African goddesses include a constellation of typologies. There’s the fierce warrior goddess Sekhmet and the gentle and caring goddess Oshun. African mythology is highly diverse, including many pantheons. These ten goddesses are just a small sampling of the many powerful deities who populate its tales.
Here are ten African goddesses that you might want to know about:
1. Oshun – She is the goddess of love, beauty, sensuality, and fertility. She is also associated with rivers and fresh water.
Oshun is thought to be a kind and loving goddess, but she can also be fiercely protective of her children. This deity is often depicted as a young woman who is very beautiful, and her symbols include flowers, birds, and bees. Oshun is also known for her healing powers, and she is often invoked during times of illness or drought. The goddess is also the patroness of marriage and relationships, and she is often invoked by couples who are seeking to conceive a child.
2. Yemoja – She is the goddess of the sea and protector of women and children. She is often shown as a mermaid or woman with a fish tail.
Yemonja is a Yoruban deity celebrated as the giver of life and as the metaphysical mother of all orisha (deities) within the Yoruba spiritual pantheon. She is frequently portrayed as the wife of various male personified orisha, such as Obatala, Okere, Orisha Oko, and Erinle
Yemonja is a powerful figure within the Yoruba pantheon, and her cult is popular throughout West Africa. She is typically associated with water, femininity, and fertility. Her colors are green and blue, and her symbol is a boat.
3. Mami Wata – She is the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and success. She is often shown holding a bowl of money or wearing expensive jewelry.
Miami Wata spirits are usually women but are sometimes male. This goddess is often shown holding a bowl of money or wearing expensive jewelry. Miami Wata is often depicted as a young, beautiful woman with long hair and is known for her ability to transform into various animals, including a snake or a fish. This deity is usually associated with water, and her name can be translated as “Mother Water.” The goddess is also associated with sex, lust, and fidelity. Mami Wata is said to be able to grant wishes, and she is often invoked by people who are seeking wealth or success. Mami Wata is also said to be able to heal the sick and, for this reason, is sometimes worshipped as a healing goddess. This African goddess is not only popular in Africa but also in the Caribbean, among other locations.
4. Mawu-Lisa – She is the goddess of the moon and twin sister of the sun god Lisa. She is associated with peace and harmony.
Mawu-Lisa is said to have been born from a cosmic egg that was split in two by Mawu, the creator god. This goddess is often depicted as a woman with both a human head and a snake body. She is associated with fertility and motherhood and is also said to be the protector of women and children. In some stories, Mawu-Lisa is also said to be the goddess of love and passion. Mawu-Lisa is a popular figure in African mythology, and her name is still used as a given name in many parts of the continent.
5. Nephthys – She is the goddess of death and resurrection. She is often shown as a black bird or a woman with a hawk headdress.
Nephthys is typically shown as a blackbird or a woman with a hawk headdress. This Egyptian deity is said to be the daughter of Ra, although her parentage is sometimes disputed. She is also claimed to be the sister of Osiris, Set, and Isis. Nephthys also worked as a guardian of the dead and is often depicted accompanying mummies in paintings and funerary texts. In some stories, she even helped Isis to resurrect Osiris after he was killed by Set. Nephthys is also associated with the House of Life, where magical texts were kept and priests were trained. This made her a goddess of knowledge as well as death. Nephthys was an important figure in Egyptian religion, and her worship continued throughout the Roman period.
6. Sekhmet – She is the goddess of war and violence. She is often shown as a lioness or a woman with a lion headdress.
Sekhmet is said to be the daughter of Ra, the sun god, and is usually associated with fire and blood. Her name means “the Powerful One” or “the One Who is Powerful.” Sekhmet was often invoked in times of war, and her statues were placed in temples to protect against enemy invasion. This goddess is also thought to have healing power, and her priests were said to be able to cure the sick and injured.
7. Oya is the Yoruba goddess of wind, storm, and fertility. She is also associated with death, change, and the afterlife.
Oya is often depicted as a fierce warrior woman, and her name means “she who tornadoes.” Oya is a popular deity in the Neo-African religions known as Santería and Candomblé. The deity is known, among other locations, in Cuba, Brazil, and Puerto Rico. Oya is often invoked during times of change, such as during hurricanes or periods of political upheaval. Her energy is said to be both destructive and creative, and she is often called upon to help break through entrenched patterns or barriers.
8. Yemaya is the Yoruba goddess of the ocean, and, as such, she is considered the mother of all.
Yemaya is a powerful figure who is often invoked for her ability to protect and heal those who are lost at sea. She is also known for her generosity, and many fishermen call on her for help in catching fish. In some stories, she is said to be the wife of Olokun, god of the depths, and together they have a daughter named Oshun. Yemaya is a popular goddess with many devotees, and her image can often be seen adorning boats and homes near the water.
9. Gleti is the moon goddess of the Dahomey people, who are located in Benin.
In Dahomey folklore, Gleti is the mother of millions of stars. When there’s an eclipse, that’s because the shadow of the moon’s husband is crossing Gleti’s face.
10. Shango is the god of thunder, lightning, and war. He was the fourth king and warrior of the Yoruba land
Shango is known for his skills in controlling the weather and summoning storms at will. Like other deities, Shango often has temper tantrums and is said to be able to cause great harm with his thunderbolts.
That’s All for Now
I hope you enjoyed learning about ten African goddesses. As you can see, there is a goddess for nearly everything in African mythology. Like in other mythologies, African goddesses are typically associated with natural phenomena such as weather conditions and with things that most humans want for themselves, such as prosperity. If you’re interested in learning more about African mythology, you might want to check out this book.