What are the ancient roots of Goddess culture in which our modern Goddess spirituality is based?

 

 

            I see the ancient roots of Goddess culture as being based in the Neolithic times.  Obviously this was a time before microscope and knowledge of things such as sperm cells and so men of that time saw women getting pregnant and had no idea how this was happening and the part that they played in the process so they saw it as something magical.  This led Neolithic men to perceive women as sacred.  Women were life-bringers; men could death but only women could create life.  Also, I believe, that is was women who invented farming and the raising of crops because in most indigenous tribes that exist nowadays it is the men who hunt but the women who forage for berries and roots and grains.  With the women’s knowledge of grains they could easily have figured out how to harvest the seeds and plant them.  Therefore, I believe that women helped early civilizations to prosper and grow and may have prevented starvation.

            When I did my degree in history I studied the history of the Native Americans and they were a people who held women to be sacred so much so that George Armstrong Custer once escaped encirclement by Native American warriors by holding their women captive for he knew the warriors would never endanger their women. 

            In the nineteenth century there was a commonly held belief that early societies were barbaric and with the arrival of Christianity they became civilized.  Obviously I don’t agree with that and most historians would take a dim view of that theory now.  I think that Neolithic society was very complex and civilized.  I believe they had writing and education and temples for Goddess worship.  Their raising of crops and living close to the land would have kept them in touch with the seasons and the many faces of Goddess at different times of the year.

            I also see the roots of Goddess culture in the lives of elephants because they are an entirely matriarchal society.  The oldest female elephant is the matriarch of the tribe and the others follow her lead.  The male elephants have to stay away; they only come around the main herd for breeding purposes and then they get kicked out again.  The only males in the main herd are the little babies still being cared for by their mothers.  Sometimes I can’t help thinking (particularly when Gary is getting on my nerves!) that this would be a great way for us to organise our own society.

            Gary and I went on holiday to Athens in February and I went to the Acropolis and other sacred sites.  In the museums there were lots of statues of Athena and Demeter and Persephone and Aphrodite.  I see these Goddesses as all being different faces of the Mother Goddess of the World.  We also took a day trip to Delphi which was a beautiful place.  The scenery alone was incredible.  It was one of those places that had an aura about it of other-worldliness.  I found it interesting that even in an extremely patriarchal society like Ancient Greece the visionaries and scryers were all women.  This speaks to me of the idea that only women were/are sacred enough vessels to embody a deity.  Of course, the priests interpreted what the Pythoness said but the fact that this sacred task was reserved for women says to me that this was a vestige of Goddess worship which the men did not feel confident enough to throw out.

            With other religions like Christianity, Judaism and Islam I think they are quite scholarly religions based around books and thoughts but I see Goddess worship as being more natural and more in tune with nature.  Again, the idea that as civilisation progresses things move away from nature and in to the realms of thought has influenced society a lot in the past but now I think that people are realising that in many ways nature is smarter and wiser than people and that is one of the things that is drawing people back to Goddess.

            I also believe that feminism has lead many people back to Goddess because feminism questions old patriarchal beliefs including religious belief and why does God have to be an old man with a beard anyway?  Give him a sack and he could pass for Santa.  The deities people believe in are linked to their views about power and control and when society was defined by patriarchal beliefs then all deities had to be male.  But as we now, it is nonsense that only men are or can be spiritual beings.  Now more and more women are taking control of their own lives the Goddess is returning.  In Neolithic times I believe women were more powerful than they are now and that society then was a lot fairer.  As a historian I do not believe in the concept of ‘the good old days’ and we have to be careful about mythologizing the past but in a society where men and women were equals and Goddess worshipping people it’s hard not to wish that society was like that now.

            But if you look carefully you can see the roots of Goddess culture all over the world.  It is quite obvious in Greece with museums full of statues of Goddesses but in places like New Grange in Ireland it is also evident with people who have eyes to see it.  The cave is shaped like a womb.  My mother is Irish and when I was little she used to tell me stories of fairies and heroes and giants that were part of the Irish mythology.  I abandoned that sort of thing when I got older because it felt silly to still believe in fairies but now I see it was part of my heritage as a Goddess loving woman.  The ancient songs and stories often speak of Goddess even if She has been disguised because most of the stories were written down by monks.  I feel like Goddess exists just below the surface of real life.  In the past I think She was much closer to people’s day to day existence.  She may have been pushed back but She has never gone away. 

            And the roots of Goddess culture exist in the land itself; in the way it has been shaped and formed with standing stones amongst other things.  And in the names that places have been given such as Bride’s mound which they tell us is named after a saint but we know it is Goddess.

            I remember just after I signed up to do spiral one that I had a row with my sister, who is a church going Christian, because she was unhappy about the choice I had made and she warned that the Goddess Temple in Glastonbury was probably a cult that was after my money but what offended me most of all was when she said “You know that your religion was just made up in the nineteenth century.”  My sister and I are both historians and I knew what she was referring to.  Of course, she meant Gerald Gardner and the Golden Dawn and Dion Fortune and Crowley and all of that, which was early twentieth century, not the nineteenth as she had said.  But I thought she was ignoring the century’s old tradition of the wise woman and healer who lived in the village that treated everybody’s wounds and doled out sensible advice to all who needed it.  It wasn’t until the seventeenth/eighteenth century that doctors became all male and patriarchy took over the healing arts.  And I knew that the Goddess tradition was much older than she (my sister) knew.  I had studied it; she hadn’t.  It wasn’t just what she said but the dismissive tone she had used that really annoyed me and I didn’t speak to her or phone her for about three weeks until she apologised.

            But in conclusion I would say that I see the ancient roots of the Goddess culture in the miracle of birth, the magic of the wise woman and healer, the elderly matriarch who gives out the best advice speaking exactly the right words at exactly the right time.  I see Goddess in what I call ordinary magic where you drive into the car park just as a space becomes available or you walk up to the checkout just as they open another till right in front of you; things that seem so ordinary most people take them for granted.  This is the sort of magic that priestesses have been doing since the dawn of time.  The serendipities of life, the coincidences where everything falls into place at exactly the right moment.  This is divine feminine magic and it always will be.

 

 

An American doctor experiences an NHS emergency room

A very interesting American perception of the NHS.

Dr. Jen Gunter

You know it’s going to be one of those days when one of the first tweets on vacation inquires about the closest hospital.

IMG_8896Victor, one of my 11-year-olds, had something in his eye courtesy of a big gust of wind outside of Westminster Abby. He was complaining enough to let me flip his eyelid and irrigate his eye on the square in front of Big Ben. (I’m sure several people thought I was torturing him).  Despite an extensive search and rinse mission no object or relief was to be found. I fretted about going to the hospital. It wasn’t the prospect of navigating a slightly foreign ER, but simply the prospect of the wait. While I am a staunch supporter of the British NHS in the back of my mind I envisioned a paralyzingly full emergency room and an agonizing 18 hour wait only to find he had nothing in his…

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#OctPoWriMo 2013: Bipolar Distress

A really great poem by the lovely Shah Wharton!

Shah's Scribbles

Please enjoy music while you read…

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Press play to listen to beautiful music. Today I have Saturnus by Misha Mishenko

 

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#OCTPOWRIMO: Every day for one month I’ll collect inspiration from here and write/post a poem here. You can too!

 

PROMPT: The Prompt: Choose a social issue that is important to you for your poem today. What calls your attention? Write from either a very individual and personal perspective or from a broad and global one.

Word Prompt: Social Issues

I could have gone on and one for this prompt. In the end I chose this poem, which I admit to writing a while back, although there were edits. I wanted to do the prompt justice but ran out of time to do so today.

I have bipolar disorder, as did my brother and as does my sister and niece. If you don’t know what that is like…

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Shah Wharton’s “Finding Esta”

Today we have a guest post from the fabulous Shah Wharton!  Take it away Shah!

Finding Esta Christmas Giveaway Banner

Finding Esta Christmas Giveaway Banner

Welcome to the

‘Finding Esta’ Launch Christmas Giveaway!

Yes – it’s finally here. After three years of writing, re-writing, beta readers, editing, cover designing, book trailers, yet more edits and many agonising hours of formatting, the first instalment of The Supes Series is ready and finally up on Amazon! There are five e-copies (you choice of file: ePub/Mobi or PDF) up for grabs, so please have a go and get Finding Esta FREE for Christmas. It’s $2.99 on Amazon, and will be for sale on Smashwords and Kobo in by February, and in print shortly after that.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is the fabulous cover – Like it?

BRIEF Blurb: A young journalist sets off to find Esta, but is unprepared for all she finds, and soon realises it’s a journey from which she may never return. This is a new adult, urban fantasy about one woman’s struggle to retain her identity while everything she knows crumbles around her. Finding Esta is the first of an Urban Fantasy/New Adult Series

Please enjoy the book trailer

Yeah, But What’s The Book About?

An unusual young woman and fledgling journalist, Luna has various restrictive oddities, all of which prevent any kind of physical intimacy. Abusive parents take pleasure in Luna’s misery and isolation, yet Luna strives to make them proud, to finally earn their elusive love – something she craves almost as much as the painless touch of a lover.

When she learns of a tragic story involving the kidnap of baby Esta, she jumps at the chance to investigate, dragging her Shadows along for the ride within the murky depths of her mind.

Meanwhile, a dark stranger visits Luna’s dreams and stalks her reality. In lieu of the real thing, their intimate moments excite rather than terrify. Nestled within his presence, she begins to sense an urgent message of danger – a message she struggles to interpret, until they finally meet….

Her investigations lead Luna to a vibrant seaside town, hiding copycat aliens and an underworld of Supernaturals. Here, she comes face-to-face with her own, terrifying identity. Confronted with life-changing decisions and the harshest of truths, Luna questions her sanity, searching for logic, feeling deceived by both.

Is Luna trapped in a newfound supernatural world, or within her own delusions? And will anyone care enough to save her?

Author Biography

Shah Wharton

Shah Wharton

Shah began meeting authors and bookworms galore when she began blogging back in 2010. She’s learned a lot about blogging and writing on her adventure, mostly from the awesome advice of her online peer-group.

She uses her imagination to write short stories as well as the poetry, but stumbled into her first novel, but falling in love with the character Luna in a short story she wrote 2010. It became grew into Finding Esta, the beginning of Luna’s journey to self-discovery. Finding Esta is her début novel and the first of The Supes Series.

Her passions include blogging, writing, reading, movies, photography and picture enhancement, music, theatre, travel, and fine dining. Her qualifications include BSc(Hons) psychology, counselling, mentoring.

She also has one short story published ‘The Dead Party’ & two poems published in anthologies.

Her favourite genres include anything dark with fangs and/or that will make her squirm or jump or scream out an expletive. She is an avid Kindle abuser and adores the indie writing community and being part of the e-publishing revolution.


SHAH’S CONTACT FORM


Get Social With Shah

AmazonGoodreadsEmailFacebookGoogle+LinkedinPinterestRSSStumbleUponTwitter

Acknowledgements.

Praise to…Derek Murphy at Creative IndieCovers who developed the incredible book cover

& AubrieAnne at Who’s Your Editor? who did the final edit

Shah would also like to add…

Huge thanks to all the beta readers, patient and enduring online friendships,

and to the mass of wonderful writer resources, all of which took me from thinking,

“Could I do that?” to “Hell yeah, I can do this!”

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For more on Shah’s other writing, inc. poetry and short stories,

try Shah’s Scribbles.

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Interviewing the fabulous Alberta Ross!

frog

Today, as a first for this blog I am doing an interview and not just any old interview but an interview with the fabulously talented writer, Alberta Ross!

Alberta  spent the first part of her adult life travelling the world, the middle years studying and now has settled down to write. From the first part she has endless photographs, memories and friends. From the second  a BSc Hons, an MA and friends. Now in this part everything comes together.

Over the years her interests have expanded, as has her book and music collection. A short list would include reading (almost anything) science, opera, folk, gardening, philosophy, crazy patchwork, freeform crochet, ethics, social history, cooking (and eating of course) gardening, anthropology, climate change and sustainability.

Alberta says the best gift her parents gave her, apart from a love of reading and music, was an interest and curiosity in everything which, in itself, has become a total inability to be bored and for this she is always grateful.

Me: I love the title of your new book “The Fiddling Feline, The Flea and The Frog et al”; tell me what it’s about?

Alberta:  Although I call The Fiddling Feline, the Flea and the Frog a collection of re-worked fairy tales, they are not all based upon well known tales.  I have taken the magic, retribution, rewards and strangeness to spin a few of my own making:) This one, The Ancestor’s Avairy, is one such.  I think it keeps faithful to the folk tale format.

Me: Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

Alberta:  This particular tale was inspired by many aspects of my life. Another interest of mine is creating ‘art’ dolls.  Not cuddly dolls, no, mine are all a trifle strange and many of my friends find them unsettling.  Well that was invitation enough to weave a story around them. They were the main inspiration.

Me: I notice there is a ‘goth’ girl in the story.  Do you feel an affinity for ‘goths’?

Alberta:  Bringing this tale to life is the presence of  Amara a ‘Goth’.  Goths have a bad reputation but their ethos is passivity not violence.  They are bullied for their ‘weirdness’, however they are no weirder than any other fashion youngsters indulge in. Their style though, does fit my tale of secret doings.

Me: The old lady, Morana, is an amibigious character; is that intentional?

I am an old lady now and have a sympathy for the old I may not have had when younger, so my stories tend to make them more than the traditional crones – they have survived a long time after all, some, in my tales, longer than one would think.  They often have many secrets, Morana certainly has.

I wanted to create a tale of such longevity, a tale with magic at its heart, but dark magic? Or good magic?  Is Morana an evil old woman or no? is Amara corrupted or no?  I leave it to the reader to decide.

Me: Well thank you for your time Alberta and we all look forward to to reading the book!

Alberta’s books may be purchased

as print copies from

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/albertaross

The Fiddling Feline, the Flea and the Frog et al will be available as e-book at beginning of December 2012

at

http://www.smashwords.com

in all formats

and at

http://www.amazon.com

http://www.amazon.uk

in the kindle store

Alberta can also be found at

Social Network sites:

Blogs:

 

http://albertaross.co.uk  web site

http://sefutychronicles-albertaross.blogspot.com for background to the writing of Alberta’s publications

http://www.didyoueverkissafrog.typepad.com for whatever takes her fancy

http://albertaross.wordpress.com for all things writing

Alberta can also be found on:

 

http://www.facebook.com/author.alberta.ross

http://twitter.com/albertaross

http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/alberta-ross.html

and

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4506833.Alberta_Ross

 

 

 

The Fiddling Feline, the Flea and the Frog et al is visiting other blogs over the next two weeks

http://

http://www.prudencemacleod.com on the 29/30 November

http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.co.uk TBC

http://theindieexchange.com on the 3rd December

http://www.virginiajennings.webs.com on the 5th December

https://mrsbongle.wordpress.com on the 6th December

http://indiebookreview.blogspot.co.uk on the 12th December

 

There will be six e-book copies of The Fiddling Feline, the Flea and the Frog et al up for grabs at the end of this mini tour – winners will be selected randomly from those who comment.  I can offer print copies only to UK residents. 

 

ROW80 Check-In 11/07/2012

Gosh it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these but never mind!  The most exciting news is that I’ve applied to do an M.A. in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.  Its the same University where I did my degree.  I don’t know if I’m going to get in; I hope so because I’ll be gutted if I don’t.

Its due to start in September and if I do get in I plan to do a sort of M.A. blog about it all.  It will be facts and tips about doing an M.A. in Creative Writing as well as how I get on, the projects I get involved in, what the people are like and hopefully, what I learn from the experience.  I can’t promise this because I don’t know if I’m going to be accepted yet but lets cross our fingers!

As far as carrying on with Emily Swann, due to Wimbledon fortnight and now the distraction of applying for and dreaming about doing the M.A., that has been an epic fail!  But I do plan ( there I go jumping ahead again! ) to make Emily Swann the manuscript I work on for the M.A. if I get in.  And if I don’t get in I promise to finish it anyway so nobody loses either way.

Thought I’d include the silly joke because it might make some of you smile and that has to be a good thing.  Hope everyone else is getting on with their goals?