If Pagans wrote a “bible” I belive it would read
“In the begining there was the All, the Source, The Great cause.
She Who is the Great Mother, The Great womb, the abyss of Creation. In the begining was the Goddess, and the Goddess by nature, is creative, from Her The Universe and all you see and do not seemanifested, as an expression of Herself, the worlds, the solar systems, even have Her symbol of the spiral, She has signed the unverse this is my creation for all things come from Me and to Me they shall return”It is known we all have male and femal within us, I even belive the God is an expression of the GoddessHe is apart of Her, but not above Her. It belive by some it was women who birthed human culture and brought humankind out of the hunter-gather era and into that of an agricultural society. The image of the Great Mother Goddess was the outward symbol of the concerns and needs of the human community. She also personified, and was idnetified with the the fears of the ancients and thus became known as “Mother Terrible,” the destroyer of life, wherein She represented death. Like her symbol of the moon, the Goddess transformed herself into different guises and different reflections of light and dark.She hasmany names and faces. Our ancestors of ages past depended upon animal life for survial, therefore, on their tribal bunters. Legends from different cultures speak tell of the bold hunters who dressed in animal disguise (skins and horn) in order to get close to the herds. In time, the image of this horned hero became the image of the God who provided animals for the tribes. However, eventually the horned heroes (usually through injury) no longer went on the hunts and due to their special status within the clan, were given magickal and religious training by the female shamans. Out of this arose the role of what we know as the Priestess and her Priest. Originally, the women directed the religious/spiritual ways of the tribe and men were excluded from any major roles. Women were reveranced and highly respected at one time due to the belief they were magickal because of their ability to produce offspring, and therefore men easily accepted female sovereingty. It wasn’t until men realized their role in procreation that they pushed for a greater role in religious matters. This resulted in a partnership relationship between the genders. Later, as men became warriors as well as hunters, they grew in importance and gained more control over all tribal concerns. The irony of it is as the men gained more control, (the Great Goddess cult, the Old Religion) was brought to a gradual decline. However in southern and western Europe, this change took longer. The Aegean and Mediterranean areas and part of Europe escaped what was happening the longest, especially in the islands of Thera, Crete, Malta and Sardinia, Old European culture flourished in a enviable, peaceful and creative civilization til round 1500bc., a thousand to 1500 years after much of Europe had been transformed. Despite all of this the Goddess religion and its symbols survived in many places.As times changed and went by, humans began to develop and became more civvilized if you want to say, in that they began to construct cities and and major empires
The religious take of the Solar and Lunar philosophies began to chaneg and divide,grow apart. The controlling, rule-making dominating aspects of the Solar philosophies appeared better able to quickly conquer and subdue enemies than could the influencing intuitive, and cooperative aspects of the Lunar. This, in tie, led to the forming of two separate Pagan religions. However, since it was the men who held political and military power, and the men who presided over Solar Rites, and Lunar Cults were eventually outlawed for fear of undermining of the strength of the Solar Cult.The Lunar Cults began to practice their rites in secret, away from the cities. Forests and mountains became the temples of Lunar cultist. Despite the dominance of the Solar-oriented men in power, the hearts of the people were with the Lunar Way (with the Goddess). Secret cults sprang up such as the Italian Benandanti who fought against evil spirits, carrying staffs or fennel stalks into the fray as they defended the crops of the harvest. Other societies came forward to protect and preserve the Old Ways as well (such as the Society of Diana).The Witch Cult and other Mystery Traditions flourished up until the fourth century A.D. when early Christians looted and destroyed Pagan temples and prevented the rites from being performed. And, then we all know the rest.
I love what Lady Isadora wrote
In The Beginning Was the GoddessIn the Beginning was the Mother, Mistress of Infinity
The Great Cosmic Womb from which all came to be
And the Sun and the Moon and Stars She bore and the Earth in her Beauty,
and She in turn gave birth to us from Her own Womb, the Sea.
And Her Daughters gave birth in likeness to that Universal Queen and Peace and Sweet Contentment
At the Mother’s breast were seen
Why did so many sons turn from the one who makes them whole
How angry for her betrayal with all the power in my soul.
She is Maiden- She is youth, She is the most lovely open for love and willing to so give love She is adventous, , ready to begin new things, sociable, out going reaching out playful if I may say
Here we learn to embrace youth even if ti si be young at heart to be in such a hurry to get oldEnjoy this time.
The Magick of the Maidne comes into play wiht new beginings Her time is SpringShe awakens at Imbolc arises at Ostara turning the wheel once again
Here She is known as Artemis, Athena, Hebe, Kore
The MotherThe Great Nurture, Pregnant with life
She brings wiht Her Summer fullfilment, marriage, family, knowldge, love healingThe Mother is also a Great teacher,She is the Earth at full bloom
She is the full MoonShe calls to us to seek our true hearts desireShe is Mature at the height of life
Here She is known as Demeter, Selene, and even Isis
The Crone Full of life long lived full of knowldge wisdomthat only comes thru life lived and experience, She is the Great GrandMother,Yet has no patience for foolishnessHers is fall and Winter, Her ways seem cold and hard at times.She the Dark and waning Moon She is death that brings rebirth
Her magick is purifying cleaning , Banishing protection, Shadow work, inner healing and justiceShe is the ProphetessHere She is Persephone, Hecate, Morrighan,CerredwenThe three phases of the Goddess also represent three major phasesof a woman’s life
It’s important to remember that the concept of a single goddess representing the Maiden/Mother/Crone is primarily a Neopagan andWiccan one – most ancient cultures did not have a Maiden/Mother/Crone figure, although they did include other triune or triple goddesses. The contemporary notion of the Maiden/Mother/Crone was popularized by folklorist Robert Graves, in his work The White Goddess. Graves theorized that there
In modern Wicca, however, and many Pagan religions, the Maiden is seen as the virginal young woman, or girl, who has not yet awakened. She is all about enchantment and new beginnings, youthful ideas and enthusiasm. She is associated with the waxing phase of the lunar cycle, as the moon grows from dark to full.
The Mother is the next phase in a woman’s life. She is fertility and fecundity, abundance and growth, the gaining of knowledge. She is fulfillment — sexual, social, and emotional — and she is represented by the full moon. Springtime and early summer are her domain; as the earth becomes green and fertile, so does the Mother.
Finally, the Crone aspect is the final stage. She is the hag and the wise woman,
In some forms of feminist spirituality, the Maiden/Mother/Crone is used as an example of society’s treatment of women. While the Maiden is revered and the Mother is honored, the Crone is pushed aside and reviled. Many women are trying to turn that around and reclaim the title of Crone, much like the gay community has reclaimed “queer.” Instead of allowing themselves to be “old ladies” at Cronehood, these women are taking back the notion that with age comes wisdom. They are vibrant, sexual, life-embracing women who are proud to be labeled as Crone. Instead of hiding in the shadows, they celebrate the later years of life.
The Dark GoddessSHE’S BACK!!
(with a vengeance)
She has been known in ancient times and continuously throughout history even up to the moment by names too numerous to mention. She predates Christianity (who adopted her names, her liturgy, her holidays, her rites and her places of worship) by thousands of years. Remains of her temples and her images have been found on every continent and in every country the world over. For the last two thousand years she has been abused, misused, maligned and cast out by those “in control”. Her worshippers have suffered rape, the rack, nail screws, stonings, skewerings, stampede, flayings, quartings, burning, drowning, disembowlment and any number of unmentionable tortures in the quest to rid the world of her influence. And yet she lives on, not in our memories as a quaint fertility object from a distant and barbarous past, but as a living breathing regenerating entity upon which all humans reside. She is Gaia (Gaea), the Great Earth Mother. She is also the triple Goddess; maid, mother, and crone or the creator, the sustainer and the destroyer. She is the virgin AND she is the sacred whore. The Goddess is back, (although she never left) and she is seeking retribution for the sins of the fathers and the sins of the sons back seven generations.
To understand the defilement of The Great Mother we need only look to the language of our times. As children we were instructed not to say certain words, because they were “bad words”. “Cunt, bitch and whore”, are representative of those words. Yet when we investigate their etymology we find not words of debasement, but words of honor and names of the Great Mother
The Bitch Goddess of antiquity was known in all the Indo European cultures, beginning with the Great Bitch Sarama who led the Vedic dogs of death. Artemis-Diana, leader of the Scythian alani or “hunting dogs” was another such Bitch Goddess. Harlots or “bitches” were identified in the ancient Roman cult of the Goddess Lupa, the Wolf Bitch, whose priestesses the lupae gave their name to prostitutes in general. [read the poem!]
Cunt (Kunda): Derived from the Oriental Great Goddess Cunti, also known as The Yoni (vulva) of the Uni-verse. Other words coming from the same source are “cunabula”, a cradle or first abode, “Cunina,” a Roman Goddess who protected children in the cradle, “cuntipotent, having all powerful cunt-magic, “cunicle”, a hole or passage, “cundy”; a culvert; also cunning, kenning and ken meaning knowledge, learning, insight, remembrance and wisdom. In ancient writings the meaning of the word was synonymous with “woman”. Kunda : Saharan, Goddess of the Kuntahs a tribe who traced their beginnings to “the cleft of the Goddess”. Kundas were children begotten out of wedlock and were considered divine gifts of the Goddess Kunda.
Horae : Multi Cultural, Known in Persia as “houris”, in Egypt as “Ladies of the Hour”, in Babylon as “harines”. Semetics called them “whores” after Hor (meaning a hole) who was the ancestress of the Horites. In Greece the Horae were Aphrodite’s celestial nymphs, who performed the Dances of the Hours, acted as midwives to the Gods and inspired earthly Horae (harlot priestesses) to train men in Sexual Mysteries. The dance the hora was based on the priestesses’ imitation of the zodiacal circling of “hours”. Time-keeping is known as horology because of the systems devised by these ancient priestesses of the Goddess. The Horae were called “fair ones, begetters of all things, who in appointed order bring on day and night, summer and winter, so as to make months and years grow full.” The Vestal Virgins serving in the temples of Vesta and Hestia in Greece and Rome were originally harlot-priestesses. The temples of Aphrodite at Eryx, Corinth and Cyprus were served by a thousand sacred harlots apiece. The promiscuous priestess-shamans of Japan were called Holy Mothers. Every Babylonian woman prostituted herself in the temple before marriage. The original meaning of the word prostitute is “unmarried woman”. (Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. . .Walker, B.)
The words “cunt, bitch and whore” are not slang, a dialect or any marginal form but true language words of the oldest stock. Words are not evil or good, they simply are. It is the connotation that society gives them which labels them “bad”. In the case of these Goddess related words it was society (now ancient society), indoctrinated by pagan-hating religious hierarchy who sought to defame the feminine in any and all forms. It is time we become reeducated to the true meanings of language and seek to reinstate The Great Mother on her rightful throne of authority, wisdom and knowledge.
In all things there is polarity and the polarity allows balance. White is to black, day is to night, male is to female, positive is to negative, up is to down, in the same way that virgin is to the whore or creator is to destroyer. We do not judge the day as being “better” than the night, nor black as being more powerful than white. We only experience day because it is balanced by night, or summer as balanced by winter. Who are we then to judge a whore as being less righteous than a virgin? When we understand that, all is balance; all has an opposite pole. We can even make peace with the atrocities of the dark ages for they were balanced by the strides made in the Renaissance. A dark age vs. an age of enlightenment.
One of the most revered and most powerful Goddesses of all time is Kali. Her worship and unbroken Hindu lineage stretches back into antiquity. She is the Great Goddess in her Destroyer aspect, balanced and counterpoint for the Goddess in her creator aspect yet, she is the three in one. In her emanation as Anath she ruled the Middle East back to Neolithic times. In Central America she is The Lady of The Serpent Skirt, her skirt an apron of severed phalluses. Lurena Bobbitt is her modern day emanation.
Kali is depicted with black skin. She wears a necklace of skulls, carries a knife to cut through illusion, a mirror of reflection and drinks from a skull cup of blood. She stands above her disemboweled lover, phallus erect, his blood feeding the earth. Her visage is terrifying. She is loved and feared for her destructive powers, for she is both womb and tomb simultaneously. It is upon Kali’s destroyer aspect that the angry, punishing, castrating Father God was based. Yet how much more terrible does she seem than her watered down male version?
It is confusing to think of the Goddess as virgin and the Goddess simultaneously as whore. Yet even in the cheap imitation (Christianity), both Mary’s were adopted in their respective positions. The virgin/whore split into two aspects of the same divine feminine. In truth, prior to Christianity the temple virgin was the temple whore (Isis the woman in Red, She of the Red Apparel, Vieled Isis). Two sides of the same coin. This can only be true because the sacred prostitute was ordained by the Great Mother herself. The divine feminine does not seek to condemn sexuality but to raise it to it’s true place as an act of spirituality. In ancient times the temples of the Goddess served as healing and cleansing centers for warriors returning from battle. Only by lying with a sacred prostitute (who became the earthly incarnation of the Goddess) could a man cleanse himself of the acts of violation committed in war and be reborn through the Mother and into society. Women as keepers of the secrets and mysteries of sexuality are the teachers and must reclaim their rightful place as the path to the Goddess.
The founding church father’s understood the power inherent in sexuality. They understood that to repress and suppress the populace they needed to control the very act of sexuality. They accomplished this by condemning it as diabolical and women along with it. The church said, “Women are without souls.” and thus no better than demons. Women became the fall guys so that a handful of clergy could hold power, authority, and the purse strings in their ever widening grasp. The word “devil” comes directly from the word “deva”. The original devas were the nature spirits of the pagan Earth centered religions. The church took all things sacred to The Great Mother and made them profane, even to profaning the Earth herself. She has been raped and plundered and torn end to end. In her death throes she coughs up poison gases (in the form of volcanoes) in resistance. She shifts and quakes grinding her plates in tutonic activity trying to rub the burr from under the saddle of patriarchal oppression. She is not giving up easily but her struggle is apparent. And through all this sickness and pestilence we see rising signs of repentance.
As in the days of the Christos when the sacrificial gods Tammuz/Dumuzi were consorts the powerful Ishtar and Innana, men seeking to honor the Goddess entered the priesthood performing self castration as an act of contrition. To become closer to the Goddess they emasculated themselves in an attempt to be more like women, having a hole instead of a phallus. Later the church fathers emulated the attire of women by adopting robes as an emblem of their “holy” office. Today the numbers of men seeking to have sex changes is growing as men protest the rape of the Great Mother and seek to emulate femininity. Often times they take jobs working in sex clubs or find themselves on the street as “outcasts” of society who now “service” the men they themselves no longer wanted to be. Patriarchal traditions, so long upheld as “the only way” are falling apart as the foundations of society collapse heralding the new millennium. In some cases the sex changed men become dominatrix, stylistically punishing “establishment man” for his acts of control and domination in the outside world. The controlling men (lawyers, company presidents, high profile businessmen) seek ritual debasement and submission to purge their day to day guilt. These scenes recall the flailings of early devout monks and nuns beating themselves into a frenzy of zealous ecstacy. (For an informed and enlightened view of Domina work follow this link to another site.)
How do we make sense of such seemingly alien behaviors? We must search our own closets, basements, attics and backrooms for clues. As we are still products of our parents, many of whom were dominating, controlling and abusive, we have within us an ingrained sense of guilt for wrong doing, imagined or otherwise. The abused child becomes the child abuser. When there is no sense of love, acceptance, warmth or forgiveness what might pass for feelings of “love” may in fact be those of the opposite pole. If our parents always yelled at us and hit us (saying, “I’m only doing this because I love you.”), we may now experience “love” in a raised voice and a violent touch. By submitting to dominating behaviors are the dominators (of patriarchal society) simply trying to tap into the “love” feelings of their childhoods? Only by going back to the source and finding the point of departure can we seek to heal the rift that separates so many abused from a conscious awareness of what real love is, rather than simply what feels like “love” because that is what is remember.
Exploring the “shadow” within ourselves in not a “bad” thing nor something to be feared or condemned. It simply is an opportunity to experience the polarity of the light. The Dark Mother is calling us to witness her death and destruction at the hands of the tyrant. We are microcosm in a macrocosm. By taking such paths and finding where they lead we can better walk the 180 degrees around the circle and reemerge into the day light. The return of Quetzalcoatl is eminent. The winged serpent who unites the power of sexuality with the purity of spirit taking both to a higher level. By “becoming” our dominating parents we can understand, forgive and heal their behaviors so that we do not perpetrate “insanity” on the next generation. We see the light only because we experience darkness. The cycle is endless as is the Great Mother in her many guises and rotations. It is up to us to find the balance point, to seek to raise conscious awareness. To find and found a new Earth centered religion that seeks to honor the Great Mother in all her forms and guises, to honor the feminine and most of all to reclaim our sacred sexuality. It is time to reinstate the SACRED “prostitute” to a place of honor for through her we reach the Goddess within ourselves, a Goddess who exists within men as well as women.
© March 6, 1997, Ariel Isis, Maui, HI