• The full, unabridged article is available on Patreon (see below)

The Love Goddess is the third and final matriarch in the trinity of fertility goddesses. Whereas the Earth Mother symbolises the physical aspects of womanhood (e.g. breasts, womb, procreation), and the Mother Goddess represents the maternal aspects (e.g. compassion, kindness, sensitivity), the love goddess epitomises her passionate side (e.g. desire, lust, devotion).

  1. INANNA/ISHTAR: Mesopotamian, 4000 BCE. Inanna/Ishtar is the goddess of sexual love, known as the “Lady of Heaven”. Her most beloved consort was Dumuzi (a fertility god), but she had many lovers in her lifetime. Her most famous myth was when he she tried to seize the underworld from her sister Ereshkigal, which resulted in the death of her lover Dumuzi.

  1. ISIS: Ancient Egypt; 2600 BCE. Isis is the goddess of magic, who holds dominion over life and death. She became the wife of Osiris (fertility god), and together, they ruled ancient Egypt. However, their evil brother Set killed Osiris, trapping him in the underworld. He became the god of the dead, while Isis became the ‘Mother of Pharaohs’, (a divine bloodline, said to be her descendants).

  1. RATI: Hinduism (Ancient India), 1700 BCE. Rati is the goddess of love, desire and sexual pleasure, whose name means ‘to enjoy’. She represents the pleasure aspect of love, rather than its maternal side. She is often depicted riding a parrot while wielding a sword, revealing her warrior aspect. She was born from Prajapati (creator), and later married Kama (the god of love).

  1. ANAHITA: Persian (Iran), 1000 BCE. Anahita is the goddess of fertile waters, sexuality and wisdom. She was the patron of prostitutes and one of the most popular deities in Persia. She is depicted as a beautiful woman in an regal attire, wearing gold jewellery. The dove and peacock were her sacred birds, while two lions were her guardians (often seen either side of her).

  1. APHRODITE: Ancient Greece, 750 BCE. Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty and passion. She was born from Uranus and described as having a body that epitomised female perfection. Her symbols included the rose, doves, sparrows and swans, which helped to fly her across the sky.

  1. XUANNÜ: Ancient China, 200 BCE. Xuannü is the goddess of war, longevity, and sex. She possesses magical powers, including the ability to render herself invisible. Her full name means “Mysterious Woman of the Nine Heavens”, and she is described as a beautiful woman with snowy white skin, dressed in white, pearl encrusted gowns.

  1. FREYA: Norse (Sweden), 700 CE. Freya is a fertility goddess who ruled over love, battle and death. She was sister to Freyr (fertility god) and daughter of Njörd (sea god). She had a passion for sex, beauty, and expensive trinkets; but aside from her hedonistic side, she was also a völva (practitioner of seidr). This magical art allowed her to manipulate the fortune of others.

  1. LADA: Slavic (N.E. Europe), 980 CE. Lada is the goddess of love and fertility. She ushers in the spring, fertilizes the lands in summer, and oversees the harvest of autumn. She is the patron of coupling (in both animals and humans). She is depicted as a tall, voluptuous woman with wavy, golden hair, wreathed into a crown on top of her head.

  1. CLÍODHNA: Celtic (Ireland), 1000 CE. Clíodhna is the goddess of love, beauty, light and happiness. She was one of the Tuatha Dé Danann (fairy folk of Ireland), and later became known as the ‘Queen of the Banshees’ (wailing women with the power of foresight).

  1. OSHUN: Yoruba (Nigeria), 1100 CE. Oshun is an orisha, (Yoruba deity) who holds dominion over fertility, beauty, love and sensuality. She is also connected to the art of divination and fortune telling. She is regarded as the sexual spark that creates life, and is often called upon to help people with infertility problems.

  1. XOCHIQUETZAL: Aztec (New Mexico), 1350 CE. Xochiquetzal was a youthful goddess of fertility, beauty and eroticism. She encouraged lovemaking for pleasure, rather than as a means of reproduction. She was often dressed in fine attire and perfumed by flowers (indeed, her name means ‘flower precious feather’).

  1. ONIATA: Iroquois (N.E. America), 1450 CE. Oniata is a corn goddess who embodies beauty, sexuality and fertility. She is linked to the melting of snow at the end of winter, and the blossoming of flowers in early spring. She is described as having eyes as dark as pools, skin as fair as snow and hair as bright as the sun.

The full, unabridged article can be viewed on my Patreon page. Membership includes the following benefits:

  • A comprehensive description of the ‘Love Goddess’ archetypes

  • A reconstruction of the Love Goddess story and characteristics

  • A list of web sources and books which I used to create this post

  • A list of other love goddesses who represent this archetype

If you want to support my work, or learn more about the parallel themes and archetypes found in world mythology, then feel free to follow the link below:

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