Gods and Goddesses Around the World
- Huitzilopochtli was the god of the sun and of war. He was the patron god of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, where Mexico City now stands. The Aztecs built a great temple there in his honor and sacrificed many humans to him.
- Coatlicue was the goddess of the earth and the mother of all the gods. She also gave birth to the moon and stars. In Tenochtitlán the Aztecs carved a gigantic stone statue of her wearing a necklace made of human hearts and hands.
- Chicomecoatl was the goddess of corn and fertility. So important was corn to the Aztecs that she was also known as “the goddess of nourishment.”
- Quetzalcoatl was the god of learning. A wise god, he helped to create the universe and humankind and later invented agriculture and the calendar. He is often depicted as a magnificent feathered serpent.
- Ra was the supreme god and the god of the sun. The early pharaohs claimed to be descended from him. He sometimes took the form of a hawk or a lion.
- Nut represented the heavens and helped to put the world in order. She had the ability to swallow stars and the pharaohs and cause them to be born again. She existed before all else had been created.
- Osiris was the god of the underworld and the judge of the dead. He was associated with the continuity of life and was often shown wearing mummy wrappings.
- Isis invented agriculture. She was the goddess of law, healing, motherhood and fertility. She came to be seen as a kind of Mother Earth figure.
- Horus was a sky god who loved goodness and light. The son of Osiris and Isis, he was sometimes depicted as a young child.
- Thoth was the god of wisdom and magic. He was believed to have invented writing, astronomy and other arts, and served as a scribe to the gods.
- Nephthys was the goddess of the dead. She was a kind and understanding companion to the newly dead as well as to those left behind.
See also Egyptian Mythology.
- Hunahpu was a god of the sun and the father of the first humans. A great hero, with his brother he defeated the forces of death and went on to rule in the heavens.
- Hurakan was the god of storms and winds. When the first humans made him angry, he swept them away in a violent flood. The word “hurricane” comes from his name.
- Ixchel was the goddess of the moon and the protector of pregnant women. She was often depicted as an old woman wearing a full skirt and holding a serpent.
- Chac was the god of agriculture and a great friend to humankind. He brought them rain and used his vast tail and fangs to protect planted fields.
- Itzamna was the state god of the Mayan empire and the founder of its people. Corn, chocolate, writing and calendars were among his many gifts to them.
- Odin was the supreme god and, along with his brothers Vili and Ve, the creator of the world. He was also the ruler of war and wisdom.
- Frigg was the goddess of the sky, marriage and motherhood. It was believed that she knew the fate of each person, but kept it a close secret.
- Loki was the god of mischief and death. He liked to invent horrible ways to harm the other gods. His nastiness and trickery earned him many an enemy.
- Freyja was the goddess of love and fertility. She was very beautiful and enjoyed music and song. Fairies were among her most beloved companions.
- Balder was the god of light, peace and joy. A kind and gentle god, he was slain in a plot hatched by Loki. He was greatly mourned, especially by his parents, Odin and Frigg.
See also Norse Mythology.