Every culture I've ever heard of has primarily worshipped a being that deserved to rule the universe. Whether the sole figure in a monotheistic religion like the Christian God, or the primary god in a polytheistic tradition like the Greek Zeus, these are beings associated with justice, righteousness, and (on average) good. Even when they do objectionable or destructive things, they are still considered primarily forces of order and justice within their mythology.

That being said, most mythologies also include figures of high honor that are to be feared, rather than loved. These beings could be genuinely evil like the Christian Devil, or merely cruel and malevolent like the Greek Ares or Discord/Eris. The modern Cthulhu is another example: not evil per se, but also not at all a figure of justice or benevolence. These figures (sometimes) also received sacrifices and honors in their own right, but in an effort to placate them or prevent their wrath.

Worth mentioning: we could debate all day whether WE today consider Zeus or other gods to be "good or evil." I'm not trying to get into a moral judgement of various mythologies, I'm asking about how they were viewed by their own worshippers. The ancient Greeks considered Zeus to be a figure of justice who deserved to rule Olympus, and considered Ares to be horrific, terrifying, and (in the Iliad) "the most hateful of all the gods of Olympus."

So I'm wondering, did any culture have a pantheon with a figure like that at its head? Were any pantheons ruled by deities who their own worshippers would consider unjust, illegitimate, malevolent, or outright evil? A religion based primarily around preventing the wrath of heaven, rather than seeking the blessing of heaven?


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