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A worshipper dressed as female goddess Ochun during a Candomble ceremony in Itaborai, Brazil.

photo: Getty Images

Every single culture on earth has a history of worshipping female deities. In Latin America, this tradition was especially strong — from Amazon warrior goddesses, to love diosas, to the earth mother.

When the Spanish arrived, many were hidden under the face of la Virgen, but they were hardly forgotten. Yemaya is worshipped by millions in Brazil every New Year’s Eve. Ixchel, in Southern Mexico, still inspires an annual pilgrimage across the ocean.

It's a revelation to discover and explore all these female goddesses. There are so many different ways to express femininity! If the divine could also be female, then clearly it means that women are worthy of love, respect, and equal human rights. You'll be happy to know that goddesses can still be found everywhere, once you know how to recognize them.

Here are some of our favorites, and where they dwell: