Well here I am again. Last night I was thinking to myself how many things I did and said like my own mother and then it occurred to me that the Great Mother was working through my mortal mother. My own mother is not witchy or a scatty woman. She lives her life as a hard working women of 80. I normally don’t think that much of her as we are chalk and cheese. Many a time I nave returned from a few nights with her exhausted and in tears. She might not be my birth mother but she is still a mother. She has no idea of the pain of birth but she knows that trouble of bringing children up. Unlike her I haven’t had to do any child rearing but I have given birth and that was one of the most painful yet joyous occasions I have ever experience.
Now Tbe Great Mother feels our pain and our love. She is in all women and all women are in her. She, like the maiden, has many forms. She can be the jealous Hera, the angry Demeter, the spiteful Kail and so on but there are more mothers on this earth in mortal form and goddess form.
I am going to share with you some of the lesser known goddesses who help us every day.
Acna/Akna (mother) – This is an obscure goddess of the Mayan who roles over motherhood, birthing and childbirth but in Inuit mythology she becomes a goddess of fertility and childbirth. She was a mother goddess associated with the moon. She is associated with the moon and with the Bacabs (the four canopic gods who stand at the four corners of the world, supporting the heavens). Acna is also a mother goddess associated with the moon. It is the Lacandon of the Chiapas rain forest who worshipped Acna not only as a patron of medicine, childbirth and divination but also of disease although she is not the only Mexican deity with this function.
Aja/ Aya – She is considered to be a mother goddess of the Akkadians, who make her the consort of Shamash, which developed from the Sumerian Sherida the consort of Utu. She was associated with the rising sun and with the pleasures of love and youth. Shamasha and Aya were associated with a practise known as Hasadu (sacred marriage). A room would be set aside with a bed and on certain occasions the tow deities statues would be brought together and laid on the bed to ceremonially renew their vows.
Aka – This is an ancient Turkish mother goddess or a Babylonian moon god.
Allpamama/Mama Allpa – This is an obscure Andean/Inca earth goddess of the fertility of the harvest, who was depicted as having many breasts. These numerous breasts indicate her powers of nourishment and motherhood. Her name translates from Quechua as “earth mother” or “world womb.”
Ancamna/Ancomna – This was a Romanised Gaulish water goddess who is only known from epigraphic dedications. She seems to have been a deity whose mainly honoured at Trier in the French Moselle Valley, associated with the healing god Mars Lenus, hence becoming his divine partner. But at another shrine she is associated with Mars Smertrius although here she is depicted as mother goddess. This is backed up by the clay figurines of a mother goddess found at this particular shrine.
Anki-Pugos/Kaltes/Kaltesh/Kaltesh-Anki/Katlash – This is a fertility goddess whose consort is sometimes considered to be Num in mythology. She can appear either as a goose or a hare so its no surprise that the latter animal is sacred to this Siberian deity. She is the Khanty (Russian) version of Gaia – mother earth being. Some Khanty believe that she is the wife of Numi-Turum, yet others call her his daughter, and was thrown down to earth by him because of her liaison with another deity. It is thought that once the first humans were formed she gave them their souls. Her main role was to record the length of mortals lives.
Anput/Inpewt/Input/Yireput – In Egypt this was the female counterpart of Anubis whom has associations with funeral traditions. She is also called the personification of the seventeenth Nome in Upper Egypt. She is thought to be the mother of Kebeechet. Anput is depicted as a female clothed in a standard topped by a jackal, a large black dog/jackal. Her name in hieroglyphics becomes Input. She is known by many epithets -Lady of heaven,The dark mother, Lady of magick, Lady of the circle, Lady of the holy land, Lady of the light and the dark, Lady of truth, Queen of the starry heavens,She is the mother of light, She who is crowned with stars and She who protects.
Apet – This is an Egyptian mother goddess. She is called a nursing mother.
Asa-ase Yaa (West African) Asa-ase/Asase Efua/Asase Ya(a)/ Ashanti Asase Yaa/ Dahoney Saghata/ Fanti Asase Efua/ Gross Mama (South America) Obalwwaye (Yoruba) Sagbata/ – A mother goddess who represented earth in Africa as the womb of the earth she represents the goddess of the dead and of the truth. She gave birth to humanity and reclaims her children at death. It is said that at planting time the Ashanti farmers prayed to his ancestors as well as Asase Yaa who taught the rights of cultivation to the living. A farmer would sacrifice a cockerel to her yearly to ensure a good harvest, sprinkling its blood on the ground. She is the wife of Nyame, also the mother of four deities of waters and trees. She is also seen as a fertility goddess of death within Akan myths. In some accounts this is also the name for earth. Thursday, which is a day that was sacred to her, man wasn’t allowed to perform any form of work hence her name of Earth Thursday.
Asherah – This is the name of a great goddess, the divine harlot, lady of heaven, the queen of the gods, lady who traverses the sea (also called Anat). The sacred cow is hers alone. She is symbolized by a stylized multi branched tree. She is considered to be an Ugaritic and Canaanite mother goddess. She is also thought to be a sea goddess. She was the force of life, experienced as being a benevolent and enduring goddess. She could be found in flocks of cattle and groves of trees. She could be invoked during childbirth and planting time. She sometimes appeared as a naked, curly haired goddess riding a sacred lion and holding lilies and serpents in upraised hands. Some accounts distinguished her as the mother and wife of Baal.
Atargatis –This Syrian goddess is a mother deity as well as one of vegetation. She was born in the form of an egg which a fish had pushed ashore however another story tells how she fell into the sea and became a fish whereas her daughter became a dove. So its no surprise that both the fish and dove are sacred to this deity. As Atargatis Derketo, she was a fish goddess, half fish and half woman. She could be equated to Anat.
Atugan – An earth mother goddess of the Mongols. She is non violent and the rainbow is her tracks as she goes to the skies. She resides on earth although she never returns to the skies to be with the high god.
Aveta/ Dea Nutrix (nursing goddess) – This is a Celtic goddess who was worshipped at a shrine at Trier, Moselle (France). She is a goddess of fertility, childbirth and midwives, also linked to fresh water. Pilgrims would offer the goddess many small figurines of a mother goddess, which is how she is perceived, would visit this sanctuary. These varied images depict her as holding baskets or fruits or lapdogs while others were of swaddled children as if all these symbols indicate the attributes of fertility and prosperity. The dog might be associated with her as a healer or a goddess of renewal and rebirth. She usually sits, often in a high back wicker chair, suckling one or two children. She is also placed on tombs to comfort the dead and brings promises of renewal and rebirth in the afterlife.
Bebinn – This is an early Irish divinity who served as the goddess of birth. Her name was invoked under numerous spellings. She is the sister of Boand & the wife of either Aed Ahainn, a unknown god or Idath. She is thought to be the mother of Fraech.
Bendis – This is one of Greece’s fertility and moon goddesses who was associated with Artemis as the mother of the chase. As a Thracian goddess she is depicted as a booted huntress and is sometimes described as twin-speared. This name could also be an epithet of Artemis. Her attributes include boots, a torch and a pointed cap. She is also equated with Hecate and Persephone and rules over heaven and earth.
Campestres – This is the Roman mother goddess of the parade grounds who protects the area where both ceremonial and religious parades took place. Others saw this as the title of the guardian spirit of military affairs. She’s believed to be originally a lost goddess who ruled over fertility and the harvest of the Gauls before the Roman invasion. She is known from inscriptions on altars found in both Britain and Germany. Most of the dedications were made by cavalrymen or by soldiers connected with the cavalry possible because of their need for a guardian during dangerous cavalry training.
Chaabyn – This is Semitic virgin and earth mother of the Middle East. She is the mother of Dusura but nothing further is known at this time.
Chomo-Lung-Ma – This is the Indian name of Mount Everest and one of the oldest deities. It is no surprise that she is a mother of the universe because she possible resides on Mount Everest where the world can be seen in its entirety.
Chun T’i (China)Marichi/Maritchi (Buddhist)Mo-li-chi (China) T’ien Hou (China)Tou Mu (China) – The Buddhists consider her a sakti of Vairocan. She was originally a mortal whom became a mother goddess. She was conned into marrying an immortal so she committed suicide and so became divine. She burnt her husband into ashes. She is sometimes pictured with three heads, one being a pig. She also possesses eight or more arms which hold the moon and the sun and various weapons. She also rides a chariot which is drawn by seven pigs. I am unsure why the pig is sacred to her.
Cole Cab/Colel Cab – This is a Mayan mother earth goddess. She is thought to have invented weaving and helps regulate the cycles and seasons by painting her earthly tapestries with foliage, plants and flowers with her paintbrush. As an earth goddess she cares especially for the bees. She is still invoked by modern-day Maya Daykeepers in chants to ward off attacks on nests, remedy nest problems, and aid hive keepers with their bees
Deae Matres/Mamau (Wales)Matres/Matronea/The Mothers – This goddess is not to be confused with Matrona, for she is part of a triple motherhood and fertility goddesses among the Celts, although to the Romanised Gaels she was a single mother goddess so she became a household deity, possible one of the Lars. The Romans brought over the idea of mother goddesses to Celtic Britain so she’s not necessarily Celtic but more a Roman idea that was emulated by the natives. Its possible that this was also the name of the goddess who protects the river Seine (France).
Divine Mother/Matrona/ Modron(Wales) – This is a Celtic goddess of the river Marne near its source is where she had a sanctuary. While here she appears singly, triads of mother of divinities like Matronae appear in eastern Gaul (today’s Rhineland, Germany). She is the divine mother, a regional goddess. She rules over water magick and is possible the mother of Mabon (translates as son of Modron). In some accounts she is equated with Morgan le Fay. Quick note here yes Mabon is also the name of one the sabbats.
Edda – This is the great grandmother or Nordic earth mother goddess. Her name is also Nordic for sacred poetry, which were inspired by her. These Icelandic sagas or Eddas usually opened with an invocation to Edda, similar to the Muses. She was married to Ai and became the mother of Thrall, the ancestor of the peasant race of man, by the god Heimdall when he visited earth as Rig.
Erce (Anglo-Celtic) – This is an earth mother and harvest goddess. She is symbolised by a womb or by an overflowing cornucopia. She is thought to be Basque in her origin.
Fimmilena – This being is one of the Alaisiagae mother goddesses. They are Frisian war goddesses similar to the Valkyries (Norse), who were worshipped at Housestead near Hadrian’s Wall on the Scottish and English border.
Friagabis (giver of freedom) – This is one of the Alaisiagae mother goddesses. There are Frisian war goddesses who are worshipped at Housestead on Hadrian’s Wall on the Scottish and English boarder.
Gula(Sumerian) Nin-Karrak /Ninkarrak/Ninkarraka – This is the Sumerian underworld goddess of healing and death although she is considered to be the patron of medicine or of childbirth. She assumed the role of Bau as the breather of life into mankind after the great flood (not the Christian one) had destroyed many mortals. Gula is sometimes considered to be the Babylonian great goddess, the lady of birth and mother of dogs, a goddess of fate, the great female doctor who could cure or cause sickness. Worshippers would dedicate small statues of dogs to her in order to avoid or to recover from any illness. She could also be perceived as an earth goddess or a creative one.She is considered to be the consort of Ninurta. And is the daughter of Anu. Gula often appears as a woman with stars and her dog.
Hudigamma – This is one of the Hindu mother goddesses. Eunuch priests dressed in women’s attire to serve her but nothing further is recorded about her.
Ilargi/ Ilazki/ Ile – This is a lunar goddess as the Basque (northern west Spain and south western France) for moon. She is said to be the daughter of Mother Earth and that she always returns to her mother. To me this indicates that she is part of the cycle of the moon; maiden, mother and crone so its possible that she is one of a trio of female deities that completed the cycle of the moon. The name Ile is also a West African name for a mother goddess of the earth.
Modir (mother) – This is one of the original mother goddesses of Nordic mythology. It was said that the god Heimdall came down to earth and visited 3 different homes, one was a rich one where Fadir (father) and Modir cared for him with red meat and wine. Heimdall remained for 3 nights sharing their bed. 9 months later Modir gave birth to a son, Jarl. He grew up highly talented and from him came nobility; some say he was the forefather of warriors which could possible be as it was the warriors who came from rich families as they could afford to train them. So one could say that Modir is a goddess of warriors.
Ninkurra (Lady Pasture) – This is a Babylonian artisan god alternatively a minor Mesopotamian mother goddess. In the latter case she was linked briefly as the consort to her grandfather, Enlil, by whom after nine days of gestation she gave birth to the goddess Uttu. Alternatively she was the mother of Nin-imma as the defecation of female sex organs. She is the daughter of Enki and Ninsar.
Ninsebargunnu/Nunbarsegunu/Nurbarshegum – This is a Babylonian mother goddess, a divinity of barley. She is possible the consort of Haia which makes her the mother of Ninlil.
Phul Mata (Hindu) – This is a mother goddess who is seen as a being of evil intent for she inflicts sickness on children under seven years old.
Pinikirz – This is an obscure ancient Iranian mother goddess.
Puranai (fullness) – This is an obscure Tamil mother goddess.
Ragno – This North American mother goddess is honoured by both the Hopi and Pomo Indians. The Pomo Indians believed she rescued the world from the attempts of two brothers, Ruksu and Marumda, to destroy it. However in Hopi lore she is linked to two sisters in their creation legend.
Raudri – This is a Hindu mother goddess. She could be an aspect of Parvati and one of the navasaktis.
Rohita (red) – This is an obscure Hindu mother goddess. In some accounts it’s believed that Brahma, as a stag, joined with Rohita, as a doe, to produce all creatures.
Rudracarcika – This is one of the mother goddesses of Hindu belief. She is one of the Astamataras. In some versions she is a form of Durga.
Saning Sari – This mother goddess is from Sumatra and is closely identified with rice that her name is used for the food. Rituals dedicated to her are performed at planting time and harvesting time. She is represented by parts of the rice plant hence being called the mother of rice. At planting time the finest grains are picked out and sown in the nursery bed as a form of the goddess, after which the rest of the crop is harvested. At transplanting these special shoots make up the ‘rice mother’ and are given similar special treatment as a particular place to grow in the paddy fields. At harvest time they are ‘found’ and brought home for the following years planting.
Thoeris –This is an Egyptian mother goddess. She rules over strong protection.
Vaishnavi/ Vaisnavi – This Hindu mother goddess, or sakti of Vishnu is a form of Lakshmi or a navasaktis. As one of the eight Matrikas she becomes a guardian of mortality and so an enemy of a demon which lured men from the path of duty. She was in opposed to the demon Lobha, who is considered to be the evil aspect of Vaishnavi. She travels on a hybrid beast known as Garudu. Her attributes are a child, a club, a conch, the lotus flower and the prayer wheel.
Varahi – This is a Hindu mother goddess, one of the eight Matrikas. She was opposed by the demon Asuyu, who is considered to be the evil aspect of Varahi. She sits upon either a boar or a buffalo or an elephant. Her attributes include a boar’s head, the bow, a club, a cup, a knife, the noose, the plough, a sword and a trident.
Vari Ma Te Takere (the very beginning) Varima Te Takere – This is the mother goddess of the Hervey Islands (Pacific Islands). She is said to have curled up in the lowest part of the world coconut or in an egg on the edge of the primordial ocean. She lives in Te-Enua-Te-Ki (mute land) in eternal silence, with her knees touching her chin. She had six children of whom half were born from her right side and the others from the left side. These children were Avatea, Tinirau, Tango, Tumuteanaoa, Raka and Tu-Metua so she could be called the mother of gods in this culture.
Oh my I never thought I would get through that list of mother goddesses.
If you discover that I have missed one just let me know in the comments box. The ones who are well known like Demeter have not been included as there is so much information on the internet.
Have a blessed evening \morning\afternoon and don’t forget to thank the goddess for your blessings and gifts. Silver Willow.
Mother Moon shine your light upon me this night
Mother Moon send your kisses to me tonight
Mother Moon guides me through the dark
Mother Moon shine your light upon me this night.