Hail Hail The Great Goddess in her Totality as One.

Read on: * In ancient times women was the altar. The first deity mankind conceived was the earth Mother. Herstory. * All Goddesses are one Goddess. The Earth Goddess, the Bright Goddess and the Dark Goddess. * The Triple Goddess. Maiden, Mother and Crone. * The Charge of the Goddess. Wiccian invocation. * The Goddess of many forms. A list of Goddesses from round the world.

In old times Woman was the Altar

In primitive societies known to history, the male role in procreation was not realized. The first deity that mankind conceived, then, was the Earth Mother. Woman became the symbol of the Earth Mother. Both mysteriously produced life and nourished it. It was in the last 2-3 millennia, the male began to take charge; being the more aggressive and mobile sex, because of his hunting and defending against predators meant women was no longer the sole organizer of the home-base.
The left-brain function is masculine in emphasis, a gift of the God; its operational headquarters is the individual conscious ego, its strategy that of rationalized thinking, linear and analyzing. The right-brain function is feminine in emphasis, a gift of the Goddess; its operational headquarters is the Collective Unconscious, its strategy that of intuitive awareness, cyclical and synthesizing.
But to return to the beginning. The Goddess who birthed the universe, the many Goddesses of the east and west, of Africa, the Orient, Egypt, South America and Europe. There were Yemaya, Kwan Yin and Amaterasu, Pele, Isis and Astarte, Shekinah, Changing Woman, Brigid and Demeter. Whatever she was called by her worshippers, the Great Mother reigned, and the earth was respected as her body and her home. The Goddess was loved by men and women both; she was not feared as Gods are feared, for she was both creator and participant, mother and oneself, the female and male of all that lives. Women were her mirrors, her own image, and were part of her; men respected and worshipped her as her created opposites and as part of her, as well. The Goddess was the equal giver and taker of life, the changer from infancy to strength to old age. She was the Wheel of birth, death and rebirth, the Wheel of the turning seasons, of the interconnectedness of the earth, the universe and humanity.
In women is the Goddess' mystery, the secret of birth and creation that men share but cannot duplicate. In every woman also lies the male principle, as in every male is the Goddess. 
Yet while men and women are both born, only women bleed monthly and birth new lives from their bodies as the Goddess birthed the universe. They reproduce not only themselves but men as well, and nurture both from their breasts. envied and feared by some cultures' men in early days, women's place in society reflected their culture's reverence or non-reverence of birth. Where women were seen as part of the world birthing Goddess, they were priestesses, rulers, mothers, healers and sages - they participated in a dominance or partnership with men, male god from a male rib, women were restricted to mothering and sex, to being the other' whose power had to be carefully segregated matriarchal, women were the initiators of community, farming and agriculture, basketry, weaving and pottery making, the domestication of animals - of civilization. 
In these societies, men and women were opposites, but in an interconnected balance. In patriarchies that came later, these same creative women were denied humanity, denied opportunity, contribution, choices and education, and prevented by law or custom from independent lives.
The split of creation from birth began when men discovered their part in reproduction. They attempted to control birth by controlling women, by separating the female principle from both men and from the Goddess and instituting male gods. 
From women and men as part of the Goddess, only men became and remained gods, and women and children were bound to them. 
By the force of patriarchy, rape and incest began, as men who could not duplicate birth devalued it and tried to own it. Gods that elevated the male were brought to power, gods that had no birth origins, and the Goddess was suppressed with increasing severity. The female principle, the value of birth and the all-partaking life force, was fragmented and submerged.
But women's mysteries did not end with patriarchal denial. 
Despite increasing restrictions, goddess worship continued to be practiced by women and some men. The new religions that separated creation from birth compounded their losses by separating earth from the universe. From the harmony of beginnings, endings, and new beginnings in natural cycles - the Wheel and oneness of life - nonfemale religions offered guilt and suffering on earth for the reward of salvation later in heaven. 
The few saved were usually male, and individual men were installed as intercessors between earth and god. The female principle in men was lost, and women were rigidly and ruthlessly suppressed. As late as three hundred years ago, nine million people were burned at the stake to enforce this split. Most of them were women who refused to let go of the goddess, women and men who retained forbidden skills as witches, healers, midwives and psychics in the Goddess tradition. Even through this period, the female principle - an intrinsic part of male and female - remained. The powers of women's spirituality, of the long repressed mother Goddess, still refused to die.
The Great Goddess was not eradicated under patriarchy, but was submerged, co-opted and transformed. The Judaic Lilith, the first woman before Eve, became a goblin to frighten children with, and the Shekinah, the female polarity of Yagweh, was almost fully repressed. The Christian Mary, a borrowed Goddess, became so popular in the Middle Ages that the Church made vigorous campaigns to lessen her power. Christian holy days were set at wiccan sabbats and replaced them, since the sabbats were attended by whole communities and couldn't be wiped out. In the Greek Hera, a twisted vestige of the Great Mother is seen, transformed thanklessly to a nagging wife of the god, and temple priestesses were degraded as prostitutes in Rome and India. More recently, American Indian, African and Polynesian cultures and god-and Goddess cycles were destroyed under slavery, or by missionaries in their own homes. 
As in the rest of women's culture, much is lost beyond redemption, but much is being regained.
A return to Goddess worship means a reaffirmation of creativity and birth, the female principle in men and women, and the interconnectedness in life. The Goddess is both the earth and the heavens. She is all that lives, and all that lives is part of her. To pollute the earth by nuclear leakage, therefore, is to pollute the Goddess and oneself. To deal in the oppression of any gender or minority is to disrespect the Goddess. To cause harm brings harm in return.
There is no guilt in women's spirituality, only free will and responsibility. Power that comes from within, from being part of the creation-birthing Goddess, brings choices and consequences instead of blame. Joy is intrinsic and money is not evil - good or evil lies only in how the resources are gained and used. Sexuality is both responsibility and joy, while rape and pornography are not sexuality but assault. 
Protection from harm lies in free will, for both harmful and good acts return to the doer. There is gentleness in men and strength in women, since men and women are equal beings, and youth, adulthood and old age are equal parts of the Wheel.
In the female spirituality principle, a woman or man controls by choice the course of her life and lives it now; she is not bound by predestiny or released by heaven later. Most Goddess worshippers believe in reincarnation and generation after death. Left extends beyond the body, and one's energy and Daughters remain after them.
Women's mysteries today seek to re-enact and re-member the birth to death phases of the year and lunar cycles. The Wheel itself remains to us, but much of the tradition and diversity of world Goddess cultures has been lost or obscured.
Reclaiming the Goddess and the female principle of humanity means not only reclaiming her rituals, but redesigning, reinventing, reinterpreting and reweaving these rituals in light of modern life. Along with dis-covering the Goddess' legends of the world and reenacting her Wheel of the Year, women and wiccan men work to relearn lost healing, psychic and personal power skills. Knowledge of herbs, midwifery, homeopathy, meditation, aura and crystal healing, empathy and telepathy are part of the female principle of creating life and are only limited to women by the patriarchal separation of earth from universe.
Through the transition from Goddess worship to patriarchy, through the repressions of Judaism and Christianity, through the burning times and the alienations of modern high technology, women have held tightly and valiantly to the Goddess, to the interconnection of all life. After thousands of years of silence, the Great Mother is being heard again, and women are answering her by re-membering her rituals and knowledge.

All Goddesses are one Goddess
As all Women in whose nature all things are found are of the one Goddess.

There are many different Goddesses representing the many different aspects. As Earth Mother, the most vivid and immediate face which the Goddess presents to us. She is fertility itself, for mankind and for all creatures and plants. She gives birth to us and to them; she nourishes us and them throughout life, and in death receives the empty physical shell back into herself and transforms it into new fertility. As the Bright Goddess she represents the light of consciousness- not the intellectual analysis of that light (which is a God function) so much as the direct awareness of our environment, of the manifestations of fertility, of pleasure and comfort, of fulfillment, of overt sexual attraction, of relatedness in action. As the Dark Goddess she represents the mysteries of Unconscious, both personal and collective, the indirect awareness of intuition, of instinctive urge to achieve and create, of the merging of identities in sexual union, of relatedness as 'wavelength'. Of Death and transidence. Destruction and chaos. Ones fears.

The Triple Goddess

The theme of the Triple Goddess is found in the mythology of all lands. She is Maid, Mother and Crone; Enchantment, Ripeness and Wisdom; the waxing, full and waning Moon.

Behold the three-formed Goddess;
She who is ever three - Maid, Mother, and Crone.
Yet is she ever one;
She in all Women, and they all in Her.
Look on these three, who are one, with a fearless love, that you, too, may be whole.

The nature of the three aspects that make up the Triple Goddess:
First, THE MAID. She is Enchantment, the bright magic of the female principle, the fresh light of dawn that sweeps away weariness with the promise of new beginnings. 
She is the adventurous young flame that banishes indifference and leapfrogs obstacles, the lively curiosity that blows the dust off stale knowledge and gives it new perspectives. She is springtime, the first daffodil, the hatching egg. She is excitement, she is the carefree erotic aura that sets men and gods preening themselves. She is unselfconsciousness in a mini-skirt. The huntress, running free through the woods in pursuit of her quarry with her hounds beside her. She is danger if abused; she is joy itself if respected. Her traditional colour is white.
Second, THE MOTHER. She is Ripeness; she moulds life within the womb, gives birth to it, nourishes it, teaches it and slaps its bottom when necessary. She is mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically full-blooded and powerful. She may give open advice or exert shrewd influence which is unnoticed at the time but which achieves its ends. The male principle is both her husband and her child. As mate, she does not tantalize, which the Maid may sometimes do; she will restrain him if the time is not ripe - or if it is, she will give all, transmuting him to gold in the furnace of her love, just as she transmutes his seed into new life. Against anything which threatens what she loves, she is merciless and terrible. And when she destroys the outworn, or whatever impedes the development of that which she loves, she may seem merciless. But that is only in the eyes of those who do not understand her (which sometimes include those whom she loves). She is fertility itself - yet her fecundity, which appears unbounded, is not blind or aimless; it has an overall balance, a symphonic richness, which tunnel vision cannot perceive. It is that overall balance which determines her actions; ephemeral standards of morality or equity, believed eternal by those who hold them, mean nothing to her. Her traditional colour is red. 
Lastly, THE CRONE. She is Wisdom, the Jeweled Hag. 
She has seen it all; she has compassion for it all, but a compassion undistorted by illusion or sentimentality. 
Her wisdom is much wider than intellectual knowledge, though it includes intellect and does not despise it. 
Maid and Mother live within her as stored experience, and she within them as potential. (In this sense, the Three are Nine; for each contains all three, though with her own characteristic emphasis.) When called for, the Crone is baby-sitter for the Mother, and chaperon for the Maid, keeping a shrewd eye on both and maintaining the overall balance. To the male aspect she is a steadying influence, and an enriching one if he listens to her; she adds another dimension to his linear-logical thinking and prevents it getting the bits between its teeth. Like the other two, she is Love, but hers is a calm understanding love, complementing the heady love of the Maid and the incandescent love of the Mother. 
She too can seem terrible, because she is the gateway to Death. 
But she is also the Psychopompos who guides us through it, pointing the way to the new life where she will again be all the Three. Her traditional colour is black. 

And now comes the mental leap, the key to understanding. Contemplate each of these aspects in all is complexity, and then try to hold all three in your awareness at once. Realize that the whole spectrum, with its shifting colours, is the one glowing rainbow. To pursue the analogy further - red/orange for the Mother, yellow/green for the Maid, and blue/indigo/violet for the Crone. (Think of that next time you see a rainbow.) Which wave length predominates for you at any one moment depends on your own tuning. But make the effort to grasp the whole rainbow, and you are face to face with the manifold Goddess herself. You are also face to face with Woman, the manifested feminine principle.

Do what you will harming none. What you give out returns three fold.

The Charge of the Goddess

Listen to the words of the Great Mother; she who of old was also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana Arianrhod, Isis, Bride," and by many other names.
Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will She teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in Her praise. For Hers is the ecstasy of the spirit, and Hers also is joy on earth; for Her law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For Hers is the secret door which opens upon the land of youth and Hers is the cup of wine of life, and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. She is the gracious goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, She gave the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, She gives peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor does She demand sacrifice, for behold, She is the mother of all living, and Her love is poured out upon the earth.

Hear ye the words of the star Goddess; she in the dust of whose feet are the host of heaven, and whose body encircles the universe.
She who is the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, calls unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto Her. For She is the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. from Her all things proceed, and unto Her all things must return; and before Her face, beloved of gods and men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let Her worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinkest to seek Her, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, She has been with thee from the beginning; and She is that which is attained at the end of desire.

Doreen Valiente written from 'A Witches Bible Complete' 
-Janet and Stewart Farrar

The Goddess of many Forms

There are many different Goddesses representing the many different aspects of the Great Goddess. We as women, aware of our divinity, are part of the Great Goddess connected with all life.
A Goddess-form is a complex of symbols to enable us to interact fruitfully with the (ultimately unknowable) Goddess herself. So the building up of such a Goddess- form is a two-way process. The more adequate the man-conceived symbols, the more strongly the Goddess is contacted, and the more she feeds back improvements to the symbols. The Goddess-forms we have 'created' put ourselves in tune with her. If we invoke the Goddess using the name of one known Goddess with all the symbols and concepts associated with that name, then the Goddess comes through to us wearing the face of that Goddess. Mankind is always constructing such thought-forms, at various levels of importance, as symbol-complexes for communication with archetypal elements of the Collective Unconscious. This is the essentially human way of mutual feedback between the conscious Ego and the Unconscious, without which the psyche would disintegrate.
Here is a short list of some Great Goddesses, I've tried to keep it short, for more information on these and other well known Goddesses, that I've not included, read 'The Book of Goddesses and Heroines' by Patricia Monaghan:

Amazons A land populated entirely by these women - The Greeks believed in it, believed it existed on their very borders, a country on the river Thermodon. Once or twice a year, on the borders of their country, the Amazons had intercourse with men from surrounding tribes, keeping their daughters and returning the sons to the tribe of origin. (some contend that they killed the boys.) Two queens, one for defense and one for domestic affairs, shared sovereign rule. Under their military queen the amazons were a mighty army of mounted warriors bearing ivy-shaped shields and double-bladed battle -axes.

Aphrodite One of the most familiar of Greek Goddesses. The great Goddess of impersonal, indiscriminate lust. A Goddess of Love.

Artemis As we see her in Western art, Artemis is the virgin moon-Goddess roaming the forest with her band of nymphs, bearing the bow and quiver, avoiding men and killing any male who looks on her. She was the virgin who promoted promiscuity; she was the huntress who protected animals; she was a tree, a bear, the moon. Artemis was the image of a woman moving through her life and assuming different roles at different times; she was a veritable encyclopedia of feminine possibility.

Astarte One of the oldest forms of the Great Goddess. Sumerian, but worshipped in different forms by all early Indo-European cultures. Ruled the spirits of the dead; Queen of the stars.

Blathnat "Little flower" was the daughter of Midir, the high king of the Irish fairies. She traveled across the island with three cows hitched to her magic caldron, demanding that heroes serve her with feats of superhuman strength. she was apparently a late survival of an early goddess of sex and death.

Changing Woman The Apache called the earth-Goddess by this name, for she never grew old. When her age began to show, she simply walked toward the east until she saw her form coming toward herself. She kept walking until her young self merged with her aging self and then, renewed, returned to her home. among the Chiricahua Apache, the name of this eternal Goddess was Painted Woman.

Demeter The Greek Goddess of fertility and agriculture. Also known as the "corn mother". Mistress of earth and sea.

Diana The Roman Goddess of the hunt. The mother of animals; the protectress of all wild creatures including the untamed aspects of the psyche.

Durga All Goddesses in Hindu belief are ultimately the same Goddess, often called simply "The goddess" or Devi. But she appears in different forms with different names. One of the fiercest of Devi's forms is Durga. She was also the eldest: during primordial war between Gods an antigods, Durga was the first manifestation of goddess-energy.

Eostre, Ostara The early Anglo-Saxon name spring's Goddess survives today in the festival of rebirth, Easter, and in the mood encouraged by springtime, estrus. She was honoured among the Germanic people with painted eggs, a tradition that survives today.

Hathor One of the prime divinities of Western civilization, Hathor was worshipped for more than a millennium longer than the life, to date, of Christianity. For more than 3,000 years her joyful religion held sway over Egypt. Small wonder, then, that a profusion of legends surrounded her, or that she was depicted in so many different guises: at once mother and daughter of the sun, both a lioness and a cow, sometimes a woman, and sometimes a tree. Goddess of the underworld, she was also ruler of the sky. Patron of foreigners, she was mother of the Egyptian. Like Ishtar to the east, she was a complex embodiment of feminine of possibilities.

Inanna Sumerian. One of the most ancient forms of the goddess. she was said to be the queen of the land, and made every king her bridegroom. goddess of fertility and the journey of transformation.

Isis The principle Goddess of ancient Egypt. Known as the giver of life, the queen of heaven, and the revealer of the mysteries.

Kali Hindu goddess aspect. One of the most powerful, most common, and-to Western eyes-most terrifying, is Kali ("Black Mother Time"), the goddess who perpetually transforms life into a fascinating dance of death. Known as the dark mother, goddess of Destruction and birth. She is said to eat Karma.

Kalisha "Purity," an ancient Arabian Goddess worshipped, as most other female deities of that culture, in the shape of a stone.

Kuan-Yin, Kwannon Chinese-Buddhism evolved a feminine bodhisattva, or Buddha-to-be. It was said that Kuan-Yin was so concerned for humanity that upon receiving enlightenment, she chose to retain human form rather than transcend it as pure energy. And so she would stay until every single living creature attained enlightenment. Her name translates "She who hears the weeping world".

Lakshmi Ancient India did not erect temples to this Goddess, for why try to contain the one who embodies herself in all forms of wealth? Lakshmi is everywhere: in jewels, in coins, in rare shells, in every child born to welcoming parents, and particularly cows. The well-known reverence for cows in Hindu India is based on the worship of this Goddess. Some myths say that Lakshmi existed from all time, floating before creation on a lotus; for this she is called Padma (Lotus-Goddess"), whose symbol became the sign for spiritual enlightenment throughout Asia. Once established in the religious amalgam called Hinduism, Lakshmi grew to symbolize not only the wealth of the earth but of the soul as well, becoming a magnificent symbol of the delights of spiritual prosperity.

Lilith In biblical tradition, the first wife of Adam. Reviled in traditional Jewish lore, she has been resurrected by modern feminists as a symbol of liberation form male- dominated religions that demonized female spirituality.

Maenads, Bacchantes, Thyiades The ecstatic worship that overtook the women of Greece, descending from wild Thrace in the 8th century B.C. conjecture. What was this mania, this religion of madwomen? Was it transcendent or pathological? The women in question followed the wine-god Dionysus, a late-comer to the Olympian pantheon, whom they says, was born of Zeus and Semele. Hidden from other gods, Dionysus grew to young manhood nursed only by women, then began his triumphal procession across Greece. With him came the intoxication of unity with the divine, as well as throngs of women, entranced and transformed by communion with the spirit he represented.

Maya, Mahamaya Like Shakti ("Energy") and Prakriti ("nature"), Maya is less a Goddess than one of the great philosophic concepts of Indian Hinduism embodied in female form. In Hindu thought, the male energy is essentially passive, while the female is the force of action. Maya is one of those active powers: the constant movement of the universe, pervasive to the atomic level. There is no life-no existence, even-without Maya, but she is so powerful that we cannot see the essence of things and mistake her movement for reality. For this reason, Maya is often called "the veil of illusion," the dance of multiplicity that distracts us so that we cannot see all matter as essentially identical. Illusion, however, as the sages have stressed, is not the same as falsehood. Maya is not a negative force, but can be a mesh through which we perceive the ultimate reality of existence-if we are not distracted by her magnificent creativeness and complexity.

Nephthys, Greek for Nebthet The ancient Egyptian Goddess was Isis's sister and opposite: Isis was the force of life and rebirth; Nephthys, the tomb-dwelling goddess of death and sunset. They had similarly opposite mates. Isis's consort was the fertility-God Osiris, while her sister's mate was the evil God Set. Set was not only wicked but sterile. So Nephthys, who wanted children, plied Osiris with liquor until, forgetting his loyalty to Isis, the God tumbled into bed with Nephthys; that night she conceived the God Anubis. Set, possibly out of jealousy, then killed and dismembered Osiris. This proved too much for Nephthys, who left Set to join in her sister's lamentations and helped to restore Osiris to life.

Pele Hawaiian Goddess of fire and volcanoes. Pele represents the forces of creation; passionate, sensual, sometimes violent and explosive.

Papa The word we use for father was used by the Polynesians to summon Mother Earth, who existed from the beginning in perpetual intercourse with her lover, sky-god Rangi. They left no room between them, creating darkness everywhere, which stifled the gods that resulted from the divine union. Finally, the young gods decided to separate their parents. Although apart, the pair remained lovers still; the earth's damp heat rose lustfully to the sky, and the rain fell from heaven to fertilize beloved Papa.

Paso Wee The buffalo woman, a legendary Native American (Kiowa) healing woman.

Persephone The Greek world was divided into three parts, in honour of the threefold Goddess. Hecate, the moon, wandered through the sky; Demeter ruled the surface of the earth; and underneath the world, in the afterlife, the pale queen Persephone lived. sometimes Hecate would join her there; sometimes Persephone would visit her mother, Demeter, on earth. But they were never completely separate, for these three goddesses were really a trinity, like the Christian God, three persons perceived as facets of the same divinity.

Prakriti Hindu philosophy, three concepts are given feminine form: Maya, the dancing Goddess who keeps creation alive; Shakti, the force of life itself, and Prakriti, or nature. These three theological concepts are closely connected and-because no myths illustrate them-sometimes difficult to separate. In fact, each is identified with one or another of the triad, for the force of life cannot be segmented into neat categories. As prakriti, this energy is the creative principle, the unitary pattern behind all movement. Self-knowing, endless, and perfectly alone, Prakriti exists everywhere but is nowhere actually manifest, for although she herself, the material of the universe, is singular, that form takes immeasurably various individual forms. She is therefore paradoxical, divinely alone in her uncountable forms, which humans can perceive only because we, too, are parts of Prakriti.

Saraswati Hindu Goddess honoured as the muse of the arts and music.
The essential cosmic power in Hinduism. In tantric Yoga, the serpent of Kundalini; the feminine force that is required to move the male force to action.

Sophia The spirit of wisdom, often portrayed as a white dove. Sophia has roots in Greek culture, and was called Hagia Sophia (the Great Mother) in the Gnostic tradition. Her presence as muse of wisdom lasted well into medieval Christian times.

Uma A Hindu Goddess, the 'peace of night'.

Yemaya A primary deity (or Orisha) of the African and Afro-Caribbean Yoruha. She is called the queen mother, represents the ocean, and is considered the mother of all creation.



Patricia Monaghan - 'THE BOOK OF GODDESSES AND HEROINES' 1990. Llewellyn Publications.
Diane Stein - 'The Kwan Yin Book of Changes'
Janet and Stewart Farrar - 'THE WITCHES' GODDESS'
Phoenix Publishing inc. - 'THE WITCHES' BIBLE'
Musical tapes 'On wings of song' and Robert Gass -Ancient Mother & - From the Goddess.


This page last updated: 03/01/2018