The Dark Gods

Can’t get enough of things Big and Scary (and possibly very well-dressed)? Here’s a few existing dark deities who you might want to learn more about, while you are waiting for a certain Hellgod to make His next appearance on Markiplier’s channel.

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KRONOS – The Greek Titan, better known to the Romans as Saturn, was the incestuous product of the sky-god Uranos raping his own mother, Gaia. Kronos wasn’t much of a nice guy either as, when he wasn’t presiding over the relentless march of time, he had a nasty habit of devouring his own children whole. (Allegedly to avoid a prophecy of his own son usurping his power as the current King of the Gods.)

However, his wife Rhea managed to sneak away their youngest (the future god-king Zeus), before Kronos could repeat his abominable performance. When Zeus grew up, he sliced open Kronos’ belly, freeing his siblings from their fleshy prison… and starting a fight between Kronos’ children (the new Olympian Gods) and their aunts and uncles (the Titans, who were the older gods). This family feud turned into an epic battle, which later became known as the Titanomachy.

Side note: Rhea entrusted the infant Zeus into the care of a mountain nymph named….

wait for it…

Melissa.

The nymph Melissa hid the baby away and raised him, feeding him milk (from her goat Almathea) and honey (that she got by climbing trees to raid the beehives). Additionally, as his adoptive mother, she taught Zeus how to fight.

Kronos later found out about the part Melissa had played and turned her into an earthworm (though, given her fighting skills and moxie, she must’ve at least given him a black eye). After the Titanomachy had ended, Zeus found her and, while he couldn’t turn her back into her original form, he turned her into a beautiful queen bee… and decreed that the honey from her hive would be used to make ambrosia and nectar, the food and drink that grants immortality.

And yes, this myth is the true origin of my name. My mom just thought it was a very pretty name for a girl at the time she had me, without knowing how it came about. When I told her about my discovery of this myth years later, she was very happily surprised. Most baby books/websites simply indicate that the name means “honey bee,” without any deeper interpretation behind it.

So Melissa was originally the name of someone who was beautiful, creative, brave, clever and strong. Things I very much strive to be. 🙂

TARTARUS – In Grecian mythology, he is the primordial deity of the deep, dark pit below the underworld. He was one of three initial entities from which all the other gods sprung; the other two being Chaos and Gaia. He fathered the monster Typhon by Gaia. The domain of Tartarus is said to be “as far beneath Hades as Heaven is above the earth.” The domain of Tartarus is surrounded by the fiery river Phlegethon, is triple-walled to prevent escape, is guarded by a fifty-headed hydra, and every gate is watched over by the Furies. Within the walls is the pit where the Titans and their allies are trapped for eternity. In fact, this place and its owner is the point of origin for the Christian concepts of Hell and the Devil.

HADES – Best known as the Greek god of the Underworld (he is), and for his alleged kidnapping of his bride Persephone (he didn’t, at least not in the original myth). What most modern folk don’t realize is that his Roman name Pluto came from his honorific title “Plouton” meaning “the rich one”. Because all those rare metals and jewels humanity’s economy runs on? They come from his domain, of course. In fact, Hades courted Persephone, the goddess of spring, by showering her with jewels cut into flower shapes.

Hades is definitely the serious type… and that includes his approach to his marriage with Persephone. Whereas his younger brothers Zeus and Poseidon routinely cheat on their wives, Hades is known to only have ever been interested in his beautiful queen. Together, and despite only being able to see each other for one-half of the year, they have the happiest and most stable marriage in all of the Greek pantheon. And seriously, a guy who works hard, has a little something squirreled away for a rainy day, and completely adores his spouse? Who wouldn’t want that?

APOPHIS – This Egyptian demon of darkness (whose name was Hellenized from the original Apep) fought the creator god Ra in the underworld every night, in order to stop Ra from completing his journey… and likewise stop the sun from rising each morning. So far, he hasn’t had any luck.

SET – The Egyptian god of chaos, storms and the Sahara desert. He murdered his own brother Osiris in cold blood, after months of planning out the perfect crime. When the widowed Isis recovered her dead husband’s body, Set flew into a rage and dismembered the corpse, scattering the pieces all over the ancient world. Isis, determined lass that she was, managed to put her husband’s body back together in spite of Set’s attempts to prevent a proper burial… and Osiris’ soul from moving on to the Egyptian afterlife.

Set later killed his nephew Horus the Younger, though Isis was able to revive her newborn son with her powerful magic. Horus, once he grew up, avenged his father’s death in an unusual way: he castrated his evil uncle. Set got better though and, much chastened by his failures, settled into a quiet marriage with Isis’ sister Nephthys. Though he’s still prone to throwing the occasional tantrum, in the form of a sandstorm.

AHRIMAN – One half of the two-god religion of Zoroastrianism. Ahriman is the arch-enemy of Ahura Mazda (a god of all things good, happy, fun and shiny… basically Ahura Mazda is Markiplier: The Mythical Edition). Ahriman, however, being Ahura Mazda’s polar opposite is therefore all things dark, demonic and downright nasty. He spawned the rampaging dragon Azhi Dahaka, and Ahriman makes it his life’s work to sow as much chaos and evil as possible until the world basically destroys itself in despair. And the Doomsday Clock is only minutes from midnight, so it looks like Ahriman’s plans are going on without a hitch so far.

That’s the bad news. The good news? Ahura Mazda the Wise has assembled an army of angelic beings, with his sons Atar and Mithras acting as his generals. Together, the Family of Ultimate Good have been tirelessly battling Ahriman’s dark forces for thousands of years in order to win the fate of the world. And Ahura Mazda’s set aside a nice spot for those who are loyal to him, where there will be fun times, balloons and cake. Plus, Ahura Mazda’s scheduled his youngest son Saoshyant to come into the world born of a virgin, and Saoshyant will turn the tide of the endless war at the last minute… like a locked-and-loaded Jesus. So yeah, just picture a divinely-powered Mark and Dark going head to head on the eve of the Apocalypse, and you get the basic idea.

AH-PUCH – The Mayan god of death and suffering, and brought to you (oddly enough) by the number 10. His name may sound like a sneeze, but Ah-Puch’s nothing to sniff at. He rules the deepest, darkest and most torturous pit of the Mayan Underworld. An owl shriek is his harbinger of doom, and trying to scream in pain as convincingly as possible is the only way to put him off attacking you. If your acting is up to snuff, he’ll assume one of his lesser demons are already dealing with you and walk away with a grim smile.

TEZCATLIPOCA – The Aztec god of night, death and temptation, he’s a goodlooking fellow who successfully lured the fertility goddess Xochiquetzal into his bed, despite her already being happily wed to Centeotl, the god of maize. Tez is a rather nasty piece of work who has an ongoing rivalry with his brother Quetzalcoatl, the feather-serpent god of creation. Tezcatlipoca’s symbols are the mirror and the jaguar… The latter being most dangerous creature the Aztecs knew about, other than that most dangerous creature known as Man.

BARON SAMEDI – Lord of Death in the Voodoo tradition, and the man in charge of the Loa (spirit entities who aid Voodoo practitioners). He watches over cemeteries (helping to put off the inevitable zombie apocalypse), and is the REAL King of the Crossroads (where shady deals are usually made). His preferred manner of dress is a black tailcoat, with a matching tophat, dark eyeglasses and a walking cane… like the most stylish undertaker you’ve ever seen. He also smokes cigars and enjoys a few drinks on a Saturday night. His missus is Maman Brigitte, the Haitian goddess of love and humour, who provides the spirits of the dead with an escort to the Baron’s domain.

JUNTAS – The Finnish god of evil and Lord of Demons, he revels in causing misfortune, disease, wickedness, suffering and general confusion. He’s a cruel being in charge of a massive army, consisting of untold numbers of demons and a variety of malevolent spirits. Ironically, Juntas is also the God of Love, which makes zero sense… until you recall how thin the line is between love and hate.

CHERNOBOG – The Slavic god of night, whose name means “black god”. Very little information on him has survived the centuries… including whether or not he’s good or evil. The only sources that currently exist are Christian ones, which claim he’s a demonic figure, but historians believe this to be questionable at best. Hopefully, one day this forgotten god will be remembered again, and we’ll know more about him.

SHIVA – One of the three principal deities of Hinduism (the other two being Brahma and Vishnu). Shiva is the god of destruction and transformation, and is depicted as both gentle and ferocious. He is also the consort of Kali, the goddess of war and death. Shiva’s commonly depicted in his more fearsome aspect as slaying demons, and in his more benevolent aspect as the Lord of the Cosmic Dance. He’s the guy that, when the universe itself faces its last call in the liquor bar of existence, will sweep up the floor and turn off the lights. He’s a bit scary, but he’s not really a bad guy, and he has millions of devotees all over the world.

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Mostly, I write stuff. And, like the Egyptians and the Internet, I put cat pictures on my walls. Also, I can read your Tarot.