A liminal deity is a god or goddess in mythology who presides over thresholds, gates, or doorways; “a crosser of boundaries”. (wikipedia)
The most well known and beloved guardians of the crossroads were introduced to many of us in high school through courses in literature, anthropology and mythology and would include the gods and goddesses of Greek, Roman and Egyptian paths. But as with all things pagan, our ancient ancestors were more spiritually connected in how they viewed the world they lived in, than we seem to be today. A spiritual collective sub-consciousness links us, no matter where in the world we reside, which is why many indigenous cultures shared similar pagan practices and beliefs with respect to both spiritual and healing workings.
A little visit over to Wikidpedia gives a quick example of this connection. Below I have pulled data from the wiki page on Liminal Deity just too wet your spiritual appetite on the guardian waiting to connect with you and aid you in your workings! I have found that their list is limited and deals more with physical crossroads than threshold, as per their own definition!
In my practice over the years any guardian or guide who aids us with journeying of any kind, to whichever realm, are liminal deities. For they walk our path with us, where ever it may lead. I was very surprised that a number of Celtic and Norse gods were not included on the Wiki page and will do my best to research and add additional posts over time on the few that I am aware of, In my view, The Morrigan, of course, being a prominent one who should not be slighted or missed! I’ve added a few personal notes based on my workings over the past 30 years with a few of these beautiful, yet at times haunting, spiritual ancestors based on the Wiki listing, more to follow!
“Hecate: Although a crone goddess, I refer to her as Mother, considering my age, it works! We all are aware of and many have worked with her over the years. She is a often a patron goddess of many in the craft as she presides over witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts, crossroads and necromancy. But there is more to her. Guardian of the household she teaches of healing with deep knowledge of herbs and psychoactive plants. She is therefore both a warrior and a healer, protector and teacher. A true guardian. I have a deep love and respect for Hecate for she is the first incarnation of Green Tara that manifested for me. Both ancestral spirits are Saviours.
Hermes: While most of us know him as the god of messengers and omens he is also the guardian and guide for travelers, and by extension roads, border crossing and journeying, both within and without. While we are aware that he is the messenger of the gods, few may be aware that he is also a guide of the dead! So while Mother (or Grandmother, depending on how she connects with you) Hecate guards the crossroads, he acts as guide to our ancestors.” – ss
ROMAN MYTHOLOGY – directly from wiki
Cardea: goddess of health, thresholds and door hinges and handles
Forculus, Lima, and Limentinus, minor deities of thresholds or doorways
Janus: dual-faced god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings, for whom January is named.
Mercury: messenger of the gods and guide of the dead; equivalent to the Greek god Hermes
Portunes: god of keys, doors and livestock
Terminus: god who protected boundary markers
Trivia: goddess of witchcraft, the three-way crossroads, and the harvest moon; equivalent to the Greek goddess Hecate
BALTIC MYTHOLOGY – directly from wiki
Užsparinė, Lithuanian goddess of land borders
HINDUISM – directly from wiki, my notes to follow
Ganesha a messenger of the gods and goddesses who must be propitiated before any of the other deities.
Pushan, a solar deity and psychopomp and responsible for overseeing the journey of the dead to the afterlife. He also precides over mortal journeys and roadways. The journeys he guides you on are both physical journeys and metaphorical ones, for he is also oversees marriages – when two individuals step through a spiritual portal into a new path, new direction, together
AFRICAN RELIGION – directly from wiki, my notes to follow
Papa Legba, crossroad spirit and trickster in West African Vodun, he is the bringer of magic, master diviner and speaker of every language who facilitates communication between man and the gods. Papa Legba is also the remover of obstacles and the guardian of the home and crossroads. Also known as Eelegua in Santeria, Louisiana Voodoo, Haitian Voodoo.
“Within my own personal experience, when I would join my Papa in his morning or evening devotion during my trips back home, I did develop a relationship with a few of the Hindu spirit ancestors, and as I grew up I researched more into the deeply rooted mythology. Lord Ganesha I always felt was a big brother watching over me and guarding me, but at times I felt and still feel really protective of him. In Hindu homes he is often portrayed in pictures as a baby or youth and hung over the entrance way to a child’s room. As I passed under his image I would always smile up at him. Because my first view of him was as a spirit younger than myself, and because I am very much aware of his story, while I do not work with Ganesha, I will always be protective of him. As you may have discovered if you stumbled upon my YT video on the subject 😉
In my early thirties I was introduced to Voodoo through the Houngan of the Niagara Voodoo Shrine in St. Catherine’s Ontario who did a workshop on the truth and beauty of yet another very powerful and unbroken spiritual practice. I felt an automatic kinship to the loa and definitely their power. Even though I was not working with the Hindu ancestors, because it is such a strong lineage in my family, I was unsure how they would feel about each other. With this troubling my mind I didn’t even realize I ‘feel asleep’ on my sofa and had a surreal experience which clearly showed me that the only boundaries between the spirits of our ancestral paths are the ones we place. They… are totally fine with each other. In fact, we can learn a lot about acceptance from them… but I digress :)” – ss
CHINESE MYTHOLOGY – directly from wiki
“One of the most extensive list of threshold guardians comes from China and provided below directly from Wiki” – ss
Chen Huang Shen: the God of Walls and Moats
Men Shen, the Gods of Doors
Chen Wenlong, God of City Walls in Fuzhou
Fan Zeng, God of City Walls in Hezhou and He county
Guan Ying, God of City Walls in Longxing, Gan, Yuan, Jiang, Ji, Jianchang, Linjiang, Nanchang and Nankang
Huang Xie, God of City Walls in Suzhou
Huo Guang, Yu Bo and Chen Huacheng, Gods of City Walls in Shanghai
Ji Shun, God of City Walls in Zhengzhou, Zhenjiang, Qingyuan, Ningguo, Taiping, Xiangyang, Xingyuan, Fuzhou, Nanan and Huating
Jian Yi, God of City Walls in Tanghongzhou
Jiao Ming, God of City Walls in Ezhou
Liu Zhongyuan, God of City Walls in Liuzhou
Pang Yu, God of City Walls in Xiaoxing
Qu Tan, God of City Walls in Taizhou
Shen Sheng, God of City Walls in Wuzhou
Su Jian, God of City Walls in Yongzhou
Te Xuan, God of City Walls in Jinan
Wen Tianxiang, God of City Walls in Huangzhou
Xiao He, God of City Walls in Gu
Yang Jianshan, God of City Walls in Beijing
Yao Yichung, God of City Walls in Xingguojun
Ying Bu, God of City Walls in Zhenzhou and Liuhe
Ying Zhixu, God of City Walls in Yunzhou
Zhou Ke, God of City Walls in Jiangyin
Zhu Yigui, God of City Walls in Xiaonanmen
KOREAN MYTHOLOGY – directly from wiki
Jangseung, a totem pole traditionally placed at the edges of villages to mark for village boundaries and frighten away demons; also worshipped as tutelary deities
Munshin is the Korean deity of the door threshold. He was considered one of the most powerful of the house gods.
A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture or occupation. One type of tutelary deity is the genius, the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. (“I find this really interesting!!! It reminds me of totem spirits, or guardians.”) Pierre A. Riffard defines a tutelary spirit as either the genius (present since birth) or a familiar spirit.