Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Richard today asked three dynamite questions: "What would a Goddess country be like? What do you think the laws and the culture of a modern nation that modeled itself after the Goddess be like? How do you think it would be perceived by the wider world?"

Fab questions, Richard. First let me say I'm not absolutely certain that a Goddess country could survive alone in today's world. That's why I've always stressed that the world needs to move together toward understanding and diluting what I call "starvation culture"* (which affects most of the world today, mostly through starvation-god religions such as the Abrahamaic religions and Hinduism but also through the older, outlawed starvation-god religions in places like China and Russia).

At the same time we're bashing the toxic old starvation gods, we must begin bringing back the old Guiding Goddess** ways of life. What would a Goddess country look like in the world today?

Social Equality. First, there'd be no social inequality. Everyone would be considered as equally valuable as the next person. Just as a healthy mother sees all her kids as equally lovable and valuable, so the people in a Goddess country would see everyone -- despite anyone's IQ, abilities, age, looks, skin color, or what have you.

Financial equality. Second, there'd be no poor people. Everyone would be rich. The Goddess-centered Minoans and Indus Valley people were some of the wealthiest in the world -- but everyone in these civilizations was equally wealthy. For example, in the large Indus Valley cities of 4000 years ago, everyone had the same high-quality stuff -- including indoor bathrooms. Indoor bathrooms for everyone was never again to happen until the 20th century -- when most in the West at least gave up their outhouses and turned to indoor plumbing.

Playful, creative, sensual. Third, compared to the people in most countries today, everyone in a Goddess country would be extremely playful, creative and sensual. There'd be a premium placed on one's abilities in these areas, so instead of considering them sinful or a waste of time, everyone would be totally lauded and praised for how well and often they showed playfulness, creativity and sensuality.

Economics. Fourth, I think a Goddess country would operate on the basis of a gift economy. The person most highly honored would be the person who could give away the most. For a great look at a modern-day gift economy, read Leaving Mother Lake, about the Goddess-centered (until recently at least) Moso of the Chinese-Tibetan borderland. The big problem in any economic system is how do you urge people to produce when we'd all rather sit back with our feet propped up sipping fine wine. In a gift economy, everyone works hard to produce so they can give the most away, and thereby win the praise of all their countrypeople.

Risk-Taking. Fifth, I think the people in a Goddess country would place an extremely high premium on risk-taking, pioneering, knowledge seeking, curiosity of all kinds, and adventure seeking. The Minoans had their bull-leaping and their wide-ranging mariners. Likewise the Indus Valley people had wide-ranging, curious, adventure-seeking mariners. Moso men go on long, adventurous trading journeys.

Government & Politics. The interesting thing about both the Goddess-centered Minoans and Indus Valley peoples was that we can't see any signs of their leaders. The Egyptian pharaohs (who lived at the same time) plastered pictures of themselves everywhere. But not the leaders of the Minoans and the Indus Valley. I wonder if the Minoans and the IVC weren't governed by councils with rotating, elected "moderators" to "lead" each council? In a society in which everyone is equal, why would a council moderator be any more "important" than anyone else? I'm envisioning the kind of direct democracy the North American Iroquois Indians had.

Law enforcement. In a mature Goddess country, there'd be no such thing as a police force. The archaeologist Jane McIntosh says that the up to 80,000-large Indus Valley Civilization cities had no police forces. Apparently there was no need for them.

Laws. I'm not sure a Goddess country would have "laws" as we know them. "Laws" are needed only when cultural morays no longer work. Laws were probably invented by the state (starvation culture).

War. If you don't even have a need for a police force, you're certainly not going to need armies (unless there are still starvation-culture countries left on the planet -- which we all need to work to get rid of ASAP). There's absolutely no indication whatsoever that the quarter-of-a-million-square-mile Indus Valley Civ. had armies or made war anywhere at any time (See Jane McIntosh's A Peaceful Realm).

*For an explanation of Starvation Culture, plug the term into this blog's search box below.

**A "Guiding Goddess" is a goddess who births everyone and everything in the universe; who has no violence-prone, warlike god hanging over her right shoulder; and who isn't abused in any way by any possible gods in Her pantheon. The Moso, Basques and Hopi are three modern societies who, until recently anyway, had such Goddesses. I believe that many societies in the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages revolved around Guiding Goddesses. For more on this, see Studebaker's Switching to Goddess: Humanity's Ticket to the Future.
Thnx go to Dirk Borchers for the foto of the Moso girl above (Dirk gave me permission to use this photo in Switching to Goddess, and hopefully he won't mind if I use it here too)


Joan Robinson-Blumit said...

Read "Herland" written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman for an interesting look at a society of only women.

Athana said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Joan. I've read it, and others might want to, too. *Herland* is a very interesting and thought-provoking book.

Richard said...

In today's society, we are driven by competition and by creating as much wealth as we can in as short an amount of time as possible, as exemplified by corporations only focusing on next quarters productivity and profit, and by the use of credit to create inflated assets, just to name a few dastardly practices. This has been shown as disasterous policy, however there seems to be no aknowledgement of this fact in the wider culture of the world. I believe that this all shows that as time goes on, the scars caused by starvation culture don't heal, they only grow worse. The pursuit of profit is an addiction that can never fill that hole inside, but the more money they "eat", the wider the hole seems to get. How can the wider Goddess groups and worshipers organize to achieve any sort of headway against this need to devour? I don't intend to sound hopeless, I just want to know how a economy based on giving can survive a wider, starving world.

AnnaPerenna said...

Athana, please say it isn't so that the Mosuan women aren't matriarchal anymore! They are my heroines!

Another example of rich female societies is this little matriarchal state somewhere in South India. It still exists today! The ladies there are happy *and isn't that alone the biggest rich treasure in the world?* and they get to decide of their own life; and when they choose to marry, they enjoy adorning themselves with lots of intricate gold jewelry inherited from their mothers and grandmothers. But they never have to sell it on the market for scarse food leftovers (like the starvation cultures) - they prosper and just use the gold for fun occasions.

Richard, I think 99% of today's greedy and ruthless economy wouldn't exist if we all just produced the food and things and services we really needed and exchanged the surplusses from time to time. Unfortunately when slavery was invented, it meant that few obnoxious guys on top would get insanely rich from the cost of poverty and misfortune of hardworking serfs. If anyone revolted against working for free for someone on the top, they were massacred or ridiculed at best.. And the slavery continues today, it's just called "outsourcing" into "developing" countries. There is no development there, it's still the western 19th century-like abuse of people. There wouldn't be as many tragic famines in Africa, if the best crop lands weren't stolen by Western companies who use it for growing peanuts for candy bars in the West or feeding Western cows for awfull meatpatties in Western McDonald's (with the prices kept falsly low by the same companies - who never even pay taxes..only small workers get to pay taxes and support entire gouvernements of rich parasites)..

Also, observe how we even today look at "menial" tasks, peasants or cleaning workers - we think of them as simpletons or unworthy people.. (but without these services we would starve and die in our own filth) And later, when someone loses their "measly" job due to an injury or to age, the "economic" society looks down on them, as now "useless" and not "productive"..
There won't be a healthy economy as long as we don't even appriciate the "smallest" among us or the least "productive" ones. And there will not be a healthy economy if the "growth" has to magically continue like the economic "wise guys" constantly demand.. it's not good enough some company makes just as good a profit as last year, no, this year MUST be even better and better and even more money has to be generated - but never shared. And what do those dudes on top need it all for anyway? There is only so much food they can eat at a time, and no matter how many mansions they have, they still can only sleep in one bed per night..

AnnaPerenna said...

Also, I guess a great way to at least partially insure the "gift society" Athena suggests, could be practical communism - meaning the ones who work and produce something (or preform some service) also own the company, thus the profits will be theirs. This way everyone would care and put their heart into their work and be rewarded for it. The leadership of such companies would also take turns amongst the workers themselves, insuring nobody on top would amass all power and steal all the profits, like todays boards of dick-rectors and CEO's..
Organic organisations are the best organisations, not pyramide hierarchies..

Athana said...

Richard, I see starvation culture as something that hasn't changed very much since it arose many millennia ago. It's just passed on and on and on, from one generation to the next. I think the scars caused to people in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Rome are the same scars we suffer today -- as a result of the same deep-seated feeling that there will never be enough.

"The pursuit of profit is an addiction that can never fill that hole inside, but the more money they "eat", the wider the hole seems to get."

You've said this beautifully. If you have a starvation-culture mindset (and face it: most of us today do!), you have a hole inside that can never really be filled. The solution: we all need to become aware of the hole in ourselves, where it came from and why, and then work to get rid of it (in everyone).

"How can the wider Goddess groups and worshipers organize to achieve any sort of headway against this need to devour? I don't intend to sound hopeless, I just want to know how an economy based on giving can survive a wider, starving world."

Well, here's the old cliche: it won't be easy!

Again -- we all have to try to work together on the issue. The world is shrinking every day into a tinier, smaller, in-your-face Village. This will hopefully make it easier for all of us to work together, pull everyone along at roughly the same time.

The first step has to be more information, knowledge, and understanding of starvation culture. More people need to hear about it, talk about it, study it. I've only scratched the surface of it in my own understanding. We need to understand more about how starvation gods help cement starvation culture in place.

In *Switching to Goddess*, I include a long, detailed chapter called "The Fix." This chapter suggests that if the world just understood starvation culture, the Fix would be relatively simple. We'd all be disgusted at ourselves. We'd all see clearly why we have endless warfare, vast stretches of humanity living in misery for dozens of different reasons. We'd see why we ourselves are rarely truly happy for longer than a day or two at a time.

We wouldn't be able to wait to shuck off this ugly dirt-caked cloak we're all limping along under the weight of.

"The Fix" also talks about how to get the word out about starvation culture, how to reach people in countries where free communication is discouraged, and how we can transform starvation-god "congregations" into Goddess "Gatherings."

Athana said...

Dear AnnaPerenna,

I said that the Moso are "Goddess-centered -- until recently at least" because the Chinese government keeps disallowing them to practice anything but the starvation-god religions (Christianity, Islam, etc.).

Before the government "discovered" them in the fifties, the Moso had beautiful week-long celebrations revolving around their Goddess. Due to the Han Chinese, they knocked this down to a day or so. And just recently I read that the Han Chinese are again cracking down on all "indigenous" religions in China. So it's hard to tell what the Moso are doing about their Goddess. Are they still worshipping Her but underground? Probably. But maybe not.

Do you know if this culture in South India still centers around a Guiding Goddess?

You've given a great description of starvation culture in the latter half of your post. In a way it all comes down to social hierarchy enforced by violence (or the threat of violence). We're all arranged on a status hierarchy, and the people at the top keep us that way through violence.

AnnaPerenna said...

Dear Athana, it is thanks to you and your revelations here that I now start to understand starvation cultures and how they continue til this day!
I am an alterglobalistic eco-feminist at heart and at reason, so I have known for some time that awful guys destroyed prospering matriarchats all over the world - and how the whole world suffered and suffers til this day due to establishment of kingdoms, slavery, working classes of serfs, capitalism etc. And it is thanks to you I start to understand how this could happen in the first place - because jealous, starved, violent and hateful dudes stole all from women. This is a HUGE topic and I look forward to investigating it all - so forgive me if my posts are too long :)

Back to Mosuo, I hoped they would survive by the interest of the Western turism.. I root for them and hope so much they will survive the awful Han oppressions with their spirituality intact! Why the f*** can't the gouvernement leave all the indigenous people alone in peace? Why must they be depraved of their ancient worshipping? They are so harmless and fascinating! Why is it so hard for Han and other dictatorships to just accept someone who's different or an independent woman?

Ohhhh ohhh and the society I was talking about, the rich gals aren't from Southern India, but from Indonesia! Sorry for the mix-up, I have just recovered the magazine with a tiny article about them (however there are also some leftover matriarchal societies in one Southern India state, so I wasn't that horribly wrong..).
The rich gals are from West Sumatra, Indonesia and they are called the Minankabau people (or Minang). They are unfortunately Sunni muslims officialy, but their spirituality is still very heavily influenced by their original religion and the ancient "adat" matriarchal laws. Officialy their dudes take care of politics and religion (some women have influence there too!), BUT only the Minang women own property and land, inherit it from their mothers and pass it on to their daughters. With their 6 million population they are said to be the world's largest matrilinear society today, surpassing the Berber tribes and others.. Minang are filthy rich, very clever and believe in education above all. Their men aren't violent but peaceful, educated and poetic. When the girls choose to marry someone, they usually stay living with their mother and the husband visits them! Doesn't that ring a certain Mosuo bell? :) They also still sort of worship water buffalos (reminding me of Krete and other holy mother cow societies) so the holy horns adorn many objects from their rooftops to women head dresses... Minang are simply awesome!

Athana said...

Actually, AnnaPerenna, I suspect that in starvation cultures women also teach women to hate women (the teaching happens on many subtle levels, I think, and is different from world area to world area).

Read The Mountain People by Colin Turnbull, about a society that had been starving for several generations. The women there were just as psychotic as the men.

Tourism has hurt the Moso more than it's helped. For starters, the starvation-culture Han Chinese have introduced STDs, and the Moso women are becoming sterile.

Why would someone with an STD have sex with anyone, thereby spreading his ugly disease? Because he comes from a starvation culture, which teaches him that stealing is just fine and dandy (in this case he's stealing his partner's health and birthing capabilities -- and therefore the culture's very continuation).

Yes, I know the Minankabau. They are truly awesome!

liquid fire said...

I just discovered your book at amazon UK and I am very excited by it and you.. I have had a longing for someone to write something of this ilk for a LONG time. Thank you to you, (and I am sure many others will do so also) I hope you don't mind but I copied the page about your book onto my blog at wordpress http://feralandwild.wordpress.com/ I will add this blog to my roll.
Many blessings to you

AnnaPerenna said...

Thanks again for clearing that up, dear Athana. I guess everybody goes psychotic when they are starving, including women who lose their usual reason. So the male gods could only come then as a means of getting food quickly by brutally stealing it from those who weren't starving (like from the Mediterranean cultures, always abound with fish, seafood and wealthy trade?) - sort of like Hitler coming to power by promising money (through stealing it from Jews) and jobs (through warfare) for the poverty-ridden Germans?

I really need to read your book to be schooled properly :) I am very excited to find out the origins of that damn patriarchy disease which pests us still..
I live in Europe, so I was hoping if I buy it on amazon.UK, you will still get some profits from that, right? It's quite cheap, paperback, so I hope you won't starve!

And back to Mosuo, I so hope they survive! I pray Mother Nature buries the Han gouvernement never to be heard of again..
I hope that girl in the picture stays happy and worships goddess and doesn't get any STDs..
I am tempted to elope to Mosuans and open a STD-clinic with free condoms, antibiotics and other aid..

Athana said...

Mhairead, thanks for adding me to your blog. Hope Switching lives up to your expectations -- and then goes beyond. If not, maybe you could write a sequel. We need lots and lots of people writing about the need to replace our modern war gods with the old peaceful egalitarian Guiding Goddesses.

Athana said...


Yes, everyone goes psychotic in a starving group, women too. And the men often go off to leave the women and children to fend for themselves. So the children experience a semi-loving mother for the first few years of life, one who at least feeds them, and then this mother pushes them away, hurts them, or abandons them.

I think this was the beginnings of second-class status for women. And also the reason the Goddess was abandoned by our particular ancestors. Our ancestors grew up feeling very angry toward their mothers, and by extension anything female.

I won't starve, but thanks for your concern! Buying my book at Amazon is ok, since it gives the book a higher rating overall, and makes it more likely that the publisher will do a second printing.

I think you'd love it in Moso country! You go, girl! They need you!

Mots du Bugsy said...

Polyandrous, matrilineal community would have the spiritual feminine goddess ethos that would have the exalting of the metaphorical womb forms-tangible and intangible that would bring the "religious" cosmology on Earth as it is in cosmic metaphysics.