Deity Seed: Gelumaqa.


Description: minor prehistoric water deity, Caspian region

Area of Influence: water, fishing, waterfowl, outdoor survival

Gelumaqa is a very old, and formerly very forgotten, Indo-European deity that apotheosized, thrived, and dwindled about six thousand or so years ago around the Black Sea.  What was she like, in her first incarnation as a goddess? It’s hard to say. Even this incarnation of Gelumaqa finds her memories of that period extremely hazy. Mud was everywhere, it was cold all the time, far too many of the most vivid memories involve bright sprays of blood; the goddess is fairly certain that mortals probably weren’t too happy to see her manifestation.

But that was then!  Which is to say, that was before Gelumaqa drifted away from the minds of men, falling into a very peaceful oblivion that lasted right up to the moment when modern mortals started inking her sacred symbols onto their skins.  Which was enough like worship and sacrifice to ‘wake her up,’ so to speak; and those mortals should thank, well, Gelumaqa that the goddess was the kind that could wake up in a friendly and accommodating mood.  There are any number of deities from that really old-time religion that might have come out the gate demanding blood for the blood god.

Today, Gelumaqa’s ‘cult’ is mostly spreading through North American women from 25 to 40 who are interested in camping, fishing, and the outdoors.  There aren’t that many of them, but then there weren’t that many worshippers in the old days, either; the population of the planet has skyrocketed since then, making it much easier for a rediscovered deity to thrive.  The arrangement is simple enough; Gelumaqa gives good fishing and protection from the elements, and her worshippers get the tattoo and, well, believe. Many of them don’t think that they’re really believing in a goddess in a worship-like manner, but the worship energy comes through anyway and that’s what matters.

All of this would be merely quaint, and possibly even comforting — Gelumaqa isn’t evil and nobody’s getting hurt — but there are still several complications.  First off: Gelumaqa has a long-term plan in mind where her followers all go have a bunch of kids and raise them up in worship of the goddess. This is not a particularly morally awful plan, but it does mean that the goddess is constantly doing her best to meddle in her worshippers’ love lives by making sure they notice ‘appropriate’ potential suitors, complete with helpful suggestions on how to approach them.  If the worshipper in question is inclined anyway towards large, fit men who like the outdoors and roast meat (Gelumaqa, like many deities, has a ‘type’) this is not particularly onerous; if the worshipper does not, well. Gelumaqa can’t actually make her worshippers do anything against their will, but she doesn’t so much want babies as she’s still a Bronze Age deity who doesn’t really get why ‘not wanting more babies’ would be a thing.  It’s like having your mom in your head, only your mom can adjust the weather around you so that the wind is flowing through your hair romantically just as the park ranger approaches the campsite in the last orange rays of the sunset.

Second: what if the other shoe drops? Gelumaqa herself recognizes that her personality and habits now are very different than when she first manifested; and she has no idea as to what exactly caused the change (the tattoos only explain why she’s around again, sort of).  What if she changes back? It could be awkward, especially since even too-explicit animal sacrifice is frowned upon in the modern era.  Things are pretty sweet for the goddess currently; she’s not really keen on any sudden changes, not that Bronze Age types ever really were in the first place.  Whether mortal, or godly.

Which leads to the last, most interesting question: where are the other Bronze Age deities, anyway?  Gelumaqa of course considers herself to be uniquely deserving of resurrection, but she will more or less concede that perhaps others from her pantheon might be almost as worthy of re-apotheosis.  So why haven’t they come back, too?  There are other deity-associated tattoo designs out there, after all.

Or perhaps they did, and then the deities went away?  That would be worth finding out, honestly. And quickly, too.


  • Phil Smith says:

    Now I want to know what happens to her.

  • Rockphed says:

    Now I want to write romance adventure novels about the women who get Gelumaqa’s tatoo. I just need to decide what our poor protagonist does for a living. Archeologist? Anthropologist? Park ranger who ends up attracting the attention of serial killers?
    Alternatively, I can have her get pulled into a world of werewolves, vampires, fairies, and random nature spirits.

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