The World Myth

The Hero

What are some examples of the hero’s miraculous conception and/or birth?

A clear indication of the world hero is a miraculous conception and unusual birth. The ancient Akkadian king, Sargon, was said to have been born of a virgin. Jesus, too, was the product of a virgin birth; his mother herself is said to have been the result of an “Immaculate Conception.” Abraham’s son Isaac was born to a barren mother. In Phrygia, Attis was conceived by a pomegranate seed in his mother, the Great Goddess, in her form as Nana. Horus was conceived when his mother, Isis, succeeded in arousing the dead Osiris. Many versions of the world hero are fathered by gods: Herakles and Perseus are fathered by Zeus, Theseus by Poseidon. Rama’s wife Sita was born of the Earth. The Buddha’s mother, Maya, conceived him in a dream via a white elephant. It was a grain of wheat that was responsible for Taliesin’s conception. The Aztec goddess Coatlicue conceived Huitzilopochtli via a ball of feathers. A piece of clay led to the birth of Water Pot Boy, a blood clot to the birth of Kutoyis. Quetzalcoatl was conceived when his mother was entered by divine breath. The Navajo sacred twins were the result of a sun ray, which lingered on the body of the goddess Changing Woman.


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