Household Deity  

Posted by Stella Clark

Household Deity Cover
A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in pagan religions as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity- typically a goddess- often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, with examples including the Greek Hestia and Norse Frigg. The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in pagan religions, such as the Lares of Roman paganism and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism, and these survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Scottish Brownie and Slavic Domovoi. Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols, amulets, paintings or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.

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This entry was posted on 18 April 2010 at Sunday, April 18, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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