Yesterday, a reader made this comment about the previous post on this blog:
“Are you really putting down all the Goddesses except the Minoan? Do you not think the others may have been supplanted and used to promote patriarchy?”To which I reply: Just because the Minoan Goddess(es) were the last free of patriarchal gods certainly doesn’t make them the only such Goddesses. According to our best evidence, much if not most of the world before 4000 BCE worshipped Goddesses free of the scourge of violent male deities. We have no evidence that these Goddesses were hurt in any way by any of the possible gods who might have resided in any pantheon with them. The pictures above show two of these pre-patriarchal Goddesses, the first from Mesopotamia (Ubaid period), the second from Predynastic Egypt.
I got these pictures from a fabulous book called Smithsonian Timelines of the Ancient World. I’m particularly studying the two pages that show the West in the millennia before 4000 BC, and the millennia after 4000 BC. You can see a complete absence of the Flies Guys (the first patriarchals; see previous posts on this blog) on the first page (5000-4000 BCE), and the beginnings of them on the second (4000 – 3000 BCE). The Goddesses above come from the first page, in the “Ritual” column.
There should be a Goddess shown for Southeast Europe, too, in this Ritual Column, since almost all the figurines there are female and most certainly deities. But because they have to sell this book to men (who still have all the bucks, remember), the Smithsonian couldn’t overdo it, so for southeastern Europe, they show one of the few male figurines found (“Baked clay figurines are one of the few sources of information about the beliefs … of eastern Europe. Most of the figurines are of the female form, but this striking figure .. is clearly male….”).
On more than one post on this site, we’ve discussed the fact that the historical Goddesses* are patriarchy-twisted forms of their original selves. We’ve emphasized the need to dig to determine what they really are/were, under all the baggage the Flies Guys piled on them when they took over.
*By “historical Goddesses” I mean those who existed after writing was invented in whatever land the particular Goddess came from, so that we have a written record of the belief system centering around that particular deity.