We have a complex system of ancient myths with many genres. In different mythological systems, there are very different myths and legends. The author gives a simple example, let's talk about the ancient mythology of the "king of the gods".
In the creation myth, the king of the gods is Pan Gu who opened up the sky; in the flood myth, the king of the gods is Xuan Yuan Huang Di who defeated Chi You; in the "Shan Hai Jing", the king of the gods is the emperor Jun who nurtured the sun and moon; in the "Chu Shi", the king of the gods is Dong Huang Tai Yi who represents the sky; in Taoist mythology, the king of the gods is Shang Qing, Tai Qing, Yu Qing and other three qings; in the "Feng Shen Yan Yi", the king of the gods is Honjun Lao Zu.
What is the ancient myth?
The simple example of the "King of the Gods" shows the complexity of the ancient mythology. Before starting this article, I would like to explain what "ancient mythology" is. According to the author, ancient mythology refers to the myths and legends that cannot be recorded in history books before the Xia Dynasty.
In other words, from Pan Gu to create the earth to Nuwa, from Nuwa to refine the stone to Yan Huang battle Chi You, from Hou Yi to shoot the sun to Dayu water, this time period of myths and legends belong to the "ancient myths". The main texts that record the ancient myths are "Shanhaijing", "Tianwen", "Shijing", "Huainanzi" and so on.
With this premise, we know that Honjun Laozu does not actually belong to the category of ancient mythology. Honjun Laozu" is an ancient god made up in the Ming dynasty mythological novel "Feng Shen Yan Yi". In the orthodox Taoist mythology and the "Shanhaijing", there is no such character as Honjun Laozu.
Similarly, the modern flood novels of the twelve ancestors, the old ancestor of the River Styx, the hollow willow and other people, also has nothing to do with the ancient mythology. Here, let's take a look at the ancient myths and legends of "the dragon gave birth to nine sons" and "phoenix breeding nine chicks.
The dragon has nine sons
In ancient times, there is indeed the myth and legend of "nine sons born to the dragon". But I want to make it clear that the word "nine" in "the dragon gives birth to nine sons" and "the phoenix raises nine chicks" does not mean the actual word, but an imaginary number, meaning " many". This is a common rhetorical device in ancient literature, in Li Bai's poem "the roc flies straight up ninety thousand miles", "white hair three thousand feet, the edge of worry like a long", ninety thousand miles, three thousand feet are imaginary reference.
Do not believe it, in addition to our familiar "dragon born nine sons", pepper map, centipede vipers, Taotie and other beasts in mythology is also the son of the dragon. That is to say, the dragon's sons, much more than nine.
Where did the myth of the "nine sons of the dragon" originate? I'm afraid readers will be disappointed to learn that it is not from ancient mythology, but from Li Dongyang's "Huailutang Manuscript" of the Ming Dynasty.
Li Dongyang was a scholar of the Ming Dynasty who was so gifted in literature that he eventually became a minister of the Ministry of Rites and was posthumously honored as a taiji after his death. Li Dongyang was a poet, and he authored "The Poetry of Huailutang". It can also be said that Li Dongyang was a literary scholar, and the myth of "nine sons born to a dragon" was just his occasional leisure time while reciting poems.
In Li Dongyang's Huailutang Manuscript, the "Nine Sons of the Dragon" are: the eldest Jailer, the second Jairus, the third Mocking Wind, the fourth Pujun, the fifth Mythical Creature, the sixth Baji, the seventh Jail, the eighth Bi Xi, and the ninth Chi Ni. The author will not introduce the "nine sons of the dragon" any more here, as I have explained them in detail in my previous article. From this, we can see that the "Nine Sons of the Dragon" is not related to the ancient mythology, and it can only be considered as a folklore, just like Honjun Laozu.
In Li Dongyang's "nine sons of the dragon" legend, the "dragon" and the ancient mythology of the Ying Long, Candle Dragon, Green Dragon has no connection, and the prison bull, Jairus, mocking wind, Pu Jun, mythical beast, Ba Xia, quod, chi kiss, none of the nine sons of the dragon from the ancient mythology, in There is no record in the "Shanhaijing". But the nine sons of the dragon in the oldest six under, that is, the dragon turtle, its prototype is the Great Yu's mount xuan tortoise. The significance of the myth of "nine sons born to dragons, each different from the other" does not lie in exactly which kinds of descendants the dragons have, but in the fact that even if they are full siblings, their personalities and appearances can be completely different.
The phoenix breeds nine chicks
Compared to the "dragon gave birth to nine sons", the legend of the phoenix breeding nine chicks is more unverifiable. In the ancient texts, "phoenix breeding nine chicks" is a very vague concept, just a term, there is no which ancient books record the phoenix breeding which nine chicks. The ancient text that records "the phoenix nurtures nine chicks" is "The Book of Jin", which reads as follows: "In the second month of the fourth year of Shengping, the phoenix will see nine chicks in Fengcheng." Other than that, there is no more record of "phoenix breeding nine chicks" in ancient texts.
What does the phrase "the phoenix raises nine chicks" mean here?
Phoenix in ancient mythology is a kind of auspicious bird, the appearance of the phoenix represents the four seas rise to peace and the country is at peace. The book of Jin describes this, the original meaning is that the wind and rain, people live a very happy life, and also the emergence of the phoenix bird, which is a kind of auspicious omen. As for the phoenix in the end bred which "nine chicks", in fact, all the later forced to put together, the "Book of Jin" is not recorded.
Because there is no record in the ancient texts, so the "phoenix breeding nine chicks" has a variety of sayings, each is different. But in the various "phoenix nine chicks" argument, there are two sacred birds is fixed, that is, the peacock and the roc.
Peacock and roc are the descendants of the phoenix, this statement from the "Journey to the West", and the ancient mythology has no connection. In the "Shanhaijing", there is no peacock and roc. In addition to the peacock and the roc, the "phoenix nine chicks" in the other seven sacred birds, the author can close his eyes to give you twenty kinds.
So far, we have explained that the dragon gave birth to nine sons, the phoenix nurtured nine chicks are not part of ancient myths, are only folklore. Is there any record of the descendants of dragons and phoenixes in ancient mythology? Yes, there are not only the records of the descendants of the dragon and phoenix, but also the records of their ancestors.
In the ancient mythological text "Huainanzi", the descendants of the dragon and the phoenix are recorded. The Huainanzi records: "Yujia gives birth to the flying dragon, the flying dragon gives birth to the phoenix, the phoenix emperor gives birth to the luan bird, the luan bird gives birth to the common bird, where the feather is born to the common bird." If according to the Huainanzi, "Yujia" is the ancestor of the dragon, the phoenix is the descendant of the dragon, and all the mortal birds are the descendants of the phoenix.
In the "Shanhaijing", there is no record of the offspring of the dragon and the phoenix. But the "Shanhaijing" recorded that the candle dragon had a son called "drum", the "drum" is indeed a bit of heavenly gods, but he does not have any dragon characteristics, and did not inherit the vast divine power of the candle dragon. Drum usually domineering, not doing good. After the emperor knew, the emperor sent two random gods to catch the drum, and finally the drum was turned into a magic bird by the emperor.