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Jupiter, the sky father of Roman religion and mythology.

The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky.

The daytime sky deities are typically distinct from the nighttime ones. Stith Thompson's Motif-Index of Folk-Literature reflects this by separating the category of "Sky-god" (A210) from that of "Star-god" (A250). In mythology, nighttime gods are usually known as night deities and gods of stars simply as star gods. Both of these categories are included here since they relate to the sky. Luminary deities are included as well since the sun and moon are located in the sky. Some religions may also have a deity or personification of the day, distinct from the god of the day lit sky, to complement the deity or personification of the night.

Daytime gods and nighttime gods are frequently deities of an "upper world" or "celestial world" opposed to the earth and a "netherworld" (gods of the underworld are sometimes called "chthonic" deities).[1] Within Greek mythology, Uranus was the primordial sky god, who was ultimately succeeded by Zeus, who ruled the celestial realm atop Mount Olympus. In contrast to the celestial Olympians was the chthonic deity Hades, who ruled the underworld, and Poseidon, who ruled the sea.[2]

Any masculine sky god is often also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon. Such king gods are collectively categorized as "sky father" deities, with a polarity between sky and earth often being expressed by pairing a "sky father" god with an "earth mother" goddess (pairings of a sky mother with an earth father are less frequent). A main sky goddess is often the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she usually has other functions as well with "sky" not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans often apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically.

Gods may rule the sky as a pair (for example, ancient Semitic supreme god El and the fertility goddess Asherah whom he was most likely paired with).[3] The following is a list of sky deities in various polytheistic traditions arranged mostly by language family, which is typically a better indicator of relatedness than geography.

African

Central African

East African

Ancient Egypt

Southern African

West African

European

Proto-Indo-European

Albanian

Baltic

Celtic

English

Germanic

Greek

Messapian

Roman

Slavic

Thracian and Phrygian

Asian

Western Asian

Further information: Ancient Semitic religion

Iranian

Central Asian

Turkic and Mongolic

Hindu

Eastern Asian

Vietnamese

Thai

Chinese

Twenty Four Sky Emperors (Tiandi 天帝)

Twenty Eight Sky Emperors (Tiandi 天帝)

Thirty Two Sky Emperors (Tiandi 天帝)

Sixty Four Sky Emperors (Tiandi 天帝)

Japanese

Korean


The Americas

Haitian

Incan

Inuit

Iroquoian

Lakota

Lencans

Mayan

Puebloans

Taíno mythology

Uto-Aztecan

Australian

Burmese

Etruscan

Filipino

Main article: List of Philippine mythological figures

Hurrian

Meitei/Sanamahism

Further information: Meitei mythology and Sanamahism

Malagasy

Māori

Other Pacific Islanders

Sumerian

Uralic

Finnic

Mari

Mordvin

Permic

Sami

Samoyedic

Ugric

See also

References

  1. ^ Kearns, Emily (2011-12-15), "Chthonic Deities", The Homer Encyclopedia, Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, doi:10.1002/9781444350302.wbhe0296, ISBN 978-1-4051-7768-9, But the word "chthonic" is usually taken to refer principally to what is under the earth.
  2. ^ Buckler, John (2015-12-22), "Helicon", Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.2979, ISBN 978-0-19-938113-5
  3. ^ El was identified with the obscure deity Yahweh in early Hebrew religion, ultimately giving rise to Hebrew monotheism by the 7th century BCE; according to the Hebrew Bible it was 7th-century Judean king Josiah who removed the statue of Asherah from the temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem. See also The Hebrew Goddess.
  4. ^ Vanoverbergh, M. (1941). The Isneg Farmer. Catholic Anthropologist Conference. Vol. III, No. 4.
  5. ^ The Kalevala: Epic of the Finnish People. Compiled by Elias Lönnrot. Translated by Eino Friberg (4th ed.). Otava Publishing Company. 1998. ISBN 951-1-10137-4.
  6. ^ Salo, Unto (1990). Agricola's Ukko in the light of archeology. A chronological and interpretative study of ancient Finnish religion: Old Norse and Finnish religions and cultic place-names. Turku. ISBN 951-649-695-4.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ "Miten suomalaiset kiroilivat ennen kristinuskoa?". Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  8. ^ Siikala, Anna-Leena (2012). Itämerensuomalaisten mytologia. SKS.
  9. ^ Krohn, Kaarle (1906). Lappische Beiträge zur germanischen Mythologie. Finnisch-Ugrische Forschungen 6.