Mythology Monday Primordial Edition: Chaos


This is going to be a short and sweet mythology Monday because there is not a lot to be said about the first of the primordial deities. Chaos, like most of the primordial gods is more a place or a state of being than humanoid. The primordial gods are hard to imagine. Sentient spaces? It’s a creepy thought at best, at worst it’s impossible to wrap the mind around.

In religions across time and space, Chaos refers to the primordial state before creation. Someone or something acts upon Chaos to create the sky and sea and life, but before that action, Chaos is just writhing with potential.

In science, Chaos is an apt description for many theories of beginning. Seconds or centuries before dark matter and light matter collided in a bang that led to the creation of the universe.

In Greek mythology, Chaos is an empty void that gave birth to Gaia, Tartarus, and Eros. Chaos and Eros hooked up, and in some myths, Chaos and Chronos got together. Despite being referred to by famous thinkers as “the true foundation of reality,” or a “rude, undeveloped mass,” or a “womb of darkness,” Chaos is typically personified as female, and an air deity who gave birth to Nyx, Erebos, Aither, and Hemera and the Daimones. She’s considered a goddess of fate, like the Moirai, but then what goddess wasn’t? After everything was created, Chaos lived in the space between Earth and Tartarus (sometimes as mud, but those myths never really caught on). Chaos didn’t have much of a role in Greek mythology after the creation myth.

In other mythologies, Chaos is depicted as a dragon that must be defeated by a hero. Sometimes Chaos is a sea dragon being driven back by a storm god. Whatever the myth, Chaos is always fascinating when personified.

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