A goddess is a female deity. Many cultures have goddesses. Most often these goddesses are part of a polytheistic system that includes several deities. Pantheons in various cultures can include both goddesses and gods, and in some cases also intersex deities.|
In both ancient and modern cultures, the symbolism of gendered deities is open to a wide variety of interpretations. The primacy of a monotheistic or near-monotheistic goddess is advocated by some modern matriarchists and pantheists as a female version of, or analogue to, the Abrahamic god. In some feminist circles the Abrahamic god is perceived as being rooted in the patriarchal concept of dominance - to the exclusion of feminine concepts.
Among some duotheists, such as Wiccans, the primary deities are one goddess and one god, who are seen as together making up a larger whole that is both the transcendent divine and the substance of all creation.
About the author:
Sir John Woodroffe (1865-1936), also known by his pseudonym Arthur Avalon, received his B.C.L. (Bachelor of Civil Law) from University College, Oxford. He moved to India, where he practised law. He became Advocate-General of Begal and in 1915 Chief Justice at the Calcutta High Court. He also was appointed Standing Counsel to the Government of India. He was appointed Tagore Law Professor at the Calcutta University. After retiring to England he became Reader in Indian Law at the University of Oxford .
Alongside his judicial duties he studied Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy and was especially interested in the esoteric Hindu Tantric Shakti system. He translated some twenty original Sanskrit texts, and under his pseudonym Arthur Avalon he published and lectured prolifically and authoritatively on Indian philospohy and a wide range of Yoga and Tantra topics. His work helped to unleash in the West a deep and wide interest in Hindu philosophy and Yogic practices.