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Women's History Month

Guide to Worldwide Goddesses

Women's History Month

"Mothers of the Earth," "Queens of the Universe," "Queens of the Heavens," all are goddesses believed to be creators, lawmakers, prophets, healers, hunters, battle leaders, and truth-givers. Let's go back in time around the world and identify some important goddesses.

North America

Most Indian tribes believe that life originated from females. They also believe that all spirits that are life-giving forces, such as rain and corn, are brought forth from female deities.

  • Sedna. She ruled over the sea animals. The Inuits (Eskimos) believed that she used ugliness as protection. Anyone who dared to look at her would be struck dead.
  • Selu. The Corn Mother of the Cherokee who cut open her breast so that corn could spring forth and give life to the people.
  • Blue Corn Woman and White Corn Maiden. For the Tewa Pueblo people these were the first mothers. Blue was the summer mother; White was the winter mother.
  • Three Sisters. In the Iroquois tradition, the life-giving forces of corn, beans, and squash were given by the Three Sisters, who were thanked daily.
  • White-painted Mother. White-painted Mother is the mother of Child of the Water, from whom all Apaches are descended. She keeps her child safe in her womb, slays all evil monsters, and keeps the world safe for Apaches.
  • White Buffalo Calf Woman. For the Lakota, White Buffalo Calf Woman is the giver of the Pipe. The Pipe represents truth.

China

  • The Chinese goddess Ma-Ku personifies the goodness in all people. She took land from the sea and planted it with mulberry trees. She freed the slaves from her cruel father.
  • Kuan Yin represents wisdom and purity for the Chinese. She has a thousand arms, symbolizing her infinite compassion.

Egypt

  • Nut represents the heavens. Her body was covered with speckles which were the stars. She existed before all else had been created.
  • Isis invented agriculture. She was the god of law, healing, and fertility.
  • Hathor protected all things feminine.
  • Tefnut was the god of the dew.

Ancient Greece and Rome

  • Aphrodite was the Greek god who brought and maintained love in the world. Her Roman name was Venus.
  • Artemis was the Greek god who ruled over the hunt and over women in childbirth. Her Roman name was Diana.
  • Athena was the Greek god of crafts, war, and wisdom. Her Roman name was Minerva.
  • Demeter was the Greek god who made all things grow. Her Roman name was Ceres.
  • Gaea was the Greek god of the earth. Her Roman name was Terra.
  • Hera was the Greek protector of marriage and women. Her Roman name was Juno.
  • Hestia was the Greek god of the hearth and home. Her Roman name was Vesta.
  • Eos was the Greek god of the dawn. It was thought that she emerged every day from the ocean and rose into the sky on a chariot drawn by horses. The morning dew represented her tears of grief for her slain son.

Hawaii

  • Pele is the powerful Hawaiian god of fire. She lived in the Kilauea Volcano and ruled over the family of fire gods. When she was angry she would erupt and pour fiery rock over the land.
  • Hiiaka is the youngest sister of Pele. She is a fierce warrior and yet a kind and calm friend of humanity. She gave people the healing arts, creative arts, and the gift of storytelling.

Ireland

  • Danu was the mother of the Tuatha De Danann, the most important race of people in Celtic mythology.
  • Brigit gave the Irish their language.
  • The Irish god Cerridgave intelligence and knowledge to humans.
  • Caillech was the wisest woman. She could move mountains and was thought to be the daughter of the moon.

Scandinavia

  • Freyja was the god of love and beauty.
  • Hel ruled the underworld.
  • Norns were three sisters who lived around the tree of life. They controlled the past, present, and future.



Did you know? For more than a billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a "month of blessing" marked by prayer, fasting, and charity.