A comprehensive, scholarly accessible study, in which the authors draw upon poetry and mythology, art and literature, archaeology and psychology to show how the myth of the goddess has been lost from our formal Judeo-Christian images of the divine. They explain what happened to the goddess, when, and how she was excluded from western culture, and the implications of this loss.
This collection of accessible essays relates the stories of individual goddesses from around the world, exploring their roles in the cultures from which they came, their histories and status today, and the controversies surrounding them. * 63 essays cover more than 100 goddesses and goddess-like figures from world culture, with volumes organized by geographic area * Many original translations of prayers, sagas, and other sources not otherwise readily available in English * 60 illustrations include ethnographic photographs, depictions of ancient artifacts, and original artwork * An extensive list of bibliography of sources about the figure and culture discussed accompanies each essay
Goddess characters are revered as feminist heroes in the popular media of many cultures. However, these goddess characters often prove to be less promising and more regressive than most people initially perceive. Goddesses in film, television, and fiction project worldviews and messages that reflect mostly patriarchal culture (included essentialized gender assumptions), in contrast to the feminist, empowering levels many fans and critics observe. Building on critiques of other skeptical scholars, this feminist, folkloristic approach deepens how our remythologizing of the ancient past reflects a contemporary worldview and rhetoric. Structures of contemporary goddess myths often fit typical extremes as either vilified, destructive, dark, and chaotic (typical in film or television); or romanticized, positive, even utopian (typical in women’s speculative fiction). This goddess spectrum persistently essentializes gender, stereotyping women as emotional, intuitive, sexual, motherly beings (good or bad), precluded from complex potential and fuller natures. Within apparent good-over-evil, pop-culture narrative frames, these goddesses all suffer significantly. However, a few recent intersectional writers, like N. K. Jemisin, break through these dark reflections of contemporary power dynamics to offer complex characters who evince “hopepunk.” They resist typical simplified, reductionist absolutes to offer messages that resonate with potential for today’s world. Mythic narratives featuring goddesses often do, but need not, serve merely as ideological mirrors of our culture’s still problematically reductionist approach to women and all humanity.
This anthology calls Pagan and Goddess mothering into focus by highlighting philosophies and experiences of mothers in these spiritual movements and traditions. Pagan and Goddess spirituality are distinct, yet overlapping and diverse communities, with much to say about deity as mother, and about human mothers in relationship to deity. Authors share creative voices, stories, and scholarship from the forefront of Pagan- and Goddess- centered home, in which divine mothers, Goddesses, diverse female embodiments, and generative life cycles are honoured as sacred. Authors inquire into how their spirituality impacts the perceived value and experiences of mothers themselves, while generating new ways of imagining and enacting motherhood in spiritual and daily life. Pagan, Goddess, Mother opens spaces for dialogue in areas such as how Pagan- and Goddess- centred mothers engage in, and are impacted by, their spiritual leadership through practices of ceremony, ritual, magic, and priestessing. Authors consider mothers' lived connections with their children, family life, and themselves, through nature, the Earth, and mothering as a spiritual practice. Chapters reflect upon the ways that Pagan- and Goddess- identified mothers creatively navigate daily interactions with dominant religions, the public sphere, community leadership, and activism facing the challenges of such while forging new pathways for spirited well being in mothering and family life.
History and Human Nature in the Old World and the New
Author: Peter Watson
Publisher: Hachette UK
How the division of the Americas from the rest of the world affected human history. In 15,000 B.C. early humankind, who had evolved in Africa tens of thousands of years before and spread out to populate the Earth, arrived in Siberia, during the Ice Age. Because so much water was locked up at that time in the great ice sheets, several miles thick, the levels of the world's oceans were much lower than they are today, and early humans were able to walk across the Bering Strait, then a land bridge, without getting their feet wet and enter the Americas. Then, the Ice Age came to an end, the Bering Strait refilled with water and humans in the Americas were cut off from humans elsewhere in the world. This division - with two great populations on Earth, each oblivious of the other - continued until Christopher Columbus 'discovered' America just before 1500 A.D. This is the fascinating subject of THE GREAT DIVIDE, which compares and contrasts the development of humankind in the 'Old World' and the 'New' between 15,000 B.C. and 1500 A.D. This unprecedented comparison of early peoples means that, when these factors are taken together, they offer a uniquely revealing insight into what it means to be human. THE GREAT DIVIDE offers a masterly and totally original synthesis of archaeology, anthropology, geology, meteorology, cosmology and mythology, to give a new shape - and a new understanding - to human history.
Bringing a feminist perspective to contemporary findings of geneticists and archeologists, Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum, cultural historian, points out that the oldest veneration we know is of a dark mother of central and south Africa, whose signs-ochre red and the pubic V-were taken by african migrants after 50,000 BCE to caves and cliffs of all continents. The oldest sanctuary in the world was created in 40,000 BCE by african migrants in Har Karkom, later called Mt. Sinai, foundation place of judaism, christianity, and islam.Lucia documents the continuing memory of the dark mother and her values in prehistoric images of the dark mother, in historic black madonnas and in other dark women divinities whose sanctuaries are on african paths. She tracks the memory in rituals and stories of her sicilian grandmothers, in persecution of dark others in patriarchal Europe and the United States, in the rise of nonviolent dark others since the 1960s,in the banners of the 1995 world conference of women at Beijing, and in art. She finds the dark mother's values-justice with compassion, equality, and transformation-in everyday and celebratory rituals of the world's subaltern cultures-and suggests that the image and values are in the submerged memories of everyone.
This overview of McCarthy’s published work to date, including: the short stories he published as a student, his novels, stage play and TV film script, locates him as a icocolastic writer, engaged in deconstructing America’s vision of itself as a nation with an exceptionalist role in the world. Introductory chapters outline his personal background and the influences on his early years in Tennessee whilst each of his works is dealt with in a separate chapter listed in chronological order of publication.
Today’s patriarchal societies have their roots in antiquity, a time when matrilineal societies gradually gave way to ancient civilizations in which men were granted more and more importance and power—and women were made not only subordinate, but also gradually separated from realms of the "male." In Closing the Gap,, Allerd Stikker argues that the male/female duality we still perceive has resulted in a loss of coherence and integrity for all people—and that only the unity and interdependence of the sexes can preserve a sustainable human society on our planet.