Mara, Goddess of Love, patron of the bountiful earth, and source of mortal compassion and understanding. Nearly revered as a universal goddess, her origins are in mythic times as a fertility goddess. In Skyrim, Mara is a handmaiden of Kyne. In the Empire, she is Mother-Goddess, worshipped at the Benevolences of Mara. She is sometimes associated with Nir of the 'Anuad', the female principle of the cosmos that gave birth to creation. Depending on the religion, she is either married to Akatosh or Lorkhan, or the concubine of both. She gave the Nerevarine her blouse and skirt.
Temples devoted to the Mother Goddess of Tamriel are called Benevolences, because the followers are devoted to the charge of uniting all creatures as brethren, children of Mara. They are intolerant only of those who show intolerance; they hate only those who hate. Mara is their Mother Goddess, and thus she blesses all with the gift of love. Particularly, she favors those who help her followers in Tamriel. For a reasonable donation to a Benevolence, the patron will be blessed and supposedly be forever beloved by he or she who loves them best. Those who devote themselves further to the Mother Goddess are even more blessed. The Benevolence's priests and priestesses study the greatness of Mara's Tamriel and are said to have learned much, so there is much secret knowledge that is shared with initiates who are judged to be true to Mara's calling.