(e) Gods may be sacrificed (in theriomorphic form) to themselves as a means of renewing the life of the god.
There is an obvious development from the serpent qua reptile to the deity or the devil, and that the original theriomorphic form is not at once forgotten can be seen in Zeus Meilichios, Aesculapius Amynos, in the Cretan snake-goddesses, or in the Buddhist topes illustrated by Fergusson.
It will appear that, while the non-civilized gods are often theriomorphic, made in accordance with the ideas of non-civilized men, the civilized gods retain many characteristics of the savage gods, and these characteristics are the " irrational element " in the divine myths.
These two birds in many tribes give names to the two great exogamous and intermarrying divisions; in their case there is a va et vient of divine, human and theriomorphic elements, just as in the Greek myths of Zeus.
All these are more or less anthropomorphic, but retain, as will be seen, numerous relics of a theriomorphic condition.
Perhaps it is safer to attribute theriomorphic shapes of 4 Rig Veda, x.
For the composite character of Quetzalcoatl as a "culturehero " (a more polished version of Qat), as a " nature-god," and as a theriomorphic god see Muller (op. cit.
So far Egyptian religion only represented her gods in theriomorphic shape.
From this period the mixed and monstrous figures, semi-theriomorphic, semianthropomorphic, hawk-headed and ram-headed and jackal-headed gods become common.
This may be attributed to Semitic influence, or we may suppose that the process of anthropomorphizing theriomorphic gods was naturally developing itself; for Mexico has shown us and Greece can show us abundant examples of these mixed figures, in which the anthropomorphic god retains traces of his theriomorphic past.
That personification is, as a rule, anthropomorphic, but traces of theriomorphic personification are still very apparent.
However the distribution of this singular myth may be explained, its origin can scarcely be sought in the imagination of races higher in culture than the Tinneh and Tacullies, among whom dogs and beavers are the theriomorphic form of Purusha or Ymir.
- These are almost unanimously attributed to " culture-heroes," beings theriomorphic or anthropomorphic, who, like Pund-jel, Qat, Quawteaht, Prometheus, Manabozho, Quetzalcoatl, Cagn and the rest, taught men the use of the bow, the processes (where known) of pottery, agriculture (as Demeter), the due course of the mysteries, divination, and everything else they knew.
Besides the anthropomorphic " giants, " mentioned above, Northern mythology speaks also of theriomorphic demons, the chief of which were Midgar6sormr, the " worldserpent," and Fenrisulfr, a monster wolf, the enemies of Thor and Odin respectively.
Here again, though to a less extent than in tree cults, the theriomorphic aspect recurs; in the north of Europe, in ancient Greece, in China, the water or river spirit is horse or bull-shaped; the water monster in serpent shape is even more widely found, but it is less strictly the spirit of the water.
- Theriomorphic creators are most fully attested for the Red Indian tribes, whose very backwardness renders them so valuable to an anthropologist.
The Algonkins, however, thought otherwise, and the myth itself suggests a theriomorphic earth-maker.