In spite of November being my ultimate writing month, I’ve still managed to find myself reading religious books as well. I’ve just done my third exam in Magicka School and passed this one with 100%, which I’m very happy for. But besides texts related with Magicka, I’ve taken a deeper interest in Goddess worshiping books, too. By this I mean historic and anthropological books.
Marija Gimbutas is one of the leading ladies amongst USA archeologist, who has deeply reconstructed goddess-centered cultures predating patriarchal cultures in pre-historic times. Her main interest was my area of Europe, so of course I read her works from both for my religious base and for history studies, taking it with gram of salt. Her theories still need proving or disproving, but like most things in anthropology – go figure? Evidence like seems to be there, yet what it really was about back then – no one knows for sure. She is archeologist, but my hair rather likes to stand on my back, when I try to create that connection in my head, so forgive me inserting her again and again in anthropology. While I was at it, I also read the The Great Cosmic Mother by Monica Sjöö, The Chalice & The Blade by Riane Tennenhaus Eisler and When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone. Out of all those – go for Marija Gumbutas if you want to have your first taste in the matter, she at least has some good archeological findings in her book.
There is a growing trend among newcomers, which is understandable, but slightly disturbing for me. Goddess worshiping is always related with feminism. It’s like Amen in Church – you worship Goddess, thus you are blood-hearted feminist. I and my sister were brought up as women, who think for themselves and don’t rely on men, so I guess you could say we are feminist oriented. So I can say to you – that Amen in Church – not true. Goddess should not be the ultimate symbol of feminism like rainbow should not only stand for sexual minorities.
I see the biggest mistake is often done, when the newcomers try to magnify the differences between the main religions to bring out why they want to follow only Goddess.
Like God is masculine, malevolent and it has dominated so long, it like must be pulled down from its pedestal and let women rule for a change. Goddesses are then exampled as pressed down power that is ready to take over and oh, what a wonderful world we would live in – compassionate and happy! Riane Tennenhaus Eisler seemed especially particular about the last one, constantly chanting the wonders that the society was enjoying when women were in power. I think back on items found around here, the heritage and traditional household models and I’m sorry – I must be living in different Europe than she describes, because I see nothing that would support her theory not now or in historic past. Monica Sjöö book is also going that direction.
I don’t see much worth in having a man in my life for most of the time – perhaps I haven’t found my match yet – , but I stand my ground, when I say – stop this trend of bashing men, when talking about Goddess! It’s as if every author, who has taken up writing “history” of Goddess worship is suddenly in need to prove her better. Why? I’m starting to think I should write my own soon, if I keep finding books like these!
My book would begin with simple sentence: co-operation. I won’t talk about any specific God or Goddess here, only in general for now. The theory is simple – like in household, we like it or not, there are work that women do and work that men do. We can nicely do each other’s, but if you live in a healthy household with two females and four men, then it always ends that way that men do one things and women others. It is normal. Yes, I used the bad word – normal. It has nothing to do with too much Christian influence or roles pushed on people by society – it is normal way how nature puts things. To anyone, who wants to argue on the family roles, please look animal channels first and then get back to me and we’ll discuss it.
With God and Goddess, as far as I’ve seen the evidence go – it is the same way. Goddess is more related with home and hearth, fields, fruits, plants while God deals with animals, birds, forest and hunting. This doesn’t make one more greater than other, absolutely the opposite – they are both part of the universal power, only with different tasks they perform. And like in household, the tasks can change and the people, who perform them, might be from the sex you don’t expect them to be, but this doesn’t mean that the previous performer is now meaningless or less important.
For example hunting. Inuit have goddess called Nujalik, who you turn to if you hunt on land. At the same time they have god named Tekheitsertok, who is master of caribous and also responsible for hunting. Odin in Norse mythology is the ultimate power man and protector of the hunters, yet if you wanted a good hunt in winter and used bow, then your best chance was goddess named Skadi. The closest to my region is Tapio – male spirit you could turn to for a good hunt, while Finnish next door also turned to Mielikki, she was protector of the forest and the hunt. Often, what determined for the hunters, whom to turn to, wasn’t the fact if they followed god or goddess, but by who they needed and what powers they were hoping would bring the greatest benefits. Sort of like putting together your team for sport – you chose the best players for your team and the best captain and sponsor.
It is hard for me to think that they would only follow Goddess and think that she will be all-powerful of making all their dreams come true in society where the absence of men during war was felt in most crucially in some parts of life. I have no doubt these Goddesses were indeed all-powerful, but even in that case her image would have possessed great deal of obligations and attributes that are set under male image in another society. To talk about having peace just because you had only Goddesses or main deity was a Goddess sounds too far fetched to have ground. You had peace, because all your life’s aspects were covered by her and you knew it. If the society next door had God as their main deity, then he would be taking care of women and protected the aspects important to them like home, children too and they just didn’t have need to have Goddess.
The main problem with modern religions is, we often feelamiss or that we are meant to press down something in ourselves in order to fit the model. I think in pre-history, they had it the opposite way – deities added to their protective shield the things you needed to be protected or help with. That’s why it is often so hard to define what deity stood for what in early societies – you had household gods and they stood good for everything related with that household. This might have been one of the reasons, in my opinion, why it was important for early Kings to put down the law “I rule – my religion”, because their kingdom was their household and they treated it the same way.
It’s not about equality of sexes, when we talk about deities in pagan societies. It was co-operation, roles you filled for the sake of the community. The same way like mother prepares dinner in your family and expects one of the children to wash up while dad puts fire up in the fireplace. If you compare – these are totally different tasks and take unequal times and seem all oh so unfair! Yet if everybody fills their part, it will create balanced life and in the end everybody are fed and warm.
God and Goddess are our mother and father the same way – we all have our roles in life and so do them. Having only one of them in your life and denying the other is like growing up without the other parent and that’s where the problems can start. But if we have that one, good parent – why ruin it by bashing the other child’s single parent? They might not understand each other for their views on life are different, but that doesn’t make them worse parents.
For conclusion, I’d just like to say that if you consider turning your head only to Goddess – it is nice if you know all the reasons why you joined the Goddess movement, but understand those reasons too, why others don’t. It does not make them less advanced or uneducated or shovinist pigs. We just divide their tasks differently and like having male energies flowing in our life.