Guide to the Gods 1.0
Pn... to Pz...
Minor Greek god of healing. Son of Asklepios. He was a doctor in the Greek army which besieged Troy. He was known as the "Great Healer" in Greek Anatolia and Thessaly.
Roman goddess of punishment.
Slavonic spirit of the field.
North Russian field goddess.
Greek Muse of song. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. According to some traditions, she was the mother of Orpheus by Oeagrus.
Roman goddess of fruit trees. After spurning the advances of many suitors, she eventually became the wife of the god Vertumnus, although some sources make her the wife of Picus.
Sky-god of the Yukagir of east Siberia.
"Sea". Greek sea god. Son of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth). He may be identical with Okeanos (qv). His mother Gaia became his consort for a time, producing the sea gods Nereus and Phorkys.
Slavonic god of the island of Rugen. He was depicted with four heads, which, according to Saxo Grammaticus, faced the four cardinal directions.
Micronesian supernatural being.
Roman god of gates, doors and harbours. In other words, a god associated with the entrance to both the city and the home. As a god of ports, he came to be equated with the Greek Melicertes. His festival, the Portunalia, was celebrated on Auguts 17. At his festival, keys were thrown into the fire in order to bless them. He was depicted as a youth bearing keys.
Roman god of plenty.
Greek god of the sea. Son of Kronos and Rhea. He and his siblings were swallowed by Kronos, but they were later rescued by their brother Zeus. The brothers Zeus, Poseidon and Hades later divided the world among themselves, with Poseidon receiving dominion over the sea. His chief consort was Amphitrite. Father of Antaios, Orion and Polyphemos. Poseidon was secondarily a god of mariners (to whom he may send storms or a fair voyage), of waters in general, and of earthquakes. In the latter capacity he was known as Enosigaios or Enosichthon, meaning "earth-shaker".
Athena defeated Poseidon in their famous contest for the allegiance of Athens. While Poseidon offered humanity the boon of the horse, Athena offered the olive. Elsewhere, he helped Apollo build the walls of Troy. However, he became an implacable enemy of Troy after Laomedon refused to pay him, and he sided with the Greeks in the Trojan War.
Poseidon was closely associated with horses as Hippios ("of horses"), and the horse was sacred to him. He fathered many famous horses, including the winged Pegasus by the Gorgon Medusa, and another winged horse, Areon, by Erinys. In Corinth, horse-races were held in his honour. On Argos horses were sacrificed to him by drowning in a whirlpool.
Poseidon was generally depicted as an older, bearded man carrying a trident (the three-pronged fisherman's spear). There were temples at Cape Sunium, the southern-most tip of Greece, at Pylos in Crete, and Mount Mykale in Greek Anatolia. Freshwater springs were often consecrated to Poseidon as well. As an oracular deity, he had an oracle at Cape Tainairon and, according to one tradition, he was the first keeper of the oracle at Delphi. Regattas were held in his honour off Cape Sunium. Poseidon's chief festival was the Isthmia, scene of the Isthmian Games, celebrated near the Isthmus of Corinth.
Roman goddess of the past.
"Desire". Phoenician personification of desire as a divine primeval force.
Roman goddess associated with children's potions or the safe drinking ability of children.
Hindu lord of creation.
In the Vedas, the Prajapatis are the children created from the mind of Brahma.
Buddhist female principle.
Buddhist personification of a text of the same name.
God of Khmer people.
Khmer destructive god.
Mythical primeval god of the Khmer.
Old Illyrian goddess of love.
Hindu and Buddhist spirits of the dead.
Greek god of fertility. Son of Dionysos and Aphrodite. His cult originated in Phrygia and did not enter Greece proper until the rise of Macedonia under Phillip and Alexander. The cult remained most popular in Greek Anatolia, particularly at Lampsacus on the Hellespont, which was said to have been his birthplace. He was more popular in the country than in the cities.
Priapos was depicted as an ugly, satyr-like man with an enormous phallus. His fertility aspect evidenced itself in an indiscriminate sexual appetite, as well as in his role as a god of fruitfulness, notably of gardens, flocks of sheep and goats, and of vines. Ithyphallic statues of Priapos were often placed in gardens. The donkey was his sacred animal, from its presumed sexual appetite. He was also a patron of seafarers and fishermen.
Hindu goddess of the earth and darkness. The wife of Rudra and mother of the Maruts.
Hindu personification of the earth.
"Forethought". Greek god and culture hero. Son of the Titan Iapetos and Klymene. Prometheus is best known for the story of his conflict with Zeus. This began when Prometheus tricked Zeus into accepting the bones and fat of a sacrifice instead of the meat. Zeus retaliated by hiding fire from humanity, but Prometheus stole the fire and gave it to mankind. As punishment for this rebellion, Zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock in the Caucasus Mountains, where an eagle fed on his liver, which continually restored itself. Zeus also sent Pandora and her jar of evils to even the score with humanity. As for Prometheus, Herakles eventually killed the eagle and released him.
As a culture hero, Prometheus was also given credit for teaching humanity various handicrafts and arts, and he was considered a patron of craftsmen and artisans. According to another tradition, Prometheus actually created humanity, shaping the first man and woman out of clay and water.
Roman name for Greek goddess Persephone (qv).
Greek sea god. Commonly known as the "Old Man of the Sea". Son of Okeanos and Tethys. He was a shepherd of sea creatures , which were his particular concern as a god of the sea. Proteus had the ability to change shape at will, a common trait of Greek sea deities. He was also known for his oracular powers and vast knowledge, but had to be forced to divulge any of his knowledge. In such circumstances, he would use all his skills as a shape- shifter to escape. Proteus was said to live either on the island of Pharos near the mouth of the Nile, or on the island of Carpathus between Crete and Rhodes.
Roman goddess of forethought.
Serbian 'Lady Midday'.
Egyptian creator god. Also a god of artisans, designers, builders, metal workers, architects and masons, whose skills he was said to have created. His major cult center was at Memphis. At Memphis and Thebes his consort was the lioness goddess Sakhmet. Together with Sakhmet's son Nefertum, they formed the 'Memphite triad'. His sacred animal was the bull, and he was particularly represented by the Apis Bull at Memphis, which acted as an intermediary between the god and humankind. He was depicted in human form, tightly wrapped like a mummy, with shaven head or wearing a close fitting skull cap, holding the scepter of dominion composed of a 'djed' staff topped by the ankh (life) symbol.
According to one tradition (the Memphite creation myth), Ptah was the primary motive force in creation, thinking and speaking the cosmos into existence. (Elsewhere, he was said to have created the cosmos out of mud.) In this tradition, propagated by his priesthood, it was Ptah who was pre-eminent among the gods. He was said to have invented the 'opening of the mouth' ceremony restoring the faculties of life to the corpse by performing it on the mouths of the gods when he created them.
Gnostic Mandean demiurge.
Egyptian composite funerary god.
Sky god of the Toradja people of the Indonesian Celebes.
Hindu god of meeting.
A malevolent spirit or goblin known in northern Europe. Puck was his British name. He was known in Norway as Pukje, and in the Baltic area as Pukis.
Roman goddess of chastity. Depicted as a matronly figure wearing a veil or heavy clothing. Her cult went out of fashion with the increasing decadence of the Roman Empire.
Sun-god of Yukagir in eastern Siberia.
Chinese version of the Vedic sun god Pushan.
Eskimo goddess of clothes-making and childbirth.
Yurok (California) protector of mankind.
Thunder god of the Andaman Islanders in the Indian Ocean.
A Polynesian god.
Inca sun god. He was usually depicted as a warrior armed with darts.
Micronesian god who existed before earth and sky; world created from parts of his dead body.
Supreme god of Guyana.
Hindu primeval creator god. In some traditions Purusha was a primeval giant from whose body the gods formed the cosmos. In later Hinduism he came to be regarded as an avatar of Vishnu.
"Nourisher". Hindu sun god who was added to the list of Adityas when they were expanded from six to twelve. He is the charioteer of the sun and the guardian of travellers.
Sometime Celtic god of the Underworld.
(Piorun, Perun, Peron)