Gayatri Illustration by Raja Ravi Verma. In illustrations, the goddess often sits on a lotus flower and appears with five heads and five pairs of hands, representing the incarnations of the goddess as Parvati, Saraswati etc. She is Saraswatī. She is the consort of Brahma Gayatri (Sanskrit: गायत्री, gāyatrī) is the feminine form of gāyatra, a Sanskrit word for a song or a hymn, having a Vedic meter of 3 padas or lines of 8 syllables. In particular it refers to the Gayatri mantra, and the Hindu goddess Gayatri as that mantra personified. Portrayal Gayatri is typically portrayed as seated on a red lotus, signifying wealth. Having five heads(Mukta, Vidruma, Hema, Neela, Dhavala) with the ten eyes looking in the eight directions plus the earth and sky, and ten arms holding all the weapons of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu & Lord Brahma.Accompanied by a white swan, holding a book to portray knowledge in one hand and a cure in the other, as the goddess of Education. © 2000 - May 8, 2014. See also
Hathor Hathor (/ˈhæθɔr/ or /ˈhæθər/; Egyptian: ḥwt-ḥr and from Greek: Άθωρ, "mansion of Horus") is an Ancient Egyptian goddess who personified the principles of joy, feminine love, and motherhood. She was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of Ancient Egypt. Hathor was worshiped by Royalty and common people alike in whose tombs she is depicted as "Mistress of the West" welcoming the dead into the next life. In other roles she was a goddess of music, dance, foreign lands and fertility who helped women in childbirth, as well as the patron goddess of miners. The cult of Hathor predates the historic period, and the roots of devotion to her are therefore difficult to trace, though it may be a development of predynastic cults which venerated fertility, and nature in general, represented by cows. Hathor is commonly depicted as a cow goddess with horns in which is set a sun disk with Uraeus. Early depictions Temples Hesat Notes
Gaia (mythology) The Greek word γαῖα (transliterated as gaia) is a collateral form of γῆ (gē, Doric γᾶ ga and probably δᾶ da) meaning Earth, a word of uncertain origin. R. S. P. In Mycenean Greek Ma-ka (trans. as Ma-ga, "Mother Gaia") also contains the root ga-. According to Hesiod, Gaia conceived further offspring with Uranus, first the giant one-eyed Cyclopes: Brontes ("Thunder"), Steropes ("Lightning") and Arges ("Bright"); then the Hecatonchires: Cottus, Briareos and Gyges, each with a hundred arms and fifty heads. As each of the Cyclopes and Hecatonchires were born, Uranus hid them in a secret place within Gaia, causing her great pain. Because Cronus had learned from Gaia and Uranus, that he was destined to be overthrown by his own child, Cronus swallowed each of the children born to him by his Titan sister Rhea. With Gaia's advice Zeus defeated the Titans. In classical art Gaia was represented in one of two ways. Gaia also made Aristaeus immortal.
Hera Portrayed as majestic and solemn, often enthroned, and crowned with the polos (a high cylindrical crown worn by several of the Great Goddesses), Hera may bear a pomegranate in her hand, emblem of fertile blood and death and a substitute for the narcotic capsule of the opium poppy. A scholar of Greek mythology Walter Burkert writes in Greek Religion, "Nevertheless, there are memories of an earlier aniconic representation, as a pillar in Argos and as a plank in Samos." Etymology The cult of Hera Hera may have been the first to whom the Greeks dedicated an enclosed roofed temple sanctuary, at Samos about 800 BC. We know that the temple created by the Rhoecus sculptors and architects was destroyed between 570- 60 BC. In Euboea the festival of the Great Daedala, sacred to Hera, was celebrated on a sixty-year cycle. Hera's early importance According to Walter Burkert, both Hera and Demeter have many characteristic attributes of pre-Greek Great Goddesses. Epithets
Frigg In the Poetic Edda poem Lokasenna 26, Frigg is said to be Fjörgyns mær ("Fjörgynn's maiden"). The problem is that in Old Norse mær means both "daughter" and "wife," so it is not fully clear if Fjörgynn is Frigg's father or another name for her husband Odin, but Snorri Sturluson interprets the line as meaning Frigg is Fjörgynn's daughter (Skáldskaparmál 27), and most modern translators of the Poetic Edda follow Snorri. The original meaning[dubious ] of fjörgynn was the earth, cf. feminine version Fjorgyn, a byname for Jörð, the earth. The other piece of evidence lies with the goddess Fjorgyn, who is the mother of Thor, and whose name can be translated into Earth. Since Fjorgyn is not only the name of a goddess, but the feminine byname for Earth, it is relatively safe to assume that "mær", in this case, means "daughter". Etymology Attributes Frigg's name means "love" or "beloved one" (Proto-Germanic *frijjō, cf. Frigg was a goddess associated with married women. Myths
Minerva Etruscan Menrva Stemming from an Italic moon goddess *Meneswā ('She who measures'), the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, *Menerwā, thereby calling her Menrva. It is assumed that her Roman name, Minerva, is based on this Etruscan mythology, Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools and commerce. She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena. Worship in Rome Raised-relief image of Minerva on a Roman gilt silver bowl, 1st century BC As Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and doctors. In Fasti III, Ovid called her the "goddess of a thousand works". The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the neuter plural, Quinquatria, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans' holiday . Universities and educational establishments As patron goddess of wisdom, Minerva frequently features in statuary, as an image on seals, and in other forms, at educational establishments.
Durga Goddess Durga (Hindustani pronunciation: [ˈd̪uːrɡaː]; Sanskrit: दुर्गा), meaning "the inaccessible" or "the invincible"; durga) is the most popular incarnation of Devi and one of the main forms of the Goddess Shakti in the Hindu pantheon. Durga is the original manifested form of Mother Adi-Parashakti. She is Adi- Parashakti herself. The Devi Gita also known as Parvati Gita declares her to be the greatest Goddess. Thus, She is considered the supreme Goddess and primary deity in Shaktism, occupying a place similar to Lord Krishna in Vaishnavism. Origins and development In the Devi Bhagavata Purana 9th book chapter one, Prakriti khanda Lord Narayana describes Durga as one of the 5 forms of Adi Shakti. Ramprasad Chanda writes the following about the development of Durga from primitive goddess to her current form . "...it is possible to distinguish two different strata – one primitive and the other advanced. Worship Maa Durga A traditional Durga idol at a pandal in Kolkata. Goa
Mut Nineteenth dynasty statue of Mut, part of a double statue, c. 1279-1213 BCE, Luxor Museum Mut, which meant mother in the ancient Egyptian language, was an ancient Egyptian mother goddess with multiple aspects that changed over the thousands of years of the culture. Alternative spellings are Maut and Mout. She was considered a primal deity, associated with the waters from which everything was born through parthenogenesis. Some of Mut's many titles included World-Mother, Eye of Ra, Queen of the Goddesses, Lady of Heaven, Mother of the Gods, and She Who Gives Birth, But Was Herself Not Born of Any. Changes of mythological position Much later new myths held that since Mut had no parents, but was created from nothing; consequently, she could not have children and so adopted one instead. Making up a complete triad of deities for the later pantheon of Thebes, it was said that Mut had adopted Menthu, god of war. The authority of Thebes waned later and Amun was assimilated into Ra.
Astarte Astarte riding in a chariot with four branches protruding from roof, on the reverse of a Julia Maesa coin from Sidon Astarte /æˈstɑrti/ (Ancient Greek: Ἀστάρτη, "Astártē") is the Greek name of the Mesopotamian (i.e. Assyrian, Akkadian, Babylonian) Semitic goddess Ishtar known throughout the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean from the early Bronze Age to Classical times. It is one of a number of names associated with the chief goddess or female divinity of those peoples. She is found as Ugaritic 𐎓𐎘𐎚𐎗𐎚 (ʻṯtrt, "ʻAṯtart" or "ʻAthtart"); in Phoenician as 𐤕𐤓𐤕𐤔𐤀 (ʻštrt, "Ashtart"); in Hebrew עשתרת (Ashtoret, singular, or Ashtarot, plural); and appears originally in Akkadian as 𒀭𒊍𒁯𒌓 D, the grammatically masculine name of the goddess Ishtar; the form Astartu is used to describe her age. The name appears also in Etruscan as 𐌖𐌍𐌉 𐌀𐌔𐌕𐌛𐌄 Uni-Astre (Pyrgi Tablets), Ishtar or Ashtart. Overview Astarte was connected with fertility, sexuality, and war. See also
Queen of Heaven The title Queen of Heaven has long been a Catholic tradition, included in prayers and devotional literature, and seen in Western art in the subject of the Coronation of the Virgin, from the High Middle Ages, long before it was given a formal definition status by the Church. Theological basis Queen of Heaven (Latin Regina Caeli) is one of many Queen titles used of the Virgin Mary. The title derived in part from the ancient Catholic teaching that Mary, at the end of her earthly life, was bodily and spiritually assumed into heaven, and that she is there honored as Queen. Pius XII explained on the theological reasons for her title of Queen in a radio message to Fatima of May 13, 1946, Bendito seja: According to Catholic doctrine, Mary was assumed into heaven and is with Jesus Christ, her divine Son and is represented in the Book of Revelation (chapter 11:19–12:6) as the woman clothed with the sun who gives birth to Christ. Biblical basis Historical practice Fra Angelico
Rhea (mythology) Rhea (or Cybele), after a marble, 1888. Then she hid Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. According to varying versions of the story: Rhea only appears in Greek art from the fourth century BC, when her iconography draws on that of Cybele; the two therefore, often are indistinguishable; both can be shown on a throne flanked by lions, riding a lion, or on a chariot drawn by two lions. Most often Rhea's symbol is a pair of lions, the ones that pulled her celestial chariot and were seen often, rampant, one on either side of the gateways through the walls to many cities in the ancient world. In Homer, Rhea is the mother of the gods, although not a universal mother like Cybele, the Phrygian Great Mother, with whom she was later identified.
Terra (mythology) The word tellus, telluris is also a Latin common noun for "land, territory; earth," as is terra, "earth, ground". In literary uses, particularly in poetry, it may be ambiguous as to whether the goddess, a personification, or the common noun is meant. This article preserves the usage of the ancient sources regarding Tellus or Terra. Dedicatory inscription to Terra Mater fulfilling a vow (votum), 1st century AD The two words terra and tellus are thought to derive from the formulaic phrase tersa tellus, meaning "dry land". The 4th-century AD Latin commentator Servius distinguishes between tellus and terra in usage. Varro identifies Terra Mater with Ceres: Ovid distinguishes between Tellus as the locus ("site, location") of growth, and Ceres as its causa ("cause, agent"). Mater, the Latin word for "mother," is often used as an honorific for goddesses, including Vesta, who was represented as a virgin. Detail from a sarcophagus depicting a Mother Earth figure (3rd century AD)