“Homage to Arya Tara, She gone to the end

of buddha karma;

Her miraculous activities of peace, increase,

power and wrath

Like tides of the ocean are never at rest,

But spontaneously flow in an unbroken stream.”

– from “Praises to the 21 Taras”

My brother-in-law was at our house once and saw a new coffee table book a friend had just given me. “FEMALE BUDDHAS!” he scoffed, as though I had made it all up. The book was by Glenn H. Mullin, his 20th book on the subject.

Come to find out, as with most things Feminine, Buddhism has been slanted toward the masculine and probably should have been called TARAism. She is the MOTHER OF ALL BUDDHAS (enlightened ones). It is said Tara was once a princess that meditated for lifetimes on the suffering of the world until She became enlightened. Goddess Tara is believed to be the most ancient Diety still worshipped today.

In Tibet, Tara is quite the SUPERHEROINE. “Tara is known as The Faithful One, The Fierce Protectress, an archetype of inner Wisdom. They speak of a transformation of consciousness, a journey to freedom. They teach many simple and direct means for each person to discover within themselves.” Crystalinks.com. She helps all who call or meditate upon her, immediately- anything from rescues to achieving enlightenment. She is said to be the embodiment of generosity, joyous effort, discipline, patience, peace, and meditation.

As we too, often “wear many hats”, we embody all of those personas within ourselves. Tara has 21. They are defined in the ancient text “Praises to the Twenty-One Taras” written by the very FIRST DALAI LAMA. Each incarnation of this Mother Goddess corresponds with a different color. This is what is written on the colorful Tibetan prayers flags we admire so much. Many Buddhists, recite the 27 versus of the “21 Taras” for peace.

Photo below shows Green Tara from Mullin’s book where he describes: “She is peaceful in Her appearance… 1,008 small Taras sit in various arrangements around Her. These symbolize the thousands of ways in which buddha activity embodied by Tara manifests in the world in order to benefit living beings.” And that’s just ONE of the 21!!

Tara is actually found all over the world in many different forms and titles. In Polynesia, She is the beautiful Sea Goddess. In Latin, there is Mother Earth or “Terra”. The druids named their Hill of Tara in Ireland after their Mother Goddess. Ancient Finnish legend speaks of Tar, the Women of Wisdom. An indigenous jungle tribe call their Goddess, Tarahumara, in South America. Cheyenne tell of the Star Woman who fell to Earth from Heaven of Whom all essential food grew, giving them Wisdom. Both called “Stella Maris”, Tara is connected with Mother Mary.

“Hail Tara swift and fearless,

Whose eyes flash like lightening:

She born from a lotus in an ocean of tears

Of Avalokiteshvara, Lord of Three Worlds.”

“Her meditative practice is used by followers of the Tibetan branch of Buddhism to understand the outer, inner and secret teachings of compassion and emptiness.” -Artha on Youtube


Our powerful and poised model Martha was born in Tokyo but grew up in Fort Worth. There she extensively studied dance and also became a professional musical theatre actress, choreographer and instructor. Now, at age 51, Martha is still teaching Pilates and yoga, she is training to become an aerialist yogini! She is married with three children, two of whom are a part of the LGBTQ community.

Martha’s life experience helped her really embody the compassion of the Mother Goddess Tara. On portraying Her, Martha wrote “To be selected to portray Tara was fun, exciting, and humbling… especially once I realized how Tara is revered in many cultures.

From Wikipedia … ‘She is known as the Mother of Mercy and Compassion. She is the source, the female aspect of the universe, which gives birth to warmth, compassion and relief from bad karma as experienced by ordinary beings in cyclic existence. She engenders, nourishes, smiles at the vitality of creation, and has sympathy for all beings as a mother does for her children. As Green Tārā she offers succor and protection from all the unfortunate circumstances one can encounter within the samsaric world. As White Tārā she expresses maternal compassion and offers healing to beings who are hurt or wounded, either mentally or psychically. As Red Tārā she teaches discriminating awareness about created phenomena, and how to turn raw desire into compassion and love. As Blue Tārā (Ekajati) she becomes a protector in the Nyingma lineage, who expresses a ferocious, wrathful, female energy whose invocation destroys all Dharmic obstacles and engenders good luck and swift spiritual awakening.’

We should all embrace our inner Tara and offer compassion and empathy and protection as we are all from the same Divine Spirit.” Thank you Martha for sharing your beauty and magic with us!

6 comments on “TARA

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for another beautiful, awesome, enlightening blog post! As with your other amazing photos and articles in the Goddess Project, I learned so much. I’d known that Buddhism, like all major religions, is patriarchal, but I didn’t know that it “should have been called TARAISM,” because Tara “is the MOTHER OF ALL BUDDHAS (enlightened ones).” Thank you for sharing your talents and wisdom to spread HER message of compassion, peace, and beauty.


  2. Anonymous

    Every time I read one of your blog post not only do I learn so much and feel so inspired but my spirit is lifted. Thank you for another inspiring post.


  3. Anonymous

    Jann Aldredge-Clanton thank you for always supporting. SHE is leading me on this educational journey, one aspect of Her at a time. So fun!


  4. Anonymous

    Sagan Hardman you’re the reason I do this. The holy womb that birthed you, lead me here. And She is oh so proud of the living Goddess that you are!



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