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The Gods of Death in the Different Mythologies


The only certain thing in this world is death. And that is exactly why its aspect is present in all human cultures and religions. Depending on the society in question, each has given a different face to death. Here are some of the more notable ones among them:


Mictlantecuhtli is one of the main gods in the Aztec religion. He is the god of the underworld. Like most other deities recognized by the inhabitants of ancient Mexico, he was linked to various animals. Mictlantecuhtli was depicted as a monster having parts of a spider, owl and bat, in place of hands, eyes and legs, respectively, while wearing a necklace of human eyes.


Donn is the lord of death in Irish mythology, living in the southwestern end of Ireland. The Irish believed that he caused the island's coastal storms in order to sink ships and collect more souls for his kingdom.

Meng Po

God of Death

In Chinese mythology, Meng Po is the deity linked with death but is more widely known as the Lady of Forgetfulness. It was believed that her task was to make all souls who are ready for reincarnation forget their previous life. To do this, she would give them a fragrant tea to drink. Those who were bad in their past life were reborn as animals. They were given a different tea, allowing them to remember everything. When the soul was then trapped in an animal body it would still remember everything from its previous life.


In Lithuanian mythology, the face of death is borne by a woman. Her name is Giltinė. Once an attractive woman, she was buried alive by those jealous of her. After 7 years, she rose from the grave as a deity - old, ugly, with long blue hair and a poisonous tongue that she used to lick all who were about to die. She had the ability to turn into anything - a snake, bat, stick.


The Etruscans believed death was a demon called Aita. He had the head of a wolf and body of a man. He would personally come and take the souls of the deceased, leading them to his underground realm. It is theorized that the gods of death in Greek and Roman mythologies were based on Aita.