The Rise and Fall of the Matriarchs/Patriarchs?

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by foundationist.org, Mar 22, 2003.

  1. foundationist.org

    foundationist.org New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Before I start rooting through notes, books, and reference works, there is a general movement in believing that during the palaeolithic period at least, societies in Euro-Asia tended towards matriarchal systems - the Divine was considered female, and rulership was conveyed through the female line.

    However, at some point in the neolithic world, male-orientated divinity began to take an equal footing, eventually supplanting the original matriarchal system of things by the dispersal and acceptance of both Christian and Islamic systems of thinking, where woman was at least theoretically reduced to a mere bond servant and property (though actually a mere extension of prevailing beliefs at their formation).

    "The Ancient City" by Numa Denis Fustel De Coulanges is an excellent work that seems focussed upon the development of the gods of hearth (known as the manes or lares in the Roman world) and how they dominated the early Roman, Greek, and even Hindu societies, apparently from an earlier Indo-European belief source.

    What the book does not state, but potentially infers, is that the male gods of polytheistic traditions were possibly actually embodiments of tribal chiefs and elders, who somehow became worshipped by an entire social group, rather than simply one family. Of course, the distinction may blur, as the above books relates with the diversification of the Roman gens, and of course social groups would often have strong blood-ties among themselves. In fact, whole villages could have grown to worship one divine figure, amalgamated from various ancestors worshipped and increasingly imbued with supernatural and symbolic properties.

    As different embryonic societies expanded, even small-scale, it appears that they may have enforced their own ancestor worship upon conquered peoples, thus disseminating what was once a worship of the hearth into ever increasingly anthropomorphised and symbolically imbued male figure. The assimilation of other social groups (ie, the Tarquins and Etruscans by the Romans) no doubt led to the expansion of single figure religious pantheons into ever evolving polytheistic hierarchies - with the original hearth figure taking dominance over others (ie, Zeus of the Greeks and Jupiter Maximus of the Romans).

    In which case where would the female deities have come in?

    As females were not worshipped at the family hearth in the Graeco-Roman and Hindu traditions, then it is quite possible that female divinities in polytheistic traditions are actually latent images, personified in evolving systems, of those original matriarchal figures (earth deities such as Cybele and Persephone especially come to mind).

    As a last open question and consideration, the figure of the snake also appears to have been intimately connected with at least some matriarchal worships. In the "Mayan Prophecies", which is, to coin a phrase: "a bag o’ wank", the only section of interest contains a reprinted local study that claims that ancient earth-goddess worship fixated upon a certain species of snake, whose notable geometric patterning was claimed to be the basis of the development of religious iconography in nearby Meso-American cultures.

    This contentious idea may be further considered in relation to the slaying of Python at Delphi by Apollo - a symbolic remnant describing the dominance of a young male cult over an older matriarchal one? This is also illuminating when considered with the story of Genesis, and considerations that the snake represented symbolically earlier Mesopotamian goddess worship that was being refuted and later eradicated by the evolving divinities centred upon the settlement of Shalem.

    Anyway … see if anyone wants to take of these general ideas further.
     
  2. maya

    maya New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah women rule! :lips: :-*
     
  3. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    and peace on earth....except for once every month. :D
     
  4. foundationist

    foundationist New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dave, you are sooo going to get slapped for that if you're not careful. ;)
     
  5. Cloud Woman

    Cloud Woman New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Women will inherit the earth, of course. ;)But we first have to stop the boys playing with their toys. Or in a different way.We don't need so many guns in this world.
     
  6. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    In all seriousness the gender control issue is likely a myth. There is no gender monopoly on compassion. I just thought I'd say that.
     
  7. WHKeith

    WHKeith New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    0
    When dealing with religious belief systems dating back to Mesolithic or even Paleolithic times, we are on VERY shaky ground when it comes to solid proof. However, according to Margaret Murray and others, the very widespread discovery of female fertility figures—the various “Venuses” depicting big-breasted, big-hipped, usually faceless women is evidence of an early, essentially matriarchal society worshipping a female fertility or Earth goddess. The rise of goddess worship is easy enough to understand in and of itself. Women are the source of new life. They nurture their young. They magically bleed once a month, in time to the Moon's phases. They produce new life in the same way Earth produces vegetation, and nurture new life in the same way Earth nurtures us.

    Murray points to an episode she refers to as the onset of the “Kurgan Hordes” beginning about 3000 BCE, which brought an end to this peaceful and idyllic period. “Kurgan” is a type of burial mound associated archeologically with Scythian and other tribes from the southwest/south-central Asian steppes. The migrations she refers to seem to correspond to what is usually called the “proto-Indo-European migrations of that time. Things might not actually have been so clear-cut as Murray suggests, but it IS true that before 3000 BCE, towns and villages throughout eastern, central, and southern Europe were NOT walled, NOT fortified, and showed little interest in the martial spirit. Further, we do see solid evidence of ancient matriarchal religious/government systems in places like Crete and Malta, and an essentially egalitarian system among the Etruscans, all among the earliest European organized cultures. After 3000 BCE, we see walled towns, armies, evidence of large-scale slavery, kings and male lines of succession, and the appearance of masculine gods who generally establish their dominance myth logically through the subjugation and/or rape of existing female divinities. A second wave of invasions occurred around 1000 BCE, which resulted in a mini-dark age in Greece and elsewhere. These were the Indo-Europeans, who in Greece became known as the Dorians.

    Each invasion brought its own gods, of course. We still see the echoes today. One example: The earliest Greek creation myths look at a divine marriage between Gaia, the Earth-mother, and Ouranos, the Sky-Father. They were superceded by their children, the Titans (the Achaean Greeks?), under the rulership of Kronos. The Titans in turn were overthrown by the Olympian deities (of the Dorians?), led by Zeus. That’s overly simplified, of course, but will give you the idea.

    There is much evidence of said transition from matriarchy to patriarchy in the myths of most European/Asian cultures. Even in the Bible, one of the earliest fragments, dating to before 1200 BC, is the Song of Miriam, which is included in the Book of Exodus as the Song of Moses. It seems to make reference to an earlier line of proto-Semetic prophetesses and priestesses. Robert Graves goes so far as suggest that there was a 13th Hebrew tribe, the Tribe of Deborah, but that its existence was suppressed by later priests trying to centralize worship at the temple in Jerusalem. Fascinating, if true.

    As for snakes . . . [sigh] Don’t get me started. They represented a VERY widespread cult throughout the Mediterranean, one that goes back very, VERY far. In Greece, petitioners in the Temple of Aesclepius (and sometimes Apollo) slept on a floor covered with hundreds of snakes. The snakes crawling over the subject brought healing and prophecy. The caduceus carried by Hermes and today representing the medical profession includes two intertwined snakes as an emblem of healing, which is descended from this tradition.

    Snakes represent new life (hence their connection with women) because they shed their skin, the old becoming new. They also represent the cyclical nature of life, as in reincarnation. They were believed to be very wise—possibly because they crept around keeping their ear to the ground, as it were?—and thus were creatures of prophecy and divine inspiration. Genesis says “Now the serpent was the wisest of all creatures of the field . . .”, a reference to this wisdom. The Genesis story of the serpent in Eden is directly descended from a Sumerian creation myth that links the serpent with the Tree of Life.

    We have statues showing Cretan goddess/priestess figures handling snakes, so it does appear that snakes were connected with some of the earliest fertility/Earth mother beliefs.

    There is only circumstantial evidence for any of this, of course. However, I must voice my complete agreement with both Maya and Cloud Woman. Women rule!
     
  8. WHKeith

    WHKeith New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    0
    BTW, I agree with you, Dave, that compassion is not gender-specific. Nor are all XXsholes male. But in terms of organizational strategy, it's interesting to note that female owned and operated businesses tend to emphasize cooperation and common cause within the ranks of the employed and with other businesses, while male controlled businesses (speaking in grave generalities here) talk about "crushing the competition," "dominating the market,"and similar martial phraseology.

    Throughout history, it sure seems like all you need to do is give a guy a crown, and he immediately assumes son-of-the-gods status, raises an army, and marches off to conquer the world!
     
  9. brian

    brian Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for that, WHKeith - there's a lot of good information there.

    The snakes part is something I immediately have to jump into. :)

    First point is the legend of Apollo slaying the python at Delphi. Because of the symbolism involved, to me this story always seemed to be highly indicative of the supplanting of the old matriarchal way (represented by Python) by the new Patriarchal form (represented by Apollo). I'm a little rusty on the topic now, but I'm sure there was originally reference to one of the Greek gods - perhaps Apollo himself - having a tomb at Delphi with an actual body. It's relatively early this morning here in the UK, so I'll dig for resources later, but as I understand it, there's a very strong tradition about this body - I believe it disappears in the fourth century, when Constantine has it moved to his new capital of Constantinople, where the body promptly disappears from history.

    A particular reason for my interest in this was because while tracking down Ancient Greek Myth parallels to the Christ tradition – searching for possible Hellenic influences that may have entered the New Testament – I saw Apollo as very much possibly representing another long-lost "Christ" tradition, which saw a multifarious expression, not least through the legends of Helios and Dionysios as well. I wondered if Constantine himself had actually recognised this, hence why he would dig up an ancient grave of Apollo and transfer the body to his new Christian capital (assuming it wasn't simply destroyed).

    I've no idea how this would all stand up to further scrutiny, but I'll try and chase this topic up later.

    Another point about snakes – in "The Mayan Prophecies" (which along with "Bloodline of the Grail" ranks as the most unscholarly piece of contrived BS I've ever had the misfortune to read – but that's another issue) – there was one actually very interesting section. Basically, they included from that work an extract from someone else's (with permission) – a local Indian who was writing about the origins of the snake tradition. Anyway, what I remembered most about this section is that one of the most venerated properties of the snake itself was actually the patterns you get on their back. Essentially, the snakes were seen as the first teachers because they embodied secret knowledge – not least of art and geometry - by way of their intricate patterns on their backs. And if you're following this here you should immediately be thinking of how that principle might translate into creation myth, as the patriarchs overcome the matriarchs – the Garden of Eden and Eve learning from the snake.
     
  10. Talia

    Talia New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a woman maybe I should point out that man by their biological nature are evolved and built to seek domination in social groups. Woman's role is sociologically passive (I learned that word today!) So a society run by women would have bitches and belles but would have less of an aggressive dynamic with not so much emphasis on forcing the inqeualities we see now.
     
  11. DrakeofDawn

    DrakeofDawn New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thousands of years ago, in Atlantis times, women ruled most of the world. The goddess was considered to be supreme. The invalidation of the Divine Mascuiline eventually led to the complete destruction of Atlantis. There were other factors involved, but this was key. Women then paid thousands of years of karma serving as the inferiors of men, all due to their arrogance in believing that the goddess was supreme, and for teaching men that men and the masculine was inferior. Their ideas were wiped out so completely, in fact, that there are almost no traces left of their history or culture.

    The truth is that the masculine and feminine are equal and spiritually balanced. When one attempts to dominate the other, there is pain for everyone. However, the masculine is considered to be the leading (or lovingly-dominant force) and the feminine is considered to be the guiding force. Consider an expedition into a jungle; you have a leader, some troops, and a guide. The leader represents the masculine, who makes the decisions and determines the course of the journey according to his mission objectives. The guide represents the feminine, who is able to 'feel-out' the terrain, and serve the leader with knowledge which the leader needs to make the best decisions possible. They are both necessary to complete the expedition.

    In a summary response to your quote: No, women do not rule. I daresay Men do.
     
  12. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    4
    hur, hur, hur. oh, deary deary me. so atlantis wasn't, say, made up by plato?

    how convenient, sorry, i mean, unfortunate. no doubt you can share with us where these remaining traces can be found?

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  13. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2
    I kind of laughed at your response (yeah, the sarcasm got to me) because when I first saw DrakeofDawn's post, I was shocked and thinking, no, you have got to be kidding me!

    If it was true that a feminine-dominated society once existed, I'd be interested to know where to find info on it, as I'm curious as to how a femininity-dominated society might benefit humanity as a collective, as well as how it might be seen as something noble and honourable.

    Otherwise, a legend or fairy tale is still good enough for me.
     
  14. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    4
    the aspiration to [re]create a society based upon the negation of the Big Beard In The Sky inevitably results in the mythologisation of societies supposedly based on the Big Tits In The Earth. both, as i have said many times, are rather considerably short of reality and certainly are pretty limited in terms of theological worldview.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  15. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    It has still not been demonstrated to me that all the "mother goddess" figurines were anything more than children's dolls. In truth I think animism was far more common than an 'in our image' deity in early cultures.

    tao
     
  16. DrakeofDawn

    DrakeofDawn New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    wow. I didn't really expect that much response to that post. I don't have any proof at all, and I guess I can't really expect anyone else to believe me. I've been having memories of past lives since I was a kid, and some of them are of atlantis. I know that's not 'normal,' and typically I don't think I'm likely to be believed by anyone I talk to about this stuff, but what else is new. I guess you can mock me, but that doesn't change the personal validity of my experiences. Honestly, I expected a better reception, given the content and purpose of the website.

    atlantis... what I remember of the time is that it was pretty miserable for men. I don't know if it was always the way I remember it; the culture probably had lots of shifts and changes, but at least in one lifetime in particular, it was very much a matriarchal society. Government and religion were pretty mixed; things were run by 'priestesses' who claimed to have esoteric knowledge. The prevailing beliefs of the time were that 'the Goddess' had created everything in the universe with no male counterpart. It was always implied that men were inferior; men often even believed it themselves.

    There was a lot of corruption in government, lots of abuse of power and lots of conflicts between leaders (almost always female), who were always trying to gain power over one another. I don't know what caused everything to be destroyed, I wasn't around then. But I'm pretty sure that it must have been the matriarchs who were responsible, maybe some push for power that got out of hand, I don't know. But the technology was around to cause pretty catastrophic destruction, even though that seems very unlikely by today's historical records; I'm as aware as anyone else that there is no way to prove that, it's just what I remember.

    the technology really actually was advanced; it was completely different from technology today, but similar in utility and ability to improve quality of life. everything was based on some sort of microwave beaming technology, I think. I don't remember any use of fossil fuels or power lines. Everything seemed to be transmitted through the atmosphere. There was some sort of technology which was able to amplify EM radiation by using crystals. Again, I know that sounds unlikely, and everyone who reads this has utter power to make fun of it, but it's just what I remember.

    I was some sort of engineer at the time (I'm also an engineer now). I'd love to know more about the technology myself, it seems the best part of the civilization, because the rest of it was crap.

    My guides, who I am able to communicate with occasionally, always seem to reassure me that the beliefs of the time were total BS. The atlanteans did NOT have 'higher spiritual knowledge' than we do now. Just different belief systems and different technology. Apparantly, on higher spiritual planes, the creative power of the masculine and feminine are always balanced. There is no 'Goddess' who gave birth to everything without a masculine creative counterpart.

    email from interfaith forum admin:

    "I kind of laughed at your response (yeah, the sarcasm got to me) because when I first saw DrakeofDawn's post, I was shocked and thinking, no, you have got to be kidding me!

    If it was true that a feminine-dominated society once existed, I'd be interested to know where to find info on it, as I'm curious as to how a femininity-dominated society might benefit humanity as a collective, as well as how it might be seen as something noble and honourable.

    Otherwise, a legend or fairy tale is still good enough for me."

    response:

    Sorry, I can't give you any validation on how a female dominated society is a good thing. From my memories and experience, it was actually worse than the most corrupt patriarchal societies today.

    again, I can't give proof or evidence about any of this. It's all from visions, dreams, and memories that I've had my whole life.
     
  17. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    4
    well, at least you're up-front about it. you'd be amazed at the sort of people we get here asking us to take the most astonishing statements about ancient history based purely on their "personal validity" and insisting that their opinions be taken as seriously as, say, that of a historian or of an established, well-documented religious tradition without offering any evidence to merit it. this thread's a good example of what i mean:

    http://www.interfaith.org/forum/the-arthurian-maji-grail-king-6218.html

    put it this way, i have no problem with people believing the oddest things; after all, i believe some fairly odd things myself, based at least to some extent on the "personal validity of my experience". 'owevair, i don't insist that "that's how it is" for everyone, nor do i insist that something is a) historical or b) scientific when both points of view are unarguably empirical and evidence-based. in other words, i'm love curry, but i don't insist that it is everyone's favourite food. lack of evidence notwithstanding, i do appreciate your concilatory tone and lack of egotism.

    you may be remembering it, but you may also be imagining it, or it may be something that is popping up from an entirely different memory - say, seeing a film when you were a kid. not to devalue your experience, of course. and, being an engineer, i dare say the best way to approach it would be to see if you "remember" enough to try and build a working model - you might end up with some evidence and, who knows, some socially (and financially) useful result might befall.

    i always say, beware of "guides". if such things do exist, we ought at least to test whether we can trust what they say.

    that is certainly the understanding of us monotheists; to be precise, the ideas of "masculine" and "feminine" have very little meaning in the higher worlds.

    well, that at least sounds realistic - i can't imagine that a society based on the BTITE would be any more sensible than one based on the BBITS.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  18. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    No, that's not from me. :)

    As for the experiences - certainly very interesting, and thanks for sharing them with us.

    Atlantis has became something of a legendary system that tends to mean different things to different people - but here's a question - in your visions, are you sure you are looking at the past on this earth? Or is it possible you are looking at somewhere else in time (ie, the future), or even another place across space?

    I've had plenty of strange experiences as well and can really relate to them - the problem I always found with my own is that the experiences often felt "translated" into something I could more easily understand and reference. In other words, the experience itself was not true, but filtered to have a certain meaning that was easier to associate with.

    2c.
     

Share This Page