By Lotte Motz
The assumption that the earliest people worshipped a sovereign, nurturing, maternal earth goddess is a well-liked one. it's been taken up as truth through the media, who in many instances depict sleek goddess-worshippers as "reviving" the traditional religions of our ancestors. Feminist students contend that, within the primordial religions, the good mom was once commemorated because the fundamental, inventive strength, giving beginning to the area, granting fertility to either plants and people, and ruling preferrred over her kin pantheon. The peaceable, matriarchal farming societies that worshipped her have been ultimately burnt up or subjugated through nomadic, patriarchal warrior tribes resembling the early Hebrews, who introduced their male God to overthrow the good mom: step one within the production and perpetuation of a brutal, male-dominated society and its attendant oppression and degradation of women.In The Faces of the Goddess, Lotte Motz units out to check this speculation by way of analyzing the true woman deities of early human cultures. She unearths no hint of the good mom of their myths or of their worship. From the Eskimos of the arctic desolate tract, whose harsh existence even this day such a lot heavily mirrors the earliest hunter gatherers, to the wealthy cultures of the sunny Fertile Crescent and the islands of Japan, Motz appears at a variety of goddesses who're known as mom, or who provide start of their myths. She unearths that those goddesses have various origins as ancestor deities, animal protectors, and different divinities, instead of stemming from a typical mom Goddess archetype. for example, Sedna, the robust goddess whose chopped-off hands grew to become the seals and fish that have been the Eskimos' leader resource of foodstuff, had not anything to do with human fertility. certainly, human motherhood was once held in such low esteem that Eskimo ladies have been pressured to offer start thoroughly on my own, with out human companionship and no useful deities of childbirth. Likewise, whereas quite a few Mexican goddesses governed over therapeutic, women's crafts, motherhood and childbirth, and functioned as tribal protectors or divine ancestors, none of them both embodied the earth itself or granted fertility to the vegetation: for that the Mexicans seemed to the male gods of maize and of rain. Nor have been the rituals of those goddesses nurturing or peaceable. The goddess Cihuacoatl, who nurtured the author god Quetzalcoatl and helped him create humanity, used to be worshipped with human sacrifices who have been driven right into a fireplace, got rid of whereas nonetheless alive, and their hearts have been minimize out. And Motz heavily examines the Anatolian goddess Cybele, the "Magna Mater" pretty much mentioned as an instance of a robust mom goddess. Hers have been the final of the nice pagan mysteries of the Mediterranean civilizations to fall sooner than Christianity. yet Cybele herself by no means provides start, nor does she drawback herself with assisting girls in childbirth or childrearing. She isn't really herself a mom, and the male personality figuring such a lot prominently in her myths is Attis, her chaste better half. Tellingly, Cybele's clergymen devote themselves to her via castrating themselves, therefore mimicking Attis's death--a very ordinary approach to venerate a goddess of fertility.To depict those previous goddesses as peaceable and nurturing moms, as is usually performed, is to disclaim them their very own advanced and complicated nature as beings who have been usually violent and vengeful, delighting in sacrifice, or who reveled of their eroticism and have been worshipped as harlots. the assumption of a nurturing mom Goddess is especially strong. during this hard ebook, in spite of the fact that, Motz indicates that She is a manufactured from our personal age, no longer of previous ones. by means of discarding this simplistic and tired paradigm, we will be able to open the door to a brand new state of mind approximately female spirituality and non secular adventure.
Read Online or Download The Faces of the Goddess PDF
Similar comparative religion books
Christianity is a concise and readable survey of the historical past of Christianity, from its beginnings in overdue antiquity, during the Reformations within the West, to its present-day globalization. Focusing really at the sleek interval, it offers a worthwhile creation to modern christian ideals and practices, and appears on the ways that this different faith has tailored, and keeps to conform, to the demanding situations of the trendy international.
Wisdom of the background of faith lower than the T`ang Dynasty (A. D. 618-907) has before been restricted at most sensible. This scholarly paintings fills vital gaps quite often wisdom of Taoism ("China's personal better religion"), and its roles in China's social and political lifestyles throughout the T'ang Dynasty interval, the golden age of chinese language background.
"In this paintings, Bron Taylor examines the evolution of "green religions" in North the USA and past: religious practices that carry nature as sacred and feature in lots of instances changed conventional religions. Tracing quite a lot of teams - radical environmental activists, lifestyle-focused bioregionalists, surfers, new-agers fascinated with "ecopsychology," and teams that carry clinical narratives as sacred - Taylor addresses a vital theoretical query: How can environmentally orientated, spiritually influenced participants and routine be understood as non secular whilst a lot of them reject spiritual and supernatural worldviews?
This e-book discusses the improvement of practices linked to customs and artifacts utilized in Jewish ceremonies whilst seen from the vantage of anthropological stories. it may well additionally functionality as a advisor to sensible halakhah. the writer examines themes reminiscent of Torah Scrolls, ceremonial use of fireplace, Purim customs, the competition of Shavuot, magic and superstition.
- The Practical Pagan: Commonsense Guidelines for Modern Practitioners
- Religious Inventions: Four Essays
- The Virtue Ethics of Levi Gersonides
- Religion, science, and magic. In concert and in conflict
- African Indigenous Religions and Disease Causation
Additional info for The Faces of the Goddess
Many of the assertions are speculative. Documentation is sparse; references are frequently limited to authors who share the vision. Evidence is often garbled or misrepresented. While it is not necessary to correct all misinformation and impossible to argue against a speculative statement, it is easy and, in my view, desirable to refute some of the assumptions on which the 28 The Faces of the Goddess Figure 14. (Left) A painting of a part-man, part stag creature in the cave of Trois Freres, Ariege.
46 We noted earlier that wells and rivers are held to be in close and beneficial contact with human reproduction. " Some of the important "mothers" stimulated the imagination and were endowed with human form, human emotions, and adventures while simultaneously retaining the aspect of the element from which they grew. 51 The Corn Mother who is "sown in the morning and reaped at dusk" sings with the voice of a human woman. 52 In some cases the "mother" seems to fuse within herself several kinds of spirits.
38 The god was taken over into Akkadian myth. 39 We have already encountered the weather god in his bull-shaped epiphany in the Neolithic shrines of Catal Huyuk. 42 We noted that the human god retained vestiges of his earlier animal appearance; hence we cannot doubt his origin. 43 And we cannot doubt that his form had existed before the Indo-European Hittites invaded Anatolia. His name frequently links him to a mountain. It seems that in most archaic times his closest attachment was with the mountain, where the wild bull roams.
The Faces of the Goddess by Lotte Motz