The 200,000 History of The Goddess and Your Role In Her Return
The goddess figure has been celebrated since the earliest records of human history. Once, she was the creator of the universe, the one who created culture, the wise leader and counselor, the fierce warrior, and of course, the bearer of children. Her fall has been marked by the rise of more masculine dominated religions, but she is slowly rising back to bring balance between the divine feminine and divine masculine in spirituality, and give power back to both men and women in society, in their own unique ways.
The Goddess Through History
Archeologists have found stone figurines from Paleolithic communities suggesting a divine feminine, female figure was worshiped as the original ancestress. These can be found across different parts of the world—Europe, India, and the Middle East—some as old as 25,000 BCE. Female deities have been found across all of the known first human origins of civilization, and many relied on the main female creator.
According to Professor Merlin Stone, the goddess was a “creator and law-maker of the universe, prophetess, provider of human destinies, inventor, healer, hunter and valiant leader in battle.” In her famous book “When God Was a Woman,” she reviews the archaeological-documented history of goddess worship and its impact on women’s roles in ancient societies.
Upper Paleolithic societies followed a matrilineal structure, where women held a lot of power. Mother Goddess has been represented as a female creator across many parts of the world around that time, and although there were variations of her, the goddess was always “immortal, changeless, omnipotent,” according to mythologist Robert Graves.
After the Paleolithic period, the one female goddess started to split off into multiple goddess who served a different purpose. Sylvia Browne in the book “Mother God” reminds us of Sedna, the goddess of the sea, celebrated by the Inuit people; Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, worshipped by the Babylonians and the Assyrians; and Isis, the goddess of children and magic, created by the ancient Egyptians.
There are thousands of goddesses across different religions around the world (thousands in Hinduism alone). Each represents a different area of life, different emotions, or an archetype.
The archetypes of Greek goddesses has been particularly studied by Jungian psychologists and used to study the power of a woman.
The Fall of The Goddess
Around 1500 BCE, masculine-dominant religions started pushing the goddess out of her place. The dawn of Western Civilization started suppressing women’s power and with it erasing the 25,000 of goddess history. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all focused on a male creator. The female role fell to only the one of the wife, erasing all her other roles, accomplishments, and leadership abilities.
The Mother was still celebrated in Hinduism and Buddhism. However, in the grand view of the world, the role of the goddess had her light dimmed. The Bible, for example, does not contain the word ‘goddess’ at all, replacing it with a masculine gender every time. Then came the fear of female healers or “witches” as some labeled them as. The fear of women with powers, or even the female intuition.
Slowly, the first 200,000 years of human life on Earth which celebrated the female as God had been almost fully erased.
However, today, with the rise of women’s empowerment movements, women’s circles, sisterhoods, the pagan and wiccan religions, and goddess workshops, we are being reminded of the powerful role of the goddess and how we can invite her back into our lives.
Bringing The Goddess Back
Bringing the goddess back into our lives and society does not require switching to paganism or any grand ritual. It is in the small acts of acknowledgement, respect, and celebration.
For men, it may be respecting all women and their unique gender differences. For women, it is celebrating their inner goddess. For all, it is actively loving our mothers, our grandmothers, other women relatives, and empowering women to lead in their own creative ways.
The divine feminine is creative, flexible and full of flow, visionary, intuitive, feeling-based, nurturing and joyful. While the divine masculine is more mind-based,direct and active, logical and structural, and external. Together, they create the divine union. The masculine is direction, feminine is the creativity behind it. Both are sacred, divine, unique, beautiful, and irreplaceable.
Working with the goddess energy is one of more symbolic and ritualistic ways to honor the divine feminine. You may pick a goddess (or a few) that you connect with and mediate with their purpose and energy in mind. You may choose to honor and celebrate your intuition more, or notice nature’s cycles and follow them as your own. You may focus more on the idea of the Divine Mother or Mother Nature. There are countless ways to bring the goddess back, and it all starts with a simple step of acknowledging the divine feminine role is literally half of the equalition of Creation; and that needs to be honored.