great mother

Great Mother of the Gods

or Cybele

Cybele, terra-cotta statuette, from Camirus, Rhodes, early 5th century BC; in the British Museum, elipsis

Deity of the ancient Mediterranean world. Her cult originated in Phrygia in Asia Minor and spread to the Greek world, where she was identified with Rhea. It reached Rome by the 3rd century BC and became a major cult during the empire. Known by a variety of local names, Cybele was venerated as the universal mother of gods, humans, and animals. Her lover was the fertility god Attis. Her priests, the Galli, castrated themselves when they entered her service, and on her festival day they spattered their blood on her altar and her sacred pine tree.

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The Great Mother refers to the concept of the mother goddess, including:

  • Great Mother, anglicization of Latin Magna Mater, Roman title of the goddess Cybele
  • Great Mother of Wisdom, Yum Chenmo, a Tibetan deity of whom Machig Labdrön is considered an emanation
  • The Great Mother, epithet of Babalon, a goddess in Aleister Crowley's mystical system of Thelema

It can also refer to:

See also

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