“Humans have always shared the world with animals and, as prehistoric cave paintings attest, animals have always exerted an endless fascination over people’s minds. We have hunted animals, worked with them, and even worshipped them.” —The Illustrated Book of Myths, Tales and Legends of the World retold by Neil Philip.
Queztzalcoatl is the Mayan bird/serpent god who started off as “perfect good.” He was so good, in fact, his brother, Tezcatlipoca, was rather put off by his sibling’s insufferable righteousness. Long story short, Queztzalcoatl ends up in the Land of the Dead, and returning to create mankind out of his bones and blood. He helps them navigate their way through learning how to grow maize, polish jade, weave, and become great artisans.
Then it was time to go; humans needed to fend for themselves. This is one of the most perfect explanations for a deity’s absence I have ever read. “You can do it, folks! Promise! I have given you all the tools you will need to build a happy, peaceful existence for yourself!”
But…if he returns, does it signal the end of the world, or another renewal?