

    More about Cosmogny: Cosmogony as Symbolism

    The basis of most cosmogonies is the 'cosmic sacrifice', expressing the idea that the creation of forms and matter can take place only by modifying primordial energy. Such a modification, so far as most primitive and protohistoric cultures are concerned, was seen to exist in such painful forms as mutilation, struggle, or sacrifice.

    Ever wonder why Christianity was so popular?

    The thing is, we respect pain. Pain, perhaps, is the only thing that is constant. If you hit me with a baseball bat, I'll fucking hurt. Therefore, if you threaten me with a baseball bat, I will anticipate said hurt, and fear you. Though fear and respect are not necessarily one and the same, both abstractions have a very odd white trash relationship. Sometimes Fear is smacking his bitch up (Respect). Othertimes, Fear and Respect are making out on their trailer park fold-out couch.

    I have a point to this, I swear--and it even concerns cosmogony. Okay, since mankind respects and fears pain, pain is where we have to come from.

    In Babylonian cosmogony, life was granted with the slaying of the original mother Tiamat (the dragon), whose body was used in the creation of heaven and earth. Hindu tradition has to do with this massive struggle between the gods and a tribe of devils called Asuras. Persians believed that a massive bull was sacraficed to the god Mithras so he could shape life from the blood. In Scandinavia, it was the giant, Ymir, who was dismembered by the Aesir gods and then also used for the materials of creation.

    Notice a trend?

    Something has to die, and much pain has to ensue--much struggling... My question is, what does that reflect about human nature? Why pain? Why can't happy Mary Sunshine Lacey Pants create the world by doing a little dance?

    Dude, just typing the words Mary Sunshine Lacey Pants makes me want to smack that bitch up.

    references are:
    Cirlot, J.E. A Dictionary of Symbols New York, 1972.
Cosmogonies from All Over The Place

Asterisks mark those which have been noded.

Tribal Cosmogonies:


  • Chinese -
  • Egyptian -
  • Ethiopian
  • Germanic
  • Gikuyu (language/culture of Kenya)
  • Gnostic
  • Greco-Roman -
  • Gypsy*
  • Hawaiian -
  • Hungarian
  • Indian -
  • Iranic
  • Irish
  • Japanese -
  • Mande (language/culture of West Africa)
  • Mongol (Altaic)
  • Norse
  • Phoenician
  • Polynesian
  • Quechua((Andes))
  • Romanian
  • Samoan
  • Scandinavian
  • Serbian*
  • Slavic (from theology of all Slavic peoples)
  • Sumerian
  • Tahitian
  • Taino (Caribbean)
  • Turkish

  • Religious:



    Compiled over several weeks between trips to libraries and google-searches.
    More info about cosmogonies can be found at or If you know of any not listed here, /msg me and I'll be glad to add them.

    Cos*mog"o*ny (-n?), n.; pl. Cosmogonies (-nz). [Gr. kosmogoni`a; ko`smos the world + root of gi`gnesthai to be born: cf. F. cosmogonie.]

    The creation of the world or universe; a theory or account of such creation; as, the poetical cosmogony of Hesoid; the cosmogonies of Thales, Anaxagoras, and Plato.

    <-- =cosmology -->

    The cosmogony or creation of the world has puzzled philosophers of all ages. Goldsmith.


    © Webster 1913.

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