A mother goddess is a goddess who represents, or is a personification of nature, motherhood, fertility, creation, destruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother.
Between 1961 and 1965 James Mellaart led a series of excavations at Çatalhöyük, north of the Taurus Mountains in a fertile agricultural region of South-Anatolia. Striking were the many statues found here, which Mellaart suggested represented a Great goddess, who headed the pantheon of an essentially matriarchal culture. A seated female figure, flanked by what Mellaart describes as lionesses, was found in a grain-bin; she may have intended to protect the harvest and grain. He considered the sites as shrines, with especially the Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük capturing the imagination. There was also a large number of sexless figurines, which Mellaart regarded as typical for a society dominated by women: emphasis on sex in art is invariably connected with male impulse and desire. The idea that there could have been a matriarchy and a cult of the mother goddess was supported by archaeologist Marija Gimbutas. This gave rise to a modern cult of the Mother Goddess with annual pilgrimages being organized at Çatalhöyük.
Since 1993, excavations were resumed, now headed by Ian Hodder with Lynn Meskell as head of the Stanford Figurines Project that examined the figurines of Çatalhöyük. This team came to different conclusions than Gimbutas and Mellaart. Only a few of the figurines were identified as female and these figurines were found not so much in sacred spaces, but seemed to have been discarded randomly, sometimes in garbage heaps. This rendered a cult of the mother goddess in this location as unlikely.
In Hinduism, Durga represents the feminine aspect and the shakti (energy/power) of the One God (The Brahman), as well as the empowering and protective nature of motherhood. From her forehead sprang Kali, who defeated Durga's enemy, Shumbh. Kali (the feminine form of Kaala" i.e. "time") is the primordial energy as power of Time, literally, the "creator or doer of time"—her first manifestation. After time, she manifests as "space", as Tara, from which point further creation of the material universe progresses. The divine Mother, Devi Adi parashakti, manifests herself in various forms, representing the universal creative force. She becomes Mother Nature (Mula Prakriti), who gives birth to all life forms as plants, animals, and such from Herself, and she sustains and nourishes them through her body, that is the earth with its animal life, vegetation, and minerals. Ultimately she re-absorbs all life forms back into herself, or "devours" them to sustain herself as the power of death feeding on life to produce new life. She also gives rise to Maya (the illusory world) and to prakriti, the force that galvanizes the divine ground of existence into self-projection as the cosmos. The Earth itself is manifested by Adi parashakti. Hindu worship of the divine Mother can be traced back to pre-vedic, prehistoric India.
The form of Hinduism known as Shaktism is strongly associated with Samkhya, and Tantra Hindu philosophies and ultimately, is monist. The primordial feminine creative-preservative-destructive energy, Shakti, is considered to be the motive force behind all action and existence in the phenomenal cosmos. The cosmos itself is purusha, the unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality that is the Divine Ground of all being, the "world soul". This masculine potential is actualized by feminine dynamism, embodied in multitudinous goddesses who are ultimately all manifestations of the One Great Mother. Mother Maya or Shakti, herself, can free the individual from demons of ego, ignorance, and desire that bind the soul in maya (illusion). Practitioners of the Tantric tradition focus on Shakti to free themselves from the cycle of karma.
Some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) believe in, but do not worship, a Heavenly Mother, the wife and female counterpart of the Heavenly Father. This belief is not emphasized, however, and typically, adherents pray to the "Father in Heaven".
The Mother Goddess, or Great Goddess, is a composite of various feminine deities from past and present world cultures, worshiped by modern Wicca and others broadly known as Neopagans. She is considered sometimes identified as a Triple Goddess, who takes the form of Maiden, Mother, and Crone archetypes. She is described as Mother Earth, Mother Nature, or the Creatress of all life. She is associated with the full moon and stars, the Earth, and the sea. In Wicca, the Earth Goddess is sometimes called Gaia. The name of the mother goddess varies depending on the Wiccan tradition.
Carl Gustav Jung suggested that the archetypal mother was a part of the collective unconscious of all humans, and various Jungian students, e.g. Erich Neumann and Ernst Whitmont, have argued that such mother imagery underpins many mythologies, and precedes the image of the paternal "father", in such religious systems. Such speculations help explain the universality of such mother goddess imagery around the world.
One fringe theory, associated with the Goddess movement, reads that primitive societies initially were matriarchal, worshipping a sovereign, nurturing, motherly earth goddess. This was based upon the nineteenth-century ideas of unilineal evolution of Johann Jakob Bachofen. According to the academic view, however, these Goddess theories were considered a projection of contemporary world views on ancient myths, rather than attempting to understand the mentalité of that time. Often this is accompanied by a desire for a lost civilization from a bygone era that would have been just, peaceful and wise. However, it is highly unlikely that such a civilization ever existed.
Some feminist authors advocated that these peaceful, matriarchal agrarian societies were exterminated or subjugated by nomadic, patriarchal warrior tribes. An important contribution to this was that of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas. Her work in this field has been questioned. Also with feminist archaeologists this vision is nowadays considered highly controversial.
Since the sixties of the twentieth century, especially in popular culture, the alleged worship of the mother goddess and the social position that women in prehistoric societies supposedly assumed, were linked. This made the debate a political one. According to the goddess movement, the current male-dominated society should return to the egalitarian matriarchy of earlier times. That this form of society ever existed was supposedly supported by many figurines that were found.
In academic circles, this prehistoric matriarchy is considered unlikely. Firstly, worshiping a mother goddess does not necessarily mean that women ruled society. In addition, the figurines can also portray ordinary women or goddesses, and it is unclear whether there really ever was a mother goddess.
In Gallo-Roman religion, Dea Aveta was a mother goddess, also associated with the fresh-water spring at Trier in what is now Germany. Aveta is known mainly from clay figurines found at Toulon-sur-Allier in France and at Trier. These figurines show the goddess with infants at the breast, small lap-dogs, or baskets of fruit. There was a temple dedicated to Aveta in the Altbachtal complex at Trier.
Her name is also known from inscriptions found in Switzerland, and the Côte-d'Or (France).Bachué
The goddess Bachué (in Chibcha language: "the one with the naked breast"), is a mother goddess that according to the Muisca religion is the mother of humanity. She emerged of the waters in the Iguague Lake with a baby in her arms, who grew to become her husband and populated the Earth. She received worshipping in a temple, in the area now within the municipality of Chíquiza, formerly called "San Pedro de Iguaque".
The legend tells that after she accomplished the goal of giving birth to humanity, Bachué and the parrot god, her husband, became snakes and returned to the sacred lagoon. The history of Bachué was mentioned by the Spanish chronicler, Pedro Simón in his book Noticias Historiales where he wrote that the indigenous people also called her "Furachogua" (Chibcha for: "the good woman"), and worshipped her as one of their main deities. Simón also mentions that the Muisca believed that Bachué sometimes came back from the underworld to guide her people.Bonalu
Bonalu or Goddess Mahankali bonalu (Telugu: బోనాలు ) is a Hindu Festival, Goddess Mahakali is worshiped. Bonalu is an annual festival of Telangana celebrated in Twin Cities Hyderabad, Secunderabad and other parts of Telangana. It is celebrated in the month of Ashada Masam, in July/August. Special poojas are performed for Yellamma on the first and last day of the festival. The festival is also considered a thanksgiving to the Goddess for fulfillment of vows.
The word Bonam is a contraction of the word Bhojanam, a Sanskrit loanword which means a meal or a feast in Telugu, is an Offering to Mother Goddess. Women prepare rice cooked with milk and jaggery in a new Brass or Earthen Pot adorned with Neem leaves, turmeric, Vermilion and a lit lamp on the top of the Pot. Women carry the pots on their heads and make an offering of Bonam along with Turmeric-Vermilion,Bangles and Saree to the Mother Goddess across the Temples.
Bonalu involves the worship of Mother Goddess in regional forms like Mysamma, Pochamma, Yellamma, Peddhamma, Dokkalamma, Ankalamma, Poleramma, Maremma, Nookalamma.
The 2016 dates for it are 10 July – 31 July.Chinese gods and immortals
Chinese traditional religion is polytheistic; many deities are worshipped in a pantheistic view where divinity is inherent in the world. The gods are energies or principles revealing, imitating and propagating the way of Heaven (Tian 天), which is the supreme godhead manifesting in the northern culmen of the starry vault of the skies and its order. Many gods are ancestors or men who became deities for their heavenly achievements; most gods are also identified with stars and constellations. Ancestors are regarded as the equivalent of Heaven within human society, and therefore as the means connecting back to Heaven, which is the "utmost ancestral father" (曾祖父 zēngzǔfù).Gods are innumerable, as every phenomenon has or is one or more gods, and they are organised in a complex celestial hierarchy. Besides the traditional worship of these entities, Confucianism, Taoism and formal thinkers in general give theological interpretations affirming a monistic essence of divinity. "Polytheism" and "monotheism" are categories derived from Western religion and do not fit Chinese religion, which has never conceived the two things as opposites. Since all gods are considered manifestations of 氣 qì, the "power" or pneuma of Heaven, some scholars have employed the term "polypneumatism" or "(poly)pneumatolatry", first coined by Walter Medhurst (1796–1857), to describe the practice of Chinese polytheism. In the theology of the classic texts and Confucianism, "Heaven is the lord of the hundreds of deities". Modern Confucian theology compares them to intelligences, substantial forms or entelechies (inner purposes) as explained by Leibniz, generating all types of beings, so that "even mountains and rivers are worshipped as something capable of enjoying sacrificial offerings".The deification of historical persons and ancestors is not traditionally the duty of Confucians or Taoists, but depends on the choices of common people; persons are deified when they have made extraordinary deeds and have left an efficacious legacy. Yet, Confucians and Taoists traditionally may demand that state honour be granted to a particular deity. Each deity has a cult centre and ancestral temple where he or she, or the parents, lived their mortal life. There are frequently disputes over which is the original place and source temple of the cult of a deity.Chiravarampathukavu Bhagavathi Temple
Chiravarampathu Kavu Temple enshrines Bhagawati, the mother Goddess, one of the most popular deities in Kerala. The town of Aruvayi, Pazhanji is near the city of Kunnamkulam. The annual festival here is celebrated on the second Sunday of Kumbha (February). Over 35 committees are involved and over 75 elephants participate in this festival.Cochrane's Craft
Cochrane’s Craft, which is also known as Cochranianism, is a tradition of traditional witchcraft founded in 1951 by the English witch Robert Cochrane, who himself claimed to have been taught it by some of his elderly family members, a claim that is disputed by some historians such as Ronald Hutton and Leo Ruickbie.
Cochranianism revolved around the veneration of the Horned God and the Mother Goddess, alongside seven deities which are viewed as children of the God and Goddess. Cochranian Witchcraft has several features that separate it from other traditions such as Gardnerian Wicca, such as its emphasis on mysticism and philosophy, and Cochrane's attitude that it was not pagan, but only based upon paganism.Cybele
Cybele (; Phrygian: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya "Kubileya/Kubeleya Mother", perhaps "Mountain Mother"; Lydian Kuvava; Greek: Κυβέλη Kybele, Κυβήβη Kybebe, Κύβελις Kybelis) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible forerunner in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük, where statues of plump women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations. She is Phrygia's only known goddess, and was probably its national deity. Her Phrygian cult was adopted and adapted by Greek colonists of Asia Minor and spread to mainland Greece and its more distant western colonies around the 6th century BC.
In Greece, Cybele met with a mixed reception. She was partially assimilated to aspects of the Earth-goddess Gaia, her possibly Minoan equivalent Rhea, and the harvest–mother goddess Demeter. Some city-states, notably Athens, evoked her as a protector, but her most celebrated Greek rites and processions show her as an essentially foreign, exotic mystery-goddess who arrives in a lion-drawn chariot to the accompaniment of wild music, wine, and a disorderly, ecstatic following. Uniquely in Greek religion, she had a eunuch mendicant priesthood. Many of her Greek cults included rites to a divine Phrygian castrate shepherd-consort Attis, who was probably a Greek invention. In Greece, Cybele is associated with mountains, town and city walls, fertile nature, and wild animals, especially lions.
In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater ("Great Mother"). The Roman state adopted and developed a particular form of her cult after the Sibylline oracle recommended her conscription as a key religious ally in Rome's second war against Carthage. Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas. With Rome's eventual hegemony over the Mediterranean world, Romanized forms of Cybele's cults spread throughout the Roman Empire. The meaning and morality of her cults and priesthoods were topics of debate and dispute in Greek and Roman literature, and remain so in modern scholarship.Danu (Irish goddess)
In Irish mythology, Danu ([ˈdanu]; modern Irish Dana [ˈd̪ˠanˠə]) is a hypothetical mother goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann (Old Irish: "The peoples of the goddess Danu"). Though primarily seen as an ancestral figure, some Victorian sources also associate her with the land.Dea Matrona
In Celtic mythology, Dea Matrona ("divine mother goddess") was the goddess who gives her name to the river Marne (ancient Matrŏna) in Gaul.
The Gaulish theonym Mātr-on-ā signifies "great mother", and the goddess of the Marne has been interpreted to be a mother goddess.Many Gaulish religious images—including inexpensive terracotta statues mass-produced for use in household shrines—depict mother goddesses nursing babies or holding fruits, other foods, or small dogs in their laps. In many areas, such Matronae were depicted in groups of three (or sometimes two) (see Matres and Matronae for the triads of mother-goddesses well attested throughout northern Europe).
The name of Welsh mythological figure Modron, mother of Mabon is derived from the same etymon. By analogy, Dea Matrona may conceivably have been considered the mother of the Gaulish Maponos.Ernmas
Ernmas is an Irish mother goddess, mentioned in Lebor Gabála Érenn and "Cath Maige Tuired" as one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Her daughters include the trinity of eponymous Irish goddesses Ériu, Banba and Fódla, the trinity of war goddesses the Badb, Macha and the Mórrígan (who is also named Anann), and also a trinity of sons, Glonn, Gnim, and Coscar.
Her other sons are Fiacha and Ollom. Ernmas was killed during the first battle of Mag Tuired.Eufydd fab Dôn
Eufydd fab Dôn is a minor figure in Welsh mythology, the son of the mother goddess Dôn and brother to the better-known figures of Gwydion, Amaethon, Gofannon and Arianrhod. He is generally believed to have derived from the Gaulish god Ogmios and is cognate to the Irish hero Oghma Grianainech.Goddess
A goddess is a deity. Goddesses have been linked with virtues such as beauty, love, motherhood and fertility (Mother-goddess cult in prehistoric times). They have also been associated with ideas such as war, creation, and death.
In some faiths, a sacred female figure holds a central place in religious prayer and worship. For example, Shaktism, the worship of the female force that animates the world, is one of the three major sects of Hinduism.
The primacy of a monotheistic or near-monotheistic "Great Goddess" is advocated by some modern matriarchists as a female version of, preceding, or analogue to, the Abrahamic God associated with the historical rise of monotheism in the Mediterranean Axis Age.
Polytheist religions, including Polytheistic reconstructionists, honour multiple goddesses and gods, and usually view them as discrete, separate beings. These deities may be part of a pantheon, or different regions may have tutelary deities.Mount Ida
In Greek mythology, two sacred mountains are called Mount Ida, the "Mountain of the Goddess": Mount Ida in Crete; and Mount Ida in the ancient Troad region of western Anatolia (in modern-day Turkey) which was also known as the Phrygian Ida in classical antiquity and is the mountain that is mentioned in the Iliad of Homer and the Aeneid of Virgil. Both are associated with the mother goddess in the deepest layers of pre-Greek myth, in that Mount Ida in Anatolia was sacred to Cybele, who is sometimes called Mater Idaea ("Idaean Mother"), while Rhea, often identified with Cybele, put the infant Zeus to nurse with Amaltheia at Mount Ida in Crete. Thereafter, his birthplace was sacred to Zeus, the king and father of Greek gods and goddesses.Mumba Devi Temple
Mumba Devi Mandir is an old temple in the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra dedicated to the goddess Mumbā, the local incarnation of the Devi (Mother Goddess). Marathi Mumbā derives from Sanskrit
While Hindu sects devoted to the goddess Mumbadevi are attested to as far back as the 15th century, it is said that the temple was built in 1675 near the main landing site of the former Bori Bunder creek against the north wall of the English Fort Saint George by a Hindu woman also named Mumba. The creek and fort are now deteriorated to a point at which they are but derelict reminders of the city's past. The temple, on the other hand, is still active.The goddess Mumba was patron of the Marathi-speaking agris (salt collectors) and kolis (fisherfolk), the original inhabitants of the seven islands of Bombay. She is depicted as a black stone sculpture in the temple. An etymology of Mumba that is popular is "Maha Amba," or "Great Mother," one of the many of India's more well-known names for the Hindu Mother Goddess (Devi). Located in Bhuleshwar area in South Mumbai, the temple is in the heart of the steel and clothing markets. It is a sacred pilgrimage spot and place of worship for Hindus and is thus visited daily by hundreds of people. It is not uncommon for visitors of Mumbai to pay their respects at the temple and is one of the tourist destinationNavadurga
Navadurga (Sanskrit: नवदुर्गा, IAST: Navadurgā, lit. Nine forms of Durga), are nine manifestations of the goddess Durga in Hinduism, especially worshiped during the festival of Navratri where each of the nine manifested forms are venerated respectively for each night. The nine forms of Goddess Durga (seen by some as synonymous with Gauri) or (Parvati) are: Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri.Ninhursag
Ninḫursaĝ, also known as Damgalnuna or Ninmah, was the ancient Sumerian mother goddess of the mountains, and one of the seven great deities of Sumer. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the "true and great lady of heaven" (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were "nourished by Ninhursag's milk". Sometimes her hair is depicted in an omega shape and at times she wears a horned head-dress and tiered skirt, often with bow cases at her shoulders. Frequently she carries a mace or baton surmounted by an omega motif or a derivation, sometimes accompanied by a lion cub on a leash. She is the tutelary deity to several Sumerian leaders.Paps of Anu
The Paps of Anu (Irish: Dá Chích Anann, "the breasts of Anu") are a pair of breast shaped mountains near Killarney in County Kerry, Ireland. The eastern summit, The Paps East, is 694 metres (2,277 ft) high and the western top, The Paps West is 690 metres (2,260 ft) high.The mountains are named after Anu; believed to have been an ancient mother goddess. Cormac's Glossary describes Anu or Danu as "the mother of the gods of Ireland". On each summit is a prehistoric cairn, which may be miniature passage graves or house burial cists. The cairn on the eastern Pap is slightly larger, with a height of 4 metres (13 ft) and diameter of 16 metres (52 ft). They have been described as "stone nipples on the great breasts of the mother goddess". A line of stones, known as Na Fiacla, connects the two tops and is believed to have been a processional route. Archeologist Frank Coyne suggested that the mountains were seen as sacred and said "There is little doubt that the mountaintops of both The Paps…were utilized for ritual in prehistory". To the ancients, the mountains reinforced the idea that the Earth was a motherly body.There is a stream running between the mountains. One half flows north into a small lake called Lough Nageeha and the other half flows south into the Clydagh River.Pindi (Hindu iconography)
Pindi are decked stones or tree stumps viewed in Hinduism as abstract manifestations of the mother goddess Shakti. Most of the 20th century goddess temples in Himachal Pradesh, India, enshrine a pindi.Đạo Mẫu
Đạo Mẫu (Vietnamese: [ɗâːwˀ mə̌wˀ], 道母) is the worship of mother goddesses in Vietnam. While scholars like Ngô Đức Thịnh propose that it represents a systematic mother goddess cult, Đạo Mẫu draws together fairly disparate beliefs and practices. These include the worship of goddesses such as Thiên Y A Na, The Lady of the Realm (Bà Chúa Xứ), The Lady of the Storehouse (Bà Chúa Kho) and Princess Liễu Hạnh, legendary figures like Âu Cơ, the Trưng Sisters (Hai Bà Trưng), and Lady Triệu (Bà Triệu), as well as the cult of the Four Palaces. Đạo Mẫu is commonly associated with spirit mediumship rituals—known in Vietnam as lên đồng—much as practiced in other parts of Asia, such as Southern China, Myanmar (Mon people) and some community in India... Although the Communist government had initially proscribed the practice of such rituals, deeming them to be superstitions, they relented in 1987, once again legalizing their practice.