Consider these parallel myths of Creation.

How is the World Made?..... From what substance?

By what process?




From Indic Visnu Purana:*

When the interval between aeons was past, the lord Brahma ... arose from his sleep and saw that the world was empty ...

Realizing that the earth was within the waters when the universe had been made into a single ocean, [He] wished to raise it up.

He made another body; as at the beginning of previous aeons he had made the fish, the tortoise, and others, so now the eternal, constant, supreme soul of the universe ... took the body of the boar (a form composed of the Vedic sacrifice) in order to preserve the whole universe.

... As the great boar arose [rooting up the earth from the depths with his tusks?] ...He lifted the earth up quickly and placed her upon the great ocean ...

[*adapted from W. O'Flaherty, Hindu Myths. Sourcebook (1975) 186]


From Egyptian Evolutions of Ra' *
"I am he that came into being ... the god Khepera ...the creator of everything that came into being. 
Now the things that I created and which came forth from my mouth ...were exceedingly many. 
The sky had not come into being; the earth did not exist, and the children of the earth ...had not been made 
...I myself raised them up from out of Nu (the primal waters) ...I worked a spell upon my own heart ...
and made everything that had form....I had union with my closed hand and embraced my shadow as a wife 
[and from this] sent forth issue in the form gods Shu and Tefnut (brightness and moisture) ...
Shu and Tefnut brought forth Geb and Nut (earth and sky); and Geb and Nut brought forth Osiris 
...and Seth and Isis and Nepthys..."  (Osiris is, among other things, the spirit of the Nile flood).  
[*adapted from E.A. Wallis Budge, Legends of the Egyptian Gods (1912) 4-5.]
[often pictured as defining act of Creation is the parting of Geb and Nut by their father Shu...]
Description: \\courses\\ECarawan\images\Shu.GIF
From Babylonian Enuma Elish:*
When heaven above had not yed been named, nor the earth beneath, when [the primordial gods of the abyss]
 Apsu, their begetter ...and Tiamat herself, she who gave birth to them all, still mingled their waters  and no land 
was yet formed ...
then, within Apsu and Tiamat, the great gods were created. [Beings that embody the shore and horizon are born 
and from the latter was born the first sky god] Anu, the rival of his fathers ...
Anu begot in his likeness Ea [trickster spirit/water god] broad of understanding, greatly wise and mighty in strength ... 
with no rival among the gods.
 [These younger gods cause upheaval in the ancient Tiamat, like youngsters disturbing the peace of their elders, 
and aged Apsu declares,]      'By day I cannot rest, by night I cannot sleep. I shall destroy them...' 
               ...Ea, supreme in knowledge, understanding all things, recognized the wicked plan and drew a magic circle against it, 
within which all took protection; then he composed a powerful incantation, which he recited over the water. 
[And from this spell] sleep poured down upon Apsu and Apsu slept. 
 [Ea then slew Apsu and built his palace upon his ancestor's body. Tiamat now rises up for vengeance and the other gods
 are cowed with fear. But Marduk, son of Ea and youngest lord of the gods, volunteers to do battle with her, 
entrusted with all the weapons of the older gods (esp. storm and lightning) he defeats Tiamat and her demon brood] 
Returning to the carcase of Tiamat ...with his merciless mace he smashed her skull. He cut the arteries of her blood 
...he split her like a shellfish in halves, and set one above as the vault of heaven, and assigned guards 
to watch that her waters above should not escape. 
[He too establishes his palace above Apsu, and then divides the realms of the world (heaven, earth, and abyss) 
among the other chief gods. But his work is not done: he then turns to the last husband of Tiamat, called Kingu.]  
They bound him ...slashed the arteries of his blood and with his blood created mankind.
[*adapted from J. Campbell, The Masks of God  (1964)  3:76-84.]
From the Greek Theogony
First was born Chaos [=chasm/abyss] and then broad-breasted Earth (=Gaia), steady foundation of all ...
and misty Tartarus deep beneath the land, and Eros, the fairest of the deathless, for he unstrings the limbs and 
unhinges the minds of men and gods alike. Out of Chaos then were born Erebus and Night (realms of darkness)...
Gaia now gave birth to starry Heaven (Ouranos) equal to her in reach, to encompass her all in his embrace; 
and she gave birth to the Mountains and Sea (Pontos)...all these she bore without mating ... 
But then she bedded with Heaven [her son] and gave birth to Ocean [and the other Titans, last but not least,] 
wily Cronos, a most fearful child who hated his mighty father...[The Titan young were imprisoned in the belly of Earth] 
As soon as each one came from the womb, Ouranos, enjoying his wicked work, hid the child in Gaia's belly. 
And great Earth groaned in her endless labor.  But she devised a devious craft: suddenly fashioning steely iron, 
she made a great scyth and told her dear children ...'Let us punish the wicked wantonness of your father.'...
               Cronos the wily took courage and [volunteered to castrate his father, severing the link between Earth and Heaven. 
He then becomes the lord of the gods, and proves no less tyrannical than his father. For he devours his offspring as they 
come forth from the womb, until his bride Rhea contrives to save her last born. Zeus with his thunderbolt and
 the aid of other primal forces, defeats Cronos, then secures the release of the other 'Olympians' from his belly; 
he divides the realms of the world among his kin. He is then challenged by Giants, spawned by Earth in vengeance; 
and greatest of his adversaries, the fire serpent Typhon who rises up to heaven]

Description: \\courses\\ECarawan\images\Zeus.GIF

From Norse Myth, short summary:
[The primal world is a polar realm of fire and ice. Between the worlds is a great chasm, Ginnungagap. 
In this divide a vast giant was born from the melting ice, called Ymir; he produced an ancient race of giants from his sweat 
and semen (?), conceived in crotch and armpit. 
Then from the ice emerged a huge cow, called Authumla. She fed Ymir but also created the race of his rivals
 by licking the ice and freeing the form of primal man, Buri. Buri's son married a daughter of the giants, and 
among their sons was the god Odin
               Odin and bros. slay Ymir, the cosmic giant, and shape the features of the world from his carcase, earth from his flesh, 
mountains and stones from his bone; they made the dome of heaven from his skull.]
From Mayan Popul Vuh. *
Hidden in the water beneath green and blue feathers were the Creators ...Together they decided when the earth would rise 
from the waters, when the first human beings ... would be born...and when the dawn would first flood the world with pale light.
               "Let Creation begin!" the Creators proclaimed. "Let the void be filled. Let sea ebb and release the earth. Earth, rise up!