I like to try to tie my mythology posts to holidays when possible, but here it is Easter weekend, and I’ve already written about the goddess Eostre/Ostara. I’ve also covered the resurrection stories of Osiris, Attis, Tammuz, and Odin. So what’s left? Well, when talking about resurrection, perhaps the most primitive mythology of this sort involves the sun. After all, it does appear to die every night and come back to life every morning. With modern knowledge, asking where the sun goes every night is like asking where Mommy goes when playing peek-a-boo, but we’re talking about societies that hadn’t explored much of the world yet. Seems to me I’ve read before about a belief that the sun is born from an egg every morning, but I can’t find any exact match for that myth.
About the closest I can find involves Ra in Egyptian mythology, who is sometimes said to have been born from an egg laid by a goose or ibis, and who has to travel through the underworld every night.
In some accounts, he emerges from the underworld by way of a lotus flower at sunrise. That’s not the same as being born from an egg every morning, but there are certainly quite similar elements.
Another myth, this time from Australia, says that the sun IS an egg, or at least was at one point. This one involves an argument between a brolga and an emu over who had better offspring, resulting in the brolga kicking one of the emu’s eggs into the sky.
Once there, it hit a pile of wood gathered by the cloud man Ngoudenout and broke open.
The yolk caught fire and lit up the Earth, and it is Ngoudenout’s job to light the sun whenever its flame goes out. Apparently it takes him all night to gather enough wood to light the fire, and it is the job of the kookaburra to announce when it is time to ignite the egg yolk.