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Deities

A List of 5 Deities Associated with Birds [With Stories]

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Written by: Tina Caro

Birds existed on Earth long before Man, and since the dawn of time, they have sparked fascination. Since birds are able to fly, they have often been used as a symbol of spirituality, of the soul, of the sky, and as mediators between heaven and earth. In many cultures, seeing a bird is a sign of good luck, depending on the type.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Birds hold symbolic and spiritual significance in many cultures and mythologies around the world. Here are some deities and gods associated with birds:

  1. Horus (Egyptian Mythology): Horus is an ancient Egyptian god represented as a falcon or a man with a falcon’s head. He symbolizes the sky, kingship, and protection.
  2. Ra (Egyptian Mythology): Ra, the sun god in Egyptian mythology, is often depicted as a falcon or as a man with the head of a hawk. He represents the sun’s life-giving and illuminating qualities.
  3. Garuda (Hindu Mythology): Garuda is a legendary bird and mount of Lord Vishnu in Hinduism. He is a symbol of strength, freedom, and protection from evil.
  4. Phoenix (Various Mythologies): The phoenix is a mythical bird that is reborn from its own ashes. It symbolizes renewal, immortality, and resurrection in various mythologies, including Greek, Egyptian, and Chinese.
  5. Roc (Arabian Mythology): The Roc is a giant mythical bird in Arabian folklore. It is often associated with enormous size and strength, carrying elephants and other large creatures.
  6. Amun (Egyptian Mythology): Amun, a prominent god in Egyptian mythology, is sometimes depicted as a ram-headed deity. The ram represents fertility and power.
  7. Thoth (Egyptian Mythology): Thoth is associated with the ibis, a wading bird. He is the god of wisdom, writing, and knowledge, often depicted with the head of an ibis or as a baboon.
  8. Nandin (Hindu Mythology): Nandin is the sacred bull and vehicle of Lord Shiva in Hinduism. The bull symbolizes strength, virility, and stability.
  9. Simurgh (Persian Mythology): The Simurgh is a benevolent mythical bird in Persian folklore. It symbolizes wisdom, compassion, and the nurturing of humanity.
  10. Yatagarasu (Japanese Mythology): Yatagarasu is a three-legged crow in Japanese mythology, often considered a symbol of guidance and divine intervention.

These deities and gods associated with birds highlight the importance of these creatures in cultural and spiritual contexts, representing a wide range of qualities such as protection, wisdom, strength, and renewal.

5 Powerful Deities That are Associated with Birds

Huitzilopochtli

Huitzilopochtli, the Principal Aztec God.

He was the sun god who protected the tribe and pushed them to war to procure human victims to sacrifice. The Aztecs were convinced that this god had assisted them in their migration from Aztlan to Mexico.

Since then he became the kingdom’s protector, and in the consecration of his main temple, in the year 1486, 70,000 prisoners of war were sacrificed to him. Every day he must fight with the powers of the night headed by the moon so that they do not destroy the sun and all humanity.

The birth of Huitzilopochtli offers curious analogies with Jesus Christ: he too is conceived without carnal contact; the divine messenger is this instance was a bird (which dropped a feather in Coatlicue’s womb); and, finally, even the child Huitzilopochtli must escape the persecution of a mythical Herod.

Nekhbet

Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (centre) with the goddesses Wadjet and Nekhbet, relief in the temple of Horus, Idfu, Egypt.

He owes its name to the city of Nekhet (El-Kab) in Upper Egypt, the main seat of its cult. In the daily divine ritual, the Pharaoh brought to the statue of the god a white cloth, symbolizing Nekhbet, and a red one, symbolic of the goddess Uadjet.

These two deities are called Nebti, “The Two Ladies”, and are part of the official protocol of the sovereign.

Another appellation of theirs in the magical-funerary texts is Merti. In this case, they are assimilated to the two snakes that the initiate must balance, similar to the snakes of the hermetic caduceus and of the Far Eastern doctrines.

Nekhbet is depicted as feminine in appearance with the crown of Upper Egypt, or alternatively as a vulture, sometimes protecting the Pharaoh.

DeityBird AssociationMythological Stories
HorusFalconHorus, the Egyptian god, takes the form of a falcon and represents kingship and protection
FreyjaFalcons, Hawks, and OwlsFreyja, the Norse goddess, is accompanied by falcons and rides a chariot pulled by cats. She is associated with love, beauty, and magic.
GarudaEagleGaruda, a bird-like creature in Hindu mythology, is the mount of Lord Vishnu and symbolizes power and protection.
MorriganRavens and CrowsThe Morrigan, an Irish goddess, is associated with ravens and crows and is connected to battle, prophecy, and sovereignty.
QuetzalcoatlQuetzal BirdQuetzalcoatl, an Aztec deity, takes the form of a quetzal bird and is associated with wisdom, creation, and the wind.
Table 1: Deities and their Bird Associations

Athena

Athena holding a helmet and a spear, with an owl. Attic red-figure lekythos.

She descended from the Bird Goddess of Ancient Europe and her function was to regenerate life. With the advent of the Indo-Europeans, she acquired military characteristics and since she was a goddess of parthenogenetic nature, she became the protagonist of a bizarre myth: for the Theogony, in fact, she jumped out of the head of Zeus, armed with the shield, the crested helmet, and a long spear.

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However, she retained the power to bestow gifts, so much so that for the myth Athena invented the flute, trumpet, ceramics, metallurgy, spinning, weaving, and many other activities of civil society. Homer, in the Odyssey, stated that the Goddess was capable of transforming herself into a vulture or owl, thus reconnecting to the European myth of the Bird-Goddess.

Thoth

Author: Champollion, Jean-François, 1790-1832.

Thoth was one of the most ancient Egyptian gods, linked in fact to the myths of the creation of the world and the birth of Osiris. He was the symbol of the moon and god of wisdom, mathematics, geometry, magic, the measurement of time, and medicine.

He was also the protector of the scribes as the inventor of writing, scribe of the gods, and their messenger. Thoth was represented in various forms, but the best known are that of the baboon and the Ibis, a bird with a very long beak.

As previously mentioned, Thot was the god of the moon: the link with the Ibis stems from the fact that it was believed that it took as many days to hatch the eggs as the moon takes to complete each cycle of its phases.

The representations of Thoth with a human body and the head of Ibis were often associated with the material used for writing, including feathers, tablets, and palm branches.

 

Morrigan

“The Great Queen / Phantom Queen”

Morrigan is one of the main Irish deities, whose name means Great Queen. As a shapeshifting deity, more frequently associated with birds like the crow and the raven, she is the goddess of the battlefields par excellence: not only, in fact, does she call warriors to fight, but she claims their life for the afterlife and is sometimes depicted eating their remains.

Morrigan loves to cloak himself in black feathers and never implies death without regeneration: these two phases, if they flow quickly one after the other, represent nothing but the transition and the change inherent in all things.

It is no coincidence that the raven as a magical animal carries within itself both positive and negative characteristics, but it remains the guiding animal of those who get lost in the night and in the darkness, and in that subtle limbo that separates the living from the dead.

These are the main deities associated with birds. If you feel a special, deep connection with this animal or with one of these deities, you can work to deepen and strengthen this connection to absorb their energy and let them guide you towards a more spiritually aware lifestyle.

About
Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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