The Goddess religions reject the over-emphasis of the masculine Divinity in Monotheist religions and the subjugation of women. These religions depict the expulsion from the Garden of Eden as the Goddess being deposed by the God. The patriarchy that many Goddess Pagans rail about destroyed the peaceful matriarchy of prehistory.
The work of Marija Gimbutas, Lithuanian-American archeologist, implanted the idea of the Great Mother Goddess in prehistory in Pagan minds. The original idea was started by Johann Jakob Bachofern, Swiss anthropologist, in the 1860s. He asserted that the early Europeans were matriarchal. Friederic Engels (of Marx and Engels) reformulated Bachofern’s idea into a matriarchal Golden Age that was dislodged by the patriarchy of the Indo-Europeans.
Marija Gimbutas described the former Goddess culture of Europe. Ruled by female shamans, this peaceful and egalitarian culture nurtured all life. Gimbutas continued, “Through an understanding of what the Goddess was, we can better understand nature and we can build our ideologies so it will be easier for us to live.” (Note 1) Joan Marler, American archeomythologist, added, “If her theories are correct, then peace, reverence for the earth and the honoring of life are not only human capabilities, they are the very underpinnings of European civilization itself.” (Note 2)
Because of the Great Goddess myth, various Deities of prehistory are seen as Great Mother Goddesses. The interpretation of the objects of prehistory have been subverted into a Goddess Culture. For instance, the Bird Goddess becomes the supreme image of the Holy, with Inanna of Sumer and Isis of Egypt, Her Aspects. The Monotheistic Filter employed by the Goddess religions eliminates the male to formulate the One Goddess.
Note 1. “About Marija Gimbutas,” Belili Productions.
Note 2. Ibid.
“About Marija Gimbutas,” Belili Productions. 2007. Web: http://www.belili.org/marija/aboutmarija.html
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Gimbutas, Marija, “The Language of the Goddess: Unearthing the Hidden Symbols of Western Civilization.” San Francisco: Harper & Row. 1989.
Markale, Jean, “The Great Goddess.” Rochester (VT): Inner Traditions. 1997.
Marler, Joan, “The Myth of the Universal Patriarchy.” 2003. Web: http://belili.org/marija/eller_response.html
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