Goddess of Dawn; Queen of Heaven; The Diamond Sow

Also known as:

Marici (Sanskrit); Mari shi; Marishiten (Japanese)


Buddha; Yidam

Marichi is a goddess, a full-fledged Buddha, and a powerful guardian spirit. She began her incarnation as an Indian goddess of the morning sun. (In Vedic traditions, she is considered male.) Her Sanskrit name means “a ray of light.” When Marichi was incorporated into Buddhism, her veneration spread throughout the Buddhist world.

Marichi protects against natural disasters and dangers deriving from any kind of living being, including malefic people, thieves, criminals, muggers, enemies, animals, and vicious spirits. She is invoked for protection when traveling.

Marichi is particularly popular in Tibet and Japan. In Tibet, she is considered a Buddha, the female counterpart of Manjushri and hence associated with acquisition and protection of wisdom. She may appear in the entourage of Green Tara.

In Japan, she’s called Marishiten. By the eighth century, she was the matron deity of the Samurai and warrior classes. Goddess of mirages, she controls perceptions: how and what people see. Thus she can block, obscure, or confuse what an enemy sees. Marishiten determines who will win or lose battles. Because she is profoundly associated with success, Japanese merchants began to venerate her in her guise as Lady of Victory and Wealth.

Favoured people:

Warriors (literal and meta-phoric)

Marishiten is the Matron of Zen warfare. Contemplating and venerating Marishiten or her images allegedly enables one to reach a state of transcendent fearlessness and selflessness. With no worries about life, death, winning, or losing, a warrior can make truly clearheaded strategic decisions.


Depending on her aspect, she is very beautiful, very fierce, or both. She is strongly identified with pigs (either wild or domestic) and may signal her presence via some sort of porcine reference.


She is portrayed on Tibetan mandalas with three faces and multiple arms (six, eight, twelve, or fourteen). The more arms she has, the more weapons she can wield. As Red Marichi, a wrathful form of Marichi, she has a sow’s head on a woman’s body.


Vajra (ritual dagger), sewing needle, bow, arrow, medicinal plant, noose


Marichi is most often invoked at the crack of dawn.




Marichi rides a boar or pig. Sometimes piglets pull her chariot. Alternatively she rides atop a lotus drawn by pigs or boars.


7, 9



Sacred site:

Japanese mountain peaks and volcanic craters are named in her honor.


OM MARICHI (YE)* MAM SVAHA (* Ye is not pronounced; it is a space holder indicating a pause for emphasis.) Among other purposes, her mantra is used to promote acquisition of wisdom and insight and to protect travelers.


  • Buddha
  • Eos
  • Manjushri
  • Tara, Green
  • Vajra
  • Vajravahari
  • Yidam


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.