Wisdom of Americas and Caribbean Goddesses
Updated: Sep 14, 2019
Changing Woman - Goddess of Cycles
Changing Woman or Estsanatlehi is benevolent Goddess of Navajo and Apache. She can change her age merely by walking into the horizon. Her other names are White Shell or Turquoise Woman, which corresponds to the changing colors of her dress as the season change. Navajo believe that she was found by Coyote, after being born of Dawn and Darkness only covered in blanket of clouds and rainbows, secured in the cradle with lightning and sunbeams. She is also a corn Goddess, symbolizing ever-changing, ever-fertile earth. She changes from a young maiden in the spring, to a mother during harvest time and crone during winter. She blesses people with food, seasons and Blessingway ceremonies - a series of Navajo rituals used for weddings, childbirth rites and other joyful occasions in Navajo people.
Coatlicue - Goddess of Grief
Coatlicue or Serpent Skirt is a mother of Aztec deities. Her name comes from the skirt she wears, made of rattlesnakes. She is worshiped as earth and life/death mother. She became pregnant by placing some white feathers on her breast. Her other children didn't want her to have this child, and had planned to kill her. Her daughter, Coyolxauhqul, the Moon Goddess warned her. After Coatlicue's son, the Sun God learned that she betrayed them, he cut off his sister's head. Grieving Coatlicue placed Coyolxauhgul's head in the sky, so that she can shine forever.
Corn Woman - Goddess of Nourishment
Corn woman is Goddess of southwestern pueblo people and Americas aboriginals - from Arikakra, Cheyenne, Pawnee to Cherokee and Huron. She is a figure of Corn Mother, The Corn Maiden and Yellow Woman. She relates to the corn as a sacred being, who gave herself to save and nurish her people. She was created by Arikara Creator God - Nesaru, who made her out of corn which grew in heavens. She came to Earth to teach people how to cultivate the corn and honor the deities. Her wisdom lays in her love in form of food, that is a time to nourishing yourself through the food, as eating is a sacred act. Something living dies so that you can live, whether is a plant or an animal. She comes with a message that we must accept that a part of being a human is to cause death of things in order to live. .
Gyhldeptis - Goddess of Synthesis
Gyhldeptis means "lady with hanging hair" is a gentle forest Goddess of Haida and Tlingit people of northwest America, Alaska's region. She is a mossy goddess handing down from cedar trees. She protected her people who were threatened by whirlpool called Kaegyihl Depgeesk. which would bring a destruction where ever it went. In stead of attacking, she called all natural powers together and prepared a great feast for the Kaegyihl. Delighted by the sumptuous feast, they all agreed to work together rather than against each other. Goddess Gyhldeptis was able to synthesize all energies in order to work together and thus change the destructive whirlpool into a gentle river. She is known for her ability to blend opposites and create a lasting union of wholeness.
Ix Chel - Goddess of Creativity
Ix Chel is a Mayan Goddess of Yucatan peninsula, inhabiting an island of Cozumel. She is a moon and snake goddess. She is a goddess of magic, weaving, health, sexuality, water, healing and childbirth. She is assuring Fertility of land by holding her sacred womb upside down, and thus allowing everlasting flow of her waters of creation. Her special animal is ancient dragonfly. She was almost killed by her grandfather, because she chosen to become a lover of the Sun. It was dragonfly who sang over her until she was well again. She comes to your life to let you know it is time to express your own creativity and be daring.
Mama Killa - Goddess of the Moon
Mama Killa is a great Inca Goddess of the Moon, daughter of Goddess Mama Qocha, goddess of the Water and Great God Viracocha, God of Sun, Fire, Storm and Lightening. She is a sister and consort of well known Inca Sun God, Inti. They were equally bright once, but Inti got jealous of her, and he threw ashes into her face, to dim her light. 'She spends equal time in the dark as she does in the light of the sun. She is a protector of women, she guards the moon phases and illuminates the night sky. She regulates the moon calendar, controls the seasons, planting and harvesting time. She is a guardian of fertility cycles and celebrations. She is a mother of Mama Ocllo and Ayara Manca, who were send down from heavens by their father Inti to bring civilization and agriculture to Inca people. They founded a great capital city of Cuzco, and Ayara Manca became a first ruler of Inca civilization and received a new name - Manco Capac.
Mama Qocha - Goddess of the Water and Sea
Mama Qocha is an ancient Incan Goddess, the first Goddess of Incan pantheon, a Goddess of the Sea. She is a consort of a Great Inca God Virachoca, God of Sun, Storm, Fire and Lightening and creator of the universe. Together they had a son Inti, God of Sun and a daughter Mama Killa sometimes called Luna, the Goddess of the Moon. As a Sea Goddess she brings the nurturing waters to the Earth in various forms - rivers, rain, clouds or snow. She is a patron of sailors and fishermen, bringing them calm ocean waters. She is also granting a good health to those who went swimming.
Oshun - Goddess of Sensuality
Oshun is originally a Goddess worshiped by Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria, who became adopted by Afro-Brazilian religion as Macumba Goddess of waters, rivers, purity, fertility, love and sensuality for beautiful things. One of the main deities of Yoruba religion, Orisha a goddess of river Osun. She is a favorite wife of God of Thunder Shango. She loves to adorn herself in yellow and gold. She is therefore honored by golden honey and copper pennies. She wears a necklace of cowrie shells, representing her wisdom and knowledge of divination. As the only female goddess of the original Orisha, she gathered women to stage a protest when she was ignored by other orishas. Women kept men from working, and thus not worshiping the gods. Women dedicated to Oshun carry a special gift, they can walk and dance in very tantalizing and provocative way, none can escape their charm. Oshun calls you to remember and honor your own sensuality, focusing your attention on your body, respecting and playing with your senses and sensuality.
Oya - Goddess of Change
Oya is another Yoruban Goddess, adapted by Afro-Brazilian religion as Macumba deity. Oya is a powerful goddess of weather, especially tornadoes, lightning and destructive rainstorms. She is also a goddess of transformation, fire, female charm and leadership. She is called upon when women find themselves in hard conflicts which are difficult to resolve. She wears wine, her favorite color and her sacred number is nine. She was wed to a powerful God of War and Rum-making, Ogun. She is associated with buffalo, she is often portrayed with turban twisted into buffalo horns.
Pachamama- Goddess of Healing and Holy
Pachamama is pre-Inca Goddess of people of Peru and Bolivia. She is an earth Goddess, her name literally means Earth Mother. She is worshiped in many forms, whole Earth being made of the body parts. Hills and mountains being her breasts, rocks her bones, the rivers being her milk nourishing the soils. She represents the unconditional love that the Earth has for all her children, including the stones, the plants, the animals and humans. People sprinkled corn meals during planting rituals, to ensure a good harvest. When people failed to honor her, she would punish them with earthquakes. Pachamama is inviting you to embrace earth's healing energies, to nourish and heal your body with foods she is offering you. You can connect with her anywhere you are.
Sedna - Goddess of Victimization
Sedna is an Sea Goddess of Inuit people in North America. She was a beautiful woman, who was not content with the number of suitors asking for her hand. She was fooled by a seagull promising her kingdom of many servants and plenty of food. She went to live with bird people, thinking it was the best choice for her. But she was disappointed, as she had to live in filth and squalor, always hungry.
Spider Woman - Goddess of Co-creation
Spider Woman is a Navajo goddess of weaving. She taught Navajo women how to weave on a loom as a form of empowerment, which also provided women with an extra income as well. She was married to a Spider-Man who build her loom out of sunbeams, lightning, shells and crystal rocks, which was a representation of sacred marriage between Father Earth and Mother Sky. Children of this sacred loom were rugs and other woven creations, symbolizing harmony and beauty.
White Buffalo Calf Woman - Goddess of Reverence
The White buffalo Calf Woman is the Lakota Sioux Goddess of ceremony, bison and culture. Once, in time of a great famine, Lakota tribe send out two scouts to look for food. They saw a white bison in the distance. As they came closer, the white bison transformed into a beautiful woman dressed in white buckskin, with long dark hair, dark skin and eyes. One of the scout wanted immediately to assault her, making her his woman, but she turned him into a pile of bones. The other one was more cautious, knowing she was a sacred one, therefore she paid his tribe a visit, and Lakota people prepared a feast in her honor with the little food they had left. In exchange, Buffalo Woman taught the Lakota tribe how to use a sacred ceremonial pipe to reach the spirit world. The feathers on the pipe represents the birds of the air, the bowl represents the Earth and the stem represents the plant life. She also teaches them seven sacred ceremonies how to connect with the earth and the divine. She walked away then, rolling on the ground and transforming herself to bison once more.
Yemaya - Goddess of Surrender
Yemaya is a Santeria African-Caribbean Goddess of the Sea and lakes. She is an older sister of Goddess Oshun, Goddess of the rivers. She is also a mother of 14 orishas or spirits. Yemaya is a patron of women and the motherhood, She is also a goddess of mystery reflected in the depths of her waters. Yemaya is also known as Ymoja in Yoruban religion or as Iamanja in Brazil. She is worshiped during Summer Solstice, her worshipers were dressed in white and loaded small boats filled with flowers, candles and gifts and send them down the waters. She may accept the offerings or return the boats to the senders. Those who she grants the favors, their worries dissolves in her waters. Coral, the moon, seashells, canoes and fans are her symbols. Her colors are white and blue.