From Gaia to Kali; every goddess in mythologies have a prominent role to create or restore the balance in nature and the universe.
Mythologies from different cultures have rich primordial pantheons and these pantheons have very powerful goddesses. Goddesses who are responsible for the creation and destruction of the universes. These Goddesses are a part of the a grander pantheon that comprises of Sky, Land and Water deities.
With this post we take a look at 20 most powerful goddesses from different mythologies.
Aphrodite is the ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. She is identified with the planet Venus, which is named after the Roman goddess Venus. Aphrodite's major symbols include myrtle, roses, doves, sparrows, and swans.
No man could resist Aphrodite when she wore her magic girdle. Her name means foam born or raised from foam as she was birthed from the churning sea.
Artemis was the Olympian goddess of hunting, the wilderness and wild animals. She was also a goddess of childbirth, and the protectress of the girl child up to the age of marriage--her twin brother Apollon was similarly the protector of the boy child. Together the two gods were also bringers of sudden death and disease--Artemis targeted women and girls, Apollon men and boys.
Artemis, one of the great divinities of the Greeks. Her name is usually derived from artemês, uninjured, healthy, vigorous; according to which she would be the goddess who is herself inviolate and vigorous, and also grants strength and health to others.
Bast or Bastet was a goddess of ancient Egyptian religion, worshiped as early as the Second Dynasty. As Bast, she was the goddess of warfare in Lower Egypt, the Nile River delta region, before the unification of the cultures of ancient Egypt. Her name is also translated as B'sst, Baast, Ubaste, and Baset. In Greek mythology, she is also known as Ailuros.
The famous cat Goddess, she protected pregnant woman and children. Bast was a very sensual Goddess who enjoyed music, dance and perfume. Her name comes from the bas jars used to store perfumes and ointments.
An enchantress from Welsh mythology, Cerridwen is regarded as a woman of incredible power and magic. She pervades Welsh and Irish culture as an emblem of wisdom and rebirth, remaining today as a Wiccan goddess of the pair, as well as of inspiration. As a woman of fierce magical talent, Cerridwen's story is interestingly less about herself and more about the children she bore.
Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature in Roman mythology, associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy.
Diana was known as the virgin goddess of childbirth and women. She was one of the three maiden goddesses, along with Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry.
In ancient Sumerian mythology, Ereshkigal is the queen of the Underworld. Goddess of Attalu, the land of the dead and ancestral memories. She is the older sister of the goddess, Inanna. Inanna and Ereshkigal represent polar opposites. Inanna is the Queen of Heaven, but Ereshkigal is the queen of Irkalla. Ereshkigal plays a very prominent and important role in two particular myths.
Frigg is the goddess of marriage, childbirth, motherhood, wisdom, household management and weaving and spinning. In nearly all sources, she is described as the wife of the god Odin. In Old High German and Old Norse sources, she is also connected with the goddess Fulla. The English weekday name Friday bears her name.
Gaia, also spelled Gaea, is the personification of the Earth and one of the Greek primordial deities. Goddess of the Earth and prophecy; Gaia is the mother of all life. Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra.
Hathor is an ancient Egyptian goddess associated, later, with Isis and, earlier, with Sekhmet but eventually was considered the primeval goddess from whom all others were derived. She is usually depicted as a woman with the head of a cow, ears of a cow, or simply in cow form.
She was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of ancient Egypt. Hathor was worshipped by royalty and common people alike. In tomb paintings, she is often depicted as "Mistress of the West", welcoming the dead into the next life.
The fearsome Goddess of the Nordic realm of the dead. Her name is derived from the word kel, meaning "to conceal." In the Norse Mythology Hella has different origins and purpose as the goddess of the underworld but in modern literature such as fictional comics/movies of Marvel, Hella is portrayed as villainous deity instead of a goddess.
Inanna was the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, justice, and political power. She was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar. She was known as the "Queen of Heaven" and was the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult center.
Iris is represented either as a rainbow, or as a beautiful young maiden with wings on her shoulders. As a goddess, Iris is associated with communication, messages, the rainbow and new endeavors. This personification of a rainbow was once described as being a link to the heavens and earth.
She is also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and the sky. Iris links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other, and into the depths of the sea and the underworld.
Kali also known as Kalika, is a Hindu goddess and one of the many forms of goddess Chandi. Kali's earliest appearance is that of a destroyer of evil forces. Over time, she has been worshipped by devotional movements and Tantric sects variously as the Divine Mother, Mother of the Universe, Adi Shakti. She is also known as the Angry Indian Goddess.
She is also seen as divine protector and the one who bestows moksha, or liberation. Kali is one of the ten Mahavidyas, a group of Tantric goddesses.
Lakshmi or Laxmi, is the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity. She is the wife and shakti (energy) of Vishnu, one of the principal deities of Hinduism and the Supreme Being in the Vaishnavism Tradition. Lakshmi is also an important deity in Jainism and found in Jain temples. Lakshmi has also been a goddess of abundance and fortune for Buddhists, and was represented on the oldest surviving stupas and cave temples of Buddhism.
Maat or Ma'at refers to the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also the goddess who personified these concepts, and regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of mortals and the deities who had brought order from chaos at the moment of creation. Her ideological opposite was Isfet, meaning injustice, chaos, violence or to do evil.
Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom, medicine, commerce, handicrafts, poetry, the arts in general, and later, war. In many ways similar to the Greek goddess Athena, she had important temples in Rome and was patron of the Quinquatras festival.
Ostara the Germanic Goddess heralds the beginning of spring. She is the Maiden Goddess, full of potential, representing the opportunity of growth and rebirth after the stagnation of winter.
The Goddess was also known as Eostre and although much of her story has been lost, her name lives on as it is the root of the English words for both Easter and oestrogen.
Rhea was one of the Titans, daughter of Uranus and Gaea. She was the sister and wife of Cronus, also a Titan. She was responsible for the way things flow in the kingdom of Cronus (her name means 'that which flows'). She is known as the ‘Mother Of The Gods’.
Themis was the Titan goddess of divine law and order--the traditional rules of conduct first established by the gods. She was also a prophetic goddess who presided over the most ancient oracles, including Delphoi (Delphi).
In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility. She was the Roman counterpart to the Greek Aphrodite. However, Roman Venus had many abilities beyond the Greek Aphrodite; she was a goddess of victory, fertility, and even prostitution.
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