Max Dashu ~ Restoring Women to Cultural Memory

Restoring Women to Cultural Memory

From the YouTube description:

“Overview of women’s history, the omissions and distortions that skip the crucial female spheres of power and achievement. Excerpt from Women’s Power dvd by Max Dashu of the Suppressed Histories Archives. See­vd.html

Woman Shaman: the Ancients

From the YouTube description:

“Trailer for Max Dashu’s video on female spiritual leaders, dreamers, drummers, healers, ecstatic dancers, and psychonauts.… for orders, and two newer trailers about this global survey of archaeology, rock art, and cultural treasures representing women shamans throughout history.”

UPDATE: a third excerpt!
Monumental Women

“Ancient statues commemorate women in Ethiopia, France, Colombia, Sumatra, Tennessee — but you don’t usually see pictures of them in books. Excerpted from Women’s Power dvd by Max Dashu of the Suppressed Histories Archives.”

14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kieron on January 10, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    One of the thoughts that popped into my head when I read this post was, “Well! We’re finally getting somewhere.” I remember reading The Spiral Dance over 20 years ago, along with Changing of the Gods and both blew my mind wide open at the time. I’m certain this site will be another such experience. Talk about coming full-circle!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Posted by James G on January 11, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Do you know it was a woman who said “I don’t want any part of this war mongering race called homo sapien”. Her name was Lilith. Do you know it was a woman who said “I refuse to remain ignorant and be your slave”. Her name was Eve. It was women in Egypt that had the real power. If it wasn’t for Cleopatra having a daughter, Christianity wouldn’t exist. It was a woman that saved Jerusalem from a famine. Her name was Queen Helena. We definitely need to put woman back in their rightful place. I think bringing out the truth in history instead of the demonizing lies about women is the first step.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, James! It’s always so refreshing when men recognize this, too!


  4. Posted by Kieron on January 11, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Totally agree with James. And look at this excerpt from the Max Dashu site:

    A Chukchee proverb declares, “Woman is by nature a shaman.” (1) Yet the female dimension of this realm of spiritual experience has often been slighted. Mircea Eliade believed that women shamans represented a degeneration of an originally masculine profession, yet was hard put to explain why so many male shamans customarily dressed in women’s clothing and assumed other female-gendered behaviors. Nor does the masculine-default theory account for widespread traditions, from Buryat Mongolia to the Bwiti religion in Gabon, that the first shaman was a woman.

    Ah-ha! Could this be why the hierarchy in the churches tend to wear what are, essentially, dresses? I always thought this was most peculiar, given their subtle or overt disdain for women. Maybe in the beginning, they had to wear dresses because otherwise the common people wouldn’t have any respect for them, and later it became a tradition and the origins were lost.

    Hmm. Could this be the reason we call the basis of anything a matrix? And… in the womb we all start out female unless the XY chromosome dictates otherwise. Hmm, curiouser and curiouser!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent points, Kieron! And yes, I have long been aware of the female shamanic origins. In Norse tradition, although Odin is Father of the Runes, for example, he originally learned his shamanic, healing and Mystery ways from Freya. He was often ridiculed for being too womanly, since in Norse tradition, every woman was meant to be a witch, but that was not males’ territory. For him to explore shamanic mysteries was considered womanly. Also, in Native American culture, the medicine men often dressed as women. I had never connected that with the churchwear, though! Dresses! Yes. This whole system has been co-opted to such a degree. Even those who claim to be writing about “The Goddess,” i.e. John Lamb Lash, have a tendency only to emphasize male shamans. As you and I have both noted, the whole cultural appropriation aspect of modern day self-proclaimed “shamanism” has a very patriarchal vibe to it.


  6. Posted by James G on January 11, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Yes Kieron you hit the nail right on the head. That is a dress the priest wear not a robe. It’s symbolism for your subconscious. Your right it has been lost. They knew what they did to the sacred feminine so symbolically they give it to their congregations. Because the Abrahmic religions are patriarch, the churches are built with feminine symbolism also. It’s all about the subconscious mind “the all seeing eye”. 😊


  7. I am loving this comment stream! “The all seeing eye” as the subconscious mind rather than the panopticon they would have us believe. Also, of course, the Eucharist ritual is very similar to the old “Drawing Down the Moon” and other Goddess traditions. The chalice, the building of cathedrals on sacred sites, the sacred wells renamed from goddesses to “saints.” What a con!


  8. Posted by James G on January 12, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Your absolutely right Laura. What a con! It wasn’t just religious sites. I belive the sphinx had the head of a goddess before they ruined it to what it is today. Women had so much power in Egypt that a year was a lunar month. Any time you see these gods (small g) or these patriarch characters with long lives. Divide it by 13. Seems theses men didn’t live as long as they say they did. They just used the Egyptian year which was a lunar month. 🌛

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Extra nice touch with the Moon, James! I hadn’t heard that about the sphinx or the lunar month/year connection, but they both kind of make sense — especially the sphinx head. I never thought it looked right. Was it Bast or Sekhmet, by chance?


  10. Posted by James G on January 12, 2015 at 1:18 am

    It’s hard to say. I think it was built around 10,500 -10,800 bce. Which puts it between Virgo and Leo. I think it was Isis because she was the virgin mother of Horus.


  11. Oh, yes, that would make sense for that time period. I just wondered due to the lion body.


  12. […] And my fellow blogger, Laura Bruno, shares this excellent post, Max Dashu – Restoring Women to Cultural Memory. […]


  13. […] post goes along with some of my recent posts on reclaiming women’s history (here and here), and is also a follow-up to an earlier post on the Smithsonian’s cover-up of all […]


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