Key Nature Goddesses From Around the World

Worshipped as Deities of Earth, Sky, Water and More

In many ancient religions, deities are associated with forces of nature. Many cultures associate goddesses with natural phenomena such as fertility, the harvest, rivers, mountains, animals, and the earth itself. 

Following are some of the key nature goddesses from cultures around the world. The list is not meant to be inclusive of every such goddess but represents a range of nature goddesses, including some who are lesser known. 

Earth Goddess

Cybele as Earth Goddess
Cybele as Earth Goddess, 3rd century BCE.

Michel Porro/Getty Images

In Rome, the earth goddess was Terra Mater or Mother Earth. Tellus was either another name for Terra Mater or a goddess so assimilated with her that they are for all purposes the same. Tellus was one of the twelve Roman agricultural deities, and her abundance is represented by the cornucopia.

The Romans also worshipped Cybele, a goddess of earth and fertility, who they equated with Magna Mater, the Great Mother.

For the Greeks, Gaia was the personification of the Earth. She was not an Olympic deity but one of the primordial deities. She was​ the consort of Uranus, the sky. Among her children was Chronus, time, who overthrew his father with Gaia’s help. Others of her children, these by her son, were sea deities.

Maria Lionza is a Venezuelan goddess of nature, love, and peace. Her origins are in Christian, African, and indigenous culture.


Indonesia: statue of goddess Dew Sri
Dew Sri, Indonesian fertility goddess, depicted in a rice field.

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Juno is the Roman goddess most associated with marriage and fertility. In fact, the Romans had dozens of minor deities associated with aspects of fertility and childbirth, like Mena who ruled menstrual flow. Juno Lucina, meaning light, ruled childbirth—bringing children "into the light." In Rome, Bona Dea (literally Good Goddess) was also a fertility goddess, representing chastity as well.

Asase Ya is the Earth goddess of the Ashanti people, ruling fertility. She is the wife of the sky creator deity Nyame, and mother of several deities including the trickster Anansi.

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess who rules love, procreation, and pleasure. She is associated with the Roman goddess, Venus. Vegetation and some birds are connected with her worship.

Parvati is the Mother Goddess of the Hindus. She's the consort of Shiva and considered a fertility goddess, earth sustainer, or goddess of motherhood. She was sometimes depicted as a huntress. The Shakti cult worships Shiva as female power.

Ceres was the Roman goddess of agriculture and fertility. She was associated with the Greek goddess Demeter, a goddess of agriculture.

Venus was the Roman goddess, mother of all Roman people, who represented not only fertility and love but also prosperity and victory. She was born of sea foam.

Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of war and fertility. She was the most recognized female deity in her culture. Enheduanna, daughter of the Mesopotamian king Sargon, was a priestess appointed by her father, and she wrote hymns to Inanna.

Ishtar was the goddess of love, fertility, and sex in Mesopotamia. She was also the goddess of war, politics, and fighting. She was represented by the lion and an eight-pointed star. She may have been connected with an earlier goddess of Sumer, Inanna, but their stories and attributes were not identical.

Anjea is the Australian Aboriginal goddess of fertility, as well as protector of human souls between incarnations.

Freyja was the Norse goddess of fertility, love, sex, and beauty; she was also the goddess of war, death, and gold. She receives half of those who die in battle, those who do not go to Valhalla, the hall of Odin.

Gefjon was the Norse goddess of plowing and thus of one aspect of fertility.

Ninhursag, a mountain goddess in Sumer, was one of the seven major deities and was a fertility goddess.

Lajja Gauri is a Shakti goddess originating in the Indus Valley who is connected with fertility and abundance. She is sometimes seen as a form of the Hindu Mother Goddess Devi.

Fecundias, literally meaning “fecundity,” was another Roman goddess of fertility.

Feronia was yet another Roman goddess of fertility, associated with wild animals and abundance.

Sarakka was the Sami goddess of fertility, also associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

Ala is a deity of fertility, morality, and the earth, worshipped by Nigeria’s Igbo people.

Onuava, of whom little is known other than inscriptions, was a Celtic fertility deity.

Rosmerta was a fertility goddess also associated with abundance. She is found in Gallic-Roman culture. She like some other fertility goddesses is often depicted with a cornucopia.

Nerthus is described by the Roman historian Tacitus as a German pagan goddess connected with fertility.

Anahita was a Persian or Iranian goddess of fertility, associated with “the Waters,” healing, and wisdom.

Hathor, the Egyptian cow-goddess, is often associated with fertility.

Taweret was the Egyptian fertility goddess, represented as a combination of hippopotamus and feline walking on two feet. She was also a water goddess and goddess of childbirth.

Guan Yin as a Taoist deity was associated with fertility. Her attendant Songzi Niangniang was another fertility deity.

Kapo is a Hawaiian fertility goddess, sister of the volcanic goddess Pele.

Dew Sri is an Indonesian Hindu goddess, representing rice and fertility.

Mountains, Forests, Hunting

Archaic metope showing Actaeon and Artemis, 5th century BC.
Artemis, from 5th century BCE, setting dogs on Actaeon.

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Cybele is the Anatolian mother goddess, the only goddess known to represent Phyrgia. In Phrygia, she was known as the Mother of the Gods or Mountain Mother. She was associated with stones, meteoric iron, and mountains. She may be derived from a type found in Anatolia in the sixth millennium B.C.E. She was assimilated into Greek culture as a mystery goddess with some overlap with characteristics of Gaia (earth goddess), Rhea (a mother goddess), and Demeter (goddess of agriculture and harvest). In Rome, she was a mother goddess and later was transformed into an ancestress of the Romans as a Trojan princess. In the Roman period, her worship was sometimes associated with Isis.

Diana was the Roman goddess of nature, the hunt, and the moon, associated with the Greek goddess Artemis. She was also a goddess of childbirth and oak groves. Her name derives ultimately from a word for daylight or the daytime sky, so she has a history as a sky goddess as well.

Artemis was a Greek goddess later associated with the Roman Diana, though they had independent origins. She was a goddess of the hunt, wildlands, wild animals, and childbirth.

Artume was a huntress goddess and the goddess of animals. She was part of the Etruscan culture.

Adgilis Deda was a Georgian goddess associated with mountains, and later, with the arrival of Christianity, associated with the Virgin Mary.

Maria Cacao is a Philippine goddess of mountains.

Mielikki is the goddess of forests and hunting and creator of the bear, in the Finnish culture.

Aja, a spirit or Orisha in Yoruba culture, was associated with the forest, animals, and herbal healing.

Arduinna, from the Celtic/Gallic regions of the Roman world, was a goddess of the Ardennes Forest. She was sometimes shown riding a boar. She was assimilated to the goddess Diana.

Medeina is the Lithuanian goddess who rules forests, animals, and trees.

Abnoba was a Celtic goddess of the forest and rivers, identified in Germany with Diana.

Liluri was the ancient Syrian goddess of mountains, consort of the weather god.

Sky, Stars, Space

Egyptian cosmos, with the goddess Nut forming the heavens
Goddess Nut as the heavens, in Egyptian cosmology. Papyrus copy based on late Egyptian temple at Denderah.

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Aditi, a Vedic goddess, was associated with the primal universal substance and seen as both a wisdom goddess and a goddess of space, speech, and the heavens, including the zodiac.

Tzitzimitl is one of the Aztec female deities associated with the stars, and have a special role in protecting women.

Nut was the ancient Egyptian goddess of the heavens (and Geb was her brother, the earth).

Sea, Rivers, Oceans, Rain, Storms

Mother Goddess Astarte (Asherah), relief on ivory of goddess between two mountain goats
Ugaritic relief on ivory of Mother Goddess Asherah, 14th century BCE.

De Agostini/G. Dagli Orti/Getty Images

Asherah, an Ugaritic goddess mentioned in the Hebrew scriptures, is a goddess who walks on the sea. She takes the side of the sea god Yam against Ba’al. In extra-Biblical texts, she is associated with Yahweh, though in the Hebrew texts, Yahweh denounces her worship. She is also associated with trees in the Hebrew scriptures. Also associated with goddess Astarte.

Danu was an ancient Hindu river goddess who shares her name with an Irish Celtic mother goddess. 

Mut is the ancient Egyptian mother goddess, associated with primeval waters.

Yemoja is a Yoruba water goddess connected especially to women. She is also connected with cures of infertility, with the moon, with wisdom, and with the care of women and children.

Oya, who becomes Iyansa in Latin America, is a Yoruba goddess of death, rebirth, lightning, and storms.

Tefnut was an Egyptian goddess, sister, and wife of the god of Air, Shu. She was the goddess of moisture, rain, and dew.

Amphitrite is a Greek goddess of the sea, also the goddess of the spindle.

Vegetation, Animals, and Seasons

Roman depiction of the Celtic goddess Epona.
Roman depiction of the Celtic goddess Epona.

CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images

Demeter was the main Greek goddess of the harvest and agriculture. The story of her mourning her daughter Persephone for six months of the year was used as a mythical explanation for the existence of a non-growing season. She was also a mother-goddess.

The Horae ("hours") were the Greek goddesses of the seasons. They began as goddesses of other forces of nature, including fertility and the night sky. The Dance of the Horae was connected with spring and flowers.

Antheia was the Greek deity, one of the Graces, who is associated with flowers and vegetation, as well as of spring and love.

Flora was a minor Roman goddess, one of many associated with fertility, specifically with flowers and spring. Her origin was Sabine.

Epona of Gallic-Roman culture, protected horses and their close relatives, donkeys, and mules. She may have also been connected with the afterlife.

Ninsar was the Sumerian goddess of plants and was also known as Lady Earth.

Maliya, a Hittite goddess, was associated with gardens, rivers, and mountains.

Kupala was a Russian and Slavic goddess of the harvest and the summer solstice, connected with sexuality and fertility. The name is cognate with Cupid.

Cailleach was a Celtic goddess of winter.

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Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Key Nature Goddesses From Around the World." Learn Religions, Aug. 28, 2020, Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2020, August 28). Key Nature Goddesses From Around the World. Retrieved from Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Key Nature Goddesses From Around the World." Learn Religions. (accessed June 12, 2021).