Shiva - The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods

Lord of the Moon, Storms, and the Himalayas, Shiva is the Lord of Death for the sake of Rebirth. He is a great healer, described as the greatest of physicians. Deity of the forest, hunting, and fishing, he is Patron and Ruler of Untouchables and Demons.

Shiva is often portrayed with blue skin, four arms, and four faces—with three eyes each. His third eye, located in the center of his forehead, possesses the powers of creation and destruction.

Shiva, also known as “the howler” is described as the “destroyer of rites and social barriers.” He was a knowledge sharer, accused of teaching sacred texts to the low-born who previously had been denied access to such secrets. He haunts cemeteries in the company of ghosts and less reputable spirits.

Shiva is accompanied by a retinue of witches, ghosts, spirits, and gnomes (Earth spirits). He is naked but adorned with snakes and scorpions, and he wears a necklace of skulls. His hair is hopelessly tangled and matted. His face is covered with ashes from cremations.

Shiva is an indigenous, pre-Aryan deity of India. The Aryan invaders initially disliked Shiva but were eventually forced to integrate him into their pantheon, although he is still considered chaotic, dangerous, and unpredictable.

He is the protector of those who do not fit easily into conventional society or who do not fit at all. Shiva presides over the realm of the dead. His statues are erected near funeral pyres or in cemeteries. Shiva is often found wandering in cemeteries. He also lives within mountain caves.

Shiva’s sacred creatures include bulls, snakes, and tigers. He is the protector of trees, animals, and wild nature. He has compassion for the demons he rules despite their wicked dispositions. His colors are blue, red ochre, and saffron.

Many consider Shiva to have originally been identical with Dionysus, who once traveled through India. Like Dionysus, he is identified with intoxicating substances and sex magic. He is often portrayed in the form of a phallus (the “Shiva lingam”), as is Dionysus. Both lead parades of dancing witches and spirits. Like Dionysus, Shiva is happily wed: Shiva and his consort Parvati symbolize the perfect union of complementary powers.