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Does your world (usually fantasy) simply grow food and turn its attention to other matters when it comes to spirituality or mythology? Or, does your agrarian society see the deities and spiritual forces in the food that’s grown and beseech them for productive growing seasons and full harvests? Even if you don’t dive into your world’s mythology in your story, knowing this will help you draw from your characters’ real live dramas and bring conflict and a depth to your world building.

So where do you start? Just because college doesn’t allow Wikipedia as a source, I find it is a great place to start. Can you trust the information there? For the most part, and if the research is a vital part of your book, then you’ll need to find other sources. But this list of agriculture deities showcases many different cultures and can give you an idea about how they structured their mythologies.

Think about the societies. The Celts were very much an agrarian society (though they warred too), likewise Mesopotamia. Then look at how many deities they have on the list. The list isn’t exhaustive, and my guess is diving into other cultures would find more deities who should be on that list. But looking at the various ways the deities are put into agriculture settings will help you to think about how you might have deities in your own world.

And yet, some aren’t listed here. Epona, the horse goddess seen with sovereignty and worshiped by the Roman cavalrymen who came to Britain because they understood a reverence for the horse, isn’t on this list as an “agriculture” deity, and yet while she was the protector of horses, mules, donkeys, and ponies, she also was seen as a fertility goddess. Wouldn’t that fall under the topic of agriculture?

As we begin to dive into this topic, I encourage you to just think about the rule agriculture has in your world. Then, see if you can’t use that to provide more insight into your world building. You might be surprised what grows.

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