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Thread: Goddess Traditions

  1. #1
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    Goddess Traditions

    It is often said that "Goddess monotheism" is a pseudo-history and an invalid path for this reason, but both of these statements are completely false. What is scholarly problematic is the idea of a matriarchal society, which there is no evidence for at this time, but there have been many religious traditions in which the mother goddess is seen as the supreme or ultimate deity.

    Hindu Shaktism comes to mind as one outside of the neopagan movement, where the Divine Mother is viewed as the absolute Godhead. Shakti is the feminine divine principle, while Shiva, the masculine divine principle is considered less important. This concept of divinity expressed through gender polarity is very similar to Wicca and other Witchcraft traditions, and the female aspect is given prominence because it is the creative aspect of divinity. I like the Wikipedia article for this path: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaktism

    A classic example from "pagan" antiquity is the Greco-Roman cult of Isis. Yes, she was perceived differently than she originally was in Egypt, blah blah blah, but the point is that the concept of a universal mother goddess as the ultimate godhead did exist in pagan antiquity. Just look at how Lucius Apuleius describes Isis:

    "I am she that is the natural mother of all things, mistress and governess of all the elements, the initial progeny of worlds, chief of powers divine, Queen of heaven, the principal of the Gods celestial, the light of the goddesses: at my will the planets of the air, the wholesome winds of the Seas, and the silences of hell be disposed; my name, my divinity is adored throughout all the world in divers manners, in variable customs and in many names, for the Phrygians call me Pessinuntica, the mother of the Gods: the Athenians call me Cecropian Artemis: the Cyprians, Paphian Aphrodite: the Candians, Dictyanna: the Sicilians , Stygian Proserpine: and the Eleusians call me Mother of the Corn. Some call me Juno, others Bellona of the Battles, and still others Hecate. Principally the Ethiopians which dwell in the Orient, and the Egyptians which are excellent in all kind of ancient doctrine, and by their proper ceremonies accustomed to worship me, do call me Queen Isis."
    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/lucius-assa.html

    People often cite Wicca (or Dione Fortune) as the origin of this kind of monism or "soft polytheism" where ""all gods are one god," but it seems the ancients didn't take everything as literally as modern pagans, as there is clearly an example from antiquity of one goddess being identified with other goddesses.

    It just annoys me when people go off about how Goddess traditions are invalid because there is no proof of a matriarchal period in human history. While the latter may be true, it doesn't mean Goddess traditions are not historically validated, and even if they weren't, it wouldn't mean they still aren't valid to modern practitioners. We are currently in a period where women have had more power than they ever had before in human civilization, so it would make sense for female-oriented religious traditions to be more prominent now versus in the past, now that the cultural climate can accommodate them.

  2. #2
    Caelestis ♥ Raven's Avatar
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    It just annoys me when people go off about how Goddess traditions are invalid because there is no proof of a matriarchal period in human history. While the latter may be true, it doesn't mean Goddess traditions are not historically validated, and even if they weren't, it wouldn't mean they still aren't valid to modern practitioners.
    Some people just love to argue and are ego driven to be right lol. There isnt much you can do about that but laugh and let it go.

    I personally do not think that having a religion be ancient makes it anymore important or sacred to its followers. The real importance is that it brings people hope, enlightenment, love, understanding, etc...

    I personally have never had anyone tell me my religion was not valid for that reason. Though I have heard the whole ancient thing directed towards Wicca sometimes.
    Listen to my sound. I am the wind, which echos through the trees. The gentle breeze which tickles your flesh. Touch that which you walk upon. I am the green fields filled with fresh flowers. My breast the mountain peaks which reach toward the heavens. My curves the endless canyons. The waters that run through my womb, nourish the sacred river of life. I am the song within the storm. The whisper on the edge of the forest. The silence. The rush of raging waterfalls. Open your eyes my child, for I am everywhere. I have never left you and never will.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestis ♥ Raven View Post
    Though I have heard the whole ancient thing directed towards Wicca sometimes.
    Well, Wicca is a fairly new tradition based on ancient ideas and concepts (as well as new ideas). I don't think it matters whether a tradition is ancient or modern, as long as it's fulfilling to the people who practice it.

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