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A Matriarchal View

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  • A Matriarchal View

    In The Beginning

    Women were the Creators of the World, the Goddess-Birthgivers, the inventors of positive/peaceful civilization.

    In Every culture women invented and developed the skills that made survival of the early people possible.

    During Paleolithic times (ca.30,000-9,000 b.c.e.) human imagination already conceived the Great Goddess as the organizing principle of the Universe. She held the Cosmos within her ground of Being

    During the three millennia (6500-3500 b.c.e.) of the Neolithic Era her tremendous potency was demonstrated and celebrated by the continuity of goddess imagery.

    Images of the Goddess flourished and became increasingly articulated and refined for the Goddess cultures that inhabited Old Europe during the Neolithic Period.

    The Goddess was multi-aspected. Connected with all aspects of the plant and animal world with seasonal cycles and sky phenomena, the workings of the whole cosmos.

    The Neolithic people's high culture was signified by a tremendous flowering of artistic creativity centered around all aspects of the great Goddess. Women first fed themselves and their children by identifying and seeking out wild plants for food and for medicines.

    In learning how to grow these plants women began agriculture. They developed early tools to make the farming easier. Developed basketry and pottery to carry water, and store and cook their food. Women tamed the young of wild animals for wool, milk, pulling plows, carrying heavy objects and for protection. Later using animal products for food, clothing and shelters.
    They developed the art of building structures in various forms: Adobe, hides, woods, straw and Brick.

  • #2
    The Takeover

    Archealogists Merlin Stone and Marija Gimbutas trace the ending of Matriarchy to Nordic Nomadic Tribes moving southward, from what are now Scandanavia and the Russian Steppes.

    Beginning at least 15,000 years ago these were patriarchal peoples. Male-dominated cultures based on the breeding of animals and women.

    They moved South for unknown Reasons. Perhaps worsening climate, hunger and the need for grazing lands.

    Theirs was a warlike culture using the wheel, chariot and domesticated horse, as well as spears and other weapons.

    The weaponless and peaceful matriarchies could not withstand them.

    By 3,000 BCE ... the tribes took over..destroying earlier civilizations. Women and matriarchial cultures were submerged and taken over.

    One of the most efficient ways to conquer a people is to claim ownership to their sacred symbols. This was indeed done by substituting male gods for the Goddess.

    They moved as far south as India and Central Africa. And as far west as Ireland and Wales. Leaving death, devastation and countless refugees behind them.

    These were the beginnings of modern culture as we know it.

    Descendents of these patriarchal tribes became the "cradle of civilzation" cultures of the Middle East. They later became the early Judaic tribes, and eventually evolved into Christianity and Islam.

    With all of them came patriarchal male-dominance devaluing women in every aspect of womon's being. Denying life force..the life cycle and the birthing ability of the Creation Goddess.

    Creation was stripped of its female and birth roots. Substituting Adam as the first, male, ancestor having been created by a motherless god from dust.

    With the denial of Goddess came the oppression of women. They lost their birthright as civilizers and healers. Cultural growth all but stopped..and civilization regressed drastically. It has continued to today and is the root cause of the present division between Spirit and Matter. Female and Male...Mother Goddess and Father God



    • #3
      Sandy, I found this article interesting. I find a lot of what is said here in my translation of the Hebrew Torah.
      Shalom, Marietta


      • #4
        The Goddess is Demonized

        It was only after Invasions by patriarchal Proto-Indo-Europeans that female images began to be associated with darkness and terror. The invaders worshiped solar Gods and other sky phenomena. Including thunder and lightning. The new religious ideology was that of the warlike warrior.

        To maintain power, existing matriarchal Spirituality was forbidden and the Mother and Daughter Goddesses were slaughtered and demonized.

        The patriarchal belief system separated the upper and lower Worlds. Their religious concepts made a great schism in the cycle of Life, Death and Rebirth. Death was seen as a separate phenomenon and disassociated from its place in the natural cycle. People began to have a great terror of death because it was disconnected from rebirth and regeneration. The new concept of an Underworld described a bloodthirsty Goddess attendant demanding human sacrifice for renewal of her fertility.

        The Great Goddess was made to be terrifying because she had lost her natural connection to the cycle of rebirth. In ancient Goddess-worshiping cultures the entire community participated in healing rituals without a need for an individual Shaman/Healer. Later when the Goddess lost her unified power illness became more prevalent and individual healers were needed. Certain people embodied more of the ancient magickal power than others.

        Particularly some old wise-women who became known as witches and some old wise-men that became known as Shamans. Although there were female Shamans and male witches the words began to be split by gender through patriarchal control..with the usual biased was good and respected to be a male Shaman, but evil and disgusting to be a female witch.

        The 9,000,000 women who were massacred during the Middle Ages were often charged "specifically with possessing medical and obstetrical skills". The Shaman and the witch embody the same powers, yet their status got polarized with the rise of the male medical establishment and with the suppression of the Divine Feminine by the Church came the "Witch Hunts".

        The healing Knowledge that had been the province of women since Ancient Days then became a male domain and more demonic goddesses were developed to contain the feared and split off aspects of the Goddess,
        especially her primal sexual energies and abilities for transformation.

        These demonized Goddesses developed out of a clash between two distinctly different religious systems. One of which dominated over the other. The Terror of the demonic goddess is so firmly established in our myths and psyches that it is hard to imagine a time when it was not there. These images of her were not present in Paleolithic and Neolithic cultures. This means that from 30,000 to 3,000 B.C.E. there were NO horrific female Goddesses.

        Patriarchal repression relegated those aspects of Female Divinity that were most feared..and felt to be most powerful or otherwise interfered with the orderly processes of "civilization"to the fringes of society ... to the caves, the cremation grounds ... the Underworld
        and the darkest side of night.

        All the manifestations of horrific and fearful Goddesses developed from the political and religious domination of Goddess-worshiping cultures by the patriarchal invaders.



        • #5
          Women Are Healers

          In the time of the early Matriarchies healing and religion were deeply connected..and religion was female. Healing began with birth and the process of women giving Birth was equated closely with the Goddess' process of creating the world.

          The Goddess of various and many names arose from the Magnetic Vortex to create Earth and Universe. from her Womb she formed or gave Birth to every species of living thing. Through these stories of Birth/Creation women saw themselves as images of the birthing Goddess.

          Midwifery...a matter of species and individual survival became the foundation of women's healing. Respect for the human mother and the birth process was a form of worshipping the all-creative Goddess and the relationship of midwife to birthing women was the first healing partnership.

          Along with the woman's ability to give birth is her role in nurturing, protecting and training children. The next foundation of women's healing was the relationship of mother and child. The role of the midwife included care of the postpartum mother and her infant. Healing extended from the birth itself to the assurance of the child's survival through the mother's nuturance.

          In these ideas were the two primary healing roles: that of midwife to birthing woman and of mother to child. The Midwife was always female. This relationship was one of trust and and equality. Two women participated together to bring life into the world. Two women whose roles could be reversed. These early bases for all healing arts ensured survival of the tribe and species. They were matriarchal in attitude. These were the beginnings of healing and medicine.

          A further connection of women with Goddess and with healing came from the menstrual cycle. The matriarchal Goddess was embodied in the earth and the universe ... particularly the Moon. As the Earth Goddess women's cycles were the seasons. These being the growth cycles of agriculture and birth.

          Observation of women's menstrual - lunar Cycles and its connection with fertility and control of conception was another aspect that helped to develop women's healing. In early times, when there was no artificial lighting to confuse women's cycles women menstruated in a regular way. Ovulating together on the full Moon and menstruating together on the new or dark Moon.

          Women were aware of their natural Cycles in synchronicity with the moon's phases and the moon Goddess and used the lunar cycle to guide conception fertility or infertility, conception or contraception, menarche and menopause. The moon in her cycles reflected women's life passages. The new moon as beginnings and birth. The waxing moon from childhood to menarche. The waning moon as the celebration of menopause. Images portraying these phases as the Three-Form Goddess are worldwide mirroring the ages of women's lives: Youth ... Maturity ... Wise.

          As women's knowledge grew and her civilization developed her knowledge of midwifery, physiology and the techniques of healing grew. The early midwife/healer was a birth coach, pediatrician, gynecologist, nurse, birth control specialist, psychologist, geriatric physician and veterinarian. Her knowledge of herbs, bodywork, gemstones reflexology, touch healing, nutrition and guided meditation was passed from mother to daughter. This was the beginning of science and medicine.



          • #6
            The Inquisition

            Patriarchal oppression first began to enter healing in Europe. When the Christian church's misogyny increased against women healers in the fifth to tenth centuries they entered ..organized ..and controlled what had been a woman's skill and purged women from it.

            Women were outlawed from from the practice of healing and later from midwifery. This was done initially by the requirement of a college education to practice medicine. The colleges were church-run and only open to upper class men. Colleges at that time taught charms and incantations, but very little science..while women held the real knowledge by apprenticeship, oral tradition and experience. Many women remembered the Goddess and her worship went underground. The village midwife remained as the primary healer and caregiver of each region, and she was often the village High Priestess as well.

            The Goddess Religion survived by being hidden despite the devastating persecution from patriarchal tribes..power-over governments..and male religious forces.

            In the burnings of the matriarchal libraries before the tenth Century at the decline of the great African and Egyptian trading Empires. In the European witch burnings of the thirteenth through seventeenth Centuries. In the Christianization of North and South America much healing knowledge and knowledge of all facets of women's civilization was Lost. Women who were trained in healing in the old ways, the only ones providing medical care to their villages were burned at the stake for being successful healers.

            They were seen as Competition to the new male Doctors who studied philosophy instead of healing. However, since men saw women as the church evil and unclean they refused to handle deliveries and midwifery, for a time, remained in the hands of women; until the French male invention of obstetrical forceps in the seventeenth Century. Now men could have control of the birthing rites of women without having to have "hands-on" contact with the process. Only until then and after the loss of women healers to the inquisition did men enter and begin to dominate
            the field of childbirth. Despite their persecution of women healers early male doctors knew far less than the women. Practical healing skills remained in women's hands for many more Years. But the witch hunts eventually eliminated the competition from women who had greater knowledge and a more successful rate of healing. It was a political "final solution" to put men in control of healing. With 9,000,000 women dead by the end of the Inquisition..the campaign all but succeeded. Sometimes leaving only one women alive in a village.

            The few women midwives and healers remaining by the eighteenth Century were ridiculed and discredited for their knowledge as male doctors took over their practices. Those early doctors continued to have less knowledge than the healers and far more failures unlike the women healers. Their services were restricted to those who could afford to pay leaving many without health care at all. A situation that has extended to today. All because holistic health care was colonized.

            What does this have to do with my life Now?



            • #7
              The Legacy

              The legacy of the takeover is still with us as seen in the repression of Holistic Health. The early reverence of womenkind as images of the Creation Goddess is gone and, also gone is the awareness of women as inventors of both healing and peaceful civilizations.

              The Judeo-Christian and other patriarchal religions' view of women is that women are unclean and "vessels of original sin". Without the Goddess there is no connection with the earth and respect for natural cycles, but rather a determination to subdue and dominate women and nature.

              Many medical advancements are dehumanizing, frightening and punishing. Yet have no decreased mortality rates nor have they raised the quality of life. A women entering a hospital for childbirth, surgery or even testing has a great risk of becoming sicker. Women are doctors' direct victims at times of hospital births when delivery is managed mechanically as a disease process. Over half of C-sections and hysterectomies are unnecessary. There is no greater survival rate in breast cancer with radical Mastectomies, but thousands of breast removals are performed on women each year.

              The devaluing of birth and life in modern patriarchal society affects the health of all life forms on the planet. Women in matriarchies gathered plants and grains for food and animals were organically raised.

              Food production has become a dehumanized big industry. Patriarchal determination to dominate and subdue Mother Earth has resulted in depleted soils and malnourished crops that have little resistance to insects and plant disease.

              Modern water is a dumping place for radioactive and toxic wastes. The air is filled with carbon monoxide, and we don't even know how to dispose of household garbage. Poverty and hunger kill more people today than in any other time in known history. Is it any wonder that cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and degenerative disease unknown in 1900 ... are epidemic today?

              Here lies the Legacy
              and the Consequence of Goddess Centered Spirituality. The loss of the women healers, the loss of a society that respects women and the life force is now the FUEL for the renaissance in women's healing today.



              • #8
                The Renaissance

                Increasing numbers of women see alternative healing as a way to regain their identities and bodies under patriarchal medicine.

                This alternative healing movement has many facets. Women are going back to the ancient techniques of herbs and healing touch. Shiatsu, Polarity, Reflexology, Homeopathy and Flower Remedies.

                Women healers are developing muscle testing and pendulum work, reclaiming the science of the laying on of gemstones and extending the work with crystals and crystal patterns. Women are taking old methods and experimenting, broadening, developing and refining the ancient healing arts.

                As in the past this is a lay-women's movement of skilled practitioners joining together in public and private circles to reclaim and affirm life force values. This gives women a safe place to re-awaken to their power as healers for the benefit of all.

                By the study, experimentation and practice of Natural Healing women are charting and changing the future of Health Care despite heavy resistance or lack of recognition from patriarchal medicine. Women's emphasis on one-to-one work practiced in mutual agreement and participation returns Self-Healing Health Care to the Consumer.

                For the first time since the matriarchies and the Inquisition this Natural Science of Healing is being remembered.

                This process is very different from mechanized and big money medicine.

                Fighting Hunger and all the.."isms". Nuclear waste and Nuclear War and the destruction/pollution of water, air, soil and the food chain. They work to end abuses that threaten women, children, men and the earth. They work to end sexism and misogyny and return the pride, strength, love and personal sovereignty to mother, daughter, sister, women.