The Acheulian Goddess and The Green Hornet

From an essay on pop culture and the Gods in Walking the Worlds.

 

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From Sacred Source

 

When I first constructed an altar for the Acheulian Goddess, She gave me specific requests of what She wanted for her sacred space.One of her desires was an action figure of The Green Hornet of the 1966 TV show. This confused me since this character was originally an invention of three men for a 1930s radio show.

An ancient Goddess from Paleolithic times, the Acheulian Goddess was first worshipped by Homo erectus (the predecessor to modern humans and Neanderthals). Because many generations of the human species have known Her, I wondered why such an ancient Goddess would want a fictional character of the 20th century in her shrine.

To know this Goddess, I have to side-step a popular notion amongst Pagans that human society was a matriarchy until it was overthrown by warriors on horseback. Also, I have to ignore the persuasive idea that the Acheulian Goddess is only one aspect of the Great Goddess. Today, lost in Goddess worship, She becomes yet another symbol of the fabled past.

To know Her means stripping away modernistic thinking. To see the Acheulian Goddess as Homo erectus does requires letting go of the present. As L.P. Hartley noted in his novel, “The Go-Between,” “The Past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.” To me, She is the Goddess of the Beginnings, the Goddess who appeared in the dreams of Homo erectus. To them, She was the Keeper of Mysteries of Life and Death.

 

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The Green Hornet and Kato, 1966

 

Meanwhile, The Green Hornet was created in 1936 by Fran Striker and James Jewell to complement WXYZ’s (Detroit) radio program, “The Lone Ranger.” Station manager George Trendle requested that The Green Hornet be a continuation of The Lone Ranger. He wanted to carry this character’s mission in the Old West into modern times. Therefore, Striker created Britt Reid (The Green Hornet) to be a grandnephew of John Reid (The Lone Ranger). Paralleling The Lone Ranger, this new character had Kato, an Asian sidekick, and Black Beauty, a super-powered car. Britt Reid, who is a newspaper publisher, would pretend to be a mobster to fight crime. Unlike John Reid, Britt would have a public life as himself.

What made The Green Hornet an enduring part of pop culture is his unique character. As a tripartite being, Britt Reid is a crusading publisher, criminal master mind, and a secret warrior for justice. In his triple role, The Green Hornet is devoted to repairing relations amongst people, communities, and authorities. This aspect of The Green Hornet made me think that he is more than simply a fictional character. Divinities as triads often show up in various religions. Christianity has the Triune God – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. Wiccans celebrate the Maiden, Mother, and Crone aspects of the Goddess. Meanwhile, the Celtic Goddess, The Morrigan is referred to as “The Triple Goddess.”

Writing for NOW Comics (1989-1990), Ron Fortier devised a family tree for the character starting with The Lone Ranger continuing through various generations until the 1990s. (Note 1) Fortier cemented the canon that The Green Hornet was not a single man, but instead a family obligation for the male relatives of the Reid family. Fortier set up that The Green Hornet of the 1930s was the original grandnephew, and that the TV version (1966-67) was that Britt Reid’s nephew. NOW Comics continued with the generations into the 21st Century. (Note 2)

This reminds me of Roman customs of piety. In Roman polytheism, families devoted themselves to inter-generational rites of piety to specific Gods. For Romans, sacra gentilicia (rites of a clan for their family Gods) were necessary and imperishable. Sometimes a family had a duty to perform public rites (sacra publica) on behalf of the Roman people (sacra pro popula). When Fortier constructed his family tree, he instituted a web of family obligations for the entire Reid family that went beyond sacra gentilicia, and became sacra publica. Devoted to the cause of justice in their community, the Reid family became the intermediaries between the people and the authorities.

Through Fortier’s actions, The Green Hornet became “sacer,” a thing given to the Gods. He went beyond the nascent obligation set up by the original creators of granduncle and grandnephew. This made the duty of The Green Hornet “res divina,” a divine thing. (Note 3) What occurred was the character became the personification of pietas, the maintaining of right relations between people, the Gods, and authorities.

Using divination, I asked the Roman Gods what was The Green Hornet. They said that he was an example of pietas, both as an individual and as a family. The Gods gave this thoughtform agency to become a sacredos, a priest.

The request by the Acheulian Goddess for The Green Hornet for her altar meant to me that She claimed him as her own. To Her, he ably demonstrated sacra publica. I concluded is that The Green Hornet is probably the rex sacrorum (King of Sacred Things) to Her. (Note 4) I believe that the Acheulian Goddess relates to modern humans through what is familiar to Her. Therefore, The Green Hornet acts as the rex sacrorum, an intermediary for Her. Since Romans often have altars to Non-Roman Gods, it made sense to me to have a Roman practice for the Acheulian Goddess.

The Green Hornet proves that not every longstanding character of pop culture becomes a God. His creators set up the means for this character to become more than simply fictional. Fortier’s canon allowed The Green Hornet to be the representation of pietas. Afterwards, the Acheulian Goddess chose him to be a part of her veneration.

Notes:
1. Fortier wanted to connect the various versions of The Green Hornet into a holistic narrative. Desiring to update the character, he worked on retaining the essence of The Green Hornet.

2. After the demise of NOW Comics, Dynamite Entertainment obtained the rights to the character. In 2010, for the debut of the character at Dynamite Entertainment, Kevin. Smith, noted film-maker and writer, started with the TV version, updated him to the 1980s, and then had his son Britt Reid, Jr. be The Green Hornet for the 21st Century.

3. Ancient Romans divided the world into two spheres – res publica (affairs of the public) and res divinae (affairs of the Gods.) In his many writings, Varro theorized that the mythic writings (theology) of poets were “res divinae.”

4. The office of rex sacrorum was established by the Roman Republic to carry out the former Roman king’s religious duties.

How Gods Find Followers: Intro

Since I follow several Gods, who are not as well-known as the Norse or Celtic pantheons, I often wonder how They get followers. Why are some Gods or pantheons are more popular than others? How do the lesser known pantheons go about getting devotees? Many Pagans follow Gods who are from the African Traditional Religions, Egyptian, Celtic, Greek or Norse pantheons. Meanwhile, various other Gods such as Inanna (Babylonian) and Astarte (Canaanite) are usually followed as individuals separate from their respective cultures.

One factor is that some of the more popular pantheons have Gods who actively recruit such as Odin and The Morrigan. Also, Sekhmet of the Egyptians recruits from the general population as does Dionysius of the Greeks. Within each of these pantheons are popular Gods such as Isis and Apollo, who also attract devotees. People will shift pantheons in their spiritual lives as some Gods come to speak to them, while other Gods leave. Odin and Sekhmet will often leave the person once they are settled in Paganism.

Another factor is that people are introduced to popular Gods such as Hecate in “Goddesses” books. These books often do bring people deeper into Paganism. However, many focus on the Goddesses as archetypes for self-empowerment, while others present the various Goddesses as aspects of the Great Goddess.

I have come to realize that the focus on individual Gods (Goddesses) in general Paganism hinders knowing some of the more obscure pantheons. Furthermore, Pagans often see Them as archetypes representing a part of a whole. To me, this is a paradox of extreme individualism and non-differentiation between Gods.

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My experience with the Acheulian Goddess reflects some of the common problems faced by the more obscure Gods. I was approached by the Acheulian Goddess because of my work with the Early Human Dead. I see Her in that context, as a Goddess of Homo erectus, the Goddess of Beginnings. I know of only few people who differentiate between the various Neolithic Goddesses. I suspect that it is because in general culture, They are lumped together. Moreover, few discussions of Neolithic religion present each of these Goddesses as being discrete from each other.

I have met people who follow the Goddess Path, who venerate Her with the other Neolithic Goddesses. They tend to think of Her as a facet of the Great Goddess. Outside of the Goddess Worshipers, She attracts few people.

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I am writing a series of posts on how various Gods recruit their followers. I find the topic fascinating, and hope that my dear readers will also. If anyone has any input to this topic, feel free to contact me, and we can discuss further.

Early Homo Family: Discover Your Inner Fire

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As I wrote about the Acheulian Goddess being the Goddess of Beginnings for Homo erectus, I now present my ideas about our ancestors – Early Man. Who were they? What can they teach us?

The next Family to come after the earliest of humans, was the Homo family (of which H. sapiens (Modern Humans) is a later member), about 2.4 million years ago (mya). Meanwhile, the Families of the Earliest Humans – Australopithecus and Paranthropus lived near the Homo family. However, these earlier Families had little interaction with the Homo Family. About two mya, several distinctive members (who had larger brains than the previous Early Humans) of the Homo Family appeared – H. gautengensis, H. habilis, and H. rudolfensis. With his larger teeth, H. guatengensis specialized in eating plants. Slimmer H. habilis (“Handy Man”) could make simple stone tools, while stocker and heavier H. rudolfensis ate grass roots.

About 1.8 mya, H. ergaster and H. erectus of the Homo Family appeared. These Early Humans developed a complex tool making culture, such as using hammer stones to break open nuts. Furthermore because of the hot African climate, their bigger brains needed more cooling. Therefore these Humans possessed more sweat glands and was less hairy.

Then H. erectus did something remarkable: She migrated out of Africa to Eurasia,  adapting to the new places with strange plants and animals. Since the seasons in Eurasia were more pronounced and cooler, H. erectus was forced to become more inventive: She discovered fire. From the evidence found in the campfires of Peking Man of Asia, H. erectus built and used fire about 1.8 mya. This gave Her a means to cook food and keep warm, which meant that She could master the environment.

The Early Homo Family urges us to leave the safety of our homes and venture out in the unknown. They will show us how to meet the challenges of new ways of living. With their help, we can discover our own inner fires, thereby changing our own lives.

God of the Month: Acheulian Goddess of Prehistory

God of the Month: Acheulian Goddess of Prehistory

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From The Sacred Source

An ancient Goddess from Paleolithic times, the Acheulian Goddess was first worshipped by Homo erectus (the predecessor to modern humans and Neanderthals). A pebble shaped carving was found in 1981 at the Golan Heights at Israel left by a hominid tribe believed to be Homo erectus, who camped in the area. This object is estimated to be between 232,000 and 800,000 years old.

Because many generations of the human species have known Her, I call Her the Goddess of Beginnings. To know this particular Goddess, I have had to side-step a popular notion among Pagans that human society was a matriarchy until it was overthrown by warriors on horseback. I also have to ignore the pervasive idea that the Acheulian Goddess is only one aspect of the Great Goddess. Today, lost in Goddess worship, She becomes yet another symbol of the fabled past.

To know Her means stripping away modernistic thinking. To see the Acheulian Goddess as Homo erectus does requires letting go of the present. As L.P. Hartley noted in his novel The Go-Between: “The Past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.” To me, She is the Goddess of the Beginnings, the Goddess who appeared in the dreams of Homo erectus. To them, She was the Keeper of Mysteries of Life and Death.

Goddess of Beginnings

Known by Humans

Before they were humans.

You entered their dreams

You heard their prayers.

Keeper of Mysteries

Of Life and Death

We remember You.

Read more about this Goddess and to purchase Her Likeness: The Sacred Source.

From Goddess Alive!  According to the Journal of Israel Prehistoric Society, this astounding figurine, carved from scoria stone (a porous volcanic rock), can be considered as “the earliest manifestation of a work of art”. Although she predates the Willendorf Goddess by an amazing quarter-million years, they are much alike in that both are distinctly female, great breasted with featureless heads and discrete limbs. Also like Willendorf, the Acheulian Goddess appears to have a groove suggestive of the sacred vulva.