Pagan Gods and Goddesses

Zeus And Hera
Are the gods really interested in what we're up to?. Christian Baitg / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

In modern Pagan religions, people often feel drawn towards many of the ancient gods. While this is by no means a complete list, it's a good place to get started. Here is a collection of some of the best known gods and goddesses of modern Paganism, as well as some tips on how to make offerings to them and interact with them.

How to Work With Deities

Poseidon
Poseidon is the god of the sea, known as "earth-shaker.". Harald Sund / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

There are literally thousands of different deities out there in the Universe, and which ones you choose to honor will often depend significantly upon what pantheon your spiritual path follows. However, many modern Pagans and Wiccans describe themselves as eclectic, which means they may honor a god of one tradition beside a goddess of another. In some cases, we may choose to ask a deity for assistance in a magical working or in problem solving. Regardless, at some point, you're going to have to sit and sort them all out. If you don't have a specific, written tradition, then how do you know which gods to call upon? Here are a few tips on Working With Deity.
 

Appropriate Worship and Why It Matters

Prayer in the Forest
Kris Ubach and Quim Roser /Collection Mix / Getty Images

One issue that comes up often for people learning about Pagan and Wiccan spirituality is the concept of appropriate worship. There tends to be some question about what, exactly, is the right offering to make to the gods or goddesses of one's tradition, and how we should honor them when making those offerings. Let's talk about the concept of Appropriate Worship. Keep in mind that the idea of right or appropriate worship is not about someone telling you what's "right or wrong." It is simply the concept that one should take the time to do things–including worship and offerings–in a way that is conducive to the demands and needs of the god or goddess in question.

Making Offerings to the Gods

Offerings
Vstock / Tetra Images / Getty Images

In many Pagan and Wiccan traditions, it's not uncommon to make some sort of offering or sacrifice to the gods. Bear in mind that despite the reciprocal nature of our relationship with the divine, it's not a matter of "I'm offering you this stuff so you'll grant my wish." It's more along the lines of "I honor you and respect you, so I'm giving you this stuff to show you how much I appreciate your intervention on my behalf." So the question arises, then, of what to offer them? Different types of deities seem to respond best to Different Kinds of Offerings.
 

Pagan Prayer: Why Bother?

People holding hands in circle in forest
Shalom Ormsby / Getty Images

Our ancestors prayed to their gods, long ago. Their pleas and offerings are documented in the hieroglyphs that adorn the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, in the carvings and inscriptions left for us to read by the philosophers and teachers of ancient Greece and Rome. Information about man's need to connect with the Divine comes to us from China, India, and all over the globe. Let's look at the Role of Prayer in Modern Paganism. Prayer is a very personal thing. You can do it out loud or silently, in a church or backyard or forest or at a kitchen table. Pray when you need to, and say what you wish to say. Chances are good that someone is listening.

Celtic Deities

Stonehenge
John Harper / Photodisc / Getty Images

Wondering about some of the major deities of the ancient Celtic world? Although the Celts consisted of societies all over the British Isles and parts of Europe, some of their gods and goddesses have become a part of modern Pagan practice. Here are some of the Deities Honored by the Celts.
 

Egyptian Deities

Anubis
Anubis guided the souls of the dead through the underworld. De Agostini / W. Buss / Getty Images

The gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt were a complex group of beings and ideas. As the culture evolved, so did many of the deities and what they represented. Here are some of the best-known Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt.
 

Greek Deities

Greek Goddess Hera
Cristian Baitg / Image Bank / Getty Images

The ancient Greeks honored a wide variety of gods, and many are still worshiped today by Hellenic Pagans. For the Greeks, much like many other ancient cultures, the deities were a part of daily life, not merely something to be chatted with in times of need. Here are some of the most important Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Greeks.
 

Norse Deities

Norse Woman
Norse women honored Frigga as a goddess of marriage. Anna Gorin / Moment / Getty Images

The Norse culture honored a wide variety of gods, and many are still worshipped today by Asatruar and Heathens. For the Norse and Germanic societies, much like many other ancient cultures, the deities were a part of daily life, not merely something to be chatted with in times of need. Let's look at some of the best-known Gods and Goddesses of the Norse Pantheon.

Pagan Deities By Type

Lotus Flower
Does your tradition honor a god or goddess of healing magic?. Angel Abdelazim / EyeEm / Getty Images

Many Pagan deities are associated with various aspects of the human experience, such as love, death, marriage, fertility, healing, war, and so forth. Still others are connected to different phases of the agricultural cycle, the moon, and the sun. Read more about the different Types of Pagan Deities, so you can figure out which ones you'd like to try working with, depending on your personality and your magical goals.