The Deities, Gods and Goddesses of Witches

Deities, Gods and Goddesses

Abonde (Abundia – Perchta – Satia – Habundie)

Intrinsically linked with the classical goddess Diana, Abonde led nocturnal hordes of witches through homes and cellars, eating and drinking all they could find. If food and drink were left as offerings, Abonde would bestow prosperity upon the occupants of the home. If nothing was left out for her and her followers, she would deny the denizens of her blessings and protection.
According to Roman de la Rose, written at the end of the thirteenth century, thirdborn children were obligated to travel with Abonde three times a week to the homes of neighbours. Nothing could stop these people, as they became incorporeal in the company of Abonde. Only their souls would travel as their bodies remained behind immobile.

Aditi (Limitless)

Hindu Mother Goddess, self-formed, the Cosmic Matrix. Mother of the Sun God Mitra and the Moon God Varuna. Mother of all the Lights of Heaven. She gave birth to the twelve zodiacal spirits.

Ambika

Hindu, ‘the generatrix,’ wife of Shiva or of Rudra. A feminine personification of Parvati in Hindu mythology. An astonishingly beautiful woman she lured demons to their deaths. She announced to them that she would not bed with anyone who had not bested her in battle, and when they approached to fight her she killed their retinue with a supersonic hum, then transformed herself into the fearsome Kali and slew them.

Annapurna

Hindu. Goddess who provides food; she lives on top of Mount Annapurna. The Goddess Annapurna is looked upon as the provider of food and the sustainer of prosperity. Legend has it that Shiva made an agreement with Goddess Annapurna that she look after life before death, ensuring that no one went hungry in the sacred city,while he would ensure they recieved moksha (freedom from the cycle of birth & death).

Aphrodite (Foam-Born)

Greek Goddess of sexual love. She was born of the bloody foam of the sea where Cronus threw the genitals of his father Uranus after castrating him. Married, on Zeus’s orders, to the lame Smith God Hephaestus, and unfaithful to him with the war God Ares. She was in fact an ancient East Mediterranean Goddess and can be equated with Astarte.

Apollo (Phoebus, the Bright One)

Greek. Identified with the sun. Said to be the most powerful of the Gods. Son of Zeus and Leto. Born on Delos, taken North and raised by the hyperboreans, he went to Delphi and killed the dragon Python, guardian of the oracle of Themis, but a ravager of the countryside. Tall, handsome, outstanding in word and deed, he was the god of ever-renewed youth, archetype of virile beauty and masculine virtue. He was also known as a seducer & extremely arrogant. Talented in music, inventor of the lyre, he was the inspiration of poets and soothsayers. His oracles were expressed in verse. He could cure illness and banish evil. He was a doctor who knew the purification rites and was invoked against plague. His image was set at dangerous places for protection (Lighting the ways) Nothing escaped his vision (light of day).

Arachne

Greek Spider Goddess. A Lydian girl skilled in weaving, she dared to challenge Athene to compete with her. The contest was held, and Arachne’s work was faultless: impudently, it portrayed some of the Gods’ less reputable deeds, including Athene’s father Zeus abducting Europa. Furious, Athene turned her into a spider, doomed eternally to spin thread drawn from her own body. But the Spider Goddess is more archetypal than this story suggests: spinning and weaving the pattern of destiny like the Moerae or the Norns, and enthroned in the middle of her spiral-pathed stronghold like Arianrhod.

Aradia

A champion Italian Goddess sworn to protect her people against the aggression of masculine faith and its persecutors during the reign of medieval terror. The original Aradia was a female Christ figures in Italy who taught around 1353. She was imprisoned more than once, escaped several times and eventually disappeared. The second Aradia you will hear about is Leland’s Aradia, a book detailing information from an Italian Gypsy Witch. The third Aradia is the daughter of Diana and Lucifer (God of the Sun). She is considered the Queen of the Witches.

Ariadne

Cretan and Greek. The daughter of King Minos of Crete, who with her cunning thread helped Theseus find his way into the labyrinth to kill the Minotaur, and out again. She eloped with him, but he abandoned her on the island of Naxos. She was consoled by Dionysus, who in her Naxos cult was regarded as her consort.

Aries (Mars)

Greek. Son of Hera, born without male assistance. He was a supreme fighter, loved battle and cared little about issues, switching sides without scruple. He delighted in massacres. He was god of war, not victory, and was thoughtless about winning, only fighting. Was on occasion disarmed by Athena, Goddess of restraint and forethought, to keep him from interfering in battles that did not concern him. He was prolific in love, but also a rapist. He was run by his passions. The martial Romans considered him second in importance only to Jupiter. His festivals were held in March (named for him) and October. Mars was identified with the Greek Ares.

Arianrhod (Silver Wheel)

Major Welsh Goddess. Mother of Llew Llau Gyffes by her brother Gwydion. Her consort Nwyvre (‘Sky, Space, Firmament’) has survived in name only. Caer Arianrhod is the circumpolar stars, to which souls withdraw between incarnations; she is thus a Goddess of reincarnation. Honoured at the Full Moon. Arianrhod is the mother aspect of the triple Goddess. The names of the aspects change per myth however. Arianrhod means Silver Circle (Arian meaning `silver’, and Rhod meaning `wheel’ or `disc’). She was Gwydions wife, and mother to both a sun god and a god of darkness. In the later Arthurian Legends her place is taken by Morgause, Arthurs sister.

Artemis

Greek Nature and Moon Goddess. Daughter of Zeus and Leto, and twin sister of Apollo (though a day older). She probably absorbed a pre-Indo-European Sun Goddess, and her twinning in classical legend with the Sun God Apollo may stem from this. The Greeks assimilated her to a pre-Greek mistress of wild beasts. Bears were sacred to her, and she was associated with the constellation Ursa Major.

Astarte

Canaanite version of Ishtar; fertility goddess. Chief goddess of Tyre and Sidon. Astarte was also the Greek form of the name Ashtart. Tends to merge with Asherat and Anat, and with the Egyptian Hathor. She came to Egypt; Rameses II built a temple honoring her, and she and Isis were said to be firm friends.

Athena

Athena is the Greek virgin goddess of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature. She sprang full grown from Zeus’ head. She was usually shown wearing a helmet and carrying a spear and shield. Like her father, she also wore the magic aegis, a goatskin breastplate, fringed with snakes, that produced thunderbolts when shaken. Athena was very different from the war god Ares; she represented the intellectual and civilized side of war.

Aurora

Aurora was the Latin name the Romans used in their adaptation and adoption of the Greek Eos, goddess of the dawn. She was also considered the dawn goddess.

Banshee (Bean Sidhe , ‘Woman Fairy’)

The banshee is believed to be a supernatural being in Irish and other Gaelic folklore. Such an entity is frequently called the “woman of the faeries” whose wailing screaming or lamentation in the night is thought to presage either the death of a family member or the person who heard the spirit. Sometimes it is thought the banshee takes the form of an old woman who walks under the windows of the house of the person who is soon to die. In Ireland it is believed that banshees warn just families of pure Irish descent. The Welsh counterpart, the gwrach y Rhibyn (“witch Rhibyn”) visits only families of pure Welsh stock

Bast

(Bastet, Pasch, Ubasti, Ba en Aset, Bubastis) is the ancient Egyptian goddess of cats, dawn, civilization, home, plenty, enlightenment, art, music, dance, creation, birth, fertility, sex, physical pleasure, truth, music, dance, the arts, the moon, ointment, and the rising sun. In ancient artwork, she was visualized in the shape of a lion. From the New Kingdom onwards Bast is typically shown as a beautiful girl with the head of a cat. She is often also shown as fully cat. Bastet is the name of Bast when she is in full cat form. She is the possessor of the Utchat (the Eye of her twin brother Horus).

Baubo

A Greek demi-goddess of laughter of the kind generated by indecent gestures or ribald jokes. Wife of Dysaules, mother of Mise. She is supposed to have tried to comfort Demeter who was sadly searching for Persephone. When Demeter resisted Baubo’s efforts to cheer her, Baubo lifted her dress and exposed herself. This brought a grin to Demeter’s face, the barren earth stirred and soon Persephone returned. An almost identical story is told in Japan involving Uzume and the goddess Amaterasu.

Bean-Nighe (‘Washing Woman’)

Scottish and Irish. Haunts lonely streams washing the bloodstained garments of those about to die. This variation on the Banshee could be found in the legends of Ireland, Scotland and Brittany. The name ‘Bean-Nighe’ means washer woman. She was called this as she was usually seen washing bloody garments at the water’s edge. her feet were webbed like those of a duck or goose. If a traveler saw her before she spied him, he would survive, however, if she spied him first, he would die. In the Scottish Highlands, it was thought that only those about to die could see her.

Befana (‘Epiphany’)

In Italy, Befana is a good witch more like a fairy who resides in chimneys and fly’s about on her broom on this night. Rather than cookies, focaccia, a type of bread, is left for her near the fireplace. In return she fills their stockings and shoes with toys and candy. Naughty children get lumps of charcoal and garlic! Legends tells that Befana was busy cleaning and sweeping when the Three Kings stopped by. She was too busy to go with them to see the Christ Child and set out on her own later but she got lost and she is still looking for Him.

Bona Dea (‘Good Goddess’)

Bona Dea (the Good Goddess)was the Roman fertility goddess, especially worshipped by the Roman matrons. She presided over both virginity and fertility in women. She is the daughter of the god Faunus and she herself is often called Fauna. She had a temple on the Aventine Hill, but her secret rites (on December 4) were not held there but in the house of a prominent Roman magistrate. Only women were admitted and even representations of men and beasts were removed. At these secret meetings it was forbidden to speak the words ‘wine’ and ‘myrtle’ because Faunus had once made her drunk and beaten her with a myrtle stick. She was also a healing goddess and the sick were tended in her temple garden with herbs. The snake is her attribute, a symbol of healing, and consecrated snakes were kept in her temple at Rome, indicating her phallic nature. Her image could often be found on coins.

Brighid (Brigid, Brigit, Brid)

Irish Goddess of Fertility and Inspiritation, daughter of the Dagda; called ‘the poetess.’ Often triple (‘The Three Brigids’). Her characteristics, legends and holy places were taken over by the historical St Bridget. Her festival is one of the four great feasts in Celtic religion (February 1). She invented whistling and keening.

Cailleach Bheara

The Cailleach Bheara, meaning “Old Woman” or “Old Wife,” is found widespread throughout both Ireland and Scotland. Many mountains, lakes, and rivers are said to have been created by her. Even some of the cairns are reputed to be piles of stones which fell from ehr apron. The Cailleach Bheara forms a triple goddess with the Cailleach Bolus and the Cailleach Corca Dubhna. It is said that it was she who let loose the rivers, shaped the mountains, and swung her hammer over the green grasses. The Cailleach was said to possess the ability to change from an old ugly hag into a beautiful young maiden. In Ireland, she is also called the Sentainne Berri.

Callisto: (‘Most Beautiful’)

Greek Moon Goddess. She was a friend/priestess of the famous huntress Artemis and took a vow to remain single. But Zeus took a liking to her and she was no longer chaste. She was turned into a bear, either by Zeus who didn’t want his wife to know of the love affair, or by his wife, Hera, as revenge for the affair. She was then killed in a hunt by her best friend Artemis who really thought she was a bear. Zeus changed her into the Ursa Major. Her son, Arcas, born of the affair with Zeus, was changed into the constellation Ursa Minor.

Cernunnos

A Celtic god whose physical attributes came to be applied to those of Satan. Known as the Horned God and as Hu Gadarn, Cernunnos was the god of nature, astral planes, virility, fertility, animals, sex, the underworld, reincarnation, and shamanism. The Celtic horned god. Image depicts him surrounded by cult animals. He grasps a ram-headed serpent in his left hand. He is wearing around his neck, and holding in his left hand a torc, the characteristic Celtic neck-ring. There are three important elements in his iconography; his horns, the torc, and the cross-legged pose.

Cerridwen

She was mother to two children: the beautiful Creidwy and the ugly Afagdu. To make up for the boy’s ugliness, she decided to brew up a magic potion which would make him the most brilliant of men. For a year and a day she kept this brew simmering in her caldron, which was in the care of a boy named Gwion whose job it was to keep stirring the potion. One day a few drops of the bubbling liquid splattered onto his hand; in pain, he licked the liquid. Instantly he was brilliant. He knew what Cerridwen would do to him, so he fled. Cerridwen took after him. He changed into a hare; she changed into a greyhound. The chase continued. He changed into a fish; she into an otter. The chase continued. He changed into a bird; she into a hawk. The chase continued. He changed into a grain of wheat; she into a hen. She ate him. Nine months later she gave birth to a boy and threw him into the river. He was rescued and grew up to be the great poet Taliesin.

Clisthert

According to the Grimorium Verum, Clisthert “can turn the day into night, or the night into day, whenever you feel the need for a sudden change.”

Cronos (Saturn)

Greek. Son of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth). Gaea, worn out by numerous pregnancies, requested to be free of this burden, so Cronos (Saturn) took up a sickle and cut off his father’s testicles. His wife was Rhea, and he fathered Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus. Was eventually deposed by Zeus. His festivals, the Saturnalia, were a time of liberation and freedom for all and got pretty wild. They were celebrated from Dec. 17th until the new year. Saturn is the archetype for “father time”. The Titan Cronus in order not to be overthrown as was his father Ouranus by his children decided to swallow his own children as they were born. The image depicts Rhea (his wife) presenting him with a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes instead of the infant Zeus to whom she had just given birth. Zeus was raised in secrecy and eventually overthrew Cronus anyway, and became ruler of the gods.

Cthulhu

The Elder Gods were Superpowerful multidimensional entities which, at their furthest incursion into matter, manifest as huge clouds of gaseous star-matter. They feed off of high-energy vibrations emitted by living brains during periods of pain, tension, fear, expectation, ecstasy, and violent death. They were created from the pre-slack aethers at the same time as this universe. Originally, they were all one huge entity composed entirely of Nothing, known as “Affathaughth”, but in order to achieve Somethingness, they lowered their vibrational level and split into separate wills. Most of the Elder Gods are now “sleeping” in the dimensionless Cold Wastes of Kadath, a condition they forced upon themselves to avoid being consumed by their own subconcious thoughts, which possesed physical form. They can still control affairs on Earth, however, with their psychic projections, “The Watchers”. The Elder Gods are currently allied with the Negative Elder Gods. Some Elder Gods, known as the Rebel Gods escaped this sleep of cleansing and are still at large.

Cybele

She was the principle goddess of the Phrygians before being adopted into the Greek pantheon. Cybele was the goddess of nature and fertility. Because Cybele presided over mountains and fortresses, her crown was in the form of a city wall. The cult of Cybele was directed by eunuch priests called Corybantes, who led the faithful in orgiastic rites/sexual masochism accompanied by wild cries and the frenzied music of flutes, drums, and cymbals. Her annual spring festival celebrated the death and resurrection of her beloved Attis (Atys), a vegetation god. Her Greek mythology counterpart was Rhea.

Dakini

Hindu. One of the Six Goddess Governing the Six Bodily Substances; the others being Hakini, Kakini, Lakini, Rakini and Sakini. Originating in the yogic and tantric traditions of the East, a Dakini is an expression of feminine wisdom-energy. Dakini is the Goddess of Life’s Turning Points. Distillations of archetypal emanations, the Dakinis represent those essence principles within the self which are capable of transformation to a higher octave. Dakinis are ‘sky dancers,’ heavenly angels devoted to the truth (dharma), woman consorts of and partners with the god-creators of India and Tibet.

Dana, Danu

The major Irish Mother Goddess, who gave her name to the Tuatha De Danann (‘Peoples of the Goddess Dana’), the last but one occupiers of Ireland in the mytholigical cycle. Basically, She is a Goddess of battle, strife and fertility. But like all the Celtic Goddesses, She is not totally evil or good. She is a balance. Like the Greek Goddess Athena, the Morrigan often steps in to wage justifiable war. She is called upon by warriors, and if She agrees with their battle and motives, She aids them.

Danae

Daughter of Acrisius and Eurydice and mother of Perseus. While a young woman, Danae was molested by Proetus, her father’s twin brother. Acrisius had been told by an oracle that Danae’s son (his grandson) would kill him so, fearing she might be pregnant by this sexual abuse, he imprisoned her in an underground cell. Zeus, who had fallen in love with her, broke into her cell by taking the form of a shower of gold (which opens all doors). Acrisius disbelieved her story of being impregnated by a god and imprisoned her and the baby in a chest and had it cast into the sea. They were rescued by Dictys, a fisherman. Perseus did kill his grandfather, eventually.

Demeter (Earth-Goddess-Mother)

Daughter of Cronus and Rhea, she was sister to Zeus, and goddess of fertility. She had various lovers, Zeus, Poseidon, Iasion, Mecon. One of her children was Persephone (by Zeus), who was carried off by Hades (god of the underworld), and in her grief, Demeter let the earth grow barren (winter) and only when Persephone was returned to her, six months of the year, did she let the earth become fruitful again (summer). Other children were Areion, Artemis, Despoena, Dionysus, Hecate, Iacchus, Parius, Philomelis, and Plutus. Demeter is the goddess of the earth, of agriculture, and of fertility in general. Sacred to her are livestock and agricultural products, especially poppy, wheat, narcissus, snakes and the crane. Image is bust of Demeter with her attributes: sheaves of corn, poppies, and snakes.

Diana

The classical moon goddess, Diana, is still worshipped by neopagans today. Long after Christianity’s triumph over classical paganism, her worship is still going strong. Diana was the personification of the positive aspects of lunar forces. She was also believed to have led groups of nightriders (known as the “Wild Hunt” or the “Furious Horde”) who flew through the air. The “Wild Hunt” was comprised of “people taken by death before their time, children snatched away at an early age, victims of a violent end.” The goddess would accompany her followers as they wandered at night among the houses of the well-to-do. Whenever they would arrive at a home that was particularly well-kept, Diana would bestow her blessings upon it.

Dione

A Nature or Earth Goddess, overlapping with Diana and Danae. Dione is one of the more mysterious Greek goddesses. Some believe that she is the personification of a more ancient Mother Goddess (Goddess of the Oak, from Asia Minor) and that the Greeks simply adopted her into their pantheon. If that’s not vague enough, Dione is also said to be the feminine name of Zeus. When Aphrodite greets Dione as ‘mother’ we can only guess at what that actually means. Daughter of Uranus and Gaia. Married her brother Cronus, who gave her the city of Byblos.

Discordia

Roman Goddess of Discord and Strife, who preceeded the chariot of Mars. Greek equivalent Eris.

Dionysius

Greek. Son of Zeus and Semele. His escort was satyrs and marginally sane gods. He did not respect laws or customs, loved disguises, wild screaming, licentious dances and wild places. He was a drunken god with no home, living in the wild and eating raw meat. He encouraged excesses of all kinds. Hera hated Dionysus because of Zeus’s infidelity and hounded him. She caused him to be killed by the Titans, but he was resurrected through the efforts of Athena, Zeus, Apollo, and Rhea. She drove him mad, but through Cybele he gained mastery of it. He was the god of fertility and wine, later considered a patron of the arts. The Romans identified him with Bacchus. Dionysus was attended by a carousing band of satyrs, maenads, and nymphs. His worship was characteristically drunken and orgiastic. He was good and gentle to those who honored him, but he brought madness and destruction upon those who spurned him or the orgiastic rituals of his cult. He taught humans viticulture but was capable of dreadful revenge upon those (e.g., Orpheus and Pentheus) who denied his divinity. Dionysus was the only Olympian whose mother was mortal. He is also the only Olympian to be “born” three times. He married Ariadne after he became one of the Olympians (he took Hestia’s place).

Doormamuununu

Lesser Elder God. Deity of Sex and Dirt.

Ereshkigal (‘Queen of the Great Below’)

Assyro-Babylonian Goddess of the Underworld, sister of Ishtar (Inanna). “Great Lady of Desire,” Lady of the Great Place”, later she is made the wife of Nergal, god of pestilence; however she is also associated with other spouses such as Gulgalanna, Namtar, even Nanna as Su’en “Lord of Wisdom”. Her ‘Palace’ is GANZIR, “the Gate-way to the Underworld.” There is not much information about her cult but there are very early temples associated with her: KIDBABBARE “the land where the moon leaves;” and KINAMTARRIDA “the place of the fate.”

Eros (Cupid)

Greek. A primordial god, contemporary of Chaos, who existed before Cronos (Saturn) and Zeus. He came out of an egg that formed the earth and sky when it broke in two. He precipitated the embraces of Gaea and Uranus, which resulted in the birth of Oceanus, Tethys, Coeus, and Cronos. The Earth and heavens were so tightly embraced that none of the children could rise towards the light until Cronos castrated his father. Cupid was associated with Aphrodite, who moderated his power. Where he was desire, instinct and violent sex, she was grace, tenderness and sweet pleasure. Cupid made people lose their reason and paralyzed their wills, even inspiring Zeus to capricious sexual desires.

Faunus

A Roman God, Son of Circe and Jupiter. Protector of the Roman peoples, he lived on Palatine Hill in Rome. His oracle was given in nightmares. Lupercalia was his festival, during which his priests ran through the streets with leather straps and struck any women they met with them to bestow health and fertility. The women were said to strip themselves to be better targets. He reproduced himself in the satyrs. He was the son of Hermes and Penelope (later married to Odysseus) in some myths and the son of Zeus and the nymph Callisto in others. He was the god of flocks and shepherds. He had the head and torso of a man, but the hindquarters and horns of a goat. He was a great musician with the pipes. He was considered a symbol of fecundity because of his lustful nature.

Fraw Selga

Fraw Selga is yet another goddess believed to have led the “Furious Horde.” A Germanic deity, Fraw Selga was said to be the sister of Fraw Fenus (Venus), and like Venus and Diana, was referred to as “the mistress of the game.” The processions following Fraw Selga “were composed of souls in purgatory, as well as of the damned who were suffering various punishments.” Fraw Selga could impart wisdom to her followers. She knew where buried treasure intended for the God-fearing could be found.

Gaia (Earth)

The ‘deep-breasted,’ the primordial Greek Earth Mother, the first being to emerge from Chaos. She was regarded as creating the universe, the first race of gods, and humankind, as all-producing and all-nourishing, and one of the dieties of presiding over marriage. She was the mother of Cronus, by Uranus. Gaea was also the mother of the Titans, the Gigantes, and the Cyclopes.

Glaisrig (Glaistig)

A Scottish Undine, beautiul and seductive, but a goat from the waist down (which she hides under a long green dress). She lures men to dance with her and then sucks their blood. Yet she can be benign, looking after children or old people or herding cattle for farmers.

Gorgons, The

Greek. Three daughters of Phorcys and his sister Ceto. They were Euryale and Stheno, who were immortal, and Medusa who was mortal and killed by Perseus. Medusa and Poseidon laid together in Athena’s temple. The story goes that Medusa and her sisters were extremely beautiful and worked as priestesses in Athena’s temple. After Poseidon and Medusa laid together, Athena became enraged and turned the sisters into monsters. Although some claim Medusa’s face was changed to represent the hideous Gorgonieon mask as well, others say Athena allowed her face to remain unchanged. Because of this, Medusa was still able to use her beauty to seduce men and then turn them to stone.

Grian: (‘Sun’)

Irish. A Fairy Queen with a court on Pallas Green Hill, Co. Tipperary. Also a general Goddess symbol.

Gruagach, The (‘The Long-Haired One’)

Scottish. Female or male fairy to whom the dairymaids used to pour libations of milk into a hollow stone. The Gruagach was a fairy being that had protective duties. The Gruagach was associated with cattle. Milk was set for the Gruagach every night, or otherwise in the morning there would be no milk. The Gruagach was very helpful, but sometimes could be a little mischievous. The Gruach had very long hair and was always well dressed.

Gulfora

Gulfora, also known as the Queen of the Sabbat, was another goddess in the same vein as Holda, Perchta, and Diana. She was the leader of the “Furious Horde” namely of the ranks of those who had died prematurely and passed through village streets at night, unrelenting and terrible, while the inhabitants barricaded their doors for protection.” Holda had two forms, that of a beautiful girl dressed all in white, and that of a hideous crone with fangs, a hooked nose, and long, tangled grey hair.

Hades (Pluto)

Hades means sightless or unseen. He was the son of the Titans, Cronus and Rhea, and the brother of Zeus and Poseidon. When he and his brothers drew lots to divide the world, after they had deposed of their father, Zeus won command of the heavens, Poseidon of the sea, and Hades of the underworld. He became known as Pluto, the god of wealth and riches, because both crops and precious metals were believed to come from his kingdom below ground.It was rare for him to leave his realm to visit the Earth or Olympus. Although he was a grim and pitiless god, unappeased by either prayer or sacrifice, he was not evil. The world of the dead was ruled by him and Persephone. Hades was mostly faithful to Persephone, although once he became enamored with the nymph Minthe. Persephone in a fit of jealousy turned her into the sweet-smelling herb, mint.

Hathor

Egyptian. The cow goddess. Wife of the hawk-god Horus. Daughter of the sun god Ra. Goddess of sexual love, joy, music, and dance. In architecture she is usually pictured with a human face and bovine ears (see left), in paintings as an elegant woman wearing a crown of cow-horns with the sun disk between them or as a cow suckling a young pharoah with her udder of divine milk. Goddess of pleasure, joy, love, music and dancing. Protectress of women and embodiment of the finest female qualities.

Hecate

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

The followers of Hecate were rumoured to have strange powers, such as that of being able to draw down the moon in order to employ the averse aspects of lunar forces. Followers could metamorphose into animals and birds, had insatiable sexual appetites, and had an intrinsic understanding of aphrodisiac and poisonous herbs.

Hephaestus (Vulcan)

Son of Zeus and Hera. He was lame, either because his mother, startled by his ugliness, dropped him, or because Zeus, angry that he took his mother’s side in a dispute, threw him from Olympos. He dwelled among mortals and became the god of black smithing and artistic metal work. He made a golden throne that imprisoned any who sat in it, and gave it to Hera to avenge himself for his fall from Olympos.

Hermes (Mercury)

Son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. He stole some of Apollo’s cattle shortly after his birth and concealed them, sacrificing two to the Olympian Gods. This theft won high recognition as a God himself. When Apollo discovered the theft and Hermes was tried his defense was so skillful and spirited that Zeus laughed and ruled that there should be a friendly settlement between the brothers. Hermes was God of the spoken word and oratory and was the intermediary between the God and men. Also the God of commerce and contracts, where language must be precise to convey the correct meaning.

Hel, Hela

Teutonic Goddess of the kingdom of the dead, not considered as a place of punishment. Daughter of Loki and Angurboda, and sister of the Midgard serpent of the ocean encircling the Earth, and of the devouring Fenris-wolf. Half her face was totally black.

Hestia, Vesta (Hearth)

Greek. First daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and oldest of the Olympians. Goddess of domestic fire and of the home in general. Poseidon and Apollo both wanted to marry her but she placed herself under Zeus’ protection as eternally virgin. She received the first morsel of every sacrifice. Roman equivalent Vesta. Of all the Olympians, she is the mildest, most upright and most charitable.

Holda

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

Inanna (‘Lady of Heaven’)

Sumerian Goddess. Her attributes are so many, so varied, and so often conflicting that she is likely a fusion of several earlier goddesses.The original Dance of the Seven Veils was Inannaís descent into the Underworld, her sister Ereshkigalís realm, where she was gradually stripped naked as she passed through the seven gates. First went her crown, next earrings, then necklace, breast pins, belt of birthstones, then bracelets and finally her gown. No acts of procreation took place on earth while Inanna was in the Underworld. When she discovered that her only way out was in exchange for someone else, she betrayed Damuzi into taking her place. In the myth The Elevation of Inanna, Enki, An and Enlil all give their powers to Inanna, making her the Queen of the Universe. Inanna is a femme fatale whose lovers always seem to come to grief. She is impatient, impetuous, and demanding. Gilgamesh risked death when he spurned her advances, comparing her to a back door that would let cold air into the house.

Isis

Egyptian. She is the “mother of all creation”. A daughter of Geb and Nut, she was the faithful wife of her brother Osiris. She became universally worshipped, is associated with love, motherhood, marital devotion, healing, eternal life, and the casting of magical spells and charms. Isis is the goddess of day, while her twin sister, Nephthys, is the goddess of night. Her sacred symbol is an amulet called the tyet. She is the mother of Horus.The most complete flowering of the Goddess concept in human history.

Kali

Hindu, Tibetan, Nepalese. Often called Kali Ma (‘the Black Mother’). Cult name of the goddess Durga, wife to Siva. Her idol is black, is smeared with blood, has huge fang-like teeth, and a protruding tongue that drips with blood. She wears a necklace of skulls, earrings of corpses, and is girdled with serpents. She usually has four arms, symbolizing absolute dominion over all finite things. One hand holds a sword, the second holds a severed human head, the third is believed by her devotees to be removing fear, and the fourth is often interpreted as granting bliss. Kali, omnipotent, absolute, and all-pervasive, is beyond fear and finite existence and is therefore believed able to protect her devotees against fear and to give them limitless peace. Finally, as absolute night, devouring all that exists, she is sometimes depicted as standing on the corpse of Shiva, which, like the garland of skulls, symbolizes the remains of finite existence. Kali’s worshipers reportedly appeased her in the past with human sacrifices.

Kundalini: (‘Coiled’)

Hindu. The feminine Serpent Force, especially in its relation to organic and inorganic matter; the universal life-force of which electricity and magnetism are mere manifestations. Envisaged as moving in a left-handed spiral, when aroused in the human body, from the base of the spine up to the brain.

Lakshmi

Hindu Goddess of good fortune and plenty, and the personification of beauty. She brings to us her magic of devotion, relationships, prosperity, harvest, and autumn. Some of her symbols are rice, coins, basil and the lotus. To honor her and ask for her blessings place a small bowl with some grains, a few coins and some basil on your sacred altar. Prepare some rice and add a few basil leaves to the water.

Lilith

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

Keats describes her as a serpent which assumed the shape of a beautiful woman “palpitating snake … of dazzling hue, vermillion spotted, golden, green and blue”.
Together with the fallen angels, Lilith parented a huge family of female demons called lilim. Lilim are identical to succubi for all intents and purposes. Both seduce men and take away men’s strength in the night hours.

Lorelei

German. A beautiful siren who sat on a cliff above the Rhine, luring boatment to their death with her songs. The legend of the Lorelei begins on the River Rhine in Germany. There is a large rock which divides the river in two canals, creating a suction of the most rapid water on the Rhine. Boatmen would have to be extremely careful when navigating this part of the river. At times, the boat would almost seem drawn to the rock, and the thus the boat would crash and the men would die. Legend states that there was a beauitful siren who stood on the end of the rock, and lured the boatmen to their destruction with her beauty and amazing singing voice.

Luna

The Roman Moon Goddess, identified with Diana and the Greek Selene. She regulates the seasons and the months, and is associated with the first day of the waning moon.

Maya

Hindu. In Buddhist tradition Maya is the nurturing and divine mother of Buddha. In Hinduism she is equated with Laksmi, the Goddess of prosperity and good fortune. Maya also characterizes Goddess Durga the warrior of illusion and sleepy consciousness.

Medusa

Greek. The only mortal of the three Gorgons, who were three monstrous daughters of the sea god Phorcys and his wife, Ceto. Her equally hideous sisters were Stheno and Euryale. Her gaze could turn whoever she looked upon to stone. There is a particular myth in which Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden. She desecrated Athena’s temple by lying there with Poseidon. Outraged, Athena turned Medusa’s hair into living snakes. Medusa was killed by the hero Perseus with the help of Athena and Hermes. He killed her by cutting off her head and gave it to Athena, who placed it in the center of her Aegis, which she wore over her breastplate. From Medusa’s dead body the giant Chrysaor and the winged horse Pegasus, her son by Poseidon, sprang forth.

Minerva (Athena)

Minerva is yet another goddess thought to have led the Wild Hunt. Like Holda, Minerva was traditionally thought of as the goddess of weaving, spinning, and of women’s household arts in general. In Roman mythology, Minerva is the goddess of wisdom, commerce, crafts, and the inventor of music. Ovid called her the “goddess of a thousand works.” The Romans celebrated her worship from March 19 to 23 during the Quinquatrus, the artisans’ holiday. Her Greek mythology counterpart was Athena, and Minerva too sprung fully grown, and fully armored, from the head of Jupiter.

Morgan

Morgan le Fay is, in Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, Arthur’s half sister, the daughter of Arthur’s mother Igraine and her first husband, the Duke of Cornwall. She is also presented as an adversary of Arthur’s: she gives Excalibur to her lover Accolon so he can use it against Arthur (a story retold in Madison J. Cawein’s poem “Accolon of Gaul”) and, when that plot fails, she steals the scabbard of Excalibur which protects Arthur and throws it into a lake. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight she is presented as the instigator of the Green Knight’s visit to Arthur’s court, partly motivated by her desire to frighten Guinevere.

Neith

Egyptian. A very ancient Delta Goddess, protectress of Sais; her emblem was the crossed arrows of a predynastic clan. As a deity, Neith is normally shown carrying the wAs scepter (symbol of rule and power) and the anH (ankh), (symbol of life). She is also called such cosmic epithets as the “Cow of Heaven,” a sky-goddess similar to Nut and as the Great Flood, Mehetweret (MHt wr.t), who gives birth to the sun daily. In these forms, she is associated with creation of both the primeval time and daily “re-creation.” As protectress of the Royal House, she is represented as a uraeus, and functions with the fiery fury of the sun, not unlike the Eye facets of Hathor.

Nemesis

Greek. Daughter of Erebus and Nyx. Goddess of divine anger, against mortals who offended the moral law, broke taboos or achieved too much happiness or wealth. Nemesis was the goddess of indignation and retribution for evil deeds or undeserved good fortune. She was a personification of the resentment aroused in men, -and in the gods-, by other men who commited crimes with apparent impunity, or who had inordinate good fortune. Her name means ‘she who distributes or deals out’.

Nicneven

Scottish Samhain Witch Goddess. Tradition places her night according to the old (Julian) calendar, on 10 November.

Oshun

Oshun, the Yoruban Goddess of love, delights in the creation of beauty and art, sensual delights and self-adornment. Her symbols are mirrors, jewelry, honey, golden silks and feather fans. Creativity in decorating home and temple is a way of honoring Oshun, who will bless any beautiful space created in Her honor. There is no object so common that Oshun will not appreciate more if it is made artistic and pleasing to the eye. Creativity in dress and self-adornment please her as well, and when Oshun is pleased, her blessings know no limits.

Pandora (‘Gift of All’)

She was fashioned when Zeus had her created by the Hephaestus to punish the human race , to which Prometheus had just given fire. Pandora was designed in the image of the goddesses, and became the first woman in a world of men. All the gods came forward to endow her with gifts; Aphrodite gave her beauty, Hermes gave her cunning, and other gods and goddesses gave her special qualities such as grace, dexterity, cogency, and so on, while Hepaestus gave her lying and deceit. Finally she was presented to Epimetheus as a gift. Although he had been warned by Prometheus never to accept a gift from Zeus he forgot this promise to his brother and married her. She brought with her a covered earthen vessel, which she was forbidden to open. But its unknown contents plagued Pandora. One day she could stand the temptation no longer and lifted the lid to peek inside. Out swarmed all the calamities of mankind, from tidal waves to premature balding. It was too late to stop them as they spread out through the window and across the world. Pandora dropped the lid back in time to prevent the escape of the final occupant of the vessel. This was Elpis (hope), and no matter how bad things became for people there was always hope remaining.

Persephone

Greek and Phoenician. Originally a purely Underworld Goddess, became a corn-seed Goddess, daughter of Demeter. She was the goddess of springtime and, after her abduction by Hades, she became the queen of the underworld for six months of each year. The mint and pomegranate is sacred to her. Persephone raised Aphrodite’s child Adonis. She was also known as Kore, “the Maiden”. She symbolized the sprouting seeds of springtime.

Poseidon (Neptune)

After Zeus’ victory over Cronos (Saturn), the gods, who preferred life on earth, divided the various domains of earth. Poseidon chose the seas. He represented the hidden forces of germination and death. Together with his wife Amphitrite, he had powerful ties with Gaea, the Earth, mother of the Titans. As subterranean Gods, they shook the world from inside. Poseidon caused earthquakes when he made love to his wife. The mystery isle of Atlanta belonged to Poseidon. Poseidon could provoke storms, set fire to rocks on shore and create springs of water. He had many children, most wicked and violent, like the Cyclops of the Oddessy. Poseidon had numerous other love affairs, however, especially with nymphs of springs and fountains, and was the father of several children famed for their wildness and cruelty, among them the giant Orion and the Cyclops Polyphemus. Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa were the parents of Pegasus, the famous winged horse. The Romans identified Poseidon with their god of the sea, Neptune.

Put Satanachia

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

Sarasvati

Hindu. Wife of Brahma, born of his body. Goddess of speech, music, wisdom, knowledge and the arts.

Sekhmet (‘The Powerful’)

Egyptian Lioness-Goddess, Eye of Ra who was her father. Wife of Ptah as Goddess of the Memphite triad, and mother of Nefertum, God of the setting Sun (later replaced by Imhotep). The Egyptian goddess who was called “The Beloved of Ptah”. She was usually pictured as having a woman’s body with the head of a lioness, and seated on a throne. She is the goddess of war and battle. She was part of the Memphis triad: She, as wife to Ptah, Ptah, and their son Nefertum. She had many titles, such as: Goddess of Fire and Heat, Mistress of the Gods, Goddess of Vengeance, Lion Goddess, The Mighty One of Enchantments.

Selene

Greek Moon Goddess, daughter of Hyperion and Theia, and sister of Helios (the Sun) and Eos (Dawn); though sometimes said to be the daughter of Zeus or of Helios. Selene was the beautiful goddess of the moon. She was depicted wearing the lunar crescent upon her head and riding side saddle on a horse or in a chariot drawn by winged horses.

Tailtiu

Irish. Foster-mother of Lugh, who instituted the Tailtean Games, central event of the Festival of Lughnasadh (1 August), in her memory. She was the daughter of the King of Spain who married Eochaid of the Tuatha de Danaan. She cleared a plain on the site of Coill Chuan, and that place was named Tailtiu after her. She was remembered ever after by mourning the games which were performed by Lugh and other kings after him. They were held for a month and became known as the Assembly of Lugh or Lughnasadh – after which the month of August is now called in Ireland.

The Deep Ones of Dagon (Children of Oannes)

Minions of Cthulhu who are born looking like normal humans, but as they age, change into hideous octopid creatures. One of these creatures, Great Eistaa of the Dagon is the mother of Connie Dobbs, wife of “Bob”.

Tiamat

Assyro-Babylonian Primordial Sea Mother Goddess, the mass of salt waters, who with her mate Apsu (the sweet waters) begat the original chaotic world and who also symbolized it and ruled it.

Ulupi

Hindu. A Serpent Goddess, one of the Nagis, dwelling in Patala, the lowest level of the Underworld.

Valkyries, The

Teutonic. In late Scandinavian myth, they brought the souls of those slain in battle to Odin. The Valkyries are beautiful maidens that help Odin choose which brave warriors will be slain on the battlefield so they may then serve Odin. They are also Odins messengers, and when they ride forth on their winged horses, their armor shines and flickers causing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

Venus

Venus was originally the Roman goddess of love, but by the time of the witchcraze she was relegated to demon status. She became synonymous with Diana in terms of being followed at night by a retinue of women. Witches knew her as Fraw Fenus, stating they visited her at night-time.
Venus could grant to these witches the power of astral projection. Witches could fall into “swoons which rendered them insensible to pricks or scaldings.” When the women revived, they said they had been to heaven and “spoke of stolen or hidden objects.”

Verdelet

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

Yesod (‘Foundation’)

Hebrew. Ninth Sephira of the Cabalistic Tree of Life, sphere of the Moon and of the astral plane.

Zeus (Jupiter)

Son of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea. He defeated Cronos (Saturn) in a battle and then divided the realms with his brothers by lot, getting the heavens for his own. He was ruler and judge, the arbiter of disputes among Gods and men. His decisions were just and well balanced, showing no favoritism. He had several wives and many lover’s, earning the title “all father” or “father god”. His infidelity caused much strife on Olympos and in the world through he raging of his wife, Hera.

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