Myths are based on an instinctual understanding of the world. They are a collective phenomenon, revealing the story of humanity and what it means to be human.
Comparative Mythology has long been a passion of mine. The fact that different cultures separated by great distances could develop similar mythos captured my imagination when I was a child and has yet to let go.
But there is a problem when it comes to understanding ancient belief systems. Time and intolerance has destroyed nearly all of our ancient knowledge, leaving us with only fragments of our former beliefs. For Ancient Rome, it's estimated less than 1% of all written works have survived.
From the remains, many people have recognised similarities between different cultural myths. It's be hard not to. Stories like the great flood are near universal. What few realise though, is that many differently named deities are also the same. What we're taught are names are in actuality titles. Jupiter isn't a name, it's a title: Sky Father. Demeter is also a title: Earth Mother.
Once this is understood, something interesting happens. Let's continue with Demeter (Earth Mother). She had a pair of twins with her brother, Poseidon (Master of Water); a daughter we call Desponia (The Mistress) and a son named Arion (unknown).
Desponia (The Mistress) was appointed as a priestess, had secret knowledge which she revealed to the initiated, presided over sacrificial rituals, and was associated with fertility, magic, and love. Her brother Arion was a horse, or associated with horses.
The Norse and Germanic also have a goddess whom they call with the title Mistress. We know her best as Freyja (The Mistress). Freyja (The Mistress) was also appointed as a priestess, had secret knowledge which she revealed to the initiated, presided over a sacrificial ritual, and was associated with fertility, magic, and love.
Frejya's father Njord (unknown) is the god of the sea. Her mother is Njord's sister, an earth goddess (Nerthus/Njörun). Her twin brother, Freyr (The Master), has a horse cult.
Let's remove the names and see what we get.
The god of the sea and his sister, an earth goddess, conceived together twins, callled the mistress and the master. The mistress holds secret knowledge that she shares with the worthy. The master is associated with horses.
I can't help but wonder, what would the result be if we were to do this to all the myths? Would they begin to align as well? Could we reconstruct some of our lost knowledge and expand our understanding of the Gods? Is there an omni-myth?