National Hispanic Heritage Month: Honoring strong and powerful Latin Goddesses
National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15. It marks the celebration of the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens with Spanish, Mexican, Central and South American, and Caribbean heritage or ancestry. First enacted as a week-long observance in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, it was expanded into a month-long celebration under President Ronald Reagan.
September 15 holds significance as the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month because it is also the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence day on September 16 and 18, respectively.
The Latin Goddesses in our Goddess Collection have always held a special place in our pantheon. From celebrated and pioneering Mexican artist Frida Kahlo to fertility Goddesses Pachamama (Andean) and Ix Chel (Mayan) and Afro-Caribbean Goddesses Yemaya and Oshun, these Goddesses’ strength, power, and benevolence can teach all of us how to navigate the world with more compassion and resilience.
Frida Kahlo - The Mexican artist overcame so many personal issues (including physical trauma) to rise as one of the most brilliant artists of all time. Always unapologetic about her work and never relying on artifice in her self-portraits, Frida is celebrated for her commitment to the portrayal of Mexican culture, indigenous culture, and the female experience. Her vibrant and unflinching self-portraits (55 of her 143 paintings are self-portraits) have inspired generations of artists and art lovers who have seen and appreciated the beauty of her authenticity.
Pachamama (Mother Earth) - The Andean Goddess of fertility, Pachamama is depicted in our rendering as a beautiful woman with flowing hair cradling the Earth in her protective arms. She is considered a benevolent Goddess who nurtures and protects all life on the planet, but she has a dark side to her as well. When angered, she can unleash floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters to remind her children that she will not tolerate being disrespected. With the current climate discourse in full effect, it is easy to see why her power and strength are needed now more than ever.
Ix Chel - This Mayan Goddess of love, fertility, and the moon is similar to Pachamama in many ways. She is benevolent and generous, but can unleash destruction if the need arises. She reminds us that though the planet may provide us with bountiful resources, we must still respect, appreciate, and honor these gifts. Nature is as strong as it is fragile, and treating it with anything less than complete reverence can result in severe punishment.
Yemaya - A Goddess of the Yoruba religion, Yemaya is also revered by Afro-Caribbeans (particularly in Cuba). Known as the Ocean Mother Goddess, Yemaya is another benevolent and nurturing deity who nonetheless can be tenacious and fearful. Like water, she can be calm and turbulent depending on the circumstances. Yemaya was believed to be brought over into the “New World” by enslaved Africans, where her influence and magic spread through the years.
Oshun - Afro-religions that exist and thrive in the Caribbean diaspora come from the Yoruba religion of several African nations in West Africa. Oshun is one of the most revered deities, known as a protectress, healer, benevolent spirit, and bringer of prosperity. This sensual and radiant Goddess can bring you love and make your wishes come true.