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For Research: Guide to the Gods

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Guide to the Gods, by Marjorie Leach, might be useful to FH GMs in designing gods for settings. Or at least the table of contents might be, as a source of divine types you might not have thought of:


I Cosmogonical Deities
1  Primordial Beings
2 Male/Female Principle, Angdrogynous
3  Deities of the Universe, Space
4/5  Supreme Being, Great Spirit, High God/Creator Deities


II  Celestial Deities
6  Sky and Heaven Gods
7  Solar Gods: Dawn, Day, Light, Twilight, Eclipses
8  Lunar Gods: Eclipses
9 Gods of Night, Darkness
10  Stellar Gods: Constellations, Planets, Stars


III  Atmospheric Deities
11  Weather Gods: Thunder, Lightning, Rain, Wind, Rainbow, Drought


IV Terrestrial Deities
12  Animal/Bird Gods
13  Earth Gods: Land, Soil, Earthquakes
14  Fire Gods: Elemental, Domestic
15  Fresh Water Gods: Rivers, Lakes, Irrigation, Curative Waters
16  Metals: Mines, Minerals, Treasures
17  Nature Gods: Forest, Hills, Mountains, Stones, Trees
18  Sea Gods: Surf and Coastline, Seafarers and Navigation


V Life/Death Cycle Deities
19  Life: Birth, Procreation, Soul (in life). Longevity
20 Mankind: Men, Women, Children, Youth, Age
21  Fertility: Animal, Vegetable, Phallic
22  Disease Gods: Accident
23  Death Gods: The Dead, Soul (in death). Funereal, Embalming, Cemeteries
24  Afterworld/Underworld: Judgment, Soul (in death)
25  Resurrection/Rejuvination Deities


VI Economic Activities
26  Agriculture/Vegetation Gods
27  Deities of Domesticated Animals
28  Fishing: Fish Gods, Water Animals
29  Household Gods: Doors, Hearth, Home, etc.
30  Hunting: Gods of Wild Animals
31  Roads and Locations: Crossroads, Boundaries, Gates, Travelers
32  Trades and Crafts: Merchants, Markets, Artisans
33  Gods of Wealth: Abundance, Plenty, Prosperity
34  Gods of Non-Wealth: Famine, Hunger, Poverty


VII Socio-cultural Concepts
35  Abstract Deities
36  Arts: Music, Dancing, Poetry, Theater
37  Gods of the Cardinal Points
38  Culture: Teachers/Givers of, Lesser Creator Gods
39  Gods of Evil, Destructiveness
40 Gods of Destiny, Fate
41  Fortune: Luck, Good or Bad
42 Intellectual: Wisdom, Learning, Teaching, Scribes, Records, History
43  Justice: Law, Judgment, Equity, Government, Order, Morals, Oaths, Curses, Thieves
44 Love: Lust, Sexuality, Phallic, Lovers
45  Gods of Marriage
46 Medicine and Health: Body, Healing, Herbs, Senses
47 Pleasures: Happiness, Revelry, Festivals, Games
48  Gods of Time and Seasons: Calendar
49  Gods of War: Victory
50  Gods of Wine: Intoxicants, Narcotics, Drunkenness


VIII Religion
51  Religious Activities: Rituals, Initiation, Ceremonials
52  Divination, Prophecy
53  Magic, Sorcery

Okay, so you won't get detailed information about gods that you can crib. Even at more than 800 pages, there are so many gods the book can't give much more than a name and a source for more information, from the bibliography in the back. Here's an example, from a random page -- fire deities, as it happens.


Sakhadai  The god of fire of the Buriats. Also SakhidaiNoin, whose wife is Sakhala-Khatun. Siberia. (MacCulloch, 1964: 454; Klementz, 1925, 3: 4, II)


Sakhala, Sakhala-Khatun  The goddess and ruler of the fire with her husband Sakhadai (Sakhidai-Noin). The Buriats, Siberia. (MacCulloch, 1964: 454; Klementz, 1925,3:4)


Sakhri nad, Chulahi nad  The spirit of the hearth. The Oraon, India. (Roy, 1928: 72)


Savul  The fire-stick was deified as an individual god. Babylonia, Near East. (Sayce, 1898: 181)


Setcheti  An Egyptian fire god. (Budge, 1969, 1: 347)


Sethlans  Etruscan god of fire, god .of smiths—the artificer of the gods. Same as Vulcan, Hephaestus. Italy. (Rawlinson, 1885: 123;vonVacano, 1960: 19, 110;Pallottino, 1975: 142; Roscher, 1965, 4: 785)


Shahli milo  The god of fire, identified with the sun which is not addressed except as fire. The Choctaw Indians, Mississippi. (Spence, 1925, 3: 567-568)


Shulawitsi  The youthful god of fire and also of maize and hunting. He is a messenger for the sun. The Zuni, New Mexico. (Parsons, 1939: 175, 205; Tyier, 1964: 25; Stevenson, 1901/02: 33; Waters, 1950: 283-284)

Best if you can find it in a library, but really, the table of contents is probably enough unless you're really into obscure anthropology.


Dean Shomshak

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