Witches, Warriors and Goddesses: Kate Hodges and Harriet Lee Merrion

Witches, warriors and goddesses

Witches, warriors and goddesses

Witches, warriors and goddesses: the most powerful women in mythology -or Warriors, Witches, Women, by its original English title, is an anthology of mythological and feminist stories written by British author Kate Hodges and illustrated by her compatriot Harriet Lee Merrion. The work was published by the Libros del Zorro Rojo publishing house in October 2020.

Since its launch, This title has become one of the cultural standards for modern feminists.. It has also been this way for all those people who are curious about the origin of certain archetypes generally associated with women, such as the epithets "witches", "harpies", "demons", "vipers", among others.

Synopsis of Witches, warriors and goddesses

Structure, theme and narrative style of the work

Witches, warriors and goddesses tells the story of 50 female icons from various mythologies and cultures. Their cults have spread over the years, giving rise not only to believers, but also to stereotypes that have been framed to various female characters.

the book is found divided into five chapters: «Witches», «Warriors», «Bringers of misfortunes», «Elemental Spirits» and «Benefactor Spirits». "Witches» talks about wise women, fortune tellers and healers. Warriors tells about the fighters, strategists and vigilantes.

Bringers of misfortune tells the legends of those that are considered destructive, devastating and ominous. Elemental Spirits is about the lightning casters and creators of the planet. Finally, beneficent spirits Examines magnanimous apparitions, generous spirits, and domestic goddesses.

Brief context about the first three chapters of Witches, Warriors and Goddesses


The first chapter has as protagonists Hecate, Morgana, Circe, Baba Yaga, Cassandra, Pythia, Perchta, White Buffalo Woman and Rhiannon. Most of these names are common in popular culture, others come from ancestral lands to teach another point of view about magic, witchcraft, sorcery and femininity. It is also possible to understand how these deities have been portrayed, and how the modern woman can identify with each of them.

The first to appear is Hecate or Hekate. Its origin is uncertain. However, it is quite Known for serving as one of the most powerful titans of ancient Greece. It is said that she helped the Olympian Gods during the epic battle that took place against other titans, and that, thanks to her willingness, she became a deity respected by Zeus, who granted her the ability to live in solitude with to her creatures.


For its part, the chapter “Warriors” presents the beloved and terrible Artemis, Anath, Divoká Šárka, Freyja, the Furies, Cihuateteo, Kali, Yennenga and Jezebel. As in the previous section, these female representations belong to different regions of the world.

However, They share a common goal: a sense of struggle, justice and a highly developed logical sense, which allowed them to confront enemies in battle.

One of the most interesting characters on this list is Kali, also known as Kālī, Kalika or Shyama. She is the Hindu goddess of destruction and wrath. She is usually represented with several arms, dressed in animal skin and skull necklaces.

There are several versions about the origin of Kali. One of them says that he was born from the goddess Durga. Other variants claim that she is the wife of Shiva, and that she is the “dark” part of Parvati, the embodiment of the rising sun and femininity.

“Bringers of misfortunes”

The bringers of misfortune They tend to cause great rejection among the population. This is because, as their name indicates, they are destined to be a bad omen for those who feel, see or hear them.

Still, Warrior Witches and Goddesses amplifies this concept much more, to give the reader a more extensive overview of its true origins and purpose. The protagonists of this section are: Hela, Morrigan, the Valkyries, Pontianak, Baobhan Sith, Lilith, Loviatar, the Harpies, Medusa, La Llorona, the Banshee and Futakuchi Onna.

In this section, The book rescues one of the most terrifying and amazing myths of the Japanese people. Namely: futakuchi-onna, a yokai that has a mouth on the back of its head. According to Kate Hodges, this second oral cavity represents the refusal of women Japanese women to preserve the decorum, passivity and silence expected of them.

At first, Futakuchi Onna is presented as a beautiful woman. However, she keeps a terrible secret: a large hungry mouth with tentacles like forks.

Icons discussed in chapters 4 and 5 of Witches, Warriors and Goddesses

“Elemental spirits”

These are those entities that were creators of their respective worlds., or who collaborated with the creation of kingdoms and traditions. Among them are: Tiamat, Mami Wata, Pele, Selkie, Mari, Lady of Lake Llyn and Fan Fach, Rainbow Serpent, Mazu and Eglė.

“Benefactor spirits”

Last but not least, we have the generous, benevolent goddesses, who give everything for their people, your land or a greater asset. Within this chapter it is possible to meet: Tara, Madderakka, the Fates, Brigid, Erzulie dantor and Erzulie Freda, Bona Dea, Ame-No-Uzume, Innana, Ma'at, Liêu Ha.Nh and Maman Brigitte.

About the authors: Kate Hodges and Harriet Lee Merrion

Kate Hodges

This British author studied Journalism at the University of Westminster. Furthermore, she has more than 25 years of experience writing for major media outlets, like The Face, Bizarre, Just Seventeen and Sky. Likewise, he has collaborated with radio and television programs, and worked with Eurotrash, as well as a marketing company for luxury brands such as Noir Luxe and P For Production Films.

Other books by Kate Hodges

  • Little London: Child-Friendly Days Out and Fun Things to Do (2014);
  • London in an Hour (2016);
  • Rural London (2017);
  • I Know a Woman: The inspiring connections between the women who have shaped our world (2018);
  • On a Starry Night: Fun Things to Make and Do From Dusk Until Dawn (2020);
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors: Simple, Thrifty, Fun Activities to Keep Your Family Entertained All Year Round (2021);
  • The Wayward Sisters: Macbeth's three witches resurface in 1780s Scotland in this gripping novel of obsession and betrayal (2023)

Harriet Lee Merrion

She is a British illustrator. She studied at Falmouth University, and, for years, she has been known for creating pieces by hand, which are subsequently digitized for mass production. His work takes references from woodcuts and Japanese engravings, surreal art and pastel tones.

Throughout his career he has worked with various publishers and authors., such as Die Zeit, Bild, The New York Times, The Guardian, Marie Claire France and Le Pan en Hong.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.