Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines
by Patricia Monaghan
December 2009, 641pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34989-8
$191, £147, 167€, A262
eBook Available: 978-0-313-34990-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From the very beginning there have been goddesses. We read classical literature based on goddess worship and discover that even seemingly male-dominated religions have hidden figures of female power. The most modern among us still speak of Mother Earth and Mother Nature. Heroines and goddesses reach out from the past—continuing to touch us with their magic and wisdom.

This two-volume set provides a comprehensive guide to the vast array of feminine divine figures found throughout the world.

Drawn from a variety of sources ranging from classical literature to early ethnographies to contemporary interpretations, the Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines provides a comprehensive introduction to the ways goddess figures have been viewed through the ages. This unique encyclopedia of over thousands of figures of feminine divinity describes the myths and attributes of goddesses and female spiritual powers from around the world.

The two-volume set is organized by culture and religion, exploring the role of women in each culture’s religious life and introducing readers to the background of each pantheon, as well as the individual figures who peopled it. Alternative names for important divinities are offered, as are lists of minor goddesses and their attributes. Interest in women’s spirituality has grown significantly over the last 30 years, both among those who remain in traditional religions and those who explore spirituality outside those confines. This work speaks to them all.


  • Coverage of thousands of goddesses describe their myths and images, as well as how they were honored by their worshipers
  • Organization by region permits in-depth study of specific religious traditions
  • Includes 40 line drawings by renowned mythic artist Hrana Janto, based on original works from various cultures
  • Extensive bibliographies on each of the 30 cultures represented draw from the fields of classics, anthropology, folklore, literature, and psychology
Patricia Monaghan is associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at DePaul University, Chicago, IL, and senior fellow at the Black Earth Institute, Black Earth, WI. A pioneer in the contemporary women's spirituality movement, she has published books on the subject for more than 30 years, including The Goddess Path: Myths, Invocations, & Rituals and The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit. A poet as well as a scholar, she has been awarded the Pushcart Prize in literature as well as the Paul Gruchow Award for Nature Writing.
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