Back before Ann Landers or couples counselors, before the psychic hotline and the daily love horoscope, people prayed to their local love goddess for help with relationship matters. After all, everyone deserves to have a goddess they can talk to about love issues: it helps to know that you have a powerful deity in your corner, cheering you on, offering gentle advice in the form of your own intuition, a place to go where you can find some peace and serenity around the crazy-making stuff of love.
We all know about the Ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite (whose name gave us the word “aphrodisiac,” among other things) and Venus, her Roman counterpart, but what if you don’t identify with a Greek or Italian goddess? Which love goddess can you go to for help, healing, and advice?
Well, here are some love goddesses from Ireland, Mexico, South America, India, Africa, the Middle East, and more. We also include a listing of offerings that are traditional to give each one, here:
Africa: Oshun (amber, seashells, water)
Borneo: Fire Woman (candles)
China: Zhinu (stars, silver things)
Egypt: Isis (silver, amethyst, myrrh)
France: Isolt (anything white)
Germany: Minne (dried linden flowers, beer)
Haiti: Erzulie (peppercorns, anything blue)
India: Kamala (lotus, yellow things)
Ireland: Edain (crystals)
Japan: Kamuhata Hime (braided yarn)
Korea: Bai Mundan (white flowers)
Lithuania: Laima (wreaths)
Mexico: Chaska (fire, flowers)
Middle East: Asherah (lilies), Anaitis (cinnamon, green branches), Ishtar (stars, moons, doves)
Native American: Bear Woman (stone carvings)
Persia: Anahita (water, green branches)
Romanian Gypsy: Amari De (luminescent cloth, matches)
Teutonic: Iduna (apples)
By Cait Johnson, inspired by Patricia Telesco’s 365 Goddess (HarperSanFrancisco, 1998).