04 Apr 8 Inspiring Goddesses From Around The World
Many of the ancient religions of the world were polytheistic, meaning they worshiped a pantheon of different gods and goddesses – each one representing a certain aspect of Nature or the cosmos.
Today, the worship of many gods and goddesses is widely considered primitive or superstitious by the major, monotheistic religions of the world. But one element that is frequently lost in the worship of one – and only one – God, is reverence for the Goddess.
Here are 8 inspiring goddesses from around the world, which represent the many important functions carried out by the Goddess, the Divine Feminine.
She is often depicted as a dragon or sea serpent. She represents chaos, the “primordial ocean” or void, without order or form. After giving birth, her children later turned on her and her husband Abzu, killing them both. The heavens and the Earth were formed from her body.
Isis was the most important goddess in the pantheon of ancient Egypt. She was the daughter of the Earth and Sky; goddess of the throne, of Nature and magic; wife of Osiris (ruler of the Underworld) and the mother of Horus (god of the sky, hunting, battle and war, usually depicted with the head of a falcon).
She is still worshiped today as the goddess of love, war and magic, and a personification of the Divine Feminine.
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, beauty and fertility.
The legends and stories about her differ significantly. According to some, she was the daughter of Zeus (king of the gods) and Dione (a Titaness, and early wife of Zeus). Other stories tell that she was born from the sea-foam, after the cruel Titan Cronus cut off the genitals of Uranus (god of the sky) and threw them into the ocean.
Diana was the goddess of the hunt in Roman mythology. She was also strongly associated with the moon, childbirth, the wilderness and wild animals. Although often depicted as aloof and inaccessible, she is also (paradoxically) directly involved in mortal affairs. In her role as goddess of childbirth, she is responsible for ensuring the birth of the king’s heir, and the succession of royal bloodlines.
5. Kuan Yin
Kuan Yin (or Guanyin) is a goddess from China and East Asia. She is the embodiment of mercy and compassion. She is often associated with the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, although some Chinese folklore gives her her own unique origin and mythology.
Some legends hold that she was a mortal woman, who awoke and became an immortal (a boddhisattva). Now she receives the souls of her faithful devotees and carries them to the Pure Land (a kind of Buddhist heaven).
She is sometimes depicted as having a thousand arms, all reaching out to help those who are suffering.
In Hinduism, Shakti (or Devi) is the name of the Divine Feminine, the supreme goddess, mother of the universe. She is the primal energy that permeates all things, and all form and matter and all living beings are her body, her manifestations.
Although most commonly associated with Parvati (the consort of Shiva), as the embodiment of the Divine Feminine all of the Hindu goddesses can be considered as her aspects or manifestations, including Kali, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, etc. She is still widely worshiped today, by adherents of the Hindu school of Shaktism.
7. The Morrigan
The Morrigan is a goddess from Irish mythology. Her name means “great queen,” and she is associated with war, battle, death and darkness. She is often depicted as a raven or crow, probably because they are carrion birds, corpse-eaters often found circling above the battlefield.
Freyja is a goddess from Norse mythology. Her name means “the Lady,” and she was considered the goddess of love, beauty, fertility, sexuality, even war and death. She is the keeper of the necklace Brisingamen, and rules over the heavenly fields of Folkvangr, where she receives the souls of soldiers who fall in battle.
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