List of water deities

A water deity is a deity in mythology associated with water or various bodies of water. Water deities are common in mythology and were usually more important among civilizations in which the sea or ocean, or a great river was more important. Another important focus of worship of water deities has been springs or holy wells.

As a form of animal worship, whales and snakes (hence dragons) have been regarded as godly deities throughout the world (other animals are such as turtles, fish, crabs, and sharks). In Asian lore, whales and dragons sometimes have connections.[1] Serpents are also common as a symbol or as serpentine deities, sharing many similarities with dragons.

Ainu mythology

Armenian mythology

  • Anahi ta, the divinity of "the Waters" (Aban) and associated with fertility, healing, and wisdom
  • Astghik, goddess of water sources
  • Tsovinar, goddess of seas and storms

Australian aboriginal mythology

Aztec mythology

  • Atlaua, god of water, archers, and fishermen
  • Chalchiuhtlicue, goddess of water, lakes, rivers, seas, streams, horizontal waters, storms, and baptism
  • Opochtli, god of fishing and birdcatchers
  • Tlāloc, god of water, fertility, and rain
  • Tlaloque, a group of rain, water, and mountain gods

Benin mythology

  • Ezili, goddess of sweet water, beauty, and love

Canaanite mythology

Celtic mythology

Chinese mythology

  • Ehuang & Nuying, goddesses of the Xiang River
  • Gonggong, red-haired dragon with the head of a man and water god who, together with his associate Xiang Yao, is responsible for the great floods
  • Hebo, god of the Yellow River
  • Longmu, goddess of the Xijiang River in the Lingnan area
  • Mazu, goddess of the sea and protector of seafarers
  • Tam Kung, sea deity worshiped in Hong Kong and Macau with the ability to forecast weather

Honorable Kings of the Water Immortals (Shuixian Zunwang)

Dragon Kings of the Four Seas

  • Ao Kuang, Dragon King of the Eastern Sea
  • Ao Qin, Dragon King of the Southern Sea
  • Ao Run, Dragon King of the Western Sea
  • Ao Shun, Dragon King of the Northern Sea

Dogon mythology

  • Nommos, amphibious spirits that are worshiped as ancestors

Egyptian mythology

  • Anuket, goddess of the Nile and nourisher of the fields
  • Hapi, god of the annual flooding of the Nile
  • Khnum, god of the Nile
  • Nephthys, goddess of rivers, death, mourning, the dead and night
  • Nu, uncreated god, personification of the primordial waters
  • Osiris, god of the dead and afterlife; originally god of water and vegetation
  • Satet, goddess of the Nile River's floods
  • Sobek, god of the Nile river, depicted as a crocodile or a man with the head of a crocodile
  • Tefnut, goddess of water, moisture and fertility

Fon/Ewe mythology

Fijian mythology

Finnish mythology

  • Ahti, god of the depths and fish
  • Iku-Turso, a malevolent sea monster
  • Vedenemo, a goddess of water
  • Vellamo, the wife of Ahti, goddess of the sea, lakes and storms.

Greek mythology

  • Achelous, Greek river god
  • Aegaeon, god of violent sea storms and ally of the Titans
  • Alpheus, river god in Arcadia
  • Amphitrite, sea goddess and consort of Poseidon and thus queen of the sea
  • Anapos, water god of eastern Sicily
  • Brizo, goddess of sailors
  • Carcinus, a giant crab who allied itself with the Hydra against Heracles. When it died, Hera placed it in the sky as the constellation Cancer
  • Ceto, goddess of the dangers of the ocean and of sea monsters
  • Charybdis, a sea monster and spirit of whirlpools and the tide
  • Cymopoleia, a daughter of Poseidon and goddess of giant storm waves
  • Doris, goddess of the sea's bounty and wife of Nereus
  • Eidothea, prophetic sea nymph and daughter of Proteus
  • Electra, an Oceanid, consort of Thaumas
  • Eurybia, goddess of the mastery of the seas
  • Galene (Γαλήνη), goddess of calm seas
  • Glaucus, the fisherman's sea god
  • Gorgons, three monstrous sea spirits
  • The Graeae, three ancient sea spirits who personified the white foam of the sea; they shared one eye and one tooth between them
  • Hippocampi, the horses of the sea
  • The Ichthyocentaurs, a pair of centaurine sea-gods with the upper bodies of men, the lower fore-parts of horses, ending in the serpentine tails of fish
  • Leucothea, a sea goddess who aided sailors in distress
  • Nerites, watery consort of Aphrodite and/or beloved of Poseidon
  • Nereus, the old man of the sea, and the god of the sea's rich bounty of fish
  • Nymphs
  • Oceanus, Titan god of the Earth-encircling river Okeanos, the font of all the Earth's fresh-water
  • Palaemon, a young sea god who aided sailors in distress
  • Phorcys, god of the hidden dangers of the deep
  • Pontus, primeval god of the sea, father of the fish and other sea creatures
  • Poseidon, Olympian god of the sea and king of the sea gods; also god of flood, drought, earthquakes, and horses. His Roman equivalent is Neptune.
  • Potamoi, deities of rivers, fathers of Naiads, brothers of the Oceanids, and as such, the sons of Oceanus and Tethys.
  • Proteus, a shape-shifting, prophetic old sea god, and the herdsman of Poseidon's seals
  • Psamathe, goddess of sand beaches
  • Scylla, a sea monster, later authors made up a backstory of her being a Nereid transformed into a monster due to Circe's jealousy
  • The Telchines, sea spirits native to the island of Rhodes; the gods killed them when they turned to evil magic
  • Tethys, Titan goddess of the sources fresh-water, and the mother of the rivers (Potamoi), springs, streams, fountains and clouds
  • Thalassa, primordial goddess of the sea
  • Thaumas, god of the wonders of the sea and father of the Harpies and the rainbow goddess Iris
  • Thetis, leader of the Nereids who presided over the spawning of marine life in the sea, mother of Achilles
  • Triteia, daughter of Triton and companion of Ares
  • Triton, fish-tailed son and herald of Poseidon
  • Tritones, fish-tailed spirits in Poseidon's retinue

Hawaiian mythology

Hittite mythology

Hindu/Vedic mythology

Incan mythology

  • Pariacaca, god of water and rainstorms
  • Paricia, god who sent a flood to kill humans who did not respect him adequately

Indonesian mythology

Inuit mythology

  • Aipaloovik, an evil sea god associated with death and destruction
  • Alignak, a lunar deity and god of weather, water, tides, eclipses, and earthquakes
  • Arnapkapfaaluk, a fearsome sea goddess
  • Idliragijenget, god of the ocean
  • Nootaikok, god who presided over icebergs and glaciers
  • Sedna, goddess of the sea and its creatures

Japanese mythology


Korean mythology

  • Imoogi or Imugi, giant serpents of Korean folklore which later become true dragons
  • King Munmu, a king who wished to become a dragon before his death to protect Korea from the East Sea
  • Dragon King, an undersea deity believed to determine the fortunes of fishermen and sailors

Lithuanian mythology

  • Bangpūtys, god of sea and storm
  • Laumė, goddess of wild spaces, including waters

Luganda mythology

Lusitanian mythology

Māori mythology

Mayan mythology

Mesopotamian mythology

  • Abzu, god of fresh water, father of all other gods
  • Enbilulu, god of rivers and canals
  • Enki, god of water and of the river Tigris
  • Marduk, god associated with water, vegetation, judgment, and magic
  • Nammu, goddess of the primeval sea
  • Nanshe, goddess of the Persian Gulf, social justice, prophecy, fertility and fishing
  • Sirsir, god of mariners and boatmen
  • Tiamat, goddess of salt water and chaos, also mother of all gods

Norse/Germanic mythology

  • Ægir, personification of the sea
  • Freyr, god of rain, sunlight, fertility, life, and summer
  • Nehalennia, goddess of the North Sea
  • Nerthus, mostly an earth goddess, but is also associated with lakes, springs, and holy waters
  • Nine Daughters of Ægir, who personify the characteristics of waves
  • Nix, water spirits who usually appear in human form
  • Njord, god of the sea, particularly of seafaring
  • Rán, sea goddess of death who collects the drowned in a net, wife of Ægir
  • Sága, wisdom goddess who lives near water and pours Odin a drink when he visits
  • Tiddy Mun, a bog deity once worshiped in Lincolnshire, England who had the ability to control floods

Ossetian mythology

Persian/Zoroastrian mythology

  • Ahurani, Ahurani is a water goddess from ancient Persian mythology who watches over rainfall as well as standing water
  • Anahita, the divinity of "the Waters" (Aban) and associated with fertility, healing, and wisdom
  • Apam Napat, the divinity of rain and the maintainer of order
  • Haurvatat, the Amesha Spenta associated with water, prosperity, and health in post-Gathic Zoroastrianism
  • Tishtrya, Zoroastrian benevolent divinity associated with life-bringing rainfall and fertility

Philippine mythology

Roman mythology

Slavic mythology

  • Kostroma, goddess of fertility. After discovering that her husband, Kupala, is her brother, she jumped into the forest lake (in other legends into the river Ra). After her death she became a mavka (or rusalka).
  • Mati-syra-zemla, moist mother, also the earth goddess
  • Mokosh, moistness, lady of waters, goddess of moisture
  • Morskoi, the god and king of the sea
  • Rusalki, female ghosts, water nymphs, succubi or mermaid-like demons that dwell in waterways.
  • Veles, god of earth, waters, and the underworld
  • Vodyanoi, water demon who lived in lakes and rivers

Samoan mythology

  • Great Serpent Degei, the supreme God
  • Luagal, serpent god of the sea

Island Nations mythology

Taíno mythology

Tonga mythology

  • Nyami Nyami, a river spirit of the BaTonga of Zambia and Zimbabwe

Turkic mythology

Vietnamese mythology

  • Lạc Long Quân, legendary ancestor of Vietnamese people.
  • Cá Ông (Vietnamese name for blue whales, also dolphins and whale sharks in some cases), king of the sea and patron of fishermen.

Western European mythology

Yoruba mythology

  • Oshun, a river orisha
  • Olokun, an ocean orisha
  • Yemoja, a river orisha and ocean orisha as well in new world Yoruba religions

See also


  1. 謝婧, 下園知弥, 宮崎克則 (2015). "明清時代の中国における鯨資源の利用" (pdf). 西南学院大 学博物館研究紀要 第3号. Seinan Gakuin University: 9–14. Retrieved 2016-01-16.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. "Goddess Nantosuelta". 11 February 2012.
  3. 村上健司編著 (2005). 日本妖怪大事典. Kwai books. 角川書店. p. 182. ISBN 978-4-04-883926-6.
  4. 大藤時彦他 (1955). 民俗学研究所編 (ed.). 綜合日本民俗語彙. 第2巻. 柳田國男 監修. 平凡社. p. 763.
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