The Deities and How We Find Them

Part Four of
Polytheology: Approaching Pagan Theology

* How Do We Decide Which Deities To Worship?
* A Simplified Categorization of Deities

  • 35 Possible Categories
  • A Brief Discussion

* Other Categorizations, Other Systems

* Bibliography of Sources

* To Bottom of Page


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How Do We Decide Which Deities to Worship?

* We may choose a pantheon ourselves in any the following ways:

  • Personal interest in a culture
  • Personal attraction to a mythos
  • Investigating one's own ethnic background
  • A particular pantheon is comfortable and familiar
  • Pick and choose from the many available as attraction and need suggest (eclectic or syncretic)

* We may be taught to honor a particular pantheon through:

  • Training with a particular Neo-Pagan or Wiccan tradition

* Finally, we may find a deity or pantheon by:

  • Being chosen by a deity or deities through dreams, mystic experience, psychic experience, etc.


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A Simplified Categorization of Deities

Obviously there are other categories not listed below, more deities than those listed, and some deities who fit into more than one category. Those below are taken in part from Janet and Stewart Farrar, The Witches' Goddess and The Witches' God with additional thoughts of my own. I am not labeling headings as Earth Goddess, Moon Goddess, Sun God, etc., because these choices of heading reflect frequent Euro-American Neo-Pagan gender stereotyping. That is, there are Earth gods, Moon gods, and Sun goddesses, despite a tendency in neo-Pagan Wicca to suggest somehow that the Moon is always the Goddess, etc.

The deities listed here come from nearly every continent, and many cultures, including, but not limited to: African (especially Yoruban), Anatolian, Australian, Canaanite, Celtic, Chinese, Egyptian, Germanic/Nordic, Greek, Hawaiian, Hindu, Japanese, Mesopotamian, Roman, Slavic. There are few Native American included, for a number of reasons.
I have not listed which culture each deity is from. I can add these details. Do you care? Let me know. Send me E-mail!

OK, because one single temple visitor sent me e-mail long ago, like at the end of last year or the beginning of this, i am adding in cultural references. It isn't complete, but may be eventually.

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* Artisan/Craftsperson, esp. Smith

  • God: the Dagda (Irish Celtic), the Dwarfs (Norse), Gibil, Goban/Goibhniu/Govannan (Welsh Celtic), Haephestos (Greek), Kothar-and-Khasis (Canaanite), Naru-Kami (Japanese), Ogun (Yoruba/Afro-Diasporic), Ptah (Egyptian), the Ribhus, Tvashtri (Hindu), Volund/Wayland (Germanic), Vulcan (Roman).
  • Goddess: crafts: Athena (Greek), Minerva (Roman); forge/smith: Brigit (Celtic).

* Birth and Child Protector

  • Goddess: Artemis (Greek), Belit-Ili (Mesopotamian), Heket (Egyptian), Ilithyia/Eileithyia (Eastern Aegean), the Kotharot (Canaanite), Mami, Meskhent (Egyptian), Nintud (Mesopotamian), Pi-Hsia Yuan-Chin (Chinese), Renenet (Egyptian), Taueret (Egyptian).
  • God: Bes

* Bright Mother:

"good" mother, brings forth life, is nurturing, supports human culture - Aditi (Hindu), Ama, Anu/Danu/Don (Celtic), Arruru, Asherah/Athirat (Canaanite), Cybele (Anatolian), Demeter (Greek), Djanggawul Sisters: Bildjiwuraroju and Miralaidji (Australian), Djulunggul (Australian), Eingana, Fjorgynn (Norse), Hathor (Egyptian), Imberombera/Waramurungundji (Australian), Isis (Egyptian), Kunapipi, Magna Mater (Roman), Mut (Egyptian), Ninhursag, Parvati (Hindu), Rhea (Greek), Voltumna

* Dark Mother:

devourer, inward looking, prophetic, the Unconscious, our unconscious senses, whatever we fear, takes life. See Crone (=Elder), Death, Dreams, Prophetess/Oracle.

* Death

  • Goddess: Belili (Mesopotamian), Durga (Hindu), Eingana, Hikuleo, Hina (Polynesian-Hawaiian), Hubishag (Mesopotamian), Kali (Hindu), Lahevhev, Mania, Morrigan (Celtic), Nepthys (Egyptian), Sekhmet (Egyptian), Wahinihai, Watiri, Yuki Onne (death by freezing).
  • God: Mantus, Mot/Mawet (Canaanite-Phoenician-Hebrew)), Orcus, Rudra (Hindu), Thanatos (Greek), Varuna (Hindu), Yen Wang (Chinese).

* Dreams, Bringer/Interpreter of

  • Goddess: Astarte/Athtartu (Canaanite-Phoenician), Geshtinanna (Sumerian), Nanshe (Mesopotamian), Nepthys (Egyptian).
  • God: Morpheus (Greek), Zaqar.


* Elder: Crone, Old Wise Woman/ Old Wise Man

  • God: El;
  • Goddess: Black Annis (Celtic), Cailleach (Celtic), Goga, Hekate (Renaissance to present - this ancient Greek goddess was no crone in the story of Persephone, being younger than the mother, Demeter).

* Earth

Our planet itself, which is both body and soul; fertility for all earth's creatures and plants; gives us birth, nourishes us; takes us back into its body when we die, its body which is both womb and tomb. As many faces as there are environments in which to live. In certain cultures the ruler married the land (esp. among Celts), nowadays, ascends to the throne which is symbolically the lap of the Goddess.
  • Goddess: Al-Lat (Arabian), Ambika, Arruru, Bhoumi, Biliku, Changing Woman (Native American), Cybele (Anatolian), Danu/Anu (Celtic), Demeter (Greek), Devi (Hindu), Erce, Fauna, Frigg/Frija, Ga-Tum-Dug, Gaea (Greek), Hu-Tu (Chinese), Inanna (Sumerian), Kadi, Ki, Kishar, Luminu-Ut, Mat-Syra-Semlya (Slavic), Nerthus, Ninhursag (Mesopotamian), Parvati (Hindu), Pi-Hsia Yuan-Chin (Chinese), Prithivi (Hindu), Rhea (Greek), Tellus Mater (Roman).
  • God: Dagan (Canaanite), Geb (Egyptian), Enki (Mesopotamian), Okuninushi (Japanese).

* Fertility

I won't list deities for this category because it would encompass an enormous number, both male and female, since regardless of the type of culture a society had, fertility has always been important. That is, even if the concern is not human reproduction, there needs to be fertility of land (for food and other plants) and of animals, whether the humans concerned are gatherer-hunters, nomadic pastoralists, or sedentary agriculturalists. Fertility comes from deities of land, water (dew, rain, springs, and rivers), and light, as well as from seasonal (especially Spring), vegetation, animal, and just down-right sexual deities. Fertility is another way of conceptualizing the well-being of life on Earth, the primary concern of many deities. It is also interesting to note that many warrior deities are also fertility deities and sexual deities (i guess they're just brimming with energy!). Warrior deities were frequently also fertility, sex, and "star" deities (especially, but not limited to the planet Venus as the Morning and Evening Stars).

* Healer

  • Goddess: Athena (Greek), Bast (Egyptian), Brigit (Irish Celtic), Gula (Mesopotamian), Hygeia (Greek), Nin-Karak (Mesopotamian), Salus (Roman).
  • God: Asklepios (Greek), Eshmun (Canaanite-Phoenician), Horus (Egyptian), Imhotep (Egyptian), Pan (Greek), Thoth (Egyptian).

* Horned

  • God: Baal Hammon (Phoenician-Carthaginian), Baal Karnayin (Phoenician-Carthaginian), Cernunnos (Gaulic Celtic), Herne (British Celtic), Pan (Greek).
  • Goddess: I don't know any horned Goddesses (which doesn't mean there aren't any), but there are many who are keepers of the animals or having horned animals associated with them.

* Hunter

  • God: Ninurta, Ull/Uller.
  • Goddess: Anath (Canaanite), Artemis (Greek), Astarte/Athtart (Canaanite-Phoenician), Diana (Roman), Neith (Egyptian).

* Initiator and Initiatee

Many deities share one or both sides of this experience. Persephone is an initiate, for example, who becomes an initiator.

* Menstruating Goddess

related to the changing faces of the moon - see Moon goddesses and Triple Goddesses

* Monopolist God:

Ahura-Mazda (Persian/Zoroastrian), Allah (Arabian), Aten (Egyptian), Byelbog (Slavic), Mithra (Persian), Yahuh/Yahweh/Jehovah (Canaanite-Phoenician-Hebrew).

They have their parallels/nemeses in a personification of evil/darkness, who are in continual struggle with the deity of good/light, the Anti-God/Demons of Evil:
Angra Mainyu/Ahriman (Persian/Zoroastrian), Chernobog (Slavic), the Danava-Asuras, the Devil (Christian), the Giants, the Rakshasa (Hindu), Satan/Shaitan (Christian-Moslem), (Goddess: Tiamat who was put into this category much later))

* Moon

  • Goddess: Aponibolinayen, Arianrhod (Welsh Celtic), Artemis (Greek), Chang-O/Heng-O (Chinese), Diana (Roman), Hianuwele, Hina (Polynesian), Losna, Luna (Roman), Phoebe (Greek), Selene (Greek).
  • God: Bahloo, Chandra (Hindu), Eterah, Khonshu (Egyptian), Mah, Myesyats (Slavic), Nanna, Sin, Tsukiyomi (Japanese), Varuna (Hindu), Yirakh (Canaanite-Phoenician).

* Muse/Inspiration

  • Goddess: Ama, Brigit (Celtic), the Muses (3 X 3) (Greek).
  • God: Odin, Mimir.

* Prophet/Oracle

  • Goddess: Astarte/Athtartu (Canaanite-Phoenician), Freya (Norse), the Morrigan (Celtic), Nina.
  • God: Apollo (Greek), Pan (Greek), Shamash (Mesopotamian).

* Psychopompos/Soul Guide

  • God: Anubis (Egyptian), Hermes (Greek), Pushan, Thoth (Egyptian), Upuaut (Egyptian), Yama (Buddhist).
  • Goddess: Maat (Egyptian), Yami (Buddhist).

* Sacrificed God

see Vegetation God, Oak King/Holly King, and Old King/Young Hero; don't forget Jesus. Oak King (rules from midwinter - Waxing Year) and Holly King (rules from midsummer - Waning Year): British half-year twins. I see this as a variation on the Old King slain by the Young Hero, a common Celtic myth. This is a sub-category of Sacrificed God, and was given prominence by the Farrars because of their English Traditionalist backgrounds.

* Sea

This doesn't include the numerous river, spring, and rain deities, who are important especially where peoples are not near the sea.
  • God: Aegir (Norse), Dagon (Canaanite), Dylan (Welsh Celtic), Ler/Llyr (Welsh Celtic), Mannanan/Manawyddan (Welsh Celtic), Neptune (Roman), Njord (Norse), Oceanus (Greek), Poseidon (Greek), Proteus (Greek), Yam (Canaanite-Phoenician-Hebrew).
  • Goddess: Amphitrite (Greek), Asherah/Athirat (Canaanite-Phoenician-Hebrew), Nammu, the Nereids (Greek), the Oceanids (Greek), Salacis, Siduri, Tethys (Egyptian), Tiamat (Mesopotamian). Androgynous: Nunnu, Olokun (Nigerian/Afro-Diasporic).

* Sex, Seductive Love, and Beauty

  • Goddess: Anath (Canaanite), Aphrodite (Greek), Astarte/Athtartu (Canaanite-Phoenician), Freya (Norse), Hathor (Egyptian), Inanna (Sumerian), Ishtar (Mesopotamian), Libitina, Oshun (Nigerian/Afro-Diasporic), Rati, Venus (Roman).
  • God: Aizen-Myoo (Japanese), Angus, Eros (Greek), Hermes (Greek), Krishna (Hindu), Kuvera (Hindu), Yarilo (Slavic).

* Shapeshifter

  • God: Proteus (Greek), Math ab Mathonwy (Welsh Celtic).
  • Goddess: Cerridwen (Welsh Celtic). There are more, but you'll have to find them; often Tricksters are Shapeshifters, too.

* Sky/Thunderer/Storm

No, they're not really all the same, but they often end up undifferentiated. Some are related to Solar deity.
  • God: Aether (sky) (Greek), Agni (Indian), Aji-Suki-Takahikone (thunder) (Japanese), Ama-No-Minakanushi-No-Kami (middle heavens) (Japanese), An, Anshar, Ansur, Baal (thunder/storm) (Canaanite-Phoenician-Carthaginian), Dyaus-Pitar (Etruscan), Enlil (Mesopotamian), Hadad (thunder/storm) (Canaanite-Mesopotamian), Indra (Hindu), Ishkur, Jupiter (thunder/sky) (Roman), Lei-Gung (thunder) (Chinese), Naru-Kami (thunder spirit) (Japanese), Obatallah (pure father) (Nigerian/Afro-Diasporic), Perun (lightning) (Slavic), Rudra (Hindu), Shango (thunder) (Nigerian/Afro-Diasporic), Stribog (storms) (Slavic), Summanus, Susanowo (thunder and storms), Svarog (sky) (Slavic), Take-Mikazuchi (thunder) (Japanese), Tangaroa/Kanaloa (Polynesian-Hawaiian), Thor (sky, thunder, storms) (Norse), Tinia, Tung Wang Kung (sky) (Chinese), Varuna (Hindu), Zeus (Greek).
  • Goddess: Aponibolinayen (sky), Cupra (thunder), Hera (lightning, thunder, storms) (Greek), Hiiaka (sky), Inanna (sky) (Sumerian), Nuit (sky) (Egyptian), Oya (lightning, thunder, storms) (Nigerian/Afro-Diasporic), Satavaesa (thunder and lightning), Tien Mu (lightning) (Chinese), Waitiri (thunder).

* Solar/Sun

What are often today described as solar deities were actually deities of light, which is not necessarily the same thing.
  • God: Amun (Egyptian), Apollo (light) (Greek), Aten (Egyptian), Atum, Baldur (light) (Norse), Byelbog (light) (Slavic), Dazhbog (sun) (Slavic), Helios (sun) (Greek), Horus (Egyptian), Hvare-Khshaeta, Hyperion (Greek), Lugh (light), Mithra (Persian), Perun (Slavic), Pushan, Ra (sun) (Egyptian), Shamash (sun) (Mesopotamian), Sol (sun), Surya (sun)(Hindu), Utu, Vivasvat.
  • Goddess: Amaterasu (Japanese), Hathor (Egyptian), Ningal (Mesopotamian), Shapash (Canaanite), Sullis (British), Tefnut (Egyptian), Theia (Greek), Yhi.

* Son/Lover God

Earth Mother or Great Creatrix gives birth to a male with whom she mates and bears offspring - a common theme, but not usually the primary characteristic of the deities in question. Common in most of the world's mythologies. Some end up as Dying/Sacrificed God. Adonis (Canaanite-Phoenician-Hebrew), Attis.

* Sorcery/Magic

  • Goddess: Cerridwen (Welsh Celtic), Circe (Greek), Hekate (Greek).
  • God: Gwydion (Welsh Celtic), Kothar-wa-Khisis (Canaanite), Math (Welsh Celtic), Thoth (Egyptian).

* Time-Measuring, often Lunar, sometimes Solar

  • God: El (Father of Years) (Canaanite-Phoenician-Carthaginian-Hebrew), Huitzilopochtli (Aztec), Khonsu (moon) (Egyptian), Kronos (Greek), Mah (moon and time), Sin (moon), Sol, Thoth (Egyptian), Tsukiyomi (Japanese).
  • Goddess: Anna Perenna (succession of years), Kali (time) (Hindu).
C.f., Moon Deities.

* Trickster - who may also be a shapeshifter

Anansi the Spider, Coyote (Native American), Ellegua, Hermes (Greek), Krishna (Hindu), Loki, Maui (Hawaiian), Rabbit (Native American), Raven (Native American), Sun Hou-Tzu the monkey spirit (Chinese).

* Triple Goddess

3 in 1, Multiple Goddesses - Much is made of this in neo-Pagan Wicca, but it is actually not that common in traditional Pagan cultures, and sometimes a cluster of Goddesses is forced into this role, or rather, modern practitioners have a tendency to attempt to see many goddesses this way who were not originally so. Some goddesses who appear to actually be triple: Brigit, the Fates/the Furies/the Graiae (Greek), the Graces (may be more than 3) (Greek), Hecate Trivia (Greek), the Morrigan, the Mothers (Celtic), the Norns (Norse), Zoryas (Slavic).

* Underworld/Chthonic (not always Death)

  • Goddess: Belili, Ereshkigal, Hakea, Hel, Hikuleo, Hina (Hawaiian), Hubishag, Libitina, Mahuea/Mahui-Iki, Mania, Nepthys (Egyptian), Persephone (Greek), Rhiannon (Welsh Celtic).
  • God: Dis (Etruscan), Hades (Greek), Mantus, Mider, Mot/Mawet (Canaanite-Phoenician-Hebrew), Nergal, Orcus, Osiris (Egyptian), Pluton (Greek), Rudra, Varuna, Yen Wang.

* Vegetation/Agriculture

  • God: Adonis (Phoenician-Hebrew), Amun (Egyptian), Attis, Bonus Eventus, Consus, Dagan (Canaanite), Dumuzi (Sumerian), John Barleycorn (British), Marduk (Assyrian), Orisha Oko, Osiris (Egyptian), Poseidon (Greek), Yarilo (Slavic).
  • Goddess: Ceres, Demeter (Greek), Flora, Hinlil, Horta, Nikkal, Nisaba, Venus.

* Virgin - may or may not be celibate

  • Goddess: Anath (Canaanite), Artemis (Greek), Athena (Greek), Britomartis (Cretan), Hestia (Greek), Mary (Christian), Vesta (Roman).
  • God: While there are numerous gods without regular or permanent partners, there are none I can think of who are widely know for being single, or celibate.

* War

  • God: Ares (Greek), Asshur (Assyrian), the Dagda, Karttikeya, Llew Llaw Erient/ Llud/ Nudd/ Nuada of the Silver Hand (Welsh Celtic), Lugh of the Long Arm, Mars (Roman), Mavors (Etruscan), Mithra, Nergal, Ninurta, Odin, Onouris, Perun (Slavic), Reshef/Rashap (Canaanite-Phoenician), Tyr/Tiw.
  • Goddess: Agasaya, Anath (Canaanite), Astarte (Canaanite-Phoenician), Athena (Greek), Bellona, Enyo, Inanna (Sumerian), Ishtar (Akkadian), Macha, the Morrigan, Neith (Egyptian), Sekhmet (Egyptian), Zorya (Slavic).

* Wisdom

  • God: Baldur, Bragi, Ea, Enki, Ganesha (Hindu), Hermes (Greek), Kvasir, Mimir, Nabu, Oghma, Prometheus (Greek), Tahuti/Thoth (Egyptian), Varuna (Hindu), Woden/Odin.
  • Goddess: Asherah (Canaanite-Phoenician-Hebrew), Athena (Greek), Belili, Cailleach, Hekate (Greek), Minerva, Sarasvati (Hindu), Sophia (Gnostic-Greek-Christian), Tara (Tibetan), Tashmit, Vach, Vajra-Yogini.

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Obviously there are other categories not listed above, and some deities fit into more than one category. Frequently European-oriented Neo-Paganism exhibits strong dualistic and sexist bias, viz. a dark, receptive, nurturing, birth-giving Earth and/or Lunar Goddess who is partnered with a bright, dynamic, active, ultimately dying-and-reborn Solar God, Lord of the Animals, etc. This apparently comes from several sources. One important source is the Neo-Platonic and Hermetic writings which were a powerful influence on Ceremonial Magicians from the Renaissance to the present day, much of which was incorporated consciously and subconsciously into contemporary Wicca. Another important source are Frazer's reductionist Victorian/Edwardian writings of the beginning of the 20th century, especially The Golden Bough, most of whose theories have long been considered outdated by scholars in the field, but which continues to influence neo-Pagans. Despite the pervasivness of these attitudes in contemporary neo-Paganism and Wicca, it does not, in fact, indicate a basic human "truth," i.e., that the Moon is always Female and the Sun is always Male, etc. It is important to note that in a number of mythos, the Moon is male and the Sun female, in some the Sky is female, the Earth is male. There a quite a few Ladies of the Animals, too. This can be seen in a number of mythos on many continents, including Egypt, the Near East, Eastern Europe, and Asia.


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Other Categorizations, Other Systems

Jungian psychology, another powerful influence on contemporary Neo-Paganism, sets up a system of archetypes which serve to reinforce this misleading sexist view. It also would appear that the idea of the animus, a masculine "soul" within the female body and the anima, a feminine "soul" within the male body would lead to a better integration of gender identified roles. Unfortunately, traditional Jungianism asserts, for example, that a woman should not get too in touch with her animus or she will behave like a man, denying her true feminine nature, whose goal is to assist a man in discovering his true nature. Obviously, this creates additional difficulties for homosexual or lesbian and bisexual identified persons. At the time of its development by Carl Gustav Jung, the core theories of Jungian psychology were quite liberating. Even though only 60-75 years have past, the ideas of Jung and his followers have not been accepted by the more conservative psychotherapeutic community, and yet they are already out-dated. Today, however, some of his more radical current followers are attempting to free Jungian analysis from some of its sexist biases.

Another problem area in the works of Jungians is their stress on Greek deities to the exclusion of deities of other cultures, as if they are not valid representations of human archetypes. In fact, David L. Miller states that we don't need to utilize other deities "because we are Occidental," as if, for one thing, Greek deities are the only Occidental deities, and two, we are all Occidental, which in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society like America is a patent falsehood. Even so, writings by Jungians are of great use to Neo-Pagans, as long as one watches carefully for biases and assumptions.


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The circle of mythological female types from Erich Neumann's book, The Great Mother, presents another interesting model for thinking about relationships among different deities and the qualities within us they embody. I do not agree entirely with his assignment of certain qualities, but it is a useful tool in thinking about what deities represent. In this particular work, the author was evidently dealing with the negative effects of these archetypes, but if you look at the chart in Neumann's book, you can see the positive effects as well.

Neumann's four basic categories -- Good Mother - Positive Transformative Female (Virgin, Muse, Sophia) - Negative Transformative Female (Young Seductive Witch) - Terrible Mother (Old Witch) -- are paralleled in some other Jungian writings and include 4 basic masculine categories as well.

The four feminine shadows (as they are also called) which parallel the "positive" categories, are Earth Mother (nourishing, protecting), Uninitiated Girl (unconscious sexuality, infantile fantasy, rebels against mother, potential for creative spirituality), Femme Fatale (may represent mother's unlived sexuality or father's unrelated to feminine side), and Devouring Witch (cold, impersonal, depressive, evident in eating disorders).

The four masculine shadows are Father-Jehovah (desire to maintain status quo), Adolescent Rebel ("hungry boy," wounded masculinity, rejects father's ideals, potential for creative spirituality), Don Juan (may represent father's unlived sexuality or mother's unrelated-to masculine side), and Demon (reinforces inertia, either-or attitudes, devour or die, rigidity that kills feminity).


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Another set of archetypes that I encountered in Jungian writings about the masculine were Wildman, Warrior, Lover, Magician, King. I found it interesting that the author left out Father, which could represent a nurturing male parent. Instead, the author assumed that basic father-functions were covered by the other categories. Apparently from the Jungian perspective, the Father does not function as a positive parent, only as a negative parent. The positive parent archetype is the Mother, which can be a function of a human male. Here we encounter more basic assumtions of Jungianism which are sexist and limiting to psychological growth and wholeness. However, there are contemporary reinterpretations which open up Jungianism and relieve some of the gender/sexuality biases inherent in the original system.

Finally, I would like to introduce another set of archetypes as used by psychologist Carol S. Pearson to represent stages of personal growth, six in her book The Hero Within, and expanded to 12 in Awakening the Heroes Within (in italics):
Innocent, Orphan, Warrior, Caregiver, Wanderer/Seeker, Martyr/Destroyer, Lover, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Sage, Fool.
These are useful to Neo-Pagans in charting our journeys to contact with the Divine, and are not tied to gender or sexuality. They relate to the individual’s life quest.


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Sources

Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon, Beacon Hill Press.
Excellent general introduction to Neo-Paganism, its variations and their practices.

Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God, 4 vols.: Creative Mythology; Primitive Mythology; Oriental Mythology; Occidental Mythology, Penguin Paperback.
Read them all critically. As inspired and inspiring as Campbell can be, he is also rather patriarchal, or at best, androcentric.

H. R. Ellis Davidson, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, Penguin Paperback.
Sensible approach to the history and myths of the Norse folk.

William G. Doty, Mythography, The Study of Myths and Rituals, The University of Alabama Press.
An incredible work reviewing the study of myths and rituals and the various theories about their purposes and meanings. Phenomenally well-balanced with a remarkable bibliography.

Janet and Stewart Farrar, The Witches' Goddess and The Witches' God, Phoenix Publishing Co.
A pair of companion volumes; introduction to modern Neo-Pagan Wiccan views on many ancient deities with an British traditional slant.

Marija Gimbutas, Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, University of California Press.
An analysis based on what is known of the religious life of the Neolithic period, primarily from archeology.

Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, Vols. 1 and 2, Penguin Paperback.
Storytelling and analysis with Graves' own particular points of view.

Rhoda A. Hendricks, Mythologies of the World, A Concise Encyclopedia, McGraw-Hill.
Encyclopedic listing of deities, heroes, and mythical beings from the world over.

Samuel Noah Kramer, editor, Mythologies of the Ancient World.
A collection of essays concerning both Old and New World mythologies and pantheons by scholars in each area.

Janet McCrickard, Eclipse of the Sun: an Investigation into Sun and Moon Myths, Gothic Image Publications.
An analysis of the cultural biases which have led to the assumption that the real deity of the Sun is male and the real deity of the Moon is female. Presents a vast amount of material concerning Solar Goddesses and Lunar Gods worldwide.

David L. Miller, The New Polytheism: Rebirth of the Gods and Goddesses, Spring Publications.
Jungian approach to the necessity of polytheism, with particular focus on archetypal use of Greek deities. Thought-provoking. Miller believes that polytheism will lead to "an expanding consciousness, a new sensibility, a remythologization of life." Then he says that we should see only through the eyes of the Greeks Gods and Goddesses, not those of Egypt, India, the Ancient Near East, or Far East Asia, because "we are Occidental men and women." Are we? What does he mean, "WE" ?

Patricia Monoghan, The Book of Goddesses and Heroines, Phoenix Publishing Co.
"Dictionary" of goddesses and heroines from nearly all world cultures; excellent source book.

Erich Neumann, The Great Mother, An Analysis of the Archetype, Princeton University Press/Bollingen Paperback.
A rather "thick" book, in more ways than one, explores in great depth the Jungian conceptualization and interpretation of the Mother-Goddess, her elementary and transformative chracteristics, as well as positive and negative aspects. Profusely illustraed with over 185 black-and-white plates and nearly 75 line drawings of goddesses from the world over. Includes some myths from a variety of cultures, ancient and modern.

Carl Olsen, The Book of the Goddess, Past and Present, Crossroad.
Collection of essays on goddesses from many cultures which compensates for Cambell's masculine focus.

Carol S. Pearson, The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By and Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World, HarperCollins.
How we can use the archetypes she has developed to grow and change and to create and utlilze our own personal myths. The second book is an expansion of the first with mnay exercises and meditations. Essentially, but not exclusively, Jungian without much gender bias.

W. L. Reese, Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion: Eastern and Western Thought, Humanities Press (US), Harvester Press (UK).
Definitions and descriptions of an enormous varities of theologies, philosophies, and thinkers.

For additional Pagan-oriented Jungian information, see works by:

Karl Kerenyi, whose many works present analyses of the functions of Greek deities within Greek society from a Jungian persepctive (highly recommended).

Ginette Paris, whose works include Pagan Meditations and Pagan Grace (both VERY HIGHLY recommended).

Jean Shinoda Bolen, whose works, Goddesses in Everywoman and Gods in Everyman represent a popularization by applying Greek deities as Jungian archetypes to personal psychology, with the risk of oversimplification.

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Copyright1990-1997 Lilinah biti-Anat, except where otherwise noted.

An earlier form of this essay was presented for The Fellowship of the Spiral Path, Old Religion Class, Tuesday, 13 November 1990


Bars, Bullets, and Buttons courtesy of Debbie's Button Bonanza



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