Like all children, I went through my “mythology” phase. Egyptian, Norse, Greek– I ate them all up to the extent that was available in my local library (pre-internet). Those gods and their stories became familiar to me in a formative time in my life, and echoes still linger in the recesses of my brain. I may never have learned to properly pronounce any of their names and might not remember most of the stories today, but when I hear them again it pokes a dark corner of my brain and my ears prick up, as it were.
Right now I’m reading the Tain and studying specifically Irish mythology. I never got around to them before my interests shifted and I moved on to other things, so I’m reading these stories for the first time. I’m not sure if it’s a function of the places I’m finding these stories in (Wikipedia articles and dry, scholarly works on Religion in Ireland), but these gods feel so much flatter to me. Their stories, as far as I can tell, are smaller and focused on who stole who’s cattle, who is sleeping with who’s wife (with no speaking roles for any of the women), and what Cathbad said about someone else.
If there are stories about the Beginning and the End, I haven’t found them yet. I’ve yet to discover the great drama that I’d found in the Norse stories, or the deeply fascinating personality quirks of the Greeks. Both of those traditions also have a wealth of derivative works surrounding them, adding color and life to stories that may seem just as flat in their original forms. Maybe it’s part of my job to find that color in the Irish stories and share it with others?
I’m really not sure, but if you have any thoughts or recommendations, I would greatly appreciate it!