Goddess Manifesta

The politics of a vegan, Wiccan, Polish-American *Jersey Girl* definately NOT from the Suburbs!

Location: New Jersey, United States

Why I will always hate George W. Bush: "I don’t think witchcraft is a religion and I wish the military would take another look at this and decide against it."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Male Gods = War? part two...

Okay, continued...

The argument that a matristic restructuring of society must include a complete exclusion of any concept of a Divine Masculine also scares me. First, it scares me because that just seems to reinforce the common assumption that Matriarchy is "Patriarchy in a skirt." Patriarchy has been defined and vilified for its complete ignorance of the ways of Nature and the Feminine, so the fact that open-minded progressive women would support the oppression of another group of people in the same way completely boggles my mind. It just looks as though one is stuck in that same Patriarchal mindset that one has to dominate another because healthy human beings cannot coexist peaceably if left to their own devises.
The idea that one group must be in charge of another because it is inherently inadequate at self-governence is a Patriarchal ideal forever immortalized when a group of Hebrews 2,550 years ago said their god gave mankind "dominion" over Earth.

I'm a fan of the human parthenogenesis theory, though I haven't done much research into it. But if women reproduced asexually in our past, we do not anymore... As this is the case, our pragmatic cosmology should represent this in some way, and this must include some sort of masculine consort to our Goddess. And while this consort has to exist, let's look at this as an opportunity, not a neccessary evil! Here we are with an opportunity to redefine what a "manly" God is! The "warrior = virile" Alpha Male is passe, we all know that, but if we leave this as a big gaping hole after it has been there for millenia, it will be filled by men who will rightly feel jilted and excluded. ALL HUMANITY, all of Existence is sacred, not just some of it, whomever's "turn" it is to be valued, and our cosmology must reflect that.

Violent warrior gods were created to reflect the type of Man that "properly" contributed to society, by "proving" he has the physical prowess to slaughter animals to feed his community... So let's work with that. What makes a Man in current society a good citizen includes treating his partner with emotional support and respect, and having an active role (emotionally, mentally, and physically) in the rearing of any offspring, whether biologically his own or otherwise.

Clinging to the idea of a "woman only" cosmology because it seemed to work on an island before the inhabitants knew any other way is not realistic. Lol, like communism is a wonderful theory, because of human experience and human nature, it doesn't seem to work in practice. The world has changed and we cannot go back. Revolution, re-evolving our society does not include regressing or reverting to a past place. If it was so great and strong, it wouldn't have folded. And anyway, everything looks better in nostalgia. The fact is, even with all the archealogical evidence, there are none living that remember the Minoan era and exactly how it functioned... So all we can do is move forward and create a place in which all genders feel validated. We have to learn from the past to see how it was overcome by Male-only Worshipping, violent outsiders and create a stable society in which it isn't felt as though it were neccessary for that to happen again.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Male Gods = War?

The past few days have been thrilling and hectic on the blogs of Athana and Morgaine... The useless academic I am, I mused aloud "what would a Goddess-worshipper holy war/crusade look like?" and just look what happened, lol! The theory that bothers me the most as a feminist, is the assumption that because male gods seem to have emerged as societies became more aggressive and then violent, it is the societal importance placed on these male gods themselves that caused violence. I argue that this assumption is naive, simplistic, scapegoating and backward. Why would a healthy, vibrant culture "all of a sudden" create male gods in order to worship war? The religions of Abraham teach that god created humankind in god's image... As a scholar of Religion, I know that in actuality, humans created god/desses in their image. I think that as society became more male-centric and violent, they created male gods to represent their and its values.

Current archaeological research maintains the existence of pieces fashioned out of clay to represent attributes of the female body, which may or may not be construed as goddess figures, dating back to 35000 BCE. The parts depicted were the life-creating or sustaining parts, such as the fecund belly, vulva, and breasts. “The vulva, for instance, is one of the earliest symbols engraved, and it is symbolically related to growth, to the seed. Sometimes next to it is a branch or plant motif, or within the vulva is something like a seed or a plant.” New human life emerges from the female vulva, new plant life emerges from a similarly shaped seed, and a connection is drawn. For the next 20,000 years, humanity seems to subscribe to this ideology. Sharp instruments are only used for the limited hunting or preparing food/clothing and not yet for combative purposes.

As some societies had to depend more on animal sources of nourishment in areas with climate less tolerable to human-life-sustaining vegetation, a class evolved adept in the use of weaponry and horses. More sophisticated weaponry is devised to hunt larger game, and horses ease the chase. Due to seasonal changes, the game moves, and those dependant on it for survival must follow and a semi-nomadic society begins to emerge. In an agricultural society, the workload is relatively balanced between women and men, but this changes with big game hunting. Though it may be cumbersome, pregnancy does not bar women from participating in the cultivation of plants. Likewise, pregnant women cannot ride galloping horses without risk to the unborn fetus, which may be how this duty was then relegated to men.

Though Gimbutas places the advent of patriarchy in Europe at around 15000 BCE, fertile female deities continue to abound. The earlier Sumerian civilization afforded more civil rights, in general, than later empires. During the time of Hammurapi of Babylon (1728-1686,) law codes began to call for much harsher penalties. It is at this time the “eye for an eye” concept of punishment arises. Women were highly affected by the Babylonian Empire. . . Perhaps as humanity develops trade and wealth (as opposed to subsistence) is attainable, laws focusing on inheritance of property and producing suitable heirs gain importance. In order to do this, women’s free will must be guarded and scrutinized.

So what happened to a balanced, matristic culture? According to Gimbutas, humanity was able to live in equilibrium with nature and each other for more than twenty thousand years in pre-history. Perhaps because of climate and environmental changes, etc., foraging for plant foods became insufficient to sustain life and hunting evolved into the quest for large game. This new phenomenon afforded prestige to horse-mounted hunters that were skillful enough to continually “bring home the bacon.” In order to reflect this new worldview, a new cosmology is integrated. The more ancient goddesses are "raped" or "killed" by the new hunter gods, signaling a sort of New World Order. (Gone are the days that men have to be thankful of women's adeptness with agriculture, men can feed and sustain society now!)

The semi-nomadic reality this creates also bring with it the inevitable clash of neighboring communities vying for hunting territory, and the eternal battle for more and more land begins. Land and production later become personal property that must be lawfully inherited, so sanctions against women and their reproductive activities must be made in order to prevent chaos.

Ugh, tired, more in part two...