Guide to the Gods 1.0
Ba... to Be...
Early Egyptian ram god of Mendes in Lower Egypt. He was a fertility deity whom women worshipped in the hope that he would aid them in conceiving children. See also Banebdjedet.
Egyptian term for a spiritual power, later for the manifested form of a god.
Chinese goddess of drought. According to some sources, she was the daughter of the emperor-god Huang Ti (Huang-Di).
Semitic word meaning 'lord' or 'master'. West Semitic (Canaanite) vegetation deity and national god.
Phoenician god of Byblos whose cult spread to Carthage, either as a god of fertility or of the underworld.
God of Byblos.
West Semitic weather god and 'lord of the plain' in Lebanon, after whom the city of Baalbek was named.
"Lord of thunder". Syrian god of storms and weather. He lived on Mount Sapan, and was often referred to as Baal Sapan.
Supreme god of Phoenician Carthage, worshipped primarily as a fertility god and secondarily as an oracular god.
Middle Eastern goddess of love, the moon and the Underworld; trees, springs and wells; predecessor of Ishtar.
An oracular Canaanite god worshipped on Mount Carmel.
West Semitic (Phoenician) local tutelary god.
Syrian god in the area of modern Beirut, probably a god of healing.
"Lord of Peor". Moabite god mentioned in the Old Testament (Numbers xxv, 3; Hosea xi, 10).
Carthaginian (Punic) god associated with two mountain peaks near Carthage.
Phoenician god, probably a celestial deity, worshipped in places as widely spread as Syria, northern Mesopotamia, Cyprus and Carthage.
Head of West Semitic (Phoenician) pantheon.
(Ugaritic Baal Sapan)
Canaanite god, protector of mariners, worshipped on Mount Sapon.
God of sailors.
Sumerian tutelary goddess of the city of Lagash, also a goddess of healing. Daughter of the sky god An, she was the consort of the fertility god Ningirsu.
Hungarian spirit being, initially similar to a fairy, but later took on many of the characteristics of a witch.
Ogress of East European folklore. She lives in the forest, and is portrayed as travelling through the air in an iron cauldron at the head of a host of spirits.
Egyptian demonic god. Depicted as a baboon with an erect penis. Babi was both a dangerous god who was said to live on human entrails and a god associated with sexual prowess in the afterlife. Mentioned in the Books of the Dead, he attended the ceremony of the Weighing of the Heart in the Hall of the Two Truths, waiting with Ammut to devour the souls of those found unworthy. His penis was depicted being employed as the mast of the underworld ferry.
Mayan gods of the four heavenly directions. Mulac was associated with the north, Cauac with the south, Kan with the east, and Ix with the west.
Evil spirit (loa) in Haitian voodoo, represented by a skull and crossbones.
Berber cave deity of North Africa during the Roman Empire.
Roman god of wine and intoxication, equated with the Greek Dionysos. His cult was introduced to Rome circa 400 BC and was closely modelled on that of Dionysos. The object of a secret cult whose rites, the Bacchanalia, were infamous for their sexual license and criminal behaviour. Bacchus was also known as Liber (although the latter was sometimes regarded as a separate entity), and under this name was honoured in the festival of the Liberalia.
Goddess of farming of Chibche people of Colombia.
Mayan god of male sexuality.
(The Badb, Bodb)
Irish (Celtic) goddess of war. She formed part of a trinity of goddesses with Macha (Nemain) and the Morrigan. She often took the form of a crow or raven during war, when she was known as Badb Catha, 'battle raven'. She often took part in battles, influencing their outcome, and led the Tuatha de Danaan to victory over the Fomore at the mythical battle of Magh Tuireadh (Moytura).
Minor sky god of Haitian voodoo.
Hindu: 1 of 10 mahavidyas.
Old Iranian name for God.
Ancestral brothers of the Karadjeri in NW Australia. Sons of the earth goddess Dilga, they were the first living beings on the earth. Before them there were not even plants and trees. Eventually they decided to die, and their spirits rose up into the sky.
Hindu: 1 of 10 mahavidyas.
West African animistic spirit believed to control the wind.
Kafir (Afghanistan) god of flood waters and prosperity. Born by the goddess Disani after she had been raped by a demon in the shape of a ram.
Urartian goddess, wife of the tutelary god Haldi.
Supreme being and creator god of the Wiradyuri and Kamilaroi peoples of Australia.
Twin-god of Caribbean people.
Hindu mother goddess.
Jain messenger goddess.
Hindu: child form of Krishna.
"Jaguar". Mayan guardian deities who protect people in their daily lives and the community from external threats.
Buddist philosophical deity: 1 of 12 paramitas.
Indian (Hindu) god of agriculture; incarnation (eighth avatara) of Visnu. Son of Vasudeva and Devaki, Balarama and his brother Krishna were transferred before birth in the womb of Rohini to protect them from a demon-king. Krishna was dark-skinned, and Balarama white. His consort is Revati and his sons are Nisatha and Ulmuka.
Dravidian (Tamil) goddess who presides over 6 cakras (prayer wheels).
(Old Icelandic Baldr; Baldur)
Norse god, variously considered a god of light or a god of vegetation. Son of Odin and Frigg. Invulnerable to all weapons, the trickster god Loki discovered that the mistletoe was the one thing which could harm Balder and tricked the blind god Hodur into shooting a branch of it at him, thus killing him.
Indian demon, ruler of the underworld, and enemy of the gods. His power over earth and heaven was wrested from him by Vishnu in the avatara of Vamana.
Irish (Celtic) god of death, King of the Fomorians. Son of Buarainech, husband of Cethlenn (Cathlionn). Balor had one eye which had the power of striking dead anyone who looked into it. At the Battle of Magh Tuireadh (Moytura) he slew Nuada but was slain in turn by the god Lug. It had been prophesied that Balor would be killed by his own grandson. To prevent this, he had his only daughter Ethlinn locked up in a crystal tower on Tory Island. But Cian, one of the rival Tuatha De Danaan, managed to reach Ethlinn with the aid of a druidess named Birog, and slept with her. Ethlinn gave birth to a boy, which Balor discovered and threw into the sea. The druidess Birog saved the boy, who was subsequently fostered by the sea god Manannan Mac Lir, and the boy grew to become Lugh Lamhfada of the Long Arm, or Lug.
Pre-Islamic Arabian goddess associated with the planet Venus, worshipped at Carrhae in northwest Mesopotamia.
Bagandan gods of earth, death, the rainbow, lightning and plague.
Goddess representing the spirit of Ireland. Part of a trinity with the goddesses Fotla and Eire. She appears to have been a fertility goddess as well as a goddess of war.
Group of Singhalese gods superior to the Yaksas.
(Ba Neb Tetet, Banebdedet, Baneb Djedet, Banaded)
Egyptian ram god of Lower Egypt. Consort of the fish goddess Hatmehyt and father of Harpokrates. Depicted in anthropomorphic form with the head of a ram. His cult was centered on Mendes in the Nile Delta. According to one tradition, he interceded in the contest between Horus and Seth for the Egyptian throne. Banebdejedet advised the gods to consult the goddess Neith, who advised them to award the throne to Horus. In this account, he was said to reside on the island of Seheil near the first cataract of the Nile at Aswan.
Ngbandi (northern Zaire) god of clear waters.
"He who blows the waves". Lithuanian god of the sea.
Slavonic god of the bath.
See Bean Sidhe.
"That Soul". Minor Egyptian god of malevolent aspect.
Ossetian (Caucasus region) ruler of the world of the dead. He directs the souls of the dead to their proper places in either paradise or oblivion.
Gnostic mother of the Archon Ialdaboath.
Albanian elf-like beings who dwell under the earth.
Old Armenian god, possibly of weather and the sky. Probably derived from the Semitic (Syrian) god Baal Samin.
Basque spirit of woods and caves who protects flocks and herds.
Pre-Islamic god of south Arabia, possibly a god of healing. His name seems to be derived from balsam, a plant often used in remedies.
Mythical king of the serpents.
Egyptian cat goddess. A goddess of the home and of the domestic cat, although she sometimes took on the war-like aspect of a lioness. Daughter of the sun god Re, although sometimes regarded as the daughter of Amun. Wife of Ptah and mother of the lion-god Mihos. Her cult was centered on her sanctuary at Bubastis in the delta region, where a necropolis has been found containing mummified cats. Bast was also associated with the 'eye of Re', acting as the instrument of the sun god's vengeance. She was depicted as a cat or in human form with the head of a cat, often holding the sacred rattle known as the sistrum.
Egyptian cow goddess of fertility. Primarily a deity of Upper Egypt. She was depicted as a cow or in human form with cow's ears and horns.
Western Semitic mother goddess of Syria. Baubo passed into Greek Orphic belief through Anatolia, figuring as a demoness.
The Chinese Taoist 'Eight Immortals'. Originally mortal, they achieved immortality as a result of the high moral quality of their lives. They are: Kao Kuo-Zhu, Han Xiang-Zhi, He Xian-Ku, Lan Kai- He, Li Thieh-Kuai, Lu Tong-Pin, Zhang Kuo-Lao and Zhong-Li Kuan. Amulets and charms bearing the symbols of these deities are commonly worn for good luck.
An Irish goddess of the Tuatha De Danaan, associated with a magic well.
Popularly known as banshee, a type of Irish god or fairy whose wailing warned of approaching death. Literally, 'woman of the hills', indicating the demotion of the old Irish gods to the status of fairies.
Pre-Islamic north Arabian god of Palmyra.
Irish goddess who married the High King Conn after being banished to the human world.
Popularly translated as 'lord of the flies', but more probably meaning 'Baal the prince'. Tutelary god of the Phoenicians.
Creator god of the Lengua people of South America.
Demoness of midwinter in the folklore of northern Italy.
Navaho great god.
"Hidden coat of mail". War god of Tibetan Lamaism. Beg-tse wears a coat of mail, a garland of human heads and a crown in the shape of a skull.
Fish god of Fon in Dahomey. Behanzin was called upon by fishermen to ensure a bountiful catch.
Egyptian god in the form of a crouching falcon. Worshipped at Behdet (Edfu), he later was identified as a local form of the god Horus.
Hebrew behema = animal. Apocalyptic hippopotamus beast of Jewish eschatology (Job 40), later identified by Christians with Satan.
Ethiopian sea god.
"Master". Akkadian name applied to the gods En-lil and Marduk.
Supreme god and sky god of pre-Islamic Palmyra. His symbols were lightning bolts and an eagle.
Celtic god of war worshipped in Britain (primarily in the region of Wales). The name seems to mean 'fair shining one' (compare Belenus). Belatucadros was equated by the Romans with their god Mars.
"Shining" or "Fair Shining One". Celtic god, probably of fire or of the sun. His worship extended from northern Italy to Britain. He seems to have been identical with the Irish god Bile. His festival was Beltain on May 1 when purifying fires were lit and cattle driven between them before being allowed out onto the open pastures. Belenus was equated with Apollo by the Continental Celts. Several Latin writers refer to Belenus in connection with Aquitaine, Austria and northern Italy.
"Mistress of the gods". Mesopotamian (Babylonian-Akkadian) goddess of childbirth and mother goddess. Probably derived from the Sumerian Ninhursag.
"Mistress of the steppe". Babylonian goddess who serves as the record keeper of the underworld. She is the consort of the nomad god Martu.
In Judaism and Christianity, a name of the devil.
Sumerian moon goddess, sister of Dumuzi. Also an epithet of Geshtinanna.
God of the river Ribble among the British Celts.
Or Ninlil, Mesopotamian goddess of fertility.
Khond (Bengal) sun god.
Cappadocian goddess, a member of the retinue of the Mother Goddess Kybele. A syncretization of the Cappadocian mother goddess Ma and the Roman war goddess Bellona. Also known as Ma-Bellona.
Roman goddess of war, given variously as the wife or sister of the war god Mars. Her festival was June 3.
A generic title for a goddess in the Babylonian-Akkadian culture of Mesopotamia.
Thracian mother goddess, equated by the Greeks with Artemis.
Gypsy name for the devil.
Japanese Shinto and Buddhist goddess of eloquence and music, one of the seven Shichi-Fukujin, the gods of good luck.
Egyptian bird-like sun god. Linked with Atum, the better known sun god of Heliopolis. Said to have been self-created from the primeval ocean.
Basque mother goddess.
Khond (Bengal) vegetation goddess. Formerly the recipient of human sacrifice.
South German goddess, later a frightful spirit. The Perchten are named after her.
Gaulish goddess, probably the same as Brigit (q.v.).
Phrygian attendants of Kybele.
Norse primordial frost-giant.
Egyptian dwarf god believed to guard against evil spirits and misfortune. In contrast to the other Egyptian deities, who were usually depicted in profile, Bes was depicted full face. He was shown to be ugly and grotesque in appearance, with a large head, protruding tongue, bow legs and a bushy tail. He bore a plumed crown and wore the skin of a lion or panther. Despite his appearance, he was a beneficent deity and his appearance was meant to scare off evil spirits. He bore swords and knives to ward off evil spirits, as well as musical instruments which he used to create a din which would frighten them off. Bes aided the hippopotamus goddess Taweret in childbirth. He was originally the protective deity of the royal house of Egypt, but came to be a popular household deity throughout Egypt.
Egyptian goddess, a female version of Bes.
Norse goddess, mother of Odin. She was the daughter of Bolthorn, the wife of Bor, and the mother of the primordial gods Vili and Ve, in addition to Odin.
Phoenician (West Semitic) local tutelary god. First mentioned in the Ras Samra texts (a 14th century BC treaty between the Hittites and the Ugarits), numerous inscriptions from the 7th century BC forward indicate a significant rise in popularity. He also appears in the Biblical text of Jeremiah.