The Goddesses


Prof. Dr. Mr. Maqsood Hasni

The Goddesses
Venus is the Roman Goddess of sensuality, sexuality, art and creativity, pleasure, personal adornment, affection and loving relationships. She is the Feminine, the lover or sister. Venus represents the urge to be desired, to attract and empower relationships and all forms of abundance. She is amorous, artistic, beautiful, cheerful, emotional, erotic, fertile, free-living, graceful, harmonious, mirthful, relaxing, soothing, and warm. She reminds us to let our love and creativity flow in all areas of our lives, and to enjoy -being IN-JOY. Pele is the Hawaiian Goddess of fire and volcanoes. She stands for the fiercely passionate aspect of life that is unable to do anything halfway. Like the volcano, which creates new land even as it is destroying whatever is in it's path, she reminds us that even in the midst of fiery eruption there is creation and new life. She represents passion and vitality, and the destruction of the old to make way for the new. Hathor is the Egyptian Goddess of love and mirth, protector of children and pregnant women. She represents emotion, creativity and sexuality. She embodies both earth and sky and is often depicted as a star-speckled "Celestial Cow." Hathor is the patron of dancers, the mother of the gypsies, and the generator of light and radiant power. Hathor calls to your creative core to dance connect with the Earth through your feet as they touch the ground, and reach for the stars with upraised arms in the joyous dance of life. Artemis is the Greek Goddess of the hunt. Her Roman counterpart is Diana. Artemis is the virgin Goddess of all nature, wildlife, lakes, rivers, woods, childbirth and healing. Protector of women, she keeps herself apart from men. Independent and completely in touch with her wild, instinctual nature, Artemis represents female independence. She brings the gift of strength to say NO to whatever does not serve to empower you. Sophia is the Hellenistic, Jewish and Christian Goddess of Wisdom, who represents God's female soul and is, said to be the source of his power. She is called the All, the Maternal Being, and Lady Wisdom. Sophia is divine feminine wisdom, pure, timeless consciousness. She is the holy spirit of wisdom, pregnant with

knowledge who leads the willing soul out of ignorance and blesses those who seek to study and share in her knowledge. Sophia reminds us to seek our own divine wisdom within. Changing Woman is a female deity of the Native American culture. She represents the various stages of life and changes at will from a young child, a fertile woman to an ancient sage. The same aspects of this feminine trinity are found in various cultures relating to the Earth Mother and the Goddess, and she is also known as the Triple Goddess of Virgin, Mother and Crone. Changing Woman dances gracefully through all the stages of life in beauty, balance and harmony. She is associated with the changing phases of the moon. She reminds us of our true divine nature no matter what our age or function in life. Ever changing, the goddess is always the same. Isis is the Egyptian feminine archetype for creation, whose mighty wings bring breath. The Goddess of fertility and the mother nurturer who embodies love and compassion. She is Goddess of agriculture, law and healing. She is the High Priestess who is the essence of feminine energy and represents our feminine aspects: creation, rebirth, ascension, intuition and psychic knowing. Isis's relationship with the third eye, the inner eye, brings us power to trust in our own psychic vision. Freya is the Norse Goddess of fertility, love, beauty, the moon, the seas, the earth, the underworld, death and birth, virgin, mother, ancestress, Mistress of Cats, leader of Valkyries, and the "sayer" who inspires all sacred. She loves music, spring, and flowers, and is especially fond of the fairy kingdom. She is considered very sympathetic to lovers and matters of the heart. Married to the god Od, she cried golden tears when he left. In spite of her love for Od, Freya is also well known for her sensuality and promiscuity. She is therefore more a goddess of lust, being identified with sexual freedom. Freya was also known as the goddess of magic and divination. She owns a feather coat which she uses to fly between the worlds. She has a great fondness for jewels always wear her necklace of amber, her crystallized golden tears. The name Freya translates from the Old Norse simply as "Lady". In that language the word was the feminine counterpart to 'Lord' in its fullest sense of power, implying the Divine Feminine. Goddess Freya calls upon women to stand tall and love them. She urges us to put on our spiritual wings of Spirit and fly into heightened areas of consciousness. Freya is the Goddess of Sacred Sound. It is said that all creation began with a Soul Note which she created for the story of this Universe.

Spider Woman is the feminine creator deity of the Native American culture, said to have created everything by thinking, dreaming and weaving. She empowers us to keep the dream of life alive and encourages us to continue weaving our dreams, even in times of turmoil and unknowing. In her aspect as Mother, Spider Woman affirms that women are central and essential to life. She reminds us that all races of human beings were created from the same source, with equal rights and responsibilities. It is said that Spider Woman spun two silver strands, one connecting east to west, the other north to south, thus connecting the four directions of the Earth. She represents manifestation through creative vision and intention, and sacred sound by the use of the voice to "name it and claim it." Eve is the mother and nurturer of all life. Her name means life. She is the creatrix of the world and of all living beings. It is appropriate that she is usually portrayed with a snake, for the snake is a symbol of the vital life-force found in every living being, a potent symbol of rebirth and regeneration. Eve embodies primal female creative energy, the powerful urge to create and sustain life. She is the original Mother of Invention. Eve is life itself. Morgan le Fay is the Celtic Queen of Faeries or Queen of Specters. In Italy she is known as Fata Morgana - Goddess of Destiny. She is a Priestess of the Old Ways, a healer with knowledge of herbal medicine. Sometimes connected to the Lady of the Lake because on meaning of her name is "water faerie". She is a shape-shifter and sorceress as well as a priestess presiding over a sisterhood of nine healers and miracle workers inhabiting the enchanted isle of Avalon, a sanctuary where spirits have special powers. Morgan Le Fay represents healing magic. Mary is the enduring Christian symbol of the Divine Feminine. The Blessed Mother Mary is known as the dispenser of mercy, the ever patient mother, and protectress of humanity. She is the eternal source of comfort, tenderness, peace, and unconditional love. Mary symbolizes the willingness of the soul to take on its full destiny. She represents selfless service. Known in the Orient as Kuan Yin, she is the Mother of Mercy and Compassion, guiding us through to a place of peace. Inanna is the Sumerian mother Goddess of love and fertility, known to the Semitic peoples as Ishtar. She is called "Queen of the Sky" and her symbol is an eight-pointed star. Inanna is also queen of all beasts,

protector of grain and source of all wells, springs and rivers. She is honored at the dark moon, and it is she who fixes destinies at the new moon. Ancient rebirth stories tell that Inanna descended into the underworld, died and returned alive in three days to walk upon the Earth. Inanna's rising from the dead is an ancient parallel to the story of Jesus' resurrection. She is a guide into the dark places of psychological and spiritual death and disintegration. Inanna's journey into the underworld and subsequent revitalization represents the soul's evolution through bitter experience into glorious renewal. Goddess Jewelry While working with these 13 Goddesses I realized that there are energetic resonances of the Goddess energies which correspond with the 13 Mayan Tones of Creation: Venus ~Tone 1: Magnetic ~ Unity: unify, attract, purpose Pele ~Tone 2: Lunar ~ Polarity: polarize, challenge, stabilize Hathor ~Tone 3: Electric ~ Rhythm: activation, bonding, service Artemis ~Tone 4: Self-Existing ~ Measure: define, measure, form Sophia ~Tone 5: Overtone ~ Center: empower, command, radiance Changing Woman ~Tone 6: Rhythmic ~ Organic Balance: organize, balance, equality Isis ~Tone 7: Resonant ~ Mystical power: channel, inspiration, attunement Freya ~Tone 8: Galactic ~ Harmonic Resonance: harmonize, model, integrity Spider Woman ~Tone 9: Solar ~ Greater Cycles: pulse, intention, realization Eve ~Tone 10: Planetary ~ Manifestation: perfect, produce, manifest Morgan Le Fay ~Tone 11: Spectral ~ Dissonance: dissolve, release, liberation Mary ~Tone 12: Crystal ~ Complex Stability: dedicate, universalize, cooperation Inanna ~Tone 13: Cosmic ~ Universal Movement: endure, presence, transcendence

From: Rushing to Eva [John Philip] Cohane has a lot to say ... about Bride, Ana and Danu, in his book mentioned before, The Key, as names of early Goddesses. We shall return to these names below. His book, as mentioned above, is an exploration for his thesis that, behind these names, lies an earlier Great Goddess whose name - variously - he posits as Awa, Hawwah, Ava - or EVE. Recent studies of the mitochondria in our cells lend credibility to such a single ancestry thesis for mankind. In a recent program (summer, 1987) on the televised series "Nova" entitled "Daughters of Eve," such an hypothesis was explored more fully. Genetically, we are very various when one studies the DNA, but unitary in terms of the mitochondria! I find this fact both fascinating and provocative. There is no evidence of an early Goddess named Ave or Awa in either Irish or British mythology, but, as Cohane says, "If Ava or Haue/Hawa were the names of an earlier goddess of fertility who was superseded by a younger god, Oc/Og, then the evidence is about what one would expect to find." He mentions a "thirteenth century writer" who refers to Haue and Oc as "Godys," or pagan deities. He also cites numerous place-names in both countries which contain the prefix Awa or Ava, such as Kill Avala, the Avon river and Avalon (the Arthurian blessed island off the west coast of Britain whose name may be related to the Welsh word for apples, but which also might refer to Ava, whose name means water, as in the river Avon) - and Oc/Och/Og, as in the many Ogbourne villages near Marlborough, the 0g river, tributary to the Kennet and the Ock river a few miles to the north. Cohane ends one of his chapters by saying "the name of the oldest fertility goddess in the world, known to the Semites as the 'mother of all living,' the name out of which evolved Eve, our name for the first woman, was Hawwah." The history of Og/Oc is also a fascinating one, and one very often associated with Awa or Hawa. Tradition lists the only other human survivor of the flood beside Noah and his family as 0g. In Greek legend, the first king of both Attica and Boeotia, founder of Thrace and of the Achaean League, builder of Thebes, is Ogygios! He is said to be responsible for a series of floods in Boeotia and elsewhere, and is confused by later sources with Noah. Another Greek tradition deals with Aigeus, also said to be a founder of Greece, specifically of Athens,

who comes from Asia Minor via Cyprus and Crete, and whose son Medus is said to be the father of the Medes. He is known as the Goat King (from the Greek word for goat, aig), and is said to have brought to Greece both the goat and the cult of Aphrodite, from the older fertility cult of Astarte or Ashtaroth. Cohane believes that these two figures, Ogygios and Aigeus, can be traced back to a single original source known in the Old Testament and Rabbinical tradition as 0g, who as king of Bashan, was a giant who was saved from the flood by climbing on the roof of the ark. As founder of the fertility cult at the city of Ashteroth, he was worshipped throughout the Mediterranean region. More than this, however, Cohane believes his memory is preserved in place-names throughout the world! In order to understand this better, let us turn to Robert Graves, whose book The White Goddess sheds light on many of the interconnections involved in the history of worship of the Goddess and her consort/rival. For this purpose it is necessary to trace the history of a group called, in Ireland, the Tuatha De Danaan, the children of Dana or Danu, the Goddess whose name is mentioned by Ross and Cohane. Robert Graves calls the Tuatha De Danaan a "confederacy of tribes in which the kingship went by matrilinear succession, some of whom invaded Ireland from Britain in the Middle Bronze Age" (which the Encyclopedia Britannica cites as between 2000 and 1800 B.C.). He says these tribes may originally have come from somewhere near the Black Sea. In the Greek tradition, the ancient mother goddess Dana (whose name in Sanskrit, danu, means rain or moisture, becomes a king, Danaus, who shares the throne of Egypt with his half-brother Aegyptus, is driven out by him, ascends the throne of Argos where he is associated with another of his brothers Pelasgus, and is subsequently driven from Argos by his father Agenor, king of Phoenicia. In the Irish tradition concerning the Tuatha De Danaan, Oc, son and half-brother of the "All-father" Eochaid Ollathair known as "the Dagda," also has a half-sister Brigid and a half-brother known as Ogma, who is the great champion of the tribe. Ogma, half brother of 0g in Ireland, is the one who conveys on the Tuatha "Ogham," a prehistoric inscribed language found in various places in Great Britain. Off the west coast of Ireland, on several of the Arran Islands, are a number of "Oghil" place names , as well as the name "Achill," which Cohane calls "mixed," meaning it contains elements of both "0g" and "Ach," which seems to come from an allied but separate "Oc" tradition. There is also a statement in Irish mythology that the world will not end

until "Ogham and Achu mix together and the sun and the moon mix together." Other Irish place names he cites are Avoca (Ava/Oca) and Aughaval (Og/Ava). St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall was known by the Romans as Ocrinum. Place names identified with the oak (Oakford, formerly Ocford), the egg (Egg Buckland, formerly Achintone), the ox (Oxted, formerly Ocstead) and the hog (Ogle, formerly Ogghill, earlier Hoggel) probably all get their names from Oc/Og, according to Cohane, since all three have had forms which interchange with one another.The name of Ceridwen, the triple Mother Goddess whose cauldron was called The Cauldron of Regeneration, comes from two words, "cerdd," which means both art or inspiration and pig, and "wen," which means white. She is the feared White Sow Goddess, known also as the Barley Goddess and the White Lady of Inspiration and Death, according to Graves. Clearly, her name comes into this story. So, thus far, we have the names Dana or Danu, Bride, Ceridwen, and Ana. Cohane believes Ana to be primarily the personification of an abstract quality - "blessed," from the Semitic tongue - and sees the distribution of place-names with the "Ana" element in them primarily as designations for "Blessed Awa." Robert Graves says the name means "queen." According to Barbara Walker,TheWoman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, the name appears in a great many cultures, some widely separated by time and/or space. Thus, there is Anna-Nin, Nana or Inanna, Queen of Heaven in Sumeria (An means Heaven in Sumerian, according to Graves); Anatha, (Syria); Anat (Canaan); Ana or Anah (Old Testament); Di-Ana (Semitic) or Dinah (from the Syriac version of the Old Testament, referring to the goddess of the Dinaite tribes in Sumeria), both uses of "Di" referring to divinity or godhead; Anna (Pelasgian Greek); Nanna (the incarnation of the Danish Goddess Freya as the mother-bride of Baldur); Anu (early Danaan Goddess in Ireland); Ana or Anan, which Robert Graves says are names for the Goddess Danu, who had two aspects, one nurturant, the other maleficent, as which she was sometimes known as Morg-ana to the Irish ("Death Ana," one third of the triple Goddess known as The Morrigan, ("Great Queen"); Anna Perenna (Roman); Black Annis of Leicester to medieval Christians, who lived on "Dane Hill" (Danaan?) and used to devour children; ending with St. Anne, mother of the virgin Mary, grandmother of God. This long history seems to me too ubiquitous to be reduced to an abstraction! It goes even further: Graves cites the view of a Mr. E. M. Parr that Athene was another Anna: namely, Ath-enna, which occurs in

inverted form in Libya as Anatha. Graves' verdict on the subject is "if one needs a single, simple, inclusive name for the Great Goddess, Anna is the best choice." Perhaps the issue may be thought about in more than one way, depending on the historical period being referred to. The Goddess whose name I seek is the Goddess of the Avebury Complex, as Dames calls the three sites. The carbon-dating of all three units of this complex - the henge, the hill and the barrow - places them essentially in the middle of the third millennium B.C. - between 2600 and 2100. What Cohane is struggling for is a hypothesis concerning a Goddess who goes back to a period which totally pre-dates even the written traditions of the myths. The closest I have come to an answer that satisfies me, aside from his provocative tracking down of the placenames, appears in Merlin Stone's When God Was a Woman. Stone says, quoting Professor Walter Emery's Archaic Egypt, that the name of the Egyptian Goddess Isis is actually a Greek translation of the Egyptian name Au Set. The word "set" means "queen," and Au Set means"exceeding queen," according to Stone. Set, of course, is also a separate god who is closely identified with the serpent of darkness Zet, and is the sinister figure (in Plutarch's account of Egyptian mythology) who kills Osiris, the consort of Isis. Much earlier, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Set, Osiris, Horus, Isis and Nephthys are all identified as children of the earth god Keb and the sky goddess Nut, and represented five days added onto the yearly calendar. Stone suggests that Au Set, the female predecessor to the later male god Set, was originally, in pre-dynastic times, the cobra Goddess Ua Zit, whose name hers so closely resembles. She makes a further connection between Ua Zit and uzait, the Engyptian word for "eye." The dynastic-age Goddess Ma'at, or Maet, whose name stands for order, truth or righteousness, was also known, variously, as "the eye of Horus, Ra or Ptah," and was the embodiment of the uraeus cobra, according to Stone. She comments, "She (Ua Zit, especially as Ma'at) seems to have been allowed to retain her qualities and nature so long as She was assigned to one of the male deities as his possession." Interestingly, the investigations of Peter Tompkins and Livio Stecchini, Secrets of the Great Pyramid, suggest strongly that this concept of "ma'at or maet" as embodied in Egyptian culture played a crucial role in the role of measurement in ancient Egypt in every sphere which we term scientific, and that this concept was the central religious belief

around which their life revolved. Stecchini describes the graphic representation (during the dynastic period) of ma'at as follows: On the two sides of the throne of the Pharoah there was a design which Egyptologists call "Unity of Egypt." We know it well because it appears in all statues of Pharoahs sitting on the throne; the series of such statues starts with the Fourth Dynasty, but occasional drawings indicate that the design "Unity of Egypt" is older....The design called "Unity of Egypt" is the standard decoration of the royal throne, because it symbolizes all that the Egyptians held fundamental in their political, ethical, religious and cosmological conceptions, a cluster of ideas which they summarized by the word maet. ...the cosmic order of which the dimensions of Egypt were an embodiment... Stecchini speaks of the significance of the Great Pyramid as a repository of the highest and most inclusive dimensions of ma'at in the following terms, which reflect his own investigations in the field of relative measurements: The basic idea of the Great Pyramid was that it should be a representation of the northern hemisphere, a hemisphere projected on flat surfaces, as is done in mapmaking. This was the principle according to which was built the ziggurat of Babylon, the biblical tower of Babel, and according to which were built the earlier pyramids. The Great Pyramid was a projection on four triangular surfaces. The apex represented the pole and the perimeter represented the equator. This is the reason why the perimeter is in relation 2f with the height. The Great Pyramid represents the northern hemisphere in a scale 1:43,200; this scale was chosen because there are 26,400 seconds in 24 hours. But then the builders became concerned with the problem of indicating the ratio of polar flattening of the earth and the length of degrees of latitude which depends on the ratio of this flattening. Next, they incorporated into the Pyramid the factor f as the key to the structure of the cosmos... [As to the building process itself,] it appears that there was drawn a plan of the Great Pyramid which included the calculation of the stars to be observed in order to obtain the direction of the north. [Then] the ground...had to be cleared in order to proceed with the ceremony called the "stretching of the cord,"...[which] had the purpose of establishing the direction of true north and, as the Egyptians saw it, suspending the building from the sky by

tying the building with an imaginary string to the axis of rotation of the vault of heaven.. The question to be asked is whether the incorporation of the rate of the precession of the equinoxes into the dimensions of the Great Pyramid and the Second Pyramid was accidental or intended. I am inclined in favor of the second alternative, since in the case of the Great Pyramid the angle corresponds exactly to three years in the precession of the equinoxes [the time it may well have taken from the drawing of the plan to the actual clearing of the ground.] In their book Hamlet's Mill de Santillana [a distinguished professor of science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for many years] and Dechend have used mythological and iconographic evidence in order to prove that all ancient cultures of the world were deeply preoccupied wlth the phenomenon of the procession of the equinoxes. They intended to prove that the movement by which the celestial pole in about 25,920 years (Platonic year) makes a full clrcle around a point called the pole of the ecliptic was conceived as the basic movement in the life of the universe. This cycle determined all other movements, including biological developments, and determined the length of human life (taken as 72 years, or the time that it takes for the celestial pole to move a degree) as well as historical events. Tompkins, speaking of the building of the pyramids, says that the estimations by the Egyptologists of the times of their construction were made "only on the basis of shrewd guessing" in the absence of later reports from the Egyptians themselves, characterizing the evidence as "sketchy." The most ancient Arab tradition concerning the Great Pyramid, he says, holds that: " was erected to memorialize a tremendous cataclysm in the planetary system which affected the globe with fire and flooding." Arab authors recount that the pyramids were built before the deluge by a king who had a vision that the world would be turned upside down and that the stars would fall from the sky. According to these Arab sources, the king placed in the pyramids accounts of all he had learned from the wisest men of the times, including the secrets of astronomy, complete with tables of the stars, geometry and physics, treatises on precious stones, and certain machines, including celestial spheres and terrestrial globes...

Abu Zeyd el Balkhy quotes an ancient inscription to the effect that the Great Pyramid was built at a time when the Lyre was in the Constellation of Cancer, which has been interpreted as meaning "twice six thousand solar years before the Hegira," or about 73,000 years ago... Recent Soviet authors postulate that the Egyptians may have come from Indonesia when their civilization was devastated some ten to twelve thousand years ago as a result of some cosmic catastrophe such as the falling of an asteroid...[and that they] have recently brought to light some fascinating secrets of Egyptian archaeology. The Russians are said to have found astronomical maps of surprising correctness, with the position of the stars as they were may thousands of years ago...[and] to have dug up several objects...including crystal lenses, perfectly spherical, of great precision, possibly used as telescopes...[and] similar lenses have been found in Iraq and central Australia... [which] can only be ground today with a special abrasive made of oxide of cerium which can only be produced electrically. Tompkins' final words concerning the Great Pyramid are as follows: Manly P. Hall, a lifelong researcher into the mysteries of ancient initiation, says the Great Pyramid was dedicated to the god Hermes, the personification of Universal Wisdom; it was not only a temple of initiation but a repository for the secret truths which he calls the foundation of all the arts and sciences. The time will come, says Hall, when the secret wisdom shall again be the dominating religious and philosophical urge of the world: "Out of the cold ashes of lifeless creeds, shall rise phoenix-like the ancient Mysteries...The unfolding of man's spiritual nature is as much an exact science as astronomy, medicine and jurisprudence."... Whoever built the Great Pyramid knew the dimensions of this planet as they were not to be known again till the seventeenth century of our era. They could measure the day, the year and the Great Year of the Precession [of the equinoxes]. They knew how to compute latitude and longitude very accurately by means of obelisks and the transit of stars. They knew the varying lengths of a degree of latitude and longitude at different

locations on the planet and could make excellent maps, projecting them with a minimum of distortion. They worked out a sophisticated system of measures based on the earth's rotation on its axis which produced the admirably earth-commensurate foot and cubit which they incorporated in the Pyramid. In mathematics they were advanced enough to have discovered the Fibonacci series, and the function of p and f. What more they knew remains to be seen. But as more is discovered it may open the door to a whole new civilization of the past, and a much longer history of man than has heretofore been credited. If Stone's research is correct, all of this magnificent exactitude and cosmic understanding was being carried out to manifest and perhaps propitiate Ma'at, the divine "eye" of Ua Zit - who becomes Au Set who becomes Isis - who we know becomes Ishtar, Astarte, Ashteroth, and Aphrodite, the same Goddess who is the Queen of Heaven in Sumeria known as An or Ana. Stone says, Upon closer scrutiny, however, it becomes clear that so many of the names used in diverse areas were simply various titles of the Great Goddess, epithets such as Queen of Heaven, Lady of the High Place, Celestial Ruler, Lady of the Universe, Sovereign of the Heavens, Lioness of the Sacred Assembly, or simply Her holiness....We are not, however, confronting a confusing myriad of deities, but a variety of titles resulting from diverse languages and dialects, yet each referring to a most similar female divinity. Stone quotes Robert Graves, writing in his translation of Apuleius'The Golden Ass: I am Nature, the Universal Mother, mistress of all elements, primordial child of time, sovereign of all things spiritual, queen of the dead, queen also of the immortals, the single manifestation of all gods and goddesses that are... The primeval Phrygians call me Pessinunctica, Mother of the gods; the Athenians sprung from their own soil, call me Cecropian Artemis; for the islanders of Cyprus I am Paphian Aphrodite... for the tri-lingual Silicians, Stygian Proserpine; and for the Eleusinians their ancient Mother of Corn .... and the Egyptians who excel in ancient learning and worship me with ceremonies proper to my godhead, call me by my true name, namely, Queen Isis.

We are right back to Au Set, and behind her, to Ua Zit. My own conclusion is that the name Ua, with Zit added as the title "queen," is our Awa in only slightly changed form! So in the end, I tend to believe Cohane is on the right track with his place names, which suggests to me that his evaluation of Danu and its variants is probably correct, and that this name is more regional than universal, coming at a later period than the one we are addressing. But the research of Tompkins and Stecchini which I have quoted from so extensively suggests to me that there is a lot more here than meets the eye! Superimposed on Stone's and Cohane's images of a Mother Goddess whose worship seems atavistic in nature, rife with tales of the devouring of consorts and offspring, of the worshipping of serpents and magical fertility symbols in dark caves, quite probably human sacrifice - certainly an indifference to human life in the individual, although not in the species - comes an entirely different picture of early society. The authors of The Great Pyramid paint a picture of a highly organized society stretching so far back as to be lost in the dawn of history, a society in which the concept of order and justice as measured according to exacting standards in conformity with the will of the cosmos, rules the entire life both of the individual and of society. They have presented a very well-reasoned case for believing that this society had a highly sophisticated knowledge of the basic laws governing the cosmos. That this organized knowledge also seems to have been intimately bound up with the female principle, at least until the advent of a purely paternalistic godhead, feels undeniable. The association of so many of the artifacts we have from this period with female qualities and preoccupations of the kind we see graphically depicted at Avebury as well as the geographical evidence of Cohane have convinced me that this is the case. Particularly, I find convincing the association of these ancient societies with the "vault of heaven" with the precession of the equinoxes. Ultimately, what makes the most sense to me - indeed, the only thing that does make sense to me - is the concept of a society governed by the unitary laws of the cosmos from birth to death, but even further, from life to life to life, each person coming into each life according to the configuration of the heavens at the moment of his birth, each person having his particular task to perform successfully in each lifetime, with the planet as the great schoolroom and the Lady, the Queen of Heaven, as the great Mother-Teacher, the overall human

task being to learn to live on the earth in such a way as to approximate more and more closely the laws of heaven upon the earth, a task which has been called "the squaring of the circle" heaven represented by the circle, earth by the square. Sources: John Philip Cohane, The Key Robert Graves, The White Goddess Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman Peter Tompkins, Secrets of the Great Pyramid

Lilith As Goddess
By: Eliza Yetter (written 2003 / revised 2007) The Goddess Lilith dates back to the bird-serpent goddess of antiquity. In Sumeria, she was portrayed as having both the wings and claws of a bird. Some reliefs show her lower half as being the body of a serpent or she is shown as a serpent with the head and breasts of a woman. There are many possibilities as to her early goddess names: Belil-ili, Belili, Lillake [7], or Ninlil [12]. She was a goddess of agriculture as well as the "hand of Inanna". She was said to dwell in the trunk of the Huluppu-tree: "Then a serpent who could not be charmed Made its nest in the roots of the huluppu-tree. The Anzu-bird set his young in the branches of the tree. And the dark maid Lilith built her home in the trunk." [11] Lilith also helped women in childbirth and nursed infants. Recent translations of her name are varied and range from "screech owl"[13], lilah which is darkness or night in Hebrew, to Lilitu which is said to be the Babylonian word for "evil night-spirit." Her symbols are the crossroad, owl, serpent, tree, and dark moon. The Hebrew Lilith When Jewish patriarchy overtook the land, they made Lilith evil in order to stop the people from worshipping her. In Kabbalistic tradition, Lilith was made the first wife of Adam. Some sources say that Lilith was Adam's spirit wife. Other sources claim that Lilith was fashioned from the earth at either the same time as Adam or before Adam. This made Lilith Adam's equal.

As Adam's equal, Lilith refused to lie on her back while Adam took the dominant position in sex (missionary style). Lilith believed that they should make love as equals (the beast with two backs). Adam was adamantly against this, wanting his wife to be submissive, and Lilith left the Garden of Eden. God then supposedly gave Adam Eve, a docile woman of the flesh. Eventually, Lilith was portrayed as the foe of Eve. It was Lilith in serpent form who seduced Eve to eat the fruit of knowledge. No doubt the first wife wanted the second wife to see what a jerk Adam was and that Lilith also wanted Eve to open her eyes and come into the fulness of herself, her womanhood. When both Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, Adam endured a period of celibacy as penance. During this time, Lilith was said to have caused nocturnal emissions from Adam (night hag). She collected his semen and impreganted herself with it, giving birth to demons. These children of Lilith were called Lilin or Lilim, "night-demons." The goddess who once protected mothers and infants was now portrayed as a demoness who caused abortions and murdered infants in their sleep. The Jewish people believed that when a baby laughed or smiled in its sleep, it was being entertained by Lilith, and the parents would quickly bop the infant on the nose to distract the infant from the goddess. It was also believed that she came to children in the form of an owl and drank their blood. Despite the Jewish attempts to erradicate this ancient goddess, she can still be found in her truer, albeit symbolic, form in their literature: "During a protracted and dangerous confinement take earth from the crossroads, write upon it the five first verses of this Psalm, and lay it upon the abdomen of the parturient; allow it to remain until the birth is accomplished, but no longer. . ."[5] Lilith and Sexuality Lilith, as "hand of Inanna," would gather men from the streets and lead them to the temples of the sacred prostitutes. Later, as the first wife of Adam, she refused to lie beneath Adam and be his submissive.

Instead she chose to have sex with "evil" spirits and beget more demons. (Who could blame her?) Lilith was comfortable with her sexuality, something that frightened the Jewish patriarch who believed that merely having sex for pleasure was a form of abortion. In recent times, Lilith has morphed into the succubus and incubus or the night hag who sits on the chests of men and causes them to have perverse dreams so that they will ejaculate. She could take the form of either a man or a woman: ". . .who appear to mankind, to men in the likeness of women, and to women in the likeness of men, and with men they lie by night and by day."[10] Men fear Lilith because she knows the power of her sexuality and she knows that her sexuality has power over men. Like Circe, she turns men into beasts or pigs by opening the doorways to their deep and primal sexual desires. Such desires are forbidden by the Jewish and Christian cults. Women, who are like the submissive Eve, also fear Lilith because of the power she holds. But, as has been shown in the myth of the garden of Eden, Lilith is not an enemy of womankind. She holds the ancient fruit of knowledge, the secrets of our deepest sexual nature, and she is willing to offer this fruit to us. Lilith as Vampire As the mother of all demons, Lilith has recently been linked to either giving birth to the first vampires or being the first vampire. This fallacy is linked to past Jewish superstitions in that Lilith drank the blood of children while in the form of an owl. In a Rabbinical frenzy to drive Lilith's worshippers away from the goddess, they made up lies such as this which contradicted her earlier functions as a protectress and helper of birthing mothers and infants. Select Bibliography [1] Tyson, Donald. Sexual Alchemy: Magical Intercourse with Spirits. Llewellyn Publications; St. Paul, Minnesota. 2000.

[2] Gadon, Elinor. The Once and Future Goddess. Harper San Francisco. 1989. [3] Hoyt, Olga. Lust for Blood: The Consuming Story of Vampires. Scarborough House; Lanham, MD. 1984. [4] Chevalier, Jean and Gheerbrant, Alain. The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols. Translated by John Buchanan-Brown. Penguin Books. 1996. [5] The Complete Edition of the 6th and 7th Books of Moses: or Moses' Magical Spirit Art. "Published for the trade." No copyright or publisher given. [6] Graham, Lloyd M.. Deceptions and Myths of the Bible. Carol Publishing Group; NY. 1993. [7] Walker, Barbara G.. The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. Harper San Francisco. 1983. [8] Stone, Merlin. When God Was a Woman. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers; NY. 1976. [9] Sjoo, Monica and Mor, Barbara. The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth. Harper San Francisco. 1991. [10] Budge, Sir E.A. Wallis. Amulets and Superstitions. Dover Publications, Inc.; NY. 1978. [11] Wolkstein, Diane and Kramer, Samuel Noah. Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth. Harper and Row, Publishers; NY. 1983. [12] Stone, Merlin. Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood: A Treasury of Goddess and Heroine Lore from Around the World. Beacon Press; Boston. 1990. [13] Gimbutas, Marija. The Language of the Goddess. Harper San Francisco. 1991.

The Goddess Mother Mary
Eve as Creatrix, Mary as the New Eve The Question represented by the concept of the Goddess mother Mary is closely related to the question of Eve. How are the two related? Honored Miss Theodora writes: I was fascinated by your essay on Creation Myths and the Virgin Mary, and I have been wondering how all this relates to Eve. It is as the "seed" of Eve that Mary treads the Serpent (in the "mistranslation" of the Septuagint) and in mediaeval times it was common to speak of the "parabola" (up-down-up) pattern beginning with Eve in Paradise, descending with the Fall and returning to paradise with the redemption of the world by Mary. This Parabola was shown as U-shaped curve with the word EVA at the beginning and AVE at the end - signifying the beginning in paradise with EVA and the return to paradise with (AVE) Maria. What are your comments on this? The question of goddess Mother Mary is certainly bound up with the question of Eve, although this plays little role in the iconography or in the use of Marian images by many of us. The name Eve is a Westernisation of the Hebrew name Chavah which means "Mother of all living". Clearly this term has a double sense and could be interpreted either as "Creatrix" or as "Universal Ancestress". These two interpretations were probably not as distinct to the ancient mind as they are to that of the modern West. As we know "ancestor worship" in the East and in tribal traditions is in fact a particular form of the worship of the Divine. A Frithjof Schuon explains:

In reality...the Divinity Itself is conceived in the Far East as a kind of ancestor and one's human ancestors are like a prolongation of that Divinity, or else they are seen as a bridge between oneself and It. God is the Heaven or Sun from which we are descended... This, of course is in keeping with the doctrine of the Cycle of the Ages (see our page on Kali Yuga) which tells us that the earliest ages are progressively nearer to the Divine state and even allows traditional peoples to see the Golden Age as a microcosmic reflection of Paradise itself. While Eve is the Divine Ancestress, like the Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu, the name "Adam" means "earth" (and also red - red being the colour of Mars). Clearly this designation dates from a semi-matriarchal period, after the time when both Heaven and Earth were feminine but before the lesser element of earth was attributed to the feminine and the higher element of Heaven to the masculine. It dates from a time when the Divine Sun was feminine and the lesser element of earth attributed to the masculine. In the later patriarchal re-writing, Eve becomes simply the "first woman" and the Fall is blamed upon her (while actually it is simply part of the process of manifestation). From being the Creatrix and Conqueror of the Serpent (cf Creation Myths and the Virgin Mary) she is said to have been deceived by the serpent into disobedience to the masculine god. With the "deification" of the goddess Mother Mary, the true image of the Creatrix and Conqueror of the Serpent returns. Thus Mary was hailed in the middle ages as the New Eve and Queen of Heaven.

Meet The Goddesses!

And now, please meet the Goddesses featured in The Goddess Pages! These are just 35 of the many Divine Females who can help change your life and enhance your world!


Eve – Considered the mother of us all, she is our first link to the Divine Feminine in human form. Reclaiming Eve is the first step toward getting to know the Goddess within. Goddesses of Self-Empowerment and Strength Hathor, Egyptian goddess of love, beauty and pleasure, helps you to your inner light and shows you how truly beautiful you are. Lilith, Hebrew Goddess, said to be Adam’s first wife, was demonized in the Bible but is an empowered woman in Kabbalah and Feminine spiritually. She helps you discover your dark and wild side. Oya, Yoruban goddess of wind, hurricane and wild weather, helps you welcome the winds of change. Nike, Greek goddess of Victory and herald of success, helps you claim your victories in life. Mary, mother of Jesus, is not considered a goddess in the Catholic Faith yet has all the powers of a divine female and is the primary representation of the feminine divine for 2000 years, making her the Spiritual Mother for us all. She helps you connect to your healing power. Sophia, goddess of wisdom in Gnostic Christianity, is also referred to in Hebrew texts and the books of Solomon. She helps you tap into, and trust, your own intuition. Kuan Yin, Chinese goddess of healing and compassion, helps you find compassion for yourself, and others. Green Tara, Tibetan Buddhist goddess of protection, helps you feel safe and shows you how to stay calm and centered

in a crisis. White Buffalo Calf Woman, Native American spirit woman, is the mystical feminine force who taught great sacraments to her people. She helps you connect with the true nature of the soul and create a more peaceful life … and world. Goddesses of Love and Romance Venus, quintessential Roman goddess of love and beauty, shows you that self-love and appreciation is the first step to embracing your own divinity and empowering your sense of self-worth. Oshun, Macumban Goddess of sensuality, beauty and womanhood. Helps you tap into your more sensual side and express your sensual self. Freya, Norse goddess of sexual prowess and war, guides you on how to be a man magnate and enjoy every minute of sizzling sexual energy in your life. Persephone, Greek goddess of springtime who was abducted by the god of the underworld, shows you how to liberate yourself from bad relationships and set forth a new path in your love life. Gauri, Hindu goddess of love and marriage shows you how to get yourself ready for a serious relationship, and how to gently encourage your true love toward the altar. Radha, Sacred lover of Hindu avatar Krishna, helps you discover soulful, higher lover. Isis, famous Egyptian mother goddess is hailed for her healing, magic and resurrection powers. She helps you rescue troubled relationships and get them back on track.

Goddesses of Family Life and Frienship The Great Goddess is the divine female energy of all there is. She represents life its self, death and regeneration and can help transform your relationship with your own mom by connecting with the power of your female ancestry. Pele, the Hawaiian fire goddess who dwells in the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, shows you how to channel and express anger and heal hostility in a healthy way. Kali, the Hindu goddess of life, destruction and regeneration shows you hoe to own up to your dark side and dance with the hungry ghosts of your past. St. Lucy/Lucina, the cherished Catholic saint who originated as the Roman Goddess of a newborn's first light, Lucina, can help you open your spiritual eyes, see family in a new light and bring light to the shadow side of family life. The Muses, the nine Greek deities who joyfully presided over the arts, are among the most familiar mythical woman and Goddesses. They help you Celebrate creativity and connections with sisters, and friends. Mary Magdalene, the spiritual heroine who is closely linked as soul companion to Jesus, helps you survive the loss of a loved one. Vesta, the Roman Goddess of the Hearth, assists you in creating a true home. Goddesses of Work and Finance Aurora, Roman goddess of the dawn, assists you on the path to your true calling and helps you open your spiritual eyes.

Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt, helps you pursue your career goals with passion and focus. Brigid, Celtic Irish goddess of inspiration, poetry, birth and blacksmithing, helps you find your inspiration and creative flow. Lakshmi, Hindu goddess of fortune, gives you a hand, or four, increasing your income, your financial potential and your ability to plan for your future. Nemesis, Greek goddess of retribution, helps you handle office politics and troublemakers while helping you see ways you sabotage yourself. Durga, Hindu Mother goddess of protection and war, helps you drawn your boundaries and protect yourself from negative energies. St. Térèse, beloved Catholic Saint known as The Little Flower is a spiritual heroine for women of all faiths. She helps you get even the most menial jobs done by showing you the relevance, power and sacredness in life’s little chores. Goddesses of Play and Lightheartedness Bast, Egyptian goddess of play, felines and females, shows you how to be playful as a pussycat. Uzume, the Japanese shaman goddess responsible for making people laugh shows you how to bring lightness and sunshine into your life. Iris, Roman goddess of the rainbow helps you add color and

zest to your life. Butterfly Maiden, Native American spirit woman, takes you from cocoon to butterfly and helps you transform your life. The Fairy Godmother, a goddess-like figure that many girls grow up with, may be an icon of fairy tales and movies, but she is also an inspiration for keeping magic alive in our lives at any age.

May you enjoy meeting the Goddesses and working with them. I believe that women can greatly benefit from an intimate connection with the divine feminine. Many blessings, Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway New York City

Old Midsummer Eve (St John's Eve)
Night of the fairy goddesses, Ainé and her sister Finnen, Ireland “Here,” observed Mr Alfred Nutt, “we have the antique ritual carried out on a spot hallowed to one of the antique powers, watched over and shared in by those powers themselves. Nowhere save in Gaeldom could be found such a pregnant illustration of the identity of the fairy class with the venerable powers to ensure whose goodwill rites and sacrifices, originally fierce and bloody, now a mere simulacrum of their pristine form, have been performed for countless ages.” Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race (1911), Ch. 3 And as to Aine, that some said was a daughter of Manannan, but some said was the Morrigu herself, there was a stone belonging to her that was called Cathair Aine. And if any one would sit on that stone he would be in danger of losing his wits, and any one that would sit on it three times would lose them for ever. And people whose wits were astray would make their way to it, and mad dogs would come from all parts of the country, and would flock around it, and then they would go into the sea to Aine's place there. But those that did cures by herbs said she had power over the whole body; and she used to give gifts of poetry and of music, and she often gave her love to men, and they called her the Leanan Sidhe, the Sweetheart of the Sidhe. And it was no safe thing to offend Aine, for she was very revengeful. Oilioll Oluim, a king of Ireland, killed her brother one time, and it is what she did, she made a great yew-tree by enchantment beside the river Maigh in Luimnech, and she put a little man in it, playing sweet music on a harp. And Oilioli's son was passing the river with his stepbrother, and they saw the tree and heard the sweet music from it. And first they quarrelled as to which of them would have the little harper, and then they quarrelled about the tree, and they asked a judgment from Ollioll, and he gave it for his own son. And it was the bad feeling about that judgment that led to the battle of Magh Mucruimhe, and Oilioll and his seven sons were killed there, and so Aine got her revenge. Lady Augusta Gregory, Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland, Part I Book IV: 'Aine', 1904 Aine: Some said she was the daughter of Manannan, but some said she was the Morrigu, she owned the Cathair Aine. But she often gave

her love to men, and she was called Leanan Sidhe, the Sweetheart of the Sidhe. Wisps of straw are burned in her honor on St. John's Eve. She is associated with meadow-sweet, and invoked against sickness. According to legend, she was raped by the king of Munster. Mike Nichols, An Irish Myth Concordance, MicroMuse Press, 1985 [Aine] was daughter of Eogabal, king of the síd of Knockainy, the grass on which was annually destroyed at Samhain by his people, because it had been taken from them, its rightful owners. Oilill Olomm and Ferchus resolved to watch the síd on Samhain-eve. They saw Eogabal and Aine emerge from it. Ferchus killed Eogabal, and Oilill tried to outrage Aine, who bit the flesh from his ear. Hence his name of "Bare Ear." JA MacCulloch, The Religion of the Ancient Celts, Ch. V, 'The Tuatha Dé Danann', 1911 The Celtic peoples have many references to fairies in their myths and legends. Fairies are also known as ‘the little folk’, but this can also refer to leprechauns, goblins, menehune, and other mythical creatures. Irish mythology has many examples of these mystical folk. On Midsummer Eve, sacred rites were held on two hills near Lough Gur ('the Enchanted Lake') in County Limerick (near Grange stone circle). One is called Knock Ainé (Knockany, from Cnoc Ainé – ‘Ainé’s hill’), Ainé or Ane being the name of the ancient Irish goddess who dwells there. She is also called Ainé Cli, Ainé Cliach, Ainé of the light, Aine N'Chliar, and Ainé Cliar, the Bright. Aine’s name comes from the word an, meaning ‘bright’. She is one of the sídhe (pronounced shee), or the ‘Good People’, patroness of Munster and Queen of the South Munster fairies, and seems to have been a moon goddess, like Diana. The peasantry knew her as ‘the besthearted woman that ever lived’.

Aine’s sister was Finnen or Fenne or Fennel, named the same as the sacred herb which wards off evil spirits, bestows strength, courage, and prolongs life. (At least as far back as the Middle Ages in Europe, fennel was hung on doorways, and stuffed into keyholes, on Midsummer Eve to guard against evil spirits.) On St John’s Eve the local peasants would gather to view the moon, and then light cliars (torches) and process from the hill, afterwards running through their fields and among the cattle, to exorcise the land of evil spirits and thus ensure good harvests and prosperous herds and flocks. This being the night where the sun’s influence starts to dim (following Litha, the Summer Solstice), tonight was sometimes called Aine’s funeral, and she could appear as an old woman tonight. Thomas Rolleston, in Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race (1911), Ch. 3, writes: “At the bidding of her son, Earl Gerald, she [ie, Aine] planted all Knockainey with pease in a single night. She was, and perhaps still is, worshipped on Midsummer Eve by the peasantry, who carried torches of hay and straw, tied on poles and lighted, round her hill at night. Afterwards they dispersed themselves among their cultivated fields and pastures, waving the torches over the crops and the cattle to bring luck and increase for the following year. On one night, as told by Mr. D. Fitzgerald, [‘Popular Tales of Ireland.’ by D. Fitzgerald, in Revue Celtique, vol iv.] who has collected the local traditions about her, the ceremony was omitted owing to the death of one of the neighbours. Yet the peasantry at night saw the torches in greater number than ever circling the hill, and Ainé herself in front, directing and ordering the procession.” When girls looked into a mirror, the hill became crowded with the supernatural folk of the goddess who before had been invisible. Or, so it is said:

“On another St John’s Night [probably Eve – PW] a number of girls had stayed late on the Hill watching the cliars (torches) and joining in the games. Suddenly Ainé appeared among them, thanked them for the honour they had done he; but said she now wished them to go home, as they wanted the hill to themselves. She let them understand whom she meant by they, for calling some of the girls she made them look through a ring, when behold, the hill appeared crowded with people before invisible.” (Rolleston, ibid) Ainé and her son Ainé was the wife of Manannan, a sea-god, and also of Echdae, the sky horse. She is said to have mated with several humans, creating a magical race of human/fairies. When seen in Lough Gur, she had similarities to a mermaid. Once, as she sat half immersed in the lake and combing her hair, the Earl of Desmond saw her beauty and fell in love with her. They married and had a son, Geroid Larla, Gerald, the fourth Earl of Desmond who is said to have disappeared in 1398 – ‘Gerald the Poet’, from his witty Gaelic verses – who lives in a world beneath the lough to this day, awaiting the time of his return to the world of men. However, once in every seven years, on clear moonlight nights, he does come out, and the local people see him, phantom-like, riding a phantom white horse, and leading a fairy cavalcade.

A goddess is a female deity
A goddess is a female deity. In some cultures goddesses are associated with Earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures, goddesses also rule over war, death, and destruction as well as healing. The primacy of a monotheistic or near-monotheistic "Great Goddess" is advocated by some modern matriarchists as a female version of, preceding, or analogue to, the Abrahamic God associated with the historical rise of monotheism in the Mediterranean Axis Age. Some currents of Neopaganism, in particular Wicca, have a ditheistic concept of a single goddess and a single god, who in hieros gamos represent a united whole. Polytheistic reconstructionists focus on reconstructing polytheistic religions, including the various goddesses and figures associated with indigenous cultures. Etymology The English term goddess consists of two elements; the noun god and the feminine suffix -ess. The suffix -ess was originally -esse and was borrowed into Middle English from Middle French -esse, deriving from Late Latin -issa, deriving from Greek -issa (a feminine noun suffix). -esse replaced Old English -icge.[1] Robert Barnhart comments that with the exception of goddess and abbess and spinster, "feminine agent nouns are disappearing under social pressure" in American English.[1] The Germanic words for god were originally neuter—applying to both genders—but during the process of the Christianization of the Germanic peoples from their indigenous Germanic paganism, the word became a masculine syntactic form. Goddess is attested in Middle English from 1350.[2] A statue of the Egyptian war goddess Neith wearing the Deshret crown of northern (lower) Egypt, which bears the cobra of Wadjet.
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Goddesses of the Ennead of Heliopolis: Isis, Nut, Nephthys, Tefnut Goddesses of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis: Naunet, Amaunet, Kauket, Hauhet; originally a cult of Hathor Satis and Anuket of the triad of Elephantine

Mesopotamia Ishtar (Inanna) was the main goddess of Babylonia and Assyria. Other Mesopotamian goddesses include Ninhursag, Ninlil, Antu Canaan Main article: Baalat Further information: The Hebrew Goddess Goddesses of the Canaanite religion: Ba`alat Gebal, Astarte, Anat. Pre-Islamic Arabia In pre-Islamic Mecca the goddesses Uzza, al-Manāt and al-Lāt were known as "the daughters of god". Uzzā was worshipped by the Nabataeans, who equated her with the Graeco-Roman goddesses Aphrodite, Urania, Venus and Caelestis. Each of the three goddesses had a separate shrine near Mecca. Uzzā, was called upon for protection by the pre-Islamic Quraysh. "In 624 at the battle called "Uhud", the war cry of the Qurayshites was, "O people of Uzzā, people of Hubal!" (Tawil 1993). According to Ibn Ishaq's controversial account of the Satanic Verses (q.v.), these verses had previously endorsed them as intercessors for Muslims, but were abrogated. Most Muslim scholars have regarded the story as historically implausible, while opinion is divided among western scholars such as Leone Caetani and John Burton, who argue against, and William Muir and William Montgomery Watt, who for its plausibility. Indo-European traditions See also: Proto-Indo-European religion Pre-Christian and pre-Islamic goddesses in cultures that spoke IndoEuropean languages. Indo-Iranian Further information: Proto-Indo-Iranian religion and Rigvedic deities Ushas is the main goddess of the Rigveda. Prithivi, the Earth, also appears as a goddess. Rivers are also deified as goddesses.

Greco-Roman Main articles: Religion in ancient Greece and Religion in ancient Rome
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Eleusinian Mysteries: Persephone, Demeter, Baubo Aphrodite: Goddess of love, lust and beauty. Artemis: Goddess of the moon, fertility, childbirth, and the hunt. She is the protector of children and maidens and she is also virgin goddess. Athena: Goddess of crafts, strategy, wisdom and war. Athena is also virgin goddess. Cybele Eris: Goddess of discord (chaos). Hera: Goddess of family and marriage. She is the wife of Zeus and the queen of the Olympians. Mother of Ares. Hecate: Goddess of sorcery, crossroads and magic. Often considered an chthonic or lunar goddess. She is either portrayed as a single goddess or a triple goddess (maiden, woman, crone). Iris: Messenger of the gods. Nike: Goddess of victory. She is predominantly pictured with Zeus or Athena. Potnia Theron Selene: The original moon goddess but later gave her powers to Artemis. Her twin brother Helios is the sun god.

Celtic Main article: Celtic pantheon Goddesses in Celtic polytheism:
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Celtic antiquity: Brigantia Gallo-Roman goddesses: Epona, Dea Matrona Goddesses of Insular (Welsh, Irish) mythology: MórríganNemain-Macha-Badb, Brigid, Ériu, Danu Yanet is the celtic goddess of sex, love and harmony.

Germanic The goddess Freyja is nuzzled by the boar Hildisvíni while gesturing to Hyndla (1895) by Lorenz Frølich. Further information: List_of_Germanic_deities_and_heroes#Goddesses Surviving accounts of Germanic mythology and later Norse mythology contain numerous tales and mentions of female goddesses, female

giantesses, and divine female figures. The Germanic peoples had altars erected to the "Mothers and Matrons" and held celebrations specific to them (such as the Anglo-Saxon "Mothers-night"), and various other female deities are attested among the Germanic peoples, such as Nerthus attested in an early account of the Germanic peoples, Ēostre attested among the pagan Anglo-Saxons and Sinthgunt attested among the pagan continental Germanic peoples. Examples of goddesses attested in Norse mythology include Frigg (wife of Odin, and the Anglo-Saxon version of whom is namesake of the modern English weekday Friday), Skaði (one time wife of Njörðr), Njerda (Scandinavian name of Nerthus, that also was married to Njörðr during Bronze Age, Freyja (wife of Óðr), Sif (wife of Thor), Gerðr (wife of Freyr), and personifications such as Jörð (earth), Sól (the sun), and Nótt (night). Female deities also play heavily into the Norse concept of death, where half of those slain in battle enter Freyja's field Fólkvangr, Hel receives the dead in her realm of the same name, and Rán receives those who die at sea. Other female deities such as the valkyries, the norns, and the dísir are associated with a Germanic concept of fate (Old Norse Ørlög, Old English Wyrd), and celebrations were held in their honor, such as the Dísablót and Disting. Hinduism The Hindu warrior goddess Durga killing the buffalo-demon Mahishasura. Main article: God and gender in Hinduism Further information: Devi and Shakti Hinduism is a complex of various belief systems that sees many gods and goddesses as being representative of and/or emanative from a single source, Brahman, understood either as a formless, infinite, impersonal monad in the Advaita tradition or as a dual god in the form of Lakshmi-Vishnu, Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Shakti in Dvaita traditions. Shaktas, worshippers of the Goddess, equate this god with Devi, the mother goddess. Such aspects of one god as male god (Shaktiman) and female energy (Shakti), working as a pair are often envisioned as male gods and their wives or consorts and provide many analogues between passive male ground and dynamic female energy. For example, Brahma pairs with Sarasvati. Shiva likewise pairs with Parvati who later is represented through a number of avatars (incarnations): Sati and the warrior figures, Durga and Kali. All goddesses in Hinduism are sometimes grouped together as the great goddess, Devi.

A further step was taken by the idea of the Shaktis. Their ideology based mainly on tantras sees Shakti as the principle of energy through which all divinity functions, thus showing the masculine to be dependent on the feminine. Indeed, in the great shakta scripture known as the Devi Mahatmya, all the goddesses are shown to be aspects of one presiding female force, one in truth and many in expression, giving the world and the cosmos the galvanic energy for motion. It is expressed through both philosophical tracts and metaphor that the potentiality of masculine being is given actuation by the feminine divine. Local deities of different village regions in India were often identified with "mainstream" Hindu deities, a process that has been called "Sanskritization". Others attribute it to the influence of monism or Advaita which discounts polytheist or monotheist categorization. While the monist forces have led to a fusion between some of the goddesses (108 names are common for many goddesses), centrifugal forces have also resulted in new goddesses and rituals gaining ascendance among the laity in different parts of Hindu world. Thus, the immensely popular goddess Durga was a pre-Vedic goddess who was later fused with Parvati, a process that can be traced through texts such as Kalika Purana (10th century), Durgabhaktitarangini (Vidyapati 15th century), Chandimangal (16th century) etc. Abrahamic religions This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2009) Monotheist cultures, which recognise only one central deity, generally characterize that deity as male, implicitly grammatically by using masculine gender, but also explicitly by terms such as "Father" or "Lord". In all monotheistic religions, however, there are mystic undercurrents which emphasize the feminine aspects of the godhead, e.g. the Collyridians in the time of early Christianity, who viewed Mary as a goddess, the medieval visionary Julian of Norwich, the Judaic Shekinah and the Gnostic Sophia traditions. Judaism This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

(February 2010) Further information: The Hebrew Goddess and Shekhina According to Zohar, Lilith is the name of Adam's first wife, who was created at the same time as Adam. She left Adam and refused to return to the Garden of Eden after she mated with archangel Samael. [5] Her story was greatly developed, during the Middle Ages, in the tradition of Aggadic midrashim, the Zohar and Jewish mysticism.[6] The Zohar tradition has influenced Jewish folkore, which postulates God created Adam to marry a woman named Lilith. Outside of Jewish tradition, Lilith was associated with the Mother Goddess, Inanna – later known as both Ishtar and Asherah. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh was said to have destroyed a tree that was in a sacred grove dedicated to the goddess Ishtar/Inanna/Asherah. Lilith ran into the wilderness in despair. She then is depicted in the Talmud and Kabbalah as first wife to God's first creation of man, Adam. In time, as stated in the Old Testament, the Hebrew followers continued to worship "False Idols", like Asherah, as being as powerful as God. Jeremiah speaks of his (and God's) displeasure at this behavior to the Hebrew people about the worship of the goddess in the Old Testament. Lilith is banished from Adam and God's presence when she is discovered to be a "demon" and Eve becomes Adam's wife. Lilith then takes the form of the serpent in her jealous rage at being displaced as Adam's wife. Lilith as serpent then proceeds to trick Eve into eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge and in this way is responsible for the downfall of all of mankind. It is worthwhile to note here that in religions pre-dating Judaism, the serpent was known to be associated with wisdom and re-birth (with the shedding of its skin). Judaism is a Patriarchal religion, with emphasis being placed on God as having creating Adam is his own image. Eve is a secondary addition to creation, having been created from Adam's rib. God is referred to as "He" and family lines through Abraham are followed in a Patrilinear fashion. The concept of a Goddess seems to be absent from all but the original Creation myth which some scholars say appears have roots in the nearby Babylonian creation myth, Enuma Elis. The following female deities are mentioned in prominent Hebrew texts:
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Agrat Bat Mahlat Anath Asherah Ashima

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Astarte Eisheth Lilith

Christianity In Christianity, worship of any other deity besides the Trinity was deemed heretical, but veneration for Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, as an especially privileged saint— though not as a deity— has continued since the beginning of the Catholic faith.[citation needed] Mary is venerated as the Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Church, Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and other lofty titles. Marian devotion similar to this kind is also found in Eastern Orthodoxy and sometimes in Anglicanism, though not in the majority of denominations of Protestantism.

Virgin Sophia design on a Harmony Society doorway in Harmony, Pennsylvania, carved by Frederick Reichert Rapp (1775–1834). In some Christian traditions (like the Orthodox tradition), Sophia is the personification of either divine wisdom (or of an archangel) which takes female form. She is mentioned in the first chapter of the Book of Proverbs. In Mysticism, Gnosticism, as well as some Hellenistic religions, there is a female spirit or goddess named Sophia who is said to embody wisdom and who is sometimes described as a virgin. In Roman Catholic mysticism, Hildegard of Bingen celebrated Sophia as a cosmic figure both in her writing and art. Within the Protestant tradition in England, 17th Century Mystic, Universalist and founder of the Philadelphian Society Jane Leade wrote copious descriptions of her visions and dialogues with the "Virgin Sophia" who, she said, revealed

to her the spiritual workings of the universe. Leade was hugely influenced by the theosophical writings of 16th Century German Christian mystic Jakob Böhme, who also speaks of the Sophia in works such as The Way to Christ.[7] Jakob Böhme was very influential to a number of Christian mystics and religious leaders, including George Rapp and the Harmony Society. Feminism and Neopaganism Main articles: Feminist theology and Goddess movement Goddess movement Main articles: Feminist theology and Goddess movement At least since first-wave feminism in the United States, there has been interest in analyzing religion to see if and how doctrines and practices treat women unfairly, as in Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Woman's Bible. Again in second-wave feminism in the U.S., as well as in many European and other countries, religion became the focus of some feminist analysis in Judaism, Christianity, and other religions, and some women turned to ancient goddess religions as an alternative to Abrahamic religions (Womanspirit Rising 1979; Weaving the Visions 1989). Today both women and men continue to be involved in the Goddess movement (Christ 1997). The popularity of organizations such as the Fellowship of Isis attest to the continuing growth of the religion of the Goddess throughout the world. While much of the attempt at gender equity in mainstream Christianity (Judaism never recognized any gender for God) is aimed at reinterpreting scripture and degenderizing language used to name and describe the divine (Ruether, 1984; Plaskow, 1991), there are a growing number of people who identify as Christians or Jews who are trying to integrate goddess imagery into their religions (Kien, 2000; Kidd 1996,"Goddess Christians Yahoogroup"). Sacred feminine Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth, a 1988 interview with Bill Moyers,[8] links the image of the Earth or Mother Goddess to symbols of fertility and reproduction.[9] For example, Campbell states that, "There have been systems of religion where the mother is the prime parent, the source... We talk of Mother Earth. And in Egypt you have the Mother Heavens, the Goddess Nut, who is represented as the whole heavenly sphere".[10] Campbell continues by stating that the

correlation between fertility and the Goddess found its roots in agriculture: Bill Moyers: But what happened along the way to this reverence that in primitive societies was directed to the Goddess figure, the Great Goddess, the mother earth- what happened to that? Joseph Campbell: Well that was associated primarily with agriculture and the agricultural societies. It has to do with the earth. The human woman gives birth just as the earth gives birth to the woman magic and earth magic are the same. They are related. And the personification of the energy that gives birth to forms and nourishes forms is properly female. It is in the agricultural world of ancient Mesopotamia, the Egyptian Nile, and in the earlier planting-culture systems that the Goddess is the dominant mythic form.[11] Campbell also argues that the image of the Virgin Mary was derived from the image of Isis and her child Horus: "The antique model for the Madonna, actually, is Isis with Horus at her breast".[12] Wicca Further information: Goddess (Wicca) and Triple Goddess In Wicca "the Goddess" is a deity of prime importance, along with her consort the Horned God. Within many forms of Wicca the Goddess has come to be considered as a universal deity, more in line with her description in the Charge of the Goddess, a key Wiccan text. In this guise she is the "Queen of Heaven", similar to Isis; she also encompasses and conceives all life, much like Gaia. Much like Isis and certain late Classical conceptions of Selene,[13] she is held to be the summation of all other goddesses, who represent her different names and aspects across the different cultures. The Goddess is often portrayed with strong lunar symbolism, drawing on various cultures and deities such as Diana, Hecate and Isis, and is often depicted as the Maiden, Mother and Crone triad popularised by Robert Graves (see Triple Goddess below). Many depictions of her also draw strongly on Celtic goddesses. Some Wiccans believe there are many goddesses, and in some forms of Wicca, notably Dianic Wicca, the Goddess alone is worshipped, and the God plays very little part in their worship and ritual.

The lunar Triple Goddess symbol. Goddesses or demi-goddesses appear in sets of three in a number of ancient European pagan mythologies; these include the Greek Erinyes (Furies) and Moirae (Fates); the Norse Norns; Brighid and her two sisters, also called Brighid, from Irish or Keltoi mythology. Robert Graves popularised the triad of "Maiden" (or "Virgin"), "Mother" and "Crone", and while this idea did not rest on sound scholarship, his poetic inspiration has gained a tenacious hold. Considerable variation in the precise conceptions of these figures exists, as typically occurs in Neopaganism and indeed in pagan religions in general. Some choose to interpret them as three stages in a woman's life, separated by menarche and menopause. Others find this too biologically based and rigid, and prefer a freer interpretation, with the Maiden as birth (independent, self-centred, seeking), the Mother as giving birth (interrelated, compassionate nurturing, creating), and the Crone as death and renewal (holistic, remote, unknowable) — and all three erotic and wise. Metaphorical use The term "goddess" has also been adapted to poetic and secular use as a complimentary description of a non-mythological woman.[14] The OED notes 1579 as the date of the earliest attestation of such figurative use, in Lauretta the diuine Petrarches Goddesse.

Shakespeare had several of his male characters address female characters as goddesses, including Demetrius to Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream ("O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!"), Berowne to Rosaline in Love's Labour's Lost ("A woman I forswore; but I will prove, Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee"), and Bertram to Diana in All's Well That Ends Well. Pisanio also compares Imogen to a goddess to describe her composure under duress in Cymbeline.

Notes 1. ^ a b Barnhart (1995:253). 2. ^ Barnhart (1995:323). 3. ^ Mbiti, J.S., Introduction to African Religion, Oxford, 1975, p. 53. 4. ^ Jung Chang, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, New York: Touchstone, 2003, reprint, GlobalFlair, 1991, p. 429, accessed 2 Nov 2009 5. ^ Samael & Lilith 6. ^ Tree of souls: the mythology of Judaism, By Howard Schwartz, page 218 7. ^ Böhme, Jacob; William Law, trans. (1622 (1764)). The Way to Christ. Pater-noster Row, London: M. Richardson. 8. ^ first broadcast on PBS in 1988 as a documentary, The Power of Myth was also released in the same year as a book created under the direction of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 9. ^ Chapter 6, "The Gift of the Goddess" and Episode 5, "Love and the Goddess" [1] 10. ^ p. 165, 1988, first edition 11. ^ pp.166–7, (1988, first edition) 12. ^ p. 176, 1988, first edition 13. ^ Betz, Hans Dieter (ed.) (1989). The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation : Including the Demotic Spells : Texts. University of Chicago Press. 14. ^ OED: "Applied to a woman. one's goddess: the woman whom one ‘worships’ or devotedly admires." References

Barnhart, Robert K (1995). The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology: the Origins of American English Words. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-270094-7

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The Nature of Nature Gods

Jun 04, 2008 The Nature of Nature Gods Ancient mythology ascribes godlike identities to the forces of nature. Could they be representations of plasma phenomena? No dictionary of mythology will waste any words defining Agni as 'the god of fire', the living force of nature encapsulated in any and all natural manifestations of fire, ranging from the cozy hearth fire at home to the most devastating lightning strikes observed outside. But just how much does such a standard definition of a mythical god tell us? To qualify a mythical and religious character such as Agni primarily in terms of his common appearance in nature, not in terms of his activities in myth, is a reflection of the so-called 'nature school' of myth. This school saw its heyday in the late 19th century but has left an indelible stamp on the popular understanding of mythical entities today, as reflected in dictionary entries. Starting from the assumption that each mythical deity in each culture originated as a metaphor for some aspect of the natural world or of human society, countless familiar definitions arose. Do Zeus, 'the sky god', Hephaestus, 'the fire god', Helius, 'the sun god', Poseidon, 'the sea god', Aphrodite, 'the goddess of love', Artemis, 'the goddess of hunting', and Ares, 'the god of war' reflect anything of the way the ancients themselves looked at these gods? With a complex 'fluid' subject such as mythology, it is better to identify historical tendencies and geographic patterns than to offer facile overgeneralizations. Greek thinkers from the Hellenistic period (4th century BCE) onwards certainly tended to compartmentalize the realms of nature and culture into sections that would neatly correspond to divinities on a one-to-one basis. Some Roman mythologists famously took this to extremes, naming specific gods for the most nuanced aspects of any conceivable activity in life. But these rational efforts really reflect no more than a contrived and secondary systematization of the unfathomable welter of overlapping and contradictory data mythology really is. The comparative

mythologist knows that the closer you look at the cult and myth of any given god or goddess, the greater the discrepancy between the straightforward dictionary definition and the 'facts'. The further one goes back in time, the stronger the following two tendencies. Firstly, the boundaries between different deities disappear and many begin to look like duplicates of each other. And secondly, the ancient texts rarely make an effort to 'define' their gods in terms of nature definitions. Instead, one is just offered detailed stories of the 'deeds' and 'looks' of these gods. The archaic state of mythology gives the strong impression that the worship of deities had little to do with a conscious attempt to categorize nature. Instead, it directly flowed forth from a series of extremely impressive, arguably traumatizing experiences mankind had had with forces of nature rarely experienced today. From the start, the 'gods' and 'goddesses' were merely labels for recognizable and active forces observed in a dangerously active sky. It was only long afterwards that people looking at a quiescent sky began to extract rational paradigms from the jumble of remembered customs and traditions they had inherited. While the customary dictionary definitions of deities are not exactly wrong, they tend to detract from the mythical events in which these gods are merely actors. Whoever can suspend any preconceived ideas about the 'nature of the gods' and listens in to the myths themselves will repeatedly be drawn to the cycle of creation myths, in which the axis mundi or world axis plays the prominent role. In the earliest Vedic texts, Agni surely signifies fire, but this is specifically the column of fire and smoke that rose up from the altar that symbolically marked the 'navel of the world': "Eager he rises like the new-wrought pillar which, firmly set and fixed, anoints the victims." This vaporous column is none other than the tree of life: "The other fires are, verily, thy branches; the Immortals all rejoice in thee, O Agni. Center art thou, Vaiśvānara, of the people, sustaining men like a deep-founded pillar. The forehead of the sky, earth's center, Agni became the messenger of earth and heaven." In recent years, an interdisciplinary study of mythology and plasma physics has suggested that highly uncommon electromagnetic events observed in the earth's atmosphere and ionosphere could successfully account for a large segment of the visual content of ancient creation mythology. In view of this, it may prove fruitful for future mythologists

not to concentrate so much on the individual 'biographies' of the gods as on the 'bigger picture' of the mythical events themselves, specifically on the visual templates suggested by cross-cultural mythical archetypes. Contributed by Rens Van der Sluijs One might almost say that the archaic Romans did not have myths. That is to say: until their poets began to borrow from Greek models in the later part of the Republic, the Romans had no sequential narratives about their gods comparable to the Titanomachy or the seduction of Zeus by Hera. What the Romans did have, however, were:
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a highly developed system of rituals, priestly colleges, and "clusters" of related gods. a rich set of historical myths about the foundation and rise of their city involving human actors, with occasional divine interventions.

Early mythology about the gods The Roman model involved a very different way of defining and thinking about the gods than we are familiar with from Greece. For example, if one were to ask a Greek about Demeter, he might reply with the well-known story of her grief at the rape of Persephone by Hades. An archaic Roman, by contrast, would tell you that Ceres had an official priest called a flamen, who was junior to the flamens of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus, but senior to the flamens of Flora and Pomona. He might tell you that she was grouped in a triad with two other agricultural gods, Liber and Libera. And he might even be able to rattle off all of the minor gods with specialized functions who attended her: Sarritor (weeding), Messor (harvesting), Convector (carting), Conditor (storing), Insitor (sowing), and dozens more. Thus the archaic Roman "mythology", at least concerning the gods, was made up not of narratives, but rather of interlocking and complex interrelations between and among gods and humans. The original religion of the early Romans was modified by the addition of numerous and conflicting beliefs in later times, and by the

assimilation of a vast amount of Greek mythology. We know what little we do about early Roman religion not through contemporary accounts, but from later writers who sought to salvage old traditions from the desuetude into which they were falling, such as the 1st century BC scholar Marcus Terentius Varro. Other classical writers, such as the poet Ovid in his Fasti (Calendar), were strongly influenced by Hellenistic models, and in their works they frequently employed Greek beliefs to fill gaps in the Roman tradition. Early mythology about Roman "history" In contrast to the dearth of narrative material about the gods, the Romans had a rich panoply of quasi-historical legends about the foundation and early growth of their own city. Primitive kings like Romulus and Numa were almost wholly mythical in nature, and legendary material may extend up as far as accounts of the early Republic. In addition to these laregly home-grown traditions, material from Greek heroic legend was grafted onto this native stock an early date, rendering Aeneas, for example, an ancestor of Romulus and Remus. The Aeneid and the first few books of Livy are the best extant sources for this human mythology. Native Roman and Italic gods The Roman ritual practice of the official priesthoods clearly distinguishes two classes of gods, the di indigetes and the de novensides or novensiles. The indigetes were the original gods of the Roman state (see List of Di Indigetes), and their names and nature are indicated by the titles of the earliest priests and by the fixed festivals of the calendar; 30 such gods were honored with special festivals. The novensides were later divinities whose cults were introduced to the city in the historical period, usually at a known date and in response to a specific crisis or felt need. Early Roman divinities included, in addition to the di indigetes, a host of so-called specialist gods whose names were invoked in the carrying out of various activities, such as harvesting. Fragments of old ritual accompanying such acts as plowing or sowing reveal that at every stage of the operation a separate deity was invoked, the name of each deity being regularly derived from the verb for the operation. Such divinities may be grouped under the general term of attendant, or auxiliary, gods, who were invoked along with the greater deities. Early Roman cult was not so much a polytheism as a polydemonism: the worshipers' concepts of the

invoked beings consisted of little more than their names and functions, and the being's numen, or "power", manifested itself in highly specialized ways. The character of the indigetes and their festivals show that the early Romans were not only members of an agricultural community but also were fond of fighting and much engaged in war. The gods represented distinctly the practical needs of daily life, as felt by the Roman community to which they belonged. They were scrupulously accorded the rites and offerings considered proper. Thus, Janus and Vesta guarded the door and hearth, the Lares protected the field and house, Pales the pasture, Saturn the sowing, Ceres the growth of the grain, Pomona the fruit, and Consus and Ops the harvest. Even the majestic Jupiter, the ruler of the gods, was honored for the aid his rains might give to the farms and vineyards. In his more encompassing character he was considered, through his weapon of lightning, the director of human activity and, by his widespread domain, the protector of the Romans in their military activities beyond the borders of their own community. Prominent in early times were the gods Mars and Quirinus, who were often identified with each other. Mars was a god of young men and their activities, especially war; he was honored in March and October. Quirinus is thought by modern scholars to hAt the head of the earliest pantheon were the triad Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus (whose three priests, or flamens, were of the highest order), and Janus and Vesta. These gods in early times had little individuality, and their personal histories lacked marriages and genealogies. Unlike the gods of the Greeks, they were not considered to function in the manner of mortals, and thus not many accounts of their activities exist. This older worship was associated with Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, who was believed to have had as his consort and adviser the Roman goddess of fountains and childbirth, Egeria, who is often identified as a nymph in later literary sources. New elements were added at a relatively early date, however. To the royal house of the Tarquins was ascribed by legend the establishment of the great Capitoline triad, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, which assumed the supreme place in Roman religion. Other additions were the worship of Diana on the Aventine Hill and the introduction of the Sibylline books, prophecies of world history, which, according to legend, were purchased by Tarquin in the late 6th century BC from the Cumaean Sibyl.

Foreign gods at Rome The absorption of neighboring local gods took place as the Roman state conquered the surrounding territory. The Romans commonly granted the local gods of the conquered territory the same honors as the earlier gods who had been regarded as peculiar to the Roman state. In many instances the newly acquired deities were formally invited to take up their abode in new sanctuaries at Rome. In 203 BC, the cult object embodying Cybele was removed from Phrygian Pessinos and ceremoniously welcomed to Rome. Moreover, the growth of the city attracted foreigners, who were allowed to continue the worship of their own gods. In this way Mithras came to Rome and his popularity in the legions spread his cult as far afield as Britain. In addition to Castor and Pollux, the conquered settlements in Italy seem to have contributed to the Roman pantheon Diana, Minerva, Hercules, Venus, and other deities of lesser rank, some of whom were Italic divinities, others originally derived from the Greek culture of Magna Graecia. The important Roman deities were eventually identified with the more anthropomorphic Greek gods and goddesses, and assumed many of their attributes and myths. Religious festivals The Roman religious calendar reflected Rome's hospitality to the cults and deities of conquered territories. Roman religious festivals known from ancient times were few in number. Some of the oldest, however, survived to the very end of the pagan empire, preserving the memory of the fertility and propitiatory rites of a primitive agricultural people. New festivals were introduced, however, to mark the naturalization of new gods. So many festivals were adopted eventually that the work days on the calendar were outnumbered. Among the more important of the Roman religious festivals were the Saturnalia, the Lupercalia, the Equiria, and the Secular Games. Under the empire, the Saturnalia was celebrated for seven days, from December 17 to December 23, during the period in which the winter solstice occurred. All business was suspended, slaves were given temporary freedom, gifts were exchanged, and merriment prevailed. The Lupercalia was an ancient festival originally honoring Lupercus, a pastoral god of the Italians. The festival was celebrated on February 15 at the cave of the Lupercal on the Palatine Hill, where the legendary founders of Rome, the twins Romulus and Remus, were supposed to have been nursed by a wolf. Among the Roman legends connected with them is that of Faustulus, a shepherd who was

supposed to have discovered the twins in the wolf's den and to have taken them to his home, in which they were brought up by his wife, Acca Larentia. See founding of Rome. The Equiria, a festival in honor of Mars, was celebrated on February 27and March 14, traditionally the time of year when new military campaigns were prepared. Horse races in the Campus Martius notably marked the celebration. The Secular Games, which included both athletic spectacles and sacrifices, were held at irregular intervals, traditionally once only in about every century, to mark the beginning of a new saeculum, or "era". They were supposed to be held when the last person who had witnessed the previous Secular Games died, marking the beginning of a new era. The tradition, often neglected, was revived as a spectacle by Augustus and honored by the poet Horace with a series of odes. Decline of the Roman religion The distinctions among philosophy, religion, cult and superstition that would be made by an educated Roman of the 1st century BC can be read in Lucretius, a philosopher following Epicurus. Most educated Romans were Stoic in the outlook on life. The transference of the anthropomorphic qualities of Greek gods to Roman ones, and perhaps even more, the prevalence of Greek philosophy among well-educated Romans, brought about an increasing neglect of the old rites, and in the 1st century BC the religious importance of the old priestly offices declined rapidly, though their civic importance remained. Many men whose patrician birth called them to these duties had no belief in the rites, except perhaps as a political necessity. Nevertheless, the positions of pontifex maximus and augur remained coveted political posts. Julius Caesar used his election to the position of pontifex maximus to influence the membership of the priestly groups. The mass of the uneducated populace became increasingly interested in foreign rites being practiced by soldiers and traders in the cosmopolitan centers. A thorough reform and restoration of the old system was carried out by Emperor Augustus, who himself became a member of all the priestly orders. Even though the earlier ritual had little to do with individual morality, being mainly a businesslike relation with unseen powers in which humans paid proper service to the gods and were rewarded by security, it had promoted piety and religious discipline and thus was fostered by Augustus as a safeguard against internal

disorder. During this period the legend of the founding of Rome by the Trojan hero Aeneas became prominent because of the publication of Virgil's Aeneid. In spite of the reforms instituted by Augustus, the Roman religion in the empire tended more and more to center on the imperial house, and Augustus himself was deified after death. Such deification began even before the establishment of the empire, with Julius Caesar. The emperors Augustus, Claudius, Vespasian, and Titus were also deified, and after the reign (AD 96-98) of Marcus Cocceius Nerva, few emperors failed to receive this distinction. Under the empire, numerous foreign cults grew popular and were widely extended, such as the worship of the Egyptian goddess Isis and that of the Persian god Mithras, initiatory religions of intense personal significance similar to Christianity in those respects. Despite desultory persecutions, usually at times of civic tensions beginning with Nero, and more throrough persecutions beginning under Diocletian, Christianity steadily gained converts. It became an officially supported religion in the Roman state under Constantine I, who ruled as sole emperor from AD 324 to 337. All cults save Christianity were prohibited in AD 391 by an edict of Emperor Theodosius I. Destruction of temples and desecration of the fanes began immediately, with the sacking of the Serapeum in Alexandria as an encouraging example.

Hindu gods and goddesses Hindu gods is a much often disputed property on the Internet. Why? The most often typed query on the Internet relating to Hindu gods is... do Hindu gods really exist? What is the proof that Hindu gods exist? Proof of existence of Hindu God! Truthfully speaking... Hindu gods truly do not exist. Hindu mythology is so large... it has created a sort of doubt in the minds of most!
Before we indulge on the topic of Hindu gods... we need to clear self about definition of God... what we mean when we talk of God! Are we talking of God Almighty... the one and only one as per Hindu mythology...spirituality or the manifested man gods like Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed!

For that purpose even Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana was a man god! Lord Krishna who existed in times of Dwaper Yuga has never been considered a man God... he was an Avatar (god manifest in human form)... a messiah of his era! An Avatar is entirely separate from man gods... human gods. Why? Man gods like Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed were born normal human beings but gained enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) in their lifetime and became man God... one who shall not manifest a body again. These liberated man gods... the soul atman of these man gods having liberated forever enters the kingdom of God (termed Vaikuntha in Hinduism). On the contrary Lord Krishna also was born a normal mortal yet, even as a child he possessed supernatural powers to the extent that the humanity considered him God embodied in the human form. In simpler terms... an Avatar is a combination of an enlightened one coupled with the powers of a Chanakya (the most able administrator world has ever seen). Only such a one... has the power and the capability to become a messiah... an Avatar (god manifest in human form). For such a one reestablishing Dharma (righteousness) is the only purpose in life. As per Hinduism lies comes full circle every 3500 to 5000 years. At the end of

every cycle comes a messiah... an Avatar of his era (god manifest in human form). In present world torn apart with strife... people await coming of 10th Avatar of Vishnu... the awaited Bhagwan Kalki... messiah of present times! An enlightened one coupled with powers of an able administrator... Bhagwan Kalki would be a one-man army. This gentleman would be so powerful and upright that he would develop a following of above 2000 million people world over. Coming back to the subject of Hindu gods... one thing is absolutely clear... we just cannot mingle the two! The Hindu gods as per Hindu mythology are separate than man gods... human gods! As per Hindu mythology the foremost of Hindu gods is Lord Brahma (the Creator)... then comes Lord Vishnu (the maintainer) and finally Lord Shiva (the destroyer... the ultimate maintainer). Do these Hindu gods ever exist! What is the myth behind Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva (aka Mahesh)? All the three attributes of God Almighty Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh form part of Hindu Trinity. Praying to one god as per Hinduism was considered almost impossible... the prime reason why sages and saints of yester era created a Trinity of three gods. All the three attributes of God Almighty... namely Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva never existed in the history of mankind. Only for the sake of worshipping God Almighty... for the sake of saying our prayers Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva were created. Their physical presence carry no meaning... their physical presence was never to be... they were simply attributes of God Almighty! Ask any Hindu... and he would confuse! Most Hindus believe in the physical existence of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva! The prime reason why Hinduism is ritualistic... a nonbeliever of facts! As per spirituality God Almighty is not the form of human beings... it is a cluster of pure celestial energy much beyond the comprehension of five senses and the mind. It is not possible for an ordinary mortal to conceive what God Almighty is all about. In every religion for the sake of prayers and worshiping... different attributes of God Almighty were created so that mankind could survive the rigors of day-to-day life! None has seen God

Almighty still, by praying to God... a deep sense of inner satisfaction is perceived by an ordinary mortal! As per Hindu mythology there exist 330 million Hindu gods which in itself clearly indicates that none of these gods ever existed physically. If we pray to goddess kali... or goddess Durga does not mean these female goddesses were ever present physically. They are mere embodiments of absolute truth and love which human beings have for God Almighty. It is difficult for human beings to conceive a bachelor God Almighty. How it can be that in Hinduism God Almighty does not have a consort... and different goddesses were created in Hindu mythology. Believers of money power pray to goddess Lakshmi. Believers of absolute truth pray to goddess kali... the all powerful one! We are presently passing through Kali Yuga (the dark age... the metal age)... the age of kali! In the age of kali materialistic tendencies control mankind! What was a means becomes an end. Dominated by a bloated ego, the wanton desires and greed for materialistic riches human beings run after ephemeral riches of life... never truly understanding what God is all about! As per our convenience one can pray to any God yet, for reaching God Almighty it is not the path of religion but spirituality that is necessitated! It is pure spirituality... the uncharted spiritual path traveling which Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ, prophet Mohammed, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana finally gained enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) in their lifetime! The moment we understand the definition of God Almighty all becomes clear by itself! The definition of God Almighty as per spirituality is the cluster of all purified souls atmans in the Cosmos at a given moment of time. Bhagavad Gita... the doctrine given to mankind by Lord Krishna details this definition of God Almighty in absolute clarity. As per Bhagavad Gita for reaching God... we as human beings need to eradicate the dross impurities within our soul atman in totality. This is also the ultimate goal of life for every soul atman. Reaching the stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) and finally salvation (moksha) is the ultimate goal of every soul atman in the Cosmos.

The moment human beings reached the stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) all is over for the soul atman within. Having reached the 8.4 millionth manifestation... the last in the cosmic life cycle... the liberated soul enters the abode of God... the kingdom of God (aka Vaikuntha in Hinduism). The kingdom of God Vaikuntha is a point of no return. We may pray to any Hindu God... worship any Hindu God but the essence of life remains becoming a man God in our lifetime. Unless we reach the stage of Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ or prophet Mohammed... after the death of body our soul atman shall continue manifesting life form again and again until it reaches the last... the 8.4 millionth manifestation! Amongst myriads of Hindu gods... which exist as per Hindu mythology... it is only for the purpose of praying to God... worshipping God... these rituals were created! But for reaching God Almighty in our lifetime... for reaching the stage of Nirvikalpa Samadhi (when one can have a dialogue with God Almighty on one-to-one basis) taking the spiritual route is the necessity. The spiritual path... the uncharted spiritual territory is best traveled following the gist of Bhagavad Gita... the doctrine given to mankind by Lord Krishna in Mahabharata! This one document suffices all requirements to reach the stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) and finally salvation (moksha) in ones lifetime. The contents of sacred Bhagavad Gita are not meant for Hindus alone. The sacrosanct Bhagavad Gita has universal appeal. For following dictates of Bhagavad Gita one need not convert to Hinduism. Every single human being living on Mother Earth... belonging to any religion, caste or creed can ceremoniously follow the teachings of sacred Bhagavad Gita and finally gain enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) in ones lifetime. God Almighty can never be reached via the path of religion alone. God Almighty can never be reached via path of Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity or Islamic Dharma alone! One needs understanding the doctrine of Bhagavad Gita... the absolute truths of life following which one finally emancipates forever from the cycle of birth and death. Believing in the physical existence of Hindu gods is following rituals... being ritualistic! Believing in God Almighty as the only truth of life is

traveling the spiritual path. Every single human being has an element of God Almighty as our soul atman... the spirit within! If an independent grain of sand is a single soul atman... the whole mound God Almighty! Ever since every soul atman separated from its source, God Almighty... the crux of life is regaining its original lost pure prime pristine primordial form. It is only through the path of karma... the process of karma... Our soul atman reduces the dross impurities within. Human being reaching the stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) was envisaged by God Almighty. Our soul atman being the master and controller of the body... it is imperative upon human beings to gain enlightenment and finally salvation at the earliest... reach the stage of a man God... a hu

How one sees the origins of human culture is also a description of how one wish to see the future of humanity. - William Irwin Thompson, Gaia: A Way of Knowing

Origins is the keystone of the arch of metahistory, not because the rise of civilization is the supreme achievement of humankind, but because stories of our historical origins present the conventional basis of our identity as a species and provide the background for our sense of progress through the ages. We of the modern world are civilized people, distinguished from those earlier versions of ourselves who lived in “savage” conditions before civilization. Due to the inherited model of Origins — that is, the high civilizations of the past — we believe that “civilization masters nature” and so the concept of “living with nature” appears to indicate an inferior form of adaptation. The unrelenting message today is that the “global market economy” is the hallmark of advanced society. In many respects, the world situation in 2000 CE mirrors the rise of civilization in Sumer around 4000 BCE. Historians identify the leading factors in the rise of civilization as the introduction of new technology (mainly, writing and mathematics) and the spread of commerce. Of the tens of thousands of cuneiform tablets found in the Middle East, the vast majority record business transactions, inventories of

grain and livestock, legal contracts, land surveys. The technology of writing with a stylus on clay that supported Sumerian civilization reappears today in the far more complex tool of the computer. The sophistication of the technology is less important than the innovations it introduces. Civilization is a grand word but in reality it may be reduced to the soundalike "citification": that is, urbanization, living in cities. The belief that life in cities such as New York and Tokyo is better than life in the countryside (anywhere real countryside happens to survive), is just that: a belief. Urban living is the dominant option of the global community, largely because the commercial reward system needs mass markets to operate profitably, but it's not the only option for humanity. Indigenous peoples do not look to the rise of civilization from their ancestral origins, their sense of identity or purpose. They look to Sacred Nature. Because the human species consists of different races, there cannot be one origin story for humanity. But there are dominant versions. Until 150 years ago the primary historical origin story was focused in one geographic area, the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia. Because the Biblical narrative of Noah, Abraham and the Patriarchs took place in that area, it was assumed that Judeo-Christian “sacred history” was interwoven with events leading to the rise of civilization. Consequently, the Biblical version of human origins was imposed for centuries as the only valid version of our collective experience. Historians now concur that large-scale civilizations arose simultaneously in several regions of the world: Indo-China, Peru, India, Mesopotamia and Egypt. They also recognize the existence of civilized societies that existed before the large-scale urban settlements — that is, before 4500 BCE. The belief that civilization begins with cities has been challenged through the research of Marija Gimbutas (Suggested Reading, below) whose discoveries in Old Europe indicate that “civilized living precedes living in cities.” The work of Gimbutas and others represents a major paradigm shift in our view of prehistory

Caral, The Mother City
For most of the 20th Century historians agreed that the origins of civilization could be traced to the organization of society for the purposes of war and conquest, but in 2001 a lone woman archeologist changed this view. At Caral in the Peruvian desert, archeologist Ruth Shady found the remains of a “mother city,” the technical term for a site that exhibits the first stage of city-building, without preceding layers of settlement. In pristine condition, this city is now recognized as the oldest in the Americas, dating to the epoch of the earliest Egyptian dynasties, circa 3200 BCE. To the shock and bafflement of many experts, Caral reveals no battlements, no weapons, no murals or sculptures to glorify conquest, no bones evidential of a violent ending. It appears to have been a peaceful settlement whose inhabitants dedicated their time to commerce, religious ceremony, theatre and hedonistic activities, including the use of mind-altering substances and aphrodisiacs. Caral has changed the paradigm on what brings people together in large urban settlements. Love, not war, my yet prove to be the prime motivating force in the rise of civilization. Origins is a double entendre in metahistory, as already noted under Sacred Nature. Both the biological and behavioral origins of humanity are located in prehistory, but “the story of civilization” ignores the long formative childhood of our species. What happened in prehistory made us human in the first place, but this development has long been viewed as less significant than what humanity has made of the world in the course of history. Our view of history is laden with beliefs about how the human species came to dominate the world, how it created a unique way of life, culture, society. Since Darwin, prehistory has become a matter of intense debate. The inquiry into “the ascent of man” assumes the central role in metahistory (corresponding to the keystone of the arch) because it focuses our deepest beliefs about the human experiment, not because civilization is the supreme achievement of humankind. The beliefs we hold about our origins can be explored and deconstructed by the metahistorical method.

While the creation of the world and the origins of humanity are universally depicted by the intercourse of primordial parents, the Origins of civilization are usually ascribed to a male deity, demi-god or culture-hero. The designation of a male mastermind who inaugurates civilization is less a fact of history than a policy of male scribes who write history. Although "progress" is a very recent idea, most people in the modern world believe that the trajectory of civilization assures a continuous ascent, progress without end with advancing achievements in all realms. Ancient myths about the Golden Age challenge this belief, however. The notion that great civilizations appear at an apex and decline from there is typical of various evolutionary schemes of ancient provenance. According to the cyclic conception of time, common to native-mind peoples, the

Golden Age in the past will recur in the future in keeping with the eternal renewal of the human experience. (Basic Reading: Memories and Visions of Paradise). Curiously, some historical studies seem to confirm the first part of this proposition: the appearance of culture at an apex. The oldest pyramids of Egypt present obvious evidence of high technology, but there is very little evidence, either textual or archeological, of a long trial-and-error process leading up to their construction. Both Egyptian and Sumerian civilizations seem in many respects to have sprung up from the ground, full-grown, or at least highly evolved at the first stage of their emergence. Paradoxically, the belief that history progresses upward and that life improves as civilization evolves is not convincingly supported by historical evidence. The most common Origin script in the West is Genesis in the O.T. version of the story, the Biblical creation-myth. Genesis describes how humanity emerges from a primordial couple, Adam and Eve, how civilization arises and was then eliminated by a flood sent by God, only to arise again through the Chosen People. Native-mind traditions as far-ranging as Central America and Southeast Asia also tell stories about a flood. The universality of the flood stories may indicate recurrent patterns in the “collective unconscious,” a theory proposed by C. G. Jung. They may also be evidence of ancestral memories of massive geological and geophysical events. William Irwin Thompson has suggested that some myths may be half-remembered history. In Memories and Visions of Paradise (Basic Reading), Richard Heinberg cites a number of examples where this does indeed appear to be the case. Among the Hopi and other native peoples of North America, the First People are said to emerge from the navel of the Earth, as if from a womb. This script links Origins to Sacred Nature. It uses biological imagery for the creation myth. The Child (humanity) emerges from the Mother attached to her placenta by a cord fixed to her belly. Likewise, the First People emerge from Mother Earth attached to her placenta (society, the communal group) by an umbilical cord, the symbiotic bond with Sacred Nature. In this myth, the biological Origins of humanity and the social order formed by human groups belong to a single creative event. This vision of life asserts the belief that “the earth produces humanity,” rather than the belief that “God creates humanity.” It also asserts that “society reflects its natural habitat,” a key belief in many indigenous cultures, contrasted to the belief that “God projects and oversees society,” as if the human social order were a pretext for working out the divine will. Beliefs specific to the emergence of social

order and social morality come under the category of Origins. Beliefs about what happens in social order, once it is established, belong to the category of Moral Design. In Occidental Mythology comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell noted that “one of the chief characteristics of Levantine mythology is that of man created to be God’s slave.” (The Levant is the geo-cultural complex extending from Mesopotamia to Palestine, the matrix of Judeo-ChristianMoslem religions.) The belief that humanity exists to serve and worship God is totally commonplace in most of the world, and rarely challenged. Quite a different belief is asserted in the Asian philosophical concept of Lila, “delight and cosmic play.” The belief that God’s intent to play determines what happens in the cosmos bears witness to what Alan Watts calls “humanity’s eternal preoccupation with ecstasy.“ (Beyond Theology in Basic Reading.) This contrasts radically with the Christian belief that the suffering of Jesus Christ saves the world from its fallen condition. To be redeemed and liberated through ecstasy rather than suffering was the promise of the pagan religion of Dionysos, whose counterpart in Asia was the Hindu God Shiva. The essential need for play in the making of civilization has been treated by the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga who coined the term Homo ludens, from the Latin root ludere, “to play.” Historians designate beliefs and practices expressive of the playful and ecstatic view of religion by the delightful term mysticoludic. Lila is a cosmological principle expressing the belief that the entire spectrum of human experience is a game of the gods. With the discovery of the mother city of Caral in Peru, historians are now considering how this belief may apply to the actual origins of civilization. Artifacts at Caral show how the inhabitants of the city complex gathered together to play, dance, perform theatrics and indulge in aphrodisiacs and other mindaltering substances. Due to the huge bias of the belief that life in nature is a grim battle for survival, the belief that play might be at the origin of civilization has not been fairly assessed. Nevertheless, the evidence from indigenous peoples and surviving hunter-gathers (whose way of life is presumed to resemble “primitive” humanity in prehistory) is that they devote far more time to play than modern people. Moreover, they have more time to play, for their lives are not entirely consumed in the struggle to survive. By contrast, the lifestyle of modern people is fraught with stress and lack of time to “take it easy.” Play is of a passive, spectator type, not participatory as it is with native peoples. Usually play is not integrated into daily life but represents a departure, a diversion. All in all, modern life seems to fulfill the belief that God intends enslavement

for human beings, following the Levantine motif, even if it be enslavement they choose at will and impose upon themselves. Myths of the origins of racial and national groups often occur in the same scripts. Since most of these look back to Sacred Nature, the stories are identical to those discussed under that category. Racial-national scripts of Origins invariably feature “culture-heroes” who introduce the rudiments of civilization. They teach the arts of survival and often present the people with exemplary acts that are imitated in religious and spiritual rites. Around the world the initiators of culture are often called by names derived from the Indo-European root man-, “think, devise, plan.” Two examples are Manu in Hindu mythology and Manitou in American Indian traditions. The first pharaoh of Egypt was called Menes and the male regent of the matrifocal culture of Crete was called King Minos, etc. The initiators are not exclusively men, however. They can be women or even animals. For instance, White Buffalo Woman is the key cultureinitiator among the Plains Indians of America. Salmon, bear and eagle are totemic ancestors who impart survival wisdom and moral guidance to indigenous peoples. All these scenarios can be summarized in the belief that “benefactors guide society.” This is a different view from the belief encoded in high civilizations such as China and Sumer where a male celestial god mandates society. Hence the difference between endowed cultures, originating from instructions given by men, women and animals, and mandated cultures, originating from instructions attributed to a male sky god. Mandated cultures are the less common of the two and occur much later in history. The models for modern civilization are all mandated cultures. Close examination of the oldest source materials shows that the scripts have been deliberately spun on a male or patriarchal bias. One of the most famous of such sacred texts, recording the Babylonian New Year Ritual, describes how Babylonian civilization was founded by the male sky-god Marduk after his defeat of the Goddess Tiamat. Several drafts of the texts exist, allowing scholars to determine how it was rewritten several times to keep the ritual consistent with changes in the male pantheon. The history of human origins has not only been written by men -- the authors being a male priesthood who controlled the secular leaders (shahs, emperors, pharaohs) -- but it has been continually rewritten with the intent of keeping man in the leading role. That civilization remains under the control of men because its directing agendas are written by men is an elementary insight of many historians

and an important tenet of metahistory. Significantly, endowed cultures such as the huge mosaic of “Stone Age” tribes that spread across the Americas before colonization, do not grow into large-scale civilizations. Mandated cultures do, because they are driven by scripts that confer the divine sanction of the celestial father (Sky God) upon violence and conquest. (Mandated culture and endowed culture are included in the glossary for the site.) In sexual terms the motif of Origins is typically concerned with the obscure matter of how the sexes originated. In the Genesis version, the male (Adam) was created first, and then Eve was produced from Adam’s rib. This story encodes the belief that “man precedes woman,” a direct contradiction to current scientific understanding that the human body is programmed in DNA from a female-template: we are all conceived female, and the male variant of the prototypal body only emerges when certain chromosomes kick into activity. The superiority of the male sex has its origin in texts written for mandated cultures that first emerged around 2800 BCE. Significantly, the origin of writing coincides with the composition of patriarchal scripts. Feminists argue that by changing the script for human society, we can evolve into a different kind of society. Hence there has been ferocious squabbling over the revision of history and prehistory, especially where the role of woman is concerned. Scripts about Origins in which the “primal father” assumes the dominant role are reflected in the earliest models of civilization at Sumer and elsewhere, but it has been shown that these scenarios override earlier ones in which the female plays an equal or dominant role. In treating the theme of sacred kingship, some texts describe a male king or divine regent appointed by a male priesthood, hence the belief that “men empower men.” Other, older scripts describe how the sacred king is chosen by the goddess, or a priestess who represents the goddess, hence the belief that “the goddess chooses the king” or “the priestess who represents the goddess determines who is qualified to be king.” (See “Kingship” in Barbara Walker’s book listed below.) In modern times, civilization (at least in the domain of commerce and politics) is largely run by men, and the role of the initiating priestess has been degraded to a taboo status. Hence the many and various scenarios of politically and financially powerful men involved with sexually powerful women in illicit relationships that often destroy the men. Is this the revenge of the suppressed priestess who initially was the agent of man’s empowerment? The misogynist script states that “women crave power,” and if they cannot play a role in originating and managing social

structures, they will claim the power by casting a spell over the men who do. These dubious situations relate to the motif of Origins because it is the phallic “towers” of the social, economic and political order who are vulnerable to the wiles of woman, a recurrent tabloid drama. This drama seems to restate the old mythological theme in which the sacred king, originally dependent on the goddess for his power, must cede his power when he can no longer please her with his virility. Thus, sexual politics runs deep into the foundations of civilization. All powersharing issues in advanced society seem to hinge in a precarious way on sexual dynamics, a point emphasized by Feminists time and time again in their revision of history. Suggested reading: Origins Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock is a survey of the historical enigmas surrounding the rise of civilization in different parts of the world, presenting evidence pointing back to a global maritime network that existed before the last Ice Age, that is, before 9000 BCE. The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe by Marija Gimbutas changed our view of the past by showing that civilized, goddess-based societies in which warfare seems to have been lacking existed before large-scale urban civilization as such. The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara Walker is a massive compendium of information on the pagan origins of civilization, presenting leads to alternative scenarios of history as well as recovering many beliefs that were lost or suppressed with the rise of Christianity.