Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Origins of the Shinto Pantheon

I'd like to explain something about the Shinto Pantheon. There were 3 genderless Gods. One was the first and always existed. The other two came from the first. These two created the Earth. They also created the first male deity. From the first male deity, the first female was born. The Male was Izanagi no Mikoto, the Female was Izanami no Mikoto. Together, they created the first humans and the first Kami. Izanami died in childbirth when giving birth to the fire Kami. Izanagi killed the Fire Kami and went to the underworld (Yomi no Kuni) to retrieve his wife. However, she had rotted considerably and he was frightened away and closed the entry to the underworld with a large stone. She was hurt emotionally by this and cursed humans to die. Before then, we had been immortal. Izanagi then declared that for every 1000 that die, he will see that 1500 are birthed.

As Izanagi washed himself free of impurities from the underworld, the water and scrubbing also released 8 million Kami. The Sun Kami, Amaterasu Omikami came from his right eye. The Moon Kami, Tsukiyomi no Mikoto came from his left eye. The Kami of Storms, Susano'o no Mikoto came from his nose.

Thus, the vast myriads of divine essences came into being. The Kami from the body if Izanagi washed down the river into every part of the world... And more are created in the natural world and by human actions of propagation (Bunrei) all the time.

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