Ancient History > Top 20 Fire Gods and Goddesses Throughout History

Top 20 Fire Gods and Goddesses Throughout History

Nepalese candles lighting a temple wall.

Fire gods and goddesses are some of the most ancient types of gods in numerous mythologies, from Greek and Roman to Hindu and Chinese. Fire, similar to water, air, and Earth, and elements that have been worshipped and followed for many millennia. 

Because fire has played such a pivotal role in the evolution of humanity, it is no surprise that so many civilizations have turned to worship the power that fire beholds. 

Below is our list of the top 20 most popular fire gods and goddesses that have been documented throughout history. 

Fire Goddesses

1. Caia Caecilia (Fire Goddess of Rome)

Caia Caecilia, also commonly referred to as Gaia Caecilia, is considered the Roman Goddess of fire. Caia Caecilia is not only the Goddess of Fire, but also of healing, women, and hearth, according to Roman mythology. 

The name Caia Caecilia is also said to be the authentic Roman name for Tanaquil, who was the wife of Tarquinius Priscus of Rome

In early Roman mythology, Caia is said to have the powers of the prophet. She is also said to be closely connected with the worship of the god of the hearth. 

2. Fuji (Ancient Japanese Goddess of Fire)

Goddess of mount Fuji.
Goddess of mount Fuji
Evelyn Paul, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Fuji, the ancient Japanese Goddess of fire, is known for her strength and majestic appearance. In Japanese mythology, Fuji is known as a beautiful and magnificent figure, such as fire, but also extremely destructive and powerful at the opposite end of the spectrum.

In Japanese mythology, Fuji is known as a giant mountain or volcano. Connecting volcanoes with fire gods is a common theme in ancient religions and mythologies. 

Most often, Fuji is known to remain calm and, at times, even peaceful. However, angering Fuji can result in blazes of wrath destroying everything in her path. 

In ancient Japanese mythology, honoring Fuji is possible by participating in a fire ritual. It is not necessary to live near or have access to a volcano in order to honor the ancient fire Goddess. Simply lighting a single candle flame is one of the quickest ways to honor Fuji. 

3. Freya (Nordic Fire Goddess) 

Freya Illustration .
Freya Illustration 200822544 © Matias Del Carmine | Dreamstime.com

Freya is one of the most well-known fire goddesses in history and in modern times today. It is important to note, however, that there are many different Nordic goddesses with a range of powers and abilities.

Freya is a Nordic fire goddess, known for love, beauty, wealth, magic, and even fertility. Freya is also, however, often referred to as the goddess of war in Norse mythology. 

The entire history of Freya is blurry at times as there are many historical reports and texts that link Freya to being the wife of God Odin. However, this is not agreed upon by all scholars. 

Freya is known as a giant, and also possesses powers of magic, making her a key figure in Nordic mythology.

4. Sekhmet (Egyptian Fire Goddess)

Depiction of Sekhmet.
Depiction of Sekhmet
Jeff Dahl, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sekhmet, the Egyptian fire goddess, is one of the oldest Egyptian deities that is known to date. Sekhmet was known as being extremely cunning, fierce, and, as some recall, even bloodthirsty.

Sekhmet is considered a healer, hunter, and warrior. She is married to Ptah in Egyptian mythology and carries the symbols of red linen, the lioness, and the sun disk. 

Sekhmet is said to have been the people’s punishment when Ra, the Egyptian Sun God (also referred to as the fire God of Egypt) became angry with them due to not following laws or maintaining justice. It is said that then, The Eye of Ra was transformed into Sekhmet. The lands were then ravaged by Sekhmet.

In ancient Egyptian legends, Sekhmet was often referred to as the Powerful One. She was protected by the pharaohs and also simultaneously considered the protector of the pharaohs herself. 

5. Chantico (Aztec Goddess of Fire)

16th century artwork depicting Chantico.
16th century artwork depicting Chantico
Image courtesy: wikimedia.org [Public Domain]

The Aztec people had many gods and goddesses that they worshipped, ranging from traditional sun gods to mythical gods and figures. In the Aztec civilization, Chantico was known as a goddess of fire. Chantico was known as a domestic deity who was held in high esteem for protecting the Aztec emperors as well as the empire itself. 

Chantico is represented as a deity wearing a crown that is complete with poisonous cactus spikes to indicate trouble and aggressiveness. 

In Aztec history, it is thought that the name Chantico is derived from “she who lives in the house”, reiterating the history behind Chantico’s representation as a domestic deity. 

The powers of Chantico were said to extend to protecting the land, possessions, and houses of those who were protected by the goddess. It is said that Chantico held the power to deny or permit access to enemies and strangers alike. 

6. Hestia (Greek Fire Goddess)

Statue of Hestia.
Statue of Hestia
user:shakko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In Greek mythology, Hestia is known as the goddess of the hearth fire or the Greek fire goddess. She is also known as the oldest of the twelve deities that were considered Olympians.

Hestia is most often referred to as a goddess of both family and hospitality, and may more commonly be linked to the Greek God Zeus himself. While she represented the home life and the life of the domestic, she was also known for being wild and exploring all realms of the world. 

Because Hestia was known as the goddess of the hearth fire, she held specific powers and control. She was in control of both family meals that were provided for the people and sacrificial feasts that were held in her honor as well as in honor of other Greek gods and goddesses of the time

7. Pele (Hawaiian Volcano Goddess)

Depiction Of Pele, ancient Hawaiian volcano goddess.
Depiction Of Pele
Image Courtesy: Flickr

Pele, the ancient Hawaiian volcano goddess, is one of the most well-known figures in Hawaiian mythology, even today. She is known as the goddess of fire, volcanoes, and lighting throughout the Hawaiian indigenous population. There is no Hawaiian fire God, only a goddess in ancient Hawaiian mythology. 

Pele is said to have been born in Tahiti, only to be banished from the island itself for being too angry and impulsive. A descendant of the Sky Father along with a spirit by the name of Haumea, Pele’s life was rife with chaos and familial disturbance. Ultimately, Pele was murdered by her own sister, then turned into a goddess upon her death.

To date, those who are in the indigenous Hawaiian population are said to still follow and respect Pele, as she is one of the oldest documented Hawaiian goddesses known in modern times.

Those who follow the Hawaiian indigenous religion believe that anyone who removes rocks or Lava from the homes of the islands as a souvenir is doomed to misfortune and bad luck. 

8. Draupadi (Hindu Fire Goddess)

Draupadi & Dushashan Scene.
Draupadi & Dushashan Scene
Mahavir Prasad Mishra, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Known as the fire goddess of India, Draupadi is the wife of one of the Pandavas brothers. The Pandavas brothers were all known in Indian mythology to be sons of the Gods. In Indian mythology and in the story of Mahabharata, Draupadi is known for being full of romance, intrigue, mystery, charisma, and drama.

Draupadi is extremely popular throughout Indian mythology and is exuberant in her expressions. With Draupadi, there is no shortage of nudity or arguments, as Draupadi is stubborn and strong-willed to the fullest extent. 

While Draupadi is known for being in charge of the fire, she is not known as evil or nefarious in character. In fact, in Indian mythology, Draupadi is extremely approachable, even if her main focus and attention are often turned to managing and directing fire at will. 

9. Oya (African/Yoruban Goddess of Weather)

Image of Oya.
Image of Oya
Stevengravel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In Africa, Oya is known as the Yoruban Goddess (not to be confused with the African fire God) of weather. In ancient African mythology, Oya is in charge of tornadoes, lighting, rainstorms, and even fire itself. Oya is known as powerful, charming, domineering, and persuasive. She is known to help women who call on her for protection during times of need or when there are conflicts nearby that are proving difficult to resolve. 

Because Oya is not only known as the Goddess of Fire, but also the Goddess of Weather, she is no stranger to change and growth. In African mythos, she is also believed to help clear new paths for the future while simultaneously watching over the dead and their transitions from life into the afterlife realms.

As Oya is considered the guardian between the realms of life and death in Ancient African mythology, she is extremely powerful, resulting in both love and fear from those who follow her. Oya seeks to find justice and to provide punishments for those who offer up dishonesty, deceit, and injustice to the world. 

10. Aetna (Greek and Roman Fire Goddess Mythology)

Aetna is known as the goddess of fire and the goddess of the volcanic Mount Etna, located in Sicily, Italy, in Greek mythology. She is the daughter of Uranus and Gaia and is known as one of the Nymphs in Greek mythology. Aetna is most commonly known as the mother of the Palici by Zeus.

It is believed that the ancient Mount Etna was the place in which Cyclops and Hephaestus worked together to develop the thunderbolts for Zeus himself. 

Fire Gods

1. Vulcan (Roman Fire God)

Statue of god Vulcan.
Statue of god Vulcan
Bertel Thorvaldsen, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Vulcan, also known as the Roman God of Fire, was a descendant of Jupiter and Juno. In Ancient Roman mythology, the Vulcan fire god is the equivalent of the Greek fire God Hephaestus. 

In addition to being known as the God of Fire in ancient Rome, Vulcan is also known as the God of the forge and of metalworking. The temple of Vulcan was called Volcanal. 

The symbol of Vulcan is the blacksmith’s hammer, as Vulcan was not only known for fire, but for forging that fire and metalworking. In ancient Rome, Vulcan was celebrated on August 23rd, marking his very own dedicated holiday, Vulcanalia. During the Vulcanalia festival, it was common for the heads of Roman families to toss live fish into a roaring fire. 

The central sanctuary for worshipping Vulcan was located in the Volcani area on the Volcanal. The Volcanal is known as one of the most ancient shrines in Rome to date. 

2. Kagu-tsuchi (Japanese Fire God)

Kagutsuchi, the Japanese God of Fire, was a descendant of Izanagi and Izanami. According to Japanese mythology, Kagutsuchi is the cause of his mother, Izanami’s death, during childbirth. 

Due to his father, Izanagi’s grief, Kagutsuchi was beheaded. His father then proceeded to dismember Kagutsuchi’s body into eight separate pieces. These eight pieces are said to represent eight volcanoes, due to Kagutsuchi’s corpse transitioning into multiple deities simultaneously. 

In Japanese mythology, Kagutsuchi is the deity of ceramic workers as well as blacksmiths. There are numerous shrines dedicated to Kagutsuchi that are still available today, one of which is located in Kyoto and is known as the Atago Shrine. 

The name Kagutsuchi was derived from the ancient Japanese root verb kagu, which means “to shine” and a possessive particle from the Old Japanese, chi meaning “force” or “power”.

3. Loki (Norse Fire God)

Ancient Scandinavian depiction of Loki.
Ancient Scandinavian depiction of Loki

When you think of Loki, your first thought might remind you of the Marvel universe, especially if you are unfamiliar with Greek or Norse mythology. Loki is a Norse/Germanic God of Fire. He is known as the descendant of Laufey and Farbauti and is typically referred to as a jokester, a trickster, and in some cases, even a shapeshifter. 

In Norse mythology, Loki is known for becoming increasingly more menacing and mischievous, ultimately resulting in being banished to a cave by The Gods until the end of the world. Prior to becoming a menace and a trickster, Loki was often referred to as a fire God or a god with a “fierce strike”.

In a historical context, it is debated whether Loki is simply confused with Logi, which typically means “fire”, “of fire”, or the personification of fire.

The name “Loki” is derived from the words “tangles” or “knots”, which is often used to tie Loki to his mischievous ways and the webs of lies and deceit he weaves. 

4. Xiuhtecuhtli (Aztec Father of the Gods, Aztec Fire God)

Xiuhtecuhtli Statue.
Xiuhtecuhtli Statue
Anagoria, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In ancient Aztec mythology, Xiuhtecuhtli is the God of Fire, Heat, and Day. According to Aztec mythology, Xiuhtecuhtli was created by the Tezcatlipoca, and was deemed the lord of volcanoes. Xiuhtecuhtli is also known as the fire in cold, light in the darkness, life after death, and food during famine or wartime.

Historically, Xiuhtecuhtli’s face was painted entirely black, only using a slight red pigment for symbolic purposes. In depictions of Xiuhtecuhtli, he appears adorned with mosaics that are turquoise. In other depictions, Xiuhtecuhtli can be seen wearing turquoise chest coverings.  

Each year in Aztec history, Xiuhtecuhtli was celebrated on the 18th veintena of each year. The celebration for Xiuhtecuhtli was named Izcalli. During the festival, the Aztec people would fish and gather a variety of snakes, birds, lizards, and other mammals, to sacrifice to the hearth on the night of the Izcalli festival as a sign of respect and worship. 

5. Prometheus (Greek God of Fire)

Painting of Prometheus.
Painting of Prometheus
Image by dimitrisvetsikas1969 from Pixabay

Prometheus is the Greek God of Fire, also known as the Fire Bringer in the historical context. In Greek mythology, Zeus orders Prometheus the task of helping to form man himself from the surrounding Earth and water. As Prometheus helped to create man from Zeus’ assigned task, he began to feel compassion for his creation, even more than Zeus himself. 

The oldest record of Prometheus in Greek culture and mythology is in Hesiod. The name “Prometheus”, is a name that means “forethought”, which is likely why so many highlight the wisdom and intelligence of Prometheus. 

As Prometheus worked to complete his task of creating man for Zeus, he is also credited for introducing man to fire. Zeus, feeling angered and betrayed by Prometheus’ temptation and his own actions, banished Prometheus to a mountain, where he was bound and chained.

6. Agni (Hindu Fire God)

Agni fire god statue.
Agni fire god statue
Pratishkhedekar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Agni, also known as the Hindu fire god, is not only a fire God in Hindu mythology, but he is also the guardian deity of the Southeast regions of India.

According to Hindu mythology and ancient cosmology, Agni is known as one of five main elements found to sustain life. Along with fire, water, air, Earth, and space help to form the existence that we perceive and see all around us in our everyday lives. 

There is no solid trail back to the origin of Agni. Some historians will argue that Agni is rooted in Indo-European mythologies, whereas others are adamant that Agni is derived from standard Indian history and tradition. The most prevalent time period for Agni was 1500-500 BCE, during the Vedic period.

According to Hindu mythology, Agni is thought to help lightning in addition to creating fire with the use of two sticks. 

In the Indian Brhaddevata, it is said that Agni was dismembered and placed among the grass and other earthly materials, where he then transitioned into the God of Fire.

7. Bel (Celtic Sun/Fire God)

Bel, a Celtic Sun God, or Celtic Fire God, is a rarer and lesser-known god in the history of ancient gods. However, Bel is a significant Celtic Sun/Fire God for many reasons. Bel is short for Beltaine, which is also known as a festival that is “in-between” the solstices, which were worshipped by the Celtic civilization at the time.  

In addition to being a fire God, Bel is also known for his ability to heal. Bel has been referred to by various names, including Belie, Belinus, Balor, Beli, Belenus, Belenos, and Mawr. Another name for Bel is the Shining God in Celtic history and mythos. 

In Celtic mythology, Bel is responsible for thunder bolts, lighting, purification, science, crops, the sun, and fire itself. He can help those who believe in him with prosperity, fertility, success, and even with the healing of the body.

8. Zhurong (Chinese Fire God)

Artwork from 1597 depiction Zhurong riding two dragons.
Artwork from 1597 depiction Zhurong riding two dragons
Jiang Yinghao (fl. late 16th century), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Zhurong, a Chinese Fire God, is known as the fire God of the south of China.

In Chinese mythology and history, the Shanhaijing, or the compilation of Chinese mythic geography, represents Zhurong as the son of the father, whose name means “play with pots”. Zhurong’s father’s name translates into “Skillful Pot”.

It is thought that Zhurong’s name is relevant to fire as it is linked with the culture surrounding ceramics and ceramic advancements in and throughout China at the time. 

Although many fire gods in history are notorious for their savage and destructive ways, Zhurong was not one of them. Zhurong is noted as being simplistic in nature, desiring nothing, and being addicted to nothing. Additionally, Zhurong did not believe in punishments, as these are not included in Chinese mythology. 

9. Tohil (Mayan Fire God)

While Xiuhtecuhtli is often referred to as an Aztec god, it is also classified as a Mayan God in many historical texts. However, one Fire God that is not as commonly known but is classified as a Mayan God is Tohil. Tohil was a patron deity of the Balam Quitze civilization. He was extremely generous and enjoyed delivering the gift of fire to the Balam Quitze people. 

After bringing fire to the Balam Quitze people, society was extremely impressed and entranced with Tohil, feeling excited about the opportunity to offer sacrifices in exchange for the beautiful gift of fire. 

Although Tohil was a kind Fire God when he wanted to be, he did not shy away from sacrifices and rituals. Historically, there is evidence that sacrifices and potential cannibalism occurred in honor of Tohil, the Mayan God of Fire.

10. Ra (Egyptian Fire God of the Sun)

Depiction of Ra Egyptian god.
Depiction of Ra Egyptian god
fi:Käyttäjä:kompak; improving by User:Perhelion, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ra, the Egyptian God of Sun, is also often referred to as the Egyptian fire god of light, warmth, growth, and sun combined, according to Egyptian mythology. Ra has the ability to manage various elements of disease, famine, and even protects the lioness goddess of war whenever necessary. 

According to Egyptian history and mythology, Ra is one of, if not the most important and highly respected gods in all of creation. Ra is responsible for the existence of creation, including light, the sun, and fire itself. In Egyptian mythology, Ra is the “heart of the gods”, and without him, all gods and goddesses would simply cease to exist. 

Summary

Learning about the fire gods and goddesses throughout history can help better connect the cultures and civilizations that still exist today. With the knowledge of ancient religions and beliefs, embark on your journey to learn the true history of the realm ready and well-equipped. 

Cite this article

The Editors of Give Me History, "Top 20 Fire Gods and Goddesses Throughout History," Give Me History, January 10, 2022, https://www.givemehistory.com/fire-gods-and-goddesses.

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