The Matrikas assume paramount significance in the goddess-oriented sect of Hinduism, Tantrism. In Shaktism, they are "described as assisting the great Shakta Devi (goddess) in her fight with demons." Some scholars consider them Shaiva goddesses. They are also connected with the worship of warrior god Skanda.
They represent the prodigiously fecund aspect of nature as well as its destructive force aspect. In the 6th century encyclopedia Brihat-Samhita, Varahamihira says that “Mothers are to be made with cognizance of (different major Hindu) gods corresponding to their names.”
In Matsya Purana, Shiva had created seven Matrikas to combat the demon Andhaka, who had the ability to duplicate from each drop of his blood that falls from him when he is wounded. The Matrikas drink up his blood and help Shiva defeat the demon. After the battle, the Matrikas begin a rampage of destruction by starting to devour other gods, demons and peoples of the world. Narasimha, Vishnu's man-lion incarnation, creates a host of thirty-two benign goddesses who calm down the terrible, fire-breathing Matrikas. Narasimha commanded the Matrikas to protect the world, instead of destroying it and thus be worshipped by mankind. At the end of the episode, Shiva's terrible form Bhairava is enshrined with the images of the Matrikas at the place where the battle took place. This story is retold in Vishnudharmottara Purana.Vishnudharmottara Purana further relates them with vices or inauspicious emotions like envy, pride, anger etc.
Rigveda (IX 102.4) speaks of a group of seven Mothers who control the preparation of Soma.