The Dark God or Goddess archetype rules over the darker aspects of life, particularly death, decay and destruction.

The Dark God or Goddess may also rule over the dark half of the year, that is, Winter and are often honored at festivals marking the change of seasons from Summer to Winter. Sometimes they are implicated in a cosmic battle between life and death, growth and decay, in which they overcome the powers of growth and rule for awhile until the seasons change and the powers of life and growth gain the upper hand once again.

Dark Gods and Goddesses are often identified with the darker aspects of human personality and darker human impulses, such as vengeance, jealousy, violence, wrath, etc. and may be evoked during explorations of the shadow self.

Often, the Dark Gods and Goddesses are believed to travel or live in the company of the dead, ghosts and the ancestors as well, on occasion, as more dangerous vengeful and demonic entities. This is not to say that they are evil or even necessarily scary. Sometimes they are there to control the infernal creatures and protect mankind from them. Sometimes they are simply guiding them to their next destination. In the endless circle of death, decay, birth and growth, the Dark Gods often serve as gatekeepers and psychopomps, keeping things orderly as the natural and necessary progression continues its endless cycle.

Below is a list of some Gods and Goddesses that can be identified as "dark" through their nature or habits Some of them are more "dark" than others.

Adad - Adad, Master of the Earth is a Mesopotamian Storm God responsible for the destructive and regenerative powers of nature. The name may come from the Arabic hadda "to break" or haddat "thunder". Adad is the son of either Enlil or Anu and Ki, the twin brother of Enki and the consort of the Goddess Shalla.

Anubis - Anubis is the Egyptian God of the dead and the embalming process. He presided over the embalming of Osiris when he was killed by Seth. Priests would sometimes wear masks of Anubis when performing embalming rituals.

Hecate - For many modern witchcraft traditions, Hecate is a Dark Goddess and associated with the spirits of the dead, ghosts, the dark of the moon, baneful herbs, curses and black magic. For others, Hecate is the Crone Goddess, ruling over the third stage of a woman's life, that beyond her childbearing years when she can focus on deepening the skills and information collected throughout her lifetime, when knowledge and experience is refined into wisdom. Historically, Hecate has served many roles. She is an incredibly ancient Goddess with origins lost in the mists of time.

Nephthys - Nephthys is the ancient Egyptian protectress of the dead, sister of Isis and Osiris, wife of Seth and mother of Anubis. Her name means "Lady of the Mansion".

Osiris - The name Osiris is a Greek translation of the Egyptian word which may have been pronounced Us-iri, which means "Throne of the Eye".

Persephone - Persephone is the ancient Greek Goddess of Rebirth and Queen of the Underworld. She spends the unfruitful time of the year in the Underworld with her husband Hades and ascends to return to the side of her mother Demeter, the Earthmother and Goddess of Abundant Harvests to preside over the sprouting of seeds and the blooming of flowers when the Earth returns to fruitfulness. Her name means something like "destroyer" or "murderer".

Seth - Seth or Set is the ancient Egyption God of disharmony and destruction. He murdered Osiris and battled with Horus for the throne of Egypt. In earlier times He was associated with Eygptian royalty. He is imaged as a man with the head of a strange animal, known as the Set animal. (It looks a little like an ant eater to me.)

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