Among all of the inventions resulting from humans’ spiritual nature, mythologies are perhaps the most spectacular and complex. They are narratives that reflect an archetypical region of human nature: our fears, desires; our dark and lighter sides.

Deities play an active role in the mythological universe, that kingdom that emerges between fantasy and mysticism. They are creatures that, like those we find in bestiaries, exalt the exoticism of the imagination and whose powers and characteristics are a reflection of our own powers, but also of our shortcomings, translated into longings. Here is a brief selection of five of the strangest and most spectacular mythological deities:

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Kali

A Hindu goddess of destruction as the first act of creation. Bloody and dark (but also luminescent as the universal mother), the wife of Shiva is often represented with two or more pairs of arms and, on occasions, rides a tiger: a beautiful and terrifying being who incarnates opposites.

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Quetzalcóatl

Considered by many to be the principle deity of the Aztec pantheon, he is the lord of light, life, wisdom; the wind and the West. Among his many manifestations, perhaps the most common, is as the enormous plumed serpent, a being that represents duality: the earth, where the reptiles dwell, and the sky, the kingdom of the birds.

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Pan

Prophet and demigod, the patron of shepherds. Half goat, half man, he is known for his intense sexual appetite that does not distinguish between men, women and goats. This fawn is the lord of the wind at dawn and dusk, an innate hunter, witch doctor and musician who plays the panpipes while spying on the nymphs from the shelter of the bushes. His name gave rise to the word panic, for striking fear into the herds and shepherds of the Greek forests.

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Baron Samedi

In the Haitian voodoo religion this is the Loa of death, a deity with a nasal voice that lives between the world of the dead and the living, as well as being a god of fertility that enjoys rum and tobacco. This eccentric knight who is in charge of receiving the dead has the face of a skeleton, wears a black dinner jacket, an elegant top hat and has nostril plugs like corpses when they are embalmed. On some occasions Baron Samedi wears shades.

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Loki

The trickster of the Nordic pantheon, a master of deceit. He achieved the status of deity by posing as one; he mixed with the gods and deceived more than one of them, posing also as the brother of Odin, the main god of Scandinavian mythology. Considered by some to be the spirit of fire, it is a very astute being who likes to play ricks and change its shape, turning into a salmon on occasions and, on others, into a bird or a fly.

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Among all of the inventions resulting from humans’ spiritual nature, mythologies are perhaps the most spectacular and complex. They are narratives that reflect an archetypical region of human nature: our fears, desires; our dark and lighter sides.

Deities play an active role in the mythological universe, that kingdom that emerges between fantasy and mysticism. They are creatures that, like those we find in bestiaries, exalt the exoticism of the imagination and whose powers and characteristics are a reflection of our own powers, but also of our shortcomings, translated into longings. Here is a brief selection of five of the strangest and most spectacular mythological deities:

 .

Kali

A Hindu goddess of destruction as the first act of creation. Bloody and dark (but also luminescent as the universal mother), the wife of Shiva is often represented with two or more pairs of arms and, on occasions, rides a tiger: a beautiful and terrifying being who incarnates opposites.

 .

Quetzalcóatl

Considered by many to be the principle deity of the Aztec pantheon, he is the lord of light, life, wisdom; the wind and the West. Among his many manifestations, perhaps the most common, is as the enormous plumed serpent, a being that represents duality: the earth, where the reptiles dwell, and the sky, the kingdom of the birds.

 .

Pan

Prophet and demigod, the patron of shepherds. Half goat, half man, he is known for his intense sexual appetite that does not distinguish between men, women and goats. This fawn is the lord of the wind at dawn and dusk, an innate hunter, witch doctor and musician who plays the panpipes while spying on the nymphs from the shelter of the bushes. His name gave rise to the word panic, for striking fear into the herds and shepherds of the Greek forests.

 .

Baron Samedi

In the Haitian voodoo religion this is the Loa of death, a deity with a nasal voice that lives between the world of the dead and the living, as well as being a god of fertility that enjoys rum and tobacco. This eccentric knight who is in charge of receiving the dead has the face of a skeleton, wears a black dinner jacket, an elegant top hat and has nostril plugs like corpses when they are embalmed. On some occasions Baron Samedi wears shades.

 .

Loki

The trickster of the Nordic pantheon, a master of deceit. He achieved the status of deity by posing as one; he mixed with the gods and deceived more than one of them, posing also as the brother of Odin, the main god of Scandinavian mythology. Considered by some to be the spirit of fire, it is a very astute being who likes to play ricks and change its shape, turning into a salmon on occasions and, on others, into a bird or a fly.

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