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Goddesses of Australia & New Zealand

A sun goddess

An animistic fertility spirit of the aboriginals of Queensland. She forms infants, and places them into their mother's uterus.

She is a goddess honored by the Maori of New Zealand. She is one of many mythological mothers who shaped their sons for excellence and glory.

A goddess of small plants

A star goddess of New Zealand.

A sun goddess of New Zealand.

The cannibal sun goddess who provided light for the world by cooking her victims over a giant flame. Lizard Man was appalled by these acts and tried to kill her. She turned herself into a ball of fire and fled, leaving the world in darkness. He threw his boomerang at her, catching her and making her move in a slow arc across the sky; thus bringing light back to the world.

One of the wives of Baieme, the All-Father. Each wife had a totem for each part of his body, so that no one totem-clan might claim him exclusively. She was venerated by Aborigines of the High Plains and South-East of Australia.
One of the young wives taken by Baieme, the All-Father, while he rested on Mount Oobi-oobi in Bullima after he created the world. She was venerated by Aborigines of the High Plains and South-East of Australia. He also took Kunnan-beili as a wife at this time, both women were flighty and disobediant and apparently caused him much trouble.
The younger of the two sister goddesses that created life. The other was Waimariwi.

Her name means "Native Companion." She is honored by the Aborigines of Australia. A dancer of great fluidity and beauty, she was taken away by the dancers of nature, the whirlwinds.

She was venerated by Aborigines of the High Plains and South-East of Australia. Her lover Weedah was turned into the star Canopus by his rival. Baieme the All-Father consoled her by turning her into the beautiful parrot, thus she could admire her lover in the sky while he admired her on earth.
A goddess of the rain.

Carpet Snake Woman
She lives in a cave in Uluru (Ayer's Rock) where women in labour go to ensure an easy delivery.
She is the wife of Biame, and lives in the heavens with him and his other wife, Birrahgnooloo.

Darana was part of the Dieri, and one of the first people. Australian mythology refers to the beginning as "dream time," and in this time there was a story of how Darana made rain by singing it magically. Her singing made witchetty grubs (a type of food) and flowers. She put these in bags, and left. However, two young people broke the bags, and were turned into two sacred sand stones. The Australians believed that if the stones were scratched, there would be famine, and if the stones were destroyed, there would be dust.

Dawn Maiden
She is the daughter of the sky-god Tane. Each morning she makes love to him and then gives birth to the sun, after which she vanishes.

She is the goddess of justice. The earth goddess of the Karadjeri of northwestern Australia, she avenged the murder of her two sons, Bagadjimbiri (The two brother gods to whom the Karadjeri attribute the creation of the world) by drowning the killers in her milk, which at the same time restored her sons to life.

Djanggawul Sisters
(Sisters/Daughters of the sun) The divine trinity of north Australian mythology, Djanggawuls was made up of two sisters and a brother who came to Earth via Beralku, the island of the dead, and gave the landscape its shape and vegetation. These Australian goddesses unceasingly brought forth living creatures from their endlessly pregnant bodies. Their long vulvas broke off piece by piece with these births, producing the world's first sacred artifacts.

In Australian Aboriginal myth (specifically the Murngin myth cycle) the Djunkgao sisters named on their travels the clan countries and animals, and made totem wells with their yam sticks. They lost their totems to the men and became ordinary women when the younger sister was incestuously raped. The sisters are associated with the rainy season floods and the movements of the ocean.
The Australian Aboriginal mother of the heroic Brambrambult brothers. They went to the heavens as Alpha and Beta Centauri, and she is Alpha of the Southern Cross.

The Australian natives call her Mother Eingana: the world-creator, the birth mother, maker of all water, land, animals, and kangaroos. This huge snake goddess still lives, they say, in the Dreamtime, rising up occasionally to create yet more life. This primordial snake had no vagina; as her offspring grew inside her, the goddess swelled up. Eventually, tortured with the pregnancy, Eingana began to roll around and around. The god Barraiya saw her agony and speared her near the anus so that birth could take place as all creatures now give birth. She is also the death mother. They say Eingana holds a sinew of life attached to each of her creatures; when she lets it go, that life stops. If she herself should die, they say everything would cease to exist.

A huge Australian boulder in the shape of a pregnant woman bears this name. It is said that the souls of dead children reside within it, and that if a woman of child-bearing age walks by a soul slips from the boulder and into her womb to be reborn.

A mythical giant rainbow-snake from Arnhemland in northern Australia. Galeru is the symbol of the maintenance of life; she swallowed the Djanggawul sisters.

The sun goddess of an aboriginal people of southeast Australia. The legend goes that Gnowee once lived on the earth at a time when the sky was always dark and people walked around carrying torches in order to see. One day while Gnowee was out gathering yams, her baby son wandered off. She set out to search for him, carrying a huge torch, but never found him. To this day she still climbs the sky daily, carrying her torch, trying to find her son.

Hine titama
An ancestor goddess of New Zealand who later became the ruler of the underworld. Hine titama fled to the underworld when she discovered that she had married her own father and had borne him children.

An Australian Aborignal mother-creatress, and consort of Wuraka.

A 'Dreamtime' goddess

Rainbow serpents are a common motif throughout world mythology, but most particularly in Oceania, Africa and South America; universally, they are associated with immortality/rebirth, rain and water. This rainbow serpent, Julunggul, is a great Goddess of the Aborigines of Australia. She oversees the initiation of adolescent boys into manhood.

An ancestor goddess who lived during the "dreamtime". She was a multiple goddess (the Junkgowa Sisters) who created the ocean, and all the fish therein.

The northwestern Australian rainbow serpent associated with fertility and rain. The rainbow serpent is known over most of Australia but the name differs from tribe to tribe.

A goddess of the aboriginal people of Victoria. She descended to earth to defend women who were attacked by snakes when they left camp to dig for yams. Karararook beat at the snakes with her huge stick until it broke, killing them all. She then gave the broken peices of the stick to the women.
The mother goddess of the aboriginal tribes of northern Australia. She once travelled across the world with a band of heroes and heroines, and a rainbow serpent heralded her approach. During the ancestral period she gave birth to men and women as well as creating the natural species.
An Australian ogress.

A water goddess.

A creator goddess.

This Aboriginal story recounts the marriage of two sisters, so alike they bore the same name, to one man. The sameness of the sisters may allude actually to a two-season year, a two-sun cosmology, a dual-ruler system, the dichotomy/unity of life and death, and so on. In Greek mythology, the opposite is common: twin brothers (or a father and son, or uncle and nephew) marrying the same woman.

Mungo Mungo
The daughters of Kunapipi, who is the mother goddess of the aboriginal tribes of northern Australia.

Nabudi, The
They are goddesses of illness.
A goddess of justice.

A goddess of the earth in Maori and New Zealand.

A goddess of rain.

A goddess of the evening star.

The first woman, according to the Gunwinggu people of Australia. She was the all-creating mother of Australia; she gave birth to the earth and then fashioned all its living creatures. She then taught her creations to talk and divided each language group from the next. Her husband was Wuragag.

(Wawalug) A pair of fertility goddess of Arnhemland in north Australia. These two sisters are the daughters of Djanngawul, the Aboriginal founder deities. The sisters live at a waterpool--a sacred place--where they anger the giant rainbow-snake Yurlungur so that the creature continually swallows and disgorges them. This myth forms the base of the widely spread initiation rites where 'disgorged' youths assume their rightful place in the tribes as men. The civilizers of Australia, these two mythic women wandered the continent domesticating plants into edible foodstuffs, evolving language for each territory, and naming all the land's creatures.

This sun goddess was said to light bark into a torch, carrying the flame through the sky from east to west. At the western sea, she dipped it in the water, then used the embers to guide her under the earth to reach her eastern starting point again. The brilliant skies of dawn and dusk, it was said, came from her red-ochre body paints misting up into the sky as she powdered and beautified her body. Aus.

( "Eaglehawk) Yalungur defeated the terrible ogress Kunapipi, and became the first woman.

The goddess of light and creator goddess of the Karraur, an Australian aboriginal group, she lay asleep in the Dreamtime before this world's creation, in a world of bone-bare, windless mountains. Suddenly, a whistle startled the goddess. She took a deep breath and opened her eyes, flooding the world with light. The earth stirred under her warm rays.
Yhi drifted down to this new land, walking north, south, east, west. As she did, plants sprang up from her footprints. She walked the world's surface until she had stepped everywhere, until every inch was covered with green. Then the goddess sat to rest on the treeless plain.
As she glanced around, she realized that the new plants could not move, and she desired to see something dance. Seeking that dancing life, she descended beneath the earth, where she found evil spirits who tried to sing her to death.
But they were not as powerful as Yhi; her warmth melted the darkness, and tiny forms began to move there. The forms turned into butterflies and bees and insects that swarmed around her in a dancing mass. She led them forth into the sunny world. But there were still caves of ice, high in the mountains, in which other beings rested. Yhi spread her light into them, one at a time. She stared into the cave's black interiors until water formed. Then she saw something move-something, and another thing, and another.
Fishes and lizards swam forth. Cave after cave she freed from its darkness, and birds and animals poured forth onto the face of the earth. Soon the entire world was dancing with life. Then, in her golden voice, Yhi spoke. She told her creatures she would return to her own world. She blessed them with changing seasons and with the knowledge that when they died they would join her in the sky. Then, turning herself into a ball of light, she sank below the horizon. As she disappeared, darkness fell upon on the earth's surface.
The new creatures were afraid. There was sorrow and mourning, and finally there was sleep. And, soon, there was the first dawn, for Yhi had never intended to abandon her creation. One by one the sleepy creatures woke to see light breaking in the east. A bird chorus greeted their mistress, and the lake and ocean waters that had been rising in mists, trying to reach her, sank down calmly.
For eons of Dreamtime the animals lived in peace on Yhi's earth, but then a vague sadness began to fill them. They ceased to delight in what they were. She had planned never to return to earth, but she felt so sorry for her creatures that she said, "Just once. Just this once." So she slid down to the earth's surface and asked the creatures what was wrong. Wombat wanted to wiggle along the ground. Kangaroo wanted to fly. Bat wanted wings. Lizard wanted legs. Seal wanted to swim. And the confused Platypus wanted something of every other animal. And so Yhi gave them what they wanted. From the beautiful forms of the early creation came the strange creatures that now walk the earth.
Yhi then swept herself up to the sky again. She had one other task yet to complete: the creation of woman. She had already embodied thought in male form and set him wandering the earth. But nothing - not the plants, not the insects, not the birds or beasts or fish seemed like him. He was lonely. Yhi went to him one morning as he slept near a grass tree. He slept fitfully, full of strange dreams. As he emerged from his dreaming he saw the flower stalk on the grass tree shining with sunlight. He was drawn to the tree, as were all the earth's other creatures. Reverent and astonished, they watched as the power of Yhi concentrated itself on the flower stalk. The flower stalk began to move rhythmically - to breathe. Then it changed form, softened, became a woman. Slowly emerging into the light from which she was formed, the first woman gave her hand to the first man.



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