Last Friday, in my spending spree at the Kennebunkport Library (see last Friday’s post), the Goddess smiled upon me. I dug up an old 1948 first edition of a famous and fabulous book: Robert Graves’ The White Goddess.
The White Goddess is chock full of everything our ancient pagan European ancestors held sacred, from their old Goddesses and Gods to their sacred trees, numbers, and alphabets. Deities featured prominently are Arianrhod, Blodeuwedd, Cerridwen, Apollo, Bran and Dionysus.
Since I possess a perfectly fine softcover copy of The White Goddess, I’ve decided to sell the 1st edition on eBay. (Valuable books worry me; I like to bombard my books with underlining, highlighting and margin doodles and use them as paper weights, or to sit on in cold or wet weather.)
So, tripping over to Amazon.com to check reviews of The White Goddess, I fell onto this disappointing news:
“Graves [the author] makes some observations that some would find offensive now, such as his allegation that women can't be real poets - they have no Muse to appeal to, the White Goddess only wants the worship of males. He makes a possible exception of Sappho, for what it's worth.”A pox on you, Mr. Graves, I say! (Mr. Graves actually IS in the grave, having died in 1985.)
This reminds me of archaeologist Nanno Marinatos’ The Goddess and the Warrior: The Naked Goddess and Mistress of Animals (Remember? I whined bitterly last year to all of you about selling the Athana Family jewels to afford it.).
Anyway. Nanno draws a sharp line between the Minoan Goddess(es), all pre-patriarchal, and some of the early patriarchal Greek Goddesses, lots of whom ran around completely naked. Nanno says these later, immodest Goddesses were able to force wild animals into submission. And, says Nanno, they were thought to protect men and warriors only, never women.
The “naked Goddess,” says Nanno, was short-lived, but lead later to certain Goddesses we all know and love: Circe, the Gorgon, Medusa and Artemis. The Naked Goddess took several forms, including “Mistress of Animals.”
thnx to The Spiral Goddess Grove for the picture of the triple moon