Religion and believers #3 From father and mother gods to land and local gods

Today we still find gods who are divided in three, like in the Catholic Church and some Protestant churches where there is God the Father, god the son and God the Holy Spirit.

Earth-, water-, father- and mother- gods

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Portret van Iban Dajaks waarvan de man in krijgskleding in de garnizoensplaats Long Nawan TMnr 60034030.jpg
Portrait of Iban Dayaks, with the man in war attire in Borneo c. 1920–1940.

Sometimes the number three is reached by the distribution of the universe into sky, earth and underworld, and the gods, of death claim their place as the rulers of the world to come. Among these deities all kinds of relationships are displayed; consorts must be provided for the unwedded, and the family conception, as distinct from the regal, presents a divine father, mother and child. The Ibani in Southern Nigeria recognized Adurn the father-god, Okoba the mother-god and Eberebo the son-god. {Leonard, The Lower Niger and its Tribes, p. 354.}

In Egypt, Osiris, Isis and Horus proved an influential type. Perhaps at a relatively earlier stage maternity alone is emphatically asserted, as in the figure of the Cretan Mother, productive without distinctly sexual character.  {Cf. Farnell, Cults of Greece, iii. 295.} Or, again, maternity disappears, while parenthood survives, and causation is embodied in a universal “Father of all” that are and are to be,” like the Indian Brahmā in the days of Gotama the Buddha”. {Dīgha Nikāya, i. 18.}

File:SATRAPS of CARIA. Hidrieus. Circa 351-0 to 344-3 BC.jpg
Coinage of Idrieus of Caria, Obv: Head of Apollo, wearing laurel wreath, drapery at neck; Rev: legend ΙΔΡΙΕΩΣ (“IDRIEOS”), accompanying the storm god Zeus (Zeus Labraundos standing with labrys in his right hand), c. 351–50 to 344–43 BCE

Throughout history a mother god was adored and symbols, like the ancient Cretean symbol the double-bitted axe Labrys (from the Lydian word for ‘axe’), the sacred symbol of the supposed Minoan religion, was painted on bodies and objects as a sign of such worship.

Such mother gods have never been away, like sun gods also have always existed or been worshipped by different people. They go by different names and tittles.

Development of social institutions and national feeling

On the human side polytheism receives fresh groups in connexion with the development of social institutions and national feeling.

Winged genius facing a woman with a tambourine and mirror, from southern Italy, about 320 BC.

(1) In the family the hearth-fire is the scene of the protecting care of deity; the gods of the household watch over its welfare. Each Roman householder had his Genius, the women their Junones. These stood at a higher level than the “occasional gods,” having permanent functions of supervision.

Hestia Giustiniani.jpg
The Giustiniani Hestia, virgin goddess of the hearth, the right ordering of domesticity, the family, the home, and the state.

(2) From the household a series of steps embodied the divine power in higher forms for social and political ends.  The goddess of the hearth, daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and one of the 12 Olympian deities, Hestia presided over cities; there was even a common Hestia for all Greece. The fravashi or ideal type, the genius of both men and gods in the Zend Avesta (possibly connected originally with the cultus of the dead [ This is denied by Tiele, Religion im Altertum, tr. Gehrich, ii. (1898), p. 259.]), rises in successive ranks from the worshippers own person through the household, the village, the district and the province, up to the throne of Ahura himself.[Cf. Yasna, lxxi. 18; S.B.E. xxxi. p. 331; and Söderblom’s essay in the Rev. de l’hist. des religions, xxxix. (1899), pp. 229, 373.] The Chinese Shin were similarly organised; so (less elaborately) were the Japanese Kami;[Hirata’s morning prayer in the last century included 800 myriads of celestial kami, 800 myriads of ancestral kami, the 1500 myriads to whom are consecrated the great and small temples in all provinces, all islands, and all places of the great land of eight islands, &c.] and the Roman lares, the old local land-gods, found their highest co-ordinating term in the Lares Augusti, just as the Genius was extended to the legion and the colony, and finally to Rome itself.

(3) In the case of national deities the tie between god and people is peculiarly close, as when Yahweh of Israel( or Jehovah, the God of Israel) is pitted against the national god of the Moabites, Chemosh of Ammon (Judges xi. 24). The great gods of Greece, in their functions as “saviours” and city-guardians, acquire new moral characters, and become really different gods, though they retain the old names.

Ashur god.jpg
A Neo-Assyrian relief of Ashur, head of the Assyrian pantheon in Mesopotamian religion, as a feather robed archer holding a bow instead of a ring (9th-8th century BC)

Ashur rises into majestic sovereignty as the “Ruler of all the gods,” the supreme religious form of Assyrian sway: when the empire falls beneath the revived power of Babylon, he fades away and disappears.

(4) Several religions do know incarnate gods like the Catholics and certain main Protestant groups have their incarnate god and god son, Jesus. Many of them are even convinced they have to celebrate the birth of this god. this divine being, born in Bethlehem would then be the earthly manifestation of the self-born eternal God, the same as we can find such ideas in Buddhism with Avalokiteśvara , where a bodhisattva embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. In that Trinitarian Christendom Jesus is then the co-sufferer, having compassion with human beings and alleviating their suffering.

Many also do not bother or do not see that this incarnated god, Jesus is not omniscient or all-knowing and eternal as their main god. As in the other polytheist religions, their god-man is limited in what he can do.
Today there are also people who believe that incarnated god still comes once a year at Christmas time down to earth as Father Christmas or the Santa (Sancta Claus). He is than the counterpart of the governing king or president, who brings presents to the people instead of taking their money. (Though they forget it are the adults themselves who buy the presents.)

The earthly counterpart of the heavenly monarch is the divine king, who may be traced back in Egypt, for example, to the remotest antiquity,[Moret, Du caractère religieux de la. royauté pharaonique (1902). For instances in the lower culture see Frazer, Golden Bough (2), i. 140 ff] and who survives to-day among the civilized powers in the emperor of Japan (anciently Arahito-gami, (or akitsumi kami= “incarnate Kami”). “To the end of time,” said Motowori (18th century), “the Mikado is the child of the Sun-goddess.” (5) The dead hero (historical or mythic) signalizes his power by gracious saving acts; and Heracles, Asclepius, Amphiaraus, and others pass into the ranks of the gods, which are thus continually recruited from below.

Moral energies

A third great group rises out of the sentiments and affections of man, or the moral energies which he sees working in human life.

(1) The Vedic Craddhā, “faith,” the Greek Metameleia, “repentance,”[Worshipped at Argos. Usener, Götternamen, p. 366.] the Latin Spes, and a band of other figures, represent the dispositions of the heart; Nemesis and Nikê and Concordia and their kin belong to a somewhat different sphere, the divine powers avenging, conquering, harmonizing the counterparts of the “departmental” gods in the field of moral agencies.

Naqshe Rostam Darafsh Ordibehesht 93 (35).JPG
Sassanid-era relief at Naqsh-e Rostam depicting Ahura Mazda, creator deity in Zoroastrianism+ first and most frequently invoked spirit in the Yasna, presenting the diadem of sovereignty to Ardashir I

(2) Over these theological speculation erects a few lofty and impressive forms; sometimes below the highest, like Vohu Mano, “the Good Mind” of Ahura Mazda; or the Bodhisattva [in Buddhism, one who seeks awakening (bodhi)—hence, an individual on the path to becoming a buddha.]Avalokiteçvara, who vowed not to enter into final peace till every creature had received the saving truth; sometimes supreme, like Brahmā or Prajāpati (“lord of creatures” = great creator deity of the Vedic period of ancient India) in the early Brahmanic theology; or Ādi Buddha, or the Zervan Akarana, “boundless time,” of a kind of Persian gnosticism; or the Θεὸς ὕψιστος whose worship appears among other syncretistic cults of the Roman empire.


In the ‘I Am’ verses of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna reveals himself within key archetypal beings, elements and forces of nature. We find that all these same exact forms self-identified by Krsna, have been worshiped as Divine whenever and wherever they are manifest. {Vishnu: Universal Deity or ‘Another Ethnic Hindu God’}


Next: Religion and believers #4


Trigger to start this site

Religion and believers #1 Lots of groups to be taken interest in

Religion and believers #2 Different forms of Truth

Sancta Claus is not God


Additional reading

  1. Gates to different belief systems in this world
  2. Words in the world (Our World)Words in the world (Some View on the World)
  3. Different principle about the origin and beginning of everything
  4. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith (Our World)
  5. Is religion like a physical trait
  6. An other trait for faith in Jesus and his God
  7. How do you define religion?
  8. Religious matters
  9. Religions and Mainliners
  10. Religious Practices around the world
  11. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  12. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  13. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  14. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  15. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  16. Religion…..why the competition?
  17. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  18. Ideas about Religiosity
  19. Facilitations of science and loss of peace of mind
  20. A look at On Science & Religion
  21. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  22. Reconciling Science and Religion
  23. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  24. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  25. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  26. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  27. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  28. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  29. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  30. Being religious has benefits even in this life (Our World)Being religious has benefits even in this life
  31. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  32. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  33. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  34. The Question is this…
  35. Faith because of the questions (Our World)Faith because of the questions (Some View on the World)
  36. Inner feeling, morality and Inter-connection with creation
  37. Religion and the essence of devotion
  38. Religion power and authority for mankind
  39. The battle between action and belief
  40. Blindness in the Christian world
  41. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  42. Mark 1 – Additional Bible Students notes on Mark 1:9-11 – An Approved Son Baptized
  43. People believing they need to celebrate the birth of God
  44. Omniscient God opposite a not knowing Jesus
  45. Jesus the “God-Man”: Really?
  46. For those who believe Jesus is God (Our world) = For those who believe Jesus is God (Some View on the World)
  47. When you believe Jesus is God: who do you think is the mediator? #2 Firstborn from the dead our advocate
  48. Concerning Christ #2 Divine source, connection and divine human being
  49. For Getting to know Jesus
  50. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  51. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  52. Jesus begotten Son of God #12 Son of God
  53. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  54. Today’s thought “nonsense surrounding the many gods” (July 28)
  55. Today’s thought “Nature declaring God” (December 27)
  56. Today’s Thought “Idols are nothing against the first and the last God” (June 20)
  57. Today’s thought “nonsense surrounding the many gods” (July 28)
  58. False opposite true worship which exalts the God of Israel
  59. The Right One to follow and to worship
  60. El-Shaddai God Almighty Who no-one may see and live
  61. Memorizing wonderfully 55 Exchanging the truth of God for a lie
  62. Standing within proximity of the glory of God
  63. Who do you say Jesus is
  64. Believing what Jesus says
  65. Do you believe in One god
  66. Hope that those who take Jesus as their god shall come to accept and subject to him



  1. Human behaviour and the sun
  2. The mystery of Konark Temple
  3. Ra God Of The Sun
  4. Helios
  5. When sun gods made a comeback
  6. Drawing Down the Lord of the Sun
  7. Wooing Apollo’s Daughter
  8. Unbelief hurts
  9. Systems stink
  10. Religion
  11. Religion Vs. Spiritual
  12. Religion vs Spirituality, Part One
  13. Religion vs Spirituality, Part Two
  14. Why the Buddha is a Better Modern Role Model Than Jesus
  15. Cult or True Religion
  16. 64% Hindus say it’s important to be Hindu to be ‘truly’ Indian: Pew survey
  17. Decoding Pew Survey on Indian Society
  18. Has convenient methodology affected the results of Pew’s report on religious tolerance and segregation in India?
  19. Religion, Peace, and War
  20. Ancestral Journeys: Religion and Belief in Colonial America
  21. Truth is not a philosophical discussion
  22. ‘Dateline’ reveals bizarre world of ‘Mother God’
  23. The Feast of the Holy Rosary
  24. The Labrys – A Feminine Return to Power
  25. Morning prayer in the Bush – our God like Mother……
  26. 6th December
  27. Jamshedpur: Chhath celebrated with festivity, devotees offer prayers to Sun God under strict vigil
  28. Who Are Twelve Adityas
  29. Invictus: The New Dawn
  30. 108 Sacred Names of Surya Deva in Brahma Purana
  31. Katakamuna Writing System
  32. Ōkuninushi is the god of nation-building, agriculture, business, medicine, love, marriage and fortune.
  33. The Holy Grail
  34. Who Are The Assyrians?
  35. 2 Kings 14,15 – Historical Context
  36. The Assyrian Captivity of Israel
  37. Conquest Of Israel By Assyria
  38. The Fascinating Story behind the Library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh (History of Ancient Assyria)
  39. Why Ashur is commemorate by Shia’s? Why Not Sunni do take part?
  40. Hans Urs von Balthasar, Unless You Become Like This Child
  41. Philoctetes
  42. Olympic Games: The Myth
  43. The Mythology Of Achilles Explained
  44. The Untold Truth Of The Temple Of Artemis
  45. Linus—The Literature And Music Instructor Of Ancient Greek Heroes
  46. The Odyssey Of Mythical Princess, Auge
  47. Dying Hercules, Painted By Samuel Finley Breese Morse (c. 1791–1872)
  48. The Ancient Legend Of Hobbit-Like Sardinians
  49. Hercules
  50. The 12 Labours of Heracles
  51. The Myth Of Heracles’ Adventure As An Abandoned Newborn
  52. Hercules on the edge
  53. Asclepius
  54. Asclepius in a Nutshell
  55. New book (in German) on the Hermetic Asclepius
  56. Healing shrines and incubation in Asclepian cult
  57. The Hermetic Refranations and Repentances

11 thoughts on “Religion and believers #3 From father and mother gods to land and local gods

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