A Mother Goddess is a divine female entity who, one way or another, created the world, life, or both. This is common in both Real Life and fictional religions, and the link between motherhood and creation is heavily connected.
While usually not the Top God in real-life religions, a lot of fictional stories will have the Mother Goddess as the sole goddess of a specific religion. This trope can often result because the author would rather make up a new belief system than risk being accused of being Sadly Mythtaken or wielding Artistic License – Religion regarding real-world faiths, or it could be because they're trying to avert a Crystal Dragon Jesus or Jesus Taboo but still would like to depict or explore monotheistic religion as part of the work, or it could be because a goddess is just what made the most sense for the story or worldbuilding. Due to the nature of a Mother Goddess being a nurturing, kind figure, they're almost always seen as positive figures and in a lot of High Fantasy stories tend to be the Big Good, although of course this doesn't always have to be the case.
If taking a human form, a Mother Goddess will almost always sport a gold/white togas and fancy jewels and have long, flowing hair.
Note that a divine entity being female, or them being the only female divine entity in a religion, does not automatically qualify them as a Mother Goddess; they specifically have to have had a part in the creation of the setting.
If they're a goddess of the earth/fertility but didn't have a hand in creation, then they're an Earth Mother. While this trope may cross over with Mother Nature, a Mother Goddess is not necessarily a nature spirit or connected with nature at all. Contrast Grandpa God, which could be considered a Gender Flip. See also Madonna Archetype.
- The central Living MacGuffin of EDENS ZERO is the creator of the universe itself, a planet-sized Green-Skinned Space Babe simply named Mother. She has the power to grant any wish to whomever finds her, and those who do are said to be "born again" in some fashion. Her life is also tied to every human in existence, meaning that if she were to disappear, the rest of humankind would vanish with her.
- While it's not heavily emphasized, The Lord of Nightmares in Slayers is the creator of not only the world of the main characters but several others as well (including possibly that of Lost Universe) and is generally depicted as a golden-haired woman. One of her lesser-used titles is even "Mother of All".
- Venus of Willendorf: The common belief behind the statue is that it represents a fertility or mother goddess from a bygone era. The reason is, like many fertility goddesses after her, her vagina and breasts are very prominent, indicating that they are excellent for birthing and feeding children.
- Marvel Comics: The Earth Mother is an Elder Goddess that was created shortly before the Earth itself formed, and she is the embodiment of the planet itself and its biosphere. As revealed in later comics, she is also the Earth Goddess for every existent pantheon, under various different names. The Asgardians know her as Jord and the Olympians know her as Gaia, and the Hawaiian pantheon know her as Haumea, just to name a few. In addition to being "mother of the Earth", Gaea also tends to deal with problems by having children, such as having a child with Odin to create a son that would protect the Earth.
- In the Golden Age stories Aphrodite was responsible for the creation of Paradise Island and the formation of the Amazon culture. She was also responsible for creating Wonder Woman herself.
- In Magnus, as in the Yoruba belief that inspired it, Olokun is the mother of the orisha, but she's also the guardian of the Odua Sector - what we call the Milky Way Galaxy.
- In Moana, the goddess who created the first island out of the ocean is Te Fiti, whose heart possesses the power to create life. Inversely, without her heart, she becomes a destructive volcano demon, Te Ka, whose presence causes the world to sicken and fill with monsters.
- N. K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy: Enefa, Goddess of Life and Death, was the last-born and most powerful of the three Old Gods. As the creator of life in the universe, she loved all her works like a mother... but still killed them without hesitation once they'd served their purpose.
- The priestesses from The Mists of Avalon worship a mother goddess.
- In the Tortall Universe, the Great Mother Goddess is one of the two main deities of the Eastern Lands and Alanna's patron. The people who worship her generally see her in one of three forms, and one of them is Gentle Mother. During Beka Cooper's era (The Provost's Dog series), this one became more popular than the other two, thus erasing her warrior aspect, which led to her choosing Alanna as her champion.
- Lady Chaos, from the Journey to Chaos series, is sometimes referred to as "The Mother of All Things" because the multiverse was born out of her. It is her energy that sustains the multiverse but could also destroy it. The elves see her as a benevolent, nurturing, and empowering figure and refer to her as "Grandmother". Others are more likely to see a fickle trickster.
- The Power: Allie reinterprets Christian beliefs with Mary being God in Human Form (technically she says the divine is neither female nor male, but appearing as the former now to balance things out, but it works out this way). She encourages other religions to follow her example, seeking out female counterparts to male prophets.
- Bazil Broketail: Most people in Argonath and the Cunfshon Isles worship the Great Mother, a benevolent, all-powerful goddess. Lagdalen begins as a novice studying to enter her clergy but is kicked out early on.
- Motherland: Fort Salem: The religion most witches follow is based on one, who is invoked much like God.
- The Outer Limits (1995): In "Lithia" the future all-female society worships a Goddess, and believe that she previously destroyed men as punishment for their sins.
- The Power (2023): Eve begins to start a religion, insisting that God must be female since creating life belongs to women. Her voice had told her this already even before she'd proclaimed the doctrine.
- Nautilus Pompilius: In the song "Mother of Gods", the lyrical hero considers himself as the Creator of the world and his loved one as the Mother of Gods.
- The religion of Filianism, also known as Madrianism or Deanism, worships the Goddess exclusively, in the trinitarian form of Heavenly Mother, Holy Daughter, and Dark Mother.
- Tiamat from Mesopotamian Mythology is the mother goddess of the cosmos, who also doubles as the primordial goddess of water. She is also often represented as either a sea serpent or a dragon.
- Classical Mythology:
- Gaia, the personification of the Earth, is one of the first beings who came into existence. She gave birth to Ouranus, the sky, by herself, and with him, she gave birth to many beings, both gods and monsters. Among her offspring are the Titans, the old generation of gods. The Titans in turn are succeeded by the Olympians.
- Nyx, the personification of the night is another primordial goddess, born from the Primordial Chaos. With her brother/spouse Erebus (Darkness), she gave birth to many other personifications of concepts, such as Hemera (Day), Thanatos (Death), Hypnos (Sleep), Nemesis (Retribution), and many more.
- In Japanese Mythology, the goddess Izanami is one of the two deities that created Japan. With her husband Izanagi, she gave birth to many, many gods as well as the islands of Japan. Unfortunately she died when giving birth to god of fire Kagutsuchi. Izanagi tried to bring her back to life, but she had already become a denizen of the underworld.
- The half-snake goddess Nu Wa in Chinese Mythology is commonly credited as the creator of humanity, sculpting them from clay.
- The original opening cutscene for EverQuest showed Veeshan, Goddess of the Sky approaching a lifeless planet and terraforming it into the world of Norrath. She left her claw marks in the continent of Velious to claim it as her own as she deposited her Dragon children and left. Other gods would later discover the planet and create their own races elsewhere. Veeshan isn't celebrated as the being who gave life to Norrath, but nobody disputes the origin story either.
- Hydaelyn from Final Fantasy XIV is the Big Good of the A Realm Reborn storyline. She created the world and one of her other names is 'The Mothercrystal'. She's shown as being a gigantic, sentient crystal of Aether, and she can 'bless' her chosen with the power of the Echo, which allows them to speak all languages and be immune from being mind-controlled by Primals. She specifically helps the Player Character by granting them the Echo and protecting them from extreme danger. She's the direct opposite of the God of the Ascians, Zodiark. Ultimately subverted. It's later revealed that both Hydaelyn and Zodiark aren't actual deities, but Primals. Hydaelyn also didn't create the world, though she is responsible for its current state. Before becoming a Primal, she was a member of an ancient race that served as the precursors to humanity.
- Amaterasu from Ōkami is frequently referred to as the "origin of all that is good and mother to us all," by the other gods.
- Fire Emblem:
- In Fire Emblem Gaiden and its updated re-release, Mila is a Divine Dragon worshiped by the people of Zofia as "Mother Mila". Her blessing is responsible for the temperate, mild climate and fertile soil of her patron country.
- In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the rarely named goddess of the Church of Seiros is said to be watching Fodlan from above, taking care of her "children" and punishing evil. In truth, while Sothis was very powerful and benevolent, she had been slain a thousand years before the story began.
- In Fate/EXTRA, BB is installed with the data of the Earth Mother Goddess that served as the basis for later goddesses such as Ishtar, Astarte, and Aphrodite. This gives her authority over all of Earth's life, allowing her to completely No-Sell any attack from someone born on Earth. As an AI created on the moon, Hakuno is exempt from this rule, and is able to find a code of equal authority to allow their Servant to fight back.
- Fate/Grand Order: The Babylonia singularity sees Chaldea facing off against the Mesopotamian mother goddess Tiamat, who has become the Beast of Regression due to her desire to keep humanity as her children forever - and failing that, destroying all humans and birthing a new humanity to replace them. As the primordial goddess, Tiamat lacks the concept of death and is all but undefeatable; it was only through a coalition of various entities working together that she is defeated and cast back into slumber. A fragment of her was reincarnated as the playable Alter Ego Servant Larva Tiamat, who continues to act motherly towards humanity after conceding her defeat in Babylonia.
- Horizon Zero Dawn: Befitting her Classical namesake, the A.I. GAIA was created for the express purpose of aiding in the creation of organic life on Earth, in response to the devastation caused by the Faro plague. Though her creators ultimately resigned themselves to humanity's inevitable extinction, and instead tasked her with rebuilding ALL life on the planet after the plague was finished. Uniquely, she was also tasked with destroying her own creations should the need arise, and it's implied she's been going through this cycle of life and death for some time. Then her subordinate functions started going rogue, and she had to self-terminate...
- In a more literal sense, she's this to Aloy, whom she cloned from Elizabet Sobek's DNA to stop HADES, and one day hopefully bring herself and all her subordinate functions back online.
- In Bayonetta, the Angels of Paradiso worship Jubileus, the goddess who is said to have created the world, whose sleeping form maintains the three realms of the game's setting.
- Unsounded: Of the four creator gods, Mother Yerta is imagined as being eternally pregnant with the world, which she conceived with the sea-god Father Riv. The Gefendur religion holds all mortal life to be her children, burying their dead to return the "gift" of their bodies to her.
- Freefall: Sqid myth has a sinister version — every unborn sqid has to steal its life from the Goddess of Life, who, in her greed, pursues them relentlessly until she can take it back.