Thursday, March 22, 2007

3,300 GODDESSES AND Counting

Way-oh to all you Collectors of Goddess Names out there. Here’s a sobering factoid for ya:

In 1914, Anton Deimel, the compiler of the first Sumerian dictionary, listed 3,300 names of Mesopotamian divinities, and the number known has grown with each passing decade” (Westenholz, Joan, “Goddesses of the Ancient Near East,” in Goodison and Morris, Ancient Goddesses: The Myths and the Evidence, 1998, p. 67).

And this is just in Mesopotamia 'round about 3000-1000 BC! You know, that little spit of land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq?

As I’m sure most of you know, the problem is, every town, village and city in the ancient world was the proud possessor of its own tidy little pantheon of goddesses and gods. And of course without cell phones or the internet, who knew who had which or what, and so who could trade or compare?
thnx to doctian for the foto


Anne Johnson said...

We at "The Gods Are Bored" long to return to this method of praise and worship.

Anonymous said...

It was similar in Roman and Celtic Britain. Hundreds of deities named in inscriptions, most named only once according to inscriptions.

Athana said...

Yep, those were the days, weren't they? All of us free and easy as the birds to choose our own way or worshipping whomever, whenver.

But that was before the War Gods roared into town on their Harlies and forced all of us to do everything their way.

And for a long time even after they roared into town, people still sneaked around and worshipped their pre-War-God pantheons. Especially folks living out in the boonies, where the War-Gods were too lazy to get to very often.

Paul said...

Yes, here in Britain lots of local Goddesses named on altars and inscriptions. No one goes to huge monolithic supermarkets for personal service with that special touch. Why go to the huge monolithic God with all those prayers to answer and so many unthinking worshippers when Verbeia is local would love your worship and has all the time in the world to give you that special personal, local touch.

Morgaine said...

I'm a great believer in the personal pantheon. Different aspects of the Goddess speak to different people for myriad reasons. The ability and the right to define our own personal relationship with the Divine is the essence of being human. We don't need priests, gurus, prophets or intermediaries. We just need ourselves and our connection to the Living Goddess, with an emphasis on the special names She whispers privately to us.