Blogs from Carol P. Christ - PaganSquare - Join the conversation! http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings.html Tue, 23 May 2017 10:03:00 -0700 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb The Mountain Mother: Reading the Language of the Goddess in Ancient Crete http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/the-mountain-mother-reading-the-language-of-the-goddess-in-ancient-crete.html http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/the-mountain-mother-reading-the-language-of-the-goddess-in-ancient-crete.html

Before he told the story of how his people received the sacred pipe, Black Elk said:

So I know that it is a good thing I am going to do; and because no good thing can be done by any man alone, I will first make an offering and send a voice to the Spirit of the World, that it may help me to be true. See, I fill this sacred pipe with the bark of the red willow; but before we smoke it, you must see how it is made and what it means. These four ribbons hanging here on the stem are the four quarters of the universe. The black one is for the west where the thunder beings live to send us rain; the white one for the north, whence comes the great white cleansing wind; the red one for the east, whence springs the light and where the morning star lives to give men wisdom; the yellow for the south, whence come the summer and the power to grow.

But these four spirits are only one Spirit after all, and this eagle feather here is for that One, which is like a father, and also it is for the thoughts of men that should rise high as eagles do. Is not the sky a father and the earth a mother, and are not all living things with feet or wings or roots their children? And this hide upon the mouthpiece here, which should be bison hide, is for the earth, from whence we came and at whose breast we suck as babies all our lives, along with all the animals and birds and trees and grasses. And because it means all this, and more than any man can understand, the pipe is holy. [italics added]

In this passage Black Elk illustrates the multivalency of symbols: the sacred pipe does not have a single meaning, but many meanings, in fact, more meanings than anyone can understand.


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cpc@otenet.gr (Carol P. Christ) SageWoman Blogs Mon, 22 May 2017 01:19:22 -0700
Was There a "Golden Age" before Patriarchy and War? http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/was-there-a-golden-age-before-patriarchy-and-war.html http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/was-there-a-golden-age-before-patriarchy-and-war.html

Marija Gimbutas coined the term “Old Europe” c.6500-3500 BCE to describe peaceful, sedentary, artistic, matrifocal, matrilineal and probably matrilocal agricultural societies that worshipped the Goddess as the power of birth, death, and regeneration in all of life. Gimbutas argued that Old Europe was overthrown by Indo-European speaking invaders who began to enter Europe from the steppes north of the Black Sea beginning about 4400 BCE.  The Indo-Europeans were patrilineal and patriarchal, mobile and warlike, having domesticated the horse, were not highly artistic and worshiped the shining Gods of the sky reflected in their bronze weapons.

In the fields of classics and archaeology, Gimbutas’s work is often dismissed as nothing more than a fantasy of a “golden age.” In contrast, scholars of Indo-European languages, Gimbutas’s original specialty, are much more likely to accept the general outlines of her hypothesis. The German linguist and cultural scientist Harald Haarmann is one of them.


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cpc@otenet.gr (Carol P. Christ) SageWoman Blogs Tue, 09 May 2017 06:17:38 -0700
Authoritarian Followers: What’s Feminism and Religion Got to Do with It? by Carol P. Christ http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/authoritarian-followers-what-s-feminism-and-religion-got-to-do-with-it-by-carol-p-christ.html http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/authoritarian-followers-what-s-feminism-and-religion-got-to-do-with-it-by-carol-p-christ.html

There are two types of authoritarians: those who jump out in front and say "follow me, only I can solve the problem"; the far greater number of authoritarian personalities are those who want to be told how to think, what to do, "this is daddy, I’ll take care of you." Those are the people who are the followers and while some of those would like to be leaders themselves, most of them are just happy to follow, and they don’t want to ask questions, and they want to be told what to do and how to think. And that’s a very scary lot. --John Dean

On her Saturday  program on MSNBC, Joy Reid asked former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean why those who support Trump seem so uninterested in facts that show a deeply troubled and compromised presidency. Dean’s response was that the authoritarian personality does not want to think.


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cpc@otenet.gr (Carol P. Christ) SageWoman Blogs Mon, 20 Feb 2017 22:28:35 -0800
The Dance of Life: A Serpentine Path http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/the-dance-of-life-a-serpentine-path.html http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/the-dance-of-life-a-serpentine-path.html

Entering the archaeological site of Kato Zakros, which includes a Sacred Center and part of a town on a small hill above it, I felt too tired to continue with the others. As we passed a stone bench to the north and west of the open court, I lay down and closed my eyes. I don’t know if I actually slept, but when I opened my eyes, I was in a trance.

I could see the air vibrating, and as I looked up the hill, I could almost see women walking up and down the stepped paths. My eyes were fixed on the path where women I could not quite see with my eyes went about their daily tasks. After a while Cathleen joined me. “I don’t want to talk,” I said, “but if you sit quietly beside me, you will see women walking in the village. She sat down and said nothing, but smiled broadly and nodded when I asked her if she could see what I saw.

After a while, I moved and sat facing the Central Court. I could still see the vibrations of the air, and as I looked across the court, I felt a sense of anticipation. “The dance is about to begin,” I told Cathleen when she joined me a few minutes later. She nodded. It was an hour before sunset, and the ancient stones were bathed in the last light of day. Jana and Patricia were talking in the central shrine room, while the others leaned over the ancient cistern watching turtles and turtle babies dive into the water and emerge again. “The dance is about to begin,” I said again.


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cpc@otenet.gr (Carol P. Christ) SageWoman Blogs Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:31:50 -0800
A Serpentine Path: Mysteries of the Goddess Is Published! by Carol P. Christ http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/a-serpentine-path-mysteries-of-the-goddess-is-published-by-carol-p-christ.html http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/a-serpentine-path-mysteries-of-the-goddess-is-published-by-carol-p-christ.html

This is a great day for me as I announce the publication of A Serpentine Path: Mysteries of the Goddess. It is the first —but certainly not the last—book from the new Far Press, directed by Gina Messina and Xochitl Alvizo, two of the founders of www.feminismandreligion.com. I hope you will join with us in celebrating our joint venture by ordering the book, telling your friends about it, sharing it (links below), reviewing it on Amazon, and letting Gina and Xochitl know if you can review in a magazine, journal, or blog.

Here is an excerpt from the preface to whet your appetite.

*

A Serpentine Path is a story that begins in despair and ends in rebirth and regeneration. It depicts a turning point in my life, a psychological and spiritual breakthrough that opened me to living the rest of my life in grace and joy. Though I am tempted to say it was a journey from darkness to light, that would be inaccurate, for mine was a journey into the darkness and out again. The path of life is never straight or narrow, and the circle of light and darkness is never-ending.


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cpc@otenet.gr (Carol P. Christ) SageWoman Blogs Mon, 26 Dec 2016 23:40:38 -0800
Sacred Marriage or Unholy Cover-Up? by Carol P. Christ http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/sacred-marriage-or-unholy-cover-up-by-carol-p-christ.html http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/sacred-marriage-or-unholy-cover-up-by-carol-p-christ.html

Many women are drawn to the image of the Sacred Marriage—perhaps especially those raised in Roman Catholic or Protestant traditions where sex is viewed as necessary for procreation but nothing more, and who learn that the naked female body as symbolized by Eve is the source of sin and evil. In this context, the positive valuing of sexuality and the female body found in symbols of the Sacred Marriage can feel and even be liberating.


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cpc@otenet.gr (Carol P. Christ) SageWoman Blogs Mon, 07 Nov 2016 23:55:53 -0800
Weaving and Spinning Women: Witches and Pagans by Max Dashu: Reviewed by Carol P. Christ http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/weaving-and-spinning-women-witches-and-pagans-by-max-dashu-reviewed-by-carol-p-christ.html http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/cretan-musings/weaving-and-spinning-women-witches-and-pagans-by-max-dashu-reviewed-by-carol-p-christ.html

Max Dashu’s  Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion 700-1000 challenges the assumption that Europe was fully Christianized within a few short centuries as traditional historians tell us. Most of us were taught not only that Europe became Christian very rapidly, but also that Europeans were more than willing to adopt a new religion that was “superior” to “paganism” in every way. Careful readers of Dashu’s important new work will be challenged to revise their views. When the full 15 volumes of the projected series are in print, historians may be forced to hang their heads in shame. This of course assumes that scholars will read Dashu’s work. More likely they will ignore or dismiss it, but sooner or later--I dare to hope--the truth will out.

History has been written by the victors—in the case of Europe by elite Christian men. These men may have wanted to believe that their views were widely held, but Dashu suggests that they were not.


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cpc@otenet.gr (Carol P. Christ) SageWoman Blogs Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:10:38 -0700