|Great Mother Goddess|
|Nickname||The Goddess, Dark Mother, Mother of Mountians, Mother of Mare, Mother of Waters, Ladymoon|
|Title||Female ruler of the gods.|
|Siblings||Mithros, (many others)|
|First mentioned||Alanna: The First Adventure|
|First appeared||In the Hand of the Goddess|
|Latest appearance||The Realms of the Gods|
Other titles include Mother of Mountains, Mother of Mares, and Mother of Waters. In southwestern Tortall she is also known as Wave-Walker, a goddess of the sea and of mercy. A symbol used to represent the Goddess is the Ladymoon.
In her "mother" aspect, the Goddess appears as a stunningly beautiful woman, with emerald eyes, dazzlingly white skin, black hair, and full red lips. According to Alanna, who is one of her chosen, her voice sounds like the baying of hounds and the call of the huntress urging them on. It can be painful for mortals to hear.
The Goddess is worshipped throughout the Eastern Lands. She has convents dedicated to her where young noblewomen may be sent to learn "womanly" arts such as embroidery. Her clergy is exclusively female. Temples of the Goddess are guarded by fierce warrior priestesses. These temples also serve as sanctuary for women fleeing from abusive men. But women may also seek refugee in the Goddess's temples in other matters of law, because no woman may be taken from a Goddess's temple unless her guilt is proven before a Goddess's court. They also have their own courts which can help women in need. Eleni Cooper, mother of George Cooper, was a priestess of the Goddess in her youth and Clara Goodwin is a magistrate for the Goddess in the Lower City of Corus. The priestesses wear robes in white, brown or black.
The temples of the Great Mother Goddess were protected by female warriors. They wore moon-stamped breatplates, back plates, arm and leg armor, and short leather skirts. In the third century of the Human Era thirty of those warriors joined the forces of the Provost's Guard under Gershom of Haryse to clear Port Caynn of corruption. Serenity was leading the warriors on that instance. In the fifth century of the Human Era the women protecting the Goddess' temple in the Temple District of Corus were armed with double-headed axes to prevent men from setting foot on the ground sacred to the Goddess.
Marriages performed under the Goddess are much like the pagan ceremony of handfasting, which involves binding the hands of the couple together. A priestess of the Goddess, along with a priest of Mithros, performs Tortallan royal marriages.
When a girl has her first period she is brought to the local temple for blessing.
There are some aspects of womanhood considered "Great Mysteries". One of these is birth. Because of this mostly men are barred from the birth chamber, especially when the woman worships the Great Mother Goddess, which is often the case. In general it's the decision of the woman whether the child's father is allowed into the birth chamber or not.
The Goddess is based on the threefold goddess motif that is common in many world cultures.
- ↑ List of Tortallan Gods on Pierce's webpage
- ↑ Terrier, Glossary (p. 578; Random House paperback)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 19, 247 I (p. 376; Random House hardcover)
- ↑ Terrier, April 2, 246 (p. 86; Random House paperback)
- ↑ Terrier, April 7, 246 (p. 246; Random House paperback)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 24, 247 I (p. 464; Random House hardcover)
- ↑ Alanna: The First Adventure, Cp. 1 (p. 19; Random House paperback)
- ↑ Terrier, April 2, 246 (p. 72; Random House paperback)
- ↑ Random Buzz; "Yuki and 'labor and delivery' in Tortall."; April 20, 2009