The Moon and The Thunders

The Sun, which lives in the Upper World, is the principal symbol of purity and is female. The Moon, which is the Sun's brother, is the ruler of the night, and his face is smudged after the myth, The Moon and the Thunders. The Creeks call the Sun, "The Master of Breath," probably from the myth of the creation of the Creek clans. The Sun is represented by the Fire in This World.

The Sun was a young woman and lived in the East, while her brother, the Moon, lived in the West. The girl had a lover who used to come every month in the dark of the Moon to court her. He would come at night and leave before daylight. Although she talked with him, she could not see his face in the dark, nor would he tell her his name.

All the time, she was wondering who it could be... At last, the Sun thought of a plan to find out. The next time he came, as they were sitting together in dark of the asi, she slyly dipped her hand into the cinders and ashes of the fireplace and rubbed it on his face, saying, "Your face is cold; you must have suffered from the wind." She pretended to be very sorry for him, but he did not know that she had ashes on her hand. After a while, he left her and went away again.

The next night, when the Moon came up in the sky, his face was covered with spots. Then his sister knew he was the one who had been coming to see her He was so ashamed to have her know that he kept as far away as he could at the other end of the sky all night. Ever since, he tries to keep a long way behind the Sun. When he does sometimes have to come near her in the West, he makes himself as thin as a ribbon so that he can hardly be seen.

When the Sun or Moon is eclipsed, it is because a great frog up in the sky is trying to swallow it. Everybody knows this, even the Creeks and other tribes. In the olden times, before the great Medicine Men were all dead, whenever they saw the Sun grow dark, the people would come together and fire guns and beat the drum. In a little while, this would frighten off the great frog, and the Sun would be alright again.

The common people call both the Sun and the Moon "Nvda." One is "Nvda that Dwells in the Day," and the other is "Nvda that Dwells in the Night." The priests call the Sun "Sutalidihi" or "Six-Killer," and the Moon "Geyaguga," though nobody knows now what this word means or why they use these names. Sometimes people ask the Moon not to let it rain or snow.

The Great Thunder and his two sons, the Thunder Boys, live far in the West above the sky vault. The lightning and the rainbow are their beautiful dress. The priests pray to the Thunder and call him "The Red Man" because that is the color of his dress. There are other Thunders that live lower down, in the cliffs and the mountains, and under waterfalls, and travel on invisible bridges from one high peak to another where they have their town houses. The great Thunders above the sky are always kind and helpful when we pray to them, but these others are always plotting mischief. One must not point at the rainbow, or one's finger will swell at the lower joint.

As mentioned in the above myth, when the Moon or the Sun is eclipsed, the belief is that a great frog is trying to swallow it. This states that even the Creeks and other tribes would try to frighten the frog away. This goes back further than that to the Mississippian Mound Period. This is evident from the French description of the Natchez doing the same thing to frighten the frog away. The myth also states that great Medicine Men are all dead at this time. These great Medicine Men are the ancients of the Mound culture. Their medicine had to be significantly superior to the historical Medicine Men, as there is no reference found anywhere using the word "great" in connection with Medicine Men.

Mentioned in the myth are words used by priests to call the Sun and the Moon. The meaning of the word for Sun is translated, but the meaning of the word for Moon is lost according to the myth, but means "Red Killer."