A Goddess is a female deity. In some cultures Goddesses are associated with Earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures, Goddesses also rule over war, death, and destruction as well as healing. They can be figureheads of religions and can be accessed in modern times by religious statues.
In some religions, a sacred feminine archetype can occupy a very central place in prayer and worship. In Hinduism, Sacred Feminine or Shaktism is one of the three major Hindu denominations of worship along with Vishnu and Shiva. In Tibetan Buddhism, the highest achievement any person can achieve is to become like the "great" female Buddhas (e.g. Arya Tara) who are depicted as being supreme protectors, fearless and filled with compassion for all beings.
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.
Some currents of Neopaganism, in particular Wicca, have a bitheistic concept of a single Goddess and a single God, who in hieros gamos represent a united whole. Polytheistic reconstructionists focus on reconstructing polytheistic religions, including the various goddesses and figures associated with indigenous cultures.
The noun goddess is a secondary formation, combining the Germanic god with the Latinate -ess suffix. It is first attested in Middle English, from about 1350.
Famous quotes containing the word goddess:
“Creations blithe and petaled word
To the lounged goddess when she rose
Conceding dialogue with eyes
That smile unsearchable repose”
—Hart Crane (18991932)
“Teenage girls are extremists who see the world in black-and- white terms, missing shades of gray. Life is either marvelous or not worth living. School is either pure torment or is going fantastically. Other people are either great or horrible, and they themselves are wonderful or pathetic failures. One day a girl will refer to herself as the goddess of social life and the next day shell regret that shes the ultimate in nerdosity.”
—Mary Pipher (20th century)
strange goddess face
above my milk home,
that delicate asylum,
I ate you up.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)