In the good old ancient times, gods were the holy orchestrators of literally everything in the world. Good or bad, we accredited the entirety of circumstance to these heavenly beings and were expected to provide them with praise or beg for mercy accordingly.
During our modern era, many people consider these practices outdated and prefer to accuse their horoscopes or Mercury retrograde for any shortcomings. But if you are inclined to criticise metaphysical deities for your life coming undone, feel free to reference this list to help direct your complaints to the correct divine department.
10. Pandora (Ancient Greek Mythology)
Blame for: the general suffering of being a human.
You know you’ve messed up when your name becomes an idiom. Pandora’s Box is synonymous with causing trouble, and there is a delightful backstory behind that. It all starts with Zeus, who gifts Pandora a mysterious jar (not a box) with a single instruction: she must never open it. But Pandora, being the curious girl she was, could not help herself and tore that lid off, accidentally unleashing unspeakable turmoil into our realm. Such corruptions include (but are not limited to) disease, greed, envy, and hatred.
Hence, when plagued by the agony of existence, we can turn our annoyance straight towards Pandora and her naughty inquisitiveness. However, as you do so, please spare a moment to consider the only element Pandora managed to keep inside the jar: the sense of hope. This appreciated afterthought reminds us that a better future is always possible, so hang on!
09. Lucifer (Abrahamic Satanism)
Blame for: indecisiveness.
Talk about household names; the Devil is one of the most famous deities in history, and often for the worst reasons. Considered the Lord of Evil, there are very few mishaps you can’t charge Satan for, especially if you’re approaching the narrative from the Judeo-Christian timeline. Indeed, for many, everything that goes right is owed to the glory of God, whereas anything that falls sideways is the Devil playing his tricks again. It’s a convenient practice.
That noted, some occult branches of theology view Lucifer through a kinder lens. Luciferianism is a profound example that reveres Satan as a rebel angel who opposed God’s restrictive dogma and wished to deliver enlightenment to us humans. Even in certain Biblical interpretations, Satan (as a serpent) encourages Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. This act of defiance triggered the original sin that formed free will, allowing us to make decisions based on our moral codes. Hence, if you’re ever at Starbucks and can’t decide on your flavoured latte, go ahead and curse Satan’s name. Without him, God would have told you what to do, and you’d have no choice but to obey.
08. Cizin (Mayan Mythology)
Blame for: a burning rectum.
Cizin is super into butt stuff. Even his name is derived from the Mayan word “cis”, which means flatulence. Indeed, legend tells that a pungent odour follows this death god wherever he goes, but his terrifying presence extends beyond mere stinky smells. For starters, one can identify him from his collar of human eyes connected by nerve cords. Furthermore, his command over earthquakes gave him a potent edge that often proved fatal.
Still, people primarily remember Cizin for his sadistic torture of a person’s digestive tract. Apparently, he loved nothing more than burning the mouth and anus of vulnerable individuals. Then, when they would cry out in pain, Cizin would change his weapon to icy cold water, an equally distressing substance. He would continuously alternate between these attacks until the soul disintegrated into the void. So remember Cizin’s role the next time you’ve overeaten hot sauce and are paying for it the following day.
07. Lamashtu (Mesopotamian Mythology)
Blame for: health issues with children.
Lamashtu’s resume of corrupt qualifications is extensive and horrific. As a goddess, you’d hope she’d be there for her female comrades, but instead, women were her primary target. More specifically, she had an unexplained vendetta against mothers.
From childbirth complications to breastfeeding issues to even kidnapping babies to gnaw on their bones, Lamashtu was a terrifying threat across Mesopotamia. But when she couldn’t find a mom to pester, she entertained herself with other malicious hobbies, such as disturbing sleep with nightmares and infecting people with the disease. Why are you like this, Lamashtu? What happened to you?
06. Yahweh (Abrahamic)
Blame for: getting yourself killed (or quite literally anything else).
To be fair, there are a plethora of creator deities you can criticise for existence itself, but none are as famous and well-documented as Yahweh. As the supreme being from the Judeo-Christian-Islamic timeline, Yahweh is deemed synonymous with God and Allah. Hence you’d imagine Him as a peaceful and loving ruler who only wants us to be happy and prosperous.
As it turns out, that is not the case. The Bible is loaded with examples where Yahweh flexed his power by crushing humans whenever he was in a mood. Some examples below:
- Flooding the planet and drowning everyone (Book of Genesis 7:21–23);
- Commanding Isreal to commit genocide on the Amalekites, including their women, children, and animals (1 Samuel 15:2-3);
- Ordering a similar slaughter in Jericho (Joshua 6:21);
- And again against the Midianites except for the virgin females whom the Israelites could take for themselves (Numbers 31:7–18);
- Slaying every firstborn baby in Egypt (Exodus 12:29-30);
- Promoting the stoning of disobedient adolescents to death (Deuteronomy 21:18–21);
- Striking down Uzzah for touching the Ark of the Covenant, even though he was just trying to stop it from toppling over (2 Samuel 6:6-7);
- Sending a bear to maul 42 kids for teasing Eliseus for his baldness (2 Kings 2:23-24).
These instances are but a tiny sampling of Yahweh’s horrors. This God was also rather keen on slavery (Exodus 21:20–21) and solved rape problems by simply selling the victim to her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28–29). God also loves making bets with Satan over our dedication. Read the Book of Job, where Yahweh took away everything this loyal man owned, and why? For sport!
Thus, if you’ve lost all your money, your material possessions, your loved ones, and your life, don’t fret! It’s probably just Yahweh having another bad day.
05. Apophis (Ancient Egyptian Mythology)
Blame for: your world falling into chaotic darkness.
Who was the Egyptian sun god Ra’s arch-enemy? Apophis! Known as the Lord of Chaos, he predates the creation of the Universe, existing as pure disorder and wanting nothing more than to get back there. To fight in our physical realm, he took on the shape of a 16-yard serpent with a head made of flint, and he would battle Ra every dusk and dawn to dominate our skies.
Priests and worshippers would pray at temples with several nightly rituals to scare off Apophis. And when the daylight came, they would celebrate yet another victory. Such easy-to-please people! However, there may be a deeper message here for us to recognise: tomorrow is always a new day…
04. Loviatar (Finnish Mythology)
Blame for: disease.
When the Finnish god of death (Tuoni) and queen of the underworld (Tuonetar) decided to have a baby, everyone knew that nothing merry would come from this tale. Indeed, their daughter, Loviatar, was not only born blind but grew up to become the mother of disease.
How this transpired is a mystery, but legend tells that a wicked wind impregnated Loviatar. As a result, she gave birth to eight sons, each representing an illness. They are Pistos (consumption), Ähky (colic), Luuvalo (gout), Riisi (rickets), Paise (ulcer), Rupi (scab), Syöjä (cancer), and Rutto (plague). Her ninth son was even worse, a witchy personification of envy, a curse so terrible that his mom banished him. So if jealousy mixes up with your health inflictions, rest easy that it’s not your fault. It’s Loviatar’s!
03. Owuo (Akan Religion)
Blame for: lack of creativity.
Sliding into Africa, here comes a truly wicked demon feared across West Ghana. Owuo is a monstrous cyclops-styled giant with one eye and a ravenous craving for the taste of humans. Prayers and gifts are considered useless as the god despises people and their money. He’d much preferred to feast on our flesh, if you don’t mind!
This god was foolishly assembled by Odomankoma, the Great Creator. Owuo then promptly killed Odomankoma, proving the diety’s disdain towards anything, even his maker. On a symbolic plane, this represents the destruction of the creative process. Hence, if you’re feeling uninspired, it might stem from Owuo sucking the blood from your imagination.
02. Batara Kala (Balinese/Javanese Mythology)
Blame for: misfortune and bad sex.
Once upon a time, according to Indonesian folklore, a husband god, Batara Guru, performed nonconsensual copulation with his wife, Dewi Uma. To make matters worse, the incident occurred on top of Nandi, a divine cow. Uma was infuriated, cursing her impregnation and giving birth to an ugly ogre of a son, Batara Kala. She then sent her offspring to Earth, instructing him to punish evil individuals. However, he was far more interested in devouring unlucky people instead.
As this demon is a direct consequence of sexual trauma, Batara Kala is used to freak society away from unsavoury sexual relations. Such actions include procreation out of wedlock, so be careful. Native Indonesians also plead with Batara Kala to spare us a jinxed life. For instance, if a baby is born feet-first, it is seen as a terrible omen, and priests perform intense ritual ceremonies to convince Batara Kala not to eat the misfortunate child. It’s a reasonable request.
01. Shiva (Hinduism)
Blame for: complete and utter destruction.
According to the Puranas, Hinduism boasts around 330 million gods. However, there are three principal deities (referred to as the Trimurti) that sit above all celestial duties. Brahma, “the Creator of the Universe”, is one of them. Vishnu, “the God of Preservation”, is another. But if you come across the third and final being, namely Shiva, then prepare yourself for the absolute end of reality.
Shiva is “the God of Destruction”, so when the Cosmos has run its course and it’s time to break life down and start again, he is the number the exterminators will call. Shiva proceeds to perform the Nataraja dance, which causes everything you’ve ever known and loved to dissolve into nothingness. Thankfully, this process only loops around every 4.32 billion years, so you’re probably safe for the moment.