GODDESS FORMS ARE MANY AND BEAUTIFULNOTICE: At the end of this page is a list of links that will take you to information about various Goddesses.
Although forms of the Goddess are countless, there is only one Divine Mother or Sacred Feminine behind them all. Ultimately the Mother is pure formless Love appearing as the manifold expressions we see as the universe and all of the beings in nature. By pursuing love for the Mother in any of Her forms, we will eventually arrive at the non-dual perspective.
The Neolithic settlement of Catal Huyuk (c.7000 BC) in Anatolia provides archaeological evidence that the worship of the Mother Goddess experienced a long continuity. Between the 5th and 3rd millennia BC, Goddess worship became established in the Fertile Crescent in the Indus Valley, and around the Aegean Sea.
Volumes could be filled discussing the presence of the Divine Mother in all cultures from every corner of the world. In these earlier mythologies, the Mother was seen as that which gives birth to all creatures and that the earth, the elements, were not void of spirit but are in fact the living Goddess-Creator herself. To quote from Marija Gimbutas in her book The Language of the Goddess:
The Goddess gradually retreated into the depths of forests or onto mountaintops, where she remains to this day in beliefs and fairy stories. Human alienation from the vital roots of earthly life ensued, the results of which are clear in our contemporary society. But the cycles never stop turning, and now we find the Goddess reemerging from the forests and mountains, bringing us hope for the future, returning us to our most ancient human roots.Peering back into our ancient past we see that the concept of the Divine Mother from the Indus Valley has remained intact in India to this day. The worship of Shakti, as the Divine Mother, is one of the four principle sects of Hinduism and is rich with Her influence and presence. She is also well represented in Tibetan Buddhism.
Although She is only One, She appears as many forms or goddesses. Each goddess emphasizes an attribute of the one Divine Mother. This would be easy to grasp if we would consider for a moment our own earthly birth mother. When She is cooking and feeding us we might call Her Food Mother; when consoling us She is Compassion Mother; when She runs from the house with fire in Her eyes to save us from a pummeling at the hands of the neighborhood bully She is Warrior Mother; when She gives us money for the prom She is Cornucopia Mother. In the same way, centuries of contemplation by the saints and sages on the nature of the Divine Mother have produced a marvelous and spectacular pantheon of goddesses each being a mask She wears in the drama of eternity. The Mother is not arriving empty handed to the 21st century. She has something for all of Her children.
The concept of God as feminine is not new. Virtually all cultures have had a means of venerating the Supreme Being as a female form. Hindu and Buddhist cultures are rife with forms of the Divine Mother. In the Islamic tradition Allah has two principle names - Rahman and Rahim which mean Compassionate and Merciful. Both of these names are derived from the root Arabic word that denotes womb. Mahayana Buddhism recognizes the Mother as Prajnaparamita, the boundless and unfathomable Mother of all Buddhas. The early Gnostic Christians put much emphasis on the Virgin Sophia who is the feminine embodiment of Wisdom. The Chinese have Kwan Yin the Goddess of Mercy. In orthodox Judaism there is the Sabbath Queen and the feminine Shekinah. The mystical Jewish doctrine, the Holy Kabbalah, maintains that out of the Absolute emanated the three Mothers or primal elements, out of which emanated three Fathers which were primordial or spiritual air, water and fire from which came the planets and their angels. Some hold that in the Christian Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit is the feminine principle. Mother Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, continues the presence of the Divine Mother in modern Christianity.
In the following Old Testament passage God is represented as simultaneously being both male and female:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27, KJVThe logic here is that mankind was created in the form of male and female and, if that is God's image, then God is both male and female.
At the end of this page is a list of links to various Goddesses for you to discover and explore.
Goddess as creatrix of the universe
Aphrodite - Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty
Artemis - Greek Goddess of Hunting and Vegetation
Athena - Greek Goddess of Wisdom and War
Ceres - Roman Goddess of Agriculture
Demeter - Greek Goddess of Agriculture
Devi - Hindu Goddess of Existence
Diana - Roman Goddess of Hunting
Durga - Hindu Goddess that Destroys Demons
Gaia - Greek Goddess as Mother Earth
Ha Hai-i Wuhti - Hopi Divine Mother
Hecate - Greek Goddess of Magic
Ishtar - Babylonian Goddess of War
Isis - Egyptian Goddess
Juno - Roman Goddess of Women
Kali - Hindu Goddess of Liberation
Kuan Yin - Buddhist Goddess of Compassion
Lakshmi - Hindu Goddess of Prosperity
Minerva - Roman Goddess of Arts
Mother Mary - Christian Goddess of Compassion
Persephone - Greek Goddess of the Underworld
Sarasvati - Hindu Goddess of Knowledge and Arts
Shakti - Hindu Goddess of Primal Energy
Tara - Tibetan Goddess of Compassion
Venus - Roman Goddess of Love and Beauty
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