The Great Goddess

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15085597_1216988158363678_5995670397113487003_nArcheological evidence strongly shows that our prehistoric ancestors worshipped a Great Goddess who was known by many names and assumed many guises and manifestations. She was the Creatrix and Mother of All, a multifaceted being whose existence predates the arrival of the male gods who were to usurp her power and authority.il_fullxfull-456411444_4msnOver an extended period of time, the powers of the Great Goddess were diminished, diffused, fragmented, and harnessed to support a masculine theology. The all-encompassing qualities she once embodied were splintered off and assigned to a host of other deities. This shift from Goddess to God was not merely a question of gender change. It constituted a paradigm shift that was to impact every level of society. Goddess religion was earth-centered and life-affirming. The deity’s presence was immanent within all of creation. Humanity was interconnected with nature; death was a part of life. Worship of the Goddess was sensual and erotic and celebrated the body. The Great Goddess was revered as the force that was responsible for the renewal and regeneration of life. In Goddess-worshiping communities, women held a high status and were treated with respect.
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Patriarchy’s entrance into human history precipitated a cultural transformation of such proportions that we are still reeling from its impact. According to a male-constructed hierarchy of values, the theology that replaced Goddess worship proceeded to designate as inferior all things associated with the feminine and that fall within the feminine sphere of influence. Transcendence replaced immanence; domination replaced partnership. Natural functions of the human body, especially functions associated with the woman’s body, were viewed with contempt and disdain. The intricate web that interconnected all of life was replaced with a system which ranked males at the head and legitimized their power and authority over one half of humanity and over all of nature. Patriarchy led to different ways of perceiving self and community as well as different ways of thinking and being. Women, the female, and the feminine were subordinated, devalued, and suppressed in a system that forced societies to rank difference hierarchically.

pyramidsegyptBut in spite of patriarchy’s attempt to smother all evidence of a time when human communities operated differently, the Great Goddess was never totally forgotten. Glimmerings of her former glory and power and evidence of her demise continue to surface through a variety of goddesses and sacred women. For men and women to arrive at a more holistic, balanced perspective, one that is nurturing of ourselves and the planet and one which opens up the possibility of exploring alternative ways of thinking about life and our interconnectedness with all that lives, it becomes necessary for us to embrace the life-affirming qualities once represented by the Great Goddess and to integrate them into our daily lives, our relationships, our institutions, and our communities.
By: Sheila Clark

Let your Freak Flag Fly!
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