Gytha Nanny Ogg

The Discworld books, by Terry Pratchett, give examples of two extremely powerful women: Esme “Granny” Weatherwax and Gytha “Nanny” Ogg. Often in the stories they are shown as friendly contrasts: Granny as isolated, commanding and powerful; then Nanny as accessible, chummy and energetic. Many are familiar with the stereotype of the lone wolf working away…

Nandni Mata (Durga)

Mahisa’s mother asked for a gift from Brahma, the King of Heaven. Her first request was that the child be made immortal, but Brahma refused. Then she asked that her child be made vulnerable to women alone and this wish was granted. Mahisa grew up sure that he could never be killed because women could…

Miyamoto Musashi

The Lone Samurai, by William Scott Wilson, relates the following story: On the way to a famous match, Miyamoto Musashi was passing a shrine dedicated to the god of war. He stopped a moment, intending to pray to the god for victory, but when walking to the altar he realized something important. Musashi had never…

Lakshmi

Women are not often seen as Enlightened beings. Instead they are often relegated to supporting roles or are created perfect from the start so they can be arm candy for a hard-working god. Lakshmi, a Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, is no one’s arm candy. She does not start with a perfect life, but…

Kukkuripa

Kukkuripa worked hard over many years to find spiritual freedom. During this time he found and adopted a dog who devotedly guarded him as he worked, shared the scraps of food he managed to gather, and protected their cave when he was gone. Kukkuripa loved her very much. Realizing a level of attainment, Kukkuripa was…