A goddess is a female deity. While they have been, are and may be associated with as wide a range of phenomena as male deities, including war, destruction and death as well as creation, life-giving, healing and compassion, they have more commonly been associated with the Earth, fertility, motherhood and love. In some religions, a sacred female figure holds a central place in prayer and worship. Shaktism, the worship of the female force that animates the world, is one of the three major sects of Hinduism. In Tibetan Buddhism, the highest advancement any person can achieve is to become like the great female Buddhas (e.g. Arya Tara) who are depicted as being supreme protectors, fearless and filled with compassion for all beings. The primacy of a monotheistic or near-monotheistic “Great Goddess” is advocated by some modern matriarchists as a female version of, preceding, or analogue to, the Abrahamic God associated with the historical rise of monotheism in the Mediterranean Axis Age. Most Modern Pagan traditions honour one or more goddesses. Wicca has a duotheistic belief system, consisting of a single goddess and a single god, who in hieros gamos represent a united whole. Polytheists, including Polytheistic reconstructionists, honour multiple goddesses and gods, and usually see them as discrete, separate beings. These deities may be part of a pantheon, or different regions may have tutelary deities. The reconstructionists, like their ancient forbears, honour the deities particular to their country of origin. The noun goddess is a secondary formation, combining the Germanic god with the Latinate -ess suffix. It is first attested in Middle English, from about 1350. The English word follows linguistic precedence set by a number of languages, including the Egyptian language, Classical Greek and several Semitic languages which simply add a feminine ending to the word for “god”.