Saturday, July 16, 2005


Not all Goddess worshippers care a fig about history. What I adore, however, about the early Goddess, is this: She seems to be linked with peace, prosperity, and equality of all kinds (sex, class, ethnic, and so forth).*

But then, around 3000 BC (give or take a few centuries depending on where you are on the globe), gods start worming their way in. First they beg for a tiny chair at the table. A few centuries later they're demanding a chunky chair. And next thing you know they've completely hijacked the total table, and the Goddess is -- well, where She is today: wound up tighter than a clock-spring caged inside the Virgin Mary.

I call this not sliding into home base, but the "sliming-into-home-base" phenomenon (please pardon the mixed metaphors). Unfortunately, as the "sliming" progressed, human peace, prosperity and equality slowly sank into the sunset....

*NOTE: It's vital to avoid universalizing and the numerous other pitfalls of historical and archaeological analysis current scholarship warns against. For example, the Goddess is certainly not linked to peace etc. in all places or times. Neither can we assume clean, constant movement through time from Goddess, to gods/Goddesses, and then to god. Furthermore, the Goddess-to-God pattern differs from place to place around the globe. Societies, tribes, and culture groups can and do die out, and/or change through time, and many almost certainly never worshiped the Goddess at all. Another thing to keep in mind: not all female figurines denote Goddesses. We'll probably never know what some represented. Finally, archaeology especially is constantly changing old analyses as more data come forward. In sum, history is messy. That does not mean we can afford to abandon it in our reconstruction of The Goddess. As you've all heard more than once: "She who fails to learn history is forced to repeat it."

Thank you glanzerr for the foto


Lisa said...

I wrote a paper for my World Mythology class last summer, using Marija Gimbutas to link the advent of a meat centered diet to the onset of patriarchy and other such evils about 20,000-something-plus years ago. It was a literature class and not history, anthro, etc, so the (female) instructor really loved my out-there theory!

Athana said...

Alright Lisa! We need more creative women like you in the world. And anyone who reads Gimbutas has to be high on the IQ scale, too -- she's not always that easy to read. Great going!

Morgaine said...

That's actually pretty consistent with matriarchal theory. There was a sort of real "Dark Age" caused by a natural disaster - probably a volcano - when agriculture was suppressed because ash in the sky blocked out the sun. Days were short and cold, and it was hard to raise crops. That was when the hoardes started hunting and pillaging, finding it easier to steal what they needed and to enslave others to produce for them. Consumption of meat certainly coincided with the violent imposition of male rule, because it's what was available.

Goddess societies - and I believe that all cultures worshipped her at some point in their history - are generally agrarian.

Lisa said...

:-) Wow, I am so cool!