Weather god

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Jupiter, king of gods and weather god in ancient Rome
Mariamman, the Hindu goddess of rain.

A weather god, also frequently known as a storm god, is a deity in mythology associated with weather phenomena such as thunder, lightning, rain, wind, storms and hurricanes. Should they only be in charge of one feature of a storm, they will be called a (insert weather attribute here) god/goddess, such as a rain god or a lightning/thunder god. This singular attribute might then be emphasized more than the generic, all-encompassing term "storm god", though with thunder/lightning gods, the two terms seem interchangeable. They feature commonly in polytheistic religions.

In the Indo-European, Near Eastern, and Mesopotamian traditions, the storm/thunder god is frequently made into the head of the pantheon after eclipsing the sky god, the original king of the gods, in popularity. This is particularly detectable in Indo-European since the sky/chief god has a name that means "Sky Father", Dyeus Phter[1]. If the chief god has a name unrelated to the "Dyeus" etymon, like Perkwunos[2], he's an example of the thunder god replacing the sky god as the head of the pantheon. The sky god, meanwhile, has more than likely faded from the memory of the tribe and has functionally ceased to exist. In an interesting twist, the Sky Father and thunder god appear to have been merged into a single deity in the Greek and Roman pantheons, thus while Jupiter and Zeus continue *Dyeus, they wield the thunder/lightning bolt and are associated with oak trees and eagles.

Storm gods are most often conceived of as wielding thunder and/or lightning (some lightning gods' names actually mean "thunder"[3][4][5], but since you cannot have thunder without lightning, they presumably wielded both). The ancients didn't seem to differentiate between the two, which is presumably why both the words "lightning bolt" and "thunderbolt" exist despite being synonyms. Storm gods are typically male (especially the lightning/thunder ones), powerful and irascible (the irascibility is probably a trait because of the command over thunder/lightning, thus the god's power over this aspect of the natural world influences his personality). Rain and wind deities tend to not be portrayed as wrathful as thunder/lightning deities.

Africa[edit]

Americas[edit]

Asia and Oceania[edit]

Europe[edit]

  • Aeolus (son of Hippotes), keeper of the winds in the Odyssey
  • Anemoi, collective name for the gods of the winds in Greek mythology, their number varies from 4 to more
  • Audra, Lithuanian god of storms
  • Bangpūtys, Lithuanian god of storms and the sea
  • Freyr, Norse god of rain and sunshine
  • Jupiter, the Roman thunder/lightning and sky god and king of the gods
  • Perkūnas, Baltic god of thunder, rain, mountains, and oak trees. Servant of the creator god Dievas.
  • Perun, Slavic god of thunder and lightning and king of the gods
  • Tempestas, Roman goddess of storms or sudden weather. Commonly referred to in the plural, Tempestates.
  • Thor, Norse god of thunder/lightning, oak trees, protection, strength, and hallowing. Also Thunor and Donar, the Anglo-Saxon and Continental Germanic versions, respectively, of him. All descend from Common Germanic *Thunraz, the reflex of the PIE thunder god for this language branch of the Indo-Europeans.[6]
  • Taranis, Celtic god of thunder, often depicted with a wheel as well as a thunderbolt[7]
  • Ukko, Finnish thunder and harvest god and king of the gods
  • Zeus, Greek thunder/lightning and sky god and king of the gods

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Indo-European *Deiwos and Related Words" by Grace Sturtevant Hopkins, Language Dissertations number XII, December 1932 (supplement to Language, journal of the Linguistic Society of America).
  2. ^ Simek (2007:332)
  3. ^ Scheffer, Johannes (1674). The History of Lapland. Oxford
  4. ^ Eesti Keele Instituut (Eesti Teaduste Akadeemia); Eesti Rahvaluule Arhiiv (1 January 2004). Folklore: electronic journal of folklore. The Institute. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  5. ^ Orel (2003:429)
  6. ^ Orel (2003:429)
  7. ^ Paul-Marie Duval. 2002. Les Dieux de la Gaule. Paris, Éditions Payot.