impose their own agendas on their people and avoid entanglement with other nations that mightseek to establish an objective ethical code that takes the entire conglomeration of nation-states intoaccount.In order to proceed in a teleological fashion, Neo-Pagans invoke the myth of the GoldenAge. The myth serves as a model for how society once was and can become if we are able to bringabout the necessary transformation. The Golden Age myth coincides with Streng’s notion of the“Ultimate Reality”. This reality is the source of knowledge and thereby the source of empowerment for those seeking to rid themselves of the problematic. Streng writes “the SacredRealm, or Being, is also infinite and awesome, but expresses a structure or reveals
that are reflected in everyday existing forms.”
This is especially true in Neo-Paganism becomes the Golden Age is a past reality, meaning that at one point in human history,this was a tangible reality. Therefore, Neo-Pagans are encouraged to seek the sacred in this world.Indeed, nature herself is divine and so are we, it doesn’t get much more immanent than that. Neo-Pagans understand the Golden Age as a time when Goddess worship was widespread, reverencefor the earth was a given, people lived attuned to natural cycles (and thereby embraced change)and each person recognized their own divinity. Accordingly, one version of the Sabbat ritual hasthe high priestess say: “I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attainedat the end of desire.”
This illustrates how Neo-Pagans see the sacred as something that has always been carried within, as we are all aspects of the divine. The latter part suggests that gnosis, or wisdom through insight, is a matter of recognizing that we already have all that we need. Thisfollows from the belief that Gaia provides for us all, which is central to the Golden Age view andlacking in our contemporary patriarchal world that focuses on the supposedly ever-present lack weall feel. The Ultimate Reality also cannot be divorced from the notion of the Goddess. In “FullCircle,” Donna Read goes to Greece to find relics of Goddess worship but finds that the museumsare relatively unconcerned with the representations of Artemis, Persephone, Demeter or Aphrodite, often only labeling them anonymously as “Goddess”.
This is characteristic of themodern world that has abandoned the idea of the Goddess in favor of the father God of “churchianity”. Another point the film brings up is that from a very early age, children are madeto think of God in male terms as we use male generic language to refer to the divine.
Streng, Frederick, Creation of Community Through Sacred Symbols (California: WordsworthPublishing, 1985) 47.
Bromley, David and Cowan, Douglas, Cults and New Religions (Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing,2008) 202.
Full Circle, dir. Donna Read, VHS, NFBA, 1993.