Prehistoric Goddess worship?

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Mythology' started by iBrian, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    There's a general feeling - not wholly sustantiated, but nevertheless quite compelling, that through the Palaeolithic to Neolithic periods women played a distinctly central role in human societies.

    The whole issue come to a head when the issue of political and theological control is considered - were human societies before the established advent of civilisation actually Matriarchal in nature? If so, to what extent did was this Matriarchal control delivered?

    The problem is that the archaeology is simply too sparse to give us direct evidence of Palaeolific thoughts in any great detail. Although there are many tantalising hints of a specific female-centric worship, so far as I know, there is no certainty of the implications of any finds. For example, was there simply a strong fertility cult or ritual within a general Patriarchal Indo-Europeanism?

    Or were male and female deities essentially separate, married only through political ties?

    I once read what I can only suggest to be a purely speculative claim, that once there was a dominant Matriarchy through most human cultures, that slowly gave way to an equality of gender, where Matriarch and Patriarch were elevated together. And then, as we certainly see in our nearer recorded histories, the Patriarchs wield sole power and the woman becomes a chattel.

    Of course, woman is rising - slowly but surely - to an equal position again - does this mean that one day in the far future we will actually see a distinct Matriarchy over humanity again? Certainly a possibility. :)

    The question here is: if we consider the possibility of a Matriarchal rule over at least some measure of the Palaeolithic period, and to some significant degree over the population of humanity - then what do people actually envisage that rule to have been like?

    The reason I ask is that I've encountered previous laims that a Matriarchy would be, essentially, a Golden Age of peace and prosperity - of joy and compassionate living - in essence, Utopia for all.

    However, is it also equally possible that a Matriarchy would simply be as dominant and oppressive as any of the worst Patriarchal structures?

    As there is a general tendency to patriarchal living in tribal societies, then does this also mean that there never was a great pre-historical Matriarchy in the first place?

    An issue open to discussion.
     
  2. sjr

    sjr New Member

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    That reminds me of a talk I saw by Dr. Joseph Chilton Pierce he claims (Im summerizing)Women who are comfortable in their environment and with themselves give birth to babies with huge frontal lobes he calls it the angel lobe (where esoteric thinking originates) women in the opposite give birth to reptillian brain babies(survival)The heart connection between mother and child is the most important factor for brain growth.Look it up at heartmath.com Maybe we all should start worshipping the feminine?
    It was a bizzare talk but answered alot of questins i had at the time Basically what i got out of the talk was are children are soulless because are mothers arent with them for the first 3 years of life Prehistoric man was probably better off
     
  3. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards!
    I'm not sure how this fits in, but I was kind of taken aback when I learned that some Native American tribes were actually Matriarchal. I can't help but think that we presume tribal societies to have dominant male societies perhaps because of warlike tendencies and such. But when it comes down to running the household, raising the kids and ruling the roost, the women are in charge. The teepees, for instance (or whatever traditional shelter) were the property of the woman, with everything that entails.

    Maybe that's why the men run off regularly to go hunting and fishing?:)
     
  4. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Matriarchy is the rule.

    Lives there no man who was not born of woman and raised by women.

    On that score alone we have a continuing and extant matriarchy in human society.

    Women for me are the superior race: they live longer, they work harder and longer hours, they suffer longer, they persevere longer.

    Now with the reliability and safety of artificial contraception, women are free to pursue all the endeavors men have so far been heirs to; women are no longer burdened unwillingly or improvidentially by the labor and risk of the female reproductive system and functions. They can have sex without childbearing. Of course childbearing is itself also a privilege and noble destiny of womanhood, nonetheless.

    With machinery, women can also now compensate for their innate restraints in terms of anatomy compared to men. No need for them to be able to hit harder or run faster. They just have to buy a good piece of equipment to hit harder and to travel faster than men. What they should do now is to master the skills of making more money -- than men.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  5. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    there is a regrettable tendency amongst the sections of the religious community that rail against the Big Beard In The Sky to then promptly replace it with the Big Tits In The Sky. all that is doing is replacing one infantile concept of religion with an equally limited one. quite apart from this, some of them are perfectly capable of relying on tendentious or indeed suspect historical research. this is not to denigrate the evidence of prehistoric goddess worship at all; obviously there is evidence that it took place, but the idea that humans all lived in a Peaceful Tree-Hugging Matriarchy In Harmony With Nature before the Horrid Patriarchal Monotheists With Their Swords And Rules arrived is romanticism at best and historical bunkum at worst.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  6. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I think we should put that up on a big sign somewhere. :)
     
  7. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Hear, hear! Thank you for expressing what I could not find words for.

    Just so there may be no confusion, my earlier comment dealt with social structure, not religious worship per se.
     
  8. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Hyperdulia of women

    Prescription for hyperdulia of women:

    Hug your wife regularly.

    Kiss your mother as often as you meet her, and visit her often.

    Kiss your daughters.

    Kiss your aunts.

    Kiss your sisters.

    Show all women reverence and deference.


    Susma Rio Sep
     
  9. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    perhaps right in front of merlin stone's house?

    :D

    bb
     
  10. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Worship of goddess

    Banana, you are a child of Abraham, the founder of the people who are experts in worship of God, slaughtering heads and heads of livestocks, spilling their blood on stone altars, and burning their carcass, to give pleasure to God.

    Would you be knowledgeable about what exactly is worship of God and in our present context, worship of goddess?

    How would man worship a female deity? I imagine it would be different from the worship of a male deity.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  11. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    yes, but we are not the only people with a system of animal sacrifice. it also has to be seen in its context - the radical abrahamic sacrificial innovation was *not sacrificing humans*. sacrifice is actually seen as the "icing on the cake" - the equivalent of giving your girlfriend flowers and chocolate. in many places the prophets are sent to complain that, essentially flowers and chocolates are not a substitute for fidelity and decency.

    your implication seems to be that "gods'" worship rituals require blood, knives and probably beer and football whereas goddesses' ones are like weekends at the spa with lots of hugs and chocolate. i respectfully suggest that this is not borne out by the rituals associated with, say, kali, the morrigan or cybele.

    from my point of view, this is actually a problem with the english language - jews consider the Divine to transcend gender. imposing our understanding of gender upon the Infinite is counterproductive at best and offensively divisive at worst. we worship G!D in the manner that we are commanded - naturally this was designed around the expectations and religious norms of our forefathers. it may help to clarify that there is quite a lot of "female language" addressed to G!D both in the liturgy and in the texts which you may be unaware of - "E-L Sha-DaY", for example, being connected to the word for 'breasts' and "Ha-Rahaman" being connected to the word for 'womb'. this is without even getting into mystical imagery and symbolism. the other thing the prophets used to get really heated about was the simplistic tendencies of the biblical-period israelites to try and split the Divine into male and female and worship each separately, which took a really long time to get into people's heads - in fact, until the time of ezra.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  12. Johanna

    Johanna New Member

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    Heh. Looking at Scandinavian mythology, most of the goddesses are as fierce and dark as the gods, perhaps even more so (the Valkyries, for example). So no chocolate and hugs there.
     
  13. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Wanted a macho God

    Honestly, Banana, the God of your people is a macho God, not a muchaha Goddess. And without offense, Jaweh and His worshippers are possessed of a machiste psychology. Right?

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  14. Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine Junior Moderator, Intro Staff Member

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    Our beloved rabbinically challenged one has struck again. :rolleyes:

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I think that's just a little on the general side, Susma. You may want to acquaint yourself with more Jewish people. They don't all vote for Ariel Sharon, you know. :)
     
  16. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Touche

    Point well taken, and I will be guided accordingly. Thanks.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  17. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    with all due respect, susma, i don't see how you are possibly in a position to make authoritative statements about the gender of the Divine. now i am prepared to concede that this may very well be your *opinion*, but it certainly isn't ours. and furthermore, it isn't really your place to tell me what i believe, as far as i know, unless when i signed up to this site i agreed to it in the terms and conditions.

    give me some specific examples and i might be able to dignify this with a response. otherwise, it's a blanket assertion and a pretty rude one at that. saying "without offense" doesn't remove offensiveness. and while you're at it, i'd prefer it if you didn't try and spell out that particular Divine Name.

    and what the arsing feck does fat arik have to do with this, precisely? one's opinion about him is not reliable indicator of anything we're talking about here. many perfectly reasonable people voted for him out of sheer desperation because he told them he'd give them "peace with security". i don't believe he's managed anything much so far apart from making israel more unpopular than it's been since 1967, but if you're at all interested in israeli politics, i suggest you read http://www.haaretzdaily.com - they're generally considered a pretty balanced bunch.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  18. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    God of Jews and Christians

    Dear Banana:

    No animosity from my side. My interest is purely academic.

    You are the authority of course of what Jews believe and how they address God.

    On the other hand, since we are here not only Jews but also adherents of other religions, and even people without any but still claiming to be religious in a way, like yours truly, I think it is all right for us to use the name of God the way the name has been used for two thousand years by Christians, namely: God.

    Since you know the Old Testament and its language I presume, Hebrew or some version of it, may I inquire with due respect but just the same on academic grounds whether in the Hebrew of the Old Testament God is assigned the male or female or neuter gender. I know that in Latin and in Greek he is assigned the male gender.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  19. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    that is perfectly OK, but it can sometimes raise issues (people going "oh, that's male, what about goddess?") that i don't consider are actually issues - this is why i use the term G!D to indicate a concept that the english language doesn't cope with all that well. my issue is with the english transliteration of a particular Divine Name that we do not *ever* try and pronounce for many extremely complicated and technical reasons and because of that i respectfully request that you just type "God" instead (if you're not happy typing "G!D").

    there isn't a neuter gender in biblical hebrew - non-gendered words are rendered using the masculine, which is not considered by us to thereby render them male-gendered. the *sense* of the Name is a more reliable indicator of the attribute being referred to. whether, of course, that attribute is necessarily to be considered male or female by human beings is up to them. thus, with us, the nominally "female" aspects are quite often the harsh, judgemental, warlike ones and just to prevent simplification, the ones involving breasts and wombs are often, if i remember correctly, classed as masculine aspects. the whole point is to try and make one relinquish the tendency to try and genderise the Infinite Divine. gender limits us to a (usually) binary view of the Infinite and this is not acceptable to us if, as we believe, All Is One.

    in the prayer liturgy, the Divine is addressed in both masculine and feminine language-forms, depending on what is being said, which is generally enough to keep one on one's toes.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  20. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Good approach to God

    ...in the prayer liturgy, the Divine is addressed in both masculine and feminine language-forms, depending on what is being said, which is generally enough to keep one on one's toes.

    ...which is generally enough to keep one on one's toes.

    I was sure, Banana, you do have a sense of sardonic humor.

    Best regards,

    Susma Rio Sep
     

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