The Tenma are twelve guardian goddesses who appear in the entourage of Palden Lhamo. The Tenma are ancient Tibetan Bon spirits who were defeated, one by one, by Padmasambhava who bound them with a sacred oath. The Tenma are now sworn guardians of the Dharma. They are mountain goddesses: six are guardian spirits of specific perilous, narrow mountain ledges. The

Tenma are divided into three groups:

• Dumo Chenmo (Great Female Demons)

• Nojin Chenmo (Great Female Malignant Ones)

• Menmo Chenmo (Great Medicine Consorts)

Each Tenma has a personal history and individual personality. They are not uniform and can be distinguished from one another. Each has a secret name usually indicating where she lives. The Tenma are served by oracular priestesses.

Shamans channel the Tenma who provide oracles via ritual possession.




They are portrayed alongside Palden Lhamo.


Water in a beautiful vessel, dice crafted from conch shells, peacock feathers, bronze mirror, crystal


  • Bon Spirits
  • Padmasambhava
  • Palden Lhamo
  • Tara, Blue


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.

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