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Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses
21 August 2020 (08:24)
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses
24 October 2020 (09:09)
15 January 2021 (07:52)
A really great book to get the basics about an entity and includes things that would be important for those who want to worship certain entities.
10 June 2021 (07:33)
I need dragon demons
23 June 2021 (23:32)
this is a fun book any witch or wizard ought to give it a go. If you want a formulary for conjurations (summoning spirits) this isnt for you. It does have alot of basic information you should know about spiritual beings from various cultures tho.
05 July 2021 (03:25)
im unable to see pictures.
05 July 2021 (09:37)
baby witch doing research
25 August 2021 (06:18)
For Leor Warner, Ascended Master (20 July 1941–13 September 2007) Bibliography Books Abercromby, John A. The Pre- and Proto-Historic Finn. London: David Nutt, 1898. Addiss, Stephen. Japanese Ghosts and Demons. New York: George Braziller, 1985. Afolabi, Kayode. Osun Osogbo. North Charleston, SC: Book-Surge, 2006. Al-Ashqar, Dr. Umar Sulaiman. The World of the Jinn and Devils. Boulder, CO: Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations, 1998. Ann, Martha, and Dorothy Myers Imel. Goddesses in World Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Armstrong, Edward A. The Life and Lore of the Bird. New York: Crown Publishers, 1975. —— The Folklore of Birds. Boston: Houghton Miffl in Company, 1959. Artamonov, M. L. The Splendor of Scythian Art. London: Thames & Hudson, 1969. Ashkenazi, Michael. Handbook of Japanese Mythology. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2003. Bäcker, Jörg. Mandschurische Göttinnen Und Iranische Teufel. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 1997. Bahti, Mark, with Eugene Baatsoslanii Joe. A Guide to Navajo Sandpaintings. Tucson, AZ: Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2000. Ball, Katherine M. Animal Motifs in Asian Art. New York: Dover Publications, 2004. Barber, Paul. Vampires, Burial and Death. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988. Barnes, Sandra T. Africa’s Ogun. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997. Barrett, Francis. The Magus. London: Lackington, Alley and Company, 1801. Baumgartner, Anne S. A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Gods. New York: University Books, 1984. Bay, Edna G. Wives of the Leopard. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998. Bayle, Pierre. An Historical and Critical Dictionary. London: Hunt and Clarke, 1826. Bays, Jan. Chozen Jizo Bodhisatt va. Boston: Shambhala, 2003. Becking, Bob; Dijkstra, Meindert; Korpel, Marjo C.A. and Karel J. H. Vriezen. Only One God? London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001. Begg, Ean. The Cult of the Black Virgin. London: Arkana, 1996. Bell, Madison Smartt. Toussaint Louverture. New York: Pantheon Books, 200; 7. Bellegarde-Smith, Patrick. Fragments of Bone. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2005. Benwell, Gwen, and Arthur Waugh. Sea Enchantress. New York: Citadel Press, 1965. Berrin, Kathleen. Art of the Huichol Indians. New York: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco/ Harry N. Abrams, 1978. Berry, Jason. The Spirit of Black Hawk. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1995. Besmer, Fremont E. Horses, Musicians and Gods. Zaria, Nigeria: Ahmadu Bello University Press, 1983. Beutelspacher, Carlos R. Las Mariposas Entre Los Antiguos Mexicanos. Mexico City: Fondo De Cultura Econonica, 1989. Beyer, Stephan. The Cult of Tara. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978. Bezanilla, Clara. Pocket Dictionary: Aztec and Maya Gods and Goddesses. London: British Museum Press, 2006. Birch, Cyril. Anthology of Chinese Literature: Volume II. New York: Grove Press, 1972. Birnbaum, Lucia Chiavola. Black Madonnas. Lincoln, NE: ToExcel, 2000. 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She may also possess an underworld realm. See also: Ana; Tünder Ilona Each Uisge Also known as: Aughisky (Irish) The Each Uisge is considered the most dangerous of Scotland’s water spirits. Each Uisge literally means “Water Horse” in Gaelic, indicating its most famous manifestation. The Each Uisge is a shape-shifter; it is not limited to one form. It may appear in the guise of a sea bird or a handsome young man with seaweed in his hair. The usual manifestation, however, is as a strikingly beautiful, mysterious, prancing horse or pony. The Each Uisge appears to be a friendly horse, someone’s pet who’s just wandered off. It may approach people and beckon them to mount. It’s a trap. Mount the Each Uisge and it will quickly and abruptly plunge deep into the sea. Once drowned, the victim is devoured by the Each Uisge. The Each Uisge lives in the sea and in Scotland’s deep lochs. It does not necessarily target people; it’s happy to consume sheep or cattle, too, although obviously it must use different ruses. It is smart and insatiably hungry. Attempts made to poison an Each Uisge who lived in Loch na Beiste, Inverness, failed. The best way to survive the Each Uisge is caution and avoidance. Should one wish to beckon them closer, the scent of roasted meat on a deserted shore in a region they are known to frequent allegedly serves as a lure. See also: Kelpie Ebisu Also known as: Yebisu; Ebisu-sama Origin: Japan Classification: Kami Ebisu, kami of happiness, luck, and abundant harvests from land and sea, is one of the Shichi Fukujin, Seven Spirits of Good Fortune. Ebisu is guardian of the morning sun. He is often partnered with Daikoku, who may be his father. An alternative theory suggests that Daikoku and Ebisu are respectively master and apprentice. Two smiling spirits, they enjoy each other’s company and will happily share altar space. Merchants and shopkeepers often maintain altars honoring Daikoku and Ebisu. Ebisu brings the fish. Daikoku brings the rice. Together theydeliver complete and abundant bounty. This may be understood literally or as a metaphor for financial success. Yet another myth identifies Ebisu with Hiruko, the leech baby or watery child; very first child of the primordial couple, Izanami and Izanagi, who was born either lacking limbs or lacking bones as punishment for spiritual transgressions during his parents’ wedding ceremony. When he was almost three and still unable to stand, he was placed in a boat of reeds and cast out to sea. He survived and, with time, healed. The only obvious sign of his previous disability is his limp. (Yet another version of the story suggests that Ebisu is the man who rescued and raised baby Hiruko.) Ebisu may be invoked to safeguard the health of young children. Place his altar in the kitchen. Restaurants are frequently named in Ebisu’s honor, especially restaurants specializing in fugu, the potentially toxic puffer fish and high-priced Japanese delicacy. Only specially trained chefs are legally permitted to serve fugu: Ebisu is their patron spirit and the guardian of their restaurants. Should you ever be unfortunate enough to suffer fugu poisoning, he is the spirit to invoke for help. (No known medical antidote exists.) Ebisu is a bit deaf. In Osaka, devotees strike the walls of his shrine with mallets to make sure they have his attention—just something to keep in mind when attempting to communicate with him. Favored people: Fishermen, those who serve in the fishing industry, children Iconography: Ebisu is a smiling, bearded man wearing a tall black hat. He holds a fishing rod in one hand and a big fish in the other, usually a red sea bream. Attributes: Fishing rod, fan Sacred creatures: Sea bream (called tai in Japanese and considered the lucky red fish); sea bass; jellyfish; fugu; octopus Planet: Sun Sacred day: The twentieth day of the tenth month of the traditional Japanese calendar, known as the month without kami. All the other kami gathered for their annual convention at the Grand Shrine in Izumo. For whatever reason, possibly because he didn’t hear the summons, Ebisu failed to go and so is available when all the others are not. He is also venerated in Osaka on 9–10 January and 20 October. Offerings: Serve him Yebisu beer, which features a picture of him on the label; pickled daikon radish; incense. See also: Daikoku; Izanagi; Izanami; Kami; Shichi Fukujin; Susano’o Echidna Origin: Greece Echidna, the snake woman, is the daughter of Gaia the Earth. (An alternative myth suggests that she’s the daughter of Keto and Phorkys.) Typhon is her brother, lover, and father of her children: Cerberus; Orthrus, the Chimera; Hydra; the Nemean lion; Ladon; and the sphinx (or at least the Greek sphinx). Echidna was born in a cave and dwells deep in a cave. She is a great goddess, mother of a pantheon of spirits, an alternative to the Olympians. Modern children’s mythology books often dismiss Echidna as a cave monster. Her children are vilified as monsters; Heracles was deputized to kill many on behalf of Zeus. Hesiod described her as ageless and immortal. She was worshipped as an earthquake goddess in Phrygia, now in modern Turkey. Echidna is a guardian of Earth’s treasures. She is a repository of ancient wisdom. She canbe a protective guardian. Earthquakes are the result of Echidna, the great snake, uncoiling and moving about. She is invoked to prevent earthquakes or to provide safety and minimize the damage should one occur. Manifestation: Echidna is a beautiful woman from the waist up; below the waist, she is a snake. She may have wings and/or a double-tail. She possesses a snake’s venom. Altar: Echidna is a very private and primordial spirit. An altar in a quiet cave or grotto is best. Altars within homes should be placed in quiet corners. She may be venerated alongside Typhon, her children, Keto, and/or Gaia. Decorate altars with serpentine imagery or images of her children. See also: Car; Gaia; Heracles; Hydra; Keto; Kybele; Ladon; Olympian Spirits; Pborkys; Sphinx; Typhon; Zeus E’epa E’epa is a Hawaiian term indicating a person born with something marking their close affiliation with spirits. This something, whatever it is, will manifest early; if not at birth, then in infancy or early childhood. The mark of the E’epa may be a gift: some sort of special ability, particularly psychic talents. It may be a physical manifestation, such as a baby born with a caul or teeth. It may also be what conventional society might now consider a physical disability. The E’epa maintains relationships with spirits during life, serving as a mediator for other people. After death, the E’epa will transform into a spirit. (Special funeral rites may be required.) E’epas transform into all kinds of spirits, but many have a propensity for becoming tricksters. E’epas generally become family or ancestral spirits, protecting the family into which they were born. Because their future spiritual destiny is recognized, bonds and relationships between the E’epa and future devotees can be developed and negotiated while the E’epa is still in human form. See also: Aumakua; Kihawahine Egeria Giver of Life Origin: Italian Classification: Nymph Egeria is the wise Nymph who resides with Diana in the Forest of Nemi. She is Diana’s servant and assistant midwife and may be venerated independently or together with Diana. Plutarch reported that Egeria’s spring gushed from a giant oak. Her waters allegedly conferred wisdom, prophetic vision and fertility. She may still be invoked for these gifts. Egeria is a spirit of wisdom and healing. She was the lover and advisor to Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome (after Romulus), and is credited with helping him establish official Roman state religion. Manifestations: A beautiful woman or a mermaid Element: Water Sacred sites: Egeria is venerated in wells, springs, and grottoes within groves. Offerings: Libations of spring water or milk; terra-cotta ex-votos similar to modern milagros have been found in her spring at Nemi; milagros formed of any material may be offered to her now. See also: Diana; Mermaid; Nymph; and the Glossary entry for Milagro Eight Dharma Protectors Defenders of the Law Also known as: The Dharmapalas; Eight Terrible Ones Origin: Tibet The Dharmapalas or Dharma Protectors are guardians of truth and defenders of Buddhism. Although fierce, wrathful deities, they are simultaneously Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and so beings of sublime compassion and wisdom. They wage merciless war against enemies of Buddhism and evil spirits who prey on their devotees. There are hundreds of Dharmapalas, but some are more widely venerated than others. The eight most popular and significant are known as the Eight Dharma Protectors: • Begtse • Hayagriva • Kubera • Mahakala • Palden Lhamo • Tsangpa Drakpo • Yama • Yamantaka Seven are male; Palden Lhamo is the lone female. They are known as the terrible ones because of their ferocious appearance, but they are terrible in righteousness, not evil. The Eight Dharma Protectors are among the most popular subjects of Tibetan art. Images of them are contained in most Tibetan Buddhist temples. They are perhaps the most significant subjects of devotion for ordinary Tibetans. In Tibetan folk religion, the Dharmapalas are considered somewhat akin to guardian angels. Over generations, many families share devotion to specific Dharma Protectors similar to the way generations of a family may venerate saints. Many clans and families claim affiliation with specific Dharmapalas. (Not necessarily one of the eight; there are hundreds.) See also: Begtse; Bodhisattva; Bon Spirits; Buddha; Hayagriva; Kubera; Palden Lhamo; Yama; Yamantaka Eight Immortals Also known as: Pa Hsien; Ba Xian Origin: China The Eight Immortals are Taoist spirits who, though each also venerated separately, are venerated together as a group to reinforce each other and provide even greater inspiration, wisdom, healing, and protection, similar in manner to the Seven African Powers or the Shichi Fukujin (Seven Spirits of Good Fortune). The Eight Immortals are spiritual guardians, advisors, and tutors. Allegedly historic people who achieved immortality through mastery of Taoist alchemy, some are even documented. • They offer instruction to those deemed worthy and ready to receive it. • They offer help and protection to the needy and desperate. There are at least one thousand Immortals, but the ones classified among the eight are the most popular and widely venerated. Symbolic of good fortune, their images are ubiquitous. Although individual members may vary, the standard group includes: • Cao Guo-Jiu • Chang Kuo-Lao • Chung-li Ch’uan • Han Hsiang-Tzu • Ho Hsien-Ko • Lan Ts’ai Ho • Li Tieh-Kuai • Lu Tong-Pin Iconography: They are often depicted together, crossing the sea in a boat. In addition to images of the individual eight, they are sometimes represented by their attributes: sword, fan, flower basket, lotus, flute, gourd, castanets, and fish drum. Sacred site: In addition to their individual shrines, they are venerated together in Taiwan’s Temple of the Eight Immortals. See also: Bao Gu; Shichi Fukujin; and individual entries for the Eight Immortals Eileithyia Also known as: Eleutheria; Ilithyia; Genetyllis Origin: Crete Eileithyia is the ancient goddess of childbirth, midwifery, and birthing pains. Eileithyia is believed to be a Minoan goddess assimilated into the Greek pantheon as Hera’s daughter. She works very closely with Hera and is Hera’s weapon in her struggle to prevent Zeus’ other wives from giving birth and threatening the sovereignty and statues of her own children. Without Eileithyia’s cooperation, labor cannot go well and perhaps cannot occur at all. Eileithyia was venerated by pregnant women and those in labor to provide safety success and to lessen pain. Although comparatively little attention is paid to her in mythology books, she was actually subject of great popular veneration; she had many shrines and was considered an extremely significant deity. Favored people: Midwives Iconography: A woman bearing a torch or with hands upraised, as if beckoning. Some times there is one Eileithyia, but sometimes she is portrayed as a pair of spirits. Attribute: Torch Spirit allies: Eileithyia may be venerated alongside Hera and/or Artemis. Sacred site: The Cave of Eileithyia near Knossos, Crete, is allegedly her birthplace and was an important pilgrimage site; she is associated with caves, in general. Eileithyia was a widely venerated goddess with shrines throughout Greece. Offerings: Ex-votos (milagros) in the shape of breasts; incense; water See also: Artemis; Hera; Leto; Semele; Zeus Ekajata Origin: Tibet Ekajata, originally the Bon sky goddess, is now more popularly known as Blue Tara. She is described as wrathful, lustful, and radiant. Ekajata appears in company with Khadiravani and sometimes in the entourage of Green Tara. Attributes: Skull bowl, curved knife Colors: Sky blue, dark olive green See also: Bon Spirits; Dakini; Khadiravani; Tara, Blue Ekeko Also known as: Iqiqu (Aymara) Origin: Aymara (Andes) Ekeko, spirit of joy, abundance, and good luck, was born in the Andes but has now traveled all over the world. Ekeko, Lord of Abundance, is originally from Bolivia. His traditional image serves as a talisman to attract luck, wealth, and fertility. Since the 1970s, Ekeko has been veneratedworldwide. Place Ekeko’s image in the bedroom to preside over sexual activity. That is, unless you don’t want children. Iconography: Ekeko is depicted as a jovial rotund man dressed in traditional Aymara clothing. He is covered with tiny charms representing whatever he is expected to bring: moneybags; food; grain; animals; babies; household appliances and utensils; you name it. Festival: The Alaska, originally celebrated near the Summer Solstice, is now held from the last week of January to the first week of February. Devotees petition Ekeko by building miniature houses in which they place tiny animals, tools, furniture, clothing, and babies, representing needs and desires for the coming year. Ekeko is expected to provide the genuine article prior to the next fair. Vendors sell a variety of tiny images at the fair. There’s a place for a cigarette to be inserted on many Ekeko statues (although not all). This cigarette is not only an offering but a communication device and oracle: Light the cigarette and insert it into the statue; then watch the smoke. If it resembles an actual exhalation, that’s Ekeko’s signal that your petition has been accepted and your wish will be fulfilled. Offerings: A bit of whatever you are hoping to receive from him. This can be the actual article (small cash bills if you’re hoping for a larger payoff) or miniature representations: tiny doll babies if you seek fertility, for instance. Ekeko statues are now sometimes designed to hold a cigarette, similar to statues of Maximon. Other traditional offerings include Coca-cola or coca leaves. See also: Maximon Elf Origin: Teutonic Elves are mysterious Northern spirits, sometimes equated with Fairies. Like Fairies, Elves have now been cleaned up and made over to suit sanitized children’s fiction, often portrayed as miniature, whimsical busy bees: Santa’s little helpers. Originally Elves were human-sized, sometimes taller, and they were renowned archers, artisans, and healers; author J. R. R. Tolkien’s portrayal of the sacred but dangerous Elven folk in The Lord of the Rings trilogy of novels hews closer to mythic tradition. Elves live in a realm that parallels humans. Norse myth divides the Elves into Light Elves and Dark Elves, otherwise known as Dwarves. Scholars disagree as to whether the Elves and the Vanir spirits are the same, but they are closely affiliated. The Vanir spirit Freyr is the Elven King. Elves are beautiful, volatile spirits of wild nature. They were not trivial spirits; once upon a time, bulls were sacrificed to them. Their significance is recalled in human names like Alvin, Elvis, Elva, and Elvira. Elves feature prominently in Anglo-Saxon spells and charms, many intended to protect from the Elves themselves. A hostile relationship between Elves and people is often now presumed, but before Christianity, spiritual alliances existed between Elves and people. Once this alliance ended, embittered Elves, previously helpful, may have turned dangerous, or, conversely, people were taught to fear Elves specifically so that they would not continue Pagan devotions. In Scandinavia, however, relationships between people and Elves were generally positive. Like Fairies, Djinn, and Bori spirits, Elves can be benevolent or hostile; some can even cause illness. Elves strike at people with the poison dartsknown as Elf-shot, which cause illness and malaise. They may cause paralysis or stroke, too. Elves sometimes target cattle and livestock, as well as people. Various spells, charms, and amulets serve to protect against them. Elves are sources of wisdom, fertility, and wealth (when they want to be). They love music and dancing. Manifestation: Seductively, alluringly beautiful Realm: Alfheim (“Elf Home”) Plants: Elder trees, rosemary Sacred time: Offerings are traditionally left out for Elves on Christmas Eve. Although this now appears to derive from the myth of Santa’s workshop, it may actually be related to Old Norse traditions. Yuletide was a traditional time for visitations from other realms. See also: Dwarves; Freyr; Hulda; Vanir Ellegba See: Eshu Elegbara Elvis The King Classification: Unofficial saint (some sincerely consider him an angel—no joke) No need for last names. Go virtually anywhere in the world and mention the name Elvis and people will recognize the amazingly popular American singer Elvis Presley (8 January 1935–16 August 1977). Even those unfamiliar with his music or his biography recognize his name and/or image. He is an icon. He may be a folk saint, too. In the years since his death, some fans have evolved into devotees. Home shrines, some small, some massive, are dedicated to the man known as the King. Visits to his grave have taken on the aura of pilgrimage. Offerings are left for him. Elvis himself was a man with deep spiritual interests. (The book he was reading when he died, A Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus, is about the Shroud of Turin.) The concept of a beloved, deceased entertainer evolving into a folk saint may be unusual in the United States but not elsewhere: for example, in Argentina, singers Carlos Gardel and Gilda are potent and popular unofficial saints. Elvis seems well on his way: • In her essay, “Saint Elvis,” contained in the 1999 book Elvis Culture, author Erika Doss quotes an Elvis devotee who calls Elvis a mediator or intercessor between her and God. • Frequent post-death sightings imply that he has somehow cheated, escaped, defeated, or transcended death. • In life, Elvis was perceived as caring about people, including strangers. Stories circulated about extravagant gifts (Cadillacs, charitable donations). A generous, caring, empathic nature is often considered a prerequisite of sainthood. • In the truest sign of a saint, Elvis has begun to be credited as a healer. Healing has occurred in response to his image (icon) as well as his voice. Elvis is frequently compared to an angel and depicted as one. He was cherub of the month in a 1995 issue of Angel Times Magazine. Although some consider these comparisons to be humorous or poignant, others intend them quite literally. As with the phenomenon of his musical career, the spiritual phenomenon of Elvis is multinational and international: he is a frequent subject of Mexican Day of the Dead altars and art. Images are often simply labeled El Rey (the King), no name needed at all. Elvis is frequentlydepicted as a winged angel with pompadour and cigarette. An apparition of Elvis appears in Jim Jarmusch’s 1990 film Mystery Train. Iconography: Elvis was photographed endlessly; virtually all phases of his life are documented. Dates: Elvis is feted at his birthday and memorialized on his death day. There is an annual Elvis Week every August in Memphis. Sacred sites: Pilgrimage sites include: • Graceland in general, but especially the Meditation Gardens, where Elvis, his parents, and paternal grandmother are buried • Sun Studios in Memphis • Sites associated with his childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi Offerings: Flowers and teddy bears are particularly popular; if you’d like to cook for him, several cookbooks feature Elvis’ favorite recipes. Endymion He Who Finds Himself Within Origin: Greece Endymion was a shepherd boy so beautiful that the moon fell in love with him. Selene, Goddess of the Moon, placed Endymion under a spell so that he’ll sleep eternally in a mountain cave; never aging, never dying. Selene spends her days with him in the cave; all they do is make love. Endymion experiences his life as a dream, but their love is real as is the sex: Selene constantly conceives and bears their children. Endymion is more than just Selene’s lover: he was venerated as a deity on Mount Latmos in Caria (now part of modern Turkey.) Endymion sleeps eternally but simultaneously generates loads of children: he is as much a source of fertility as Selene and may be invoked independently or together with her. He may be more than just a shepherd boy, too. Alternative myths hint that he was really royalty or that Zeus put him to sleep for daring to put the moves on Hera. Selene discovered him already sleeping in the cave and fell in love. See also: Hera; Selene; Zeus Endymion and Selene’s children include the fifty Menae, the goddesses who rule the fifty lunar months of the Olympiad (a basic unit of time in ancient Greece.) Their human children are the Lorialets, also known as moon children or lunatics, although that word was not initially imbued with the modern meaning of insanity. Instead these moon-touched children are prone to fantasies and psychic vision. Lorialets are mortals. If you or someone you know is a Lorialet, then Selene and Endymion are your spiritual guardians. Enki Lord of the Earth; Lord of Waters Also known as: Ea; Oannes Origin: Sumeria; Mesopotamia Enki is the Sumerian lord of water, abundance, and wisdom. Depending on myth, he may be the creator of the universe or at least its most recentedition. He taught humanity the arts of civilization and established the rule of morality. Enki is a trickster spirit and the owner of magic. He can heal any illness and resurrect the dead. According to Sumerian myth, Enki is the deity responsible for saving humanity from the deluge that blanketed Earth (similar to Noah’s flood.) He is also ultimately responsible for rescuing and reviving Inanna-Ishtar when she is trapped in the Realm of Death. Enki is sexually voracious. He rules semen and can bestow fertility to women as well as heal male infertility. He also bestows protection and prosperity. Favored people: Enki has vowed to help anyone who seeks his aid. Manifestations: He may be a merman, part human, part fish. Attribute: A pair of entwined snakes. Their image closely resembles the double-helix of a DNA strand. Creatures: Fish, snake Element: Water Plant: Reeds Planet: Mercury Offering: Beer See also: Ereshkigal; Inanna-Ishtar; Nanshe; Nidaba Enma Regent of Hell Also known as: Emma-O; Emma; Enmaten; Emmaten; Emma-sama; Enma-sama; Emma-Daio Enma, Japanese Buddhist Lord of Hell, a path of Yama, Lord of Death, is the most powerful of the Kings of Hell. He rules Jigoku, the hell realm of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism. After death, Enma decides whether a human soul has been sinful or virtuous and determines their next destination. During life, people are cautioned to behave ethically because Enma is always watching. Enma is served by Oni. His primary opponent is the Bodhisattva Jizo. Manifestation: Enma-sama is a large, imposing red-faced, black-bearded man. Flower: Spider lily (Lycoris spp.) See also: Amida Buddha; Datsueba; Jizo; Kings of Hell; Oni; Wanyudo; Yama Enma and his son, Koenma (“Little Enma”), run the Spirit World in the Japanese manga/anime series YuYu Hakusho. Enyo Warlike Origin: Greece Enyo is Ares’ sister, friend, lover, and companion. She accompanies him on the battlefield where she exults in battle. Enyo may or may not be the same as Ares’ sister, Eris. She is the spirit who destroys cities during war. Manifestation: She often, but not always, appears covered in blood. See also: Ares; Eris Eos Origin: Greece Classification: Titan Eos, Goddess of Dawn, is the sister of Helios and Selene. Every morning, at dawn, she opens the gates of the sky with her rosy fingers so that Helios can ride. She is the dawn: when dawn is visible, that means Eos is present. She is a golden goddess who wears robes dyed gold, orange, and crimson with saffron, Earth’s most expensive, luxurious spice. Native to Western Asia, saffron is believed to have been first cultivated in Greece. It produces beautiful dyes, long associated with spirituality: the robes of Buddhist monks are dyed with saffron. The color ranges from yellow to deep red. Saffron is also an aphrodisiac: Eos is a lusty goddess, a free spirit who takes lovers as she will. She is a spirit of fertility: she and Astraios are the parents of the winds, many stars, and the planet Venus. Eos is a warrior goddess: she emerges at dawn to drive off recalcitrant nocturnal demons. They flee at her presence. Her son, Memnon, an Ethiopian king, fought on the side of the Trojans during the Trojan War and was killed by Achilles. Eos’ tears moved Zeus, another of her lovers, to resurrect Memnon and grant him immortality. The image of Eos cradling the corpse of her naked bearded son was immensely popular and may have served as a model for the Christian Pietà. The poses are virtually identical. Eos is a goddess of wisdom and a defender against demons. Ask her to banish malevolent nocturnal spirits. She is an erotic goddess of fertility and may be petitioned for assistance with romance and conception. Manifestation: Eos is a radiantly beautiful woman. She may have wings. Iconography: Eos is portrayed flying across the sky of her own volition, powered by her wings, or driving a golden chariot pulled by winged horses. Plant: Saffron crocus Creature: Snake See also: Aurora; Helios; Selene; Thetis Epona Lady of the Stables Origin: Celtic Epona is a great and important goddess, guardian spirit of horses and their riders. Her name derives from Epos, a Celtic word indicating “horse.” She is never portrayed without one, but Epona is more than just a spirit who oversees horses. She is an extremely complex deity who was once widely venerated throughout Europe. Epona is a spirit of abundance and plenty, healing, and death. She is a goddess of peace and the matron of soldiers. Her shrines incorporated therapeutic healing springs. Her carved image appears several times within an ancient Pagan cemetery near what is now Metz, France. Epona may be a psychopomp. One cemetery carving depicts Epona riding her mare, followed by a man whom she may be leading to the Afterlife. The ancient Celts perceived horses as oracular animals, more closely attuned to the will and desires of spirits than human beings, even shamans and priests. Various rituals involving horses were intended to reveal the desires of the deities. Epona is likely to have been an oracular spirit. She may or may not be the same spirit as Rhiannon. As with virtually all Celtic goddesses, little documentation regarding Epona exists. Attempts are made to piece together her myth and history using archaeological evidence. She was popular throughout virtually the entire ancient Celtic world. Roman soldiers encountered her in Gaul and adored her, literally. Uniquely for a Celtic deity, Epona was brought to Rome, enshrined, and assigned her own official feast day, indicating her official recognition as part of the Roman state religion. Epona was especially popular during the first through the fourth centuries CE. She was venerated by a wide spectrum of Romano-Celtic society. Epona was beloved by Roman cavalry officers who adopted her as their own guardian goddess. The Roman legions carried veneration of Epona throughout the Roman Empire. Epona was venerated in Britain, Gaul, the Rhineland, North Africa, Rome, and as far away as Bulgaria. Her major Celtic shrine was in Burgundy, renowned as a center of horse breeding. Epona was not identified with any Roman goddesses but incorporated into the Roman pantheon in her own right. Epona is the matron of soldiers. She has dominion over horses, donkeys, and mules. Those who care for them may consider themselves under Epona’s dominion, too. Those who abuse them should probably avoid attracting Epona’s attention. Favored people: Horse breeders, horse traders, horse whisperers, horse doctors, equestrians, cavalry Iconography: Epona is never represented without a horse. A typical image portrays Epona riding side-saddle on a mare. A foal sleeps beneath its mother, suckles from its mother, or eats from a plate that Epona offers. Alternatively Epona is portrayed sitting between several horses that approach her in homage, or she sits between male and female ponies and feeds them. She is occasionally portrayed as a mermaid on horseback. Attributes: A key, cornucopia, basket of fruit, the cloth once traditionally used to start horse races Spirit allies: The Mothers are Epona’s sometime companions. Sacred animals: Horses, but also dogs and ravens Sacred day: 18 December, her Roman feast Offerings: Cakes, fruit, and something for her horses See also: Despoena; Macha; Mermaid; Mothers; Rhiannon; and the Glossary entry for Identification Ereshkigal Great Lady Beneath the Earth Also known as: Allat; Allatu (The Goddess); Irkalla Origin: Sumeria Ereshkigal is the Goddess of the World Below, the Land of No Return. She rules the Mesopotamian realm of death. Ereshkigal is Inanna’s sister, rival, or alter ego. Descriptions of Ereshkigal and her realm are found in the Sumerian hymn, The Descent of Inanna (available in English translation). The descent that Inanna makes is to Irkalla, Ereshkigal’s realm of death. Ereshkigal is great and powerful, if forbidding. Queen of the Dead, she also possesses power over life: Ereshkigal has access to the Water of Life, capable of resurrecting the dead. Ereshkigal is a tempestuous, volatile, aggressive spirit. She commands and compels the dead. Her powers are invoked in necromantic spells from the magical papyri of Alexandria, Egypt. An Akkadian hymn recounts the union of Ereshkigal and Nergal. Nergal was delegatedto deliver food offerings to Ereshkigal; unexpectedly they fell passionately in love and she conceived. When Nergal returned to his home in the court of the spirits, Ereshkigal threatened the supreme authorities with a zombie army, unless Nergal was sent back to her. She vows to raise the dead so that they devour the living. Unless her “request” is granted, the dead will outnumber the living. No attempts were made to call her bluff. Nergal was allowed to return. Ereshkigal is sometimes called Allat, a title that means “goddess” or “feminine divine.” Some scholars speculate that she is the same spirit as the Arabian deity also named Allat, although from the modern perspective, their dominions seem very different. Allat may have been a title for many female deities. Much information has been lost regarding pre-Islamic Middle Eastern goddesses; however, for what it’s worth, contemporary Greeks compared Arabian Allat to Athena and Aphrodite, not Persephone. Manifestations: Ereshkigal may manifest as a woman but she may also appear with a lioness’ head on a woman’s body. Attribute: Her scepter is a snake. Consort: Nergal Spirit allies: Gestinana and Belit-Seri, Lady of the Desert, serve as Ereshkigal’s personal secretaries, writing down her decrees. Animals: Snakes, scorpions, lions Realm: The “Big Land” Irkalla, realm of no return (Irkalla names Ereshkigal and her realm in the same way that Hades is lord and realm) Offerings: Offerings made to the dead eventually find their way to Ereshkigal. See also: Allat; Gestinana; Hades; Inanna-Ishtar; Nergal; Tammuz Erichtonios Origin: Greece Erichtonios is Athena’s serpent son. Hephaestus is generally considered to be his father. Various myths explain the circumstances of Erichtonios’ conception: • Having married Athena, Hephaestus leads her to the bridal chamber to consummate their union. At the crucial moment, Athena vanishes. Hephaestus ejaculates on the ground from whence Erichtonios emerges. • Hephaestus, lusting for Athena, pursues her and tries to assault her, but she escapes, leaving him to ejaculate on the ground, from whence Erichtonios emerges. • Hephaestus rubs up against Athena and ejaculates on her leg. She wipes away the semen with some wool, from which Erichtonios emerges. • Hephaestus and Athena secretly marry and conceive Erichtonios the old-fashioned way. Athena gives birth to him secretly, but his serpentine appearance reveals her own secret, suppressed snake identity. It is not sufficient to abandon this baby; he must be hidden along with his mother’s true identity. Athena put Erichtonios in a round, covered basket or chest, which she gave to the three Aglaurides sisters to guard, forbidding them to look within. Of course, they peeked and then threw themselves from the Acropolis to their deaths. The festival of Chalkeia celebrated Athena and Hephaestus’ nuptials, complete with a bridal ritual. Nine months later, the Panathenaea enacted the Mysteries of Erichtonios, his birth. As a Mystery spirit, little clear information survives about him. See also: Aglaurides; Aglauros; Athena; Gaia; Hephaestus; Metis The famous statue of Athene Parthenos (“Athena the Virgin”) featured a serpent behind her shield, allegedly a portrait of Erichtonios. Erinle Elephant of the Earth Also known as: Inle; Eyinle Origin: Yoruba Classification: Orisha; Orixa Feast: 24 October Erinle is the beautiful orisha of wealth, fertility, and abundance. He is the spirit of having it both ways. He is the underwater king and a spirit of the bush. Erinle is a water spirit. The source of Nigeria’s River Erinle is near Oshogbo, location of Oshun’s major shrine. (After Oshun’s period of devastating poverty, she wed Erinle and was restored to a position of wealth.) Erinle is present where salt and sweet waters meet and merge. He is also a hunter who lives in the forest together with his close allies, Ogun, Ochossi, and Osain. He is a warrior and a healer. He is the divine physician. • Erinle is syncretized to the Archangel Raphael. Favored people: Although many of his devotees are heterosexual, Erinle is considered the special patron of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered. Children born with umbilical cords twined around their arm are believed to be under his dominion. Manifestation: A handsome, androgynous man lavishly dressed in luxurious fabrics and bedecked with coral and cowries Attributes: Cowries, emblematic of wealth; fishing rod; bow and arrows Colors: Coral, indigo, turquoise Metal: Gold Number: 7 Altar: Sctivate his altar with river pebbles. Offerings: Small metal fish charms; sparkly fish images; Swedish fish candy See also: Abatan; Boyuto; Logunedé; Ochossi; Ogun; Orisha; Osain; Oshun; Raphael Erinyes The Strong Ones; The Angry Ones; The Night Born Sisters; The Kindly Ones Also known as: The Furies; the Eumenides; Errinys Origin: Greece When Kronos castrated Uranus, drops of blood fell onto Gaia and she conceived the Erinyes, infernal spirits of justice, vengeance, and righteousness. There are three Erinyes: • Alecto: “Never Ending” • Megaera: “Envious Anger” • Tisiphone: “Face of Retaliation” The Erinyes are not interested in legal codes; they are spirits of primeval natural law and severelypunish those who flout these laws. They are scary spirits. Among the crimes they punish are homicides, perjury, crimes against deities, and murder against one’s own blood kin. When the Erinyes are not busy on Earth, they serve Hades and Persephone, supervising (and inflicting) punishment in Hades’ dungeons. They may also serve Ananke. They call Hades their home. Other versions of their ancestry suggest that the Erinyes are the daughters of Nyx or Eurynome. Disciples of Orpheus claimed that the Erinyes were the children of Hades and Persephone. The Erinyes may appear on their own volition in response to crime, but they may also be invoked to provide justice. Victims may call down the curse of the Erinyes against those who have harmed them. The Erinyes are particularly involved in family feuds, especially when one family member kills another. It may have been considered safer to allow the Erinyes to prosecute these crimes rather than extend blood feuds. The Erinyes are particularly defenders of motherhood and Mother Right, the matriarchal concept that emphasizes the sacredness of mothers (as opposed to the authority of fathers). They appear when mothers are insulted, abused, or murdered. They will defend the rights of other family members, too (fathers, eldest brothers), but Mom is their priority. They pursue those who flout blood kinship. Their most famous myth is the story of Orestes, son of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon. Clytemnestra murdered Agamemnon in revenge for his sacrificing their daughter, Iphigenia. Apollo ordered Orestes to avenge his father by killing his murderer, even if it was his mother. When Orestes fulfilled the command, the Erinyes attacked. This eventually led to a dispute between deities as to which was most crucial: avenging your father or not killing your mother. Apollo and Zeus led the former argument; the Erinyes insisted on the latter. The Erinyes would have been victorious in this dispute between the old primeval order and what mythologist Karl Kerenyi calls “the whole new theocracy founded by Father Zeus” until Athena cast the deciding vote for Zeus. Athena renamed the Erinyes, calling them the Eumenides, “the Kindly Ones.” This allegedly marks a transformation in their nature, although many believe it to be merely a euphemism, the equivalent of hopefully addressing a snarling dog as “good doggy.” The Erinyes star in “The Kindly Ones,” part of author Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman comic book series. The Erinyes are invoked when you seek justice and revenge. They afflict their victims with insanity and madness, their wrath placated only with correct ritual cleansing (hence the need for Medea to receive cleansing rites from Circe following the murder of her brother). They may also set acts of penance, which must be accomplished. Manifestations: The Erinyes bark: that’s the telltale sign of their approach. You’ll hear their barking before you see or smell them. The Erinyes are spirits out of a horror movie. They are not alluringly beautiful spirits. Their bodies and breath smell bad. They have venomous serpents for hair. Blood and some kind of venomous moisture exudes from their rheumy eyes. They may have wings like a bat or large bird. The Erinyes may wear black mourner’s robes or dress in the short skirt of a hunting maiden (like Artemis). They may appear dancing a circle-dance. Tisiphone is described as wearing a bloodstained sheet. She is the guardian of the gates of Tartarus. Iconography: Frequent subjects of artwork, generally they are portrayed as far more attractive than their descriptions. Attributes: Whips with brass-studded thongs; torches Animals: Dogs, snakes See also: Alastor; Ananke; Apollo; Athena; Circe; Eurynome; Gaia; Gorgons; Hades; Iphigenia Keres; Kronos; Medea; Nyx; Orpheus; Persephone; Zeus Eris Strife Also known as: Discordia Origin: Greece Eris, goddess of discord, chaos, and strife, is the sister of Ares and among the spirits who accompany him onto the battlefield. Her most famous appearance in mythology is a nonappearance: Eris was snubbed. She did not receive an invitation to Thetis’ wedding, a major social event for the Olympian pantheon. Her revenge was subtle: she tossed a beautiful golden apple inscribed simply “For the fairest” into the banquet room and watched chaos and discord ensue. Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena all vied for the apple. (Apparently no one considered that it might be for the bride.) Resulting strife led to the Judgment of Paris and ultimately the Trojan War. • Eris is the primary deity of the Discordian religion, also known as Erisian. • She makes frequent appearances on the animated television series The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Iconography: Eris is portrayed as a pretty woman with dark wings. Her feet may also be winged. Attribute: A golden apple: the Apple of Discord See also: Aphrodite; Ares; Athena; Hera; Thetis Erlik Khan Origin: Mongolia In a primordial era, prior to creation of our world, Erlik Khan was the spirit of Venus, the Morning Star. Each morning before dawn, he slaughters all the other stars. After Earth was created, Tengri, supreme creator, destroyed Erlik’s celestial territory. Erlik Khan requested even a tiny plot of land on Earth, but apparently no room could be found for him: he was given a subterranean realm instead. He is King of the Mongolian Underworld, a Hades-like figure. Under Buddhist influence, he was further demoted and classified as a demon. Erlik Khan is a proud, brooding spirit. He has spent centuries plotting his revenge. In the Mongol vision of the Apocalypse, at the end of time, Erlik Khan will emerge from his realm accompanied by an entourage of nine iron warriors riding nine iron horses. Everyone and everything in their path will be destroyed. People will beg for help from various deities but will receive no response, possibly because Erlik Khan’s posse got to them first. His two most powerful warriors will attack Buddha Shakyamuni. Earth will be consumed by flames emerging from his blood. Until then, Erlik Khan waits … A character named Erlik Khan is an arch-foe of Marvel comic hook hero Dr. Strange. Metal: Iron Planet: Venus See also: Buddha; Demon Eros Origin: Greek Eros is not just the little winged fat angel baby found on Valentine’s Day cards, the equivalent of Cupid. He is a profound, primeval force of love. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, in the beginning there was Chaos. From Chaos emerged Gaia (Earth), Nyx (Night), and Eros (Love and the erotic impulse). That’s one version of his origins, but there are many: • He may be the child of Nyx and the Wind, hatched from a silver egg, known as the firstborn of the gods. • He may be the son of Aphrodite and either Hephaestus or Ares. Eros is the spirit of beauty, youth, vitality, desire, sexuality, and pleasure. He is the erotic impulse without which life would cease. He has a double, a twin or alter ego, called Himeros “Desire.” In some versions, Aphrodite brought Eros to live on Earth as her companion and servant. Second-century Pagan Gnostics considered Eros the spirit closest to people. They envisioned him as an eternal child (hence all those greeting card images). Manifestation: A radiantly beautiful androgynous young man who may have wings Sacred site: He had a shrine in the ancient Greek city of Thespiae, near Mount Helicon. See also: Anteros; Aphrodite; Ares; Erotes; Gaia; Hephaestos; Nerites; Nyx Erotes Also known as: Amoretti; Putti Origin: Greek The Erotes are winged spirits of love, servants and messenger of Eros (who is sometimes classified among the Erotes). They accompany humans during life. After death, they serve as psychopomps, guiding souls to the next realm. The following spirits may be considered Erotes: • Eros: primeval spirit, eldest of the Erotes, Lord of Love • Anteros: spirit of requited love • Hedylogos: spirit of sweet talk, pillow talk, and the come-on line • Hermaphroditus: spirit of the perfect, complete union of female and male • Himeros: spirit of sexual desire • Hymenaios: spirit of the wedding • Pothos: the spirit of yearning See also: Anteros; Eros Eshu Elegbara Tree of Justice Also known as: Elegba; Elegua; Legba; Papa Legba; Atibon Legba Origin: West Africa Eshu Elegbara is the master of the crossroads. He is the lord of communications, guardian of gates. He is the owner of all roads, paths, and thresholds, literal and metaphoric. He owns the highway, the path to your door, and the Road to Success. Eshu Elegbara is venerated throughout West Africa. He is incorporated into different pantheons, and thus different myths are told of him; however, his essence remains the same. Because he is venerated by different cultures with different languages, different variations of his name exist: • Eshu • Elegba • Legba Eshu Elegbara journeyed to the Western Hemisphere with enslaved devotees, where he emerged as one of the most significant, widely venerated spirits of African-Diaspora religions. He is called Papa Legba in Haiti, Elegua in Cuba, and Exu in Brazil. He may or may not be the same spirit as Palo’s Lucero. Eshu opens and closes roads. He is invoked to remove obstacles from your path and to obstruct enemies and misfortune so they can’t reach you. He is an intense trickster but also a force for justice. Eshu is a lover of truth. Nothing can be hidden from him. Eshu Elegbara mediates between people and the other spirits. Traditionally when one wishes to communicate with other spirits, one first asks Legba to open the door. He is the first spirit invoked in African-Diaspora spiritual ceremonies. Legba opens the gate for the other spirits to follow. Papa Legba may be invoked when you stand at any crossroad and need direction. If you are literally lost and don’t know which way to turn, call his name and wait for a sign. Invoke him when spiritual communications are not going well. Invoke him by crossing bones at a crossroads or by leaving a small cairn of bones for him there. Theoretically there is nothing Papa Legba cannot do. He enables the lame to walk. He transforms bad luck into good and vice versa. Eshu Elegbara blesses devotees with the gift of manual dexterity, thus he is beloved by musicians as well as gamblers, dice players, and practitioners of three-card monte. Legends of bluesmen like Robert Johnson receiving extraordinary musical talents at the crossroads may derive from vestigial memories of Papa Legba. All one must do to receive these blessings is go to the crossroads and ask. There’s no selling of souls involved. At worst, Elegba will ignore you and you’re left where you started. Bring your instrument to be blessed (guitar, dice, whatever). Eshu Elegbara is something of a practical joker. He likes word games. Be careful how you phrase requests, and cultivate a sense of humor. He is an easily pleased spirit and not particularly avaricious: a glass of rum once a week and a cigar or some candy on special occasions keeps him content. He is among the most powerful and proactive of spirits: don’t ask for his help unless you’re ready for change. He is syncretized to the Holy Child of Atocha, the Anima Sola, Saint Anthony, and Saint Peter, another guardian of gates. Manifestations: He may have over 121 paths and manifestations. His original form in Africa was as a handsome, virile young man. This manifestation did not survive the Middle Passage. In the Western Hemisphere, Eshu Elegbara may manifest as a merry, tricky little boy or as an old limping man, weary from walking the world. He may dress in Masonic garb. Iconography: In Africa, he is sometimes venerated in the form of a phallus. His iconic image is a ritually prepared concrete head with cowrie shell eyes and ears. Statues of the Holy Child of Atocha are used to represent him. His image is usually kept near or behind the front door. Attributes: Key, cross, crutches, cane, shepherd’s crook, walking stick Colors: Red, black Number: 3 (two legs and a phallus) Animal: Mouse Planet: Sun Day: Monday Tree: Calabash Offerings: Rum, candy, cigarettes, candy cigarettes, toys; he likes his food spicy: lace with hot sauce and peppers. See also: Carrefour, Maitre; Exu; Legba; Lucero Europa Origin: Greece Europa may be among the daughters of Tethys and Oceanus. She evoked Zeus’ lust when he saw her picking flowers near the Phoenician seashore. He approached her in the form of a beautiful, fragrant tri-colored bull. Europa sat on his back and let him carry her out to sea. Zeus brought her to Crete, which became their love nest. His wedding gift to her was a gold necklace crafted by Hephaestus and a spear that never missed its target. Various magical creatures were sent to serve as her guardians, including a brass dog and Talos, the brazen robot. Beneath the myth may lurk a primordial moon goddess; possibly a Minoan sacred cow. Manifestation: A radiantly beautiful woman, possibly winged Attributes: Fish, flowers, vines laden with grapes Planet: Moon Constellation: Zeus allegedly placed Taurus in the sky to honor Europa. See also: Hephaestus; Oceanus; Tethys; Zeus Eurybia Origin: Greece Eurybia is the Spirit of the Mastery of the Sea. Her name means “wide force.” She is not the spirit of the sea itself but of the various forces that influence the sea, including winds and weather. The moon is still recognized as influencing the tides, but once upon a time different planets, stars, and constellations were understood as also affecting the sea. Eurybia has charge of all of these. Her parents may be Gaia and Pontus. Depending on the version of the myth, Eurybia is the mother or grandmother of many spirits, including Astraios, Astraea, Hekate, the Anemoi, Nike, Bia, and Selene. (See their individual entries for further details.) Consort: Krios, a Titan Eurynome Origin: Pelasgian In the beginning, according to the creation story of the Pelasgians, early inhabitants of Greece, Eurynome, the All-Goddess and primal mother, rose from Chaos. Dividing the sky from the waters, she began to dance on the waves. Out of the wind, Eurynome created a huge serpent and named him Ophion. They danced together, then Ophion coiled about her and she conceived. Eurynome transformed into a dove and brooded over the waters. She laid the universal egg and bade Ophion coil around it until it was time to hatch. Out of that egg emerged all of Creation, Earth’s planets, and all living creatures, all children of a goddess and a primordial snake. Eurynome was assimilated into the Greek pantheon as a Titan. She may be the mother of the Erinyes and Charites. Manifestation: Eurynome may manifest as a winged woman or as a mermaid. See also: Atargatis; Charites; Erinyes; Jabi; Nyx; Titan; and the Glossary entry for Pantheon Exotika Origin: Greece Greek spirits aren’t only ancient or Classical: the Exotika are a pantheon of modern Greek spirits. Exotika means “things outside” or “things beyond.” They are non-Christian spirits existing in Christian context. From a Christian perspective, spirits are either allied with God or the devil. The Exotika are spirits who are non- or pre-Christian, thus they are generally considered malevolent or, at least, outside the pale of safety. See also: Charos; Gello; Gorgon; Kallikantzari; Lamia of the Sea; Lamiae; Neraida; Zeus Extra-terrestrials Also known as: Aliens Why are spirits and deities called celestial beings? Because many come from the sky. Once upon a time, people told tales of supernaturally powerful beings arriving from the sky and called them gods. In a scientific world, very similar beings are now called “extra-terrestrials.” The stories are old, but the perpetrators have been reevaluated. Tales of human women forcibly impregnated to spawn offspring for invaders from the sky could as easily be told of Zeus as aliens. Stories of alien abduction and people eventually returned, but never the same, could be as easily told of Fairies as of aliens. The Raelian Movement suggests that extra-terrestrials created Earth. It denies the existence of a being called God; instead extra-terrestrials sparked spiritual traditions, which evolved into major religions. In the second season of the new Dr. Who television series, Madame du Pompadour addresses the time-traveling alien known as “the Doctor” as a “ lonely angel.” Each avatar of the Doctor has a title: the title given the tenth Doctor is “the lonely god.” In episode two of the fourth season, “The Fires of Pompeii,” a family that the Doctor has rescued from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius is shown worshipping the Doctor at a very authentic Roman household altar. The Doctor and Donna, his traveling companion, are venerated as this family’s protective household gods. On the other hand, spirits are also invoked to prevent alien abductions. Modern Mexican exvotos testify to help given by the Holy Mother and various saints in protecting devotees from aliens. See also: Fairy; Zeus; and the Glossary entry for Avatar The October 5, 2007, issue of The UK Times Online listed the Lord God as the number-one top ranking of the forty most memorable aliens. Exu Pronounced: Eh-shoo The West African trickster spirit Eshu Elegbara is Master of Roads. He determines whether someone’s path is clear or blocked with obstacles. Eshu determines how easy or challenging an individual’s life will be. Devotion to Eshu Elegbara was widespread; he is common to many West African pantheons. Because of this, Eshu Elegbara exists in virtually all African-Diaspora traditions although, as befitting a trickster, his name, appearance, and personalityis slightly different wherever he manifests. In Brazil, Eshu Elegbara evolved into Exu, a special, unique kind of spirit. He manifests differently in Brazil than elsewhere. The Exus are a category unto themselves: there are many Exus or at least many individual aspects or manifestations of one Exu. He serves as a messenger and medium. Each orixa has its own Exu serving as a private messenger. This definition of Exu is common to Afro-Brazilian traditions. Theoretically the female path of Exu is known as Exua; however, his usual consort and female alter ego is Pomba Gira. Perceptions of Exu depend upon spiritual convictions of the perceiver. Those with more purely African or Pagan orientations perceive Exu as dangerous and volatile but not inherently evil. He is a miracle healer and provides opportunities and good fortune. Those of a more conservative Christian orientation, however, perceive Exu as evil or even as the devil, which may not stop them from asking for his help but will color the way they behave toward Exu—and perhaps vice versa. Exu is closely identified with the Christian devil; the two are sometimes perceived as synonymous. Like the Christian devil, Exu signals his appearance with the scent of sulphur. Statues of horned red devils are used to represent Exu. He is a trickster; he likes to have fun. Only those with a sense of humor should invoke him: expect the joke to be on you. If you are afraid of him and expect the worst, don’t invoke him. He can read your heart and may have fun fulfilling your expectations. However, he can be a dedicated guardian and a very benevolent provider. There is no illness he cannot cure. Invoke Exu for protection from evil. He fears nothing; there is no road he is afraid to travel. • Ask him to scare away the devils that frighten you. • Ask him to protect you from your own evil impulses. Iconography: Typically as a red or black devil, but he has many manifestations. Some images feature dapper dress; others are very primal and phallic. Attributes: Pitchfork; an iron trident Colors: Red, black Numbers: 3, 7 Plant: Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), known as Absinto in Portuguese Offerings: Tobacco products; sugarcane; honey; favored beverages include Cachaça (Brazilian white rum), absinthe, and rum, especially rum steeped with hot peppers: • Cut slits into a lot of spicy hot peppers* and place them in a glass decanter. • Pour rum over them and seal the decanter. • Let the rum steep for a while (three weeks? seven weeks?). • Serve the rum to Exu. Be careful! It’s hot. • Ideally use Brazilian peppers such as bird or malagueta peppers, but not the Brazilian pepper tree (Schiaus terebinthiflorius), which is not a true pepper. Be sure not to touch your eyes or other sensitive parts of the body before cleaning your hands very well. See also: Eshu Elegbara; Fairy, Green; Padilha, Maria; Padilla, Maria de; Pomba Gira Ezili Classification: Lwa Origin: Dahomey (Benin) Ezili names a family of freshwater spirits from Dahomey who are now among the most powerfuland significant female spirits of Haitian Vodou. Their name derives from Lake Azili, which is approximately fifty miles east of Abomey. The Ezilis are beautiful snake-women spirits similar to Mami Waters. The snakes with which the Ezilis are associated are beautiful, glittery, potentially deadly snakes. In her most traditional aspect, Ezili is a woman from the waist up, a snake down below. Their common attribute is a jeweled knife. They are spirits of wealth, abundance, beauty, and fertility. When Dahomean slaves arrived in what was then Saint Domingue but is now Haiti, they saw the Mater Dolorosa, an iconic image of Mary that features a beautiful, bejeweled woman pierced by swords. They recognized the essence of Ezili in the image. That’s one way of looking at Ezili. Alternatively there was originally only one African snake spirit named Ezili. She traveled to Haiti; her reaction to the trauma of slavery and its aftermath was to fracture. She is one spirit possessing multiple personalities. Yet another way of comprehending Ezili is as sisters in one family and their different destinies. Ezili Freda, the sister who can pass for white, became a courtesan. Her darker-skinned sister, Ezili Dantor, became a revolutionary. Some perceive all the Ezilis to be aspects of Ezili Freda Dahomey. The most prominent of the Ezilis is Ezili Freda Dahomey. If people discuss Ezili as if there is only one, then she is almost invariably the one they mean. The Ezilis are competitive spirits. Like sisters, they engage in rivalries and do not necessarily get along. It is not considered beneficial to ask different Ezilis to work on the same issue for you. They will just squabble with each other and never get around to you. Different Ezilis are syncretized to different manifestations of Mary. See also: Hera; Laveau, Marie; Mami Waters; Sili Kenwa Ezili Baleine See: Baleine, La Eizili Dantor Also known as: Ezili Danto; Sili Danto Ezili Dantor is Ezili Freda’s hardworking black sister. She is independent and beholden to no one. Ezili Dantor is sick of crying. She’s had enough tears. She’s a spirit of rage and initiative instead. Ezili Dantor is honored as the spirit who initiated the Haitian Revolution. She fought in the Revolution alongside men. Her lover and partner was Ogoun. When the revolution ended, he cut out her tongue so she couldn’t reveal secrets. In addition to Ogoun, her consorts include Ti Jean Petro and/or Simbi Makaya. Some say she only has sex with male spirits so as to have the children she adores. She really prefers sex with women. Ezili Dantor lives and breathes for her daughter, Anaïs. Some consider Anaïs her only child, but she may have others, too, including a son, Jan Dantor. Some say she has seven children and place seven dolls on her altar to represent them. An image of another daughter, Manbo Zila, as created by Haitian artist Pierrot Barra, is included in Donald Cosentino’s book, Vodou Things. Ezili Dantor serves as inspiration for artist Betye Saar’s 1996 mixed media assemblage, “Midnight Madonnas.” Ezili is a guardian of women, especially single mothers. • Ask her to help you collect your child support. • Ask her to help you become so financially self-sufficient that you don’t need anyone else’s money. • Ask her for help if you are trapped in an abusive relationship. Ezili punishes or manifests anger via shooting, stabbing pains. Someone who has offended her (or harmed her devotee) may begin to inexplicably vomit blood. She may cause rapists to hang themselves. She engages in mystic marriages with devotees, female as well as male. (See the Glossary entry for Marriage for further details.) Ezili Dantor is syncretized to the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. (The image was brought to Haiti by Polish legions sent to fight for Napoleon. Appalled by the slavery they witnessed, many Polish soldiers mutinied and switched sides.) The child in her arms has been reinterpreted as Anaïs. The scratches on her face were inflicted by her sister, Ezili Freda. (The knife in Ezili Freda’s heart was inflicted by Dantor.) Ezili Dantor may be venerated alongside her daughter, Anaïs. Anaïs understands her mother perfectly and is very articulate. She often serves as her mother’s translator. Favored people: Single mothers; working women; market women; lesbians; female soldiers; stroke victims; her children (that’s you, if she accepts you as a devotee) Manifestation: A sturdily built dark-skinned woman; she may have facial scars; she may or may not be able to speak. She holds a child with one hand and a knife in the other. Iconography: Ezili Dantor is represented by the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. La Madama statues are also used to represent her, as is the Queen of Spades playing card. A tarot Queen of Swords card may also be used. Various Ezilis span the spectrum of rage: Ezili Freda is so frustrated that she weeps uncontrollably. Ezili Dantor is seething but still stolid and under control. Ezili La Flambeau is enflamed with rage. Ezili Ge-Rouge is so livid, the blood vessels in her eyes are popping. If she were a mortal woman, not a goddess, she’d be having a stroke. Emblem: Bowl of blood Animal: Haitian black pig (a specific breed) Perfumes: Rêve-d’Or (L. T Piver); Florida Water Days: Tuesday, Saturday Colors: Red, blue Plants: Red hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.); Eugenia crenulata (in Haiti: zo-devan) Offerings: Cigarettes; Barbancourt rum; homebrew; pineapples; sweet red wine; knives; daggers; fried pork; pepper jelly; corn products: corn sprinkled with gunpowder; corn and pepper omelette; corn bread, muffins, and tortillas; honey with cinnamon and cayenne pepper sprinkled over it; milagro of heart pierced with swords See also: Anaïs; Black Madonna of Czestochowa; Ezili; Ezili Freda Dahomey; Madama, La; Marinette; Ogun; Petro; Simbi Makaya Ezili Freda Dahomey Maitresse Mambo Also known as: Erzulie Freda Dahomey Ezili Freda is envisioned as a stunning, colonial era mixed race woman. Ezili Freda is a wealthy courtesan with a taste for only the finest in life. She is the Queen of Love, beauty, romance, and riches: life as it should be. She is the most beautiful of the lwa. Ezili Freda dances with Papa Gedé: he adores her. She stimulates and epitomizes love that transcends death. Ezili Freda is described as a wanton virgin. She does what she chooses; she sleeps with whomever she desires and yet retains her virginity. Ezili Freda lives life as in a dream: she only wishes to see the good and beautiful. The world she envisions has nothing but kindness and graciousness. Everyone has good manners. Nothing is ugly, sordid, or crass. There is no racism, sexism, poverty, or perversity. Harsh reality inevitably intrudes, and Ezili Freda begins to weep. Her weeping floods the entire world. Her theme song could be “Cry Me a River.” Ezili Freda Dahomey is the spirit of heartbreak, hope, and disappointment. Life never fulfills her expectations. She may weep but she is never cynical. She wears three wedding rings symbolizing her marriages to three spirits: Agwé, Damballah, and Ogoun. Yet each treats her like a concubine or mistress. She is more vulnerable than a wife. • Damballah’s primary partner and soul mate is Ayida Wedo. • Agwé's wife is La Sirène (who may be an aspect of Ezili). • Ogoun’s partner and ally is Ezili Dantor, who is Ezili Freda’s primary rival (and possibly her sister or alter ego). Ezili Freda is tragic and beautiful, yet she is also difficult. She can be very capricious. She puts on airs and graces. She much prefers men to women, especially handsome young men (and if they’re rich, young, and handsome, all the better!). Women who seek to work with her must be willing to sublimate themselves—to humble themselves and serve her the way a handmaid serves a great queen. She will, however, share the essence of her beauty and charisma with female devotees and bless them with good fortune. Ezili Freda Dahomey sends prophetic dreams and may be invoked to interpret dreams. Petite Freda Lwa may be an aspect of Ezili Freda Dahomey, her little sister or a spirit in her entourage. She sometimes serves as Ezili Freda’s messenger. It is crucial to recall that Ezili Freda is a great goddess. She is not a courtesan; she only plays one. Pay her the respect due or expect to see demonstrations of her power. Ezili Freda can be exceptionally generous. Ask her to help you achieve the financial status needed to keep her in the offerings she enjoys. In order to have a happy relationship, she must be your primary goddess. She’s not too willing to share her spotlight, especially with any other beautiful female spirit. You must adore her; she must be special to you, or she won’t be happy. Ezili Freda engages in sacred marriages. (See the Glossary entry for Marriage for further details.) Invoke her assistance with financial and romantic matters. It is in Ezili Freda’s nature to be acquisitive and never satisfied. It is crucial to set clear boundaries with her, or she will potentially ruin you financially. No offering is ever quite lavish enough. Do not forget if you owe her an offering: she won’t. Manifestation: A gorgeous fair-skinned woman who is always stylishly and impeccably dressed Iconography: Ezili Freda is