List of water deities

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A water deity is a deity in mythology associated with water or various bodies of water. Water deities are common in mythology and were usually more important among civilizations in which the sea or ocean, or a great river was more important. Another important focus of worship of water deities has been springs or holy wells.

As a form of animal worship, whales and snakes (hence dragons) have been regarded as godly deities throughout the world (other animals are such as turtles, fish, crabs, and sharks). In Asian lore, whales and dragons sometimes have connections.[1] Serpents are also common as a symbol or as serpentine deities, sharing many similarities with dragons.

Aztec mythology[edit]

  • Tlaloc, god of thunder, rain, and earthquakes.
  • Chalchiuhtlicue, goddess of water, lakes, rivers, seas, streams, horizontal waters, storms, and baptism.
  • Huixtocihuatl, goddess of salt.
  • Opochtli, god of fishing.
  • Tlaloques, gods of drops.
  • Tlaloquetotontli, goddess of the rivers.

Ainu mythology[edit]

  • Amemasu, monster in the lakes
  • Hoyau Kamui, or Oyau Kamui, Rapushinupurukuru, or Sakusomoai~epu, serpentine or dragon-like god with wings and stench (possessing both natures of evil god and guardian), master of Lake Tōya
  • Repun Kamui, god of the sea, often referring to orca

Armenian mythology[edit]

  • Anahita, the divinity of "the Waters" (Aban) and hence associated with fertility
  • Astghik, goddess of water sources
  • Tsovinar, goddess of seas and storms

Australian aboriginal mythology[edit]

Benin mythology[edit]

  • Ezili, goddess of sweet water, beauty, and love

Canaanite mythology[edit]

  • Lotan, sea monster
  • Yam (god), god of death for creatures in rivers and the sea

Celtic mythology[edit]

  • Acionna (Gaulish) - a water goddess/genius loci of the Orleanais region and the Essonne
  • Belisama, goddess of lakes and rivers, fire, crafts and light
  • Boann - goddess of the River Boyne (Irish)
  • Condatis, (Gaulish) - god of the River Wear and healing
  • Danu (Dana) - goddess of the Danube (Celtic overlords ruled Germanic tribes before Rome attacked Gaul). Later her name was added to the Tuath Dé.
  • Devi/Divi/Diva Danu generic Celtic goddess is also the goddess of the lake "Bala" (Welsh lake outflow) and "Tobah" (well) that has potentially migrated through the Pelasgian Asiatic migrations (see White Goddess R. Graves) with the earliest Celtic inhabitation of Europe. Became synonymous with "Cerridvyn" or Cerridwen in earliest Celtic Welsh traditions as the Goddess of the Cauldron (waters or lake well) of life. Celts were Sanantadharma Matriarchal religion, hence the similarity to Hindu and Balinese /Buddhist reference) - the Goddess in Sanantadharma was central figurehead (representative of dual cosmos) from formless and as with Hindu is not a true multi deity religion but monotheism that connects to central divinity through "demi-gods or angels" who represent Earthly realms of Diva (male Deva). The issue of Paganism came with patriarch and inquisition period enforcement.[citation needed]
  • Dylan Eil Ton (Welsh)
  • Grannus, a god associated with spas, the sun, fires and healing thermal and mineral springs
  • Lí Ban (Irish), water goddess
  • Lir (Irish), god of the sea
  • Llŷr (Welsh), god of the sea
  • Manannán mac Lir (Irish), god of the sea
  • Nantosuelta, river goddess of fire, the earth, healing, and fertility [2]
  • Nodens, god associated with healing, the sea, hunting and dogs
  • Sinann (Irish), goddess of the River Shannon
  • Sequana (Gaulish), goddess of the River Seine

Chinese mythology[edit]

  • Gonggong, red-haired dragon with the head of man, and water god who is responsible for the great floods, together with his associate, Xiang Yao
  • Mazu, goddess of the sea and protector of seafarers
    Chinese sea goddess Mazu
  • Hebo, God of the Yellow River
  • Longmu, Goddess of the Xijiang River in the Lingnan area
  • Ehuang & Nuying, Goddesses of the Xiang River
  • Tam Kung, sea deity worshiped in Hong Kong and Macau with the ability to forecast weather

Honorable Kings of the Water Immortals (Shuixian Zunwang)

Dragon Kings of the Four Seas

  • Ao Kuang, Dragon King of the Eastern Sea
  • Ao Qin, Dragon King of the Southern Sea
  • Ao Run, Dragon King of the Western Sea
  • Ao Shun, Dragon King of the Northern Sea

Dogon mythology[edit]

  • Nommos, amphibious spirits that are worshipped as ancestors

Egyptian mythology[edit]

  • Hapi, God of the annual flooding of the Nile
  • Anuket, Goddess of the Nile, and nourisher of the fields
  • Nephthys, Goddess of rivers, death, mourning, the dead and night
  • Nu, uncreated God, personification of the primordial waters
  • Khnum, God of the Nile River
  • Satet, Goddess of the Nile River's floods
  • Sobek, God of the Nile river, depicted as a crocodile or a man with the head of a crocodile.
  • Tefnut, Goddess of water, moisture and fertility.
  • Osiris, God of the dead and afterlife. Originally god of water and vegetation.

Fon/Ewe mythology[edit]

Fijian mythology[edit]

Finnish mythology[edit]

  • Ahti, god of the depths and fish
  • Iku-Turso, a malevolent sea monster
  • Vedenemo, a goddess of water
  • Vellamo, the wife of Ahti, goddess of the sea, lakes and storms.

Greek mythology[edit]

  • Aegaeon, god of violent sea storms and ally of the Titans
  • Achelous, Greek river god
  • Akheilos, shark-shaped sea spirit
  • Alpheus, river god in Arcadia
  • Amphitrite, sea goddess and consort of Poseidon
  • Anapos, water god of eastern Sicily
  • Brizo, goddess of sailors
  • Carcinus, a giant crab who allied itself with the Hydra against Heracles. When it died, Hera placed it in the sky as the constellation Cancer
  • Ceto, goddess of the dangers of the ocean and of sea monsters
  • Charybdis, a sea monster and spirit of whirlpools and the tide
  • Cymopoleia, a daughter of Poseidon and goddess of giant storm waves
  • Delphin, the leader of the dolphins, Poseidon placed him in the sky as the constellation Delphinus
  • Doris, goddess of the sea's bounty and wife of Nereus
  • Eidothea, prophetic sea nymph and daughter of Proteus
  • Electra, an Oceanid, consort of Thaumas
  • Eurybia, goddess of the mastery of the seas
  • Galene (Γαλήνη), goddess of calm seas
  • Glaucus, the fisherman's sea god
  • Gorgons, three monstrous sea spirits
  • The Graeae, three ancient sea spirits who personified the white foam of the sea; they shared one eye and one tooth between them
  • Hippocampi, the horses of the sea
  • The Ichthyocentaurs, a pair of centaurine sea-gods with the upper bodies of men, the lower fore-parts of horses, ending in the serpentine tails of fish
    • Bythos
    • Aphros
  • Ladon, a one hundred-headed sea serpent who guarded the western reaches of the sea, and the island and golden apples of the Hesperides
  • Leucothea, a sea goddess who aided sailors in distress
  • Nerites, watery consort of Aphrodite and/or beloved of Poseidon
  • Nereus, the old man of the sea, and the god of the sea's rich bounty of fish
  • Nymphs
  • Oceanus, Titan god of the Earth-encircling river Okeanos, the font of all the Earth's fresh-water
  • Pan, Patron God of fishing
  • Palaemon, a young sea god who aided sailors in distress
  • Phorcys, god of the hidden dangers of the deep
  • Pontus, primeval god of the sea, father of the fish and other sea creatures
  • Poseidon, Olympian God of the Oceans and king of the sea gods; also god of rivers, storms, flood and drought, earthquakes, and horses. He controlled every aspect of the seas. His Roman equivalent is Neptune.
  • Potamoi, deities of rivers, fathers of Naiads, brothers of the Oceanids, and as such, the sons of Oceanus and Tethys.
  • Proteus, a shape-shifting, prophetic old sea god, and the herdsman of Poseidon's seals
  • Psamathe, goddess of sand beaches
  • Scylla, a Nereid metamorphosed into a sea monster
  • The Sirens, three sea nymphs who lured sailors to their death with their song
  • The Telchines, sea spirits native to the island of Rhodes; the gods killed them when they turned to evil magic
  • Tethys, Titan goddess of the sources fresh-water, and the mother of the rivers (Potamoi), springs, streams, fountains and clouds
  • Thalassa, primordial goddess of the sea
  • Thaumas, god of the wonders of the sea and father of the Harpies and the rainbow goddess Iris
  • Thetis, leader of the Nereids who presided over the spawning of marine life in the sea, mother of Achilles
  • Triteia, daughter of Triton and companion of Ares
  • Triton, fish-tailed son and herald of Poseidon
  • Tritones, fish-tailed spirits in Poseidon's retinue

Hawaiian mythology[edit]

  • Kanaloa or Tangaroa, god of the ocean and magics and underworld with forms of cephalopod
  • Kamohoalii, shark god
  • Nāmaka, sea goddess
  • Navahine, literal translation "Woman/Goddess of the Sea". In creation story as primordial Goddess of waters of life she mated with Tane to form the world.
  • Ukupanipo, shark god who controls the amount of fish close enough for the fisherman to catch

Hittite mythology[edit]

Hindu/Vedic mythology[edit]

Varuna, the Lord of the All the Water Bodies
  • Apam Napat, god of fresh water, such as in rivers and lakes
  • Apah, god of fresh water, such as in rivers and lakes
  • Ap, group of water goddesses
  • Danu, goddess of primordial waters, mother of Vritra and the Danavas
  • Dewi Danu Goddess Danu of the lake and waters of life, Balinese Hinduism
  • Devi Vivyana A derivative of primordial cosmos Goddess of Life (as in Sumerian Inana) potentially of Sanantadharma Matriarchal and Rig Veda dual mergence of Goddess Privthvi (Earth) and Panjanya (Sky, Rain) as Dyavapṛthivi. Later, in Celtic French became Deviana, Covianna (Roman) or Vivienne - Goddess of (the waters of) Life as synchronous to Balinese Sanantadharma Dewi Danu and Dewi Kidul
  • Ganga goddess of the Ganges river and purity.
  • Makara, mystical creature of waters
  • Samundra, goddess of seas
  • Sarasvati, goddess of knowledge and Sarasvati river
  • Tapti, goddess of Tapti river
  • Tara, although primordial heavenly goddess (Tao) in Rigveda it is Sri Ati or Tara's tears (rain) that form the waters of Mother Ganges - sacred waters of life
  • Varuna, god of the water and the celestial ocean
  • Yami, goddess of Yamuna river

Igbo mythology[edit]

  • Idemili, a river alusi
  • Ogbuide, a lake alusi
  • Urashi, a river alusi
  • Oboshi river goddess

Incan mythology[edit]

  • Pariacaca, god of water and rainstorms
  • Paricia, god who sent a flood to kill humans who did not respect him adequately

Indonesian mythology[edit]

Inuit mythology[edit]

  • Aipaloovik, an evil sea god associated with death and destruction
  • Alignak, a lunar deity and god of weather, water, tides, eclipses, and earthquakes
  • Arnapkapfaaluk, a fearsome sea goddess
  • Idliragijenget, god of the ocean
  • Nootaikok, god who presided over icebergs and glaciers
  • Sedna, goddess of the sea

Japanese mythology[edit]

Korean mythology[edit]

  • Imoogi or Imugi, giant serpents of Korean folklore which later become true dragons
  • King Munmu, a king who wished to become a dragon before his death to protect Korea from the East Sea
  • Dragon King, an undersea deity believed to determine the fortunes of fishermen and sailors

Kyrgyz mythology[edit]

  • Martuv, river goddess
  • Presno, god of storms

Lithuanian mythology[edit]

  • Atrimpas, god of the sea and water
  • Bangpūtys, god of sea and storm
  • Divytis, deified hero of fishermen's legends
  • Dugnė, nymph goddess of rivers
  • Ežerinis, god of lakes
  • Gardaitis, spirit of ships and sailors
  • Juratė, goddess of the sea
  • Laumė, goddess of wild spaces, including waters
  • Lietuvonis, god of rain
  • Neris, nymph goddess of the Neris River
  • Neringa, goddess of seacoasts
  • Upinė, goddess of rivers and water springs
  • Upinis Dievas, god of rivers

Luganda mythology[edit]

Lusitanian mythology[edit]

Māori mythology[edit]

  • Ikatere, a fish god, the father of all the sea creatures including mermaids
  • Rongomai, a whale god.
  • Taniwha, deities or monsters (often take forms resembling dragons)
  • Tangaroa, god of the sea
  • Tohora (Maori name for southern right whales), the great whale who saved legendary hero Paikea, famously known as the Whale Rider, (also the Maori name for humpback whales) from drowning and carried him to land. This led to the creation of New Zealand.
  • Kiva or Kiwa, directly linked to patriarchal God of the Ocean (Kiwa) in matriarchal form as Kiva or Anakiwa (Goddess of Primordial Ocean and (vault/cave of) Celestial Heavens), the strings of seaweed are said to be the floating strands of Kiva's hair
  • Nammu Nammu, Goddess of the lake, well or primordial waters

Mayan mythology[edit]

Mesopotamian mythology[edit]

  • Amathaunta, goddess of the ocean
  • Abzu, god of fresh water, father of all other gods
  • Asherah, Mother goddess whose title is "She Who Walks Upon the Sea"
  • Enbilulu, god of rivers and canals
  • Enki, god of water and of the River Tigris
  • Marduk, god associated with water, vegetation, judgment, and magic
  • Nammu, goddess of the primeval sea
  • Nanshe, goddess of Persian Gulf, social justice, prophecy, fertility and fishing
  • Sirsir, god of mariners and boatmen
  • Tiamat, goddess of salt water and chaos, also mother of all gods

Micronesian mythology[edit]

  • Latmikaik, ocean goddess in the region of Micronesia

Native American mythology[edit]

  • Ktchi at'husis and Weewilmekq, giant serpents or leeches in Mi'kmaq lore
  • Also, in Native Choctaw [5] (Origin: Mississippi, Removal to: Oklahoma) has Sinti Holo. Sinti Holo is a giant, horned serpent. He who sees this creature in times of fasting or pain, will be granted spiritual gifts.

Norse/Germanic mythology[edit]

  • Ægir, personification of the sea
  • Nine Daughters of Ægir, who personify the characteristics of waves
  • Mímir, god of the spring of Mímisbrunnr, which gives the drinker wisdom, from which Odin sacrificed an eye to drink
  • Rán, sea goddess of death who collects the drowned in a net
  • Njord, god of the sea, particularly of seafaring
  • Nehalennia, goddess of the North Sea
  • Nerthus, goddess of lakes, springs, and holy waters
  • Nix, water spirits who usually appear in human form
  • Sága, goddess in the form of a waterfall
  • Freyr, god of rain, sunlight, fertility, life, and summer
  • Tiddy Mun, a bog deity once worshipped in Lincolnshire, England who had the ability to control floods
  • Father Thames, personification of the River Thames in England

Persian/Zoroastrian mythology[edit]

  • Anahita, the divinity of 'the Waters' (Aban) and hence associated with fertility, healing and wisdom.
  • Tishtrya, Zoroastrian benevolent divinity associated with life-bringing rainfall and fertility.
  • Haurvatat, the Amesha Spenta associated with water, prosperity, and health in post-Gathic Zoroastrianism
  • Ahurani, Ahurani is a water goddess from ancient Persian mythology. She watches over rainfall as well as standing water. She was invoked for health, healing, prosperity, and growth. She is either the wife or the daughter of the great god of creation and goodness, Ahura Mazda. Her name means "She who belongs to Ahura".

Philippine mythology[edit]

  • Amanikable, ill- tempered god of the sea
  • Haik, another god of the sea
  • Amansinaya, goddess of fishermen
  • Sirena, mermaid
  • Siyokoy, merman
  • Magwayen, goddess of the sea and death
  • Lidagat, second goddess of the sea. Known as the daughter of Magwayen


Pirate lore[edit]

Roman mythology[edit]

Shilluk mythology[edit]

  • Nyakaio, river goddess

Slavic mythology[edit]

  • Nepra, river goddess of the Dneiper River
  • Bolotnik, swamp demon.
  • Bolotnitsa (or omutnitsa, or lopatnitsa), a female swamp ghost, similar to rusalka. They are described as a beautiful young girls with pale skin, brown or black hair and a goose legs instead of the normal legs.
  • Czar Morskoy, god of the sea
  • Chernava, a mermaid, Czar Morskoy's daughter (or relative).
  • Vodyanoi, water demon who lived in lakes and rivers
  • Rusalki, female ghosts, water nymphs, succubi or mermaid-like demons that dwell in waterways.
  • Kostroma, goddess of fertility. After discovering that her husband, Kupala, is her brother, she jumped into the forest lake (in other legends into the river Ra). After her death she became a mavka (or rusalka).
  • Veles, god of earth, waters, and the underworld
  • Perepllut (rus. Переплу́т), god of alcohol and rivers
  • Mokosh, moistness, lady of waters, goddess of moisture
  • Mati-syra-zemla, moist mother, also the earth goddess
  • Sur-mumy, mother of the river
  • Viz-Anya, water mother (Hungarian - Finno-Ugraic)
  • Viz-Leany, water maiden (Hungarian - Finno-Ugraic)
  • Vu-ava, water woman
  • Vut-kuva, water grandmother
  • Ziimarzla, snow goddess

Island Nations mythology[edit]

Taíno mythology[edit]

Tonga mythology[edit]

  • Nyami Nyami, a river spirit of the BaTonga of Zambia and Zimbabwe

Yoruba mythology[edit]

  • Yemoja, a river orisha and ocean orisha as well in new world Yoruba religions
  • Oshun, a river orisha
  • Olokun, an ocean orisha

Vietnamese mythology[edit]

  • Lạc Long Quân, legendary ancestor of Vietnamese people.
  • Cá Ông (Vietnamese name for blue whales, also dolphins and whale sharks in some cases), king of the sea and patron of fishermen.

Viking lore[edit]

  • Raudkembingur, a demonic whale with red hair

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 謝婧, 下園知弥, 宮崎克則 (2015). "明清時代の中国における鯨資源の利用" (pdf). 西南学院大 学博物館研究紀要 第3号. Seinan Gakuin University: 9–14. Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ 村上健司編著 (2005). 日本妖怪大事典. Kwai books. 角川書店. p. 182. ISBN 978-4-04-883926-6. 
  4. ^ 大藤時彦他 (1955). 民俗学研究所編, ed. 綜合日本民俗語彙. 第2巻. 柳田國男 監修. 平凡社. p. 763. 
  5. ^