Blessing: Cybele is a Goddess of fertility, both in humans and animals, and of wild nature, especially forests and mountains. She was served by transvestite priests who had undergone castration, and presided over orgies and ecstatic rites. Her Mysteries were second only to the Eleusinian in antiquity. Through the shedding of blood — both that of her galli, and the bulls and rams of her great sacrifices — the earth was made fecund once more.

Epithets: Agdistis (from the Agdus rock), Dindymene (of Mount Dindymus), Idaia (of Mount Ida), Kubebe (alternate version), Magna Mater (Great Mother), Mater Deum (Mother of the Gods), Meter (Mother), Meter Oreia (Mountain Mother), Rhea (alternate name), Tmolene (of Mount Tmolus)

Equated with: Rhea, Demeter, Hera, Hekate, Isis, Sekhmet, Mut, Anat.

Associations: drum, tower crown, throne, lion, snake, aromatic herbs, cypress, opium poppy, myrrh, civet, blood


Ways to honor: Dancing and drumming are central to the worship of Cybele, often until one reaches states of ecstacy and trance-possession. Respect queer people — gays, lesbians, the transgendered, and those involved in BDSM — as they are her special children. Go to wild places — forests, mountains, and cities late at night — and look for her there. Climb a mountain. Plant a pine or an oak. Get involved with wilderness conservation. Donate your time or money to lion and wolf sanctuaries.

Ancient Texts:

Excerpt from Athenaios by Diogenes

Excerpt from The Dialogues of the Gods by Lucian

Excerpts from The Fasti by Ovid

Excerpt from Poem LXIII by Catullus

Homeric Hymn XIV (To the Mother of the Gods)

Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Texts: Forthcoming

Modern Texts:

Cybele by P Sufenas Virius Lupus

Lions of Kybele-Rhea by Melia Suez

Prayer to the Mistress of Animals by Rebecca Buchanan

A Prayer to the Mother of the Gods by Rebecca Buchanan

Song for Kybele by Amanda Aremisia Forrester

To Her by Lupercus Pagani

Festivals and Rituals:

Festival of Cybele by Fate


Kybele and Castration by Melia Suez


Wikipedia article on Cybele

The story of a modern gallos

Ancient sources on Cybele’s worship

Maetreum of Cybele

Magna Mater project article on Kybele

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