Tuesday, January 16, 2007


HERE'S an interesting pantheon site -- with references cited and recent changes noted. Includes pantheons I don’t see every day: Teutonic, Slavic & Eurasian and Haudenosauncee, for example.

The only thing I don't like is this statement in the Haudenosaunee section: "[R]ecall that the Haudenosaunee are matrilineal in matters of inheritence and descent - but note also the difference between matrilineal and matriarchal, which the Haudenosaunee weren't."

What the author doesn't tell you is that the Haudenosaunee (aka the Iroquois) were not patriarchal, either.

I think we need another new word, this time for what I think used to be quite common worldwide: neither patriarchy nor matriarchy but a blend of both. Should we call it "PaMatriarchy" -- "Women and men having equal power"?

Say it like this: "pah - mah' - tree - ar -- kee."

Or should it be MaPatriarchy?
Thnx to ispap for the foto


Pignut said...

Egalitarian maybe?
Some of us don't like any Archies at all :-)
With the post beforehand in mind:
Manarchy? Menarchy?

Matrilinial societies may not be matriarchal, but to me it implies a degree of sexual freedom.

Medusa said...

Yes. Most scholars studying pre-patriarchal cultures with an open mind say that they were not reversals of patriarchy, that is women did not dominate, but rather leadership was shared, and for this reason they prefer not to use the term "matriarchy." Some people use the term "matrifocal." Max Dashu suggests the term "matrix" (see her book excerpt on http://www.suppressedhistories.net/matrix/motherright.html ) And in her book, The Chalice and the Blade (1988), Riane Eisler suggests substituting "dominator" for patriarchal and "partnership" for matriarchal. She also suggests a term for an egalitarian society: "gylany," which is made of up the gy from the female gyne- prefix and the an- from the male andr- prefix, connected with an "l".

Athana said...

Medusa, thnx for pulling these terms together. There's also Heide Goettner-Abendroth, the German philosophy professor who pulled together the Women and Matriarchy Conferences, who thinks we should just continue to use the term "matriarchy" and change the meaning of it -- to men and women sharing equal power.

Anne Johnson said...

We at "The Gods Are Bored" thank you for this essential site!

Morgaine said...

Medusa beat me to it - I was going to point out Max Dashu's use of "Matrix societies." I'm of the school that says we should stick with Matriarchy. I don't believe in giving away our power by letting the patriarchy redefine us. That's why I'm a Witch more than a Wiccan, and a Matriarchist rather than a feminist. These words have been sullied to make people afraid of them, because they contain power within them. I say, claim our power and teach them to deal with it. Now, when I say matriarchy, I may be referring to any one of a number of different types of societies - matrilocal, matrilineal, Mother Right structures, etc. I believe this is the first and natural form for human societies and the sooner we get all the way back to it, the better.

No P.C. half-assed compromise is going to work. We have to get back to our Mother and live in sane, supportive societies.

Athana said...

I hear ya, Morgaine. If there were any way to return to the Goddess-central societies tomorrow, I'd jump for it in a heart beat.