This paper proposes to examine the figure and role of the goddess Aghorī (lit. ‘undreadful’) in early śākta tantras from about the seventh to ninth centuries CE, particularly in the Brahmayāmala and the Siddhayogeśvarīmata. In addition to being Bhairava’s consort (and identical with Bhairavī, the Frightening One), Aghorī appears in various sets of eight goddesses, who may represent the eight Mother goddesses (mātṛ). She is also said to be at the origin of all yoginīs. First, I shall try to explore the relation between Aghorī and her vedic counterpart, Aghora, and then to see how she attains the status of the supreme goddess in some contexts. The question of her presence or absence on different maṇḍalas will also be raised, and the consequences such details of the cult may entail will be analysed. Finally, I shall discuss her role in the creation of a specifically śākta pantheon.