Guide to the Gods 1.0
An... to Aq...
Sumerian god of the heavens; supreme creator god and father of the Mesopotamian pantheon of gods. A primeval deity who, with the primordial earth goddess Ki, created the cosmos. This primordial pair bore a son, Enlil, who subsequently separated his parents into the earth and heaven, placing himself between them as the sky.
Irish goddess of the earth and fertility.
Ancient Iranian goddess of fertility. Possibly originated as a Semitic goddess related to Anath. Her cult included the practice of temple prostitution. The peacock and dove are both sacred to her. She became a river goddess in Zoroastrianism.
Hindu attendant god. 1 of 8 vasu deities who serve the god Indra.
Greek goddess of fate and necessity. Even the gods were subject to her dictates. Given her unalterable nature she was little worshipped until the advent of the Orphic mystery cult.
Ashanti spider trickster deity. He was the representative of the supreme god until his place was usurped by the chameleon.
Hindu snake god.
Buddhist deification of literature.
Hindu: 1 of 8 vidyesvaras.
"The Syrian goddess": Phoenician, Canaanite, Ugaritic earth goddess, goddess of love and war. She was the sister of the god Baal, and played an important part in the story of Baal's death and resurrection. She buried Baal, then avenged him against Mot, his slayer, and later sought Baal out and retrieved him from the underworld. Anat was adopted by the Egyptians under Ramses II (c. 1300 BC).
Malevolent deity of the Karaya of eastern Brazil. He was responsible for the deluge which engulfed the world in Karaya myth.
Bella Coola river goddess.
Navaho 'alien gods', enemies of men.
Pre-Islamic oracular god of south Arabia.
Romano-Celtic water goddess of continental Europe.
Gallic (Celtic France) fertility goddess.
Egyptian underworld god. His worship originated in the ninth nome of Lower Egypt. His cult center was at Busiris. Andjety was responsible for the rebirth of the individual in the afterlife. Depicted in anthropomorphic form, he wore a high conical crown surmounted by two feather plumes, and bore the crook and flail. He was associated with Osiris, whose symbols were also the crook and flail as well as the 'atef' crown which resembled that worn by Andjety.
Goddess of war in Celtic Britain. Queen Boudicca (Latin Boadicea), leader of a rebellion against the Roman occupation, reportedly sacrificed captive Roman women to this god in AD 61.
Nordic dwarf, possessed a great treasure.
British-Celtic tribal deity.
In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, intermediary beings between God and humanity.
Roman goddess of secrecy. Her festival was 21 December, the winter solstice.
Hindu angels who presided over sacrifices.
Goddess of the Marsi in ancient Italy. A goddess of healing.
Zoroastrian chthonic underworld god of darkness. See Ahriman.
Nordic giantess, mother by Loki of Hel, Fenrir, and the Midgard Serpent.
Angus of the Brugh
(Aonghus, Oengus of the Bruig, mac Oc)
Irish (Celtic) god of youth. See Aengus.
Supreme being of Inuit.
(Anhert, Anhuret, Greek Onuris)
Egyptian warrior and hunter god. His cult originated in the Upper Egyptian city of This (Thinis), near Abydos. His consort was the lion goddess Mekhit. He was depicted as a bearded warrior wearing a long robe and a headdress with four tall plumes, often bearing a spear. He is often shown accompanied by Mekhit. Anhur was the champion of Egypt who hunted and slew the enemies of the sun god Re. He was sometimes equated with the god Shu. The Ptolemaic Greeks equated him with Ares. His main cult center was at Sebennytos in the Nile Delta.
Etruscan sky-god or god of heaven. Sometimes equated with the Roman Janus.
Hindu: 1 of 8 vasu deities.
Animistic fertility spirit of the aboriginal Australians of Queensland.
Tamil (Hindu-Dravidian) guardian goddess.
God of the sea among the Chukchi of eastern Siberia.
Indian vegetation goddess.
Form of Hindu god of Visnu.
Roman goddess of the circle of the year. She was worshipped in a grove to the north of Rome. Her festival was celebrated on the full moon of the first month of the Roman year (our March 15: the Ides of March).
Sumerian seven judges of hell.
Hindu minor sun god.
Sumerian god of the celestial world, Akkadian god of the horizon and king of the gods.
Anshar and Kishar
(Ansar and Kisar)
Mesopotamian primordial deities. They figure in the Babylonian creation epic Enuma Elish.
Greek god of passion. Son of Ares and Aphrodite.
Roman goddess of the future.
Egyptian guardian deity. Depicted as a falcon or with a falcon's head.
Babylonian-Akkadian (Mesopotamia) creator goddess. She was the consort of Anu, the god of heaven. He cult centers were at Uruk and Babylon. She was apparently derived from the Sumerian goddess Ki.
Heaven-god of Mesopotamia, the Babylonian-Akkadian version of the supreme god of the Sumerians. With the god Enlil and Ea, he formed the supreme triad of Babylonian-Akkadian religion. He was regarded as the father and king of the gods. His consort was the goddess Antu.
Egyptian god of the dead, represented as a black jackal or dog, or as a man with the head of a dog or jackal. His parents were usually given as Re in combination with either Nephthys or Isis. After the early period of the Old Kingdom, he was superseded by Osiris as god of the dead, being relegated to a supporting role as a god of the funeral cult and of the care of the dead. The black colour represented the colour of human corpses after they had undergone the embalming process. In the Book of the Dead, he was depicted as presiding over the weighing of the heart of the deceased in the Hall of the Two Truths. In his role as psychopomp he was referred to as the "conductor of souls". The Greeks later identified him with their god Hermes, resulting in the composite deity Hermanubis. His principal sanctuary was at the necropolis in Memphis and in other cities. Anubis was also known as Khenty- Imentiu - "chief of the westerners" - a reference to the Egyptian belief that the realm of the dead lay to the west in association with the setting sun, and to their custom of building cemeteries on the west bank of the Nile.
(Anqet, Anquet, Greek Anukis)
Egyptian goddess personifying the Nile as nourisher of the fields, and particularly associated with the lower cataracts near Aswan. She also appears to have been a protective deity of childbirth. Her principal sanctuary was at Elephantine. She was variously considered the daughter of Re, Khnum or Satis. Depicted in human form, bearing a crown topped with ostrich feathers. Her sacred animal was the gazelle.
Micronesian sky god.
Babylonian-Akkadian mother goddess.
(Anunnaki, Anukki, Enunaki)
Sumerian title for the pantheon of a given locality. In Assyria and Babylonia, the Anunnaku were the lower order of gods as opposed to those who dwelled in heaven, the Igigi.
Hindu goddess of fortune. Daughter of Daksa and wife of Candra (Soma).
Great snake of the Ewe people of Togo.
The doorkeeper of Ellil, depicted as a lion-headed eagle. He was often shown in the iconographic pose known as the master of animals'.
Chinese gods of rain and the sea; the four dragon kings: Ao Chin, Ao Jun, Ao Kuang and Ao Shun.
Boeotian (Greek) muse of song.
Central Nigerian creator god.
Hindu: 1 of 8 vasu deities.
Inca guardian spirit. Represented by a pile of stones by the side of mountain passes and trails. He was invoked by travellers to safeguard their journeys.
One of the Ahuras in Old Iranian religion, a beneficent god who is the giver of water to man.
Hindu god of fresh water.
Ugandan creator god.
1. Hindu: 1 of 11 ekadasarudras (forms of Rudra).
2. Buddhist (Mahayana) minor god.
3. Hindu (Puranic) goddess (form of Durga). Terrible in appearance; shown trampling Ganesha under foot.
4. Buddhist (Mahayana) goddess.
Sudanese (Meroe) war god. Depicted with a lion's head and a human body. The elephant and cattle were sacred to him.
Egyptian snake god. The eternal enemy of the sun god Re and of the cosmic order. He was the personification of darkness, evil and of the forces of chaos. Each night he did battle with Re on his journey through the underworld on the barque of the sun, and each night Re triumphed to be reborn at dawn in the east. Often it was the god Seth or the serpent Mehen who weredepicted defending Re and the solar barque. Occasionally, Apep would gain a temporary victory, causing an eclipse, but Re always triumphed in the end. In one variant Egyptian account, Re finally gained a permanent victory over Apep, cutting up and burning his body.
Carian fertility goddess. The Greeks equated her with Aphrodite.
Greek goddess of beauty and sexual love. According to one legend she was born from the ocean foam after Kronos castrated Ouranos and tossed his genitals into the sea. In this version Aphrodite is held to mean "foam born", derived from the Greek word aphros, or "foam". This theory is bolstered by the fact that Aphrodite was worshipped as a goddess of the sea and seafarers in much of the Greek world. Homer, however, portrays her as the daughter of Zeus and Dione, and the fickle spouse of the lame smith god Hephaistos. Her most famous lover was Ares, the god of war, by whom she was mother to Anteros, Deimos, Eros, Harmonia and Phobos. She is also the mother of Aeneas and Lyrus by Anchises, Hermaphroditus by Hermes, Eryx by Poseidon, and Priapus by Dionysus.
Aphrodite is commonly held to be an import from Anatolia, and her most important sanctuaries were on the islands of Cyprus (including Paphos and Amathus) and Cythera, while her chief sanctuary on the Greek mainland was at Corinth. In Athens, she was honoured in the festival of the Arrephoria. She has many characteristics in common with Middle Eastern fertility goddesses such as Astarte and Ishtar. Aphrodite was regarded as the patron goddess of prostitutes, and as a promoter of fertility. Her epithets included Anadyomene (sea born), Genetrix (creator), Eupoloios (fair voyage), and Pandemos (of all the people).
(Greek form; Egyptian Hape, Hapi)
Egyptian bull god of Memphis. Originally a form of the Nile god Hapi, later regarded as the living embodiment of the god Osiris. Apis was represented by a black and white bull selected on the basis of distinguishing markings. His priests derived omens from his behavior. When an Apis bull died, it was buried with much ceremony at Sakkarah. His cult later became widespread among the Greeks and the Romans.
(Greek form; Egyptian Hapi, Hape)
Egyptian bull god of Memphis. Originally a form of the Nile god Hapi, later regarded as the living embodiment of the god Ptah. Isis was supposed to have conceived him after being struck by a flash of lightning. After death he was said to become, or enter, the god Osiris. Apis was represented by a black and white bull selected on the basis of distinguishing markings: all black save for a white triangular patch on the forehead. His priests derived omens from his behavior. When an Apis bull died, it was mummified and buried with much ceremony at Sakkarah in an underground tomb known to the Greeks as the Serapeum. His priests then searched for a calf with the appropriate markings that indicated that it was his successor. The Egyptian pharaohs were closely associated with the Apis bull, partaking of his strength and fertility in life and aided in their ascent to the sun-god after death. In iconography, the Apis bull was depicted with the solar disk between its horns and also bearing the uraeus (cobra amulet) on its head.
Blackfoot (North American) god associated with Venus as the morning star.
Etruscan god of thunder and lightning, modelled on the Greek Apollo. Usually depicted with a wreath of laurel on his head and with a staff and a laurel twig in his hands.
Inca mountain god.
Inca god of lightning. He was also the chief priest of the Inca moon god.
A god of the Hambal-Aeta people of the Philippines.
Greek god who personified youthful masculinity. A god of many roles, including prophecy, music, medicine and hunting. Son of Zeus and Leto. His mother wandered from place to place until she found refuge on the island of Delos where she gave birth to the twins Apollo and Artemis. Apollo was often honoured as part of a triad with Leto and Artemis. Despite being the most widely worshipped of the Greek gods, he was considered remote from human affairs. Apollo was the father of Asklepios, the god of healing, by Coronis. Coronis was later shot by Artemis as punishent for her infidelity to Apollo. However, Apollo himself had many lovers. Of his many love interests, Daphne is famous for having been transformed into a laurel in her efforts to flee the god. Thereafter, the laurel was sacred to Apollo. Cassandra also rejected the god's advances, and was punished by being made to utter true prophecies which no one would believe.
One of Apollo's more famous deeds was the slaying of a legendary monster known as the Python, only a few days after his birth. Subsequently the oracle of Pytho was renamed Delphi after the Greek word for dolphin (delphis), in which form Apollo had appeared. The god's medium at the oracle, a woman at least fifty years old, continued to be known as the Pythia. The slaying of the Python was re-enacted every eight years at the Delphic festival of the Stepterion. Apollo also had oracles at Delos and Tenedos. Apollo's epithets included Lykeios (wolf god) as protector against wolves, Smintheus (mouse god) as the protector of crops against mice, Delius in honour of his birthplace, and Phoebus (bright, or shining) in his capacity as a solar god. In Greek art, Apollo was depicted as a beardless youth, bearing a lyre, or equipped as a hunter with bow and arrow.
Greek form of Abaddon (qv).
Five Roman gods occupying a temple by the Appian aqueduct: Concordia, Minerva, Pax, Venus and Vesta.
Vedic water-spirits in India. They are seen as protective of musicians and gamblers. They can bring both good luck and insanity.
(Akkadian; Sumerian Abzu)
Babylonian god of the sweet-water ocean (or abyss) lying beneath the earth. In Sumerian myth, Abzu was the place where the goddess Nammu created the first humans out of clay. In Babylonian belief, Apsu and the promordial goddess Tiamat were the parents of the gods. In the Babylonian epic Enuma Elish, Apsu is killed by Enki, an event which results in the cosmic war between Tiamat and Marduk.
Inca god of thunder.
Fish god of the Kanei who inhabit the Polynesian island of Mangaia.
'Head of the day'; another name for the Inca Sun. See Inti.
Ugaritic hero whose slaying results in drought.
Roman weather god, associated with the north wind (the Greek Boreas).