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Sky God

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Sky God

"Air spirit" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Spirit Air.
"Spirits of the air" redirects here. For the 1989 science fiction film, see Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds.
"Spirit of the sky" and "Spirits of the sky" redirect here. For the 1969 psychedelic rock song, see Spirit in the Sky. For the American alternative rock group, see Spirits in the Sky.


The sky has important religious significance. Most polytheistic religions have a deity or deities whose portfolio includes or is even limited to the sky or the heavens. While there are often multiple sky deities, sometimes this position is reserved for a deity who is conceived as reigning over the others, or at least is one of the most powerful. When the main sky deity was seen as feminine, she often held the title of the "Queen of Heaven." Ancient sky goddesses who held the title "Queen of Heaven" included Isis, Astarte, Ishtar, and Inanna. (The title was later applied to the Virgin Mary, along with various other features and attributes of ancient pagan goddesses.)

Another common conception is that of a complementary polarity between Earth and sky that may be ascribed genders as a mated pair. In some religions this takes the form of a Sky father and an Earth mother, while in other religions the mated couple are a sky goddess and an earth god. (For example, Nut and Geb in ancient Egypt.) In still other religions, there is a main pair of deities who rule the sky as husband and wife (for example, Zeus and Hera in ancient Greece), while a different pair of deities (e.g., Hades and Persephone) rule the Earth and/or chthonic realms. Along similar lines, some scholars of religion hold that Jehovah or Yahweh, the monotheistic deity of the Jewish bible, originally had a wife who was most likely the sky goddess Asherah. (See The Hebrew Goddess.) In some contemporary religions, the divine pair of sky deities are known as the "Heavenly Father" and the "Heavenly Mother."

Africa

Egyptian mythology

  • Amun, god of creation and the wind
  • Anhur, originally a foreign war god who became associated with the air god, Shu
  • Hathor, goddess connected with the sun and the waters in the sky on which the sun sailed
  • Horus, god of the sun, sky, kings and war
  • Mehet-Weret, goddess of the waters in the sky on which the sun sailed
  • Nut, goddess of the sky
  • Shu, god of the wind and air

Sub Saharan mythology

Ancient Near East

Ancient Semitic Mythology

Hurrian mythology

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

Mesopotamian mythology

  • An, goddess of the sky
  • Anshar, god of the sky
  • Anu, king of the gods, associated with the sky, heaven and constellations
  • Beelshamen, god of the sky
  • Enlil, god of breath, wind, loft, and breadth

Armenian mythology

Europe

Basque mythology

  • Aide, goddess of the air

Celtic mythology

  • Latobius, sky and mountain god equated with the Greek gods Zeus and Ares
  • Taranis, sky and thunder god, equated and syncretized with Jupiter

Etruscan mythology

  • Ani, god of the sky
  • Tinia, god of the sky

Finnish mythology

  • Ilmatar, virgin spirit of the air
  • Perkele, supreme sky and thunder god
  • Ukko, god of sky, weather, crops (harvest) and other natural things

Germanic mythology

Greek mythology

  • Aether, primeval god of the upper air
  • Chaos, the nothingness from which all else sprang, she also represented the lower atmosphere which surrounded the earth
  • Hera, queen of heaven and goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings, empires, air and the sky
  • Iris, goddess of the rainbow and divine messenger
  • Nephelai, cloud nymphs
  • Theia, goddess of sight and the shining light of the clear blue sky
  • Uranus, primeval god of the sky
  • Zeus, king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus and the god of the sky, weather, thunder, law, order and fate

Roman mythology

  • Caelus, personification of the sky, equivalent to the Greek Uranus
  • Jupiter, king of heaven and god of the sky and weather, equivalent to the Greek Zeus

Sami mythology

  • Horagalles, god of the sky, thunder and lightning, the rainbow, weather, oceans, lakes, human life, health and wellbeing
  • Mano, goddess of the moon

Slavic mythology

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

Thracian mythology

South Asia

  • Aditi, the celestial mother of the gods
  • Dyaus Pita, sky father
  • Indra, king of the gods, associated with war and the weather
  • Saranyu, goddess of dawn and the clouds
  • Varuna, god of the sky, water, the celestial ocean, law and the underworld

East and Southeast Asia

Chinese mythology

Japanese mythology

  • Izanagi, Creator of the world and sky father
  • Marici, goddess of the heavens

Māori mythology

  • Ao, god of light and the sky
  • Rangi, sky father
  • Tane-rore, personification of shimmering air
  • Tāwhirimātea, god of weather, including thunder and lightning, wind, clouds and storms
  • Uenuku, god of rainbows

Thai and Lao Mythology

Central Asia

Turkic mythology

Udmurt mythology

  • Inmar, god of the heavens

Americas

Arctic

Aztec mythology

  • Citlalincue, goddess of the Milky Way
  • Cipactonal, god of the daytime
  • Oxomoco, goddess of nighttime
  • Centzonmimixcoa, 400 gods of the northern stars
  • Centzonhuitznahua, 400 gods of the southern stars
  • Coyolxauhqui, goddess of moon
  • Meztli, goddess of moon
  • Tonatiuh, god of sun
  • Tianquiztli, star goddesses (see the Pleiades)
  • Citlaltonac, god of male stars
  • Citlalmina, goddess of female stars
  • Citlaxonecuilli, goddess of the Ursa Major

Inca mythology

Maya mythology

Native American mythology

Australia and Oceania

Australia

  • Altjira, Arrernte creator and sky god
  • Baiame, south-east Australian creator and sky god
  • Binbeal, god of rainbows
  • Bunjil, Kulin creator and sky god

Oceania mythology


See also

Template:List of mythological figures by region

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