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Crossover Cosmology

Wonderita: So isn't it weird for two people of conflicting theological origins to hang out all night?
Wonderella: Nope!

So, it turns out that All Myths Are True; you can have breakfast with the God of Thunder, chat it up with the Anthropomorphic Personification of Dreams, or even have a heart to heart with The Grim Reaper. All the while remaining totally un-conflicted about remaining faithful to the Big Guy Upstairs or whichever major religion the characters follow; even Crystal Dragon Jesus can hang with the Powers That Be and get a high five.

A Crossover Cosmology is different from All Myths Are True in that many of the cosmologies involved are themselves mutually exclusive either in world view, history, philosophy, or all of the above. The issue becomes especially thorny when polytheistic religions with large pantheons are mixed with monotheistic religions and reincarnation-based belief systems. It's rarely inadvertent, either. Black Adam getting his power from the Egyptian gods whereas his successor Captain Marvel gets them from the Greek gods (and one Biblical figure) wasn't a slip-up; neither was making both Hercules and Thor superheroes. Writers have no problem doing this to "pagan" gods, and outside the mainstream they don't have much trouble doing it to the Abrahamic God either.

This can be justified from the characters' viewpoint by having them point out that there's no reason they should believe that, say, Thor is a god in the same sense Yahweh is, when there are people who are flying around and summoning lightning, or are even immortal, who are plain old Mutants, metahumans, or aliens.

When taken to the extreme end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism it may result in a Cosmology where local deities are weak and irrelevant and Eldritch Abominations and other ancient nasties can and do casually traipse over any local deities' shrines and followers. Even in more optimistic portrayals, one has to wonder at the fairness of a universe that allows Galactus, Darkseid, Anti-Spirals, and Imhotep to exist.

Some belief systems work like this; the term "henotheism" exists to describe the belief that all gods exist, but one's particular god is superior. Of course, most people who ascribe to this don't have said gods playing croquet in their backyard. In fact, quite a few non-Abrahamic religions worked this way, as did early Judaism. The Romans believed in Jupiter, and the Egyptians believed in Ra, but the Romans didn't think believing in Ra was wrong, just not for them; they were fine with any kind of worship as long as you skipped Human Sacrifice and paid proper respect to the gods they did recognize. They experienced some amount of confusion in this regard when trying to take over Judea.

Another option is "syncretism", where you conflate two religious concepts. The Romans did this as well by occasionally claiming other peoples' gods were their gods under different names or by combining earlier strictly Roman gods with foreign gods, hence for example, the "Gallo-Roman" god Apollo Sucellus (combining the Roman sun god with a Gaulish god of agriculture), or Tacitus writing that the Germanic tribes worshipped Hercules (Donar) and Mercury (Woten); this is why certain Roman and Greek gods are all but interchangeable today.

Variations on the Romans' logic are quite popular in attempts to resolve the massive Continuity Snarl created by multiple similar pantheons coexisting, especially since the myths have often evolved from common ancestors. The Magic Word in this case is "aspect" - deities who closely share an archetype (say, Ares and Mars) are really aspects or interpretations of the same god. This even crops up within a lot of religions of the Loads and Loads of Characters variety, with Ehecatl being an aspect of Quetzalcoatl, and Kali being (sometimes) an aspect of Parvati. Monotheistic religions either worship the single ur-God of which all gods are aspects, or they only worship one of them.

See also All Myths Are True, A Mythology Is True, The Multiverse, Lowest Cosmic Denominator, Clap Your Hands If You Believe, Fantasy Kitchen Sink, Fantasy Pantheon, Gods Need Prayer Badly and Magical Underpinnings of Reality.

Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Saint Young Men, which stars Jesus and Buddha as roommates in Japan while they take a break from their divine duties. One of the chapters has them participating in a Shinto festival, where Buddha worries that they'll be laughing stocks in Heaven if the god of the Shinto Shrine they're carrying finds out that they're there.
  • Saint Seiya. Blatantly obvious in the anime, with the addition of movies and a Filler arc. To the point where greek gods, Norse gods, Buddha, and friggin' Satan fought Seiya and Co.
    • And the universe was created by Big Bang, so it's possible that Athena reincarnated as a Raptor.
  • High School DD has alot of mythologies existing in this story, Ars Goetia being the most prominent example. Norse Mythology, Hindu Mythology, Greek Mythology, it's all here though apparently there's also one more mythology that even the other gods of said mythology don't know about. The name of said mythology? There is a breast god in this series.
  • In Shaman King, the characters do battle with spirits from a wide variety of religions and beliefs. This includes, but is not limited to: Fairies, Archangels, Buddhist Spirits, Japanese Nature Kami, Oni, Aztec Gods, Egyptian Pyramids, Zombies, Skeletons, Mesopotamian Gods, Demons, Animals... Oh, and normal human ghosts as well.

    Comic Books 
  • The Marvel Universe has many examples of cosmologies coexisting. As with other decades-old comics universes, the precise details can vary Depending on the Writer:
    • The most prominent Marvel god characters are the Norse god Thor and Greek god Hercules, both of whom have served on the Avengers. Many other pantheons exist as well, alongside "new" godlike beings such as the Eternals, the Celestials, the Elders of the Universe, Eternity, and others. A storyline in The Incredible Hercules featured Herc leading the "God Squad," a task force of Greek, Inuit, Egyptian, Japanese, and Aztec gods that teams up to defend the Earth from encroachment by alien Skrull deities.
      • The (main) in-universe explanation is that the Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Olympian, Japanese, Inuit, Aztec etc. gods are all magical, superhuman beings from other worlds and dimensions who were worshipped by different ethnic groups throughout history, and all of the myths surrounding them are, where contradictory, generally misinterpretations or half-truths. They each have distinct origins, but are not above intermingling: Gaea, the Elder Goddess of the Earth, played a role in most or all of these pantheons; aside from being based on the Greek overdeity of the same name, she is the same being as Izanami in the Japanese pantheon, and is the mother of both Thor and Atum-Ra of the Norse and Egyptian pantheons; although, in the Marvel series, both she and Atum-Ra predate all these other groups by billions of years.
    • A henotheistic aspect of Marvel cosmology is the ultimate Omniscient God-with-a-capital-G, called "One Above All." The Fantastic Four met him in one story, in which he turns out to be... Jack Kirby!!! (Or perhaps Kirby was simply A Form You Are Comfortable With.) Other stories have implied that the "One Above All" is a manifestation of Marvel Comics itself.
      • The One Above All is a justifiable use of Author Avatar, showing up as whoever is writing the story. It has been Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and others over the years. Literally whoever is writing the story for the comic.
    • Galactus is said to change his appearance based on whoever sees him. To humans, he resembles a giant human. To other aliens, he resembles a member of their race. See the image on You Cannot Grasp the True Form for examples.
    • One Ghost Rider story, established that there is a Spirit of Vengeance for each religion and nationality. One of the other Spirits says that the afterlife you go to depends on your belief.
      • This was established long before that story; each pantheon in Marvel has a Death God, most of whom fill out an Everybody Hates Hades-version of the god they are based on and are evil (or at least, Anti-Villain) gods who own a portion of the dimension formerly known as Hell, which shattered into numerous other dimensions billions of years ago to become the Splinter Realms- they other owners of such dimensions are Demon Lords and Archdevils, and all owners gain strength and can expand their realm by the number of souls they possess. The specific rights they have to a given soul are laid out by a contract each Death God and Skyfather (the more benevolent heads of each pantheon) has with the Anthropomorphic Personification of Death herself, and generally means that if you follow a specific religion, that determines which heaven or hell you go to (Skyfathers generally get the "good" souls according to the morals of their faith; for instance, a good follower of the Norse religion goes to Odin in Valhalla, a bad or neutral one to Hela in Hel). Atheists and irreligious people, however, are judged purely on moral worth- bad guys get stuck with the demons, while good ones go to Heaven (everyone in between is...ambigious). There are more specific rules for each- for instance, a Christian might still find himself sent to Hela just because he happened to be in Asgard when he died, and there are ghosts and reincarnation and magic and other stuff going on. There are also dimenseions ruled by malevolvent demonic entities like Dormammu who rule both life and afterlife and make both as hellish as possible, so keep them off of your "places to visit" list.
  • DC Comics (both in The DC Universe and Vertigo Comics, which sometimes overlap and sometimes don't) also has a complicated cosmology, both in itself (with deities from many cultures as well as its own inventions) and Depending on the Writer:
    • Vertigo Comics' The Sandman had Egyptian, Norse, Greek, Shinto, and the Judeo-Christian gods, claiming that they all come from the human subsconscious and feed on human belief. The paradoxes created by this are ironed out by the fact that everything is true; the universe was created by Allah and Yahweh and every other creator god. To further muddle the waters, The Endless, Anthropomorphic Personification of fundamental concepts of reality, have more power than entire pantheons - though they can become weaker in a god's place of power. At the same time, the Sandman milieu is also presented as a henotheistic one in which Lucifer (and, especially, Lucifer's Creator) are depicted as far more powerful than even the Endless.
    • A Swamp Thing storyline made it clear that in the DCU, the Creator's omnipotence is itself a contingent result of the universe's belief focusing on human beings. The Elementals had a chance to shift that belief to other forms of life, effectively killing God and replacing him with whatever-the-Swamp-Thing-was-becoming.
    • The DCU's version of the Judeo-Christian God grows out of the lore surrounding the character of The Spectre, who is a being of almost limitless power. And if the Spectre is that powerful, what about his creator?
    • Vertigo's Hellblazer is set in the same pantheistic universe, where John Constantine might visit Hell one week and summon the Aztec god of death in the next. (Contrast with The Film of the Book, which uses Catholic theology exclusively.
    • Jack Kirby's New Gods are also part of the equation in the DCU. One Wonder Woman story suggested that the Greek gods discovered a small tribe in Italy that worshipped them (due to stories told by Darkseid for reasons of his own), and created duplicates of themselves to watch over them. As the Romans grew more powerful and developed a culture distinct from the Greeks, the duplicate gods changed to suit them, until they were entirely separate entities.
    • A Superman story, set shortly after Zeus had teamed up with the Hindu pantheon in Wonder Woman, had Zeus inspired to set up the Interfaith Deity Council of Active Polytheistics, comprising himself, Odin, Thoth and Ale (a West African fertility goddess). They were opposed by a group of Gods Of Evil comprising Baal, the Morrigan (Celtic war goddess), Izanami (Japanese death goddess), Mixcoatl, and Ahriman (the Zoroastian Ultimate Evil).
    • Other stories portray Zeus as a member of the Quintessance — a group consisting of himself, The Phantom Stranger (whose generally accepted origin story is Judeo-Christian), Highfather of the New Gods, Ganthet of the Guardians of the Universe and Shazam (who receives his own powers from a mish-mash of gods including Zeus).
    • Captain Marvel anti-hero/villain Black Adam draws his powers from the Egyptian pantheon. Captain Marvel himself gets his powers from a Hebrew king, two Greek heroes, one titan, a Greek god, and a Roman god.
  • The Flare comic pages online in early June 2008 (pages 260ff.) take place on Mount Olympus. From page 259:
    Terri: Our adventure with the Champions may seem like a dream, but you know perfectly well that it actually happened. (Clue from Ed.: See League of Champions #1-3.)
    Donnah: Aphrodite is real, and so are Pan and Zeus, and all the other surviving Olympians.
    • Flare herself is the daughter of a Norse Valkyrie and has been identified with the Greek goddess Eos.
    • In January 2013, Tigress' Bast persona [an Egyptian goddess] forcibly switched bodies with Flare's Eos persona.
  • In The Savage Dragon, all the various pantheons live together on a planet called Godworld (at least, until it's blown up), having been forbidden to visit the mortal realm since 1180 BC. They're ruled by the AllGod, a multi-headed composite of Odin, Zeus, Anu, Daghdha, Coatlicue, Mexitl, Abassi, Nzame, Lo, Biame, Karora and other unnamed elder gods. It's mentioned that Godworld has grown overpopulated due to the various pantheons interbreeding with one another and producing immortal offspring; nonetheless, a later story features some gods returning to Earth to abduct the remaining superpowered Earthlings of godly ancestry.
  • In the Necrophim prologue chapter, Lucifer sends Uriel to kill Jotunheim, king of the frost giants of Norse Mythology, hoping he will die in the attempt.
  • When Alan Moore was writing Supreme, Youngblood and Glory for Rob Liefeld's Extreme Studios, he invented a system of magic that based on the Kaballistic Tree of Life and could incorporate all religious systems, from Judeo-Christian to Greek, Norse and Egyptian, to whatever Eldritch Abomination the writers wanted to create for the story. Although he was never able to use this system in Liefeld's titles, he later incorporated this system in his own title Promethea.
  • The Red Seas currently involves a group of pirates who were made immortal by Odin attempting to resurrect the Greek gods to prevent Satan from unleashing Lovecraftian horrors upon the world.
  • The backstory of Harry Kipling (Deceased) involved every single one of humanity's gods suddenly returning. And they're not nice.
  • In Aquila, Ammit, Jesus, Isis, Jehovah, and Jupiter, as well as the wolf who suckled Remus and Romulus, all exist, and all have power.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • This is inverted in the Discworld universe, where there are multiple gods and anthropomorphic personifications (the kind that exist only because people believe they should exist), and the Omnians are portrayed as odd in their insistence on a monotheistic belief system. It is often stated that several gods appear in more than one Pantheon - for example, many religions have different Thunder Gods, but they are actually all the same god, wearing different hats (He used to be separate gods, but apparently they merged as people started believing them to be the same god with a different name). The book Small Gods explores in detail the process by which gods are created and rise to be powerful.
    And Dios knew that Net was the Supreme God, and that Fon was the Supreme God, and so were Hast, Set, Bin, Sot, Io, Dhek, and Ptooie; that Herpentine Triskeles alone rules the world of the dead, and so did Syncope, and Silur the Catfish-Headed God, and Orexis-Nupt.
    • At one point in the book, the various sun gods are seen fighting over the sun.
  • This is a justified trope in Steven Brust's Dragaera series, which takes place on a world inhabited by both humans and Tolkienesque elves called Dragaerans. The gods of this universe are merely Sufficiently Advanced Dragaerans, who while worshiped by humans are treated casually/disdainfully by members of that race. In fact, one of the main Dragaeran characters is the daughter of the major goddess of the pantheon worshiped by humans.
  • Seen in American Gods by Neil Gaiman. But he shied away from most references to Judeo-Christian theology, except for the Queen of Sheba. And maybe Shadow once meets Jesus.
    • There's also that extended scene with the djinn, which comes from Islamic tradition.
    • One of the gods also mentions that Afghanistan's Jesus is having a rough time, and can't even get people to pick him up when he's hitchhiking.
  • Gore Vidal's Creation is an attempt to do this realistically. It's an epic story of a single man, Cyrus Spitama, Zoroaster's grandson whose long life allows him to visit near-contemporaries like Vardhaman Mahavir, Gautam Buddha, Confucius and Socrates, all of them living as near-contemporaries and coming up with ideas on creation at near about the same time.
  • Everworld: every god of every mythology on Earth decides to collaborate in making a parallel universe where they could all have a sphere of influence. It really gets messy when gods from other universes, like those of the Hetwan and the Coo Hatch, start barging in.
  • Lampshaded in John C. Wright's Orphans of Chaos (which features nearly the entire Greek and/or Roman Pantheon) when a character is asked something along the lines of "How can you be a Christian when you know the Greek gods exist?" Interestingly enough, the answer made sense. It's also mentioned in Titans of Chaos that other pantheons do exist but that most of their members were destroyed in the war with Chaos.
    • His ''War of the Dreaming blends, among others, Celtic, Greek, Christian, Norse and Cthulian mythi.
  • In Christopher Moore's Coyote Blue Anubis is Coyote's older brother. In other books set in the same universe we meet Jesus, a human who has become the god of a cargo cult, the Celtic goddesses Babd, Macha and Nemain as well as angels, demons and djinn.
  • In Glen Cook's Petty Pewter Gods, not only do multiple pantheons of deities exist in the same world, but they compete for worldly prestige in order to maintain their claim on temple real estate in TunFaire's Dream Quarter. As the gods' traits and looks are dictated by their followers' beliefs, this means that the senior deities of two rival pantheons look virtually identical, because their idols were commissioned from the same craftsman, who used the same mold to cast figurines of both.
  • The Dresden Files loves this trope. The Judaeo-Christian God exists—in fact, Harry's ally Michael even has a sword powered by a nail from the Cross. The gods of all other pantheons are mostly inactive but still exist and the fae play a major role in the series. The existence of chi and karma has been acknowledged. Outsiders—-Lovecraftian horrors from outside reality—exist.
    • The Norse pantheon has adapted to the times, becoming a mercenary company led by Odin, with the Einherjar as the soldiers. Odin also seems to be taking an active role in Harry's own world, appearing as part of the Grey Council.
      • Odin is also Kringle a.k.a Santa Claus, who, before the reveal, was thought to be Wyldfae, further blurring the distinction between the Fae and gods and demons (the kind that comes from the Nevernever, not Hell.
      • In Proven Guilty, Harry specifically mentions that gods from Greco-Roman, Norse, Amerind, Africant, Australian Aboriginal, Polynesian, southeast Asian, and Hindu mythology all exist, and have been dormant for centuries. Followers of Dionysus show up in one of the short stories trying to ignite a massive drunken rampage of sports fans. Hades is tasked with guarding various weapons including the head of the spear that stabbed Christ. It is also alluded to that he has a deep connection with the six fairy queens
      • There's also the Red Court's Lords of the Outer Night, which may or may not be Mayan gods. If they aren't, then they're impersonating them. Either way, the Mayan gods exist in the setting. Unless it was the Lords from the beginning, if that's the case, then they don't exist anymore.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
    • The series mainly involves the Greek gods, but Word of God says that the Roman gods exist as a younger offshoot of them (Janus appears in one book, but that's the extent of their involvement). Riordan's other series, The Kane Chronicles, hints that the Egyptian gods also exist in the setting. When Percy asks Dionysus whether the Abrahamic God exists, he responds that the question is "metaphysical" and that they don't know that any more than mortals do.
    • And now the sequel series to Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, is bringing the Roman gods fully into the mix, along with Roman demigods.
    • The Kane Chronicles seems to be rolling with them being the same reality; the end of the third book (along with the earlier reference) hints even more at the events of the two Greek series being real, and it's even setting up a potential meeting.
      • Son of Sobek introduces Carter and Percy at last.
      • There's also a scene in The Red Pyramid where Zia mentions that a man the Egyptians called Moshe was the only foreigner to defeat the House in a magic duel. Carter realizes it's Moses, and asks her if she's kidding. She says she would not kid about such things. Riordan has never commented further.
    • And the next series, set supposedly in the same universe, features the Norse.
    • When meeting his dad for the first time in a dream, Leo exclaims, "Holy Mother!" Hephaestus chides him, "It's 'holy father', boy. I would think you'd know the difference."
    • Topped in The Son of Neptune by rainbow goddess Iris, who hasn't quite decided whether her personal creed should be...Buddhism or Taoism. Amusingly, Buddhism canonically sees nothing wrong with being a god and Buddhist at the same time.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy, there are Greek gods and Gnostic theology, and angels, and William Shakespeare's The Tempest to cite only the major appearances.
  • In the Iron Druid Chronicles many different pantheons exist alongside each other. The protagonist is a druid who worships the Earth and pays lip service to the ancient Irish gods. The Greek god Bacchus is very powerful in Las Vegas while Native American deities still have some power in the surounding areas. The Polish witches get their powers from a moon goddess and a Viking vampire is trying to find a way to kill the Norse god Thor. Jesus and other figures from Christianity appear as a separate pantheon with Mary frequently appearing among humans to help out the poor and homeless.
    • Some pantheons have additional versions that appear when the beliefs of two groups of followers diverge too much. There are dozens of versions of the Native American god Coyote. The North American version of Thor is seperate from the original Norse Thor and based primarily on the comic book character.
  • In Manda Scott's Boudicca series both the Celtic gods and Mithra play significant roles. It's implied that the Roman gods no longer take an active part in things because their worship has devolved into empty ritual.
  • Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen does this for a mixed bag of Celtic, Nordic, Irish, Welsh and English myths including The Morrigan, King Arthur, Merlin, Ragnarok and the Norse svart-alfar and lios-alfar.
  • L. A. Banks' Neteru series has Egyptian deities like Isis, Osiris and Horus as angels in a mostly Christian Heaven. Also the various pagan deities were Nephilim, some good, some bad, most chaotic, which is why they were sealed away in a pocket dimension called the Land of Nod aka Atlantis.
  • In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, The Fair Folk, with Oberon as king and Titania/Mab as queen, exist in the same world as Wayland — who calls Oberon Odin and Puck Loki. It also brushes on King Arthur and Sleeping Beauty.
  • A. Lee Martinez's Divine Misfortune has at least walk ons by every Non-Abrahamic deity you could imagine including several entirely fictional ones.
  • In the Elemental Masters series, all religions have some truth to them. Both the Christian afterlife and the Druidic Summer Country are shown to exist, for example, though the Christian version isn't as all-encompassing as it claims to be. Also, the divine magic of the Hindu pantheon plays a significant part in The Serpent's Shadow.
  • An odd example in A Wolf In The Soul. Dr. Rumu may actually be psychic, and her Indian-mysticism-based advice to help Greg defeat the werewolf turns out to be very accurate, though ultimately insufficient. A very minor example, but its presence in a religious Jewish novel is surprising.

    Live Action TV 
  • In the Stargate Verse, there's a different group of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens behind a great many belief systems. The villainous Goa'uld seem to have the biggest piece of the pie (they're the Egyptian, Greek, and Babylonian gods, and one of them even impersonates Satan.)
    • And on the flip side you have the Asgard, who through the use of Holograms represent the benevolent Norse gods.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys eventually expanded from Greek mythology into demonstrating the literal existence of any and every religion's deities, including the monotheistic God and Hindu gods.
  • Lampshaded in Rome, when the very religious Vorenus asks Pulo to show some respect toward the Egyptian gods because "They were powerful long before Rome was born"
  • In Supernatural, a recurring character previously referred to as The Trickster (one of many) turns out to be the Archangel Gabriel, who left Heaven after the banishment of the Fallen and has been living incognito among the pagans ever since. In one episode, he's also referred to as 'Loki' by other pagan gods, including the Norse Odin and Baldur (implying the fallen were banished before the pagan gods existed, allowing him to join them).
    • Although it's possible that he is the original Loki...
      • Considering this particular version of Odin has *two eyes*, he could be an imposter, too.
      • Another thing to consider, contrary to popular modern portrayals, Loki is not related to Odin and his family at all. This troper remembers the myth stating that he showed up after Odin created Midgard from his enemy's remains. That and Loki's very nature is trickery so if they DO notice something amiss with him, then they probably chalk it up to him being up to something/messing with them.
  • Stephen Marley's Chia Black Dragon trilogy Sorceress, Spirit Mirror, and Mortal Mask, take place in 2nd century China, but there also appear Indian Buddhists, ancient Egyptians (in the back story) and a few Christians. It is suggested that the mythologies and afterlives of all four religions (Chinese, Buddhist, Egyptian and Christian) all exist. In addition to the Stephen Marley's own original myths and creatures, of course
  • In K.A. Applegate's Everworld series, every god from every mythology gets together, and they create a parallel universe where they all rule. Complete with mythical creatures in addition to humans and mundane wildlife. This causes some problems when every god has an extensive cult, and they're all militant. Kill the heretic for worshiping Aphrodite and not Quetzalcoatl! Furthermore, several alien gods from other universes decide to crash the party, including the god-eating god Ka Anor of the Hetwan.
  • In the universe of Christopher Moore's books the First Nation Trickster God Coyote is the younger brother of the Egyptian deity Anubis, Jesus plays poker with an upstart Cargo Cult deity and there are vampires, djinn and angels, among other things.
  • In S. M. Stirlings Emberverse, while not exactly working together the Christian, Celtic and Norse pantheons are all backing the Arthurtype hero in various ways against the Religion of Evil for Eldritch Abominations.
  • Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian has a number of gods that would, in Howard's world become the basis of more modern deities. Crom, Lir, Babd, Macha and Nemain are all Celtic, the Hyborian Mitra becomes Mithra, who's also something of a Crystal Dragon Jesus, the Shemite Ishtar becomes the Babylonian Ishtar, the Turanian/Hyrkanian Erlik becomes the Mongolian Erlik and the Stygian Set seems to be the basis for both the Egyptian Set and Apep
  • The Dark Is Rising combines Celtic Mythology and King Arthur legends with touches of Greek and Egyptian Mythology.

    Music 
  • Queen of the Wave, by Pepe Deluxe, mixes the Greek story of Atlantis with the pre-flood history from The Bible. It's stated that eating from the Tree of Knowledge in Eden caused mankind to attain the heights of wisdom leading directly to the society of Atlantis. At the end, when Atlantis is destroyed for its transgressions, Nepth and his family escape in an ark with two of every animal (except unicorns, which they simply forgot).

    Mythology/Real Life 
  • Herodotus, some myths, and Euripides' play Helen claim that Helen of Troy was spirited away to Egypt for her safety/out of spite toward Aphrodite and Paris by Athena and Hera, where Amun-Zeus extracted her ka (Egyptian)/eidolon (Greek) (identical spirit double), which was taken to Troy with Paris unbeknownst to him (so, yes, the entire Trojan War was fought over a very pretty doppelganger). The Classical Greeks took care to draw parallels between their chief deity Zeus and the Egyptian god Amun. Being the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, that make this Older Than Feudalism.
    • Also, Io was paralleled with the Egyptian Isis. In some versions of her myth, Zeus restores her to her human form when she reaches Egypt and she is thereafter worshipped by the Egyptians as the goddess Isis.
  • Many demons in modern Christian mythology are thought to have originally been the gods of the Hebrews' neighbor cultures, or at the very least were given their names by Christians. Theologians have debated whether those pagan gods were supposed to be actual entities who were demons all along or whether Christians simply applied the names of those gods to demons. If the latter is the case, then it likely stemmed from efforts by Christians to further discourage people from assuming that paganism held any real weight.
    • Also, the appearance of The Devil and by proxy his demons were appropriated from the Greek god Pan. This is more out of a necessity for a concrete appearance for Satan than anything — The Bible is rather scarce on physical descriptions of the Prince of Darkness aside from Revelation, whose descriptions were more symbolic than literal anyway (and at least one description of Satan is WAY too weird to be practically illustrated at that).
    • This can get quite amusing in that some of the highest Angels and Saint's names come from El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon (i.e. Michael, Gabriel). On a similar note, Ba'al was also a god, before being used in one of the names of the devil (Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies).
      • Not quite. The word "El" meant "god" in the languages of both the Hebrews and the Canaanites. One of the names used for God in the Old Testament, Elohim, is a grammatical variation of it. From a historical perspective the God of Israel and El of the Canaanites can even be considered local variations of the same god. When the Hebrews were polytheistic their three greatest gods were El(ohim), Yahweh and Baal, but once they turned to monotheism El and Yahweh were seen as two interpretations of the same one god while Baal was demonized for his association with Canaan. To make things more complex; this Hebrew Polytheism may itself be an Crossover Cosmology as the Judean Yahweh can be considered from a different mythological background then the Canaanite-Israeli El and Baal.
  • The Early Christian Church actively encouraged its missionary Bishops to take pagan holidays and gods and reinterprate them as 'actually Christian holidays' or 'actually Christian saints'. This is how we ended up with holidays like Halloween (originally Samhain) and a December Christmas (cobbled together from such traditions as Yule, Saturnalia and the Mithraic Tauroctany) and saints like Saint Bridgette (originally a celtic goddess of childbirth).
  • In the ancient world (aside from the Hebrews — see above), honoring another nation's deities was considered a friendly gesture. Cyrus of Persia, for example, paid homage to Marduk, a Babylonian god, while allowing the Jews to rebuild a temple to their own god.
  • The Hare Krishna movement believes the Judeo-Christian God and the Hindu god Krishna to be the same entity.
  • In both China and Japan the people have no problem accepting both the native pantheons and Buddhism.
  • The Jews have incorporated a lot of elements from the Saturnalia into Hanukkah, and started claiming all the Solstice holidays of different nations come from an ancient holiday first celebrated by Adam.

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    Role Playing Games 
  • The original game lines in the Old World of Darkness all had creation myths specific to the supernatural monster they talked about (werewolves, mages, vampires, fairies, mummies, wraiths, demons) which were at times hard to reconcile if not mutually exclusive. Some were specifically Judeo-Christian, others were paganistic or had cosmologies unrelated to either. In some cases they had world views and game mechanics that said all other supernatural creatures should not exist, or that they ("they" usually being "mages") could do anything... except cure vampirism or lycanthropy.
    • It should be noted that Mages could cure vampirism...it just wasn't a good idea. The Paradox backlash from that would, in all likelihood, kill the Mage stone dead. As for lycanthropy, what's to cure? Werewolves are not sick, they've always been werewolves.
    • Mage having Clap Your Hands If You Believe as its key principle goes a long way though and combined with some alternate realities link the various game lines fairly well... except the vampires who are sometimes called Cainites and throughly linked with The Bible for their Back Story to being literally cursed with God. Albeit even that is dissmissable as superstistion and most "facts" in the World of Darkness were presented from a specific and unobjective point of view.
    • The New World of Darkness is even more inconsistent, the werewolf and mage backstories being particularly extreme in their incompatibility. Therefore, it cheerfully (as cheerfully as the WoD gets, anyway) ignores this fact. They even lampshade the problem in the Changeling book, which contains an "Arcadia" which is a truly nasty place; the discussion of this mentions that no one knows whether it's the same "Arcadia" that Acanthus mages use to get their power. Mostly it waves this away by presenting these as mythologies which may well not be perfectly true.
    • It is however subverted in Mage: The Awakening (specifically the Sourcebook Astral Realms) which has it that while every god ever believed in exists, they only do so in the Temenos (the collective human unconscious) and only have as much power as human regard affords them. Thus, a god like Anubis is powerful, though not nearly as powerful as he was, because even if he is not believed in, he is still a relevant cultural symbol. They also possess insights only into human matters (albeit to a great extent) lacking any understand of greater cosmic issues. It's pointed out that they still believe they are gods, and will not look kindly on any attempt to inform them of their true nature.
    • The storyline stuff in each of the gamebooks and sourcebooks should be considered untrustworthy as every book in the series seems to be strongly based on the viewpoints of the group that it is about. Which is why references to the same group in two different sourcebooks can be completely contradictory.
    • Though it's not technically a White Wolf game, the fangame Genius The Transgression also adds yet ANOTHER flavour to the mix, with geniuses being more than capable of faking deities, and having several, mutually contradictory beings of power, both past and future. Also, on a more mundane scale, they have a conspiracy that overlaps and contradicts a conspiracy from Mage: The Awakening, with both groups having once controlled much of the world. It simply says that the two grups ignore each other, and that it is curious.
  • In Scion, you play the offspring of a God, and have a whole bunch of different pantheons to choose from (with the Greek, Aztec, Japanese, Egyptian, Norse and Voodoo pantheons in the core, and more in the supplements). Admittedly, they did it in a unified, focused way that makes some sense within the system and world.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Several D&D supplements, such as Complete Priest's Handbook or the various editions of Deities & Demigods, discuss methods of integrating different historical pantheons into a campaign world. Options range from ruling that different pantheons' deities are inherently blind to one another's existence, to saying that all deities are part of the same mega-pantheon, with regional pantheons simply omitting gods who are less popular locally.
    • And then there's Spelljammer, Planescape, and Ravenloft, which are basically Crossover Cosmologies for nearly every one of the various Dungeons & Dragons settings. Spelljammer especially, with characters visiting Realmspace, Greyspace, Krynnspace and many other Crystal Spheres in between.
      • While most canonic (Planescape) meta-mythology involves hundreds upon hundreds of deities of many pantheons interlinked in alliances or eternal cold wars, it also has things like the sacred pool of beauty being in shared ownership of several beauty/love goddesses (including Aphrodite) who as embodiments of different ideals pass their free time practicing friendly rivalry. Because why not? The smaller mortals like "high and mighty" PCs will feel, the better!
  • In Rifts Earth, the mythological Pantheons each ruled directly over the civilizations that worshipped them, and clashes between the civilizations often included clashes between the Gods themselves. Most of them left the Earth a long time ago, but are starting to turn their eyes back towards their old territories, and the world at large... Except for the Egyptian gods, who are busy being the most powerful pantheon of a Medieval European Fantasy world.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, there's some theories put forth In-Universe that the "old beliefs" of gods, angels, demons, etc. were either outright fabrications or simply ancient proto-psykers getting glimpses into the Warp. Then of course there's the theory that the Immortal Emperor "popped up" now and again throughout history as particularly influential people.. Jesus, King Arthur and the like, but always either a great warrior or great philosopher (or both!)

    Video Games 
  • Age of Mythology.
  • Since even the most basic of random monsters in the Shin Megami Tensei universe are taken from some mythology or other, it ultimately ends up with a cast numbering in the THOUSANDS, taken from everywhere and anywhere. Inclusions range from most of the Norse, Egyptian, Roman and Chinese pantheons, to Zoroastrian gods, patron spirits of obscure, African tribes, minor demons and angels from Catholic apocrypha, and even a variety of anthropomorphic personifications. And most of them don't like you much, either.
    • You can help them grow to like you, if you can convince them to aid you.
      • There are a couple of demons around (not counting Yamaoka from Persona) who don't come from any mythology: Alice, Ghost Q, David, Matador, Daisoujou and Hell Biker amongst them. And even then, most of them have legit backgrounds that justify their appearance; for instance, there's an urban legend in which a girl named Alice dies and looks for children whose souls she can take to be her playmates. This is exactly what she does in Shin Megami Tensei I. It doesn't help that she's an Alice Allusion.
  • World of Warcraft's pantheon contains expies of the Cthulhu Mythos, Greco-Roman, Norse, Voodoo and Mayincatec gods, as well as Native American beliefs, the elemental lords and the dragon aspects. In addition, the original Warcraft game referred to the Judeo-Christian God, but that was retconnned later into the more vague "Light". The Naaru were later introduced as the physical manifestations of the Light.
  • The God of War games have included Efreet, which are of Arabic myths, and Manticores, which are of Persian myths.
  • Arguably, an underlying theme throughout the Elder Scrolls series is that different, contradictory mythologies are all simultaneously true. There were some seven different endings for Daggerfall depending upon the final decision of the player; the succeeding games describe all the possible endings having occurred, despite the contradictions involved.
    • Most religion in TES games seems to involve arguments about whose gods are actually gods, and which ones exist at all. Daedra are mostly seen as evil and equivalent to demons, but they're mostly shown as embodying a specific aspect rather than being either good or evil. There are also the Aedra, who are generally seen as good but don't seem to be objectively different from the Daedra in any way. Then there are the Nine Divines, except that non-humans tend to believe there are only eight of them and as of Skyrim, worship of Talos (a human and the first emperor who was previously believed to have become the ninth) has been banned entirely. The Orcish deity may or may not be a Daedra lord depending on who you ask. Traditional Dunmer worship their ancestors, but Imperial culture classes this as necromancy and tends to shun or ban it outright. More recently the Dunmer had mortals become Physical Gods, who were no more than tolerated as a religion by other cultures. As of Morrowind and its expansions, at least three out of the four are dead anyway.
    • TES games also include quite a few bits of different real world mythologies. Bloodmoon and Skyrim have various aspects of Norse mythology, Redguards vary between Arabian and more eastern, Bretons are usually portrayed with a Celtic look, and Imperials are a cross between the Roman and British empires. In addition, many of the monsters are based on various bits of folklore - most prominently vampires and werewolves.
  • The nations of Dominions draw from a number of real-world mythologies and historical nations, with some modern fantasy (e.g. Conan the Barbarian, H.P. Lovecraft) mixed in. The game designer is a social sciences and religion teacher, and it shows.
  • Smite is a MOBA, featuring gods and creatures from the Chinese, Greco-Roman, Norse, Egyptian, Hindu and Mayan pantheons duking it out in different arenas.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • In the Whateley Universe, an awful lot of cosmologies seem to be there. Great Old Ones have been banished from this realm, by the ancient Sidhe (who were shredded in that war). One mutant has been given religious powers by a sacred ring of the Catholic Church, and when she heals people she spends several seconds in Hell, being tortured by Satan (or someone who says he's Satan). There are demons and devils, which are actually different kinds of entities. The Tao is actively working in mysterious ways, partly through one of the protagonists and her mentor figures. Certain students at Whateley Academy are playing hosts to some of the obligatory Greek gods (Word of God has confirmed this, although the original author of their backstory hasn't been heard from in some years), there's a catgirl-paladin of Bast (in her capacity as a Lovecraft-inspired Elder Goddess, though the link to Egypt is bound to still be there) and the Circe is one of the Mystic Arts instructors at the school.
  • Koukon Bridge features many Gods and Goddesses from various pantheons, including Greek, Japanese, Norse, Native American, and Egyptian.

    Western Animation 
  • The animated Disney Hercules series frequently crosses over Greek mythology with others (especially Norse mythology); Zeus and Hera have dinner dates with Odin fairly often, Hercules stands in for Thor (right before Ragnarok is put into motion, unfortunately for everyone) and the three Fates also serve as Urd, Skuld and Verdandi (Phil refers to it as "double dipping"). Some Egyptian gods appear in one episode.
  • In Gargoyles, most mythical monsters and gods turn out to be real and either based on Gargoyles, or on the Children of Oberon. In addition, the New Olympians are an island of creatures from Greek myths descended from Echidna.
  • Family Guy showed Peter thank Jesus, who is then seen to state that it wasn't him, only for Vishnu to come up and quietly state that he is used to it.
    • Jesus and Vishnu also appeared in Seth MacFarlane's Comedy Cavalcade, in which Jesus boasted that Vishnu didn't have a birthday as celebrated as his (Christmas).
  • The Simpsons has done similar gags; God and Jesus Christ are real beings, but Vishnu sits at the center of the Earth, Buddha also dwells in heaven, Col. Sanders sits at the Lord's right hand tossing popcorn chicken into His mouth, and Sponge Bob Square Pants is an apparently manic deity.
  • Samurai Jack has featured appearances of members of the Egyptian (Horus), Norse (Odin) and Hindu (Indra) pantheons although it's hinted that they might be Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. While the three deities in question charged his sword with its power it was forged by what look like Buddhist bhodisatvas (saint). Also the Big Bad is the outgrowth of a remnant of a monster that looked an awful lot like Azathoth.
  • South Park has Jesus refer to his Chinese younger brother, an obscure Shout Out to the instigator of the Taiping Rebellion, who claimed this relationship for himself.
    • There's also the Super Best Friends, whose ranks include Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Joseph Smith, and Muhammad.
  • Super Jail: the episode "Ghosts" features the afterlife with all the spirits of the deceased inmates, shows that Superjail was once a site for Mayan human sacrifices, has a witch doctor inmate who performs a ritual on the Warden, and in the end all the dead inmates and sacrificed people are being reincarnated by Hindu deities into flowers, insects and blades of grass. Phew!
  • The Superhero Squad Show: Zeus and Odin are rivals.


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