Georgian Pantheon

The Georgian pantheon includes many gods, goddesses, heroes and spirits of which here is a non-exhaustive list.

Georgian pantheon


  • Adgilis Deda (ადგილის დედა) – A goddess of fertility and livestock worshiped by people in the mountainous regions of northeastern Georgia (like Khevsureti) as patroness of certain places and travellers. She is described as a beautiful lady with silver jewelry. Later, she became associated with the Virgin Mary when the region was converted to Christianity. Her name means "Mother of the locality".
  • Ainina and Danina (აინინა და დანინა) - A pair of goddesses mentioned in The conversion of Kartli and the Georgian Medieval Chronicles.
  • Apsat (აფსათი) - A male god of birds and animals in Svan mythology.
  • Armazi (არმაზი) – Chief of the gods; central figure in the official religion of the Iberian (Caucasian) Peninsula (= Kartli) established by King Pharnavaz I of the Iberian Peninsula (4th century BC). According to life of Saint Nino, a huge statue of Armazi – along with images of other deities and the temple that housed them – was destroyed by a storm of giant hailstones kicked up by the prayers of Saint Nino. Armazi is also the name of an ancient fortress near Mtskheta which dates from the same period. Various complementary strands of research suggest that the origins of this deity lie in a syncretism between conceptions of the supreme Zoroastrian being Ahura Mazda ( Armenian : 'Aramazd') and a supreme lunar deity Georgian native – a regional variant of the moon god Hittite Arma.
  • barbaric (ბარბალე) – The goddess of the fertility of cattle and poultry, the sun, the fertility of women and healing. Devotees honor him at the Barbalesadmi festival with solar symbols, which takes place at the winter solstice. His name is similar to the Sumerian and Akkadian epithet "bibbiru", which means "brilliant, splendor".
  • Batonebi (ბატონები) – Spirits of sickness. Their name means "the masters". In modern usage, the "Batonebi" is used as a term for a small set of infectious diseases, which are often prominent in children (measles, chicken pox and a few others). If someone is infected with the Batonebi, there is a tradition that their family will prepare special foods and sweets for themselves, and place gifts under the trees to appease the Batonebi (traditions vary, but the general pattern is that the whole family soothes the sick child).
  • Beri Bera (ბერი ბერა) - An agricultural god of fertility, crops and animals who is worshiped in eastern Georgia. Its festival takes place at the end of the year.
  • Bochi (ბოჩი) – Thought to be the patron saint of cattle. The earliest written documentation of this deity comes from Euthymius of Athos. According to historian Ivane Javakhishvili, the name "Bochi" is related to the words for "male goat".
  • Dalí (დალი), Svanetian 'Dæl' – the goddess of the hunt. She was believed to be extraordinarily beautiful, with long golden hair and glowing white skin. She lives high in the mountains where she watches over and protects wild animals. She sometimes shares animals with hunters, as long as they abide by her rules by not hunting more than their necessary amounts or aiming for animals that are her manifestations. In some myths, she will enter into a sexual relationship with a hunter, while warning him not to reveal their affair under pain of death by petrification with his dogs – the fate also of those who break the promises they made to him. . Ochokochi (ოჭოკოჩი) is so in love with her, that he always tries to have sex with her, but the deadly hunters who visit his forests often thwart his attempts to catch her. She is the mother of the hero Amiran. In Samegrelo, she is named "Tkashi-Mapa", the queen of the forest.
  • Gatsi and Gaim (გაცი და გაიმი) – Gods in the official Iberian pantheon according to medieval annals.
  • Ghmerti (ღმერთი) – The supreme deity and head of the pantheon of gods. He is the Almighty Lord of the Universe and its Creator. He lives in the ninth heaven, where he reigns on a golden throne. His children include the moon (like his son), the sun (like his daughter), and the Ghvtis Shvilni that protect people from harm. He is also called Morige Ghmerti (მორიგე ღმერთი, "God the Director") and Dambadebeli (დამბადებელი, "The Creator"). His name is later used to refer to God the Father in Christian belief.
  • Kamar (ყამარი) The daughter of the sky god. She is a symbol of divine fire. Her good looks caused Amiran to take her out of the sky.
  • lamaria , also lamara (ლამარია) – goddess of fertility, livestock and hearth
  • mamber (მამბერი) – The lord of wolves, who was worshiped in Svaneti and other mountainous regions.
  • Mishpa (მიჭპა) – The patron god of cattle and other domesticated animals who was worshiped in Svaneti during winter.
  • Mindort Batoni (მინდორთ ბატონი) – The god of valleys, fields and wildflowers. Humans must seek her permission before exploring or attempting to cultivate the fertile lands that make up her domain. Her daughter, Mindort-brdzanebeli, is the beautiful goddess of flowers.
  • Mindort-brdzanebeli (მინდორთ ბრძანებელი) – The goddess of flowers. She is the daughter of the god Mindort-batoni. It floats on plants, feeding on their pollen.
  • Ochopintre (ოჩოპინტრე) – A spirit of the forest and protector of wild animals. The first part of his name (ocho, ოჭო) is related to the ancient pagan god Bochi, the second part (pintre, პინტრე) to the god Greek Bang. Born with the legs and horns of a goat, he assists the goddess Dali in raising animals. Hunters usually made sacrifices in his name because no one could hunt animals without his help. It was believed that the fate of a person entering his forest was entirely in his hands.
  • Samdzimari (სამძიმარი) – demon-born goddess of fertility and oracles, seducer of men.
  • Tamar (თამარი) – Goddess who enslaved the Morning Star and controlled the weather; was called "eye of the earth" and rode a serpent.
  • Tetri Giorgi (თეთრი გიორგი, "White George"), form of Saint George revered in Kakheti, variously identified as a reflex of the ancient moon god, and as a reflex of the ancient storm/weather god (Kopala).
  • Tevdore (თევდორე) – God of agriculture and horses. After Christianization, he became associated with Saint Theodore. In feudal times, the special festival of Tedoroba was held to honor him and ensure a bountiful harvest.
  • Tskarishdida (წკარიშდიდა) - A mermaid-like goddess of rivers, lakes and fish, in Mingrelian folklore. She uses magical powers against humans.
  • Zaden (ზადენი) – God of fertility in the official pantheon established by Pharnavaz I. He was supposed to be as powerful as Armazi. He was added to the official pantheon by Parnajom in the second century BC, and had a statue of him erected in a fortress near Mt. Zedazeni, near Mtskheta. His statue is said to have been destroyed along with the statues of other gods by the prayers of Saint Nino. Worship of him declined after Christianization.

Demigods, heroes and personalities

  • Amiran (ამირანი) – Mythical hero and titan, son of Dali. Equivalent to the Greek Prometheus.
  • Yakhsar (იახსარი) - A mythical hero who aided Kopala in his adventures in slaying demons and monsters, and was deified and revered as a folk deity.
  • Ghvtis Shvilni (ღვთის შვილნი, Children of God or Children of Gmerti) – A group of demigods who protected humans, ensured good crops and milk yields, fought against devis and kudiani witches. Amiran, Giorgi, Yakhsar and Kopala were among them, and they fought alongside Yakhsar and Kopala to drive the devis from the land and to help Giorgi attack the impregnable fortress of the kajis to plunder their treasures, their cattle and their wives.
  • Kopala (კოპალა) – A mythical hero, mighty warrior and demon slayer – also a god of lightning. He and Iakhsar lead a campaign to drive underground the Devis that persecutes humans in the Middle Kingdom. His weapons include a mace and an iron bow made for him by the blacksmith god Pirkusha (პირქუშა) (with whom to compare the divine blacksmith Ossetian Kurdalægon and Circassian Tlepsh). He alone has the power to defeat the most stubborn demons believed to take hold of a person's soul and cause madness, and by this means he heals those who suffer from madness. Revered by the inhabitants of the mountainous regions of Khevsureti and Pshavi.
  • Kviria (კვირია) – A hero and a son of the gods who mediated between Ghmerti and mankind. He is invoked as protector of human society and instrument of divine justice. In parts of Georgia, he was also considered a fertility and harvest deity, while in the mountains of western Georgia, he was worshiped as the supreme deity. The Kviratskholovba Festival (კვირაცხოვლობა) was celebrated to honor him, as well as (Marshall Lang presumes) were erotic and orgiastic cults and festivals, such as the Berikoba and Murqvamoba , celebrated regularly until recent times among the Pshavs, Khevsurs, Svans and other Georgian mountain tribes. The curious ithyphallic figurines discovered by G. D. Filimonov in the settlement of Kazbek on the Georgian Military Road may also (Marshall Lang further assumes) relate to the erotic aspects of the Kviria cult. Such figurines have been the subject of much debate among archaeologists and anthropologists and examples continue to emerge in various parts of Georgia, as far away as central Kakheti, in association with finds of bronze daggers of specific "Kakhetian type", dating between the 13th and 8th centuries BC Some of these ithyphallic figurines had been designed to be suspended from drinking horns.
  • Natsiliani (ნაწილიანი) – Humans who received magical gifts or divine signs from the gods (Georgian: ნაწილი, translit.: Nats'ili ). Their signs are usually located on their shoulder blades and shine with magical light, empowering their wearers. These signs must be hidden, because their holders will lose their powers if they reveal them. Some signs can only be given by their respective gods.

Spirits, creatures and other beings

  • Ali (ალი) - A Lilith-like type of demon that afflicts pregnant women, the elderly, and infants who accidentally stumble into distant woods, caves, and ruins. Alis can be male or female (the females being called alkali ); male alis generally appear monstrous, while female alis can switch between tempting beauty and witch-like ugliness. Their name may be related to the word for "flame" (ალი). This supernatural being occurs not only in Caucasian folklore, but also in folk beliefs of the Iran , Central Asia and Mongolia and conceptions of its appearance may derive from popular relic hominin memory.
  • Devi (დევი) – multi-headed ogres whose head can regenerate if one of them is cut off. These malevolent giants live in the underworld or in remote mountains, where they amass treasures and guard their captives. In the mythology Georgian, they live in a family, usually consisting of nine brothers. Bakbak-Devi (ბაყბაყ-დევი) was the strongest and most powerful of the devis. To defeat them, the heroes outmatched them by means of various tricks and games. Their name (borrowing from the Georgian Kartvelian language (language family) of Indo-European) is related to that of the daevas of Zoroastrian mythology and Persian, derived in turn from the Proto-Indo-European god deiu̯ó.
  • Dobilni (translation: “those who have become sisters”; დობილნი) – disease-spreading spirits, usually appearing in the form of women, children or animals. From the Dobilni Towers (Georgian: დობილთ კოშკი, translit.: Dobilt k'oshk'i ) were built in Khevsurian shrines to keep them at bay. Some Dobilni are benevolent, like the legend of Princess Samdzimar (სამძიმარი) of Khevsureti, invoked for easy childbirth, the birth of healthy children and the health of women in general. Benevolent Dobilni were also invoked in some shrines in order to bless the cattle and also for the protection of travellers.
  • Gveleshapi (გველეშაპი, in ancient sources გველ-ვეშაპი – Serpent) – Evil Serpent who ruled and lived in lakes, rivers and water sources. In folklore, they were associated with water-related disasters and heroes fought against them.
  • Kaji (ქაჯი) - A race of spirits who are often depicted as demonic metallurgists wielding magic. They lived in Kajeti (ქაჯეთი) and had magical powers which they used against humans. The land kajis were malevolent, while the river and lake kajis were friendly to humans. The female kajis were magnificent, and they either seduced the heroes or aided them in their quests. They appear prominently in Shota Rustaveli's Vepkhistkaosani (ვეფხისტყაოსანი), in which the Kajis abduct Princess Nestan-Darejan and fight the heroes at the Kajeti fortress, though Rustaveli euhemerises them, presenting them, not as a race of supernatural beings, but a tribe of human wizards (though wizards of impressive power). The Kajis also feature in The Snake-eater from another famous Georgian poet, Vazha-Pshavela, in which they appear as the preparers of a snake-meat stew which bestows occult wisdom on the hero, Mindia. Their name is linked to the storm armenian and to the spirits of the wind, the kaj (Armenian: քաջ, k'aǰ; plural: քաջք k'aǰk').
  • Kudiani (კუდიანი) - A type of hideous hunchbacked witch, having large teeth and a tail, from which her name is derived (kudi, კუდი, "tail"). Kudianis can disguise themselves as humans in order to bewitch them. The leader of the kudianis, Rokap (როკაპი), often calls them to a special mountain where they hold a festival similar to the European Walpurgis Night.
  • matzil (მაცილი) – Evil spirits of the underworld that torment travelers and hunters. Folk tales refer to Kopala's efforts to defeat them.
  • Ocho Kochi (ოჩოკოჩი) – A forest of Mingrelian folklore that comes into conflict with hunters. Instead of hair on his chest, he has a protuberance in the form of a sharp bone or a stone axe, which he uses to kill passers-by by kissing them. He often hunts Tkashi-Mapa, the beautiful queen of the forest, out of lust, but his crude advances are just as often thwarted by deadly hunters (with the more worthy ones whom she prefers, on occasion, to mate with).
  • Paskunji (ფასკუნჯი) - A phoenix-like being that helps heroes and humans. He lives in the underworld and fights snakes there. The heroes summoned him by burning one of his feathers, and he could transport them to other places and heal wounds and diseases. In some other myths, on the other hand, the paskunjis are described as hostile to humans and for persecuting them.
  • Q’ursha (ყურშა) – A legendary hunting dog associated with various mythological figures including Dali and Amirani.
  • Rashi (რაში) – A magical winged horse. There are three types of rashis: Earth rashis are well-disposed towards heroes and humans and could perceive the future; sea rashis are more hostile, but can take humans to the bottom of the sea, while their milk was believed to cure many diseases; and celestial rashis have wings and can breathe fire, and are difficult to control but loyal to their owners. Kourkik Challaly, a magical, fiery, and similar winged horse plays a large role (as the wise and faithful horse of successive generations of heroes) in the Armenian epic poem Sassoun. Like sea rashis, Kourkik Challaly is first encountered underwater – in this case at the bottom of an enchanted lake.
  • Rocap (როკაპი) – An evil spirit, leader of the Kudiani (witches). Ghmerti punished him by chaining him to a column underground, where he devours human hearts brought in by the Kudiani. Every year he tries to free himself, but he always fails.