From her early days as the Phrygian fertility goddess to her role as the mother of gods, Cybele, has been around almost since the beginning of time and she’s been worshipped by cultures all over the world. But what's the story behind this goddess? Who was she, and why is her name so famous?
Today we are lucky enough to hear her version of the story in an exclusive interview with the goddess herself. She has a lot to share from her many lives to her modern-day worshipers.
Cybele: Sorry for the delay, my lions hadn't eaten and were refusing to pull my carriage up here. They've gotten pretty spoiled the last few thousand years.
Sabiria: Don't worry at all! It's not every day that you literally get to talk to a deity.
Cybele blushes a little and prepares to start the interview.
Sabiria: Since you mentioned lions, let's start there. Why of all the animals did you choose them? Some say it's because they symbolize strength and bravery.
Cybele: Yeah well… the lions. Sure they look great in fonts and paintings, but in reality, they weren't always lions. They used to be a boy and a girl named Atalanta and Hippomenes. They have a very romantic story, but they ended up desecrating my temple, and well... I did what I had to do!
Sabiria: Well, it's still a somewhat romantic story, being lions to eternity pulling a carriage.
Cybele: It's more romantic than the story of how I was born, at least.
Sabiria: I'm glad you mentioned that! There are many stories of how you were born, which one is true?
Cybele: There are a lot of stories of my creation, and most of them are a little gross to be honest. The true version, and not because it is my favorite, is that I was born of the Sky god and the Earth goddess in Phrygia. Some call him Zeus, but my story is much older than little Zeus. Anyway, I was born a hermaphrodite, and that's why they call me the Mother Goddess.
Sabiria: Some say that you are a Roman goddess, others that you are a Greek goddess, what is your actual origin story?
Cybele: Well, neither one nor the other, my myth is much older than that of the unoriginal Greeks or Romans. My origin story comes from a Phrygian myth, which the Greeks and Romans stole and changed to their liking.
That's why they call me in many ways, Rhea, Magna Mater, the mother goddess, once they even called me Demeter.. She was so offended.. I don't know why men can never agree on anything.
Sabiria: And what do you prefer to be called?
Cybele: I'm used to being called a lot of names, but Cybele is fine. Short, catchy, I like it.
Sabiria: There's a topic our community is dying to know about, I don't know if it's a sensitive topic but I'll just ask. What happened to Attis?
Cybele: Poor Attis, they wanted to blame me for everything. The world of the Gods is full of lies and gossip, don’t believe everything you hear out there. I'll tell you the truth, Attis was a big supporter of my cult, so bratty Zeus got jealous. And do you know what he did? He sent a boar to kill my Attis! Can you believe it? It wasn't enough for him to lie about me being born from his seed, he also killed my lover and blamed me for it. Zeus is an old liar.
Sabiria: I'm so sorry to hear that! Of course we have always believed you and we know that you would not do something like that. To change the tone a bit, how do you feel about how you are represented in different images throughout the world?
Cybele: Well, there's not much I can do about it. In some places, they portray me with a few extra pounds, but you know, it's how beauty is perceived in each country. I personally would like it to be recognised that I have been cutting carbs and go for a jog every now and then. I try to stay healthy, you know, to be a positive example for my millions of followers.
Sabiria: We think it's great that you're working on your figure, although if you ask us, you've always looked great for being over 8000 years old!
Cybele: Aww, you guys are so nice. In these times it's hard to recognise when someone is being nice to you or just scared that I'll castrate them or turn them into lions.
Sabiria: Absolutely not! We even wanted to show you something. It's our new piece inspired by you. It is a necklace in which we try to represent your free spirit and elegance.
Cybele: Wow! It's a great honor. For thousands of years, they had made fountains and statues for me, but never anything as beautiful as this. Thank you!
Sabiria: On the contrary, thank you for letting us know a little more about you and your story. We are sure that you will continue to inspire many women to feel like the modern goddesses that they are.
Shop our the new necklace and embrace your inner Cybele. 💛