Thursday, June 30, 2005


I have a wild weakness for this image. Thirty-five centuries ago, an ancient Minoan genius on the Mediterranean Island of Santorini felt the Goddess swim in her sinews, and, using paint, taxied Her to a plaster wall. You are now eyeing the actual plaster and paint deposited over 3,500 years ago.

This is the un-reconstructed Goddess the Goddess below was drawn from (the June 28 Goddess on the three-part throne). Notice Her necklaces -- of blue ducks and burnt-orange dragonflies....

But it's her eyes, her posture that hold me in chains.
This is the eye of Deity, of Far-Sight, the posture of Peace over fear. Of Other-Concern simultaneous with self-concern. Of Power-in-Being versus power-over. It is Self-Love without self-aggrandizement, Tenderness without weakness, Suppleness over stiffness. It is Love never-ending, never-bending, no signs of strings attached.

Bless You All, Forever and Ever,


Thnx to the gaian mystery school for bringing us my magnificent image.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Archaeologist Marija Gimbutas Posted by Hello

Well! I just discovered that our own Marija Gimbutas was listed in the Utne Reader's list of "What's Worth Saving [from] The 20th Century"!

Says Utne: "UCLA archaeologist Marija Gimbutas turned historical scholarship on its head in the '70s and 80s with research that depicted peace-loving, co-operation-based Goddess-worshipping societies in ancient Europe-- which were overrun in the Neolithic era by Indo-Europeans who imposed patriarchal order. Gimbutas' vision of an earth-friendly, feminine-centered spirituality has sparked religious awakening; an estimated 400,000 Americans now declare themselves neopagans, and many more with feminist or environmentalist leanings are helping revive Goddess worship."

Go HERE to read the article (unfortunately it's no longer available free; Utne's now charging $3 for it).


Thnx to this website for the photo of Marija Gimbutas.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

BEEFING UP on the Minoans

Minoan Goddess (Reconstruction) Posted by Hello

Not too long ago, I got this email from Anne:

"Hi! I'm Anne, I left a comment on your blog a while back. I consider myself a Goddess womyn but I've only begun my studies. I'd like to learn more about the Minoans and ancient Crete and I thought you'd be a good person to ask. Is there a book on the subject you could recommend to someone with no archaeological background? I've had Anthropology 101, but that's about it.
Thanks so much. Blessed be

To which I replied:


"Good books on the Minoans are scarce as birds' teeth. The magnificent Minoans are the center of an academic firestorm, with men fearing to admit women once ruled the closest thing we have to human Utopia -- lest they lose their privileged positions -- and women afraid because men are their archaeological masters. The result: books on Minoans soaked with fear-sweat and baby pablum.

"Keeping this in mind, I recommend three books.

"First, Jacquetta Hawkes' Dawn of the Gods. It's old, but as far as I can tell Hawkes was the last person to write with clarity about Minoan women, power, and female deity (in a general work on Minoan civilization at least). What's more, her illustrations are stunning. Remember, however, that Hawkes was demonized for daring to suggest that Minoan women might have ruled. That this archaeologist should have been so sullied for suggesting so little (she even said her theory would be overturned as more archaeological evidence came to light), is a clear index of how fear-driven and patriarchally-dominated our archaeological establishment is.

"Second, J. Lesley Fitton's Minoans (2002) will catch you up on current research. Unfortunately, Fitton begins her religion section by demeaning the Goddess. For example, even though the Minoan Goddess is omnipresent and Minoan Gods appear almost not at all, Fitton's section on deity is entitled 'Gods and Goddesses.'

"Next, one of her first statements in this section is '...What God or Gods were thought to preside over [the Minoans]?' Next, she makes two preposterous statements: (1) '...We must admit ... that we have great difficulty making the identification securely [as to whether any human depicted in Minoan art is a deity or not].' (2) 'Some scholars have even questioned whether the Minoans ever represented deities anthropomorphically' (p. 175).

"After making certain the world knows that J. Lesley Fitton is giving Goddess nothing but low-level status, THEN Fitton describes Her. She makes it clear that current theorists do not really doubt Her existence (despite her -- Fitton's -- claims above); 'Her human attendants are usually female'; very often She is seated and 'clearly receiving offerings'; etc.

"Like the fear-riddled puppet she is, however, Fitton jumps a mile to protest the idea that Minoan women had political power: 'The presence, indeed the importance of women in Minoan iconography cannot be denied.... The Goddess ... had female acolytes, and women are shown in privileged positions alongside men in large-scale gatherings .... [However] it would be simplistic to extrapolate from this a society in which women held social and political sway...' (p. 178).

"One wonders why Fitton neglects to let us in on the dirty little secret that women outnumber men about two to one in Minoan art. And isn't it curious that if Fitton's so certain women had no political power, why does she fail to offer even one shred of evidence to back her claim?

"Next Fitton overglorifies the Minoan 'God.' She fails to mention this: although no one disputes the Goddess character of several Minoan Goddess representations, I know of not one 'God' representation that everyone agrees is a God. Neither does Fitton point to the differential numbers of Goddess vs God representations; Goddess figures abound; Gods are pitifully few.

"I'd recommend the next and third book only if you want something more scholarly than Fitton. It is Oliver Dickinson's 1994 The Aegean Bronze Age. Although Dickinson lacks the courage to speak much about Goddess, he at least refrains from belittling Her: '...The whole topic [of the Minoan Goddess] needs to be examined outside the framework inherited from the past, which is so heavily dependent upon questionable theories and methods. There is not the space here for such an examination, and this discussion will concentrate more upon evidence for ritual sites and activities ... rather than upon the number and nature of the power(s) with which these are to be associated' (pp 259-260).

"I also appreciate Dickinson's courage for admitting that 'It is not impossible that ... Minoan religion developed in a highly individual fashion; certainly, it has many distinctive features... (p. 259).'

"Then, however, Dickinson diminishes himself by going to great lengths to force war upon the Minoans:

"Fact: We can't find any Minoan weapons.

"Dickinson: Oh, that's easy. They must have been made of wood. Yeah, that's it. They were made of wood. The Minoans were loaded with wooden weapons.

"Fact: The Minoans didn't build military defense systems.

"Dickinson: Oh, that's easy too. They didn't have all-out war; they had little skirmishes. So that's why they didn't build defenses. Yeah, that's right. (pp. 42-43).

"Excuse me for a minute (Ha. Ha, ha, ha, hardy de har har!!! Oh, please, Goddess, let me catch my breath.... Loaded with wooden weapons?!? Hardy, hardy har, har, har, har, har, har...!)

"Ahem. Anne, I hope this helps.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Heat!! Hot!@!!

No blogging today! Heat!! Hot!!! My new house (bought last December) -- is an oven bent on slowly broasting me to death..... Crawled to Home Depot today to buy air conditioner, got it home, directions say I must go get TOOLS to install. I'M TOO HOT TO HUNT FOR TOOLS. Aaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii............. #$%^@#$

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The STENCH of Fear

Old Man Patriarchy on His Last Legs Posted by Hello

Yesterday's post dealt with an Atlantic Monthly article, "The Scholars and the Goddess." I noted that this article was riddled with holes, including the spectacular claim that no "witch" murdered by the Inquisition was a practicing pagan.

Today I poked around perusing reviews of Ronald Hutton's 1999 The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft -- one of the books quoted in the Atlantic Monthly article.

One reviewer from Aukland, New Zealand, zeroed right in on this same "No-witch-was-pagan" boo-boo:

"[Hutton] goes so far as to conclude that not one single practitioner of any kind of pagan religion was persecuted in Europe during the time of the witch trials (1400-1700).... He even at one point gives a list of authors who supposedly agree with him that no condemned "witches" held pagan religious beliefs -- however if you actually read these authors, you will find that only one or two of them make any such claim, and in fact about half of them seem to take quite the opposite view, suggesting all kinds of connections with pre-Christian religion (and giving lots of evidence in support)."

Our New Zealand reviewer was stunned by the number of blunders in Hutton's book:

"This book was a very enjoyable read ... partly for the thrill of the hunt as I tracked down and nailed mistake after mistake.... In a work of this scope a few factual errors are to be expected, but the sheer number of these errors, and the immensity of some of his misrepresentations [are] staggering, especially from someone who claims to be unbiased .... I don't really understand how or why he would get it so wrong. Is it really just plain sloppiness, or does he have some sinister agenda? :)"

Methinks, my dear reviewer, you have hit the nail on the head with the word "agenda." And beneath that agenda I smell the fetid odor of Fear -- that the sway of patriarchy might be facing its final days.

To read this entire review, go HERE and then to the bottom of the page. The review is called "A scholarly tone hides a biased approach."

Thnx to auburndawn for the photo of fear

Friday, June 24, 2005


Take what you read on the Web with a grain of salt! This article, for example, "The Scholars and the Goddess," is as full of holes as a piece of Swiss Cheese. Unfortunately, The Atlantic Monthly risked their reputation by publishing it. The gist of the article is that the Goddess Movement is bogus. The author tries to prove her point by quoting (inappropriately in many cases) from the work of current archaeologists. Here's just one of her many blatant errors: she says, and I quote, "Briggs also discovered that none of the accused witches who were found guilty and put to death [by the Inquisition] had been charged specifically with practicing a pagan religion." Now the author of this article admits that there were "in the neighborhood" of 40,000 executions of "witches" by the Inquisition -- and by some estimates there were many more. It's absolutely preposterous to suppose that Briggs had the records of even a small fraction of those executed, such that he could make a determination of the kind that Allen claims. And as I say, this is only one of the numerous inaccuracies riddling this unfortunate article.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Getting to the Light Posted by Hello

How do we back out of the illness that is the patriarchy? We're a wounded world society. Let's face it: 5000 years of patriarchy has does its stuff on us. What I'm thinking is this: We are going to have to move through a tunnel backwards to get to the Light. We're not the people we will become. It'll be harder for several generations than it will be at the end of the tunnel.

For starters, how do you nurture when you've never been nurtured? How do you go to Mothering when there's been no Mother to take you there?

I can't answer these questions yet, but I know we'll have the answers when we need them. For now what's terribly important is arming ourselves with the right questions.

Thnx to peejay for the exquisite photo

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Jesus Saves SIN

~~ Posted by Hello

From time to time when I was knee-high, my mother would load me into the old jalopy and drive "uptown" to shop.

I would have preferred eating worms.

She usually failed to factor in my shorter legs, racing from counter to counter and rack to rack, dragging me by the arm, my little legs whirling like blender beaters to keep up. Not to mention her tendency to forget I had a tiny bladder, and the occasional need of liquids.

Be that as it may, on our way to town we'd always pass a church with a neon sign that used to wrinkle my forehead in puzzlement. Its words sat vertically like this:


There was enough pregnant possibility in this sign to keep my little mind churning all the way into town. Why would Jesus -- who'd been promoted to me as a Good Guy -- want to save sin?!?

One day, in a flash of insight, I saw my error.

The word "lightning" was not actually on the sign, there was only a jagged, neon-orange picture of lightning -- between "Sin" and "Kills."

A bit of punctuation would have helped! That missing comma after "Saves" would have saved me years of consternation!

I wonder, though. Maybe this sign was part of my eventual abandonment of this man Jesus, who, during my formative years stood as Protector of Bad Things in the world....

Thnx to emsago and stock.exchng for the photo

Monday, June 20, 2005


Man & god Posted by Hello

"Being reveals itself as 'War' in the West ... because it is nourished by the extreme monotheism of Christianity, an Old Testament warrior God, Jaweh, tacked onto a New Testament without War ("Turn the other cheek, and give your enemy your cloak").

"'... We must conclude that [god-the-father] religion is war's sinister grandfather...' Especially ... MONOTHESTIC religion, [and] especially ... Islam, Judaism and Christianity, whose myths, origins and even sacred geography are largely shared or related.... Can anyone point to any wars which have occurred ... between POLYTHESTIC believers? Shintos against Hindus? Taosists against Buddhists?"

Go HERE to read more of this review of A Terrible Love of War by renowned lecturer, teacher, and psychologist James Hillman. (Many good points made in this review -- but the writer could have used an editor!)

Thnx to jwarletta for the photo.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

ONE-STOP Shopping

Shopping for Pain Killers Posted by Hello

We could fix it all overnight -- if we brought back the Goddess. With one stroke we'd vaporize war, poverty, inequality, child abuse ....

Oh, here. Why don't I just alphabetize the whole luscious list:

Child abuse
Crime (general)
Elder abuse
Environment, the
Illness (mental and physical)
Nuclear stuff (war, waste, leaks, etc.)
Ocean (it's dying)
Parent abuse
Prejudice/discrimination (race, sex, sexual preference, etc.)
Rain forest
Snuff films
Species extinction
Spouse abuse

Did I miss your favorite Rotten Thing? Comment me, I'll add it.

But aren't you sick to death of this list?

Well then, help me bring back the Goddess! All evidence points to humanity being just peachy keen when we have female deity to light the way. And when we don't -- well, things just fall apart overnight.

Thnx to ElRincon for the photo

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Millennium WITHOUT War?

Minoan Goddess. For every fifty images of Minoan Goddess, there is perhaps one image of a possible Minoan "God." Posted by Hello

Excerpts from “A Millennium without War? Perhaps, If the Goddess Is Afoot”:

“[B]y the mid 1990s I began to hear criticism of ... the ancient goddess-society peace records from my old discipline, archaeology. In the spring of 2001 I decided I needed to ... see for myself what the ‘real’ story was. I chose to concentrate first on the ancient Minoan one-thousand-year peace record, Pax Minoica. Was Pax Minoica still a viable concept or not?

“[Before the 1990s, most agreed that] the Minoans lacked both offensive and defensive military systems. Although the Minoans possessed "weapons," evidence suggests that these were hunting weapons, ceremonial items, or household tools. Minoan buildings also generally lack fortifications, moats, observation towers, and other defensive features necessary to defend against attack.... [T]he Minoans settled in locations almost impossible to defend, including valleys, lowlands, flat ground, and coastal zones. Furthermore, no evidence exists for a Minoan army. Their art suggests that the Minoans possessed ocean-going vessels, but these might have been mercantile rather than naval. Finally, no evidence exists that Minoans attempted domination of peoples outside Crete.

"...Minoan ... art contains little, if any, violence. Although a few archaeologists see war scenes in a few pieces of Minoan art, others interpret even these scenes as festivals, sacred dance, or sports events.

"...Minoan skeletal remains show few signs of violence.... In 1997, archaeologists Yannis and Efi Sakellarakis published their excavation report of Phourni, considered by many the most important cemetery of the Minoan era..... [Nowhere] in their 115-page report ... do they mention bones showing signs of interpersonal violence.

"...[On the other hand, societies contemporaneous with the Minoans] possessed military systems, massively fortified buildings, and [numerous] other signs of war and violence.... The contemporaneous Mycenaeans, for example, circled their cities with fifteen-foot-thick, fifty-foot-high stone defense walls, and Mycenaean art clearly and frequently shows armed conflict. The warmongering of the ancient Egyptians, Hittites, and other contemporaries of the Minoans is well documented.

“[But toward the close of our last millenium, the criticism of Pax Minoica began]. In 1998, a conference called ... "War: The Context of Warfare in the Bronze-Age Aegean" [was held] in Belgium at the University of Liege.... Twelve ... presenters ... focused on the Minoans. Although all twelve attempted to build a case for Minoan warfare, none quite succeeded. One even admitted that he was taken by surprise by his results: ‘The overall conclusion which has emerged from this review is one which, frankly, I was not expecting.... Warfare such as there was in the EBA (Early Bronze Age; roughly equivalent to the Early Minoan era) was either personalized and perhaps ritualized (in Crete) ... or small-scale ... (in the Cyclades and the Argolid/Attica)."

“Three presenters dealt with what they called Minoan 'war art.' Although all three struggled to demonstrate the existence of such art, all three admitted [in the end] their inability to do so....

"As I read, I found the circular reasoning of [these presenters] disturbing. Gates, for example, argued that the Minoans must have practiced war, since ‘... a society free of warfare for several centuries is difficult to imagine.’ Similarly, Peter Warren contended that 'It would be strange indeed to believe that any violence or conflict of any kind was absent from Minoan Crete in the Neopalatial period....'

“[But] as archaeologist Jane McIntosh notes, '...Human culture is infinitely variable, and nothing in the past need be mirrored in the present.' The Minoans had one of the few societies that, for the most part, lacks male gods yet shows an abundance of female divinity; one of the few that lacks ruler iconography and one of the few that supports powerful roles for women. So the Minoan is already a society set apart in several respects -- why not one more (lack of warfare)?”


Gates, Charles, 1999, “Why Are There No Scenes of Warfare in Minoan Art?” In Laffineur, Robert, Ed., Polemos: Le Contexte en Egee a L’Age du Bronze (War: The Context of Warfare in the Bronze-Age Aegean), Actes de la 7e Rencontre egeene internationale Universite de Liege, 14-17 avril 1998, University de Liege and University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 1999.

McIntosh, Jane, The Practical Archaeologist: How We Know What We Know about the Past, 2nd Ed., Facts on file, Inc., New York, NY 1999, p. 148.

Mellersh, H.E.L., Minoan Crete, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1967.

Sakellarakis, Yannis and Efi Sakellarakis, Archanes: Minoan Crete in a New Light, vol. 2, Ammos Publications, Eleni Nakou Foundation, 1997.

Willetts, R.F., 1995, The Civilization of Ancient Crete, New York: Barnes & Noble Books.

The excerpts above come from “A Millennium without War? Perhaps, If the Goddess Is Afoot,” by Jeri Studebaker, In PanGaia: A Pagan Journal for Thinking People #38, March-June 2004, pages 26-33.

The picture of the ancient Minoan Goddess comes from Nanno Marinatos's Art and Religion in Thera: Reconstructing a Bronze Age Society, 1984, Athens, Greece: D. & I Mathioulakis, p. 62.

Bull hunting in ancient Crete, ca 1600 B.C.E.  Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Is Science Your Religion?

Test-Tube Religion Posted by Hello

Religion is a "cultural universal" -- it's found in every culture, at every point in time. When anthropologists turn over a rock and spot a cultural universal, they know they're staring at a fundamental part of human life. Religion, therefore, is an fundamental part of human life -- maybe even biologically imbedded into our brains. Like it or not, I suspect humans are incapable of living without religion. Claim you're religion-less all you want; it doesn't make it so. Science is the religion of most tagging themselves atheist. Science answers the Big Questions any religion answers -- where do we come from, where do we go when we die, etc., etc.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

NAKED Goddess

Omigosh, my Postal Person knocked on my door today and handed me Nanno Marinatos's The Goddess and the Warrior: The Naked Goddess and Mistress of Animals in Early Greek Religion. It's about as thick as a potato chip! I paid $125.00 for 129 pages! That's darn near $1.00 per page!!

But listen, see, I had to get it. It's about the Goddess, it's by an archaeologist, and it was printed in this millenium vs. the last. I'll eat gravy til Christmas.

My initial rough assessment: The "Naked Goddess" was the Goddess perverted by the patriarchy. She materialized after the Minoans vanished, i.e., after the patriarchy crushed the "pure" Goddess. Nanno thinks she was a Goddess not for women at all, but specially for warriors and other men. She was found in Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Syria -- and maybe other places too.

Some of the pics were disturbing. Maybe I'll post again on this after I read more.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Posted by Hello

Go HERE to find pithy little synopses of current Goddess books and articles. Backgrounds of authors are even served up. Warning #1: If you actually want to lay your hands on some of these, you'll have to trot to the library for them (or pay highway-robbery fees to online journals like Antiquity that are extorting fifteen British pounds per article). Warning #2: The top of this site is written in a language I can't even identify, let alone read. Scroll halfway down to reach the bibliography section. Warning #3: There are shrill voices in this list -- scaredy-rabbit archaeologists shivering at the thought that gods might have to step aside for Goddess; Ronald Hutton (1997) appears to be one. Also, if you see the phrases "Cult Archaeology" or "Pseudoscientific Beliefs about the Past," you're in their territory, i.e., the Scaredy-Rabbit Swamps.

Stuff synopsized:

Adler, Margot 1997 Drawing Down the Moon
Ana Tours: 1998 Ana Tours "On the Trail of the Great Goddess".
Bachofen, J.J. 1992 Myth, Religion, and Mother Right
Bender, Barbara 1998 Stonehenge
Carson, Anne 1992 Goddesses and Wise Women
Christ, Carol P. 1979 Why Women Need the Goddess:
Conkey, Margaret W., and Ruth E. Tringham 1998 Archaeology and the Goddess
Drews, Robert 1989 The Coming of the Greeks
Eller, Cynthia 1991 Relativizing the Patriarchy
Feder, Kenneth L. 1998 Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries
Finley, Nancy J. 1991 Political Activism and Feminist Spirituality.
Foley, Helene P. 1994 A Question of Origins
Friedl, Ernestine 1998. Society and Sex Roles.
Gimbutas, Marija 1991 The Language of the Goddess
Gimbutas, Marija 1996 [1974] The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, 6500-3500 BC: Myths and Cult Images. New and Updated Edition
Guiley, Rosemary Ellen 1989 The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft.
G'Zell, Morning Glory, and Otter G'Zell 1996 Who on Earth is the Goddess? In Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft.
Hackett, Jo Ann 1989 Can a Sexist Model Liberate Us? Ancient Near Eastern "Fertility" Goddesses.
Harris, Marvin 1968 The Rise of Anthropological Theory.
Harrold, Francis B., and Raymond A. Eve 1995 Cult Archaeology and Creationism: Understanding Pseudoscientific Beliefs about the Past.
Hutton, Ronald 1997. The Neolithic Great Goddess: A Study in Modern Tradition.
Jordan, Michael 1996 Witches: An Encyclopedia of Paganism and Magic.
Leonard, Joan 1990 Teaching Introductory Feminist Spirituality: Tracing the Trajectory Through Women Writers.
Mallory, J.P. 1989 In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, and Myth.
McDermott, LeRoy 1996 Self-Representation in Upper Paleolithic Female Figures.
Morgan, Lynne 1996 Women and the Goddess Today.
Motz, Lotte 1998 The Faces of the Goddess.
Murray, Margaret 1970 [1931] The God of the Witches.
Porterfield, Amanda 1987 Feminist Theology as a Revitalization Movement.
Puhvel, Jaan 1993 Comparative Mythology.
Puttick, Elizabeth 1997 Women in New Religions: In Search of Community, Sexuality, and Spiritual Power.
Rose, Deborah. 1998 The Black Madonna: Primordial Ancestress. Spirit of Change
Ruether, Rosemary Radford 1980 Goddesses and Witches: Liberation and Countercultural Feminism.
Russell, Jeffrey Burton 1984 Witchcraft in the Middle Ages.
Saiving, Valerie 1976 Androcentrism in Religious Studies.
Starhawk 1989 The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess.
Stone, Merlin 1976 When God Was a Woman.
Taylour, Lord William,1994 The Mycenaeans.
Thomas, Keith 1997 [1971] Religion and the Decline of Magic.
Valiente, Doreen 1973 An ABC of Witchcraft.
Weaver, Mary Jo 1989 Who is the Goddess and Where Does She Get Us?

To add to the list: Lucy Goodison and Christine Morris, 1998, Ancient Goddesses: The Myths and the Evidence. Goodison and Morris are British archaeologists trying to survive in a man's world. They seem to be saying the following: (1) We must tread charily with Goddess archaeology, because we are scaring the men, who are now overreacting. Tut, tut. (2) There were Goddess societies in the past, but there's still more to discover about them, so don't ruin our fun by assuming the Goddess is written in stone (no pun intended). (3) Marija Gimbutas' Old Europe may indeed have been a Goddess society but we need to study it more to find out for sure (i.e., don't act so confounded certain as Marija did, or you‘ll scare the men).

I'll also point to Nanno Marinatos, 2000, The Goddess and the Warrior: The Naked Goddess and Mistress of the Animals in Early Greek Religion. I bit the bullet and ordered a copy (very expensive), but my Mail Person has not yet plunked it down into my mailbox. However, I did find this review on Amazon.Com: "In this provocative and arresting book, [archaeologist] Nanno Marinatos explores the role of the naked goddess and mistress of animals in Greek religion. She examines their eastern origins and discusses their dissemination throughout the mainland and Crete."
Thnx to Muco at Stock.xchng for the photo

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

FLIES, Swiss Cheese, and paul harvey

I smell Swiss cheese Posted by Hello

Oh, I'm SO much better today. The heat was bad yesterday, but I got jolly good laughs from an email cousin Harold sent. I will treat you to a condensed version:

"ATHANA -- I know you don't agree with much of this stuff. I just like to torture you. Paul Harvey says: - 'I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.... Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts.... "But it's a Christian prayer," some will argue.

"'Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles... [emphasis my own, not Harold's or Harvey's, you'll see why in a minute]. Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights.... The silent majority has been silent too long.... It is time the majority rules! We are fighting back ... and we WILL WIN! God bless us one and all, especially those who denounce Him....'

"Your Cousin, Harold"

To which I replied:

"Oh, Harold! I do smell Swiss cheese! I don't have time to plug all the holes, but ... oh, yes, here's a juicy one: '...the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles....'

"Excuse me for a minute (Ha. Ha, ha, ha, hardy de har har!!! Oh, please, Goddess, let me catch my breath.... Democracy a "Christian" principle?!? Hardy, hardy har, har, har, har, har, har...!)

"Ahem. Aren't the words 'democracy' and 'representative government' spread around the Bible like flies on a Sunday picnic? And I'm just certain the Israelites held national elections to vote all those kings into power.

"Not! Read your history!! We owe American democracy not to Christians, but to PAGANS. Many Native Americans (read: PAGANS) enjoyed permanent democracies, and whites intermarried with them for nearly three centuries before penning the Constitution. Trot over to the library and check out Weatherford's Indian Givers. And Jefferson, Adams, and the boys also studied the PAGAN Greeks, who for brief periods back in the Bee-Cee's, managed to achieve democracy in their city-states.

"Oh, and Harold? Did you know the word "Pagan" means "country folk"? Our country ancestors resisted the raging Christian onslaught longer than our city ancestors did....

"Oh, a good laugh does cleanse the system! Thanks, my good cousin.

"Your Cousin, Athana"

Thnx to Creacult for the photo

Monday, June 13, 2005

Brain Boil

Home-front crisis today and thus no blogging. My dehumidifier wasn't working, which meant I slowly cooked to death in my house today from heat and humidity (yes, it gets hot in Maine occasionally). Why didn't I leave the house, you ask? Good question. Partly because I was waiting for Craig the plumber (bless his heart) to come bail me out, and partly because my brain was too boiled to be useful for much of anything, not even dragging my poor body to safety. But, all better now, and back to blogging tomorrow I hope.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

WILL THE Great Goddess Resurface?

Marija Gimbutas Posted by Hello

This student paper on the extraordinarily complicated work of the archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, isn't half bad. She (I assume this is a she, but of course I could be wrong) even introduces us to some of Gimbutas's critics. And believe me, there are a whole whale-load of those! Marija Gimbutas had the guts to challenge the gods -- as well as the male "owners" of the field of archaeology. You'd better believe she has critics -- the list is light-years long.

As an archaeologist myself, here's how I view what I call "The Gimbutas Ruckus." Gimbutas was a woman in a man's field. Male archaeologists have a rep for being just a tad patriarchal (guys in archaeology, I am so very sorry to have to say this, but I'm afraid I'm just reporting what I hear, and, to some extent what I've experienced. If I'm wrong, please counter with evidence to the contrary). Even today, women archaeologists are at the mercy of these possibly testosterone-challenged guys -- for their own academic reps, not to mention the bread on their tables. So some women archaeologists, too, have landed on Gimbutas with nostrils flaring.

But Gimbutas merely did what all archaeologists of her time did. Instead of constantly repeating, "Now remember, this is theory not fact," she'd present a theory and back it up with evidence. My stars! Scandalous! Shameless hussy!

Interestingly, however, no archaeologist ever says "Gimbutas is wrong." (At least none I know of.) Instead, they say, "She makes it sound as if she's discovered Truth -- And SHE COULD BE WRONG!" They know they can't say she's wrong -- until they explain the data better than she did. (Them's the rules, Clem, them's the rules.) And so far, no one has explained the data better than Gimbutas has. If you can show me wrong, here, please give me the heads up.

Go HERE to read the paper.

Thnx to K.J. Matthews for the delightful photo of Marija Gimbutas

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Geo. Washington NOT CHRISTIAN?

"....George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Ethan Allen ... were Deists rather than Christians. Deists believed in the supremacy of human reason over faith and revelation, and disdained the supernatural. They opposed both government suppression and government establishment of religion....."

Go here and/or here for more.

Friday, June 10, 2005

TWISTING Hell's Womb

Posted by Hello

Nothing exposes the deep, gaping canyon betwixt Goddess and God more clearly than Hell. Originally "Hel" was a Goddess to whose warm, loving womb we all return at death. But when God the Father stepped on stage, he twisted Hel's Loving Womb, contorting it into a vast, underground torture chamber. Overnight, in a plume of smoke, nurturance disappears. The replacement: everlasting, excruciating pain. I repeat from an earlier post (Apr. 4): "Any religion ... based on fear of being tortured for eternity because of some godling's displeasure is psychologically diseased" (from Danaan Press's website).

Thnx to Swissmautz for the superb photo


Hidey ho, dear readers! I'm clueing you in early: according to Z Budapest, tomorrow is "Matralia" -- Roman holiday in celebration of me, your faithful blogger-host Athana! Or at least I hope it is (note caveat below).

Says Z: "This day (June 11) we celebrate those who are motherly without having borne children. Mater Matuta, the Goddess of Dawn and Death, and also of harbors and the sea, received homage from Roman women who were not mothers themselves.... They are our support system." (From Z's The Grandmother of Time, on my HOT-Books list (see May 26 post).

So that's the hitch: Matralia's for "motherly" women. That "without having borne children" part is me, but maybe I should beef up on "motherly." Maybe by next year at this time I can find someone to declare, "Hey, Athana, as surely as the sun does shine, you are a Motherly Woman!"

But alas and alack, I suspect "motherly" rang differently in the ears of the Romans than in ours, since I imagine the status of "mother" has declined since Roman days (when all the world was closer to the Pure Goddess). Which brings me to this: On my "List of Posts I Want to Post" is: "Some had rotten mothers, and 'mother' doesn't sit well with them. Watta we do about this?"

Anyhoo. All you Not-Mothers out there, TOMORROW IS YOUR DAY! We love, celebrate and honor you! After all, even if no one's nodded at your motherly-ness lately, does the world as we know it really need more babies?!?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Before THOR, No WAR

Thor's Thunderbolt Posted by Hello

Before those first blasted gods sneakily laid waste to the Goddess (prior to the Bronze Age), war was probably unknown to humans.

"In ... [the early, peaceful, egalitarian Western] societies, the powers that govern[ed] the universe were not ... a male deity whose symbol of authority is a thunderbolt (Jehovah or Wotan) or a weapon (Zeus or Thor). Rather, their conception of power focused on the power to give, sustain, nurture, and illuminate life, symbolized ... by ... a Great Goddess, from whose womb all life ensues and to whose womb it returns at death .... In other words, here the highest power was seen not as 'power over' (domination, conquest and control) but as 'power to' (life-giving and life-nurturing).

"...[T]hanks to what British archaeologist James Mellaart (1965) calls a 'veritable revolution in archaeology,' data are accumulating indicating that this way of structuring society ... flourished for thousands of years in the mainstream of Western cultural evolution before the shift, during a period of chaos and cultural bifurcation, to a world oriented primarily toward a dominator system of 'strongman' rule."

From an article by the incredible Riane Eisler, whose book The Chalice and the Blade has been hailed as one that "...Might make the future possible...."

Go here to visit Riane's groundbreaking Center for Partnership Studies website. The Center is in Pacific Grove, California.
Thnx to Lucretious [sic] for the picture

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Feel the chill from that shoulder! Posted by Hello

Leading Minoan archaeologist Nanno Marinatos hauls her fellow archaeologists over the coals for giving short shrift to religion:

"...[T] there has been a tendency to marginalize religion by the positivistic school of New Archaeology. Religion is elusive, it is claimed, in comparison to economy and subsistence. Statistics and quantification of data may yield more secure results than speculation on mental processes. Inherent in every attempt at reconstruction of rites is the danger of fantasy. And who can claim to understand a religion that has left no written sources behind?

"The skepticism is legitimate, but the resigned attitude is dangerous, for no ancient culture can be understood without its religion. If we reduce the study of culture to pottery classification and data quantification (with some spice from the socioeconomic sphere) the scope of the humanist may be lost to that of the pseudo-scientist."

This passage is from Nanno's Minoan Religion, which I give high marks for its careful and detailed scholarship. Unfortunately, copies are as scarce as hen's teeth.

Go here for the entire five-page excerpt.

Go here for reviews of Minoan Religion.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

BRAIN Storms

Morgaine at The-Goddess is on fire with ideas about returning to the Goddess. Go here to see her Saturday posts.

Monday, June 06, 2005


Magic site, magic site.

On this page, enchanted fairy women sing "We All Come from the Goddess" (if you've ever gone to anything Goddess, you've probably sung this song). Turn it on and have the music playing in the background while you blog.

I could listen all day, but then I'd probably fall into trance, and I have a few things left to do before night falls....

"We all come from the Goddess
And to her we shall return
Like a drop of rain
Flowing to the ocean

"Isis Astarte Diana
Hecate Demeter Kali


Sunday, June 05, 2005

NEW: Archaeology Links

Archaeologica News -- Daily news updates from the entire field of archaeology. A Forbes Magazine "Best-of-the-Web" site.

Archaeology News -- Also daily news updates from the entire field. Has a SEARCH button at page top.

Archaeology WebRing -- "Quality sites with archaeological content."

Bronze Age in Europe -- Links to Bronze-Age-Europe websites. Has a country index in a left-hand column. The Minoans, Therans, and Maltese were all Bronze-Age Goddess civilizations.

Aegean Archaeology -- Links to websites in Aegean Archaeology. The Minoans, Therans, and ancient Maltese Goddess civilizations awere all Aegean civilizations. A very complete site; somewhat confusing.

Minoans (Dartmouth) -- Very little on "soft" topics like social structure. I think, however, that this may be the most up-to-date site on the Web for Minoans/Minoan archaeology. Reliable? I haven't checked over the entire site yet, so can't vouch for reliability.

NOTE: Be careful when reading about the Minoans. They come to an abrupt end circa 1450 B.C., but writers often fail to tell you that. 1450 B.C. is when the patriarchal Mycenaeans take over Crete, and many writers just go on talking about "The Minoans" as if nothing had happened. Others call this period "Mycenaean-Minoan," which is better, but in my view still somewhat misleading.

I am still looking for reliable links to Old Europe and Catal Huyuk websites.

BORN THRU Daddy’s mouth?!

Come Again? Posted by Hello

It wasn't just Horus who felt inferior to Goddess and so stole her womb (see yesterday’s post). From about 5000 B.P to, say, 1000 A.D. (depending on where you are on the planet) womb-stealing was all the rage. This was the Age of Male-Gods-Throwing-Tantrums and then sneakily stealing the stage from Goddess.

See, back then, if you were a god, and you couldn't give birth ... Well .... to put it bluntly, you were a Big, Fat, Bubble Head. So the new guy-gods had to rig up a way to make babies -- and fast. This resulted in some fairly hilarious birth-giving schemes:

The new Egyptian god Ra gave birth through his mouth.
The new Indian god Shiva gave birth through his penis.
The new Greek god Zeus gave birth through his head.
The new Hebrew god Yahweh gave birth through a man's rib.
The new Middle Eastern god Atum gave birth by masturbating.
The new Chinese god Kun gave birth through his stomach.
The new Greek god Apollo sat on a pile of eggs.
The new Norse god Ymir gave birth from [take a seat!] his ‘sweaty armpit.’

(From Barbara Walker's superbly documented book, The Woman's Encyclopedia, 1983, pages 106-107).
thnx to ulrik for the photo of Neptune

Saturday, June 04, 2005


Goddess Hethert Posted by Hello

The divine Goddess Hethert, Mother of the Gods, Queen of Heaven.

Before the Patriarchal Boys pranced into Egypt, Hathor was 'Het-Hert' -- 'the House (or Womb) Above.' The Boys, however, renamed Her after their god Horus. They dubbed her 'Hat-Hor,' 'the House (or Womb) of Horus.'" (Ha, ha, ha!! Horus had a womb, did he? Ha, ha, ha!!!).

Still and all, GODDESS HATHOR strikes a fine pose, n'est ce pas?

Throwing FITS

Posted by Hello

On May 23, Salman Rushdie warned in The Toronto Star that God the Father is having a temper tantrum all over the world. (My prediction: Precious will blow Himself up to Heaven and never be heard from again.)

"... Meanwhile religions continue to attack their own artists: Hindu artists' paintings are attacked by Hindu mobs, Sikh playwrights are threatened by Sikh violence and Muslim novelists and filmmakers are menaced by Islamic fanatics with a vigorous unawareness of any kinship....

"And in America, the battle over the teaching of intelligent design in U.S. schools is reaching crunch time, as the American Civil Liberties Union prepares to take on intelligent-design proponents in a Pennsylvania court...."

"If religion were a private matter, one could more easily respect its believers' right to seek its comforts and nourishments. But religion today is big public business, using efficient political organization and cutting-edge information technology to advance its ends...."

And then Salman hits the nail smack on the head:

"Religions play bare-knuckle rough all the time, while demanding kid-glove treatment in return." Of course when he says "religions" he means God-the-Father religions.

MORE >>>

Thnx to skiphunt and stock.xchng for the photo

Friday, June 03, 2005


A few weeks ago one of my cousins sent me a list of bloopers that "actually appeared in church bulletins, or were read from bulletins as announcements." I thought a few of these pearls belonged on this blog:

o "Don't let worry kill you off ... let the Church help."

o "Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done."

o "The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict."

o "Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community."

o "Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "hell" to someone who doesn't care much about you."

o "The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'"

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Minoan girl Posted by Hello

"In sum, the Minoans worshipped female divinity, and also had one of the best peace records the world has ever seen."

MORE >>>
Unbelievably, the "Teen Angel" above is over 3,400 years old. Looks like a girl of yesterday, doesn't it?! Or almost today!


Goddess Worshipping Minoans Posted by Hello

Ah, those gorgeous, manly, Goddess-worshipping Minoans! They mastered what we only dream of: Peace and non-violence for hundreds of years at a stretch! Isn't it interesting that the only complex societies who've managed peace are those that worshipped Goddess?

BTW, the Minoans weren't wimps. They bull-leaped. They boxed. They traded over the known world.

So why does history ignore them? Do their bare-breasted women scare the spots off us? Or do we secretly adore war and think peaceniks a bore?

Go HERE for more on Minoans

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

WHAT'S THAT Sucking Sound?

GODDESS WORLD (Minoan) of your peace-loving ancestors. Demolished by god peoples ca 1450 B.P. (click on pic to enlarge, & get a good look at what was stolen from you). Posted by Hello

Now, I'm doing this blog because the present sucks. Not only that, we're so used to the muck (yawn), we can't even hear it sucking. But -- Glory Be! -- I can see a non-sucky future! It centers on love and courage (Goddess) versus war and cowardice (god). I can SEE this so clearly. But until we who see this in our mind's eye, throw it on a canvas where others can see it, I'm afraid our beautiful picture will die.

So I found this thought-needling article to help us paint. It says, first, that we can never totally describe the future. "Anything we can speak of must by definition fall short of the otherness we desire.... To portray the future in the language of the present is inevitably to betray it...."

It says, second, that most descriptions of utopia are BORING. "Most utopias ... are odorless, antiseptic places, intolerably streamlined and sensible, in which the natives chat for hours about the splendid efficiency of their sanitary arrangements...."

It says, third, 'Wait a minute! Do we even have to describe the future?' Russell Jacoby (the author of the book this article's about) "...wants a utopian thought that 'pines for the future but does not map it out....' We must strike a balance between saying too much and saying too little, between the future as a mere projection of the present and as a cryptic silence."

And fourth, it says, There's one thing we DO hafta do: We hafta somehow link our rosy Goddess future with the mucky present. "If there is simply an abyss between the present and the future, then we cannot logically speak of how the future takes shape in the present. Jacoby ... ends by stressing the need to link present and future."

Go here to read the entire article in the latest edition of The Nation >>>

Thanx to casenhis at the UIUC Classics Dept. for the picture of the Minoan palace-temple of Knossos.