Gods and Goddesses of War and Battle

Study modern Paganism for any length of time, and you’ll soon come to realize that there are a wide and varied selection of deities who are honored among the different Pagan traditions. While one group may choose to celebrate hearth gods, or goddesses of love and beauty, there are many Pagan traditions that pay tribute to warrior deities. If you find yourself relating to a warrior god or goddess, here are some of the many deities you may want to explore a connection with. Bear in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list, and there are many more warrior deities out there to investigate, from a variety of world pantheons.

Ares (Greek)

Two Greek soldiers. Hoplite and Helots.
Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Although the Romans honored him as Mars, the Greek god of war was Ares, and he was typically honored by small cults, rather than the general populace. Ares was a son of Zeus by Hera, and was popular in warrior cultures like Sparta. He was often invoked during particularly violent battles.

Athena (Greek)

Athena was the goddess of war and wisdom; this statue shows her holding Nike, the goddess of victory. Image by Krzysztof Dydynski/Lonely Planet/Getty Images

Athena was born a child of Zeus by his first wife, Metis, a goddess of wisdom. Because Zeus was afraid Metis might bear him a son who was mightier than himself, he swallowed her. While trapped inside Zeus, Metis began to make a helmet and robe for her unborn daughter. All that clanging and pounding caused Zeus to suffer terrible headaches, so he called for his son Hephaestus, the smith of the gods. Hephaestus split his father's skull open to relieve the pain, and out popped Athena, fully grown and clad in her new robe and helmet.

Bast (Egyptian)

Portrait Of Cat Sitting Against Ancient Egyptian Temple
Sandra Vieira / EyeEm / Getty Images

Although primarily a goddess of fertility and childbirth, Bast was also associated with protection and defense of the home territory. In these aspects, she is sometimes considered a goddess of war.

Huitzilopochtli (Aztec)

This man is one of many who celebrate their Aztec heritage. Image by Moritz Steiger/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

This warrior god of the ancient Aztecs was a sun god and the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan. He battled with Nanahuatzin, an earlier solar god. Huitzilopochtli fought against darkness, and required his worshippers to make regular sacrifices to ensure the sun's survival over the next fifty-two years, which is a significant number in Mesoamerican myths.

Mars (Roman)

Mars was a patron of soldiers and warriors. Image by Val Corbett/Britain on View/Getty Images

Mars was the Roman god of war, and is one of the most commonly worshipped deities in ancient Rome. Because of the nature of Roman society, nearly every healthy patrician male had some connection to the military, so it is logical that Mars was highly revered throughout the Empire.

The Morrighan (Celtic)

Call upon the Morrighan to protect your home from invading trespassers. Image by Renee Keith/Vetta/Getty Images

In Celtic mythology, the Morrighan is known as a goddess of battle and war. However, there's a bit more to her than this. Also referred to as Morrígu, Morríghan, or Mor-Ríoghain, she is called the "washer at the ford," because if a warrior saw her washing his armor in the stream, it meant he was to die that day. She is the goddess who determines whether or not you walk off the field of battle, or are carried off upon your shield.

Thor (Norse)

Man in viking warrior dress hunts by mtn river
Ascent Xmedia / Getty Images

In Germanic mythology and religion, Thor is the god of thunder. He is typically portrayed as red-headed and bearded, and carrying Mjolnir, a magical hammer. Depictions of Mjolnir became popular adornment for warriors during the age of the Vikings, and it is still seen today among adherents of some forms of Norse Paganism.

Tyr (Norse)

Image by Doug Lindstrand - Design Pics/First Light/Getty Images

In Norse legend, Tyr (also Tiw) is the god of one-on-one combat. He is a warrior, and a god of heroic victory and triumph. Interestingly, he is portrayed as having only one hand. He appears in the Prose Edda as the son of Odin, but as Hymir's child in the Poetic Edda.

Warrior Pagans

Photo Credit: Raphye Alexiu/Blend Images/Getty Images

Are you a Pagan who connects with a warrior spirit? Well, you're not alone. There are plenty of Pagans out there who honor warrior deities. Be sure to read:

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Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Gods and Goddesses of War and Battle." Learn Religions, Apr. 5, 2023, learnreligions.com/gods-and-goddesses-of-war-and-battle-2561984. Wigington, Patti. (2023, April 5). Gods and Goddesses of War and Battle. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/gods-and-goddesses-of-war-and-battle-2561984 Wigington, Patti. "Gods and Goddesses of War and Battle." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/gods-and-goddesses-of-war-and-battle-2561984 (accessed June 9, 2023).