Ogoun  

Posted by Stella Clark

Ogoun Cover
Ogun (or Ogoun, Ogun, Ogou, Ogum) is a loa and orisha who presides over fire, iron, hunting, politics and war. He is the patron of smiths, and is usually displayed with a number of attributes: a machete or sabre, rum and tobacco. He is one of the husbands of Erzulie in Voo Doo, and is a husband of Oshun and Oya and a friend to Eshu in Yoruba mythology. Ogun is the traditional warrior and is seen as a powerful deity of metal work, similar to Ares and Hephaestus in Greek mythology and Visvakarma in classical Hinduism. He is also prominently represented as Saint George in the syncretic traditions of contemporary Brazil. As such, Ogun is mighty, powerful and triumphal, yet is also known to exhibit the rage and destructiveness of the warrior whose strength and violence must not turn against the community he serves. Perhaps linked to this theme is the new face he has taken on in Haiti which is not quite related to his African roots, that of a powerful political leader. He gives strength through prophecy and magic. It is Ogun who is said to have planted the idea in the heads of, led and given power to the slaves for the Haitian Revolution of 1804. Therefore, he is often called in the contemporary period to help people the people of Haiti to obtain a government more responsive to their needs.

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Sirsir  

Posted by Stella Clark

Sirsir Cover
Sirsir is a Babylonian and Akkadian god, the patron deity of mariners and boatmen. This name can be found in the fictional spell book based on the equally fictitious Necronomicon, and is presented there as one of the fifty names of Marduk. He is said to be the destroyer of Tiamat, and a "most powerful lord".

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Aine Celtic Goddess Of Faeries And Fertility  

Posted by Stella Clark

Aine Celtic Goddess Of Faeries And Fertility Cover
The goddess Aine is an emotional maelstrom, presenting a fierce and strong feminine voice wrapped in delicate gossamer dresses. She is a sun diety and a moon goddess, bringer of abundant fertility and harbinger of death. She is a lover of many, yet a survivor of sexual abuse. She is a healer who is not afraid to take life or wound the uncaring individual. She is a magickal temptress, as comfortable with the powers of everyday objects as with fantastic feats. Aine's power is undeniable, for it is the power of feeling, of acknowledging and owning true emotions.

Aine, goddess of the sun and daughter of a faerie king, is intimately linked to the brightest day of the year, the summer solstice. Until the early nineteenth century, farmers and peasants created bonfires on Cnoc Aine (the "hill of Aine") in the province of Munster on Midsummer Eve, seeking to honor the sun goddess. Lighting torches from the bonfire, they would parade through the crop fields and around their houses in order to ensure a good harvest. One year, the procession was not held, due to the death of one of the townsfolk. Yet, late that night, flickering torches from the Otherworld were seen floating around the hill with Aine in the lead of the Faerie celebratory march. Another time, several teenage girls lingered at the bonfire until they were all alone, Aine was said to go to them and ask the girls to leave the hill so "they could have the hill to themselves." With a wave of her arm, she allowed them a glimpse into her Land of Faerie, indicating exactly who wanted to romp on the hillside.

All of the anient goddesses and gods of Ireland are linked, in one way or another, to the faeries, the fair folk, the Good Neighbors. One theory of the origin of the faeries states that the Tuatha de Danann(the "people of the Goddess Danu," otherwise known as the gods and goddesses of Celtic Ireland) left the surface of the land of Ireland when the Milesians came to live on the island. After losing a particularly bloody battle, the Tuatha de Danann merely melt into the mists, entering into the earth, where they continue to live. As Christianity spread across the land, these older gods and goddesses were demonized and transformed into the diminutive faeries of Renaissance and Victorian literature. While all of the Tuatha de Danann are linked to the fair folk, Aine is one of the goddesses most closely connected to the faeries. Her festival at Midsummer, her highly fae-friendly family lineage, and the activites at her mound at Cnoc Aine all combine to create a faerie goddess.

Invocation to Aine

Aine speaks:

I am in love with beauty.
I am in love with youth.
And the hunger for it fills me.

The rays of the sun warm me
The grass tickles my feet.
Faerie laughter chimes in the distance,
Greeting my soul.

And the time has come to move...
To shift...to change...to take action.
The time has come to be bold and strong
and fight with insistent paint.

For I have felt your pain
And I have known the heat of unwanted love.
I have pushed through the hard soil
To stand on top of my hill.

For I am Aine,
Sweet and fickle and proud.
I am the land and the sun that warms her.
I am love...desire...fear...anger.

I am emotion.
Feel me now.

by Michelle Skye



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Hindu Goddess Durga  

Posted by Stella Clark

Hindu Goddess Durga Image
DURGA IS A WARRIOR HINDU GODDESS WHO IS DEPICTED AS HAVING TEN TO EIGHTEEN ARMS; SHE RIDES OUT OF THE SKY ON BACK OF AN ENORMOUS, FIERCE-LOOKING TIGER AND CARRIES VARIOUS SACRED WEAPONS IN HER HANDS. SHE PROMISED TO PROTECT THE WORLD. THIS WARRIOR GODDESS IS CALLED UPON FOR PROTECTION AND HELP IN SETTING BOUNDARIES. SHE WAGES WAR AND DESTROYS THE FORCES OF EVIL THAT ATTACK HUMANITY. THE DEMONS ARE NOT OTHERWORLDLY CREATURES, BUT OUR THE FEARS AND ILLUSIONS OF HUMANKIND...THE EVILS OF JEALOUSY, PREJUDICE, AND THE EGO AS WELL AS THE SINFUL NATURE OF OF PEOPLE. SHE POSSESSES UNLIMITED POWER AND SIGNIFIES THE INEVITABLE TRIUMPH OF VIRTUE OF THE FORCES OF DARKNESS. DURGA IS A COMBINATION OF THE ENERGIES OF THE GREAT MALE DEITIES.

YET, DESPITE THE FACT THAT SHE COMES ACROSS AS THE FIERCE AND DANGEROUS WARRIOR, DURGA IS ALWAYS SHOWN WITH A SERENE SMILE ON HER FACE. SHE LETS NOTHING DESTROY HER SELF-CONFIDENCE. DURGA IS A VIRGIN GODDESS, BUT NOT IN THE SENSE THAT SHE HAS NO SEXUAL RELATIONS, BUT THAT SHE BELONGS TO NO ONE FULLY. SHE IS ALSO ONE OF THE CONSORTS OF SHIVA, THE DESTROYER, AND SHE SHARES A JOB WITH HIM--SLAYER OF THE DEMONS. HOWEVER, UNLIKE THE RELATIONSHIP OF SHIVA AND PARVATI, THEIR RELATIONSHIP IS A NON-SEXUAL ONE; INSTEAD, WE FIND THEM AS BATTLEFIELD BUDDIES. DURGA POSSESSES UNLIMITED POWER AND SIGNIFIES THE INEVITABLE TRIUMPH OF VIRTUE OVER DARKNESS.

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La Loba The Woman Wolf  

Posted by Stella Clark

La Loba The Woman Wolf Image
An old woman still lives among the broken slopes of the mountains in the land of the Tarahumara Indians. No one knows exactly where, though. She is sometimes seen standing along the highway near El Pasa, hauling wood, or hitching a ride. She is called "the bone woman,, La Loba. "She is the Earth Mother who wanders the earth collecting bones", "especially the bones of wolves. Legend has it that when She has collected enough bones to make a whole wolf, She begins to sing over the skeleton...and as She sings, the wolf begins to grow flesh and fur. And, the longer She sings, the stronger the wolf becomes; then it begins to breathe. Lo Loba keeps on singing, and the wolf leaps up and races off. And when a ray of light from the sun, or from the moon, strikes the wolf at just the right time and place, it becomes a woman, a laughing woman...and if you look closely, you may even be able to see Her running towards the horizon.

This is a powerful story which connects us to our true essence of being women...healers... a tale of shapeshifting and the power of breath. It serves as a reminder that we, as women, can step into our own inner strength to create and dream our dreams into being at any given moment. It speaks to us of "presence", of allowing us to choose life. Lo Loba is the guardian of the female instinct, of female traditions. She is urging us to change for our own good as well as for those of our descendants.

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Goddess Amana  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Amana Image
IN THE KALINA OF SOUTH AMERICA MYTHOLOGY, AMAN"A "(SHE WITHOUT A NAVAL) APPEARS AS THE FOUNDATION OF THE UNIVERSE. SHE IS THE GODDESS OF THE WATERS WHO WAS SIMULTANEOUSLY A MOTHER AND A VIRGIN WHO BROUGHT FORTH TWINS--"TAMUSI," THE GRANDFATHER OF THE MOON, AND "TAMULA," THE GOD OF HEAT PROTECTION. THEY SAY THAT SHE WAS NEVER BORN, THAT SHE EXISTS ETERNALLY. SHE IS THE PERSONIFICATION OF BOTH TIME AND ETERNITY.

ALL LIFE COMES FROM HER FOR IT IS SHE WHO BEGETS AND CONTAINS EVERYTHING THAT COMES TO BE." AMANA "HAS BORNE ALL BEINGS AND CAN TAKE ANY SHAPE. SHE LIVES IN THE WATERY "PLEIADES" IN THE FORM OF A DAZZLINGLY PRETTY WOMAN WHOSE BODY TAPERS INTO A SERPENT'S TAIL. SHE IS DEPICTED WITH PALE WHITE SKIN, LONG BLACK HAIR, AND DARK, BRILLIANT EYES. SHE RENEWS HERSELF CONTINUALLY BY SLOUGHING OFF HER SKIN. SHE ESPECIALLY RULES ALL WATER SPIRITS. SHAMANS COMMUNE WITH WITH HER FOR VISIONS AND HEALING. IT IS "AMANA" WHO PLEADS FOR MERCY WITH THE ANGRY SPIRIT THAT CAUSED THE PATIENT'S ILLNESS.

IN THE BEGINNING "AMANA", SEATED ATOP A TURTLE, RODE UPON THE WAVE WHICH WAS TO BECOME THE "MILKY WAY". SHE CREATED THE SUN FOR WARMTH, BUT HAD NOT ANTICIPATED HOW HOT IT WOULD BE, AND, ALAS, IT BURNED THE MOON. "AMANA "HAS TO KEEP IMMERSING THE SUN IN THE OCEAN TO PROTECT THE EARTH FROM ITS SCORCHING RAYS. HER TWO SONS HELP HER FIGHT ITS HEAT. DURING THE DAY, "TAMUSI "CUTS AWAY SUN RAY SERPENTS AND CASTS THEM INTO SPACE. AT NIGHT "TAMULA "COVERS THE SUN WITH LAYERS OF DARKNESS.

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Deities Of The Witches  

Posted by Stella Clark

Deities Of The Witches Cover
It is certain that the devils have
a profound knowledge of all things.
No theologian can interpret
the Holy Scriptures better than they can;
no lawyer has a more detailed knowledge
of testaments, contracts, and actions;
no physician or philosopher can better understand
the composition of the human body,
and the virtues of the heavens, the stars, birds and fishes,
trees and herbs, metals and stones.

A LIST OF DEITIES BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN WORSHIPPED BY ACCUSED WITCHES DURING THE MIDDLE AGES THROUGH THE RENAISSANCE PERIOD.

Aside from worshipping the Devil, witches were purported to have abased themselves to a bevy of other deities. Many of these goddesses, gods, devils, and demons (the classic horned devil included) were simply familiar deities of antiquity, sometimes given different names. Where an old god was deemed useful by the Church, it was simply converted into a saint.

The following did not make it into the Christians' good books:

Abonde, Abundia, Aradia, Ashtaroth, Asmodeus, Beelzebub, Belial, Cernunnos, Diana, Fraw Fenus, Fraw Holt, Fraw Selga, Gulfora, Hecate, Herodias, Holda, Leonard, Lilith, Mephistopheles, Minerva, Perchta, Put Satanachia, Satan, Satia, Venus, Verdelet.

Abonde

Intrinsically linked with the classical goddess Diana, Abonde also went by the names Abundia, Perchta, and Satia. Abonde led nocturnal hordes of witches through homes and cellars, eating and drinking all they could find. If food and drink were left as offerings, Abonde would bestow prosperity upon the occupants of the home. If nothing was left out for her and her followers, she would deny the denizens of her blessings and protection.

The Thesaurus pauperum of 1468 condemned "the idolatrous superstition of those who left food and drink at night in open view for Abundia and Satia, or, as the people said, Fraw Percht and her retinue, hoping thereby to gain abundance and riches." The same practice of offering drink, salt, and food to Perchta, "alias domine Habundie," on certain days had been taken note of and subsequently condemned in 1439 by Thomas Ebendorfer von Haselbach in De decem praeceptis.

According to Roman de la Rose, written at the end of the thirteenth century, third born children were obligated to travel with Abonde three times a week to the homes of neighbors. Nothing could stop these people, as they became incorporeal in the company of Abonde. Only their souls would travel as their bodies remained behind immobile. There was a downside to this astral projection: if the body was turned over while the soul was elsewhere, the soul would never return.
Bibliography. (Ginzburg 40-42)

Abundia

See Abonde, Diana, or Perchta.

Aradia

A corruption of Herodias, Aradia was identified with Diana. Herodias was directly responsible for the death of John the Baptist. According to C. G.
Leland, Aradia was worshipped by Italian witches. Aradia is still worshipped today by some neopagans.
Bibliography. (King 25)

Ashtaroth

Also known as Astaroth, Ashtaroth was usually depicted as an ugly demon riding a dragon and carrying a viper in his left hand. He was the Treasurer of Hell, and was also the Grand Duke of its western regions. He encouraged sloth and idleness.

Ashtaroth was one of two demons prayed to in the Black Masses of Catherine Monvoisin, Madame de Montespan (mistress of Louis XIV), and a 67-year-old priest by the name of Guibourg. (The other demon prayed to was Asmodeus.)

In 1678, Nicolas de la Reynie, Louis XIV's Lieutenant-General of Police, arrested these people along with 215 priests, sorcerers, and fortune tellers who had dabbled in black magic. 110 of these people were tried and sentenced. Some were hanged, some were exiled, and some were imprisoned for life. Of Guibourg, La Reynie said:
A libertine who has traveled a great deal...and is at present attached to
The Church of Saint Marcel. For twenty years he has engaged continually in
The practice of poison, sacrilege and every evil business. He has cut the
throats and sacrificed uncounted numbers of children on his infernal altar.
He has a mistress...by whom he has had several children, one or two of whom
he has sacrificed.... It is no ordinary man who thinks it a natural thing
to sacrifice infants by slitting their throats and to say Mass upon the
bodies of naked women.

It seems quite likely that Madame de Montespan was one of the living altars for Guibourg's masses. In one such mass, "at the moment of the bread and wine a child's throat was cut and its blood drained into the chalice. Simultaneously, a prayer was recited to the demons Ashtaroth and Asmodeus: 'Prince of Love, I beseech you to accept the sacrifice of this child...that the love of the King may be continued...'"

Shortly before the arrest of Guibourg and his cohorts, a sorcerous attempt was made upon the life of Louis XIV. An altered consecrated wine was prepared to be slipped into Louis XIV's food. In the wine was dried powdered bats, menstrual blood, semen, and, "to give consistency," flour.
Bibliography. (Masello 26) Bibliography. (King 110, 111)

Asmodeus

Asmodeus was one of the busiest demons. He was not only the overseer of all the gambling houses in the court of Hell, but the general spreader of dissipation.
On top of that, Asmodeus was the demon of lust, personally responsible for stirring up matrimonial trouble. Maybe it was because he came from the original dysfunctional family. According to Jewish legend, his mother was a mortal woman, Naamah, and his father was one of the fallen angels. (Or, possibly, Adam before Eve came along.) Characterized in The Testament of Solomon, the great manual of magic, as "furious and shouting," Asmodeus routinely did everything he could to keep husbands and wives from having intercourse, while encouraging them at every turn to indulge their pent-up drives in adulterous and sinful affairs. When he condescended to appear before a mortal, he did so riding a dragon, armed with a spear; he had three heads--one a bull's, one a ram's, and one a man's--as all three of these were considered lecherous creatures by nature. His feet, on the same theory, were those of a cock.

For information on a black mass held for Asmodeus, see Ashtaroth.
Bibliography. (Masello 26)

Beelzebub

Part of the Christian mythos, Beelzebub was one of the powerful seraphim first recruited by Satan. From his new home in Hell, Beelzebub discovered how to tempt people with pride. He became associated with flies because he had sent a plague of the insects to Canaan. He may also have become known as the "Lord of the Flies" because of the popular belief that decaying corpses generated flies.

Regardless, when summoned by sorcerers or witches, he would appear in the form of a fly.
Bibliography. (Masello 25)

Belial

Much has been made of Belial, one of the Devil's most venerable demons. As the demon of lies, he was immortalized in Milton's Paradise Lost (Book II):
A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seemed
For dignity composed and high exploit:
But all was false and hollow; though his tongue
Dropped manna, and could make the worse appear
The better reason, to perplex and dash
Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low;
To vice industrious, but to noble deeds
Timorous and slothful.

Before Satan had been the established leader of the forces of evil, Belial had been the undisputed regent of darkness. This view is reinforced in The War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness from one of the Dead Sea Scrolls:
"But for corruption thou hast made Belial, an angel of hostility. All his dominion is in darkness, and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and guilt."

Magician and necromancer Gilles de Rais attempted to summon both Belial and Beelzebub by using the severed body parts of a murdered child.
Bibliography. (Masello 27, 28)

Cernunnos

A Celtic god whose physical attributes came to be applied to those of Satan.
Known as the Horned God and as Hu Gadarn, Cernunnos was the god of nature, astral planes, virility, fertility, animals, sex, the underworld, reincarnation, and shamanism.
Bibliography. (van Hattem)

Diana

The classical moon goddess, Diana, is still worshipped by neopagans today. Long after Christianity's triumph over classical paganism, her worship is still going strong. St. Kilian, a Celtic missionary to the pagan Franks, was martyred when he attempted to persuaded the peasants to abandon their worship of this goddess.
A writing on the life of St. Caesarius offhandedly mentions "a demon whom simple folk call Diana."

Diana was the personification of the positive aspects of lunar forces. She was also believed to have led groups of nightriders (known as the "Wild Hunt" or the
"Furious Horde") who flew through the air. The "Wild Hunt" was comprised of
"people taken by death before their time, children snatched away at an early age, victims of a violent end." The goddess would accompany her followers as they wandered at night among the houses of the well-to-do. Whenever they would arrive at a home that was particularly well-kept, Diana would bestow her blessings upon it.

Many benandanti (from the Italian for "those who go well" or "good-doers") were followers of Diana. The benandanti were members of a fertility cult who were basically anti-witches and practicers of white magic. Nonetheless, they were tortured by the Inquisitors just the same as practicers of the black arts were.

Diana was intrinsically linked with several other witch deities, including Abonde, Abundia, Aradia, Hecate, Herodias, Holda, Perchta, Satia, and Venus.
Bibliography. (Ginzburg 40-46) Bibliography. (King 24)

Fraw Fenus

See Venus.

Fraw Holt

See Holda.

Fraw Selga

Fraw Selga is yet another goddess believed to have led the "Furious Horde." A Germanic deity, Fraw Selga was said to be the sister of Fraw Fenus (Venus), and like Venus and Diana, was referred to as "the mistress of the game." The processions following Fraw Selga "were composed of souls in purgatory, as well as of the damned who were suffering various punishments."

Fraw Selga could impart wisdom to her followers. She knew where buried treasure intended for the God-fearing could be found.

During Fraw Selga's conventicles (which took place during the Ember Days),
followers would partake in scrying. They stared into a basin "in which the fires of hell appeared," and they saw "likenesses of the members of the parish who were destined to die within the year."
Bibliography. (Ginzburg 51)

Gulfora

Gulfora, also known as the Queen of the Sabbat, was another goddess in the same vein as Holda, Perchta, and Diana. She led the Wild Hunt, which is also known as "the days of Jupiter."

In 1519, Girolamo Folengo wrote Maccaronea, which says,
Not only do old hags bestride cats and goats and pigs, but many
dignitaries too, and civic officials and those who administer justice
to the people in the august senate range themselves to be governed
under Gulfora's sway. They observe the days of Jupiter; they anoint
their limbs, hurrying to pay court to the Mistress, who is called
Gulfora.
Bibliography. (Wedeck 126)

Hecate

Perhaps the most notorious of all witch goddesses, Hecate was a dark manifestation of Diana. Hecate is the patron goddess of witches and sorceresses because of her skill in the arts of black magic. She is the queen of darkness, perverse sexuality, and death. Classically, she is the goddess of "roads in general and crossroads in particular, the latter being considered the center of ghostly activities, particularly in the dead of night.... Offerings of food (known as Hecate's suppers) were left to placate her, for she was terrible both in her powers and in her person--a veritable Fury, armed with a scourge and blazing torch and accompanied by terrifying hounds."

The followers of Hecate were rumored to have strange powers, such as that of being able to draw down the moon in order to employ the averse aspects of lunar forces. Followers could metamorphose into animals and birds, had insatiable sexual appetites, and had an intrinsic understanding of aphrodisiac and poisonous herbs. Witches in the service of Hecate had intense scatological interests, and in one classical account, were known to have "pissed long and vigorously" on the face of a man they captured. Indeed, one of the epithets of Hecate was "excrement-eating."

According to Apuleius, (a classical author who once stood trial himself on charges of black magic), witches' dens contained many questionable materials: incenses, the skulls of criminals who had been thrown to wild animals, metal discs engraved with occult signs, small vials of blood taken from the murdered victims of the witches, the beaks and claws of birds of ill omen, and various bits of human flesh, particularly the noses of crucifixion victims.
Bibliography. (Morford & Lenardon 182) Bibliography. (King 16,
17)

Herodias

See Aradia or Diana.

Holda

Also known as Fraw Holt, Holda became virtually synonymous with Abonde, Diana, and Perchta. Originally, Holda had been a Germanic goddess of vegetation and fertility, much like Perchta. Holda was also the goddess of spinning and weaving.

She, like her other manifestations, was the leader of the "Furious Horde" or
"Wild Hunt" (Wütischend Heer, Wilde Jagd, Mesnie Sauvage)--"namely of the ranks of those who had died prematurely and passed through village streets at night, unrelenting and terrible, while the inhabitants barricaded their doors for protection."

Holda had two forms, that of a beautiful girl dressed all in white, and that of a hideous crone with fangs, a hooked nose, and long, tangled gray hair. In the latter form, she looked just like the stereotypical image of a witch or the evil stepmother of fairy tales. As the White Lady, she was a fertility goddess who granted prosperity to home, family, and field. As the Hag, she offered those who ignored or insulted her death, illness, and misfortune. In this form, she was responsible for fog and snow.

Many animals were sacred to Holda: birds of prey, bears, horses, goats, wolves, pigs, and hounds. Along with her sometimes partner the Wood Man, she was the guardian of wild animals.

Holda may be part of the origin of the Santa Clause mythos as well. She treated children ambivalently.
If they behaved themselves during the year then at Christmas she
rewarded them with gifts and good luck. If they had been naughty they
would be severely punished. Sometimes Holda was used as a bogey
figure and mothers threatened their children that if they did not
behave then she would come and take them off to the woods and teach
them good manners. Holda allegedly kept the children in a well,
endowing the good ones with abundant luck, health and wealth, and
turning the bad ones into Faerie changelings.
Bibliography. (Ginzburg 40) Bibliography. (Hilton)

Leonard

Although he had a rather unlikely name for a demon, Leonard was a kind of quality control expert for black magic and sorcery. He was also the master of sabbats, presiding over them in the form of an enormous three-horned black goat with the head of a fox.
Bibliography. (Masello 43)

Lilith

Lilith is a kabalistic demon who appealed more to magicians than to witches.
According to legend, Lilith was the first wife of Adam, and the first social feminist. Made from filth before the creation of Eve, Lilith believed herself to be Adam's equal and objected to "missionary style" sex. She believed that sexual relations should take place with the two of them lying side by side. Adam objected to this, so Lilith left him to mate with fallen angels.

Together with the fallen angels, Lilith parented a huge family of female demons called lilim. Lilim are identical to succubi for all intents and purposes. Both seduce men and take away men's strength in the night hours.
Bibliography. (King 95)

Mephistopheles

The name Mephistopheles comes from the Greek for "he who does not like light."
Mephistopheles is perhaps most famous for being the demon summoned by Faust.
Faust had summoned Mephistopheles to teach him great knowledge and to grant him immense power.

Mephistopheles fulfilled all of Faust's desires. Nevertheless, at the end of the twenty-four year contract, it was Faust's turn to please Mephistopheles. All that was left of Faust at the end of the contract was his torn and bloodied corpse. The soul had been consigned to Mephistopheles in Hell.
Bibliography. (Marlowe)

Minerva

Minerva (known by the Greeks as Athena) is yet another goddess thought to have led the Wild Hunt. Like Holda, Minerva was traditionally thought of as the goddess of weaving, spinning, and of women's household arts in general.

Perchta

Perchta or Percht was yet another manifestation of Diana and was synonymous with Abonde as the leader of the host of the dead. Perchta was originally a southern German goddess of vegetation and fertility. She had many different names (and changed her sex) depending on the geographical region. In "southern Austria, in Carintia, among the Slovenes, 'Quantembermann' (the man of the four Ember Days)
or 'Kwaternik'; in Baden, in Swabia, in Switzerland, and with the Slovenes again, 'Frau Faste' (the lady of the Ember Days) or similar names such as
'Posterli,' 'Quatemberca,'" and 'Fronfastenweiber.'
Bibliography. (Ginzburg 189, 190)

Put Satanachia

Put Satanachia was the commander-in-chief of Satan's army of darkness. Aside from having profound power over mothers, Put Satanichia had an immense knowledge of the planets. He also provided witches with their animal familiars.
Bibliography. (Masello 40)

Satan

Satan, of course, was the deity of choice during the witchcraze. Witches'
sabbats, also known as "Synagogues of Satan," were held in dedication to him.
Physical adoration and submission to the Devil were necessary parts of every sabbat. Satan most often appeared at these sabbats in the form of a black billy goat or tom cat and would copulate with almost everyone present.

This copulation was unappealing as the Devil's genitals are not only unbearably huge, but also hard and scaly, with the semen being as cold as ice. Sometimes Satan was represented as having a two-pronged member, a characterization that would certainly have stimulated the prurient imaginations of repressed Inquisitors.

Sabbats were basically prayer meetings for Satan. At these congregations, the Devil would baptize new initiates with a smelly fluid which had, as a main ingredient, urine. He would also issue forth black sacramental bread (probably dung) and fouled water. At the Sabbat, witches would offer the osculum infame (the infamous kiss) by kissing Satan's anus.

Another integral part of Satan worship was the trampling on of the cross and the desecration of the Holy Host. Many witches purportedly retained the wafer in their mouths after Mass and would spit them on the ground in honor of the Devil.

Satia

See Abonde or Diana.

Venus

Venus was originally the Roman goddess of love, but by the time of the witchcraze she was relegated to demon status. She became synonymous with Diana in terms of being followed at night by a retinue of women. Witches knew her as Fraw Fenus, stating they visited her at night-time.

Venus could grant to these witches the power of astral projection. Witches could fall into "swoons which rendered them insensible to pricks or scaldings."
When the women revived, they said they had been to heaven and "spoke of stolen or hidden objects."
Bibliography. (Ginzburg 43, 44)

Verdelet

"Verdelet was something of a cross between a maitre d' and a transportation coordinator. He was master of ceremonies in Hell, and also shouldered the responsibility of making sure witches on Earth got to their sabbats safely and on time.
Bibliography. (Masello 44)

Further reading (free e-books):

Howard Phillips Lovecraft - Dreams In The Witch House
George Lincoln Burr - Narratives Of The Witchcraft Cases
Margaret Alice Murray - The God Of The Witches

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The Egyptian Gods  

Posted by Stella Clark

The Egyptian Gods Cover
I have placed short summaries explaining the functions of many of the more important gods worshipped in Ancient Egypt.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE

The bulk of this material is to be found, in a more comprehensive and scholarly form, in Sir E. A. Wallis Budge's "The Gods of the Egyptians; or, Studies in Egyptian Mythology" (Dover, New Tork, 1969 ed. reprinted paperback from original London 1904 printing). However, much of it is collected from various other sources which I have read during the course of my nearly 15 years as an amateur Egyptologist.

If you want a bibliography, I will start by recommending all the works of Mr. Budge; particular titles include "Egyptian Magic", "Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection", "The Egyptian Book of the Dead", and "Egyptian Language".

Those particularly interested in the language of Ancient Egypt should be aware also of Budge's "An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary". For the most highly interested students (with sufficient time, interest, and background in linguistics) I cannot overly recommend Sir Alan Gardiner's "Egyptian Grammar", latest reprinting 1988, contact Oxbow Books if interested but be forewarned: my copy, the absolute prize of my book collection, cost $80 if I recall correctly. (I keep my copy right next to Crowley's "Magick in Theory and Practice" and Blavatsky's "Isis Unveiled".)

SPECIAL THANKS

Special thanks is due to Amen, for all things, and to Nephthys, for her love.

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Amen (Amon, Amun, Ammon, Amoun)

Amen's name means "The Hidden One." Amen was the patron deity of the city of Thebes from earliest times, and was viewed (along with his consort Amenet) as a primordial creation-deity. He is represented in five forms: (1) a man, enthroned; (2) a frog-headed man (as a primordial deity); (3) a cobra-headed man; (4) an ape; (5) a lion. His sacred animals were the goose and the ram, though he was not depicted as them.

Up to Dynasty XII Amen was unimportant except in Thebes; but when the Thebans had established their sovereignty in Egypt, Amen became a prominent deity, and by Dynasty XVIII was termed the King of the Gods. His famous temple, Karnak, is the largest religious structure ever built by man. According to E.A.Wallis Budge's "Gods of the Egyptians", Amen by Dynasy XIX-XX was thought of as "an invisible creative power which was the source of all life in heaven, and on the earth, and in the great deep, and in the Underworld, and which made itself manifest under the form of Ra."

Amen was self-created, according to later traditions; according to the older Theban traditions, Amen was created by Thoth as one of the eight primordial deities of creation (Amen, Amenet, Heq, Heqet, Nun, Naunet, Kau, Kauket).

During the New Kingdom, Amen's consort was Mut, "Mother," who seems to have been the Egyptian equivalent of the "Great Mother" archetype. The two thus formed a pair reminiscent of the God and Goddess of other traditions such as Wicca.

SEE ALSO Amen-Ra, Mut, Thoth.

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Amen-Ra

A composite deity, invented by the priests of Amen as an attempt to link New Kingdom (Dyn. XVIII-XXI) worship of Amen with the older solar cult of the god Ra.

SEE ALSO Amen, Ra.

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Amset (Imsety, Mestha, GD: Ameshet)

One of the Four Sons of Horus, Amset was represented as a mummified man. He was the protector of the liver of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Isis.

SEE ALSO Four Sons of Horus, Isis.

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Anubis (Anpu, GD: Ano-Oobist)

Anubis (the Greek corruption of the Egyptian "Anpu") was the son of Nephthys: by some traditions, the father was Set; by others, Osiris. Anubis was depicted as a jackal, or as a jackal-headed man; in primitive times he was probably simply the jackal god. Owing to the jackal's tendency to prowl around tombs, he became associated with the dead, and by the Old Kingdom, Anubis was worshipped as the inventor of embalming, who had embalmed the dead Osiris, thus helping preserve him in order to live again. Anubis was also worshipped under the form "Wepuat" ("Opener of the Ways"), sometimes with a rabbit's head, who conducted the souls of the dead to their judgment, and who monitored the Scales of Truth to protect the dead from deception and eternal death.

SEE ALSO Nephthys, Osiris, Set.

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Bast (Bastet)

A cat-goddess, worshipped in the Delta city of Bubastis. A protectress of cats and those who cared for cats. As a result, an important deity in the home (since cats were prized pets) and also important in the iconography (since the serpents which attack the sun god were usually represented in papyri as being killed by cats).

She was also worshipped as the consort of Ptah-seker-ausar; and is joined with Sekhmet and Ra (a very unusual combination of male and female deities) to form Sekhmet-bast-ra, also worshipped as Ptah-seker-ausar's spouse, and viewed as a deity of the destructive, purifying power of the sun.

SEE ALSO Ptah, Ra, Sekhmet.

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Bes

A deity of either African or Semitic origin; came to Egypt by Dynasty XII. Depicted as a bearded, savage-looking yet comical dwarf, shown full-face in images (highly unusual by Egyptian artistic conventions). Revered as a deity of household pleasures such as music, good food, and relaxation. Also a protector and entertainer of children. However, many texts point to the idea that Bes was a terrible, avenging deity, who was as swift to punish the wicked as he was to amuse and delight the righteous.

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Duamutef (GD: Thmoomathph, Tuamutef)

One of the Four Sons of Horus, Duamutef was represented as a mummified man with the head of a jackal. He was the protector of the stomach of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Neith.

SEE ALSO Four Sons of Horus, Neith.

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Four Sons of Horus

The four sons of Horus were the protectors of the parts of the body of Osiris, and from this, became the protectors of the body of the deceased. They were: Amset, Hapi, Duamutef, and Qebhsenuef. They were protected in turn by the goddesses Isis, Nephthys, Neith, and Serket.

SEE ALSO Amset, Duamutef, Hapi, Isis, Neith, Nephthys, Qebhsenuef, and Serket.

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Geb (Seb)

The god of the earth, son of Shu and Tefnut, brother and husband of Nuit, and father of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. In the earliest stages of Egyptian history his name was Geb; in later forms of the language it became Seb, but the old pronunciation has become so common in popular works on the subject that it is used herein. His sacred animal was the goose, and he was often referred to as the "Great Cackler". He is generally represented as a man with green or black skin - the color of living things, and the color of the fertile Nile mud, respectively. It was said that Seb would hold imprisoned the souls of the wicked, that they might not ascend to heaven.

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Hadit: SEE Hor-behedet.

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Hapi (GD: Ahephi)

One of the Four Sons of Horus, Hapi was represented as a mummified man with the head of a baboon. He was the protector of the lungs of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Nephthys.

The name Hapi, spelled identically in most but not all cases, is also the name of the god who was the personification of the River Nile, depicted as a corpulent man (fat signifying abundance) with a crown of lilies or papyrus stems.

SEE ALSO Four Sons of Horus, Nephthys.

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Hathor (Het-heru, Het-Hert)

A very old goddess of Egypt, worshipped as a cow-deity from earliest times. The name "Hathor" is the Greek corruption of the variants Het-Hert ("the House Above") and Het-Heru ("the House of Horus"). Both terms refer to her as a sky goddess. The priests of Heliopolis often referred to her as Ra's consort, the mother of Shu and Tefnut. Like Isis, Hathor was considered by many to be the goddess "par excellence" and held the attributes of most of the other goddesses at one time or another. Like Isis and Mut, Hathor was a manifestation of the "Great Mother" archetype; a sort of cosmic Yin.

She had so very many manifestations that eventually seven important ones were selected and widely worshipped as the "Seven Hathors": Hathor of Thebes, Heliopolis, Aphroditopolis, Sinai, Momemphis, Herakleopolis, and Keset.

The Greeks identified her with Aphrodite, and this is not too far off, as she represented, in the texts, everything true, good, and beautiful in all forms of woman; mother, wife, sister, and daughter; also the patron of artists of every kind, and of joyful things, festivals, and happiness. The star Sirius (called by the Egyptians Sepdet) was sacred to her.

SEE ALSO Isis, Mut, Ra, Shu, Tefnut.

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Heru-ra-ha

A composite deity in Crowley's quasi-Egyptian mythology; composed of Ra-Hoor-Khuit and Hoor-par-kraat. Apparently without basis in historical Egyptian mythology, but the name, translated into Egyptian, means something approximating "Horus and Ra be Praised!"

SEE ALSO Ra-Hoor-Khuit, Hoor-pa-kraat.

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Hor-akhuti (Horakhty)

"Horus of (or in) the Horizons," one of the most common titles of Horus, especially when in his function as a solar deity, emphasizing his reign stretching from one horizon to the other.

SEE ALSO Horus, Ra, Ra-Hoor-Khuit.

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Hor-behedet (HADIT)

A form of Horus worshipped in the city of Behdet, shown in the well-known form of a solar disk with a great pair of wings, usually seen hovering above important scenes in Egyptian religious art. Made popular by Aleister Crowley under the poorly transliterated name "HADIT", the god appears to have been a way of depicting the omnipresence of Ra and Horus. As Crowley says in "Magick in Theory and Practice", "the infinitely small and atomic yet omnipresent point is called HADIT." This is a good expression of the god - seen almost everywhere, yet at the same time small and out-of-the-way.

SEE ALSO Horus.

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Hor-pa-kraat (Horus the Child, GD: Hoor-par-kraat)

Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, distinguished from Horus the Elder, who was the old patron deity of Upper Egypt; but the worship of the two gods became confused early in Egyptian history and the two essentially merged. Represented as a young boy with a child's sidelock of hair, sucking his finger.

The Golden Dawn attributed Silence to him, presumably because the sucking of the finger is suggestive of the common "shhh" gesture.

SEE ALSO Horus.

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Horus (Her)

One of the most important deities of Egypt. Horus as now conceived is a mixture of the original deities known as "Horus the Child" and "Horus the Elder". As the Child, Horus is the son of Osiris and Isis, who, upon reaching adulthood, becomes known as Her-nedj-tef-ef ("Horus, Avenger of His Father") by avenging his father's death, by defeating and casting out his evil uncle Set. He then became the divine prototype of the Pharaoh.

As Horus the Elder, he was also the patron deity of Upper (Southern) Egypt from the earliest times; initially, viewed as the twin brother of Set (the patron of Lower Egypt), but he became the conqueror of Set c. 3000 B.C.E. when Upper Egypt conquered Lower Egypt and formed the unified kingdom of Egypt.

SEE ALSO Hor-pa-kraat, Horus the Elder, Isis, Osiris, Set.

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Horus the Elder (Her-ur, Aroueris)

Horus, the patron god of Upper Egypt from time immemorial; distinguished from Horus the Child (Hor-pa-kraat), who was the son of Isis and Osiris; but the two gods merged early in Egyptian history and became the one Horus, uniting the attributes of both.

SEE ALSO Hor-pa-kraat, Horus.

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Isis (Auset)

Perhaps the most important goddess of all Egyptian mythology, Isis assumed, during the course of Egyptian history, the attributes and functions of virtually every other important goddess in the land. Her most important functions, however, were those of motherhood, marital devotion, healing the sick, and the working of magical spells and charms. She was believed to be the most powerful magician in the universe, owing to the fact that she had learned the Secret Name of Ra from the god himself. She was the sister and wife of Osiris, sister of Set, and twin sister of Nephthys. She was the mother of Horus the Child (Hor-pa-kraat), and was the protective goddess of Horus's son Amset, protector of the liver of the deceased.

Isis was responsible for protecting Horus from Set during his infancy; for helping Osiris to return to life; and for assisting her husband to rule in the land of the Dead.

Her cult seems to have originally centered, like her husband's, at Abydos near the Delta in the North (Lower Egypt); she was adopted into the family of Ra early in Egyptian history by the priests of Heliopolis, but from the New Kingdom onwards (c. 1500 BC) her worship no longer had any particular identifiable center, and she became more or less universally worshipped, as her husband was.

SEE ALSO Amset, Hor-pa-kraat, Horus, Nephthys, Osiris, Ra, Set.

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Khephra (Keper)

The creator-god, according to early Heliopolitan cosmology; considered a form of Ra. The Egyptian root "kheper" signifies several things, according to context, most notably the verb "to create" or "to transform", and also the word for "scarab beetle". The scarab, or dung beetle, was considered symbolic of the sun since it rolled a ball of dung in which it laid its eggs around with it - this was considered symbolic of the sun god propelling the sphere of the sun through the sky. In later Heliopolitan belief, which named the sun variously according to the time of the day, Khephra was the nighttime form of the sun.

SEE ALSO Ra.

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Khonsu (Chons)

The third member (with his parents Amen and Mut) of the great triad of Thebes. Khonsu was the god of the moon. The best-known story about him tells of him playing the ancient game "senet" ("passage") against Thoth, and wagered a portion of his light. Thoth won, and because of losing some of his light, Khonsu cannot show his whole glory for the entire month, but must wax and wane.

SEE ALSO Amen, Mut, Thoth.

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Ma'at (Ma)

The wife of Thoth, Ma'at's name means "Truth", "Justice", and perhaps even "Tao". It cannot readily be rendered into English but "truth" is perhaps a satisfactory translation. Ma'at was represented as a tall woman with an ostrich feather in her hair. She was present at the judgment of the dead; her feather was balanced against the heart of the deceased to determine whether he had led a pure and honest life. All civil laws in Egypt were held up to the "Law of Ma'at", which essentially was a series of old conceptions and morals dating to the earliest times in Egypt. A law contrary to the Law of Ma'at would not have been considered valid in Egypt.

SEE ALSO Thoth.

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Min (Menu, Amsu)

A form of Amen depicted holding a flail (thought to represent a thunderbolt in Egyptian art) and with an erect penis; his full name was often given as Menu-ka-mut-ef ("Min, Bull of his Mother"). Min was worshipped as the god of virility; lettuces were offered as sacrifice to him and then eaten in hopes of procuring manhood; and he was worshipped as the husband of the goddess Qetesh, goddess of love and femininity.

SEE ALSO Amen, Qetesh.

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Mut (GD: Auramooth)

The wife of Amen in Theban tradition; seen as the mother, the loving, receptive, nurturing force (similar to Yin) behind all things, even as her husband was the great energy, the creative force (similar to Yang). The word "mut" in Ancient Egyptian means "mother". She was also the mother of Khonsu, the moon god.

SEE ALSO Amen, Khonsu.

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Neith (Net, Neit, GD: Thoum-aesh-neith)

A very ancient goddess worshipped in the Delta; revered as a goddess of wisdom, often identified with Ma'at; in later traditions, the sister of Isis, Nephthys, and Serket, and protectress of Duamutef, the god of the stomach of the deceased.

SEE ALSO Duamutef, Ma'at.

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Nephthys (Nebt-het)

The sister and wife of Set, and sister of Isis and Osiris; also the mother (variantly by Set or by Osiris) of Anubis. She abandoned Set when he killed Osiris, and assisted Isis in the care of Horus and the resurrection of Osiris. She was, along with her sister, considered the special protectress of the dead, and she was the guardian of Hapi, the protector of the lungs of the deceased.

SEE ALSO Hapi, Horus, Isis, Osiris, Set.

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Nuit (Nut)

The goddess of the sky, daughter of Shu and Tefnut, sister and wife of Geb, mother of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. Described by Crowley in his "Magick in Theory and Practice" thus: "Infinite space is called the goddess NUIT." Nut was generally depicted as a woman with blue skin, and her body covered with stars, standing on all fours, leaning over her husband, representing the sky arched over the earth. Her relationship to HADIT is an invention of Crowley's with no basis in Egyptology, save only that Hadit was often depicted underneath Nuit - one finds Nuit forming the upper frame of a scene, and the winged disk Hadit floating beneath, silently as always. This is an artistic convention, and there was no marriage between the two in ancient Egyptian legend.

SEE ALSO Geb, Hor-behedet (Hadit), Shu.

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Osiris (Ausar)

The god of the dead, and the god of the resurrection into eternal life; ruler, protector, and judge of the deceased, and his prototype (the deceased was in historical times usually referred to as "the Osiris"). His cult originated in Abydos, where his actual tomb was said to be located.

Osiris was the first child of Nut and Geb, thus the brother of Set, Nephthys, and Isis, who was also his wife. By Isis he fathered Horus, and according to some stories, Nephthys assumed the form of Isis, seduced him thus, and from their union was born Anubis.

Osiris ruled the world of men in the beginning, after Ra had abandoned the world to rule the skies, but he was murdered by his brother Set. Through the magic of Isis, he was made to live again. Being the first living thing to die, he subsequently became lord of the dead. His death was avenged by his son Horus, who defeated Set and cast him out into the desert to the West of Egypt (the Sahara).

Prayers and spells were addressed to Osiris throughout Egyptian history, in hopes of securing his blessing and entering the afterlife which he ruled; but his popularity steadily increased through the Middle Kingdom. By Dynasty 18 he was probably the most widely worshipped god in Egypt. His popularity endured until the latest phases of Egyptian history; relief's still exist of Roman emperors, conquerors of Egypt, dressed in the traditional garb of the Pharaohs, making offerings to him in the temples.

SEE ALSO Anubis, Geb, Horus, Isis, Nephthys, Ra, Set.

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Pharaoh (deified kings)

From earliest times in Egypt the pharaohs were worshipped as gods: the son of Ra, the son of Horus, the son of Amen, etc. depending upon what period of Egyptian history and what part of the country is being considered. It should be noted that prayers, sacrifices, etc. to the pharaohs were extremely rare, if they occurred at all - there seems to be little or no evidence to support an actual cult of the pharaoh.

The pharaoh was looked upon as being chosen by and favored by the gods his fathers. The pharaoh was never regarded as the son of any goddesses, but rather as the son of the Queen his mother, fathered by the god, incarnate as his earthly father. (A few seeming exceptions to this include a sculpture of Pharaoh Tutankhamen being embraced by his "parents" Amen and Mut, but the intent here seems to be to compare the king with their son Khonsu, rather than to actually claim that Mut was his mother.)

SEE ALSO Amen, Khonsu, Mut.

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Ptah

Worshipped in Memphis from the earliest dynastic times (c.3000 BC), Ptah was seen as the creator of the universe in the Memphite cosmology. He fashioned the bodies in which dwelt the souls of men in the afterlife. Other versions of the myths state that he worked under Thoth's orders, creating the heavens and the earth according to Thoth's specifications.

Ptah is depicted as a bearded man wearing a skullcap, shrouded much like a mummy, with his hands emerging from the wrappings in front and holding the Uas (phoenix-headed) scepter, an Ankh, and a Djed (sign of stability). He was often worshipped in conjunction with the gods Seker and Osiris, and worshipped under the name Ptah-seker-ausar.

SEE ALSO Osiris, Seker, Thoth.

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Qebhsenuef (Kabexnuf, Qebsneuef)

One of the Four Sons of Horus, Qebhsenuef was represented as a mummified man with the head of a falcon. He was the protector of the intestines of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Serket.

SEE ALSO Four Sons of Horus, Serket.

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Qetesh

Originally believed to be a Syrian deity, Qetesh was an important form of Hathor, specifically referred to in the latter's function as goddess of love and beauty. Qetesh was depicted as a beautiful nude woman, standing or riding upon a lion, holding flowers, a mirror, or serpents. She is generally shown full-face (unusual in Egyptian artistic convention). She was also considered the consort of the god Min, the god of virility.

SEE ALSO Hathor, Min.

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Ra

Ra was the god of the sun during dynastic Egypt; the name is thought to have meant "creative power", and as a proper name "Creator", similar to English Christian usage of the term "Creator" to signify the "almighty God." Very early in Egyptian history Ra was identified with Horus, who as a hawk or falon-god represented the loftiness of the skies. Ra is represented either as a hawk-headed man or as a hawk.

Owing to the fact that the sun was a fire, the Egyptians realized that in order to travel through the waters of Heaven and the Underworld, it required a boat, and so Ra was depicted as traveling in a boat. During the day the boat was a great galley called Madjet ("becoming strong") and during the night, a small barge called Semektet ("becoming weak").

During dynastic Egypt Ra's cult center was Annu (Hebrew "On", Greek "Heliopolis", modern-day "Cairo"). In Dynasty V, the first king, Userkaf, was also Ra's high priest, and he added the term "Sa-Ra (Son of Ra)" to the titulary of the pharaohs.

Ra was father of Shu and Tefnut, grandfather of Nut and Geb, great-grandfather of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys, and great-great-grandfather to Horus. In later periods (about Dynasty 18 on) Osiris and Isis superseded him in popularity, but he remained "Ra netjer-aa neb-pet" ("Ra, the great God, Lord of Heaven") whether worshipped in his own right or, in later times, as half of the Lord of the Universe, Amen-Ra.

SEE ALSO Amen, Amen-Ra, Geb, Horus, Isis, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Set, Shu, Tefnut.

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Ra-Hoor-Khuit

"Ra, who is Horus of the Horizons." An appellation of Ra, identifying him with Horus, showing the two as manifestations of the singular Solar Force. The spelling "Ra-Hoor-Khuit" was popularized by Aleister Crowley, first in the Book of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis).

SEE ALSO Hor-akhuti, Horus, Ra.

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Seb: SEE Geb.

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Sebek

The crocodile-god, worshipped at the city of Arsinoe, called Crocodilopolis by the Greeks. Sebek was worshipped to appease him and his animals. According to some evidence, Sebek was considered a fourfold deity who represented the four elemental gods (Ra of fire, Shu of air, Geb of earth, and Osiris of water). In the Book of the Dead, Sebek assists in the birth of Horus; he fetches Isis and Nephthys to protect the deceased; and he aids in the destruction of Set.

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Seker

A god of light, protector of the spirits of the dead passing through the Underworld en route to the afterlife. Seker was worshipped in Memphis as a form of Ptah or as part of the compound deities Ptah-seker or Ptah-seker-ausar. Seker was usually depicted as having the head of a hawk, and shrouded as a mummy, similar to Ptah.

SEE ALSO Ptah.

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Sekhmet

A lioness-goddess, worshipped in Memphis as the wife of Ptah; created by Ra from the fire of his eyes as a creature of vengeance to punish mankind for his sins; later, became a peaceful protectress of the righteous. She was worshipped with Bast and Ra as a compound deity, Sekhmet-bast-ra, and was considered the consort of Ptah-seker-ausar.

SEE ALSO Bast, Ptah, Ra, Seker.

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Serket (Serqet, Selket)

A scorpion-goddess, shown as a beautiful woman with a scorpion poised on her head; her creature struck death to the wicked, but she was also prayed to save the lives of innocent people stung by scorpions; she was also viewed as a helper of women in childbirth. She is also depicted as binding up demons that would otherwise threaten Ra, and she sent seven of her scorpions to protect Isis from Set.

She was the protectress of Qebhsenuef, the son of Horus who guarded the intestines of the deceased. She was made famous by her statue from Tutankhamen's tomb, which was part of the collection which toured America in the 1970's.

SEE ALSO Isis, Qebhsenuef, Ra, Set.

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Set

Originally, in earliest times, Set was the patron deity of Lower (North) Egypt, and represented the fierce storms of the desert whom the Lower Egyptians sought to appease. However, when Upper Egypt conquered Lower Egypt and ushered in the First Dynasty, Set became known as the evil enemy of Horus (Upper Egypt's dynastic god).

Set was the brother of Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys, and husband of the latter; according to some versions of the myths he is also father of Anubis.

Set is best known for murdering his brother and attempting to kill his nephew Horus; Horus, however, managed to survive and grew up to avenge his father's death by establishing his rule over all Egypt and casting Set out into the lonely desert for all time.

In the 19th Dynasty there began a resurgence of respect for Set, and he was seen as a great god once more, the god who benevolently restrained the forces of the desert; but this was short-lived and by around Dynasty 20 or 21 Set became once more dreaded as the god of evil.

SEE ALSO Anubis, Horus, Isis, Osiris, Nephthys.

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Shu

The god of the atmosphere and of dry winds, son of Ra, brother and husband of Tefnut, father of Geb and Nuit. Represented in hieroglyphs by an ostrich feather (similar to Ma'at's), which symbol he is usually shown wearing on his head. He is generally shown standing on the recumbent Geb, holding aloft his daughter Nuit, separating the two. It was said that if he ever ceased to interpose himself between earth and sky, life would cease to be on our world - a very accurate assessment, it would seem. The name "Shu" appears to be related to the root "shu" meaning "dry, empty." Shu also seems to be a personification of the sun's light. Shu and Tefnut were also said to be but two halves of one soul, perhaps the earliest recorded example of "soulmates."

SEE ALSO Geb, Nuit, Ra, Tefnut.

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Tefnut

The goddess of moisture and clouds, daughter of Ra, sister and wife of Shu, mother of Geb and Nuit. Depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness, which was her sacred animal. The name "Tefnut" probably derives from the root "teftef", signifying "to spit, to moisten" and the root "nu" meaning "waters, sky."

SEE ALSO Geb, Nuit, Ra, Shu.

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Thoth (Tahuti)

The god of wisdom (Thoth is the Greek corruption of the original Egyptian Tahuti), Thoth was said to be self-created at the beginning of time, along with his consort Ma'at (truth). The two produced eight children, of which the most important was Amen, the hidden one, who was worshipped in Thebes as the Lord of the Universe.

Thoth was depicted as a man with the head of an ibis bird, and carried a pen and scrolls upon which he recorded all things. He was shown as attendant in almost all major scenes involving the gods, but especially at the judgment of the deceased.

It was widely believed that Thoth invented the magical and hermetic arts, and thus the Tarot deck, especially its revision by Aleister Crowley, is often referred to as the "Book of Thoth".

SEE ALSO Amen, Ma'at.

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Dyeus  

Posted by Stella Clark

Dyeus Cover
*Dyeus (also *Dyeus Phiter) is the reconstructed chief deity of the Proto-Indo-European pantheon. He was the god of the daylight sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in society. Later gods who are etymologically connected with Dyeus include: Dyeus group: Greek Zeus Roman Iuppiter Vedic Dyau Pitar possibly Dionysos, and Thracian Sabazios (from Saba Zeus?) Rooted in the related but distinct Indo-European word *deiwos is the Latin word for deity, deus. The Latin word is also continued in English divine, deity, and the original Germanic word remains visible in Tuesday (originally "Day of Tiwaz"). Deiwos group: Germanic Tiwaz (later known as Tyr) Latin Deus Indo-Iranian Deva/Daeva Baltic Dievas Celtic mythology e.g. Welsh Duw (cf. dydd/diwrnod) Dyeus was addressed as Dyeu Ph2ter, literally "Sky Father" or "shining father", as reflected in Latin Jupiter, Dispater and deus pater, Greek Zeu pater, Sanskrit Dy`aup'ita or DyausPitrah. In his aspect as a father god, his consort was Pltwih2 Mh2ter, "Earth Mother". As the pantheons of the individual mythologies related to the Proto-Indo-European religion evolved, attributes of Dyeus were sometimes redistributed to other, newer deities. In Greek and Roman mythology, Dyeus remained the chief god, while in Vedic mythology, the etymological continuant of Dyeus became a very abstract god, and his original attributes, and his dominance over other gods, were transferred to gods whose names can or cannot be traced to Proto-Indo-European.

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Celtic Goddess Nantosuelta  

Posted by Stella Clark

Celtic Goddess Nantosuelta Cover
Gaulish Celtic goddess of nature, fertility and domesticity, bearing horn of plenty and with companion raven. Consort of Sucellos.

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Veles  

Posted by Stella Clark

Veles Cover
VELES God of livestock & the afterlife. Veles, Volos, Weles, or Voloh. , associated with dragons, cattle, magic, music, poetry, wealth and trickery. He is believed to have survived from the time of a common Indo-European pantheon. He was also a god of trade and oaths were sworn in his name.. He was later associated with St. Blas, guardian of cattle. At Kiev, his statue was not among those on the hill outside the palace but was instead, erected in the marketplace. This is supposedly because he and Perun are great enemies and couldn’t be worshipped together.

Veles inhabits the Underworld and in this connection is also the god of the dead, but he symbolises more philosophical aspects of Death - in its property as a reincarnation step, a result of the life cycle's movement.

The Slavs believed the underworld to be an ever-green world of eternal spring and wet, grassy plains. In the mythical geography of ancient Slavs, the land of dead was assumed to lie across the sea, where migrating birds would fly every winter.

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Manyu  

Posted by Stella Clark

Manyu Image
Many'u, Vedic Sanskrit for "spirit, temper, ardour, passion, anger" is war god,wielder of thunder,slayer of foes,of Dasyus. He is fierce,queller of the foe and is self-existent. He is beseeched to bring health and wealth. Rig veda 10:83&84 contains Manyu Sukta. Manyu Tapasa is the Drashta of Manyu sukta.

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Greek Goddess Aletheia  

Posted by Stella Clark

Greek Goddess Aletheia Image
ALETHEIA (pronounced ah-LEE-thee-uh) is the Greek Goddess of truth. She is a daughter of Zeus, but her mother is not identified. Aletheia's name, which means "truth," is also seen as ALATHEA and ALETHEA.

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Egyptian Goddesses  

Posted by Stella Clark

Egyptian Goddesses Cover
ANUKET: Anuket, a water goddess, was especially adored at Aswan and on the sacred island of Seheil. Her name means the "embracer" and may refer to the embrace of the Nile waters by the river's banks. In Hieroglyphs she is seen wearing a feather headdress.
ANKT: A spear-carrying war goddess, Ankt is depicted wearing a curved and feathered crown.
BASTET: Bastet, the cat goddess, is the patroness of the domestic cat and the home. She is often seen in human form with the head of a cat holding the sacred rattle known as the sistrim. Her center of worship was located at Bubastis in the Delta Region. Bastet is also associated with the eye of Ra, the sun god, and acts as an instrument of his vengeance.
HET: Her, "maker of invisible existences apart", is the Egyptian serpent goddess who rules fire.
HATHOR: Worshipped as a sky goddess and a cow-deity, Hathor is depicted either in cow or human form wearing a sun disk between the horns of a cow as a crown. She is often symbolized by the papyrus reed, the snake and the sacred sistrim. Sirius was her sacred star. Hathor was the patroness of all women, artists, music, dance, and happiness. She is often traditionally present in all ancient Egyptian tombs to ensure safe passage into the after world.
ISIS: Isis, a goddess that became universally worshipped, is associated with love, motherhood, marital devotion, healing, eternal life, and the casting of magical spells and charms. Isis is the goddess of day, while her twin sister, Nephthys is the goddess of night. Her sacred symbol is an amulet called the tyet. She is the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus.
MUT: Mut is seen as the mother, the nurturing force behind all things while her husband Amen is the great energy or creative force. In ancient Egyptian, "mut" means mother.
MESKHONI: Meskhoni is an Egyptian birth goddess symbolized by a human-headed brick. Egyptian women crouched on this goddess' image during labor. Meskhoni appeared at the precise moment when contractions began and remained through the delivery to predict the future of the newborn. She often appeared as a woman wearing palm shoots on her head.
MAFDET: Mafdet, "The Lady of the Castle of Life", was an early (1st Dynasty) Egyptian goddess. Her sacred animals were the cat and the mongoose. She was invoked to help cure snakebites.
MA'AT: Ma'at is the Egyptian goddess of Truth and Justice and the underworld. She passed judgment over the souls of the dead in the Judgment Hall of Osiris. The "Law of Ma'at was the basis of civil laws in ancient Egypt.
NEB-TI: The ruling goddess of the north, Uadgit, and south, Nekhebet and a political symbol of the unification of Egypt.
NEPHTHYS: The twin sister of Isis, Nephthys is the goddess of night, the protectress of the dead and the guardian of the lungs of the deceased.
NEKHEBET: Nekhebet is the vulture headed goddess of the Nile's source. She and the goddess Uadgit formed the Neb-Ti, a symbol of the political unification of Egypt. She is also the patroness of laboring women and combined her political and motherly roles in her mystic task of suckling the pharaohs-to-be.
QADESH: Qadesh, the "Holy One," rides a lion and holds out snakes and lotus buds. She embodies the sacramental reverence toward sexuality as an expression of divine force.
RENENET: When an Egyptian child is born, Renenet pronounces its name, defines its personality and bestows its fortune. Renenet is the personification of the force of nurturing and its effect on a child's destiny. In a larger sense, she is the earth itself, which offers milk and grain to her people, who worship her as the goddess of the double granary.
SHESHAT: "The mistress of the house of books", Sheshat is the inventor of writing and the secretary of heaven. She is also the "mistress of the house of architects", the goddess that studies the stars to determine the axes of new buildings. She invented mathematics SELKHET: The beautiful scorpion goddess and guardian of the dead, Selkhet has her scorpion strike death to the wicked. She also saves the lives of the innocent stung by a scorpion. She is one of the deities who led the deceased into the afterlife and offered instructions in the customs of the otherworld. She symbolized rebirth after death.
SEKHMET: Sekhmet is the lion goddess and her worship was centered in Memphis. Her name means "powerful" and she was created from the fire in Ra's eyes as a goddess of vengeance against sinful humans.
SATI: Sati, "she who runs like an arrow", also known as Satis and Satet, is an Egyptian archer goddess who personified the waterfalls of the river Nile. Her sanctuary was at Aswan, in ancient upper Egypt, on the island of Seheil.
SHAIT: Shait is the goddess of human destiny. Invisible, Shait observes a human's virtues and vices, crimes and secret crimes. Based on her intimate knowledge of each person, she spoke the final judgment of the soul at a human's death.
and is the appointed goddess of fate who measures the length of our lives with palm branches.
TEFNUT: Tefnut is the goddess of daybreak and associated with the mountains from which the sun rises.
UADGIT: The sovereign cobra goddess of lower Egypt and the Nile delta. Uadgit joined with Nekhebet to form the "two mistrersses" of the land called the Neb-Ti, a political symbol of the unification of Egypt.

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