Monday, May 18, 2015

GUESS WHO fooled YOU!


WHO WAS Mother Goose, really? 

Could she have been an ancient European goddess in disguise?

If so, which goddess was she?

And why would a goddess go into hiding behind the fairly dismal disguise “Mother Goose”?

Why did artists 100 years ago often depict Mother Goose as a witch?

Who was Cinderella, really?  How about Sleeping Beauty?  Little Red Riding Hood? 

Was “Jack and the Beanstalk” a secret magic spell – passed along in code?  

For the answers to these and many other fascinating questions, get the new book Breaking the Mother Goose Code: How a Fairy Tale Character Fooled the World for 300 Years. 

Available in ebook and hardcover format. 

Don’t wait!  Click now on any of the following bookstores to buy your copy:






Tuesday, May 12, 2015

DO WE REALLY NEED men?

Given that the world is a mess (who can dispute it?), and that men have run the world for 6000 years (no dispute here either), it’s easy to see why one of my wonderful commenters recently opined that “it's fair to question even the necessity of the existence of men.”

To me the evidence shows that before about 4000 BC the world worked OK -- even with men in it.  Also, in many modern indigenous societies, men are sweet things, courageous and manly (see peacefulsocieties.org). 

So we could try to make things right by rubbing out men -- invent a drug that smushes the male fetus, for example, slip it into the world’s drinking water, and – voila! – men gone.

The problem is, blotting out the male sex would not blot out patriarchal culture* – a way of life in which societies are ruled by a small group of elites.  In a trice, a few power-hungry women would stomp all over the rest of us, and in no time we’d be right back where we started from.  

My preference: a return to the pre-patriarchal cultures covering the globe before 4000 BC (and even beyond; these gorgeous cultures didn’t all disappear in 4000 BC; they only began to disappear then). 

In the old peaceful, nonviolent societies everyone was equally valuable.  According to the evidence people were organized around female deity.  Men were courageous, handsome, manly hunks who revered women.** 
 _________________
*Culture: learned, shared, patterned behavior manifest in art and artifact, and passed on from one generation to the next ad infinitum.  Cultures are like giant spider webs.  They are hard to change because tapping one part of the web to change, means all other parts of the web must change too. 

**For more on this, see Switching to Goddess: Humanity’s Ticket to the Future.  Buy it HERE and get it delivered FREE anywhere in the world.  

Thursday, May 07, 2015

DON'T blame WOMEN FOR THE MESS

Are we blaming women for the mess we're in?

For the globe’s swelling excess of human flesh? 

The burgeoning bitterness toward women: is it because there’s a glut of us? 

Babies come from women’s wombs, yes, and we live on a finite planet.  Even if each womb produced only 1.5 surviving children we’d eventually wipe ourselves off the globe.

But don’t blame women.  Unless there's a gun to her head no woman produces more kids than she can handle.  And few want to raise their rapist’s child.  

I promise:  If women ran the birth-control and abortion clinics we'd not be in this mess.   

No, women are not to blame.  The blame lands smack on the hoary head of Yahweh/Allah/Jehovah, “YAJ” for short, the god of Abraham.  Although many think he’s three separate gods, he’s really only one:  a primitive desert war god.

YAJ needs to be chucked.  His "best when used by" date came and went a few millennia ago.     

Friday, April 24, 2015

pitching BELTANE TO KIDS


At Beltane, “the emphasis placed on  (hetero!)sexual activity and fertility can be alienating for many -- including children....  

“The biggest issue with children ... is that they simply do not understand the themes presented....  A huge part of the holiday goes completely over their heads....

“To help with this, I’ve tried to isolate a few of the major themes of Beltane ... and re-frame them in a way that instinctively makes sense to kids:

     “LOVE – love is a huge part of Beltane, and it’s not just sexual or love for a partner.  Talk to your children about their love for family, friends, and the world around them....    
   
     “PASSION – what is your child passionate about?  Sexual passion is certainly not the only kind there is!  

     “CREATIVITY – when you break it down far enough, the magic of fertility is all about an act of creation.  Plan a rite that features a craft or activity that gives your child an opportunity to make something, to bring something new into the world....”

 Thanks to Molly Khan at PaganFamilies for this (nice ideas, Molly!); go HERE for more. 


Thursday, April 23, 2015

blown AWAY


I am blown away!

On this day, April 23, 2015, this weblog received its 100,000th page view.

I want to thank all my dear readers for visiting; I hope you continue to come share my thoughts (and yours too, please!) about female deity, what it means for the future of the world, and how it might shape each of our lives. 

May your goddesses bless you all! 

Yours forever,
Athana

Monday, April 20, 2015

poisoned BY THE HOLY GRAIL?

One of RGT's more popular posts is "KING ARTHUR: better than Jesus" (read it HERE).

A brand new book about Arthur, The Grail: Relic of an Ancient Religion, written by Simon Andrew Stirling and brought to you by the good folks at John Hunt Publishing, is reviewed here:
Who exactly was King Arthur? And the grail – that magical, perpetually sought-after phenomenon that graces stories about the legendary King – what exactly was it? An actual object? Or only a symbol? A cup or chalice as the Christians maintained?

Or, could it have been something altogether different?

I need to begin this review by saying that the author of The Grail possesses an incredible amount of detailed information about the legends and history of ancient Britain, all of which comes from original Medieval sources like Perceval le Conte du Graal, Lugh Long-Hand, Aneirin’s poem Y Goddoddin, the legend of Culhwch and Olwen, Preiddeu Annwn, the romance of Peredur fab Efrog and countless other ancient sources that Stirling seems totally and comfortably familiar with. Many of the names of people, places, and written works are presented in the original Gaelic, and then translated into modern English for the Gaelic-impaired among us.

One of the things I found fascinating about the book was the way the author draws connections between the Arthurian legends, shamanism, and modern science (brain functioning, the anthropology of child rearing, the physics of matter and energy, etc.). For example, at one point in the book he talks about magic -- one major and pervasive aspect of the Arthurian legends -- in connection with shamanism and the latest scientific information about the brain. One important aim of magic is the union of opposites, says Stirling, which “is often represented as a ‘sacred marriage’ (hieros gamos) in which the male/female elements combine to form a new wholeness. In such a state there is no inner and outer, no subject and object, no self or other. All things become one." 
Likewise, a union of the opposite sides of our brains, a harmonious fusion of the left, or Logos side, with the right, or Eros side, is an ideal psychological state. And to enter into the shamanic trance, shamans too depend on a harmonious union of the two hemispheres of the brain, relying on drugs, repetitive drumming, or some other repetitive stimulus to lull the left side of the brain into a relaxed state, which allows Logos to combine with Eros, and which in turn allows the shaman to enter an altered state of consciousness.

Unfortunately, when Christianity takes over (as it did after the death of Arthur), it damns the Eros/feminine, and allows only the Logos/masculine to enjoy the light of day. This suppression of the feminine has wreaked havoc in Christian-occupied territories. With properly balanced brains we see time and nature in healthy ways, but, says Stirling, when the Logos/left brain hemisphere began to dominate, time became our enemy. Instead of involving a cyclical interplay of past and present, time morphs into a straight line, “the arrow of ‘now’ moving ever further away from ‘then’.” This makes us focus too heavily on ageing and death and lose sight of our place in the natural world, since the Logos-dominated brain tells us that nature is only something to be conquered and controlled.

Contrary to current thinking Stirling maintains that the historical Arthur lived not in the south of England at the beginning of the 6th century -- a notion popularized by Geoffrey of Monmouth -- but in Scotland, and at the end of the 6th century. He provides a plethora of evidence to back up his claim, not only from original Medieval literary sources but also from linguistic and place-name analysis as well. Nevertheless, this was a bit of a disappointment for me, since many years ago I spent an entire happy day tramping over Cornwall and climbing the 200 or so steps rising up to the ruins of Tintagel Castle, which I was assured was the place King Arthur was born.
Stirling connects Arthur and his knights to Mithraism, suggesting that they might have belonged to a cult similar to the ancient Roman pagan one, sharing similar initiation rituals and totemic animals. He provides his own unique interpretations for all the various aspects of the Arthurian legends: for Guinevere, Mordred, Merlin, Kay, the 24 knights of the round table, Camelot – all of which he places in Scotland.

Although the grail is assumed by most to be an object – typically a chalice, cauldron or cup – Stirling says it was not an object or even a symbol, but an “ordeal.” The grail ordeal was used to initiate poets and warriors. Poets gained inspiration from it, and warriors were reborn from it. This ritual involved drinking from a poisonous brew concocted in a “wisdomgranting” cauldron. Only the very brave possessed enough courage to drink this concoction, which bestowed magic powers on imbibers, yes, but could also kill you, and which had to be drained from the body through puncture wounds produced by jabbing a spear into the initiate’s knee or thigh.

“What we think of as an object, the Saint Graal or ‘Holy Grail’, was in fact an ordeal which was both appealing and appalling. It was a ‘dreadful longing’ – sant grathail: the ‘terrible desire’ to drink the mead” served in a cauldron and made of hemlock and other substances, possibly from the hallucinogenic bog myrtle. Drinking it was dangerous, but if you came away from it alive you gained second sight and an end to your fear of death.

The grail involved four elements: the cauldron, the spear, and a sword and a stone. I found it fascinating that these remain with us even today -- in our Tarot and playing cards (Grail: Sword Spear Cauldron Stone. Tarot: Swords Wands Cups Coins. Cards: Spades Clubs Hearts Diamonds).
When Arthur died, says Stirling, both the grail and the old, healthy British way of life died with him. Arthur’s death and the rise of Christianity brought on “the Waste Land.” Stirling makes sense of history and society by dividing them into three stages, or types of sociocultural systems: the Divine Age, the Heroic Age, and the Human Age. Arthur’s death plunged Britain into the barbaric Heroic Age, and although we finally climbed out of the Heroic Age centuries ago, we are now re-entering it, with its hierarchical power systems damaging us all.

Reading this book was a grand adventure. I felt as if I’d traveled back into the wild and mysterious days of the late 500s AD, after the “civilized” Romans had left Britain and the Picts, Scots, Angles, Saxons, Pagans and Christians were all wrangling amongst themselves to see who would take charge of the land. These were intoxicating times full of great magic, and Stirling makes them come alive.

Stirling ends on a positive note: “It may be that we cannot halt the slide into chaos as the new Heroic age undermines science and overthrows democracy. Perhaps we are not meant to.... [O]ut of the wreckage, a new Divine age will dawn. We will rediscover how to raise our children without hatred and greet death as a beginning....”




Saturday, April 18, 2015

skirting THE HEART OF GODDESS

I feel Goddess crying colossal crocodile tears when she spies us giving strangers the cold shoulder.  Among us, the idea of loving strangers is taboo:  

Strangers ... enter our lives already under suspicion. We disqualify entire human beings from the possibility of our respect or forgiveness the moment they fail to use a turn signal, or wear a baseball cap in the wrong kind of eating establishment.”
 SNIP 
“We are suspicious of people who advocate loving or caring for no reason. We think of them as hippies or New-Agers.... being indiscriminate with your love is an embarrassment. 
 SNIP 
“The world changes tones completely when we actively view strangers ... with love as a default attitude. It changes your experience of everything involving strangers: traffic, concerts, business transactions, restaurants, walks down the street, and even someone’s bad taste in clothes or lawn ornaments.
 SNIP 
“Whenever you notice yourself feeling annoyed by a stranger, decide to forgive the apparent offense, and, for the few minutes you’re in each others presence, commit to helping them if they need help....  [A]t the very least, hope that the rest of their day goes well for them.
 SNIP 
“[T]hink about what the stranger next to you might be hoping for, and see if you can quietly share that hope.  That small habit is all it would take to transform the world."