Sky Deity
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Sky Deity
Jupiter, the sky father of Roman religion and mythology.

The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky.

The day lit sky deities are typically distinct from the night time sky deities. Stith Thompson's Motif-Index of Folk-Literature reflects this by separating the category of "Sky-god" (A210) from that of "Star-god" (A250). In mythology, night time gods are usually known as night deities and gods of stars simply as star gods. Both of these categories are included here since they relate to the sky. Luminary deities are included as well since the sun and moon are located in the sky. Some religions may also have a deity or personification of the day, distinct from the god of the day lit sky, to complement the deity or personification of the night.

Day time gods and night time gods are frequently deities of an "upper world" or "celestial world" opposed to the earth and a "netherworld" (gods of the underworld are sometimes called "chthonic" deities).[1] Within Greek mythology, Uranus was the primordial sky god, who was ultimately succeeded by Zeus, who ruled the celestial realm atop Mount Olympus. In contrast to the celestial Olympians was the chthonic deity Hades, who ruled the underworld, and Poseidon, who ruled the sea.[2]

Any masculine sky god is often also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon. Such king gods are collectively categorized as "sky father" deities, with a polarity between sky and earth often being expressed by pairing a "sky father" god with an "earth mother" goddess (pairings of a sky mother with an earth father are less frequent). A main sky goddess is often the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she usually has other functions as well with "sky" not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans often apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically.

Gods may rule the sky as a pair (for example, ancient Semitic supreme god El and the fertility goddess Asherah whom he was most likely paired with).[3] The following is a list of sky deities in various polytheistic traditions arranged mostly by language family, which is typically a better indicator of relatedness than geography.

Indo-European languages

Proto-Indo-European

Albanian

  • Perendi, god of the light, sky and heaven
  • Zojz, god of the sky and lightning

Baltic

Celtic

  • Latobius, sky and mountain god equated with the Greek gods Zeus and Ares
  • Nuada, god of the sky, wind, and war
  • Sulis, goddess of the hot springs at Bath; probably originally the pan-Celtic sun goddess

Germanic

  • Dagr, personification of day
  • Eostre, spring and fertility goddess; originally the Germanic dawn goddess
  • M?nô, the moon
  • Nótt, personification of night
  • S?wil?, the sun
  • Teiwaz, early Germanic sky god, also the god of law, justice, and the thing (assembly)

Greek

  • Aether, primeval god of the upper air
  • Astraeus, dusk god
  • Eos, dawn goddess
  • Helios, personification of the sun
  • Hemera, primordial goddess of day
  • Hera, goddess of the air, marriage, women, women's fertility, childbirth, heirs, kings, and empires
  • Iris, goddess of the rainbow and messenger of Hera
  • Nephele, cloud nymph in Hera's likeness
  • Nyx, primordial goddess of night
  • Selene, personification of the moon
  • Uranus, primeval god of the sky
  • Zeus, king of the gods, ruler of Mount Olympus, god of the sky, weather, law, order, and civilization

Hindu

Iranian

  • Asm?n, god of sky
  • M?h, god of the moon
  • Ohrmazd, sky father, the Great God
  • Ttar, god of Sirius star and Rainfall.
  • Xwarxd, god of the sun
  • U?a, goddess of dawn

Roman

  • Aurora, dawn goddess
  • Caelus, personification of the sky, equivalent to the Greek Uranus
  • Juno, goddess of the sky, queen of the gods, and Jupiter's wife, equivalent to the Greek Hera
  • Jupiter, king of heaven and god of the sky and weather, equivalent to the Greek Zeus
  • Luna, moon goddess
  • Nox, Roman version of Nyx, night goddess and mother of Discordia
  • Sol, sun god
  • Summanus, god of nocturnal thunder/lightning

Slavic

  • Stribog, god of the winds, sky, and air
  • Triglav, a triple god whose three heads represent sky, earth, and underworld

Thracian and Phrygian

Afro-Asiatic

Ancient Egyptian

  • Amun, god of creation and the wind
  • Anhur, originally a foreign war god who became associated with the air god, Shu
  • Hathor, originally a sky goddess
  • Horus, god of the sun, sky, kings, and war
  • Khonsu, moon god
  • Mehet-Weret, goddess of the sky
  • Nut, goddess of the sky
  • Ra, god of the sun
  • Shu, god of the air
  • Thoth, originally a moon god, later became a writing/knowledge god and the scribe of the other gods

Berber

Semitic

  • Asherah, sky goddess and consort of El; after the rise of Yahweh, she may have become Yahweh's consort before being demonized and the Israelite religion going monotheistic
  • Baalshamin, "Lord of the Heavens" (c.f. Armenian Barsamin)
  • El (god), original sky god and sky father of the Israelites (and other Semitic tribes) before Yahweh
  • Yahweh, deity whose origin is unclear, but rose to prominence among the Israelites, was conflated with El, and became the sole god among them; the Bible heavily associates him with the sky

Uralic

Finnic

  • Ilmari, godlike smith-hero and creator of the sky. Associated with Ukko by some researchers.[4]
  • Ilmatar, virgin spirit of the air[5]
  • Ukko, supreme god of sky, weather, thunder, crops (harvest) and other natural things.[6]
  • Perkele, associated with Ukko by some researchers. A name for Devil in Finnish.[7][8]
  • Taara, Oeselian chief god of thunder and the sky

Mari

  • Kugu Jumo, chief god of the sky, creator of the world, associated with a duck
  • Tõlze, god of the moon
  • Piambar, daughter of the sky
  • Shudyr-Shamich, god of the stars
  • Uzhara, god of the dawn

Mordvin

  • Värde-?kaj, Mokshan supreme god of the sky
  • Ni?kepaz, Erzyan supreme god of the sky
  • Kovava, Mokshan goddess of the moon

Permic

  • Inmar, Udmurt god of the heavens
  • Jenmar, Komi sky and chief god, creator of the world, associated with the moose

Sami

  • Horagalles, Sami god of the sky, thunder and lightning, the rainbow, weather, oceans, lakes, human life, health and well-being.[9]
  • Mano, god of the moon

Samoyedic

  • Num, god of the sky

Ugric

Sino-Tibetan

Chinese

  • Yu Huang Dadi-Jade Emperor (center)
  • Ziwei Dadi-polestar emperor (north)
  • Changsheng Dadi-longevity emperor (south)
  • Qinghua Dadi-azure-illustrious emperor (east)
  • Taiji Tianhuang Dadi-ultimate heaven emperor (west)
  • Chang'e, moon goddess who lives with the moon rabbit
  • Shang Di, the celestial emperor
  • Xihe (deity), sun goddess
  • Zhinü, weaver of the clouds and possible dawn goddess

Twenty Four Sky Emperors (Tiandi )

  • Six Tiandi of the North
    • 1. Bìfàn Xuánwú Tiandi
    • 2. Bìk?ng Zh?njì Tiandi
    • 3. Bìluó Yuánsh? Tiandi
    • 4. Bìg? Chéngk?i Tiandi
    • 5. Bìyàn Zh?j?ng Tiandi
    • 6. Bìhóng X?kuàng Tiandi
  • Six Tiandi of the South
    • 7. Bìzh?n Dòngyáng Tiandi
    • 8. Bìyáo Jiàngg?ng Tiandi
    • 9. Bìxiá Míngsù Tiandi
    • 10. Bìwú Yàodòng Tiandi
    • 11. Bìyùn Sh?tú Tiandi
    • 12. Bìhào Zh?ngx? Tiandi
  • Six Tiandi of the West
    • 13. Bìshén Zhàozhì Tiandi
    • 14. Bìch?ng Z?yào Tiandi
    • 15. Bìg? Fànk?ng Tiandi
    • 16. Bìdòng Xiáyáng Tiandi
    • 17. Bìhuá K?ilì Tiandi
    • 18. Bìfàn Míngyáo Tiandi
  • Six Tiandi of the North
    • 19. Bìgu?ng Hánhuá Tiandi
    • 20. Bìyè Zhùyán Tiandi
    • 21. Bìd?n Huáqì Tiandi
    • 22. Bìkuò Címíng Tiandi
    • 23. Bìlà G?y?n Tiandi
    • 24. Bìx? Níngyáng Tiandi

Twenty Eight Sky Emperors (Tiandi )

  • Seven Tiandi of the East
    • 1. Tàimíng Hùzh?n Tiandi
    • 2. Juéfàn Tàilíng Tiandi
    • 3. Húyuè Cuìxiù Tiandi
    • 4. Z?d?n Míngch? Tiandi
    • 5. Dòngxiá Yùzh?n Tiandi
    • 6. K?ngxuán Lìsh? Tiandi
    • 7. Qiáot?ng Zh?p? Tiandi
  • Seven Tiandi of the South
    • 8. Yányú Zh?ngsh? Tiandi
    • 9. J?ngwéi Xi?omíng Tiandi
    • 10. Qìngfú Z?shàn Tiandi
    • 11. Suíwén X?dù Tiandi
    • 12. Chángj? Lèwán Tiandi
    • 13. Qíhuá Bùróng Tiandi
    • 14. G?olíng Dàiwú Tiandi
  • Seven Tiandi of the West
    • 15. Zh?uyú Píngwú Tiandi
    • 16. J?ngyán Tàizh?n Tiandi
    • 17. L?j?ng Sh?chén Tiandi
    • 18. Niúluó P?shì Tiandi
    • 19. Dìngliáng Huìz?ng Tiandi
    • 20. Zhàolíng S?jì Tiandi
    • 21. Ji?w?i Dònghuáng Tiandi
  • Seven Tiandi of the North
    • 22. Dìsh? Gu?ngjìng Tiandi
    • 23. Z?yí Jìhu? Tiandi
    • 24. Zhìdìng Y?nl? Tiandi
    • 25. Gu?ngfàn Jiùzhì Tiandi
    • 26. H Zh?ngbù Tiandi
    • 27. Bày?n Wúyuán Tiandi
    • 28. Dàomíng Húnxìng Tiandi

Thirty Two Sky Emperors (Tiandi )

  • Eight Tiandi of the East
    • 1. Tàihuáng Huángz?ng Tiandi
    • 2. Tàimíng Yùwán Tiandi
    • 3. Q?ngmíng Hétóng Tiandi
    • 4. Xuánt?i Píngyù Tiandi
    • 5. Yuánmíng Wénj? Tiandi
    • 6. Q?yào Móyí Tiandi
    • 7. X?wú Yuèhéng Tiandi
    • 8. Tàijí Méngyì Tiandi
  • Eight Tiandi of the South
    • 9. Chìmíng Héyáng Tiandi
    • 10. Xuánmíng G?nghuá Tiandi
    • 11. Yàomíng Z?ngpi?o Tiandi
    • 12. Zhúlà Huángji? Tiandi
    • 13. X?míng Tángyào Tiandi
    • 14. Guànmíng Du?njìng Tiandi
    • 15. Xuánmíng G?ngqìng Tiandi
    • 16. Tàihuàn Jíyáo Tiandi
  • Eight Tiandi of the West
    • 17. Yuánz?i K?ngsh?ng Tiandi
    • 18. Tài?n Huángyá Tiandi
    • 19. Xi?ndìng Jíf?ng Tiandi
    • 20. Sh?huáng Xiàománg Tiandi
    • 21. Tàihuáng W?ngchóng Tiandi
    • 22. Wús? Ji?ngyóu Tiandi
    • 23. Sh?ngshé Ru?nlè Tiandi
    • 24. Wújí Tánshì Tiandi
  • Eight Tiandi of the North
    • 25. Hàotíng Xi?odù Tiandi
    • 26. Yu?nt?ng Yuándòng Tiandi
    • 27. Hànch?ng Miàochéng Tiandi
    • 28. Xiùlè J?nsh?ng Tiandi
    • 29. Wúshàng Chángróng Tiandi
    • 30. Yùlóng Téngshèng Tiandi
    • 31. Lóngbiàn Fàndù Tiandi
    • 32.Píngyù Ji?yì Tiandi

Sixty Four Sky Emperors (Tiandi )

  • Sixteen Tiandi of the East
    • 1. W?nk?ng Míngfàn Tiandi
    • 2. Z?yuán Bàwú Tiandi
    • 3. Y?nj?ng Yùx? Tiandi
    • 4. Ch?ngzh?ng Dòngjí Tiandi
    • 5. Míngbiàn Yuánhuáng Tiandi
    • 6. L?chóng Yu?nx? Tiandi
    • 7. Jiàozh?n Quánzhòng Tiandi
    • 8. Q?ngw?i Huángy? Tiandi
    • 9. Jiùmíng wàngshì Tiandi
    • 10. Yuèf? Wènshí Tiandi
    • 11. Qìlíng Zh?op? Tiandi
    • 12. Xuánx? Gu?ngfàn Tiandi
    • 13. Sh?ngjí Sìzh?ng Tiandi
    • 14. Yìhu? Zh?ngzhèn Tiandi
    • 15. G?shì B?fàn Tiandi
    • 16. Ji?yán Yùdìng Tiandi
  • Sixteen Tiandi of the South
    • 17. D?nmó Yìhu? Tiandi
    • 18. Dòujiàn X?yú Tiandi
    • 19. Dìgu?ng Wújì Tiandi
    • 20. Zh?líng Yàogu?ng Tiandi
    • 21. Z?j?ng Duànbái Tiandi
    • 22. Jiàngxi?n Táiyuán Tiandi
    • 23. Shu?ngzhì Xièsh?n Tiandi
    • 24. Yùji?ng S?chán Tiandi
    • 25. G?hóu Lìzh?n Tiandi
    • 26. G?xuán Dàoyòng Tiandi
    • 27. L?bù Míngw?i Tiandi
    • 28. Shénlú Ch?ngyìng Tiandi
    • 29. Dùzh?ng Kèz?ng Tiandi
    • 30. Dàhu? Chìy? Tiandi
    • 31. Q?ngdì Dòngyáo Tiandi
    • 32. Xuánchéng B?ihu? Tiandi
  • Sixteen Tiandi of the West
    • 33. J?nlí Gu?ngq? Tiandi
    • 34. Jíhuáng Xuányùn Tiandi
    • 35. Zh?uyán Jìngpíng Tiandi
    • 36. B?osòng Róngz? Tiandi
    • 37. Qìngzh?n M?iyuán Tiandi
    • 38. Zhàiwú Shénsì Tiandi
    • 39. G?ojiàng Zhìhuá Tiandi
    • 40. Dàoq? Yánjì Tiandi
    • 41. Tónglì Dàochú Tiandi
    • 42. D?ngshén Huàw?i Tiandi
    • 43. Tài?n Shùnjí Tiandi
    • 44. Qióngx? Yàoxi?n Tiandi
    • 45. Z?d? Yuègu?ng Tiandi
    • 46. Cu?k?ng Jiéshí Tiandi
    • 47. Jìngbì Làmáng Tiandi
    • 48. P?h?i Dòngj? Tiandi
  • Sixteen Tiandi of the North
    • 49. Yúsì T?ngzh?n Tiandi
    • 50. H?ji? P?f?ng Tiandi
    • 51. Qiúyu?n Làyú Tiandi
    • 52. J?nbái Zh?ngjì Tiandi
    • 53. Huánglì K?ngxi? Tiandi
    • 54. Yáosh? J?nglíng Tiandi
    • 55. Shényín Xi?od? Tiandi
    • 56. Qìngzh?o Yuèfú Tiandi
    • 57. Ch?nmíng Chúk? Tiandi
    • 58. F?ngxìn K?ofú Tiandi
    • 59. Zhèngrù Bàobù Tiandi
    • 60. G?ngl?i Lìquán Tiandi
    • 61. Gu?ch? Sh?lè Tiandi
    • 62. Língfù H?ilún Tiandi
    • 63. Sh?ngjí Xi?otán Tiandi
    • 64. Bìcháng Dòngyuán Tiandi

Myanmar

Korean

Americas

Lakota

  • Anpao wichapi, the Morning Star spirit, bringer of knowledge and new beginnings
  • Han, the spirit of night, representative of ignorance
  • Hanbli Gleska, the Spotted Eagle spirit, usually regarded as Wakan Thanka
  • Hanwi, the moon spirit of knowledge, feminine power, sometimes considered to be the wife of Wi
  • Mahgpia Oyate, the Cloud People, also known as the Wichapi Oyate (Star People)
  • Wohpe, the spirit of meteors or falling stars (often confused with Fallen Star), also the spirit of beauty, love, wishes, dreams, and prophecy
  • Wakinyan, thunder spirit usually taking the form of a bird
  • Wi, the sun spirit responsible for bringing light and wisdom to the Lakota oyate
  • Wichapi oyate, the Star People, each having respective powers however they usually represent knowledge to some degree
  • Wichapi Hinhpaya, the Fallen Star, the son of Wichapi owáila and Tapun Sa Win
  • Wichapi owáila, the Resting Star or Polaris, the widower of Tapun Sa Win (Red Cheeked Woman)

Incan

Inuit

Iroquoian

Mayan

Puebloans

Taíno mythology

  • Yaya, supreme god in Taíno mythology

Uto-Aztecan

Voodoo

Sub-Saharan Africa

Niger-Congo

Nilo-Saharan

Mixed Niger-Congo and Nilo-Saharan

Khoe languages

Austronesian

Australian

  • Altjira, Arrernte creator and sky god
  • Baiame, southeast Australian creator and sky god
  • Bila (sun), cannibalistic sun goddess
  • Binbeal, god of rainbows
  • Bunjil, Kulin creator and sky god
  • Numakulla, a pair of creator and sky gods
  • Rainbow Serpent, creator god in many Aboriginal cultures associated with water, rain, and rainbows, though it also has a chthonic connection

Filipino

  • llanit: a group of Isnag sky dwellers who are helpful harvest spirits[10]

Malagasy

M?ori

  • Ao, god of light and the sky
  • Ranginui, sky father
  • T?whaki Being of thunder and lightning
  • T?whirim?tea God of weather, storms, thunder and lightning
  • Tane-rore, personification of shimmering air
  • Te Uira Personification of lightning
  • Whaitiri Female Personification of Thunder
  • Uenuku, god of rainbows

Pacific Islands

Austroasiatic

  • Tr?i, sky god in Vietnamese indigenous religion

Hurro-Urartian

Hurrian

  • Hepit, goddess of the sky
  • Teshub, god of the sky and storms

Japanese

  • Amaterasu, goddess of the sun and the universe, ancestor of the emperors of Japan, and the most important deity in Shintoism
  • Amenominakanushi, heavenly ancestral god
  • Izanagi, creator of Japan and sky father
  • Izanami, creator goddess of Japan with her husband; starts off as a sky goddess, but after she dies becomes a death/underworld/chthonic goddess
  • Marici, Buddhist goddess of the heavens
  • Tsukuyomi, god of the moon and brother of Amaterasu

Kra-Dai

Turkish and Mongolian

Isolate languages

Etruscan

  • Ani, primordial god of the sky identified with the Greek Uranus and Roman Caelus
  • Tinia, god of the sky

Sumerian

  • Anshar, god of the sky
  • Anu, king of the gods, associated with the sky, heaven, and constellations
  • Enlil, god of breath, air, and wind
  • Utu, god of the sun

See also

References

  1. ^ Kearns, Emily (2011-12-15), "Chthonic Deities", The Homer Encyclopedia, Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, doi:10.1002/9781444350302.wbhe0296, ISBN 978-1-4051-7768-9, But the word "chthonic" is usually taken to refer principally to what is under the earth.
  2. ^ Buckler, John (2015-12-22), "Helicon", Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.2979, ISBN 978-0-19-938113-5
  3. ^ El was identified with the obscure deity Yahweh in early Hebrew religion, ultimately giving rise to Hebrew monotheism by the 7th century BCE; according to the Hebrew Bible it was 7th-century Judean king Josiah who removed the statue of Asherah from the temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem. See also The Hebrew Goddess.
  4. ^ Salo, Unto (2005). Ukko, the Finnish God of Thunder: Separating Pagan Roots from Christian Accretions. Mankind Quarterly.
  5. ^ The Kalevala: Epic of the Finnish People. Compiled by Elias Lönnrot. Translated by Eino Friberg (4th ed.). Otava Publishing Company. 1998. ISBN 951-1-10137-4.
  6. ^ Salo, Unto (1990). Agricola's Ukko in the light of archeology. A chronological and interpretative study of ancient Finnish religion: Old Norse and Finnish religions and cultic place-names. Turku. ISBN 951-649-695-4.
  7. ^ "Miten suomalaiset kiroilivat ennen kristinuskoa?". Retrieved .
  8. ^ Siikala, Anna-Leena (2012). Itämerensuomalaisten mytologia. SKS.
  9. ^ Krohn, Kaarle (1906). Lappische Beiträge zur germanischen Mythologie. Finnisch-Ugrische Forschungen 6.
  10. ^ Vanoverbergh, M. (1941). The Isneg Farmer. Catholic Anthropologist Conference. Vol. III, No. 4.

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