Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Low Gods “Earth” or Tutelary deity and High Gods “Sky” or Supreme deity

“An Earth goddess is a deification of the Earth. Earth goddesses are often associated with the “chthonic” deities of the underworld. Ki and Ninhursag are Mesopotamian earth goddesses. In Greek mythology, the Earth is personified as Gaia, corresponding to Roman Terra, Indic Prithvi/Bhūmi, etc. traced to an “Earth Mother” complementary to the “Sky Father” in Proto-Indo-European religion. Egyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref

“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of nature, motherhood, fertility, creation, destruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. In some religious traditions or movements, Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father.” ref

Tutelary deity

“A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of “tutelary” expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship. In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.” ref

America Tutelary deities

  • Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec.
  • Totem, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals. ref

Asia Tutelary deities

  • Chinese folk religion, both past and present, includes a myriad of tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages and prominent ancestors will be deified and honored after passing away. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors.Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of individual locality and each locality has its own Earth Deity.
    Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of individual city, and are worship by local officials and locals since imperial times. ref
  • In Hinduism, tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata and Kuldevi or Kuldevta. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include:Mumbadevi (Mumbai)
    Sachchika (Osian) ref

Kuladevis include:

* Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling.* Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan.

  • In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped.
  • Thai provincial capitals have tutelary city pillars and palladiums. The guardian spirit of a house is known as Chao Thi (เจ้าที่) or Phra Phum (พระภูมิ). Almost every traditional household in Thailand has a miniature shrine housing this tutelary deity, known as a spirit house.
  • Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge. ref

Ancient Greece Tutelary deities

“The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: For instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. And even Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” ref

Ancient Rome Tutelary deities

“A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was Mars Camulus, Tutelary deities were also attached to sites of a much smaller scale, such as storerooms, crossroads, and granaries. Each Roman home had a set of protective deities: the Lar or Lares of the household or familia, whose shrine was a lararium; the Penates who guarded the storeroom (penus) of the innermost part of the house; Vesta, whose sacred site in each house was the hearth; and the Genius of the paterfamilias, the head of household. The poet Martial lists the tutelary deities who watch over various aspects of his farm. The architecture of a granary (horreum) featured niches for images of the tutelary deities, who might include the genius loci or guardian spirit of the site, Hercules, Silvanus, Fortuna Conservatrix (“Fortuna the Preserver”) and in the Greek East Aphrodite and Agathe Tyche. The Lares Compitales were the tutelary gods of a neighborhood (vicus), each of which had a compitum (shrine) devoted to these. During the Republic, the cult of local or neighborhood tutelaries sometimes became rallying points for political and social unrest.” ref

Germanic Europe Tutelary deities

Slavic Europe Tutelary deities

“Some tutelary deities are known to exist in Slavic Europe, a more prominent example being that of the leshy.” ref

Austronesian Tutelary deities

Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük

“The Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük (also Çatal Höyük) is a baked-clay, nude female form, seated between feline-headed arm-rests. It is generally thought to depict a corpulent and fertile Mother Goddess in the process of giving birth while seated on her throne, which has two hand rests in the form of feline (lioness, leopard, or panther) heads in a Mistress of Animals motif. The statuette, one of several iconographically similar ones found at the site. It is a neolithic sculpture shaped by an unknown artist, and was completed in approximately 6000 BCE or around 8,020 years ago.” ref

Frigg is a goddess in Germanic mythology.

“In Norse mythology, the source of most surviving information about her, she is associated with foresight and wisdom, and dwells in the wetland halls of Fensalir. In wider Germanic mythology, she is known in Old High German as Frīja, in Langobardic as Frēa, in Old English as Frīg, in Old Frisian as Frīa, and in Old Saxon as Frī, all ultimately stemming from the Proto-Germanic theonym *Frijjō, meaning ‘(the) Beloved’ or ‘(the) Free’. Nearly all sources portray her as the wife of the god Odin. In Old High German and Old Norse sources, she is specifically connected with Fulla, but she is also associated with the goddesses Lofn, Hlín, Gná, and ambiguously with the Earth, otherwise personified as an apparently separate entity Jörð (Old Norse: ‘Earth’). The children of Frigg and Odin include the gleaming god Baldr. Due to significant thematic overlap, scholars have proposed a connection to the goddess Freyja. The English weekday name Friday (ultimately meaning ‘Frigg’s Day’) bears her name.” ref

The mural crown of Cybele

“The mural crown of Cybele represents the walls of the city she protects. The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: For instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictator Sulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.” ref

“Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome. The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned. The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as “tower-crowned” represents their capacity to preserve the city.” ref

Lares were guardian deities in ancient Roman religion.

“Lares were guardian deities in ancient Roman religion. Their origin is uncertain; they may have been hero-ancestors, guardians of the hearth, fields, boundaries, or fruitfulness, or an amalgamation of these. Lares were believed to observe, protect, and influence all that happened within the boundaries of their location or function. The statues of domestic Lares were placed at the table during family meals; their presence, cult, and blessing seem to have been required at all important family events. Roman writers sometimes identify or conflate them with ancestor-deities, domestic Penates, and the hearth.” ref

“Because of these associations, Lares are sometimes categorised as household gods, but some had much broader domains. Roadways, seaways, agriculture, livestock, towns, cities, the state, and its military were all under the protection of their particular Lar or Lares. Those who protected local neighbourhoods (vici) were housed in the crossroad shrines (Compitalia), which served as a focus for the religious, social, and political lives of their local, overwhelmingly plebeian communities. Their cult officials included freedmen and slaves, otherwise excluded by status or property qualifications from most administrative and religious offices.” ref

“Compared to Rome’s major deities, Lares had limited scope and potency, but archaeological and literary evidence attests to their central role in Roman identity and religious life. By analogy, a homeward-bound Roman could be described as returning ad Larem (to the Lar). Despite official bans on non-Christian cults from the late fourth century AD onwards, unofficial cults to Lares persisted until at least the early fifth century AD.” ref

Dyeus is the reconstructed name of the daylight-sky god in Proto-Indo-European mythology.

“*Dyḗus (lit. “daylight-sky-god”), also *Dyḗus ph2tḗr (lit. “father daylight-sky-god”), is the reconstructed name of the daylight-sky god in Proto-Indo-European mythology. *Dyēus was the bright sky of the day conceived as a divine entity and as the seat of the gods, the *deywṓs. Associated with the vast diurnal sky and with the fertile rains, *Dyēus was often paired with *Dhéǵhōm, the Earth Mother, in a relationship of union and contrast. While its existence is not directly attested by archaeological or written materials, *Dyēus is considered by scholars the most securely reconstructed deity of the Indo-European pantheon, as identical formulas referring to him can be found among the subsequent Indo-European languages and myths of the Vedic Indo-Aryans, Latins, Greeks, Phrygians, Messapians, Thracians, Illyrians, Albanians, and Hittites.” ref


“Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice, and political power. She was originally worshiped in Sumer under the name “Inanna”, and was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar. She was known as the “Queen of Heaven” and was the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult center. She was associated with the planet Venus and her most prominent symbols included the lion and the eight-pointed star. Her husband was the god Dumuzid (later known as Tammuz) and her sukkal, or personal attendant, was the goddess Ninshubur (who later became the male deity Papsukkal).” ref

“Inanna was worshiped in Sumer at least as early as the Uruk period (4000–3100 BCE or 6.020-5,120 years ago), but she had little cult prior to the conquest of Sargon of Akkad. During the post-Sargonic era, she became one of the most widely venerated deities in the Sumerian pantheon, with temples across Mesopotamia. The cult of Inanna/Ishtar, which may have been associated with a variety of sexual rites, was continued by the East Semitic-speaking people (Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians) who succeeded and absorbed the Sumerians in the region. She was especially beloved by the Assyrians, who elevated her to become the highest deity in their pantheon, ranking above their own national god Ashur. Inanna/Ishtar is alluded to in the Hebrew Bible and she greatly influenced the Phoenician goddess Astoreth, who later influenced the development of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Her cult continued to flourish until its gradual decline between the first and sixth centuries AD in the wake of Christianity, though it survived in parts of Upper Mesopotamia among Assyrian communities as late as the eighteenth century.” ref

“Inanna appears in more myths than any other Sumerian deity. Many of her myths involve her taking over the domains of other deities. She was believed to have stolen the mes, which represented all positive and negative aspects of civilization, from Enki, the god of wisdom. She was also believed to have taken over the Eanna temple from An, the god of the sky. Alongside her twin brother Utu (later known as Shamash), Inanna was the enforcer of divine justice; she destroyed Mount Ebih for having challenged her authority, unleashed her fury upon the gardener Shukaletuda after he raped her in her sleep, and tracked down the bandit woman Bilulu and killed her in divine retribution for having murdered Dumuzid. In the standard Akkadian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar asks Gilgamesh to become her consort. When he refuses, she unleashes the Bull of Heaven, resulting in the death of Enkidu and Gilgamesh’s subsequent grapple with his mortality.” ref

“Inanna/Ishtar’s most famous myth is the story of her descent into and return from Kur, the ancient Sumerian Underworld, a myth in which she attempts to conquer the domain of her older sister Ereshkigal, the queen of the Underworld, but is instead deemed guilty of hubris by the seven judges of the Underworld and struck dead. Three days later, Ninshubur pleads with all the gods to bring Inanna back, but all of them refuse her except Enki, who sends two sexless beings to rescue Inanna. They escort Inanna out of the Underworld, but the galla, the guardians of the Underworld, drag her husband Dumuzid down to the Underworld as her replacement. Dumuzid is eventually permitted to return to heaven for half the year while his sister Geshtinanna remains in the Underworld for the other half, resulting in the cycle of the seasons.” ref

Kutkh Raven spirit traditionally revered in various forms by various indigenous peoples

“Kutkh (also Kutkha, Kootkha, Kutq Kutcha and other variants, Russian: Кутх), is a Raven spirit traditionally revered in various forms by various indigenous peoples of the Russian Far East. Kutkh appears in many legends: as a key figure in creation, as a fertile ancestor of mankind, as a mighty shaman, and as a trickster. He is a popular subject of the animist stories of the Chukchi people and plays a central role in the mythology of the Koryaks and Itelmens of Kamchatka. Many of the stories regarding Kutkh are similar to those of the Raven among the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, suggesting a long history of indirect cultural contact between Asian and North American peoples.” ref

“Kutkh is known widely among the people that share a common Chukotko-Kamchatkan language family. Regionally, he is known as Kúrkil among the Chukchi; as Kutq among the Itelmens; and as KútqI, KútqIy, or KúsqIy among the southeastern Koryaks and KúykIy or QúykIy among the northwestern Koryaks. In Koryak, the name is employed commonly in its augmentative form, (KutqÍnnaku, KusqÍnnaku, KuyÍnnaku) all meaning “Big Kutkh” and often translated simply as “God”.” ref

Kutkh Myths

“The tales of Kutkh come in many, often contradictory versions. In some tales he is explicitly created by a Creator and lets the dawn onto the earth by chipping away at the stones surrounding her. In others he creates himself (sometimes out of an old fur coat) and takes pride in his independence from the Creator. In some, Kamchatka is created as he drops a feather while flying over the earth. In others, islands and continents are created by his defecation, rivers, and lakes out of his waters. The difficult volcanic terrain and swift rivers of Kamchatka are thought to reflect Kutkh’s capricious and willful nature.” ref

“The bringing of light in the form of the sun and the moon is a common theme. Sometimes, he tricks an evil spirit which has captured the celestial bodies much in the style of analogous legends about the Tlingit and Haida in the Pacific Northwest. In others, it is he who must be tricked into releasing the sun and the moon from his bill. Kutkh’s virility is emphasized in many legends. Many myths concern his children copulating with other animal spirits and creating the peoples that populate the world. In the animistic tradition of north-Eurasian peoples, Kutkh has a variety of interactions and altercations with Wolf, Fox, Bear, Wolverine, Mouse, Owl, Dog, Seal, Walrus, and a host of other spirits. Many of these interactions involve some sort of trickery in which Kutkh comes out on top about as often as he is made a fool of.” ref

“An example of these contradictions is given to the Chukchi legend of Kutkh and the Mice. The great and mighty raven Kutkh was flying through the cosmos. Tired from constant flight, he regurgitated the Earth from his gut, transformed into an old man, and alighted on the empty land to rest. Out of his first footsteps emerged the first Mice. Curious, playful, and fearless, they entered the sleeping Kutkh’s nose. The fury of the subsequent sneeze buckled the earth and created the mountains and the valleys. Attempts to stamp them out led to the formation of the ocean. Further harassments led to a great battle between the forces of snow and fire which created the seasons. Thus, the variable world recognizable to people emerged from the dynamic interaction between the mighty Kutkh and the small but numerous Mice.” ref

Kutkh Attitudes

“Although Kutkh is supposed to have given mankind variously light, fire, language, fresh water, and skills such as net-weaving and copulation, he is also often portrayed as a laughing-stock, hungry, thieving, and selfish. In its contradictions, his character is similar that of other trickster gods, such as Coyote. The early Russian explorer and ethnographer of Kamchatka Stepan Krasheninnikov (1711–1755) summarizes the Itelmen’s relationship to Kutkh as follows:

They pay no homage to him and never ask any favor of him; they speak of him only in derision. They tell such indecent stories about him that I would be embarrassed to repeat them. They upbraid him for having made too many mountains, precipices, reefs, sand banks and swift rivers, for causing rainstorms and tempests which frequently inconvenience them. In winter when they climb up or down the mountains, they heap abuses on him and curse him with imprecations. They behave the same way when they are in other difficult or dangerous situations.” ref

“The image of Kutkh remains popular and iconic in Kamchatka, used often in advertising and promotional materials. Stylized carvings of Kutkh by Koryak artisans, often adorned with beads and lined with fur, are sold widely as souvenirs. The Chukchi creator-deity, roughly analogous to Bai-Ulgan of the Turkic pantheon. The Koryaks refer to him as Quikinna’qu (“Big Raven”) and in Kamchadal (Itelmens) mythology he is called Kutkhu.” ref

The Itelmens – An Indian Tribe in Kamchatka

Raven or Shagoon

“In Alaska and Siberia there is a native belief that the present world owes much of its form and features to an immortal being called Raven or “Shagoon”. Who’s combined attributes are of spirit, human, bird, genius, and fool. He is a god often known as Heaven and has a diffuse and distant interest in the world. Among Tlingit, this being is called Shagoon, with a complex meaning that includes ancestors, heritage, origin, destiny, and supreme deity.” ref

Kutkh’s Boats

The raven Kutkh is the main god of the Itelmen, an indigenous people of Kamchatka, and «bat» meant long boat. Literally translated, this site’s name is «Boats of the god Kutkh». Indeed, the pumice looks very much like boats that are ready to return to water at the first signal from their master. Kutkh’s Boats (Bats) are a natural monument created from bizarrely exposed pumice located four kilometers from the source of the Ozernaya River (Kuril Lake). According to legend, the cliffs are boats (similar to Native American canoes) that the wise raven Kutkh once set to dry and then forgot ashore.” ref

Raven Dancers

“This is just one of the many similarities between the two different Indian ethnic groups. One being Russian and the other natives of Alaska. It seems that these two tribes may have a common ancestor that might have crossed the Bering Straits over 11,000 years ago. The cultural similarities at a minimum suggest a long history of indirect cultural contact between Asian and North American Peoples.” ref

The Kamchatka Peninsula

“One of the most authentic ethnic groups in Russia are the Itelmens, they are an indigenous people who live on Kamchatka peninsula. Even though their lives are still some what primitive they are very well educated as far as indigenous communities go. Today there’s a community of about 1,500 people living on the peninsula. If you wanted to reach them it would entail a long and difficult journey. The first part is a nine hour flight from Moscow to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Then another ten hours by car to the village of Esso. Once in Esso it’s another half an hour flight to reach the village of Ust-Khairyuzovo by helicopter. Finally, forty minutes shaken in a car along the Sea of Okhotsk to ebb, and in winter by snowmobile or snow crust on dog sledding. The ultimate goal — a national Kovran village where live Itelmen. But once there you are in some of the most beautiful country of all of Russia.” ref

“Common ravens have coexisted with humans for thousands of years and in some areas have been so numerous that people have regarded them as pests. In many cultures, including the indigenous cultures of Scandinavia, ancient Ireland, and Wales, Bhutan, the northwest coast of North America, and Siberia and northeast Asia, the common raven has been revered as a spiritual figure or godlike creature.” ref 

“Many references to ravens exist in world lore and literature. Most depictions allude to the appearance and behavior of the wide-ranging common raven (Corvus corax). Because of its black plumage, croaking call, and diet of carrion, the raven is often associated with loss and ill omen. Yet its symbolism is complex. As a talking bird, the raven also represents prophecy and insight. Ravens in stories often act as psychopomps, connecting the material world with the world of spirits. French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss proposed a structuralist theory that suggests the raven (like the coyote) obtained mythic status because it was a mediator animal between life and death. As a carrion bird, ravens became associated with the dead and with lost souls. In Swedish folklore, they are the ghosts of murdered people without Christian burials and, in German stories, damned souls. The Raven has appeared in the mythologies of many ancient peoples. Some of the more common stories are from those of Greek, Celtic, Norse, Pacific Northwest, and Roman mythology.” ref

Greco-Roman antiquity ravens

“In Greek mythology, ravens are associated with Apollo, the god of prophecy. They are said to be a symbol of bad luck, and were the god’s messengers in the mortal world. According to the mythological narration, Apollo sent a white raven, or crow in some versions to spy on his lover, Coronis. When the raven brought back the news that Coronis had been unfaithful to him, Apollo scorched the raven in his fury, turning the animal’s feathers black. That’s why all ravens are black today. According to Livy, the Roman general Marcus Valerius Corvus (c. 370-270 BC) had a raven settle on his helmet during a combat with a gigantic Gaul, which distracted the enemy’s attention by flying in his face.” ref

Hebrew Bible and Judaism ravens

“The raven (Hebrew: עורב‎; Koine Greek: κόραξ) is the first species of bird to be mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, and ravens are mentioned on numerous occasions thereafter. In the Book of Genesis, Noah releases a raven from the ark after the great flood to test whether the waters have receded (Gen. 8:6-7). According to the Law of Moses, ravens are forbidden for food (Leviticus 11:15; Deuteronomy 14:14), a fact that may have colored the perception of ravens in later sources. In the Book of Judges, one of Kings of the Midianites defeated by Gideon is called “Orev” (עורב‎) which means “Raven”. In the Book of Kings 17:4-6, God commands the ravens to feed the prophet Elijah. King Solomon is described as having hair as black as a raven in the Song of Songs 5:11. Ravens are an example of God’s gracious provision for all his creatures in Psalm 147:9 and Job 38:41. (In the New Testament as well, ravens are used by Jesus as an illustration of God’s provision in Luke 12:24.)” ref

Philo of Alexandria (first century AD), who interpreted the Bible allegorically, stated that Noah’s raven was a symbol of vice, whereas the dove was a symbol of virtue (Questions and Answers on Genesis 2:38). In the Talmud, the raven is described as having been only one of three beings on Noah’s Ark that copulated during the flood and so was punished. The Rabbis believed that the male raven was forced to spit. According to the Icelandic Landnámabók—a story similar to Noah and the Ark — Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson used ravens to guide his ship from the Faroe Islands to Iceland. Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer (chapter 25) explains that the reason the raven Noah released from the ark did not return to him was that the raven was feeding on the corpses of those who drowned in the flood.” ref

Late antiquity and Christian Middle Ages ravens

“The name of the important Frankish King Guntram means “War Raven”. According to the legend of the fourth-century Iberian Christian martyr Saint Vincent of Saragossa, after St. Vincent was executed, ravens protected his body from being devoured by wild animals, until his followers could recover the body. His body was taken to what is now known as Cape St. Vincent in southern Portugal. A shrine was erected over his grave, which continued to be guarded by flocks of ravens. The Arab geographer Al-Idrisi noted this constant guard by ravens, for which the place was named by him كنيسة الغراب “Kanīsah al-Ghurāb” (Church of the Raven). King Afonso Henriques (1139–1185) had the body of the saint exhumed in 1173 and brought it by ship to Lisbon, still accompanied by the ravens. This transfer of the relics is depicted on the coat of arms of Lisbon.” ref

“A raven is also said to have protected Saint Benedict of Nursia by taking away a loaf of bread poisoned by jealous monks after he blessed it. In the legends about the German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, depicting him as sleeping along with his knights in a cave in the Kyffhäuser mountain in Thuringia or the Untersberg in Bavaria, it is told that when the ravens cease to fly around the mountain he will awake and restore Germany to its ancient greatness. According to the story, the Emperor’s eyes are half closed in sleep, but now and then he raises his hand and sends a boy out to see if the ravens have stopped flying.” ref

Middle East / Islamic culture ravens

“In the Qur’an’s version of the story of Cain and Abel, a raven is mentioned as the creature who taught Cain how to bury his murdered brother, in Al-Ma’ida (The Repast) 5:31. {Surah 5:27-31} The story, as presented in the Quran and further postulated in the hadith, states that Cain, having murdered Abel, was bereft of a means of disposing of his brother’s body. While scanning the surroundings for a solution, Cain noticed two ravens, one dead and the other alive. The still living raven began digging the ground with its beak until a hole had been dug up, in which it buried its dead mate. Witnessing this, Cain discovered his solution, as indirectly revealed by God.” ref

Germanic cultures and Viking Age ravens

“To the Germanic peoples, Odin was often associated with ravens. Examples include depictions of figures often identified as Odin appear flanked with two birds on a 6th-century bracteate and on a 7th-century helmet plate from Vendel, Sweden. In later Norse mythology, Odin is depicted as having two ravens Huginn and Muninn serving as his eyes and ears – huginn meaning “thought” and muninn meaning “memory”. Each day the ravens fly out from Hliðskjálf and bring Odin news from Midgard. The Old English word for a raven was hræfn; in Old Norse it was hrafn; the word was frequently used in combinations as a kenning for bloodshed and battle. The raven was a common device used by the Vikings. Ragnar Lothbrok had a raven banner called Reafan, embroidered with the device of a raven. It was said that if this banner fluttered, Lothbrok would carry the day, but if it hung lifeless the battle would be lost. King Harald Hardrada also had a raven banner, called Landeythan (land-waster). The bird also appears in the folklore of the Isle of Man, a former Viking colony, and it is used as a symbol on their coat of arms.” ref

Insular Celtic traditions ravens

“In Irish mythology ravens are associated with warfare and the battleground in the figures of Badb and Morrígan. The goddess Morrígan alighted on the hero Cú Chulainn‘s shoulder in the form of a raven after his death. Ravens were also associated with the Welsh god Bran the Blessed (the brother of Branwen), whose name translates to “raven.” According to the Mabinogion, Bran’s head was buried in the White Hill of London as a talisman against invasion. He is depicted as giant and the King of the Britons in tale known as the Second Branch of the Mabinogi. Several other characters in Welsh mythology share his name, and ravens figure prominently in the 12th or 13th century text The Dream of Rhonabwy, as the army of King Arthur‘s knight Owain.” ref

England ravens

“According to legend, the Kingdom of England will fall if the ravens of the Tower of London are removed. It had been thought that there have been at least six ravens in residence at the tower for centuries. It was said that Charles II ordered their removal following complaints from John Flamsteed, the Royal Astronomer. The earliest known reference to a Tower raven is a picture in the newspaper The Pictorial World in 1883 as well as a poem and illustration published the same year in the children’s book London Town. This and scattered subsequent references, both literary and visual, which appear in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, place them near the monument commemorating those beheaded at the tower, popularly known as the “scaffold.” This strongly suggests that the ravens, which are notorious for gathering at gallows, were originally used to dramatize tales of imprisonment and execution at the tower told to tourists by the Yeomen Warders. There is evidence that the original ravens were donated to the tower by the Earls of Dunraven, perhaps because of their association with the Celtic raven-god Bran. However wild ravens, which were once abundant in London and often seen around meat markets (such as nearby Eastcheap) foraging for scraps, could have roosted at the Tower in earlier times.” ref

“During the Second World War, most of the Tower’s ravens perished through shock during bombing raids, leaving only a mated pair named “Mabel” and “Grip.” Shortly before the Tower reopened to the public, Mabel flew away, leaving Grip despondent. A couple of weeks later, Grip also flew away, probably in search of his mate. The incident was reported in several newspapers, and some of the stories contained the first references in print to the legend that the British Empire would fall if the ravens left the tower. Since the Empire was dismantled shortly afterward, those who are superstitious might interpret events as a confirmation of the legend. Before the tower reopened to the public on 1 January 1946, care was taken to ensure that a new set of ravens was in place.” ref

Serbian Epic Poetry ravens

“Ravens appear as stock characters in several traditional Serbian epic poems. Like in many other cultures, the raven is associated with death – more specifically with an aftermath of a bloody or significant battle. Ravens often appear in pairs and play the role of harbingers of tragic news, usually announcing death of a hero or a group of heroes. They tend to appear in combination with female characters as receivers of the news. Usually, a mother or a wife of a hero will be notified about the hero’s death by a visit from a pair of ravens. Sometimes, these are treated as supernatural creatures capable of communicating with humans that report about events directly. Alternatively, these are ordinary birds bringing along scavenged body parts, such as a hand or a finger with a ring, by which the fate of the hero will be recognised. The most notable examples of this pattern are found in the songs “Car Lazar i Carica Milica” (Tsar Lazar and Tsarina Militsa) and “Boj na Mišaru” (Battle of Mishar).” ref

Hindu / South Asia ravens

“In the Story of Bhusunda, a chapter of the Yoga Vasistha, a very old sage in the form of a crow, Bhusunda, recalls a succession of epochs in the earth’s history, as described in Hindu cosmology. He survived several destructions, living on a wish-fulfilling tree on Mount Meru. Crows are also considered ancestors in Hinduism and during Śrāddha the practice of offering food or pinda to crows is still in vogue. The Hindu deity Shani is often represented as being mounted on a giant black raven or crow. The crow (sometimes a raven or vulture) is Shani’s Vahana. As protector of property, Shani is able to repress the thieving tendencies of these birds. The raven is the national bird of Bhutan, and it adorns the royal hat, representing the deity Gonpo Jarodonchen (Mahakala) with a Raven’s head; one of the important guardian deities.” ref

North American Pacific Northwest ravens

“The raven also has a prominent role in the mythologies of the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, including the Tsimishians, Haidas, Heiltsuks, Tlingits, Kwakwaka’wakw, Coast Salish, Koyukons, and Inuit. The raven in these indigenous peoples’ mythology is the Creator of the world, but it is also considered a trickster god.[citation needed] For instance, in Tlingit culture, there are two different raven characters which can be identified, although they are not always clearly differentiated. One is the creator raven, responsible for bringing the world into being and who is sometimes considered to be the individual who brought light to the darkness. The other is the childish raven, always selfish, sly, conniving, and hungry. When the Great Spirit created all things he kept them separate and stored in cedar boxes.” ref

“The Great Spirit gifted these boxes to the animals who existed before humans. When the animals opened the boxes all the things that comprise the world came into being. The boxes held such things as mountains, fire, water, wind and seeds for all the plants. One such box, which was given to Seagull, contained all the light of the world. Seagull coveted his box and refused to open it, clutching it under his wing. All the people asked Raven to persuade Seagull to open it and release the light. Despite begging, demanding, flattering and trying to trick him into opening the box, Seagull still refused. Finally Raven became angry and frustrated, and stuck a thorn in Seagull’s foot. Raven pushed the thorn in deeper until the pain caused Seagull to drop the box. Then out of the box came the sun, moon, and stars that brought light to the world and allowed the first day to begin.” ref

Bill Reid created the sculpture of The Raven and the First Men depicting a scene from a Haida myth that unifies the Raven as both the trickster and the creator. According to this myth, the raven who was both bored and well fed, found and freed some creatures trapped in a clam. These scared and timid beings were the first men of the world, and they were coaxed out of the clam shell by the raven. Soon the raven was bored with these creatures and planned to return them to their shell. Instead, the raven decided to search for the female counterparts of these male beings. The raven found some female humans trapped in a chiton, freed them, and was entertained as the two sexes met and began to interact. The raven, always known as a trickster, was responsible for the pairing of humans and felt very protective of them. With the Raven perceived as the creator, many Haida myths and legends often suggest the raven as a provider to mankind.” ref

“Another raven story from the Puget Sound region describes the “Raven” as having originally lived in the land of spirits (literally bird land) that existed before the world of humans. One day the Raven became so bored with bird land that he flew away, carrying a stone in his beak. When the Raven became tired of carrying the stone and dropped it, the stone fell into the ocean and expanded until it formed the firmament on which humans now live.” ref

“One ancient story told on Haida Gwaii tells about how Raven helped to bring the Sun, Moon, Stars, Fresh Water, and Fire to the world: Long ago, near the beginning of the world, Gray Eagle was the guardian of the Sun, Moon and Stars, of fresh water, and of fire. Gray Eagle hated people so much that he kept these things hidden. People lived in darkness, without fire, and without fresh water. Gray Eagle had a beautiful daughter, and Raven fell in love with her. In the beginning, Raven was a snow-white bird, and as a such, he pleased Gray Eagle’s daughter. She invited him to her father’s longhouse.” ref

“When Raven saw the Sun, Moon and stars, and fresh water hanging on the sides of Eagle’s lodge, he knew what he should do. He watched for his chance to seize them when no one was looking. He stole all of them, and a brand of fire also, and flew out of the longhouse through the smoke hole. As soon as Raven got outside he hung the Sun up in the sky. It made so much light that he was able to fly far out to an island in the middle of the ocean. When the Sun set, he fastened the Moon up in the sky and hung the stars around in different places. By this new light he kept on flying, carrying with him the fresh water and the brand of fire he had stolen.” ref

“He flew back over the land. When he had reached the right place, he dropped all the water he had stolen. It fell to the ground and there became the source of all the fresh-water streams and lakes in the world. Then Raven flew on, holding the brand of fire in his bill. The smoke from the fire blew back over his white feathers and made them black. When his bill began to burn, he had to drop the firebrand. It struck rocks and hid itself within them. That is why, if you strike two stones together, sparks of fire will drop out.” ref

Raven’s feathers never became white again after they were blackened by the smoke from the firebrand. That is why Raven is now a black bird. Other notable stories tell of the Raven stealing and releasing the sun, and of the Raven tempting the first humans out of a clam shell. Another story of the Kwakiutl or Kwakwaka’wakw of British Columbia who exposed boys’ placentas to ravens to encourage future prophetic visions, thereby associating the raven with prophecy, similar to the traditions of Scandinavia. In one legend Raven transformed himself into a pine needle which is swallowed by the unmarried daughter of the owner of the box of daylight, who then becomes pregnant and gives birth to Raven in disguise.” ref

Siberia, Northern Asia ravens

“The raven god or spirit Kutcha (or Kutkh, (Кутх)) is important in the shamanic tradition of the Koryaks and other indigenous Chukotko-Kamchatkan peoples of the Russian Far East. Kutcha is traditionally revered in various forms by various peoples and appears in many legends: as a key figure in creation, as a fertile ancestor of mankind, as a mighty shaman and as a trickster. He is a popular subject of the animist stories of the Chukchi people and plays a central role in the mythology of the Koryaks and Itelmens of Kamchatka. Many of the stories regarding Kutkh are similar to those of the Raven among the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, indicating a long history of indirect cultural contact between Asian and North American peoples. Two ravens or crows, flying over the warrior’s head in battle, symbolised in Yakut mythology the Ilbis Kyyha and Ohol Uola, two evil spirits of war and violence. Some other gods or spirits in yakut shamanism, including Uluu Suorun Toyon and Uluutuar Uluu Toyon, are described as “great raven of cloudy sky”.” ref

Ra ancient Egyptian deity of the sun.

“Ra is the ancient Egyptian deity of the sun. By the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th and 24th centuries BCE or around 4,520 to 4,420 years ago, he had become one of the most important gods in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun. Ra was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the Earth, and the underworld. He was the god of the sun, order, kings, and the sky. Ra was portrayed as a falcon and shared characteristics with the sky god Horus. At times the two deities were merged as Ra-Horakhty, “Ra, who is Horus of the Two Horizons”. In the New Kingdom, when the god Amun rose to prominence he was fused with Ra into Amun-Ra. The cult of the Mnevis bull, an embodiment of Ra, had its center in Heliopolis and there was a formal burial ground for the sacrificed bulls north of the city. All forms of life were believed to have been created by Ra. In some accounts, humans were created from Ra’s tears and sweat, hence the Egyptians call themselves the “Cattle of Ra”. In the myth of the Celestial Cow, it is recounted how mankind plotted against Ra and how he sent his eye as the goddess Sekhmet to punish them.” ref

Ra Religious roles

The sun as a creator

“The sun is the giver of life, controlling the ripening of crops which were worked by man. Because of the life giving qualities of the sun the Egyptians worshiped the sun as a god. The creator of the universe and the giver of life, the sun or Ra represented life, warmth, and growth. Since the people regarded Ra as a principal god, creator of the universe, and the source of life, he had a strong influence on them, which led to him being one of the most worshiped of all the Egyptian gods and even considered King of the Gods. At an early period in Egyptian history his influence spread throughout the whole country, bringing multiple representations in form and in name. The most common form combinations are with Atum (his human form), Khepri (the scarab beetle), and Horus (the falcon). The form in which he usually appears is that of a man with a falcon head, which is due to his combination with Horus, another sky god. On top of his head sits a solar disc with a cobra, which in many myths represents the eye of Ra. At the beginning of time, when there was nothing but chaos, the sun god existed alone in the watery mass of Nun which filled the universe. “I am Atum when he was alone in Nun, I am Ra when he dawned, when he began to rule that which he had made.” This passage talks about how Atum created everything in human form out of the chaos and how Ra then began to rule over the earth where humans and divine beings coexisted. He created the Shu, god of air, and the goddess of moisture, Tefnut. The siblings symbolized two universal principles of humans: life and right (justice). Ra was believed to have created all forms of life by calling them into existence by uttering their secret names. In some accounts, humans were created from Ra’s tears and sweat.” ref

“According to one myth, the first portion of Earth came into being when the sun god summoned it out of the watery mass of Nun. In the myth of the Celestial Cow (the sky was thought of as a huge cow, the goddess Meht-urt) it is recounted how mankind plotted against Ra and how he sent his eye as the goddess Sekhmet to punish them. Extensions of Ra’s power were often shown as the eye of Ra, which were the female versions of the sun god. Ra had three daughters Bastet, Sekhmet, and Hathor who were all considered the eye of Ra who would seek out his vengeance. Sekhmet was the Eye of Ra and was created by the fire in Ra’s eye. She was violent and sent to slaughter the people who betrayed Ra, but when calm she became the more kind and forgiving goddess Hathor. Sekhmet was the powerful warrior and protector while Bastet, who was depicted as a cat, was shown as gentle and nurturing.” ref

In the underworld

“Ra was thought to travel on the Atet, two solar barques called the Mandjet (the Boat of Millions of Years) or morning boat and the Mesektet or evening boat. These boats took him on his journey through the sky and the Duat twelve hours of night which is also the literal underworld of Egypt. While Ra was on the Mesektet, he was in his ram-headed form. When Ra traveled in his sun boat, he was accompanied by various other deities including Sia (perception) and Hu (command), as well as Heka (magic power). Sometimes, members of the Ennead helped him on his journey, including Set, who overcame the serpent Apophis, and Mehen, who defended against the monsters of the underworld. When Ra was in the underworld, he would visit all of his various forms. He is called Af or Afu in the underworld.” ref

Apophis, the god of chaos, was an enormous serpent who attempted to stop the sun boat’s journey every night by consuming it or by stopping it in its tracks with a hypnotic stare. During the evening, the Egyptians believed that Ra set as Atum or in the form of a ram. The night boat would carry him through the underworld and back towards the east in preparation for his rebirth. These myths of Ra represented the sun rising as the rebirth of the sun by the sky goddess Nut; thus attributing the concept of rebirth and renewal to Ra and strengthening his role as a creator god as well. When Ra was in the underworld, he merged with Osiris, the god of the dead.” ref

Ra Iconography

“Ra was represented in a variety of forms. The most usual form was a man with the head of a falcon and a solar disk on top and a coiled serpent around the disk. Other common forms are a man with the head of a beetle (in his form as Khepri), or a man with the head of a ram. Ra was also pictured as a full-bodied ram, beetle, phoenix, heron, serpent, bull, cat, or lion, among others. He was most commonly featured with a ram’s head in the Underworld. In this form, Ra is described as being the “ram of the west” or “ram in charge of his harem. In some literature, Ra is described as an aging king with golden flesh, silver bones, and hair of lapis lazuli.” ref

Ra Worship

“The chief cultic center of Ra was Iunu “the Place of Pillars”, later known to the Ptolemaic Kingdom as Heliopolis (Koinē Greek: Ἡλιούπολις, lit. “Sun City“) and today located in the suburbs of Cairo. He was identified with the local sun god Atum. As Atum or Atum-Ra, he was reckoned the first being and the originator of the Ennead (“The Nine”), consisting of Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. The holiday of “The Receiving of Ra” was celebrated on May 26 in the Gregorian calendar.” ref

“Ra’s local cult began to grow from roughly the Second Dynasty, establishing him as a sun deity. By the Fourth Dynasty, pharaohs were seen as Ra’s manifestations on earth, referred to as “Sons of Ra”. His worship increased massively in the Fifth Dynasty, when Ra became a state deity and pharaohs had specially aligned pyramids, obelisks, and sun temples built in his honor. The rulers of the Fifth Dynasty told their followers that they were sons of Ra himself and the wife of the high priest of Heliopolis. These pharaohs spent much of Egypt’s money on sun temples. The first Pyramid Texts began to arise, giving Ra more and more significance in the journey of the pharaoh through the Duat (underworld).” ref

“During the Middle Kingdom, Ra was increasingly affiliated and combined with other chief deities, especially Amun and Osiris. At the time of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the worship of Ra had become more complicated and grander. The walls of tombs were dedicated to extremely detailed texts that depicted Ra’s journey through the underworld. Ra was said to carry the prayers and blessings of the living with the souls of the dead on the sun boat. The idea that Ra aged with the sun became more popular during the rise of the New Kingdom. Many acts of worship included hymns, prayers, and spells to help Ra and the sun boat overcome Apep. The rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire put an end to the worship of Ra.” ref

Relationship to other gods: Gods merged with Ra

“As with most widely worshiped Egyptian deities, Ra’s identity was often combined with other gods, forming an interconnection between deities.” ref

Amun and Amun-Ra

Amun was a member of the Ogdoad, representing creation energies with Amaunet, a very early patron of Thebes. He was believed to create via breath and thus was identified with the wind rather than the sun. As the cults of Amun and Ra became increasingly popular in Upper and Lower Egypt respectively they were combined to create Amun-Ra, a solar creator god. It is hard to distinguish exactly when this combination happened, but references to Amun-Ra appeared in pyramid texts as early as the Fifth Dynasty. The most common belief is that Amun-Ra was invented as a new state deity by the Theban rulers of the New Kingdom to unite worshipers of Amun with the older cult of Ra around the 18th Dynasty. Amun-Ra was given the official title “King of the Gods” by worshippers, and images show the combined deity as a red-eyed man with a lion’s head that had a surrounding solar disk.” ref

Atum and Atum-Ra

“Atum-Ra (or Ra-Atum) was another composite deity formed from two completely separate deities, however, Ra shared more similarities with Atum than with Amun. Atum was more closely linked with the sun, and was also a creator god of the Ennead. Both Ra and Atum were regarded as the father of the deities and pharaohs and were widely worshiped. In older myths, Atum was the creator of Tefnut and Shu, and he was born from ocean Nun.” ref


“In later Egyptian mythology, Ra-Horakhty was more of a title or manifestation than a composite deity. It translates as “Ra (who is) Horus of the Horizons“. It was intended to link Horakhty (as a sunrise-oriented aspect of Horus) to Ra. It has been suggested that Ra-Horakhty simply refers to the sun’s journey from horizon to horizon as Ra, or that it means to show Ra as a symbolic deity of hope and rebirth. (See earlier section #The sun).” ref

Khepri and Khnum

Khepri was a scarab beetle who rolled up the sun in the mornings and was sometimes seen as the morning manifestation of Ra. Similarly, the ram-headed god Khnum was also seen as the evening manifestation of Ra. The idea of different deities (or different aspects of Ra) ruling over different times of the day was fairly common but variable. With Khepri and Khnum taking precedence over sunrise and sunset, Ra often was the representation of midday ” ref


“Raet or Raet-Tawy was a female aspect of Ra; she did not have much importance independent of him. In some myths she was considered to be either Ra’s wife or his daughter.” ref

Gods created by Ra


Bastet (also called Bast) is sometimes known as the “cat of Ra”. She is also his daughter by Isis and is associated with Ra’s instrument of vengeance, the sun-god’s eye. Bastet is known for decapitating the serpent Apophis (Ra’s sworn enemy and the “God” of Chaos) to protect Ra. In one myth, Ra sent Bastet as a lioness to Nubia.” ref


Sekhmet is another daughter of Ra. Sekhmet was depicted as a lioness or large cat, and was an “eye of Ra”, or an instrument of the sun god’s vengeance. In one myth, Sekhmet was so filled with rage that Ra was forced to turn her into a cow so that she would not cause unnecessary harm. In another myth, Ra fears that mankind is plotting against him and sends Hathor (another daughter of Ra) to punish humanity. While slaughtering humans she takes the form of Sekhmet. To prevent her from killing all humanity, Ra orders that beer be dyed red and poured out on the land. Mistaking the beer for blood, Sekhmet drinks it, and upon becoming intoxicated, she reverts to her pacified form, Hathor.” ref


Hathor is another daughter of Ra. When Ra feared that mankind was plotting against him, he sent Hathor as an “eye of Ra”. In one myth, Hathor danced naked in front of Ra until he laughed to cure him of a fit of sulking. When Ra was without Hathor, he fell into a state of deep depression.” ref


Ptah is rarely mentioned in the literature of Old Kingdom pyramids. This is believed by some to be a result of the Ra-worshipping people of Heliopolis being the main writers of these inscriptions. While some believed that Ra is self-created, others believed that Ptah created him.” ref


“In one myth, Isis created a serpent to poison Ra and only gave him the antidote when he revealed his true name to her. Isis passed this name on to Horus, bolstering his royal authority.” ref


Apep, also called Apophis, was the god of chaos and Ra’s arch-enemy. He was said to lie just below the horizon line, trying to devour Ra as Ra traveled through the underworld.” ref

“High God, also called Sky God, in anthropology and the history of religion, a type of supreme deity found among many nonliterate peoples of North and South America, Africa, northern Asia, and Australia. The adjective high is primarily a locative term: a High God is conceived as being utterly transcendent, removed from the world that he created. A High God is high in the sense that he lives in or is identified with the sky—hence, the alternative name. Among North American Indians and Central and South Africans, thunder is thought to be the voice of the High God. In Siberia, the sun and moon are considered the High God’s eyes. He is connected with food and heaven among Native Americans.” ref

Native American High Gods

Ababinili (Chickasaw high god) Muskogean

Above Old Man (Wiyot high god) Algic subfamily Algonquian

Agug’uq (Aleut high god) Eskimo–Aleut language family

Ancient One of the Sky (Carib high god) Carib a Cariban language

Apistotoke (Blackfoot high god)

Atius Tirawa (Pawnee high god)

Ayamat Caddi (Caddo high god)

Breath Maker (Seminole high god)

Cuaiguerry (Achagua Indian high god)

Earthmaker (Hochunk high god)

Gicelemu’kaong (Lenape high god)

Gisoolg (Micmac high god)

Gitchie Manitou (Anishinabe high god)

Great Spirit (many tribes)

Heisonoonin (Arapaho high god)

Ixtcibenihehat (Gros Ventre high god)

Maheu (Cheyenne high god)

Makunaima (Cariban high god)

Mokut (Cahuilla Indian high god)

Nesaru (Arikara Indian high god)

Nitosi (Dene high god)

Orenda (Iroquois Indian high god)

Ouga (Cherokee high god)

Raweno (Iroquois high god)

Rawottonemd (Powhatan high god)

Tabaldak (Abenaki high god)

Wakanda (Omaha high god)

Wakan-Tanka (Sioux high god)

Yuttoere (Carrier Indian high god) ref

Sky deity

“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. 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.” ref

“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). 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.” ref

“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.” ref

“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). 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.” ref

Proto-Indo-European Sky Deities

Albanian Sky Deities

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

Baltic Sky Deities

Celtic Sky Deities

  • 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 ref

Germanic Sky Deities

Greek Sky Deities

  • 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 ref

Hindu Sky Deities

Iranian Sky Deities

Roman Sky Deities

  • 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 ref

Slavic Sky Deities

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

Thracian and Phrygian Sky Deities

Ancient Egyptian Sky Deities

  • 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 ref

Berber Sky Deities

Semitic Sky Deities

Further information: Ancient Semitic religion

  • 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 ref


Finnic Sky Deities

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

Mari Sky Deities

  • 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 ref

Mordvin Sky Deities

  • Värde-Škaj, Mokshan supreme god of the sky
  • Niškepaz, Erzyan supreme god of the sky
  • Kovava, Mokshan goddess of the moon ref

Permic Sky Deities

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

Sami Sky Deities

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

Samoyedic Sky Deities

  • Num, god of the sky ref

Ugric Sky Deities


Chinese Sky Deities

  • 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 ref

Twenty Four Sky Emperors (Tiandi 天帝)

  • Six Tiandi of the North1. Bìfàn Xuánwú Tiandi
    2. Bìkōng Zhēnjì Tiandi
    3. Bìluó Yuánshǐ Tiandi
    4. Bìgě Chéngkāi Tiandi
    5. Bìyàn Zhūjǐng Tiandi
    6. Bìhóng Xūkuàng Tiandi ref
  • Six Tiandi of the South7. Bìzhēn Dòngyáng Tiandi
    8. Bìyáo Jiànggōng Tiandi
    9. Bìxiá Míngsù Tiandi
    10. Bìwú Yàodòng Tiandi
    11. Bìyùn Shǐtú Tiandi
    12. Bìhào Zhēngxū Tiandi ref
  • Six Tiandi of the West13. Bìshén Zhàozhì Tiandi
    14. Bìchōng Zǐyào Tiandi
    15. Bìgě Fànkōng Tiandi
    16. Bìdòng Xiáyáng Tiandi
    17. Bìhuá Kāilì Tiandi
    18. Bìfàn Míngyáo Tiandi ref
  • Six Tiandi of the North19. Bìguāng Hánhuá Tiandi
    20. Bìyè Zhùyán Tiandi
    21. Bìdān Huáqì Tiandi
    22. Bìkuò Címíng Tiandi
    23. Bìlà Gēyīn Tiandi
    24. Bìxū Níngyáng Tiandi ref

Twenty Eight Sky Emperors (Tiandi 天帝)

  • Seven Tiandi of the East1. Tàimíng Hùzhēn Tiandi
    2. Juéfàn Tàilíng Tiandi
    3. Húyuè Cuìxiù Tiandi
    4. Zǐdān Míngchǔ Tiandi
    5. Dòngxiá Yùzhēn Tiandi
    6. Kōngxuán Lìshǔ Tiandi
    7. Qiáotōng Zhūpǔ Tiandi ref
  • Seven Tiandi of the South8. Yányú Zhēngshǐ Tiandi
    9. Jīngwéi Xiāomíng Tiandi
    10. Qìngfú Zīshàn Tiandi
    11. Suíwén Xīdù Tiandi
    12. Chángjī Lèwán Tiandi
    13. Qíhuá Bùróng Tiandi
    14. Gāolíng Dàiwú Tiandi ref
  • Seven Tiandi of the West15. Zhōuyú Píngwú Tiandi
    16. Jǐngyán Tàizhēn Tiandi
    17. Lǜjǐng Shǔchén Tiandi
    18. Niúluó Pǔshì Tiandi
    19. Dìngliáng Huìzōng Tiandi
    20. Zhàolíng Sūjì Tiandi
    21. Jiǔwēi Dònghuáng Tiandi ref
  • Seven Tiandi of the North22. Dìshū Guāngjìng Tiandi
    23. Zǐyí Jìhuā Tiandi
    24. Zhìdìng Yǔnlǐ Tiandi
    25. Guāngfàn Jiùzhì Tiandi
    26. Hǔ口 Zhēngbù Tiandi
    27. Bàyān Wúyuán Tiandi
    28. Dàomíng Húnxìng Tiandi ref

Thirty Two Sky Emperors (Tiandi 天帝)

  • Eight Tiandi of the East1. Tàihuáng Huángzēng Tiandi
    2. Tàimíng Yùwán Tiandi
    3. Qīngmíng Hétóng Tiandi
    4. Xuántāi Píngyù Tiandi
    5. Yuánmíng Wénjǔ Tiandi
    6. Qīyào Móyí Tiandi
    7. Xūwú Yuèhéng Tiandi
    8. Tàijí Méngyì Tiandi ref
  • Eight Tiandi of the South9. Chìmíng Héyáng Tiandi
    10. Xuánmíng Gōnghuá Tiandi
    11. Yàomíng Zōngpiāo Tiandi
    12. Zhúlà Huángjiā Tiandi
    13. Xūmíng Tángyào Tiandi
    14. Guànmíng Duānjìng Tiandi
    15. Xuánmíng Gōngqìng Tiandi
    16. Tàihuàn Jíyáo Tiandi ref
  • Eight Tiandi of the West17. Yuánzǎi Kǒngshēng Tiandi
    18. Tàiān Huángyá Tiandi
    19. Xiǎndìng Jífēng Tiandi
    20. Shǐhuáng Xiàománg Tiandi
    21. Tàihuáng Wēngchóng Tiandi
    22. Wúsī Jiāngyóu Tiandi
    23. Shǎngshé Ruǎnlè Tiandi
    24. Wújí Tánshì Tiandi ref
  • Eight Tiandi of the North25. Hàotíng Xiāodù Tiandi
    26. Yuāntōng Yuándòng Tiandi
    27. Hànchǒng Miàochéng Tiandi
    28. Xiùlè Jīnshǎng Tiandi
    29. Wúshàng Chángróng Tiandi
    30. Yùlóng Téngshèng Tiandi
    31. Lóngbiàn Fàndù Tiandi
    32.Píngyù Jiǎyì Tiandi ref

Sixty Four Sky Emperors (Tiandi 天帝)

  • Sixteen Tiandi of the East1. Wǎnkōng Míngfàn Tiandi
    2. Zǐyuán Bàwú Tiandi
    3. Yānjǐng Yùxū Tiandi
    4. Chōngzhēng Dòngjí Tiandi
    5. Míngbiàn Yuánhuáng Tiandi
    6. Lǐchóng Yuānxū Tiandi
    7. Jiàozhēn Quánzhòng Tiandi
    8. Qīngwēi Huángyǔ Tiandi
    9. Jiùmíng wàngshì Tiandi
    10. Yuèfǔ Wènshí Tiandi
    11. Qìlíng Zhāopǔ Tiandi
    12. Xuánxū Guāngfàn Tiandi
    13. Shǎngjí Sìzhǒng Tiandi
    14. Yìhuā Zhēngzhèn Tiandi
    15. Gūshì Bāfàn Tiandi
    16. Jiǔyán Yùdìng Tiandi ref
  • Sixteen Tiandi of the South17. Dānmó Yìhuā Tiandi
    18. Dòujiàn Xūyú Tiandi
    19. Dìguāng Wújì Tiandi
    20. Zhūlíng Yàoguāng Tiandi
    21. Zǐjǐng Duànbái Tiandi
    22. Jiàngxiān Táiyuán Tiandi
    23. Shuǎngzhì Xièshēn Tiandi
    24. Yùjiāng Sīchán Tiandi
    25. Gūhóu Lìzhēn Tiandi
    26. Gǔxuán Dàoyòng Tiandi
    27. Lǐbù Míngwēi Tiandi
    28. Shénlú Chāngyìng Tiandi
    29. Dùzhēng Kèzōng Tiandi
    30. Dàhuǒ Chìyī Tiandi
    31. Qīngdì Dòngyáo Tiandi
    32. Xuánchéng Bǎihuā Tiandi ref
  • Sixteen Tiandi of the West33. Jīnlí Guāngqǐ Tiandi
    34. Jíhuáng Xuányùn Tiandi
    35. Zhōuyán Jìngpíng Tiandi
    36. Bǎosòng Róngzī Tiandi
    37. Qìngzhēn Měiyuán Tiandi
    38. Zhàiwú Shénsì Tiandi
    39. Gāojiàng Zhìhuá Tiandi
    40. Dàoqī Yánjì Tiandi
    41. Tónglì Dàochú Tiandi
    42. Dǐngshén Huàwēi Tiandi
    43. Tàiān Shùnjí Tiandi
    44. Qióngxī Yàoxiān Tiandi
    45. Zǐdū Yuèguǎng Tiandi
    46. Cuīkāng Jiéshí Tiandi
    47. Jìngbì Làmáng Tiandi
    48. Pǔhǎi Dòngjī Tiandi ref
  • Sixteen Tiandi of the North49. Yúsì Tǒngzhēn Tiandi
    50. Hǔjiā Pīfāng Tiandi
    51. Qiúyuān Làyú Tiandi
    52. Jīnbái Zhēngjì Tiandi
    53. Huánglì Kǒngxiū Tiandi
    54. Yáoshū Jīnglíng Tiandi
    55. Shényín Xiāodū Tiandi
    56. Qìngzhāo Yuèfú Tiandi
    57. Chēnmíng Chúkǔ Tiandi
    58. Fēngxìn Kǎofú Tiandi
    59. Zhèngrù Bàobù Tiandi
    60. Gěnglěi Lìquán Tiandi
    61. Guǐchǔ Shǐlè Tiandi
    62. Língfù Hǎilún Tiandi
    63. Shǎngjí Xiāotán Tiandi
    64. Bìcháng Dòngyuán Tiandi ref

Myanmar Sky Deities

Korean Sky Deities

Americas Sky Deities


  • 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 owáŋžila and Tapun Sa Win
  • Wichapi owáŋžila, the Resting Star or Polaris, the widower of Tapun Sa Win (Red Cheeked Woman) ref

Incan Sky Deities

Inuit Sky Deities

Iroquoian Sky Deities

Mayan Sky Deities

Puebloans Sky Deities

Taíno mythology Sky Deities


Voodoo Sky Deities

Sub-Saharan Africa



Mixed Niger-Congo and Nilo-Saharan

Khoe languages

Australian Sky Deities

Filipino Sky Deities

  • llanit: a group of Isnag sky dwellers who are helpful harvest spirits ref

Malagasy Sky Deities

Māori Sky Deities

Pacific Islands Sky Deities

Austroasiatic Sky Deities

  • Trời, sky god in Vietnamese indigenous religion ref

Hurro-Urartian Sky Deities

Hurrian Sky Deities

Japanese Sky Deities

  • 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 ref


Turkish and Mongolian Sky Deities

Etruscan Sky Deities

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

Sumerian Sky Deities

  • 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 ref

Moralizing Gods

The evidence seems to imply that belief in moralizing gods usually appeared after civilizations reached populations estimated at more than one million people. 

Live Science reports that Patrick Savage of Keio University and his colleagues employed “Seshat,” a global history databank spanning the end of the Paleolithic period to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, to expand on the work of previous studies that looked at the relationship between belief in moralizing gods and the rise of complex societies. Authors of some smaller-scale studies have suggested that belief in moralizing gods and supernatural judgment helped shape emerging complex societies, while others have argued that belief in the threat of divine punishment appeared later in societies’ development. Savage explained that the use of “Seshat” allowed his team members to take into account more than 50 measures of social complexity and four measures of belief in supernatural enforcement in more than 400 societies living in 30 different regions of the world over the past 10,000 years. The researchers found that belief in moralizing gods usually appeared after civilizations reached populations estimated at more than one million people. “It was particularly striking how consistent it was [that] this phenomenon emerged at the million-person level,” Savage said. “First, you get big societies, and these beliefs then come.” Religion, he added, may help stabilize large societies in which people live more anonymous lives, unlike small hunter-gatherer societies, in which everyone knows what everyone else is doing. To read about the nineteenth-century discovery of a tablet containing a story that was eerily similar to that of Noah in the Old Testament, go to “Cuneiform: Religion.” ref

Moralistic gods, supernatural punishment, and the expansion of human sociality

“Since the origins of agriculture, the scale of human cooperation and societal complexity has dramatically expanded. This fact challenges standard evolutionary explanations of prosociality because well-studied mechanisms of cooperation based on genetic relatedness, reciprocity, and partner choice falter as people increasingly engage in fleeting transactions with genetically unrelated strangers in large anonymous groups. To explain this rapid expansion of prosociality, researchers have proposed several mechanisms. Here we focus on one key hypothesis: cognitive representations of gods as increasingly knowledgeable and punitive, and who sanction violators of interpersonal social norms, foster and sustain the expansion of cooperation, trust, and fairness towards co-religionist strangers. We tested this hypothesis using extensive ethnographic interviews and two behavioral games designed to measure impartial rule-following among people (n = 591, observations = 35,400) from eight diverse communities from around the world: (1) inland Tanna, Vanuatu; (2) coastal Tanna, Vanuatu; (3) Yasawa, Fiji; (4) Lovu, Fiji; (5) Pesqueiro, Brazil; (6) Pointe aux Piments, Mauritius; (7) the Tyva Republic (Siberia), Russia; and (8) Hadzaland, Tanzania. Participants reported adherence to a wide array of world religious traditions including Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, as well as notably diverse local traditions, including animism and ancestor worship. Holding a range of relevant variables constant, the higher participants rated their moralistic gods as punitive and knowledgeable about human thoughts and actions, the more coins they allocated to geographically distant co-religionist strangers relative to both themselves and local co-religionists. Our results support the hypothesis that beliefs in moralistic, punitive, and knowing gods increase impartial behavior towards distant co-religionists, and therefore can contribute to the expansion of prosociality.” ref

Complex societies precede moralizing gods throughout world history

“Complex societies precede moralizing gods throughout world history. The ‘moralizing gods’ hypothesis offers a solution to both puzzles by proposing that belief in morally concerned supernatural agents culturally evolved to facilitate cooperation among strangers in large-scale societies. The study systematically coded records from 414 societies that span the past 10,000 years from 30 regions around the world, using 51 measures of social complexity and 4 measures of supernatural enforcement of morality. Not only confirm the association between moralizing gods and social complexity, but also reveal that moralizing gods follow—rather than precede—large increases in social complexity. Contrary to previous predictions, powerful moralizing ‘big gods’ and prosocial supernatural punishment tend to appear only after the emergence of ‘megasocieties’ with populations of more than around one million people.” ref

“The geographic locations of the 33 hunter-gatherer societies were analyzed in the study on Hunter-Gatherers and the Origins of Religion which demonstrated the distribution of the seven characters describing hunter-gatherer religiosity.” ref

“Recent studies of the evolution of religion have revealed the cognitive underpinnings of belief in supernatural agents, the role of ritual in promoting cooperation, and the contribution of morally punishing high deities/gods/goddesses to the growth and stabilization of human society. The universality of religion across human society points to a deep evolutionary past. However, specific traits of nascent religiosity, and the sequence in which they emerged, have remained unknown. Here we reconstruct the evolution of religious beliefs and behaviors in early modern humans using a global sample of hunter-gatherers and seven traits describing hunter-gatherer religiosity: animism, belief in an afterlife, shamanism, ancestor worship, high deities/gods/goddesses, and worship of ancestors or high deities/gods/goddesses who are active in human affairs. We reconstruct ancestral character states using a time-calibrated supertree based on published phylogenetic trees and linguistic classification and then test for correlated evolution between the characters and for the direction of cultural change. Results indicate that the oldest trait of religion, present in the most recent common ancestor of present-day hunter-gatherers, was animism, in agreement with long-standing beliefs about the fundamental role of this trait. Belief in an afterlife emerged, followed by shamanism and ancestor worship. Ancestor spirits or high deities/gods/goddesses who are active in human affairs were absent in early humans, suggesting a deep history for the egalitarian nature of hunter-gatherer societies. There is a significant positive relationship between most characters investigated, but the trait “high deities/gods/goddesses” stands apart, suggesting that belief in a single creator deity can emerge in a society regardless of other aspects of its religion.” ref

“High gods” as single, all-powerful creator deities who may be active in human affairs and supportive of human morality. The variable is coded as four states. It differentiates between societies in which a creator deity is (1) absent, (2) present but inactive in human affairs, (3) active in human affairs but does no support a moral agenda, or (4) active and morally punishing. In 28 of the 33 societies in our sample coded for high gods in 28 of the 33 societies in our sample. Original coding in the additional five societies, based on principal ethnographic sources, completed the coding for all 33 societies is different geographic locations around the earth were analyzed in the study on hunter-gatherers and the origins of religion which demonstrated the distribution of the seven characters describing hunter-gatherer religiosity.” ref

“Research results reflect that animism was the earliest and most basic trait of religion because it enables humans to think in terms of supernatural beings or spirits. Animism is not a religion or philosophy, but a feature of human mentality, a by-product of cognitive processes that enable social intelligence, among other capabilities. It is a widespread way of thinking among hunter-gatherers. Animistic thought is a natural by-product of the human capacity for intentionality or “theory of mind mechanism”. This innate cognitive trait allows us to attribute a vital force to animate and inanimate elements in the environment. Once that vital force is assumed, attribution of other human characteristics will follow. Animistic beliefs are generally adaptive in the environments that prevail in hunter-gatherer societies. Animistic thinking would have been present in early hominins, certainly earlier than language. It can be inferred from the analyses, or indeed from the universality of animism, that the presence of animistic belief predates the emergence of belief in an afterlife.” ref

Material security, life history, and moralistic religions: A cross-cultural examination

“Researchers have recently proposed that “moralistic” religions—those with moral doctrines, moralistic supernatural punishment, and lower emphasis on ritual—emerged as an effect of greater wealth and material security. One interpretation appeals to life history theory, predicting that individuals with “slow life history” strategies will be more attracted to moralistic traditions as a means to judge those with “fast life history” strategies. As we had reservations about the validity of this application of life history theory, we tested these predictions with a data set consisting of 592 individuals from eight diverse societies. Our sample includes individuals from a wide range of traditions, including world religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity, but also local traditions rooted in beliefs in animism, ancestor worship, and worship of spirits associated with nature. We first test for the presence of associations between material security, years of formal education, and reproductive success. Consistent with popular life history predictions, we find evidence that material security and education are associated with reduced reproduction. Building on this, we then test whether or not these demographic factors predict the moral concern, punitiveness, attributed knowledge-breadth, and frequency of ritual devotions towards two deities in each society. Here, we find no reliable evidence of a relationship between number of children, material security, or formal education and the individual-level religious beliefs and behaviors. We conclude with a discussion of why life-history theory is an inadequate interpretation for the emergence of factors typifying the moralistic traditions.” ref

“Over the past few decades, numerous scholars have sought to explain the emergence and spread of “moralistic” religious traditions. These traditions are characterized as those that emphasize adherence to prosocial norms under the threat of punishment by knowledgeable deities explicitly concerned with how we treat each other. Many have assessed how socioecological variables such as societal complexity, resource scarcity, and animal husbandry, can help explain the emergence of these “moralistic high gods.” ref

“There is some evidence that commitment to moralistic gods—deities thought to be concerned with moral norms, particularly those claimed to bestow costs or benefits to people based on their moral actions—post-date critical thresholds of societal complexity, suggesting they developed and spread as a response to that complexity. Normative beliefs in divine punishment and supernatural monitoring by these deities may function adaptively by reducing the costs of punishing others for misconduct, while further expanding and/or stabilizing the sphere of human cooperation. Moreover, an emerging secularization literature shows that among contemporary state societies, greater material security, economic equality, and education predict less overall religiosity cross-nationally. In other words, the functions that moralistic religions traditionally served may have been co-opted and out-competed by effective secular institutions, thus diminishing the significance of the former.” ref

“As detailed below, some researchers have challenged this view by arguing that a widespread shift in affluence was the prime mover of the genesis and ubiquity of the moralistic and ascetic traditions. According to this alternative theory, religious traditions turn moralistic not because widely shared beliefs in supernatural deities contribute to stabilizing wider prosociality or carry adaptive externalities, but rather because life history strategies covary with environmental fluctuations and this predicts a concomitant shift in religious expression. Before discussing this hypothesis in more detail, we first briefly review life history theory.” ref

“Generally, mathematical models in life history theory are grounded on the idea that natural selection favors developmental and reproductive strategies that increase fitness, and that optimal life history strategies may co-vary with mortality regimes and ecological conditions, such as average resource abundance and the associated variance in realizable resources. With respect to empirical studies of human reproduction, life history theory is rendered more complicated by human flexibility and the demographic transition. One commonly cited subset of the theory is framed in terms of reproductive speed (i.e., a “slow” vs. “fast” life history) where reproductive rate is predicted to co-vary with resource security.” ref

“There is some evidence regarding a positive relationship between material security and the number of children people have in traditional societies. In post-demographic transition contexts, however, some evidence suggests that more educated parents will invest more time and resources in children. However, increased education and material security are frequently associated with lower fertility rates. Foregoing reproduction in such contexts can both increase the socioeconomic status of subsequent generations, as well as reduce the number of children people have. Further complications abound regarding how this “slow-fast” spectrum follows from evolutionary life history theory.” ref

“Aiming to extend these ideas to the domain of human cultural variation, Baumard et al. recently argued that the rise of moralistic religious traditions (i.e., those with doctrines including something akin to the “Golden Rule”) and the decline of ritual devotion are indicative of slow life history strategies. Contrary to recent findings of the relationship between morally concerned deities and ecological duress or social complexity, this work argues that moralizing religious beliefs are “a set of beliefs that are pragmatically held by slow-life individuals to help them moralize fast-life behaviors”. In other words, wealthier people with fewer, “higher-quality” children are more prone to morally judge poorer people with relatively more children. This research predicts that at the individual level, “moralizing beliefs are more strongly held by people pursuing a slow strategy.” ref

“In an empirical study, Baumard et al. found that greater projected energy capture (per capita/diem kcal, estimated from historical data) predicted the emergence of moralistic religions of the so-called “Axial Age,” a period (roughly between 800 and 200 BCE) often touted as a radical shift in human thought, religion, and social complexity. Though the details regarding how this might have happened remain unclear, the authors suggest that their results could be interpreted with life history theory (as expressed by the slow-fast continuum) insofar as “a massive increase in prosperity and certainty during the Axial Age may have triggered a drastic change in strategies, shifting motivations away from materialistic goals … toward long-term investment in reciprocation.” This “shift in priorities progressively would have impacted religious … traditions through a transmission bias, in favor of doctrines and institutions that coincided with the new values”. Affluence moves “individuals away from ‘fast life’ strategies (resource acquisition and coercive interactions) and toward ‘slow life’ strategies (self-control techniques and cooperative interactions) typically found in axial movements”. These “doctrines and institutions” associated with “slow-life strategies” include: increased asceticism, level of moral concern, punitiveness, and the breadth of knowledge (i.e., omniscience indicative of universalizing governance) attributed to deities, as well as the purported shift in emphasis from the ritual performances held by more traditional societies to one of “ethical commands”.” ref

“There are a few limitations to and problems with these assertions and empirical tests. First, many of the features of religions often claimed to have developed during the “Axial Age” predate this period. Second, as we detail in the Discussion section, evolutionary life history theory does not, in fact, predict a generalized “slow-fast” tradeoff. Rather, formal models of life history evolution demonstrate that the relationship between environmental harshness and life history variables is contingent on critical exogenous demographic and cultural factors.” ref

“Third, while the theory details individual-level phenomena—the appropriate level of measurement for tests of life history processes—the test uses coarse group-level wealth measures with no consideration of within-tradition variation. To their credit, Baumard et al. acknowledge that their measure “does not take into account the distribution of resources within a given society…[e.g., being] upper middle class in Greece…was probably much greater than what was available to the corresponding class in Persia or Egypt”. Here, they acknowledge that group-level per capita/diem kcal is an unreliable index of individual-level wealth distributions within groups. More specifically, group-level point estimates (e.g., mean kcals) are not indicative of within-group variation necessary to adequately test the life history predictions linking wealth and belief in more moralizing deities within populations. In fact, this may give misleading results (see below and Section 6 in S1 Supporting Information). Variation in beliefs and practices faces the same problem; models of life history theory cannot easily speak to group-level abstractions like “Christianity,” “Buddhism,” or “Axial.” In summary, tests of the life history interpretations of group-level patterns require higher-resolution data. The present research report attempts to do just this.” ref

“If popular life history predictions hold, then material security and education should correspond to fewer children. Assuming these conditions hold, if the aforementioned core features of moralistic religious traditions emerged due to shifting levels of wealth and generalized well-being, then—within the context of one’s community—an individual’s material security should be positively associated with his or her beliefs about the: 1) the level of moral concern of their deities, 2) the extent of divine sanctioning of moral norm-violators, and 3) the level of knowledge or omniscience (supernatural monitoring) of their deities. Moreover, material security should be 4) negatively associated with ritual participation. If these qualities attributed to deities emerge as a function of material security, we should also see a spike in the attribution of these qualities to locally salient—but relatively less moralistic, punitive, and knowledgeable—deities when resource security is higher. Here, we test these hypotheses using individual-level data collected in eight diverse field sites, using a modeling framework that accounts for variation within and across cultural groups.” ref

Religious commitment.

“We operationalize the construct of practicing a more “moralistic” religion by measuring the degree to which individuals claim their deities care about punishing theft, deceit, and murder, how knowledgeable deities are thought to be, and how often people perform devotional rituals to these deities. This operationalization directly taps key elements in Baumard et al.’s proposals, and avoids using the crude typological classifications such as “Christian” or “Muslim” that most researchers acknowledge as underspecified.” ref

“Our religion measures derive from extensive ethnographic interviews about religious beliefs and practices. Drawing on these interviews, we selected two locally salient deities that were differentially attributed with moral concern. One god we asked about was the most locally salient moralistic deity. The other was a relatively less moralistic, but locally important supernatural agent [5]. To measure explicit beliefs, we crafted questions about each variable of interest as it applies to each of these two kinds of spiritual agents. From these responses, we created measures that assessed how individuals conceptualize the: 1) concerns about moral behavior, 2) propensity toward punishment, and 3) scope of knowledge (i.e., breadth of supernatural monitoring) expressed by their deities. Finally, we assessed 4) the frequency in which participants engage in ritual devotions to these deities.” ref

Do materially secure individuals conceptualize deities as more moralistic?

“Recall that we selected two deities as targets for our questions precisely for the variation they exhibited in explicit association with moral concern. We modeled participants’ beliefs about moralistic and locally salient supernatural beings’ moral concern using the same set of covariates. If more materially secure respondents think of the relatively less moralistic local deities to be more moralistic than their materially insecure counterparts, this would provide an even better test of the driving hypothesis. In other words, we should be able to detect the emergence of moralistic gods when material security is higher, both within and across sites.” ref

“In our models that fully account for within- and cross-site variation, the target demographic predictors failed to account for the moralization of gods’ concerns. In all of our models, only moralistic deities’ moral concern predited local deities’ attributed moral concerns. These findings reveal no relationship between material security and belief in more moralistic local deities within any given community, but there may be site-level covariance in the frequency of material security and the likelihood of respondents claiming that local deities care about moral behavior (see code). While the evolutionary dynamics proposed by Baumard et al. are best evaluated at the level of individuals clustered by site (as we do here), a deeper analysis of the evolutionary dynamics underlying the weak group level covariance uncovered here with a larger sample of populations may be warranted.” ref

Do materially secure individuals claim their deities know more?

“We also assessed whether or not material security accounts for participants’ views of supernatural beings’ knowledge and monitoring. Again, we found no such relationship. Food security, sex, number of children, and years of formal education are not associated with how much people claim their deities know or monitor. How much participants claim the moralistic deities know, however, reliably predicted how much they claimed local deities know.” ref

Do materially secure individuals claim deities punish more?

“Here, too, we found no relationship between food security and the claimed moralistic punishment of local and moralistic gods. Food security, sex, number of children, and years of formal education are not associated with how much people claim their moralistic deities punish, but again, moralistic deities’ punishment scores had a strong association with local deities’ punishment scores.” ref

Do materially secure individuals participate in rituals less often?

“To test whether or not material security predicts ritual practice frequency, we regressed self-reported devotional ritual frequency on the target demographic variables. We found no evidence suggesting that food security predicts less ritual performance. Note, however, that while the effect (0.26) is not reliable (90% cred. int. = -0.19, 0.78), ritual frequency toward moralistic gods is in the reverse of the predicted direction. For local deities, the only reliable relationship found is the positive one between how often participants engage in rituals for moralistic gods.” ref


Life history, material security, and reproductive outcomes

“Recent work has argued that models in life history theory, coupled with evidence of fluctuating state-transitions in environmentally-linked variables such as energy capture, affluence, or material security can explain the rise of moralistic religions. However, earlier and more recent advances in life history theory suggest the very opposite. Rather than absolute affluence having predictable effects on human motivation and reward systems or shifts from “slow” to “fast” life history strategies, these advances show that: 1) evolutionary theory does not, in general, predict that harsh environments (i.e., those with severe resource stress and high mortality rates) should favor fast life histories, or that affluent environments will favor slow life histories, and 2) that most life history models used to explain phenotypically plastic (i.e., cultural and behavioral) responses to fluctuating environmental states have been misapplied and/or draw misleading conclusions.” ref

“Although the prediction that harsh environments select for faster life histories is a popularly cited one among some anthropologists and evolutionary psychologists, such hypotheses are typically presented with little formal, mathematical support. In some cases, evolutionary theory does predict that harsh environments should favor fast life histories, but this result does not hold in general, and the mechanistic details of the system—such as age-structure, parental investment, and how population dynamics are regulated—mediate which type of strategy will be favored in each type of environment.” ref

“Furthermore, the formal evolutionary models underpinning life history theory typically assume that an entire population is genetically evolving toward a uniformly changing environment. Intuitively, we might assume that the optimal plastic response to a heterogeneous environment would be to employ the fixed behavior of a population that uniformly inhabits such conditions. However, as Baldini demonstrates, this intuition is inconsistent with what the theory actually predicts; we require formal models of plastic life history strategies to make useful empirical predictions concerning how populations will flexibly adapt to specific kinds of fluctuating environments. The outcomes of adaptive strategies in fluctuating environments can be counterintuitive (e.g., food storage leading to more extreme famines;), and strongly depend on the details of the population and environmental system.” ref

“This being said, we did find the same empirical trend using individual-level data that Baumard et al. assume to exist. That is, increased material security is associated with decreased age-specific fertility. This also places our findings in line with a large but variable empirical literature finding such relationships in humans. However, it is not clear from our cross-sectional analysis if individuals with low food security have faster life histories and more children as an adaptive, risk-sensitive response to ecological circumstances, as some models might predict, or if more mundane reasons exist. For example, people with more children might be less certain about future food availability simply because they have more mouths to feed in their household. Our results are consistent with either or both of these interpretations.” ref

“We also find a relationship between education and reproduction. It could be that the more time parents invest in their own education, the more likely they are to delay reproduction for non-adaptive reasons. Alternatively, there may be adaptive reasons for investment in the education and embodied capital of oneself and of one’s children. As is also the case with our findings concerning material security, the direction of causality here is ambiguous.” ref

“Despite this causal ambiguity concerning the correlates of material security, our cross-sectional analyses do demonstrate that our measures of food security and education can predict life history related outcomes cross-culturally; so our failure to find a relationship between material security and our measures of religious commitments is not easily dismissed on the basis of an ineffective operationalization of the material security measure.” ref

Moral religions and material security

“Food security failed to account for the degree to which people claim their deities: 1) care about morality, 2) punish people, and 3) engage in supernatural monitoring. It also failed to account for: 4) respondents’ levels of ritual devotion to their deities. We found no support for any of the target predictions, in either class of deities (moralistic or local), regardless of the other variables we included in models.” ref

“Of course, some key differences between our methods and those that others have employed may have contributed to these null results. While used highly aggregated measures of projected energy capture for eight large geographic regions as a proxy variable for human affluence, we used individual-level, subjective measures of food security as an indicator of affluence. Additionally, Baumard et al. sampled traditions predetermined to be “moralistic” or “Axial” by academic consensus (which focuses only on elites), whereas we determined the degree to which individuals engaged in beliefs and behaviors typifying such traditions by eliciting and quantifying the characteristics they attributed to their deities.” ref

“While our data have the benefit of being grounded in individual sensibilities rather than coarse, group-level characterizations derived from historical sources involving substantial projections, they do reflect an ethnographic present that already includes the presence of these “moralistic” traditions, and do not assess their de novo emergence. Note again, however, that we saw no obvious association between food security and increased attributed moral concern to local deities. In other words, deities with relatively less moral concern do not appear to be evolving into moralistic deities due to any factor associated with material security. While our results have implications for the past, we do not assess data derived or postulated from the historical record.” ref

“Baumard et al. favor life-history theory as an explanation for the patterns they find. Our analysis suggests that while the popular life history assumptions hold, they do not help to explain the target features of religion. While our results suggest that life history theory is not as useful as they might hope, longitudinal and detailed demographic, economic, and ethnographic data from multiple populations are crucial in order to reliably determine whether or not life history theory is helpful in explaining the emergence of the so-called “moralistic” traditions.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art 

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Sky Burials: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, and Paganism

“In archaeology and anthropology, the term excarnation (also known as defleshing) refers to the practice of removing the flesh and organs of the dead before burial, leaving only the bones. Excarnation may be precipitated through natural means, involving leaving a body exposed for animals to scavenge, or it may be purposefully undertaken by butchering the corpse by hand. Practices making use of natural processes for excarnation are the Tibetan sky burial, Comanche platform burials, and traditional Zoroastrian funerals (see Tower of Silence).  Some Native American groups in the southeastern portion of North America practiced deliberate excarnation in protohistoric times. Archaeologists believe that in this practice, people typically left the body exposed on a woven litter or altar.” ref

Ancient Headless Corpses Were Defleshed By Griffon Vultures

Sky burial ( Animal Worship mixed with Ancestor Worship) is a funeral practice where a human corpse is placed on a mountaintop, elevated ground, tree, or constructed perch to decompose while be eaten by scavenging animals, especially birds. This Animal Worship (or Zoolatry) rituals may go back to the  Neanderthals who seem to Sacralize birds starting around 130,000 years ago in Croatia with eagle talon jewelry and oldest confirmed burial. Or possible (Aurignacian) “Bird Worship” at  Hohle Fels cave, Germany, early totemism and small bird figurine at around 33,000 years old, which had been cited as evidence of shamanism.

As well as possible ‘Bird Worship’ (in the Pavlovian culture/Gravettian culture) part of Early Shamanism at Dolní Věstonice (Czech Republic) from around 31,000-25,000 years ago, which held the “first shaman burial.” The shamanistic Mal’ta–Buret’ culture of Siberia, dating to 24,000-15,000 years ago, who connect to the indigenous peoples of the Americas show Bird Worship. The Magdalenian cultures in western Europe, dating from around 17,000-12,000 years ago have a famous artistic mural with a bird that I think could relate to reincarnation and at least bird symbolism. Likewise, there is evidence of possible ‘Bird Worship’ at  Göbekli Tepe (Turkey), dated to around 13,000/11,600-9,370 Years ago with “first human-made temple” and at Çatalhöyük (Turkey), dated to around 9,500-7,700 Years ago with “first religious designed city” both with seeming ancestor, animal, and possible goddess worship.

The Tibetan sky-burials appear to have evolved from ancient practices of defleshing corpses as discovered in archeological finds in the region. These practices most likely came out of practical considerations, but they could also be related to more ceremonial practices similar to the suspected sky burial evidence found at Göbekli Tepe (11,500 years ago) and Stonehenge (4,500 years ago). ref 

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Gobekli Tepe: “first human made temple” around 12,000 years ago

Ritualistic Bird Symbolism at Gobekli Tepe and its “Ancestor Cult” a Sacred Sky Burial Relationship between Birds and Spirits of the Dead

Myths from several regions’ associate birds with the creation of the world. Sacred ideas of birds range from a creator role, to a symbol of life as well as relating to both death and rebirth. Birds are a common totem or believed spirit and relate to renewal, transformation, and ancestors as well. In this deity, spirit or ancestor role they may be seen as Bird People (people with the characteristics of birds) a common motif in myths. Also, birds are commonly associated with or relate to fertility, longevity, and life itself.

Skulls From 11,500-year Ancestor Cult Found in Oldest Temple in the World

“Carved skulls indicate that Gobekli Tepe, known for enigmatic monumental pillars carved with animals and shapes, was ancestor worship site.” ref

Ancestor Cult: a ritualistic system of veneration, honor, and propitiation of the spirits of dead ancestors for the purpose of avoiding evil consequences and securing good fortune.” ref

Ancestor worship: the custom of venerating deceased ancestors who are considered still a part of the family and whose spirits are believed to have the power to intervene in the affairs of the living.” ref 

Veneration of the dead, including one’s ancestors, is based on love and respect for the deceased. In some cultures, it is related to beliefs that the dead have a continued existence, and may possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Some groups venerate their direct, familial ancestors. Certain sects and religions, in particular the Roman Catholic Church, venerate saints as intercessors with God, as well as pray for departed souls in Purgatory. In EuropeAsiaOceaniaAfrican and Afro-diasporic cultures, the goal of ancestor veneration is to ensure the ancestors’ continued well-being and positive disposition towards the living, and sometimes to ask for special favors or assistance. The social or non-religious function of ancestor veneration is to cultivate kinship values, such as filial piety, family loyalty, and continuity of the family lineage. Ancestor veneration occurs in societies with every degree of social, political, and technological complexity, and it remains an important component of various religious practices in modern times.” ref

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1. Kebaran culture 23,022-16,522 Years Ago, 2. Kortik Tepe 12,422-11,722 Years Ago, 3. Jerf el-Ahmar 11,222 -10,722 Years Ago, 4. Gobekli Tepe 11,152-9,392 Years Ago, 5. Tell Al-‘abrUbaid and Uruk Periods, 6. Nevali Cori 10,422 -10,122 Years Ago, 7. Catal Hoyuk 9,522-7,722 Years Ago

Birds and Creation

“Myths from several regions associate birds with the creation of the world. One of several creation stories in ancient Egypt said that when land rose out of the primeval waters of chaos, the first deity to appear was a bird perching on that land. The Egyptians called the god the Benu bird and portrayed it as a long-legged, wading heron in the sun temple at Heliopolis. The Benu bird created the universe and then made gods and goddesses and men to live in that universe.ref

“A number of creation myths from Southeast Asia feature birds. On the great island of Borneo dwell the Iban people, who tell of Ara and Irik, two bird spirits floating above an expanse of water at the beginning of time. Seizing two eggs from the water, Ara made the sky from one egg, while Irik made the earth from the other. As Irik squeezed the earth into its proper size, mountains and rivers appeared on its surface. Then the two creator spirits shaped bits of earth into the first people and woke them to life with bird cries.ref

“Other creation stories begin with the laying of a cosmic egg from which the universe emerges. Indonesia, Polynesia, and the northern European countries of Finland and Estonia have stories of deities flying down to the primeval ocean to lay eggs that hatch into the world.ref

The world egg, cosmic egg, or mundane egg is a mythological motif found in the cosmogonies of many cultures that is present in Proto-Indo-European culture and other cultures and civilizations. Typically, the world egg is a beginning of some sort, and the universe or some primordial being comes into existence by “hatching” from the egg, sometimes lain on the primordial waters of the Earth. Eggs symbolize the unification of two complementary principles (represented by the egg white and the yolk) from which life or existence, in its most fundamental philosophical sense, emerges.” ref

“Birds appear in some myths as earth divers. An earth diver is an animal that plunged to the bottom of the primeval sea and brought up mud from which the earth was formed. Legends of the Buriat and Samoyed people of Siberia feature birds as earth divers. Water birds such as ducks or swans play this role in the creation myths of many Native American peoples, including the Mandan of North Dakota. A Navajo myth about a great flood tells that the people fled to an upper world, leaving everything behind. The bird Turkey then dived into the lower world to rescue seeds so that the people could grow food crops.ref

  • “supernatural related to forces beyond the normal world; magical or miraculous
  • deity god or goddess
  • trickster mischievous figure appearing in various forms in the folktales and mythology of many different peoples
  • oracle priest or priestess or other creature through whom a god is believed to speak; also the location (such as a shrine) where such words are spoken
  • mediator go-between
  • primeval from the earliest times
  • chaos great disorder or confusion
  • cosmic large or universal in scale; having to do with the universeref

“Sometimes mythological birds create more than the physical world. Cultures in northern Europe and Asia credited birds with establishing their social orders, especially kingships. A golden-winged eagle was said to have put the first Mongol* emperor on his throne. The Japanese believed that sacred birds guided their second emperor in conquering his enemies before the founding of his dynasty. The Magyar people claimed that a giant eagle, falcon, or hawk had led their first king into Hungary, where he founded their nation. The Magyars looked upon this bird as their mythical ancestor.” ref

Birds: Life, Death, and the Soul

“Many myths have linked birds to the arrival of life or death. With their power of flight, these winged creatures were seen as carriers or symbols of the human soul, or as the soul itself, flying heavenward after a person died. A bird may represent both the soul of the dead and a deity at the same time.ref

“Bringers of Life and Death. Some cultures have associated birds with birth, claiming that a person’s soul arrived on earth in bird form. A remnant of this ancient belief has survived into modern times: one traditional answer to a child’s question “Where do babies come from?” is “The stork brings them.ref

“Birds have also been linked with death. Carrion-eating birds such as vultures, crows, and ravens, for example, were connected with disaster and war. Celtic* and Irish war goddesses often appeared in the form of crows and ravens—perhaps because crows and ravens were known to gather over battlefields and to feast on the flesh of fallen warriors. It was said that if one of these goddesses appeared before an army going into battle, the army would be defeated.ref

“The mythological bird called the phoenix combined images of birth and death to become a powerful symbol of eternal rebirth. According to Egyptian legend, the phoenix burned up every 500 years but was then miraculously reborn out of its own ashes, so it was truly immortal. In myths from China and Japan, the phoenix does not emerge from a fire but instead causes itself to be reborn during times of good fortune.ref

“The Flight of the Soul Numerous myths have linked birds to the journeys undertaken by human souls after death. Sometimes a bird acts as a guide in the afterlife. In Syria, figures of eagles on tombs represent the guides that lead souls to heaven. The soul guide in Jewish tradition is a dove.ref

“In some cultures, it was thought that the soul, once freed from the body, took the form of a bird. The ancient Egyptians believed that the soul, the ba, could leave the dead body in the form of a bird, often a hawk. They built their graves and tombs with narrow shafts leading to the open air so that these birds could fly in and out, keeping watch on the body. The feather cloaks that Central American and Mexican priests and kings wore may have been connected to the idea of a soul journey.ref

  • “dynasty succession of rulers from the same family or group
  • immortal able to live forever
  • imperial relating to an emperor or empireref

“Because of their great size and strength, eagles have been associated with royal or imperial souls. Some ancient peoples, including the Romans, would release an eagle at a ruler’s funeral. As it rose into the sky the mighty bird was seen as the ruler’s spirit taking its place in the heavens.ref

“The Greeks and Celts thought that the dead could reappear as birds. The Sumerians of the ancient Near East believed that the dead existed as birds in the underworld. According to Islamic tradition, all dead souls remain in the form of birds until Judgment Day, while in Christian traditions, the gentle dove became a symbol of the immortal soul ascending to heaven. Birds also appear in Hindu mythology as symbols of the soul or as forms taken by the soul between earthly lives. The connection between birds and souls is sometimes reflected in language. A Turkish saying describes somebody’s death as “His soul bird has flown away.ref

“Becoming a Bird. Under certain conditions, the living could be transformed into birds. In some cultures, it was believed that shamans, priests, and prophets could change themselves into birds during trances or other mystical states. Such ideas were found in Siberia and Indonesia. In Celtic mythology, both deities and the sly supernatural beings called fairies or fays were said to have the power to transform themselves into birds.ref

“Some legends involve birds that change into or inhabit the bodies of humans. The Central American god Quetzalcoatl, a combination of a bird and a serpent, appears as a cultural hero or a god in human form in Toltec, Maya, and Aztec myths. Among certain peoples in northern Europe and Asia, the spirits of birds such as eagles, owls, and crows are said to enter the bodies of shamans to inspire them.ref

“In some myths, humans and other beings acquire the ability to fly like birds. Such supernatural flight, like many mythological powers, can be either good or evil. Norse* tales told that the goddess Freya’s feather cloak enabled the wearer to fly. European tradition portrayed angels with wings like those of birds, but devils often had bat wings. Japanese mythology includes a group of winged deities known as tengu. Part bird and part human, they live in forests and occasionally use their powers to play tricks on people.ref

Birds: Winged Wisdom

“Birds in mythology sometimes have the ability to speak. These talking birds, often sources of wisdom, maybe deities in bird form or simply messengers of the deities. Either way, their advice is generally sound, and humans ignore it at their peril. Birds warn of dangers ahead, reveal secrets, and guide heroes and travelers on their way.ref

“Birds do not always speak in human languages; many stories tell of people who gain the power to understand the language of birds. In Greek mythology, a snake licked the ears of the prophet Cassandra, who could then understand what the birds were saying. After tasting the magical blood of a slain dragon, the German hero Siegfried knew what the forest birds were saying.ref

  • “shaman person thought to possess spiritual and healing powers prophet one who claims to have received divine messages or insights
  • culture hero mythical figure who gives people the tools of civilization, such as language and fireref

“Some birds are believed to have special powers of telling the future or revealing the will of the gods. Magpies, ravens, and doves appear in myth as oracles. In Iranian mythology, birds communicate divine wisdom to people. The Hottentot people of southern Africa believe that the hammerhead, a wading bird, can see reflections of the future in pools of water. When the bird learns that someone is about to die, it flies to the person’s home and gives three cries of warning.ref

Common Birds in Mythology

“Certain birds appear over and over again in the world’s myths and legends, although not always in the same roles. The crow and its close relative the raven, for example, have a number of different meanings. In some cultures, they are oracles and symbols of death. In Norse mythology, Odin* was always accompanied by two wise ravens that told him everything that happened on earth. According to Greek mythology, the feathers of crows and ravens were originally white, but the god Apollo punished the birds—either for telling secrets or for failing in their duty as guardians—by turning them black.ref

“For some Native Americans, such as the Tsimshian people of the Pacific Northwest, Raven is both a trickster and a culture hero. Sometimes his antics shake up the gods and the established order of the universe, and sometimes they backfire and get him into trouble. Often, though, Raven’s deeds benefit humankind, as in the legend of how Raven brought light into the world. After finding the hiding place where the Creator kept the moon, the stars, and daylight, Raven released them so that they could shine on the world.ref

“The majestic eagle, sometimes called the king of birds, usually has divine or royal associations in myth. Images from the ancient Near East and Iran show the sun with an eagle’s wings, a sign that the bird was linked to the sun god. The eagle was also a symbol of Jupiter, the supreme Roman deity, and a sign of strength and courage. By adopting the eagle as their symbol, kings from ancient to recent times have tried to suggest that they, too, had some divine or heroic qualities.ref

“Stories of eagles fighting snakes or dragons represent the tension between light and darkness, heavenly and underworld forces. In the myths of various Native American peoples, the eagle is a culture hero, a hunter or a tornado transformed into a bird, and the spirit of war and hunting. The eagle was also the great culture hero of Siberian mythology.ref

“In the ancient Near East and in Greece, the dove was a symbol of love and fertility, often associated with goddesses of love such as the Greek Aphrodite. In China, doves represent tranquility and faithfulness in marriage, while in India they symbolize the soul.ref

“When owls appear in mythology, their meaning is often uncertain and complex, neither all good nor all bad. Owls are symbols of wisdom, patience, and learning, yet because they hunt at night, they are associated with secrecy and darkness. In China, they are seen as signs of coming misfortune. According to the Hottentot people of Africa, the hooting of an owl at night is an omen of death.ref

“Early cultures in Mexico regarded owls as sacred to the rain god, but later the Aztecs of the same region viewed them as evil night demons. Some Native American legends portray owls as destructive and malicious; others show them as helpful beings who warn people of dangers. The stories may include a person who is transformed into an owl. In the Navajo creation myth, an owl resolves a bitter quarrel between men and women, allowing the creation of the human race.ref

“Bats also symbolize both good and evil in mythology. Chinese legends link the bat with good fortune. A group of five bats represents five causes of happiness: wealth, health, long life, virtue, and a natural death. In various other cultures, however, bats are often connected with witches or evil spirits, and demons are pictured with bat wings.ref

The Deathless Holy Bird

“Jewish mythology includes the story of the holy—a bird that, like the phoenix, is devoured by divine fire only to rise from its own ashes. Legend says that after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, Adam offered the fruit to all of the animals. The holy bird was the only one that refused to eat the fruit that God had said must never be eaten. As a reward, the holy received a kind of immortality. It never dies but only goes to sleep, after which fire destroys it. An egg remains, however, and from that egg a full-grown holy hatches anew.ref

“Other birds have special meanings in myths. Swans, with their white feathers and graceful appearance, often serve as symbols of purity and feminine beauty. Both Celtic and Norse mythology included tales of women who turned into swans. Male peacocks, endowed with splendid tail feathers, can suggest either foolish vanity or divine glory. In legends from India, they often appear being ridden by one of the gods.ref

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List of Lunar Deities

“In mythology, a lunar deity is a god or goddess of the Moon, sometimes as a personification. These deities can have a variety of functions and traditions depending upon the culture, but they are often related. Some forms of moon worship can be found in most ancient religions. The Moon features prominently in art and literature, often with a purported influence in human affairs. Many cultures are oriented chronologically by the Moon, as opposed to the Sun. The Hindu calendar maintains the integrity of the lunar month and the moon god Chandra has religious significance during many Hindu festivals (e.g. Karwa ChauthSankashti Chaturthi, and during eclipses). The ancient Germanic tribes were also known to have a lunar calendar.” ref

“Many cultures have implicitly linked the 29.5-day lunar cycle to women’s menstrual cycles, as evident in the shared linguistic roots of “menstruation” and “moon” words in multiple language families. This identification was not universal, as demonstrated by the fact that not all moon deities are female. Still, many well-known mythologies feature moon goddesses, including the Greek goddess Selene, the Roman goddess Luna, and the Chinese goddess Chang’e. Several goddesses including ArtemisHecate, and Isis did not originally have lunar aspects, and only acquired them late in antiquity due to syncretism with the de facto Greco-Roman lunar deity Selene/Luna. In traditions with male gods, there is little evidence of such syncretism, though the Greek Hermes has been equated with the male Egyptian lunar god Thoth.” ref

“Male lunar gods are also common, such as Sin of the MesopotamiansMani of the Germanic tribesTsukuyomi of the Japanese, Igaluk/Alignak of the Inuit, and the Hindu god Chandra. The original Proto-Indo-European lunar deity appears to have been male, with many possible derivatives including the Homeric figure of Menelaus. Cultures with male moon gods often feature sun goddesses. An exception is Hinduism, featuring both male and female aspects of the solar divine. The ancient Egyptians had several moon gods including Khonsu and Thoth, although Thoth is a considerably more complex deity. Set represented the moon in the Egyptian Calendar of Lucky and Unlucky Days.” ref

List of Solar Deities

“A solar deity is a god or goddess who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and Sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms. The following is a list of solar deities. dawn god or goddess is a deity in a polytheistic religious tradition who is in some sense associated with the dawn. These deities show some relation with the morning, the beginning of the day, and, in some cases, become syncretized with similar solar deities.” ref, ref

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Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük

“The Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük (also Çatal Höyük) is a baked-clay, nude female form, seated between feline-headed arm-rests. It is generally thought to depict a corpulent and fertile Mother goddess in the process of giving birth while seated on her throne, which has two hand rests in the form of feline (lioness, leopard, or panther) heads in a Mistress of Animals motif. The statuette, one of several iconographically similar ones found at the site, is associated to other corpulent prehistoric goddess figures, of which the most famous is the Venus of Willendorf. It is a neolithic sculpture shaped by an unknown artist, and was completed in approximately 6000 BCE.” ref


“Kubaba is the only queen on the Sumerian King List, which states she reigned for 100 years – roughly in the Early Dynastic III period (ca. 2500–2330 BCE) of Sumerian history. A connection between her and a goddess known from HurroHittite and later Luwian sources cannot be established on the account of spatial and temporal differences. Kubaba is one of very few women to have ever ruled in their own right in Mesopotamian history. Most versions of the king list place her alone in her own dynasty, the 3rd Dynasty of Kish, following the defeat of Sharrumiter of Mari, but other versions combine her with the 4th dynasty, that followed the primacy of the king of Akshak. Before becoming monarch, the king list says she was an alewife, brewess or brewster, terms for a woman who brewed alcohol.” ref 

“Kubaba was a Syrian goddess associated particularly closely with Alalakh and Carchemish. She was adopted into the Hurrian and Hittite pantheons as well. After the fall of the Hittite empire, she continued to be venerated by Luwians. A connection between her and the similarly named legendary Sumerian queen Kubaba of Kish, while commonly proposed, cannot be established due to spatial and temporal differences. Emmanuel Laroche proposed in 1960 that Kubaba and Cybele were one and the same. This view is supported by Mark Munn, who argues that the Phrygian name Kybele developed from Lydian adjective kuvavli, first changed into kubabli and then simplified into kuballi, and finally kubelli. However, such an adjective is a purely speculative construction.” ref


“Cybele (Phrygian: “Kubileya/Kubeleya Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible forerunner in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük, where statues of plump women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations. Phrygia‘s only known goddess, she was probably its national deity. Greek colonists in Asia Minor adopted and adapted her Phrygian cult and spread it to mainland Greece and to the more distant western Greek colonies around the 6th century BCE. In Greece, Cybele met with a mixed reception. She became partially assimilated to aspects of the Earth-goddess Gaia, of her possibly Minoan equivalent Rhea, and of the harvest–mother goddess Demeter. Some city-states, notably Athens, evoked her as a protector, but her most celebrated Greek rites and processions show her as an essentially foreign, exotic mystery-goddess who arrives in a lion-drawn chariot to the accompaniment of wild music, wine, and a disorderly, ecstatic following.” ref

“Uniquely in Greek religion, she had a eunuch mendicant priesthood. Many of her Greek cults included rites to a divine Phrygian castrate shepherd-consort Attis, who was probably a Greek invention. In Greece, Cybele became associated with mountains, town and city walls, fertile nature, and wild animals, especially lions. In Rome, Cybele became known as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”). The Roman State adopted and developed a particular form of her cult after the Sibylline oracle in 205 BCE recommended her conscription as a key religious ally in Rome’s second war against Carthage (218 to 201 BCE). Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas. As Rome eventually established hegemony over the Mediterranean world, Romanized forms of Cybele’s cults spread throughout Rome’s empire. Greek and Roman writers debated and disputed the meaning and morality of her cults and priesthoods, which remain controversial subjects in modern scholarship.” ref

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  1. From a Gerzeh/Naqada II Late Predynastic Egyptian palette with a goddess “Bat/Hathor” cow-head sun/stars motif.
  2. From a Hierakonpolis late Gerzeh/Naqada II Predynastic or early Naqada III Proto-Dynastic Egyptian porphyry fluted bowl with two reliefs on the rim, one of which was a goddess “Hathor/Bat” cow-head sun/stars motif.
  3. From an Abydos tomb, u-210 which held a small seal with a goddess “Bat/Hathor” sun/stars motif from the Gerzeh/Naqada II Late Predynastic Egyptian period.
  4. A Mongolian Copper Age bull sun/star shamanism petroglyph
  5. A Mongolian Bronze Age deer sun/star shamanism petroglyph symbol.
  6. A Kyrgyzstan Saimaly-Tash possibly Bronze Age shamanism cow-sun person symbol petroglyph.
  7. Similar X-ray style images among different peoples of the North from Siberia to Central Asia with shamanism petroglyphs of horned animals with sun symbols from possibly as old as the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. ref, ref, ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


My Thought on the Evolution of God?

Animal protector deities from old totems/spirit animal beliefs come first to me, 13,000/12,000 years ago, then women as deities 11,000/10,000 years ago, then male gods around 7,000/8,000 years ago. Then Moralistic gods around 5,000/4,000 years ago.

Silence is no virtue, especially against injustice, oppression, or untruths. From our natural only reality, there is no need to hide, for Atheism and a magic-free universe is the truth and theism religion and its supernatural thinking gods are just a lie. Truth deserves to be supported and has no need to remain silent and should instead, inspire its strong championing. I hear this call deep in me to bravely champion the truth of atheism and I do it with pride. To me, Animistic Somethingism: You just feel/think there has to be something supernatural/spirit-world or feel/think things are supernatural/spirit-filled. “Somethingism” is commonly an unspecified belief in an undetermined supernatural reality, stated sometimes as spiritual but not religious, but, to me, is basically unrealized animism. Vague Theism or god Somethingism: just say NO! May I remind you , vague theism, somethingism or “ietsism” is not some Philosophers Stone of Theism removed from strong critique.

So loudly, I will proclaim supernatural, and gods are willful mental illusions, confusions, and lies that are commonly inspired by a life of religious influences, religiously motivated fears, and or religious indoctrination. I laugh at questions like “what would convince you of god” as if I approach thinking differently dependent. As a rationalist I am always moved best by valid and reliable reason and evidence, you know the very stuff, all religions and any supernatural claim always lack in the end. Religion is big on claims but small of real reasoning, full of logical fallacies in thinking, and no evidence to quorate all their delusionary supernatural nonsense and superstitions.

What is religion’s purpose? Why is any religion here? Why do we keep inventing religions if it’s not real?

My response: Many things but largely a magical thinking “fear of life and fear of death”. social cohesion beyond family, and a form of power/authority over people but that last part happened to the greatest extent beginning 7,000-5,000 years ago. And after 4,000years ago it was more the norm.

Animism (belief in a perceived spirit world) passably by at least 100,000 years ago “the primal stage of early religion” To me, Animistic Somethingism: You just feel/think there has to be something supernatural/spirit-world or feel/think things are supernatural/spirit-filled.

Totemism (belief that these perceived spirits could be managed with created physical expressions) passably by at least 50,000 years ago “progressed stage of early religion” A totem is a representational spirit being, sacred object, or symbol of a group of people, clan, or tribe.

Shamanism (belief that some special person can commune with these perceived spirits on the behalf of others by way rituals) passably by at least 30,000 years ago Shamanism is a otherworld connection belief to heal sick, communicate with spirits, and escort souls of the dead.

I call all religions after agriculture and related to it paganism. Animism comes first, then totemism, then shamanism, then goddesses and gods “paganism,” which had a mix of it all Animism-Totemism-Shamanism with gods added making it what I call paganism.

Paganism 12,000 years old: (Pre-Capitalism) the beginning of inequality and hierarchy of power:

“Social stratification is a system of ranking individuals and groups within societies. It refers to a society’s ranking of its people into socioeconomic tiers based on factors like wealth, income, race, education, and power. You may remember the word “stratification” from geology class. The distinct horizontal layers found in rock, called “strata,” are an illustrative way to visualize social structure. Society’s layers are made of people, and society’s resources are distributed unevenly throughout the layers. Social stratification has been a part of all societies dating from the agricultural revolution, which took place in various parts of the world between 7,000-10,000 BCE. Unlike relatively even strata in rock, though, there are not equal numbers of people in each layer of society. There are typically very few at the top and a great many at the bottom, with some variously populated layers in the middle.” ref

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and slaves:

“Something Weird Happened to Men 7,000 Years Ago, it fell to one man for every 17 women: fighting between patrilineal clans. Around 7,000 years ago – all the way back in the Neolithic – something really peculiar happened to human genetic diversity. Over the next 2,000 years, and seen across Africa, Europe, and Asia, the genetic diversity of the Y chromosome collapsed, becoming as though there was only one man for every 17 women. This points to a social, rather than an environmental, cause, and given the social restructures between 12,000 and 8,000 years ago as humans shifted to more agrarian cultures with patrilineal structures, this may have had something to do with it.” ref

“Slavery predates written records and has existed in many cultures. Slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations because it requires economic surpluses and a substantial population density. Thus, although it has existed among unusually resource-rich hunter-gatherers, such as the American Indian peoples of the salmon-rich rivers of the Pacific Northwest coast, slavery became widespread only with the invention of agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution about 11,000 years ago.” ref

When the First Farmers Arrived in Europe, Inequality Evolved

“Forests gave way to fields, pushing hunter-gatherers to the margins—geographically and socially. There is no clear genetic evidence of interbreeding along the central European route until the (Linear Pottery culture 5500–4500 BCE or 7,522-6,522 years ago) LBK farmers reached the Rhine. And yet the groups mixed in other ways—potentially right from the beginning. A tantalizing hint of such interactions came from Gamba’s discovery of a hunter-gatherer bone in a farming settlement at a place called Tiszaszőlős-Domaháza in Hungary. But there was nothing more to be said about that individual. Was he a member of that community? A hostage? Someone passing through?” ref

“With later evidence, the picture became clearer. At Bruchenbrücken, a site north of Frankfurt in Germany, farmers, and hunter-gatherers lived together roughly 7,300 years ago in what Gronenborn calls a “multicultural” settlement. It looks as if the hunters may have come there originally from farther west to trade with the farmers, who valued their predecessors’ toolmaking techniques—especially their finely chiseled stone arrowheads. Perhaps some hunter-gatherers settled, taking up the farming way of life. So fruitful were the exchanges at Bruchenbrücken and other sites, Gronenborn says, that they held up the westward advance of farming for a couple of centuries.” ref

“There may even have been rare exceptions to the rule that the two groups did not interbreed early on. The Austrian site of Brunn 2, in a wooded river valley not far from Vienna, dates from the earliest arrival of the LBK farmers in central Europe, around 7,600 years ago. Three burials at the site were roughly contemporaneous. Two were of individuals of pure farming ancestry, and the other was the first-generation offspring of a hunter and a farmer. All three lay curled up on their sides in the LBK way, but the “hunter” was buried with six arrowheads.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey 

“How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.” ref

My thoughts on Religion Evolution with external links for more info:

“Religion is an Evolved Product” and Yes, Religion is Like Fear Given Wings…

Atheists talk about gods and religions for the same reason doctors talk about cancer, they are looking for a cure, or a firefighter talks about fires because they burn people and they care to stop them. We atheists too often feel a need to help the victims of mental slavery, held in the bondage that is the false beliefs of gods and the conspiracy theories of reality found in religions.

“Understanding Religion Evolution: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, Paganism & Progressed organized religion”

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe (by superstition perceived as good and evil),” and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul” which was thought to affect the still living, leading to ancestor worship. This ancestor worship presumably led to the belief in supernatural beings, and then some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived “made from nothing into something over and over, changing, again and again, taking on more as they evolve, all the while they are thought to be special,” but it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.


Quick Evolution of Religion?

Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago) pre-religion is a beginning that evolves into later Animism. So, Religion as we think of it, to me, all starts in a general way with Animism (Africa: 100,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (Siberia/Russia: 30,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (Turkey: 12,000 years ago) (often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development). Progressed organized religion (Egypt: 5,000 years ago)  with CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago).

Historically, in large city-state societies (such as Egypt or Iraq) starting around 5,000 years ago culminated to make religion something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine, but this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine (magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed). Many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence, this amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago. This message of how religion and gods among them are clearly a man-made thing that was developed slowly as it was invented and then implemented peace by peace discrediting them all. Which seems to be a simple point some are just not grasping how devastating to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

I wish people fought as hard for the actual values as they fight for the group/clan names political or otherwise they think support values. Every amount spent on war is theft to children in need of food or the homeless kept from shelter.

Here are several of my blog posts on history:

I am not an academic. I am a revolutionary that teaches in public, in places like social media, and in the streets. I am not a leader by some title given but from my commanding leadership style of simply to start teaching everywhere to everyone, all manner of positive education. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Low Gods “Earth” or Tutelary deity and High Gods “Sky” or Supreme deity

“An Earth goddess is a deification of the Earth. Earth goddesses are often associated with the “chthonic” deities of the underworldKi and Ninhursag are Mesopotamian earth goddesses. In Greek mythology, the Earth is personified as Gaia, corresponding to Roman Terra, Indic Prithvi/Bhūmi, etc. traced to an “Earth Mother” complementary to the “Sky Father” in Proto-Indo-European religionEgyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref

“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of naturemotherhoodfertilitycreationdestruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. In some religious traditions or movements, Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father.” ref

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

“In comparative mythology, sky father is a term for a recurring concept in polytheistic religions of a sky god who is addressed as a “father”, often the father of a pantheon and is often either a reigning or former King of the Gods. The concept of “sky father” may also be taken to include Sun gods with similar characteristics, such as Ra. The concept is complementary to an “earth mother“. “Sky Father” is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeûs Pater and Roman Jupiter and Germanic Týr, Tir or Tiwaz, all of which are reflexes of the same Proto-Indo-European deity’s name, *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr. While there are numerous parallels adduced from outside of Indo-European mythology, there are exceptions (e.g. In Egyptian mythology, Nut is the sky mother and Geb is the earth father).” ref

Tutelary deity

“A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of “tutelary” expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship. In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) iKorean shamanismjangseung and sotdae were placed at the edge of villages to frighten off demons. They were also worshiped as deities. Seonangshin is the patron deity of the village in Korean tradition and was believed to embody the SeonangdangIn Philippine animism, Diwata or Lambana are deities or spirits that inhabit sacred places like mountains and mounds and serve as guardians. Such as: Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling and Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan. In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped. And similarly, Native American beliefs such as Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec and Totems, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Austronesian beliefs such as: Atua (gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians), Hanitu (Bunun of Taiwan‘s term for spirit), Hyang (KawiSundaneseJavanese, and Balinese Supreme Being, in ancient Java and Bali mythology and this spiritual entity, can be either divine or ancestral), Kaitiaki (New Zealand Māori term used for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land), Kawas (mythology) (divided into 6 groups: gods, ancestors, souls of the living, spirits of living things, spirits of lifeless objects, and ghosts), Tiki (Māori mythologyTiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne and represents deified ancestors found in most Polynesian cultures). ” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Mesopotamian Tutelary Deities can be seen as ones related to City-States 

“Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Uruk and UrAncient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician cities (such as Tyre and Sidon); the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes; the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as AthensSpartaThebes, and Corinth); the Roman Republic (which grew from a city-state into a vast empire); the Italian city-states from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, such as FlorenceSienaFerraraMilan (which as they grew in power began to dominate neighboring cities) and Genoa and Venice, which became powerful thalassocracies; the Mayan and other cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (including cities such as Chichen ItzaTikalCopán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coastRagusa; states of the medieval Russian lands such as Novgorod and Pskov; and many others.” ref

“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE; also known as Protoliterate period) of Mesopotamia, named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization. City-States like Uruk and others had a patron tutelary City Deity along with a Priest-King.” ref

Chinese folk religion, both past, and present, includes myriad tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages, and prominent ancestors can be deified and honored after death. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors. Such as Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of a locality, and each individual locality has its own Earth Deity and Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of an individual city, worshipped by local officials and locals since imperial times.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Hinduism, personal tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata, while family tutelary deities are known as Kuladevata. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is the patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include: Mumbadevi (Mumbai), Sachchika (Osian); Kuladevis include: Ambika (Porwad), and Mahalakshmi. In NorthEast India Meitei mythology and religion (Sanamahism) of Manipur, there are various types of tutelary deities, among which Lam Lais are the most predominant ones. Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: for instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” ref

“Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictator Sulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.” ref

“Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome. The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned.” ref

“The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as “tower-crowned” represents their capacity to preserve the city. A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was Mars Camulus.” ref 

Household deity (a kind of or related to a Tutelary deity)

“A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess – often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, such as the ancient Greek Hestia.” ref

“The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in the religions of antiquity, such as the Lares of ancient Roman religion, the Gashin of Korean shamanism, and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism. These survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Anglo-Scottish Brownie and Slavic Domovoy.” ref

“Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols (such as the teraphim of the Bible, often translated as “household gods” in Genesis 31:19 for example), amulets, paintings, or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.” ref

“In many religions, both ancient and modern, a god would preside over the home. Certain species, or types, of household deities, existed. An example of this was the Roman Lares. Many European cultures retained house spirits into the modern period. Some examples of these include:

“Although the cosmic status of household deities was not as lofty as that of the Twelve Olympians or the Aesir, they were also jealous of their dignity and also had to be appeased with shrines and offerings, however humble. Because of their immediacy they had arguably more influence on the day-to-day affairs of men than the remote gods did. Vestiges of their worship persisted long after Christianity and other major religions extirpated nearly every trace of the major pagan pantheons. Elements of the practice can be seen even today, with Christian accretions, where statues to various saints (such as St. Francis) protect gardens and grottos. Even the gargoyles found on older churches, could be viewed as guardians partitioning a sacred space.” ref

“For centuries, Christianity fought a mop-up war against these lingering minor pagan deities, but they proved tenacious. For example, Martin Luther‘s Tischreden have numerous – quite serious – references to dealing with kobolds. Eventually, rationalism and the Industrial Revolution threatened to erase most of these minor deities, until the advent of romantic nationalism rehabilitated them and embellished them into objects of literary curiosity in the 19th century. Since the 20th century this literature has been mined for characters for role-playing games, video games, and other fantasy personae, not infrequently invested with invented traits and hierarchies somewhat different from their mythological and folkloric roots.” ref

“In contradistinction to both Herbert Spencer and Edward Burnett Tylor, who defended theories of animistic origins of ancestor worship, Émile Durkheim saw its origin in totemism. In reality, this distinction is somewhat academic, since totemism may be regarded as a particularized manifestation of animism, and something of a synthesis of the two positions was attempted by Sigmund Freud. In Freud’s Totem and Taboo, both totem and taboo are outward expressions or manifestations of the same psychological tendency, a concept which is complementary to, or which rather reconciles, the apparent conflict. Freud preferred to emphasize the psychoanalytic implications of the reification of metaphysical forces, but with particular emphasis on its familial nature. This emphasis underscores, rather than weakens, the ancestral component.” ref

William Edward Hearn, a noted classicist, and jurist, traced the origin of domestic deities from the earliest stages as an expression of animism, a belief system thought to have existed also in the neolithic, and the forerunner of Indo-European religion. In his analysis of the Indo-European household, in Chapter II “The House Spirit”, Section 1, he states:

The belief which guided the conduct of our forefathers was … the spirit rule of dead ancestors.” ref

“In Section 2 he proceeds to elaborate:

It is thus certain that the worship of deceased ancestors is a vera causa, and not a mere hypothesis. …

In the other European nations, the Slavs, the Teutons, and the Kelts, the House Spirit appears with no less distinctness. … [T]he existence of that worship does not admit of doubt. … The House Spirits had a multitude of other names which it is needless here to enumerate, but all of which are more or less expressive of their friendly relations with man. … In [England] … [h]e is the Brownie. … In Scotland this same Brownie is well known. He is usually described as attached to particular families, with whom he has been known to reside for centuries, threshing the corn, cleaning the house, and performing similar household tasks. His favorite gratification was milk and honey.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Hinduism around 3,700 to 3,500 years old. ref

 Judaism around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (The first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew” dated to around 3,000 years ago Khirbet Qeiyafa is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley. And many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed around 2,500) ref, ref

Judaism is around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (“Paleo-Hebrew” 3,000 years ago and Torah 2,500 years ago)

“Judaism is an Abrahamic, its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Some scholars argue that modern Judaism evolved from Yahwism, the religion of ancient Israel and Judah, by the late 6th century BCE, and is thus considered to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions.” ref

“Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of ancient Israel, essentially polytheistic, with a plethora of gods and goddesses. Heading the pantheon was Yahweh, the national god of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with his consort, the goddess Asherah; below them were second-tier gods and goddesses such as Baal, Shamash, Yarikh, Mot, and Astarte, all of whom had their own priests and prophets and numbered royalty among their devotees, and a third and fourth tier of minor divine beings, including the mal’ak, the messengers of the higher gods, who in later times became the angels of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yahweh, however, was not the ‘original’ god of Israel “Isra-El”; it is El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, whose name forms the basis of the name “Israel”, and none of the Old Testament patriarchs, the tribes of Israel, the Judges, or the earliest monarchs, have a Yahwistic theophoric name (i.e., one incorporating the name of Yahweh).” ref

“El is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity“, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, ‘ila, represents the predicate form in Old Akkadian and in Amorite. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic *ʔil-, meaning “god”. Specific deities known as ‘El or ‘Il include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period. ʼĒl is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, ʼĒl played a role as father of the gods, of creation, or both. For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean “ʼĒl the King” but ʾil hd as “the god Hadad“. The Semitic root ʾlh (Arabic ʾilāh, Aramaic ʾAlāh, ʾElāh, Hebrew ʾelōah) may be ʾl with a parasitic h, and ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning “gods” is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm “powers”. In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for “god” by biblical commentators. However the documentary hypothesis for the Old Testament (corresponds to the Jewish Torah) developed originally in the 1870s, identifies these that different authors – the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and the Priestly source – were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis.” ref


Jainism around 2,599 – 2,527 years old. ref

Confucianism around 2,600 – 2,551 years old. ref

Buddhism around 2,563/2,480 – 2,483/2,400 years old. ref

Christianity around 2,o00 years old. ref

Shinto around 1,305 years old. ref

Islam around 1407–1385 years old. ref

Sikhism around 548–478 years old. ref

Bahá’í around 200–125 years old. ref

Knowledge to Ponder: 


  • Possibly, around 30,000 years ago (in simpler form) to 6,000 years ago, Stars/Astrology are connected to Ancestors, Spirit Animals, and Deities.
  • The star also seems to be a possible proto-star for Star of Ishtar, Star of Inanna, or Star of Venus.
  • Around 7,000 to 6,000 years ago, Star Constellations/Astrology have connections to the “Kurgan phenomenon” of below-ground “mound” stone/wood burial structures and “Dolmen phenomenon” of above-ground stone burial structures.
  • Around 6,500–5,800 years ago, The Northern Levant migrations into Jordon and Israel in the Southern Levant brought new cultural and religious transfer from Turkey and Iran.
  • “The Ghassulian Star,” a mysterious 6,000-year-old mural from Jordan may have connections to the European paganstic kurgan/dolmens phenomenon.

“Astrology is a range of divinatory practices, recognized as pseudoscientific since the 18th century, that claim to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the apparent positions of celestial objects. Different cultures have employed forms of astrology since at least the 2nd millennium BCE, these practices having originated in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Most, if not all, cultures have attached importance to what they observed in the sky, and some—such as the HindusChinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient GreeceRome, the Islamicate world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.” ref 

Around 5,500 years ago, Science evolves, The first evidence of science was 5,500 years ago and was demonstrated by a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world. ref

Around 5,000 years ago, Origin of Logics is a Naturalistic Observation (principles of valid reasoning, inference, & demonstration) ref

Around 4,150 to 4,000 years ago: The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which was originally titled “He who Saw the Deep” (Sha naqba īmuru) or “Surpassing All Other Kings” (Shūtur eli sharrī) were written. ref


  • 3,700 years ago or so, the oldest of the Hindu Vedas (scriptures), the Rig Veda was composed.
  • 3,500 years ago or so, the Vedic Age began in India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.


  • around 3,000 years ago, the first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew”
  • around 2,500 years ago, many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed

Myths: The bible inspired religion is not just one religion or one myth but a grouping of several religions and myths

  • Around 3,450 or 3,250 years ago, according to legend, is the traditionally accepted period in which the Israelite lawgiver, Moses, provided the Ten Commandments.
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament is the first part of Christianity’s bible.
  • Around 2,400 years ago, the most accepted hypothesis is that the canon was formed in stages, first the Pentateuch (Torah).
  • Around 2,140 to 2,116 years ago, the Prophets was written during the Hasmonean dynasty, and finally the remaining books.
  • Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections:
  • The first five books or Pentateuch (Torah).
  • The proposed history books telling the history of the Israelites from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon.
  • The poetic and proposed “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world.
  • The books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God:
  • Henotheism:
  • Exodus 20:23 “You shall not make other gods besides Me (not saying there are no other gods just not to worship them); gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.”
  • Polytheism:
  • Judges 10:6 “Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 8:5 “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords.”
  • Monotheism:
  • Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Around 2,570 to 2,270 Years Ago, there is a confirmation of atheistic doubting as well as atheistic thinking, mainly by Greek philosophers. However, doubting gods is likely as old as the invention of gods and should destroy the thinking that belief in god(s) is the “default belief”. The Greek word is apistos (a “not” and pistos “faithful,”), thus not faithful or faithless because one is unpersuaded and unconvinced by a god(s) claim. Short Definition: unbelieving, unbeliever, or unbelief.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Expressions of Atheistic Thinking:

  • Around 2,600 years ago, Ajita Kesakambali, ancient Indian philosopher, who is the first known proponent of Indian materialism. ref
  • Around 2,535 to 2,475 years ago, Heraclitus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor or modern Turkey. ref
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, according to The Story of Civilization book series certain African pygmy tribes have no identifiable gods, spirits, or religious beliefs or rituals, and even what burials accrue are without ceremony. ref
  • Around 2,490 to 2,430 years ago, Empedocles, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. ref
  • Around 2,460 to 2,370 years ago, Democritus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher considered to be the “father of modern science” possibly had some disbelief amounting to atheism. ref
  • Around 2,399 years ago or so, Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher was tried for sinfulness by teaching doubt of state gods. ref
  • Around 2,341 to 2,270 years ago, Epicurus, a Greek philosopher known for composing atheistic critics and famously stated, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?” ref

This last expression by Epicurus, seems to be an expression of Axiological Atheism. To understand and utilize value or actually possess “Value Conscious/Consciousness” to both give a strong moral “axiological” argument (the problem of evil) as well as use it to fortify humanism and positive ethical persuasion of human helping and care responsibilities. Because value-blindness gives rise to sociopathic/psychopathic evil.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.

The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:

Show one: Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses.

Show two: Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show tree: Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show four: Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show five: Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!

Show seven: Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State)

Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)

Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO

Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO

Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO

Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO

I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”

My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?

I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.

I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.

This series idea was addressed in, Anarchist Teaching as Free Public Education or Free Education in the Public: VIDEO

Our 12 video series: Organized Oppression: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of power (9,000-4,000 years ago), is adapted from: The Complete and Concise History of the Sumerians and Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia (7000-2000 BC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szFjxmY7jQA by “History with Cy

Show #1: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Samarra, Halaf, Ubaid)

Show #2: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Eridu: First City of Power)

Show #3: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Uruk and the First Cities)

Show #4: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (First Kings)

Show #5: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Early Dynastic Period)

Show #6: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (King Lugalzagesi and the First Empire)

Show #7: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Sargon and Akkadian Rule)

Show #8: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Naram-Sin, Post-Akkadian Rule, and the Gutians)

Show #9: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Gudea of Lagash and Utu-hegal)

Show #10: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Third Dynasty of Ur / Neo-Sumerian Empire)

Show #11: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Amorites, Elamites, and the End of an Era)

Show #12: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Aftermath and Legacy of Sumer)

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reach its height of empathy? I as everyone, earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.

I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist, but I am happy to tell you, my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief, that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.

Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.

At the same time as the rise of the male god, 7,000 years ago, there was also the very time there was the rise of violence, war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago, and it moved across the world.

Cory Johnston: https://damienmarieathope.com/2021/04/cory-johnston-mind-of-a-skeptical-leftist/?v=32aec8db952d  

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticallefty

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston: “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.” http://anchor.fm/skepticalleft

Cory needs our support. We rise by helping each other.

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ @Skepticallefty Evidence-based atheist leftist (he/him) Producer, host, and co-host of 4 podcasts @skeptarchy @skpoliticspod and @AthopeMarie

Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.

Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”

I am not a good fit in the atheist movement that is mostly pro-capitalist, I am anti-capitalist. Mostly pro-skeptic, I am a rationalist not valuing skepticism. Mostly pro-agnostic, I am anti-agnostic. Mostly limited to anti-Abrahamic religions, I am an anti-religionist. 

To me, the “male god” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 7,000 years ago, whereas the now favored monotheism “male god” is more like 4,000 years ago or so. To me, the “female goddess” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 11,000-10,000 years ago or so, losing the majority of its once prominence around 2,000 years ago due largely to the now favored monotheism “male god” that grow in prominence after 4,000 years ago or so. 

My Thought on the Evolution of Gods?

Animal protector deities from old totems/spirit animal beliefs come first to me, 13,000/12,000 years ago, then women as deities 11,000/10,000 years ago, then male gods around 7,000/8,000 years ago. Moralistic gods around 5,000/4,000 years ago, and monotheistic gods around 4,000/3,000 years ago. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):

Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism

My Website, My Blog, & Short-writing or QuotesMy YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email: damien.marie.athope@gmail.com

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