Throughout history, images of female divinity have been a constant part of culture and society around the world. These Goddesses, each with their own characteristics and traits, express the many aspects of female power and strength across human history.

The act of creation~Birth~is the road to which, and from which, all human experience orients itself – in many ways all art can be seen through this lens. This act of creation is the beginning of the cycle through which life is lived - the role and power of women is pivotal in all of the stages. The images used on our website are representations of the feminine power present in this cycle, power which has guided women, and men, through the ages – in effect, the visual essence of Birth Philosophy. 

All images were either in the public domain or used from Creative Commons. Permissions information can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en

 

Art Links

Aphrodite Anadyomene from Pompeii

Artist:

Unknown ancient Roman artist, photo by Stephen Haynes

Description:

Fresco from Pompei, Casa di Venus, 1st century AD. Dug out in 1960.

Aphrodite Anadyomene Link

 

Aries & Aphrodite

Artist:

        Unknown ancient Roman Artist

            Description:

A fresco of Aries and Aphrodite found in the National Museum of Archeology, Naples, Italy.

Aries & Aphrodite Link

 

The Birth of Venus:

Artist:

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)

Description:

Depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as a fully grown woman, arriving at the sea-shore. The seashell she stands on was a symbol in classical antiquity for a woman’s vulva. Thought to be based in part on the Venus de’ Medici, an ancient Greek marble sculpture of Aphrodite.

Botticelli Link

 

The Birth of Venus

Artist:

Alexandre Cabanel (1823–1889)

Description:

Curator Robert Rosenblum wrote of Cabanel’s The Birth of Venus that “This Venus hovers somewhere between an ancient deity and a modern dream”; he described “the ambiguity of her eyes, that seem to be closed but that a close look reveals that she is awake … A nude who could be asleep or awake is specially formidable for a male viewer”.

Cabanel Link     

 

The Birth of Venus

            Artist:

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)

Description:

Painted in 1879. Currently in the collection of the Musee Orsay, France

Bouguereau Link

 

Cihuacoatl

Artist:

Unknown ancient Aztec Artist. Dated 1325 – 1521 CE

Description:

A stone statue of Cihuacoatl, an Aztec fertility goddess. Here she emerges from the mouth of a serpent holding an ear of maize in her left hand. Discovered in Cuernavaca. . Museo Nacional Antropologia

Cihuacoatl Link

 

Coatlicue

            Artist:

Unknown ancient Aztec Artist.

            Description:

Coatlicue, also known as Teteoinan “The Mother of Gods” is the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon, stars, and Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun and war. She is also known as Toci “our grandmother” and Cihuacoatl “the lady of the serpent”, the patron of women who die in childbirth.

Coatlicue Link

 

Dilukai

Artist:

Unknown ancient Micronesian Artist. Dated late 19th – early 20th century

Description:

Dilukai are wooden figures of young women carved over the doorways of chiefs’ houses (bai) in the Palauan archipelago. They are typically shown with legs splayed, revealing a large, black, triangular pubic area with the hands resting on the thighs. These female figures protect the villagers’ health and crops and ward off evil spirits.

Dilukai Link

 

Durga Mahisasuramardini

Artist:

Unknown

Description:

Goddess Durga, fighting Mahishasura, the buffalo-demon (Hindu Mythology). In the clouds the Devas, celestial beings watching the event, are seen. The story is written in the Devi Mahatmya and Devi Bhagavata and is the background of the Durgapuja, the annual Hindu festival in autumn.

Durga Link

 

Ishtar vase:

            Artist:

Unknown ancient Mesopotamian Artist. Dated 1999 -1599 BC

Description:

A representation of the goddess Ishtar (Inana/Inanna), naked, winged and wearing a version of the horned cap or tiara of divinity. Louvre, Paris, France. Ishtar is the East Semitic Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. Ishtar was the daughter of Ninurta.  She was particularly worshipped in northern Mesopotamia, at the Assyrian cities of Nineveh, Ashur and Arbela

Ishtar Link

 

The Goddess Isis

Artist:

Unknown ancient Egyptian artist

Description:

This painting is located in the tomb of of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings. Isis is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, the downtrodden, but she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats, and rulers. Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children.

Isis Link

 

Mami Wata

Artist:           

Schleisinger

Description:

Printed in the 1880s, this poster gave rise to the common image of Mami Wata, a water goddess venerated in West, Central, Southern Africa, and in the African diaspora in the Caribbean and parts of North and South America.

Mami Wata Link

 

Minerva

Artist

Elihu Vedder (1836–1923)

Description:

Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of arts, trade, and defense. She was born from the godhead of Jupiter with weapons. From the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, and magic. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the “owl of Minerva”, which symbolizes that she is connected to wisdom.

Minerva Link

 

Toci

Artist:

Unknown pre-Columbian Aztec Artist. Dated 900-1521 CE

Description:

Toci “Our grandmother” in Nahuatl is a deity figuring prominently in the religion and mythology of the pre-Columbian Aztec civilization of Meso-America. In Aztec mythology she is attributed as the “Mother of the Gods” and associated as a Mother goddess also called Tlalli Iyollo, “Heart of the Earth”.

Toci Link

 

Venus Anadyomene

Artist:

Titian (1490-1576)

Description:

c. 1520. Oil on canvas, National Galleries of Scotland. Venus is the Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, sex, fertility and prosperity. In Roman mythology, she was the mother of the Roman people through her son, Aeneas, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Venus was central to many religious festivals, and was venerated in Roman religion under numerous cult titles.

Titian Venus Link

 

Ancient lions painting

Chauvet Cave (museum replica)

Ancient lions painting Link

 

PregnantLioness

Photorgrapher:

Robin Alasdair Frederick Hutton, Perth, Western Australia

 Lioness Link