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The Desert Gods

This is a non-exhaustive list of the gods worshipped by Jaran and Ghesi’s tribe. These gods once came from southern Egypt once-upon-a-myth-ago, and have spent millions of years in the Western Desert and Libya, where they claim to belong to the oldest tribes in the region.

These gods were Egyptian a long time ago, but those names are painful reminders of where they came from, and so they gave themselves new names. An eternity in the desert has shaped them in diverse and interesting ways, and the Children of Masrai have brought forth the gods they really needed to survive in the desert.

This is by no means a complete list. There are plenty of other gods I haven’t encountered yet. But these are the ones I have for now. This may expand as time goes on, and I meet more of these gods for myself.

Avatars of the gods made with dollmakers on dolldivine.com, and are … approximations of how the gods look. The most striking features about Their human appearances is the dark skin and the white stardust They are covered with. Many also bear similar tattoo marks to the ones the tribe members bear. Also, Masrai really ought to be holding a red shafted spear, but I cbf photoshopping, so.


 

Masrai
Pronunciation: MAS-rai
Symbols: Spear, knives, the Eye, the throne, fire, desert winds, desert storms, lightning
Animals: lion, lioness, big cats
Jurisdictions: Kingship, War, Warriors, Just Rule, Women, Automony, Sovereignty, Hunting, Deserts, Stellar Navigation, Justice, Protection

Chief deity. She gives authority to the tribal chiefs, and has overall authority over the pantheon in terms of protecting the tribes. She can overrule the other gods, if she so desires, and primarily deals with war, protection, hunting, justice, and stellar navigation.

As she protects the tribe, so she protects the houses. Every house has a shrine to Masrai, as well as to the household gods and ancestors. She is usually represented as a lion, male or female, or as any other big cat that stalks the plains. Her twin sister is Inyi.

 

Seteni
Pronunciation: set-en-NI
Symbols: weapons, hunting gear, the desert itself, caves, firestorms, sandstorms
Animals: jackals, Seteni’s black hounds, desert canines
Jurisdictions: Wild Places, Deserts, Storms, Margins, Desert Life, Hunting Success, Sustenance, Chaos, Wildness, Destruction, Death, Life, Boundaries

God of wild places and the deserts, Seteni is responsible for the animals and plants that live in the arid, wild places. He is prayed to before a hunt to ask him to spare a life to keep them alive. Seteni gives what Seteni gives. Seteni is a god of margins and boundaries, and is considered quite dangerous if left to wander his lands alone.

He is usually represented by a jackal or as one of his hounds. His hounds are strange beasts who live in the shadows, and they have long pointed ears and rounded snouts, with black coats and bright yellow eyes. Their tails are forked, and it is said to be very unlucky to see one. It is said to be an omen of death.

He is the twin brother of Jirisha.

 

Jirisha
Pronunciation: ji-RISH-ah
Symbols: Bow and arrows, meteors and asteroids,
Animals: cheeetah, lion, jackal
Jurisdictions: Hunting Success, Archery, War, Omens, Protection, Destruction

Jirisha is a hunting god, and an archer, who takes pride of place in the hunting parties. His arrows can be seen as meteors in the sky, and can bring good hunting as well as destruction. He is a temperamental god who is not easy to please. He is often represented as a cheetah or lion, as well as a jackal.

Inyi
Pronunciation: in-YI
Symbols: stars, cauldron of bones
Animals: hyena, black cats, nocturnal animals
Jurisdictions: Night, Sleep, Dreaming, Trance, Oracles, Fate, Poisons, Healing, Witchcraft, Magick, Star Clocks, Shapeshifting, Spirit Work, Protection

She is the goddess of the night, and as such, she rules the realms of sleep and dreaming, and altered states of consciousness. She is petitioned to bring upon trance, and has knowledge of the plants that can be used to bring on a trance. She is also known as the poisoner, and her arts are dangerous to master. To survive long enough to use their skills within the community is considered a sign of her blessings. She is also a goddess of oracles and fate, and she is invoked any time oracles are needed. Her animal is the hyena, though she can appear as any nocturnal animal if she so wishes.

 

Asha’astar
Pronunciation: ash-AH-A-star.
Symbols: Twin stars, twin bones, twin skulls
Animals: hawks
Jurisdictions: Ancestors, The Realm of the Dead, Protection, Death

Twin gods of death and the ancestors. Represented by two hawks, these gods rule the realm of the dead. They preside over the fate of the deceased, and their servants escort the newly departed into their realm. They choose the bravest warriors to serve in their armies and command their spirits to protect the tribe. Upawupa is Their son.

 

Djeba
Pronunciation: JEH-bah
Symbols: dawn, dusk, writing tools, eyes, scrolls
Animals: baboon
Jurisdictions: Wisdom, Creation, Justice, Truth, Fate, Knowledge, Writing, Speech, Ritual Magick, Protection, Time

The wisest of the gods, this baboon god is said to have existed before the creation of the world. He can be found at dawn and dusk, keeping an eye over Ereya’s journey through the day and night. His wise counsel is often sought, and he is able to discern the fates of people. Whether he reveals the fate he sees is another question entirely. He is also said to have taught the gods the art of ritual, and through them, taught the first rituals to the people. He claims to have created every language that exists, as well as every alphabet that exists. All speech and writing comes from Him, and this is why He is the wisest of the gods. The best ritualists and priests are His children.

 

Netiyé
Pronunciation: net-i-YEH
Symbols: Spear, knifes, bow and arrows, eyes, all other weapons, the forge, fire, creation, black
Animals: hunting birds, hunting animals: birds of prey, dogs, lions – always with black colouring
Jurisdictions: Hunting, Metalwork, Weaponry, The Slaughter of Beasts, Fire, Cooking, Wilderness, Tracking

Netiyé, the black hunting god, is the queen of the wilderness and hunting, usually shown as one of the hunting animals the tribe uses. She forges the weapons and her keen eye ensures the kill is quick and painless. Her eyes are sharp and her senses are profound. Nothing escapes her notice. She is the bridge between Seteni and Jirisha. All the weapons are blessed by her fire before a hunt to ensure a quick, clean kill.

 

Upawupa
Pronunciation: oo-pow-oo-PAH
Symbols: herald’s staff, boats, white, stars
Animals: white jackal
Jurisdictions: Psychopomp, Ancestors, Guardian, Protection, Spirit Work, The Realm Of The Dead

This jackal god is a psychopomp and guardian, the son of Asha’astar. He leads the dead souls to the underworld, and guards and protects them along the way. No one reaches the halls of Asha’astar without him. He is often invoked with Inyi when performing spirit work or communications with the ancestors. He also guards the Temple of Bones, where the ancestors lie; two white she-jackals guard the space from intruders.

 

Sebekha
Pronunciation: se-bek-KAH
Symbols: milk, rivers, green plants, water, springs, waterways
Animals: hippopotamus, crocodile, fish, water animals
Jurisdictions: Water, Creation, Fertility of the Land, Protection, Purifications, Death, Life, Transitions, Guardian.

Sebekha is a god of two faces. As a hippopotamus, She is the fierce lord of the rivers and waterways. Fish spawn at Her command, and fresh water springs emerge in places where the sweat drips from Her body. She is a protective god who protects those who ask for it; however, She can also be fiercely aggressive towards anything that gets in Her way.

As a crocodile, He is the lord of the waters, a god of purification and protection; the tears He shed at the loss of His children to a hippopotamus create the life-giving waters that all must bathe in before entering the temples. From death comes life. He stands as the final guard into the temple proper, where His milk offers healing and purification to all who drink of it.

It is not unusual for Sebekha to be portrayed as a hippo with a crocodile on its back, or as an androgynous human figure. Sebekha can also be portrayed as separate hippo and crocodile statues, as they are in the purification chamber that leads to the temple. The hippo stands first, and the crocodile, with pendulous milk-bearing breasts, stands second.

Ehtehru
Pronunciation: eh-teh-ROO
Symbols: red, ropes, tattooes, pregnant figures, children, fire, cow horns as drinking vessels, desert flowers
Animals: cows and bulls, bovines
Jurisdictions: Joy, Bondmates, Initiations, Adulthood, Relationships, Love, Ancestors, Feasting, Festivals, Pleasure, Victory, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Sex, Good Fortune, Fertility

Ehtehru is a bovine goddess associated with joy, pleasure, and feasting. All animal offerings are first given to her before they are served at a feast. She is also prayed to for matters of love, sex, pregnancy, and good fortune, as well as relationships. Every bondmate is blessed in her name, and only she can sever the bonds if the partners wish to be separated.

 

Erahereu
Pronunciation: era-heh-REH-oo
Symbols: knives, messenger birds, eyes, feathers, swirling winds, wings
Animals: messenger birds, falcons, birds of prey, hunting birds
Jurisdictions: Communication, Hunting, Messengers, Commerce and Trade, Relationships, Oaths, Contacts, Justice, Vengeance, Desert Winds

Falcon goddess of hunting and hunting birds, and the daughter of Ereya. All hunting birds are sacred to Her, and are under Her protection. She sends them as guardians. She also rules the winds, the air, and messengers. She sees the world for Ereya, She is His Eye. Communication between tribes is under Her rule, and any oaths or vows must be sworn in Her name. Because of this, She is also a goddess of vengeance and justice. Oathbreakers are at the mercy of Her hunting birds.

 

Ereya
Pronunciation: eh-REY-ah
Symbols: the sun, eyes, scales of justice, mirrors
Animals: falcon
Jurisdictions: Beginnings and Endings, The Sun, Life, Judgement, Truth, Authority, Justice

God of beginnings and endings, represented as a falcon and by the sun. He sees all, and is a god of judgement, setting the rules the gods will live by, and enforcing them as needed. He is also petitioned for help in human disputes. He will always see the truth, and if you ask for his help, and have done something bad or have not been completely honest, he will know, and you will suffer for it. As the sun, he travels nightly through the underworld before travelling across the skies during the day.

 

Ebes’abasté
Pronunciation: eh-BES-ah-BAS-teh
Symbols: the house, four wings, four stars, four bones
Animals: falcon, cow, lioness, jackal
Jurisdictions: Household Protection, Boundaries, Guardians, Childbirth, Hunting Bounty, Ancestors, Houses, Clarity of Vision, Prosperity, Hearthfire

This deity has four faces, with four bodies, each depicting a different animal. One is the falcon, known for its sharp vision. Another is a cow, fierce and strong, and able to protect mother and child in childbirth. The third is the lioness, who brings in prey. The last animal is the jackal, who patrols the boundaries of the house, and the village, to protect it from harm. Every house has an image of at least one of these faces somewhere, and most have all four in a small household shrine, where they pray to the gods, and give regular offerings to them, and to their ancestors.

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