Sunday, March 12, 2006


The geographer James DeMeo has admitted that his academic colleagues are “subtly evading the obvious," i.e., that the ancient Goddess-worshipping Minoans were probably technologically superior to their god-dominated contemporaries:

“In short, there is a subtle evasion of the obvious, a reluctance among contemporary scholars to consider that the peaceful matristic Minoans could have been technologically superior to the patristic, war-dominated societies of the region.”*1
The Minoans were mind-bogglingly sophisticated: 1,200 years before the ancient Greeks, they boasted multi-storied apartments, running water, city sewers, steam heat, primitive flush toilets connected to exterior sewage systems, primitive steam power, woven fabrics, movable type-faces (took Gutenberg another 3000 years to reinvent these), ships with square-rigged sails and multiple oars, and light-wells allowing natural light into all rooms of their large buildings. Also, “primitive bi-metallic batteries have been suggested [for them] in archaeological findings.” *2

Another writer, Charles Pelegrino*3, thinks that
“…had not the Minoans been … destroyed, their rate of technological development was so rapid they might have developed rockets and landed on the moon by the time of Jesus.” *3
Other posts describing life under the Goddess, before the rise of the patriarchy are HERE, HERE, and HERE.

*1 James DeMeo, 1998. Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence in the Deserts of the Old World: The Revolutionary Discovery of a Geographic Basis to Human Behavior, p. 293.
*2 DeMeo, p. 291
*3 In Unearthing Atlantis: An Archaeological Odyssey, 1991.
*4 DeMeo, p. 291

The picture is a reconstruction of the "palace" or "temple" of Knossos. Who knows what it was? Sometimes I think it was a combined shopping mall, government building, and religious center where you could also settle in a small cafe for a nice glass of wine.


Eruvande said...

I'm astonished. How come people don't want to acknowledge all this? I've never heard any of it. Why would people be so eager for there to have been war?

I went to Knossos in my early teens, and was disappointed when they just said that we knew nothing at all about the people who built it.

Morgaine said...

Eruvande -

Because acknowledging it changes everything. It means people aren't naturally violent and greedy, so it takes away the "boys will be boys" defense the Western culture uses to excuse it's crimes against humanity. It would mean admitting that we can do better, and that it is our responsibility to see that we do.

Morgaine said...

Athana - even the Greeks had an analog computer in 87 bce. I'm always railing about the fact that we were set back by 2000 years - imagine, it may actually be 3-4000. Where might we be now if the violent advent of patriarchy had never happened? How much saner would our decisions about the use of technology be if we never lost the knowledge that the Earth is a living being?

Eruvande said...

OK, so why do they talk about peace if they truly don't really want it?
Perhaps because 'peace' is a good enough goal to have everyone mobilized to fight for it, as long as it's kept sufficiently far out of reach? I'm just guessing.
Like I say, this is a bit of a mega-shift for me.

Athana said...

eruvande, You must have gotten a tour guide at Knossos who wasn't earning his keep. We know tons about the Minoans. On the other hand, lots about them is still a mystery, lots is hotly contested, lots is politically hot, and lots is skewed to fit bias, politics and economics (would as many tourists come to Crete if they thought the Minoans were ruled by women? Had female and not male deity? I think that the Greek government thinks not.)

I think that the pride of Cretan men is involved, here, too. They want to think of their ancestors as virile -- which in today's patriarchal world means bellicose, a figther.

I suspect that those tour guides at Knossos are just guys off the street. I'm not sure they're even checked by the Cretan tourist industry. I think they can say anything they want -- and do. When I was at Knossos a few years ago, my guide (a big hunky, burly guy in his 30s or 40s) said nothing about the Goddess. About halfway through the tour I had to prompt him. Even then he was reluctant. And yet no one, absolutely no one in the academic world disputes the fact that the major deity of the Minoans was a Goddess (or pantheon of them).

I read somewhere not long ago about a woman who had the same experience. Her guide at Knossos said nothing about Goddess. Later, a female guide told her that the unspoken rule on Crete IS to downplay the strong-female aspect of the Minoans.

Athana said...

Ya know, Morgaine, maybe the patriarchy had to happen. Maybe humans had to learn that they have this capacity to go berserk, and then to freeze the berserk-ness into a living, breathing culture that is then pretty much set in stone, and continues on down through the millenia.

Now the problem is to get rid of the mess, to figure out how to make sure it never happens again, and to go on with our lives.

Something that worries me constantly: if one part of the world goes Goddess, and eschews war, then the part of the world that's stil patriarchy will just run over the Goddess part like a giant lawn mower.

The return to Goddess must be a unilateral, worldwide phenomenon. It needs to sweep over the entire world (or at least most of it) at roughly the same time.

It really is like getting rid of nuclear weapons. It's no good if we give them up and Russia (et al.) keeps theirs.

Athana said...

Eruvande said...
"OK, so why do they talk about peace if they truly don't really want it?"

Complex question, Eruvande. The answer differs depending on where you are in the world. For Americans and Europeans, my view is that there’s a subconscious war going on between the matriarchal and patriarchal aspects of American/European culture. To a greater or lesser extent, I guess you could say the same about most of the rest of the world. This is a simple answer to a complex question.

Read the six “Origins of Patriarchy” posts on this blog (March 1 – 8) and see if they help answer your question.

Eruvande said...

Well, ok, I read them. But it seems to me that once the patriarchal culture is in place, the idea of a Mother goddess just changes the gender of the all-powerful deity. I'm not sure how that helps...

Don't me wrong, I'm far from saying I don't see some of what you're saying. But I'm not how switching from one deity to another really makes a difference. Surely a balance of the two is more sensible? An overbearing mother can be just as destructive as a dominant father, surely?

Morgaine said...


I agree with you, it has to happen everywhere. The only way I see that happening is by going through the women in every country. I get so discouraged, though. I've had very little success in getting feminist groups to work together, and I've had little interest even from Dianic groups in building the Goddess Studies Wiki. I don't know if it's hopelessness, that they feel powerless or just that life is such a struggle for women that they don't have energy to focus externally. I just don't understand it.

Eruvande - I know this is a new perspective for you. It's a lot to grasp and it takes time. Matriarchy is not "patriarchy in a skirt." It's a completely different system. Rule is by concensus, there's no hierarchy, it is egalitarian in form. Our society is organized around scarcity and competition. A matrifocal system would be based on cooperation.

Athana has published links to information about existing matriarchies - the Haudenosaunee Nation here in the US is one. Athana, what's the one in China? I can't think tonight.

Athana said...

"once the patriarchal culture is in place, the idea of a Mother goddess just changes the gender of the all-powerful deity."

Eruvande, the Mother goddess brings with her a way of life that is an 180-degree turn away from what the father god brings. It's not just a matter of pasting different sex organs on the deity already "up there." In nature, there is no social father. The father of the child is unknown. It's the mother who gives love -- and she loves you whether you're blue, green, minus legs and arms, or two-headed. With this as our overarching symbol, role model, we all become unconditional lovers of each other.

In nature, mothers are the source of life, food, nourishment, unconditional love. The "Mother" earth is sacred. With Mother Goddess as our overarching symbol, we revere each other and the earth.

Under the warrior gods that are our overarching metasymbols currently, we revere war and see the earth as expendable, nothing, just dirt.

The matriarchy in China are the Mosuo. There are others. Not many are left, though, because the patriarchal warrior god cultures have destroyed them.

Here's a good book to get and read: Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women and Save the World. It's by Jean Shinoda Bolen.

Also, read some of the rest of this blog. This is a complex subject, as Morgaine says.

Anne Johnson said...

Hey, Athana, I don't know if you got my email about being the winner of the Gray Stripe Wipe-Out contest! I have something for you.

Awhile back you mentioned a thick but cheaply produced paperback that you've worn out from reading so much. Is it the Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets? I have a copy of that, but I'm not sure it's the same book you mentioned.

Athana said...

"I get so discouraged, though. I've had very little success in getting feminist groups to work together, and I've had little interest even from Dianic groups in building the Goddess Studies Wiki. I don't know if it's hopelessness, that they feel powerless or just that life is such a struggle for women that they don't have energy to focus externally. I just don't understand it."

Morgaine, my guess is that you'd be shocked to know how much of an effect you've already had on the blogging community. Even if people respond negatively, or not at all, you've still sown a seed or two -- or more. I think things are going to be okay. As long as those of us in the know keep at it.

I'm in this for the long haul. I may not see any change in my lifetime even (although I hope I do, and I want the changes to be huge), but that doesn't mean that something we do or say won't make a difference somewhere down the line. Maybe even a critical difference.

How's your book coming, BTW?

Morgaine said...

Thanks Athana- I'm here for the long haul, too. I just get a little perplexed at times. I can't figure out if people think too big or too small - somehow, they don't see such simple solutions.

The book is coming s-l-o-w-l-y. I'm in overwhelm with all of the information I'm trying to synthesize, and I have these visions of making some huge ommission or error that people use to dismiss the whole thing. I know that there are people who will do that anyway, but I don't want to give them a textual basis for it.

Athana said...

Morgaine, my old college roommate Debbie, who's published a coupla books now and mucho articles, says the secret to writing is to write every day. Even if it's only for 10 minutes. And even if you just sit there staring at the computer screen for ten minutes.

Morgaine said...

I'm trying to do that now. Small bits at a time. That's a completely unnatural way for me to work, so it's a struggle. I'm used to working in an ebb and flow pattern, with the flow being a big wave of energy, but I don't get those much any more. Keep checking with me, though, it helps motivate me!