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Who Are the Goddesses and Gods of War?

Lady Saoirse
By Lady Saoirse
June 17, 2024
Who Are the Goddesses and Gods of War?
Who Are the Goddesses and Gods of War?

Find out about gods and goddesses of war and why people worship them. Learn what war is and what the deities of war do for their worshippers.

If you ask most warriors today, they will tell you war is not beautiful, glorious, or something we should want. War happens, though, and it can create the worst situations on earth. People might not die, but their lives will be changed forever, and that isn’t always a good thing. In times of war, it’s good to know a goddess or god is watching over you, protecting you, and leading you to victory. Join Mysticsense as we learn about nine powerful gods and goddesses of war. Find out exactly what war is, and why we worship war deities instead of just deities who prevent war and bring only peace.

What is War?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary online says war is “ A state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations.” It translates as fear, violence, death, and poverty for the people trapped between the two warring sides. The reason war usually happens is because of an inability to come to an agreement about something between governments. This is often over territory or wealth. Differences in belief, seeking revenge, trying to further the glory of your nation, and fighting for revolution or to form a separate government from the existing one are all major reasons for war.

Not all wars are fought over things that seem rational. The Trojan war was said to be waged over a woman leaving her husband and the American Civil war was fought by those who sought to preserve slavery, for example. The results of war are devastating. Up to 1/3 of the entire population of the world was killed because of World War 2. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki led to the end of that war, but as many as 205,000 people or more died as a result of that, and much of the land was incinerated. The effects of the radiation from the bomb was felt for many years.

People believe war is inevitable. Not because war is always necessary, but because humanity seems to have always been at war. The first signs of war found are from the Neolithic age. It is believed by researchers that small groups of people would fight, possibly over territory or resources. A massacre in Kenya from about 10,000 years ago is one of the earliest of its kind, and at least 27 people, some of whom were bound and mutilated, then killed. Agriculture increased the population of settlements, and it is believed more people resulted in more conflict. Early conflicts were smaller, but as societies grew into larger nations, wars were between larger armies. Sargon the Great is said to have created the world’s first organized military force in 2,340 BCE, and today the largest military force in the world is in China with over 2 million active military personnel.

Do We Need War?

That depends on who you ask. National Geographic writes “ It has been argued that a nation will go to war if the benefits of war are deemed to outweigh the disadvantages, and if there is a sense that there is not another mutually agreeable solution. “ Some people say war is necessary to attain peace, and others say war is crucial to rescue innocent people who are being harmed. Some say war is used as a tool to get dictators to relinquish control of innocent people, and others say war is necessary to restore true government rulership to power. Some people say war causes so much horror there is no excuse, but other people say that war prevents worse things from happening. Read more from National Geographic’s article here: War (nationalgeographic.org)

Why Worship Deities of War?

Why Worship Deities of War?

Worship of a goddess or god of war might seem cruel to some people. This assumes the only reason to worship such a being is to attain the strength to subjugate innocent people, but prayers of the faithful call for something quite different. They ask for a home they can call their own without being victimized the way the Hebrews felt victimized by the Egyptians. They ask for protection from those who would harm their nation as devotees of Horus have done in ancient prayers. They ask to be taken with their god to serve them in the afterlife as some devotees of the god Odin have for generations.

War gods and goddesses are not just deities of victory in the battlefield, but deities of strength, power, wealth, protection, and of the afterlife. Some of them represent the pride of nations and others represent the heroic deeds of ancestors, heroes, kings, and queens. In some ways, war deities embody the history of the people who worship them, and some war gods like Odin, are believed to have once lived as real people and done great things. It seems most people all around the world have had a deity who they pray to in times of war. Read about nine of them below. Forst, read about Oya, a Yoruba goddess here: Oya, Goddess of Transformation

Anat

Anat is a Canaanite goddess who was popularly worshiped by Semitic people in Ancient Egypt. She may have originated as an Amorite goddess, and was venerated as a goddess of love, fertility, the hunt, and war. She wasn’t just worshiped in Egypt and by Amorites. Evidence of worship by Babylonians, Palestine, and along the Turkish border shows she was a goddess and was venerated by a lot of people. She was fiercely protective to the god Baal, who may have been her brother or her lover. She asked the high god El to grant him permission to build a temple for his worship and when he is killed by Mot, she kills Mot for the transgression. She has been depicted with various weapons, and is also a goddess of the hunt, a protector of the animals, not unlike the goddess Diana. Read about spirit animals here: A Guide To Spirit Animals

Yahweh

Yahweh, also called YHVH, and Jehovah, is the god who formed a covenant with the Israelites. Modern scholars believe he may be an aspect of the Canaanite father of the gods, El, and Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all revolve around worship of aspects of him. Originally, he was worshiped alongside other gods, but then his followers became monotheistic, and in modern times, his followers say he is the only god. During different periods of time, Israelites were subjugated to other nations, and their religious practices were either limited or forbidden, and worship of their god, even in secret, became of utmost importance. In some scripture passages, their god is called upon to give them victory like in Psalm 143:12- “And in your loving kindness, cut off my enemies, and destroy all those who afflict my soul, for I am your servant.” In their scriptures, credit is given to Yahweh for toppling the walls of Jericho, giving his people the ability to capture the city and secure victory, and he is credited with sending waves of water to drown Egyptians who sought to capture his people.

Ares

Ares is the Greek god of bravery and war. The Romans have an aspect of him named Mars. He is a god of power in battle, and sacrifices were made to him to ask for strength before fighting began. Unlike his sister Diana, another deity or war who was consulted for organized warfare and strategy, Ares embodies unfettered aggression and battle hunger in the fight. It was believed he drove war out of a territory, and after he did this for his people, a statue of him was bound with chains to keep war out. Read about the Zodiac Sign Aries here: Aries Traits | Star Sign in The Spotlight

Horus

Horus

A falcon headed god, Horus was the first national god of Egypt, and the god of kingship, protection, the sun, and the sky. He is specifically a protector of the pharaoh. His birth was miraculous, as he was conceived by his parents following his father’s death and resurrection. He was seen as the sky itself and the sun was his right eye and the moon his left eye. Horus is tasked by his mother Isis with protecting the people of Egypt from his brother Set and choosing a ruler. In nearly a century of battles, many things happened between Sat and Horus, one of which is Set tearing out Horus’ eye. The Eye of Horus became a protective symbol, and it is used to make protective amulets to wear and it adorned things like coffins and boats in past times. The amulets were used for protection during illness and used in healing rituals and during childbirth.

Sekhmet

Another Egyptian deity, Sekhmet, is a lion headed goddess of medicine, plagues, and the wrath of the god Ra. The god Ra was angry with some humans who went against him and sent Sekhmet to punish them. She was so angry, once she punished them, she did not stop. Her anger was unquenchable, and the gods were afraid she would destroy all of humanity with her bloodlust. So, they dyed some beer red and poured it out. She guzzled so much of this beer, mistaking it for blood, that she became drunk, and calm. She quit killing and returned to Ra. She is a manifestation of the sun, and her breath was the heat of the desert. She sent plagues to enemies and was asked for healing. She was so well loved, a different statue of her was given ritual each day of the year, and the pharaoh Amenhotep III loved her so much, there were 700 statues of her at his temple. Read about the lion and other spirit animals here: What is My Totem Spirit Animal? | Totem Spirit Animal Guide

Freyja

Freyja is the Norse goddess of love, sex, beauty, clairvoyance, and she is a deity of war. Together with Odin, she takes the souls of fallen warriors home. Although Odin is the father of the gods of that pantheon, it is Freyja who gets first pick of the souls who will go to her home, and Odin is welcome to take the rest with him. Freyja’s role is not only to comfort the souls of the dead , but to help the gods in whatever struggles they have gotten themselves into. She thus acts as a deity of conflict resolution. For example, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir was stolen once and the giant who stole it said he would give it back if Freyja married him. She refused but helped disguise Thor and Loki as herself and a handmaiden so they could go to the home of the giant, defeat him, and get the hammer back.

Indra

The Hindu king of heavenly beings, he is a god of the sky, storms, war, and order. His weapon is the thunderbolt and over 1,000 hymns in the Rigveda speak of him. He killed the creature Vritra, a serpent who withheld rain, and in the process allowed prosperity for humanity. He brings storms and the rainbow, which makes him a savior of the world. He is considered a god who embodies all other gods. He led his people in cattle raids against other people, thus increasing their wealth. Worship of him slacked off in modern times, but he is still credited with saving humanity by declaring war on those who would harm the people. Read about weather lore here: Weather Magic and Superstitions

The Morrigan

A Celtic trio of goddesses, the Morrigan is very powerful. Eriu, Banba, and Fodla are the three sisters of the Morrigan, although some say they are the same goddess. Other sources say the goddesses are named Badb, Macha, and Anand. In classic Celtic literature such as Cath Maige Tuired, she calls upon sorcerers to use their magic to destroy the enemies of her people before battle so they may win. Then, she steps onto the battlefield, chants a poem, and the enemies are immediately driven into the sea. She then speaks another poem, in honor of their victory, then tells about the end of the world. She is a war goddess not intent on waging war as much as she is on protecting her people in times when there is war.

Inanna

Also known as Ishtar, she is called The Queen of Heaven and has been worshiped throughout Mesopotamia. She is a goddess of love, beauty, war, and fertility. She is entrusted with something called the “mes” , which is a set of decrees set forth by the god Enki and entrusted with helping keep an orderly civilization for humanity. She exacts divine justice and whips up strife amongst those who are untrue to her, creating discord that leads to battles. She is a goddess of pleasure and sex, but not a goddess of marriage, and she may or may not have had children. She can be consulted about matters of keeping order and what to do if there needs to be consequences for insubordination. Read about sex and the Zodiac Signs: Sex and the Signs

War is horrible but sometimes inevitable. People believe that a divine being cares deeply for them and will protect them from enemies and deliver them from harm. Some people pray that a goddess or god will deliver their enemies to them so they may be victorious and while some people believe that one deity oversees all things people can pray for, others have their own goddess or god of war. May your deity of war keep you safe from all harm, may you meet all your goals, and live in peace all the days of your life. So Be It.

During conflicts, prayer can help, but sometimes, you need to talk to a person for guidance. Our psychics are available 24/7 to help, so get a reading started now: Online Psychic Readings | Mysticsense Sign up for our Horoscopes to find out what the future holds: Daily Horoscope | Free Horoscopes | Mysticsense

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