More Reclaimed History

Reclaiming the ancient history of Goddess religions and women’s roles in society has positive relevance for all of us, not just women! As Winston Churchill said, “History is written by the victors.” I disagree with the idea that in order to move forward, we must not look back. Looking back and seeing where we veered off the path of peace-respect-natural harmony and onto the path of war, oppression and domination offers huge insights into how we can relocate ourselves and our world onto more positive trajectories. “Goddess Remembered” is just one in a long series of needed reclamations. May we continue to reabsorb and redirect our destinies! (Did you catch all those re’s?! Perfect for Mercury Retrograde — revise, revamp, remember.)

Click here to watch this hour long documentary: http://www.nfb.ca/film/goddess_remembered/ .

14 responses to this post.

  1. Don’t forget the book, “Women in Shaman’s Body.” It wasn’t just our Goddess religions, but anything that empowers women that was suppressed from history. History made magical men into respected Magicians, while magical women turned into feared, ugly Witches. (I am not saying witches are feared or ugly, but that society paints them that way.) Women were just as likely (if not more) to be in a Shaman’s role as men, in many cultures, but history erased them.

    Must academia teaches that the people who practiced the roles of religion in society have always been male. Really I’ve read it. Yet, this isn’t true.

    BTW, didn’t watch the documentary, but sure it is great. How empowering it is for women to be able to look back and see that they too had a role in religion that wasn’t second class. They do not feel they are entering into an area that is historically Male Dominated, and them being just tourists (or new additions).

    Many major religions, paint women’s role as needing to serve her man. Really I’ve gone to Weddings where that was part of the vows. Imagine starting a marriage with one of the vows being to serve your husband. Imagine believing that is your duty in life.

    I have cousins who made this vow, and they don’t see the wrongness of it. They turned their Mother into a outcast when she left her abusive husband after decades. Her entire Church turned on her, and forced her to attend non-denominational services. Why? Because my former Uncle said he was sorry, and welling to change. He’d been saying this for decades, and never changed….

    I shouldn’t be talking about this. No names mentioned. Just a real life example.

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  2. Synchronicity: I am sitting here with The Woman in the Shaman’s Body on my lap! Thanks for sharing. Little by little, we get to choose what we remember and bring forward.

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  3. Do you think I shouldn’t be talking about the thing that happened to my Aunt online. It just frustrates me so much how a majority of her children treat her now. I gave no names, so maybe it is fine.

    I come from a very religious family. A Catholic religious family, but some of my family switched to other Christian religions. So I can easily see the Catholic Church isn’t nearly as extreme as some other Christian faiths. The side effect is that I am very based in a history that used to view women as second class. It seems that the view of women as lesser takes longer to fade from religion then society. It is still there in both, but more visible in religion.

    Todays society tries to hide that it views anyone as second class, but then goes and teaches women were never Shamans, and such. So the problems are still there, just coded. That way people can push the issue aside as an non-issue, and say feminism isn’t needed anymore.

    Women are still being taught they are lesser then men, but they are not given the exact words. One feels the side-effects of being taught one is less, without knowing the source of the pain. It is harder to come to a realization of the suppression this way, and harder to fight it.

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  4. I think you’re fine talking about it so long as your blog doesn’t give your name. This is, unfortunately, a common enough story that it won’t set apart your aunt from hundreds of other women.

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  5. Posted by Kieron on January 27, 2015 at 2:28 am

    Interestingly enough, I’m (heh) RE-reading The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image. It’s been a few years since I read it, so I have more context and experience with which to see deeper into the author’s premise. Essentially, Shlain noticed that in societies that were pre-literate tended toward egalitarianism, women’s rights, and appreciation for images, art, holistic thinking, etc– which are the domain of the right hemisphere of the human brain. However, once the same societies acquired the written word, it apparently instigated a form of madness as the attributes of the left brain–logic, linear time, reductionist and abstract thinking, among others– became aggrandized. Women’s status, and Goddesses, consequently fell from grace. It’s a fascinating premise. Excerpts from a few chapters can be found here: http://www.alphabetvsgoddess.com/

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  6. Fascinating! It also makes a lot of sense. My focus in graduate school was ekphrasis — the verbal representation of visual representation and the visual representation of verbal representation. They really do use different parts of the brain. I hadn’t made the connection about the written language, though. It sure made it easy to wipe out “herstory” in favor of “history.” That’s the big issue with non-written knowledge — you can just kill all the people who have it, and thus erase entire civilizations, leaving them prey to the conquerors who did have written language. Most of what we know about these civilizations has tended to be what Christians or Jewish historians wrote about them. Hmmmmm…

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  7. Posted by Kieron on January 27, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    You will devour this book, I’m sure. 🙂 And egalitarian Christian sects (in which women had spiritual roles, controlled their own finances, etc).such as the Gnostics, the Cathars, the Albigensians, and so forth were all wiped out by the Orthodox Christian sect, which consolidated its power in Rome over time to become the Holy Roman Church. All we really know of those sects was what the Orthodox Christians recorded of their “heresies.”

    It’s really striking how the overbalanced outlook provoked by literacy resulted in things like the Church trying to control women in every conceivable way. One such was issuing edicts preventing priests from marrying, or if married, they had to disown their wives and children or be defrocked or killed. Then these dependents were decreed illegitimate and cast into the streets to fend for themselves. The author posits that literacy instigated a form of madness that resulted in acts that were unthinkable before, such as the above.

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  8. Wow, that almost makes me not want to bother writing my second novel and just paint portals instead. Hmmmmm again!

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  9. Posted by James G on January 28, 2015 at 12:29 am

    I’ve read Alphabet Versus the Goddess. The author talks about how the goddess disappeared with the written word. One of my enlightening moments was whe I remembered “In the beginning was the word”. Sound familiar? The word was the beginning of the patriarchal god. Small g. 😊

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  10. Posted by Kieron on January 28, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    James, I feel it just goes to show how backward the Bible is/was, or at least, selectively edited to fit an agenda, because in the beginning was actually the image. It’s indisputable that ancient people drew first, and read/wrote much later. I notice when fundamentalists write about whatever they think God’s plan is, they *always* capitalize the word WORD, and in missals and certain forms of Scripture, the same applies, as if trying to reinforce the logical left brain.

    Um, I sure don’t mean to discourage a second novel from you, Laura 😦

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  11. Well, I am just being lazy! Novels are sooooo much work that if I could do the same thing with a portal door, I would gladly opt for that. I suspect it all goes back to integration and ekphrasis, though. At least for me. My paintings contain words and my novel(s) images. I feel called to blend these two, and a word based reclamation of the Goddess through story and images could be powerful. Alas, it won’t be quite so easy to ignore the novel kicking inside my creative womb. 🙂

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  12. Thanks, James. I always enjoy what you and Kieron bring to the discussion!

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  13. Posted by James G on January 28, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Yes Kieron you are absolutely right. They took these images and symbols they stole from matriarchs and put them in their churches and temples that they built over goddess temples. Knowing full well what these images do to the subconscious. All while shoving a male god in your face and saying the written word is the one and only. There’s a reason why we say we SPELL a word.

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  14. Posted by James G on January 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks Laura I enjoy being on you site and sharing what I’ve learned.

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