Even before the term feminism was coined, we had some subtle feminism going on in our mythology. Every country, region and culture with its share of folktales and mythology have goddesses who were capable of wreaking havoc. These goddesses displayed strength in times of great adversity and rescued human kind when duty called. They crushed demons under their feet, they killed and maimed and fought like there was no tomorrow.
These female characters are the epitome of everything a woman wants to be today - an independent, strong, maker of her own destiny. So, here are 8 women from across various mythologies who were complete badasses:
1. Kali - the slayer of evils
The ferocious form of Durga, Kali was created to fight the demon Rakhthabeej. Rakhthabeej's blood was super powerful and had the power to create more demons. One drop of his blood created one demon. So you can imagine how difficult it must have been to fight demons that kept reproducing every second.
Despite fighting the demons for a long time, Kali never gave up and had this brilliant idea. Instead of killing the demon, she ate Rakhtabeej. Mythology has it that when she was done, she danced to celebrate her victory.
Kali was fierce, she was ready to kill and maim, but she knew when to stop as well.
2. Hel - goddess of the dead
Daughter of the trickster Loki, Hel is one badass character from Norse Mythology. Soon after her birth, Odin cast her out of Asgard to the land of the dead. She was to rule and judge the people who died of old age and disease. With a face half dead and half living, she's said to be a fearful sight.
3. Anat - the goddess of sexual love
The Egyptian goddess of fertility, war and sexual love, Anat is a rather paradoxical deity. She was also considered to be the mother of all gods and her lust for war and blood earned her the title of Wanton Goddess. As a goddess, she was ruthless on the battlefield, but where her people and children were concerned she was known to be a gentle soul.
4. Amaterasu - the source of light
The sun goddess, the ruler of the skies, Amaterasu was a goddess who was considered to be the sole source of light in the world. Once after a fight with her brother, she hid herself in a cave and the world was engulfed in darkness. Strong-headed, opinionated and benevolent - Amaterasu is the epitome of badassery.
5. Ix - Chel - the moon goddess
The ancient Mayan goddess of the moon, Ixchel was also the goddess of fertility. She fell in love with the Sun God, married him and gave birth to four sons, namely - the four directions. However, the Sun god was a rather jealous fellow and was under the belief that Ixchel was cheating on him with his younger brother. After giving her husband many chances to change, she decided to leave him for good. After this, she attended to pregnant mothers on earth and tended to them in their hour of need.
6. Louhi - the goddess of death
Loviatar, Loveatar, Lovetar, Lovehetar, Louhetar, Louhiatar - the blind daughter of Tuoni has been the most feared goddess in Finnish mythology. The harbinger of death, disease and decay, Louhi also gave birth to 9 sons; who make up the 9 deadly diseases. Impregnated by the wind, she was called a whore because she wasn't married, but that didn't stop her or her sons from wreaking havoc on earth.
7. Mami Wata - the river goddess
An immortal spirit, over the years Mami Wata's picture has been retouched innumerable times. According to the most popular belief, she's half human and half fish very much like a mermaid. Mami Wata embodies the polar opposite forces of life and death, of happiness and destruction, of healing and disease. She is a goddess who is loved and feared equally.
8. Tiamat - the goddess of the ocean
The dragon goddess of chaos and darkness, Tiamat gave birth to the 4 gods of Babylon. But Apsu, the father to the 4 young gods grew irritated with the noise they made. So along with his vizier, he hatched a plan to kill off the kids, but Tiamat wouldn't have it.
Apsu and the vizier were killed by the 4 young gods before they could carry on with the plan. But the young gods still feared that their mother would kill them, so they battled with her and cut her into pieces. The pieces formed the heaven and the earth.