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Author Topic: Can ayone recommend an up-to-date book about the Goddess?  (Read 17576 times)
Bill B
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« Reply #15: April 18, 2010, 02:30:32 pm »

Oh wait, Moon Ivy. I did find your resource post:

http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=401.0

Great stuff. Thanks.
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« Reply #16: April 18, 2010, 04:01:28 pm »

Oh wait, Moon Ivy. I did find your resource post:

http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=401.0

Great stuff. Thanks.

You're welcome.  There were some other resources added later in that thread, so you might want to look past just the first post.  F'ex, a new book about Brighid came out a few months ago.

Another -- about people's experiences with Brighid -- is currently in the works.  Submissions are due by the summer solstice, but I don't know when the book will actually be released.
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« Reply #17: April 18, 2010, 07:22:34 pm »

Thanks for the recommendations.

Also, you are correct, AmberHeart.

I am new to Paganism by only a few months. Since Imbolc, to be specific. I grew up a Catholic, wandered between other religions, but entered the Pagan world as an Atheist. But I made a conscious decision to become more open-minded about the nature of Deity. And I decided to reach out to the Divine with the creative and right side of my brain and not worry about the left and logical side now.

First, I reached out in a  non-specific, addressing whoever would hear me, be it the Universe, my ancestors, or any of the Gods or Goddesses. Then, as I looked into and became comfortable with Wicca, I became comfortable with the dualistic concept of a Goddess and God. I'm still there, but as I said, I've been feeling a draw to the Goddess.

I also had been reading about this ideal Matriarchal civilization in both Adler's "Drawing Down the Moon" and Curott's "Book of Shadows." And, at first, not thinking about whether this time was factual or not, I thought it a shame that the world may have been good at one time but then ruined by Patriarchal rule and religion.

But I also thought, was the God to be blamed for all this greed, war, and oppression? I thought, no. Whatever the Patriarchal establishments did, they did not do it because their religions were centered on a male God. They did because their religions were centered on themselves. They did not worship the God. They worshiped Man. They fashioned these religions to uphold greed, conquest, xenophobia, and oppression. And they ignored Matriarchal qualities like peace and compassion. If they did draw inspiration from the male God, they perverted it and overdid it. For example, physical battle is probably inspired by the God (and the Goddess as well), but should only be used to defend, not to conquer and pillage.

So I thought, even though one cannot blame the God for the past 5000 years of violence and oppression, it may benefit humanity that he step aside and inspire humanity to follow the Goddess now. And I thought such a spiritual model of returning to peace and compassion, healing, and living in harmony with the world is what humanity needs. And maybe the last century full of the excesses of industrialization and the horrors of the Holocaust, many wars, and nuclear weaponry was a sign of how we've gone too far.

However, as I did more research, I realized this Matriarchal paradise never really existed.

But you are right. Historical or Mythic, there is much to be learned and developed from this concept. It doesn't matter if a world based on peace, compassion and sustainable living once existed, it can exist now.

Bbitner,

You are on a journey of exploration indeed. It doesn’t ever stop by the way and isn't meant to. I’m nearing to thirty years now as a Pagan and I’m still researching, changing and growing. Fun though. Occasional metaphorical screaming and spiritual kicking ensuing.

I also find it hard to think about Paganism without such being seen against the background of its actual history as it was evolving in the 20th century. This included the Women’s Spirituality Movement that split off from the Feminist Movement in North America from the 60’s to well…still now. (still part of the WSM...)

It is from within that feminist context that many of the matriarchal mythologies such as the GAM theory (Golden Age Matriarchy…yes it has its own name) evolved and did so for political as well as spiritual agendas. It was when these specific mythologies were popularised outside of Feminist Spirituality by authors like Starhawk that one gets these seemingly free-floating in history elements of ‘pagan history’. Adler and Currott both draw from this transition, it was everywhere in the 70's and 80's, even the 90's though credible research was already starting to erode its hold as 'the history of Paganism'.

When you read these concepts and you will come across them again and again in your research, step back and look to see what these and/or the author are promoting. What is the mythos involved supposed to teach, inspire or guide one too? That will give you their present purpose as well as any practical application to being Pagan now rather than trying to figure them out as logos or actual history.

Historically speaking, it is just too easy and misleading to say patriarchy is bad, matriarchy is good. Then there is the whole Indo-European mythos as well mixed in (the patriarchal bad guys as it were) and the archaeological cascade of cause and effect that led to sites like Catal Huyak being interpreted as evidence of matriarchy. Which…matriarchy that is…has yet to be proven to exist, unlike matrilineal or matri-focal cultures, both of which are documented and still exist.

Wicca does have a pantheon actually, the Goddess and the God are a later interpretation of two of that pantheon, used by book-taught Wiccan Traditions outside of the teaching transmission of lineaged Trads as the Gods of Wicca. Still are the Gods of Wicca, just not all of Them.

Hmm, well a model of returning to peace and compassion etc assumes that there was such a model in the past. It is also one of the purposes of mythology according to Joseph Campbell, an ancient golden era that one has to strive to return to. Not to say that there wasn’t examples of such in human history but by and large, we tend to idealise the past to say what we want for the future. And in that, it is useful to do so as it shapes and articulates what we are striving to accomplish ahead of us.

You have gained some valuable insights in your research to date. Remain sceptical yet willing to be inspired spiritually...it will take you far and to places you never imagined when one is starting out.

Amber
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« Reply #18: April 18, 2010, 07:33:40 pm »

Oh, and I forgot, Moon Ivy. Since you mentioned you can recommend books on specific Goddesses, can you recommend any either focused on or has some good content about Brighid?


Not Moon Ivy, but if you look at the Cauldron Cill info page here you can find a lot of information.
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« Reply #19: April 18, 2010, 07:35:05 pm »

Not Moon Ivy, but if you look at the Cauldron Cill info page here you can find a lot of information.

Sorry, didn't see that it had already been answered.
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« Reply #20: April 18, 2010, 07:37:48 pm »

Oh, and I forgot, Moon Ivy. Since you mentioned you can recommend books on specific Goddesses, can you recommend any either focused on or has some good content about Brighid?

Sorry, I missed this earlier.  You've already found the Brighid resource list, though.   Smiley
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Bill B
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« Reply #21: April 19, 2010, 09:34:03 am »


You have gained some valuable insights in your research to date. Remain sceptical yet willing to be inspired spiritually...it will take you far and to places you never imagined when one is starting out.


Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful response, Amber.
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« Reply #22: April 19, 2010, 01:17:00 pm »

And I'm not going going to discount books based on out-of-date scholarship alone. In fact, even though I assume it's drenched in the reference to stuff like Burning Times, I'm looking forward to reading Starhawk's "The Spiral Path." I've browsed it a few times at the bookstore and the prose reads quite beautifully.

I would never suggest you throw out the baby with the bathwater, as it were.  Knowledge is key.  Once you can tell fact from fiction you can take what you need and leave the rest.

Brina
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« Reply #23: April 19, 2010, 02:13:52 pm »

RandallS,

And at 43+, I'm not saying I think this can happen overnight. Or even in the next millenium. Or worldwide. But who knows, piece by piece, or one day. And it's all a matter of scale. Such a dynamic exists in some families, some neighborhoods, and some organizations. It's just a matter of these dynamics spreading and multiplying.

My problem is that with Utopian visions is that human beings are predators, not peaceful herd animals.  If push comes to shove - I will protect me and mine long before I even consider you and yours.  Just honesty.

I think such dynamics work willingly when everyone feels they have enough and are fulfilled and believe in what they are doing.  But have a famine roll around, or differing religions get into the mess, or myriad other thins, and it all falls apart.
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« Reply #24: April 19, 2010, 09:31:17 pm »

My problem is that with Utopian visions is that human beings are predators, not peaceful herd animals.

Ever seen a musk ox or wildebeest protecting her offspring?  I don't consider even herbivores peaceful when the chips are down.

Brina
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dragonfaerie
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« Reply #25: April 24, 2010, 03:03:51 pm »

So, can anyone recommend any books about the Goddess that isn't founded on what I believe are outdated myths. And I'm looking for books that are more spiritual, devotional, and philosophical and less about ritual and magic.

The matriarchy myth does run pretty strong through the Goddess-worship stuff I've found. I actually think the myth has a lot of potential as empowering feminism for women who need to feel empowered, but only as a myth.

Anyway, I can recommend two books that I haven't finished but I enjoyed what I read of them. And they seem like what you're looking for. I got the first one out of public library but I may end up buying it.

"The Goddess Path" by Patricia Monaghan
"Goddess Alive" by Michelle Skye

You may also want to look at the archives for Matrifocus online (http://www.matrifocus.com/). Although the 'zine says it's for women, there's a lot of good information there on Goddess worship. SageWoman magazine is also good, but you have to pay for issues for that.

And if you look into Goddess-oriented communities online, be careful. Some of them will be hostile to men. Not all of them, and probably not even a majority of them... but some will be.

Karen
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« Reply #26: April 29, 2010, 12:39:18 pm »

   There is, of course, "The White Goddess" by Robert Graves. It, together with his "The Greek Myths" looks at the goddess idea from the perspective of myth.

   Then the works of Gimbutas :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marija_Gimbutas

   Mentioning Graves and Gimbutas will bring down the wrath of the chattering classes on my head, but both authors did more scholarship in their lifetimes than is seen on these boards in an eternity.

              Cheers

                  Arne
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« Reply #27: April 29, 2010, 12:42:19 pm »

   There is, of course, "The White Goddess" by Robert Graves. It, together with his "The Greek Myths" looks at the goddess idea from the perspective of myth.

   Then the works of Gimbutas :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marija_Gimbutas

   Mentioning Graves and Gimbutas will bring down the wrath of the chattering classes on my head, but both authors did more scholarship in their lifetimes than is seen on these boards in an eternity.

              Cheers

                  Arne

Two things.  One - QUOTE.  It's in our rules.  Even the first post in the thread.

Second - The White Goddess is not meant to be factual.  It's story.  Calling it scholarship completely misses the entire point of what it IS and shows a serious lack of understanding what scholarship is.  Lauding Gimbutas does much the same.
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« Reply #28: April 29, 2010, 03:01:52 pm »

Two things.  One - QUOTE.  It's in our rules.  Even the first post in the thread.

Second - The White Goddess is not meant to be factual.  It's story.  Calling it scholarship completely misses the entire point of what it IS and shows a serious lack of understanding what scholarship is.  Lauding Gimbutas does much the same.

   I'll stick to Graves then. Here is a nice summary of his influence. I certainly see scholarship in every page of The White Goddess. Have you read it?

http://www.americanneopaganism.com/robertgraves.htm
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« Reply #29: April 29, 2010, 04:58:29 pm »

   I'll stick to Graves then. Here is a nice summary of his influence. I certainly see scholarship in every page of The White Goddess. Have you read it?

http://www.americanneopaganism.com/robertgraves.htm

Scholarly influence does not make the work itself scholarly.  I have done considerable amounts of research for some of the novels I have written.  This in no way makes them history.

And the fact that you stick to the one that is known to be writing poetic fiction makes me raise an eyebrow - after all, Gimbutas claimed to be writing true historical study.  Which does not change the fact that all historians find her work on the overarching matriarchal goddess false.

As for myself, I am a hard polytheist - I do not believe in an overarching matriarchal goddess anyway.  More to the point, I do not believe revisionist history does anyone any good, no matter how much influence it has.  It is still based on a falsehood, and falsehoods make a lousy foundation for religion-building.
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