Kartikay is a son of Shiva and brother to Ganesha. While Ganesha symbolizes a spiritual attitude, Kartikay is the scientist of the gods. Kartikay bears 31 names, among which are Karttikeya, Kumara, Guha
Kartikay rides on a peacock, the killer of serpents.
When Brahma had granted the demon Taraka the boon of invulnerability to all but a son of Shiva and Taraka became extremely powerful, the gods sought to persuade the ascetic Shiva to produce a son with Parvati. Finally Agni could pick up a seed of the great god but dropped it in a river. From the seed Kartikay was born.
Six goddesses, the Krtikkas (Pleiades), were filled with compassion for the new born. They were quarreling over him, because each of them was eager to nurse the baby. To satisfy them all, Kartikay grew six heads and grew up under their guidance. Kartikay became commander of the army of the gods and slew the demon Taraka.