Our Goddess Heritage

This blog seeks to explore the divine feminine by examining the history of women. The analysis of archaeology and history found here is meant to raise questions, not necessarily find answers. In addition, by looking at our female ancestors, we can seek to make connections in our current lives and define ourselves as women in fresh ways.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Emily Mills

Emily Mills

Emily has a master's degree in literature with a focus on women's history and works as a writing teacher. She is a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Sacred Tattooing : A Brief Introduction

Altering the body as a means of drawing close to our gods, signaling our membership in a religious community, or communicating our beliefs has a long history. Tattooing has a proud place in human religious practices. For thousands of years we have sunk pigments into  our skin in a painful, transformative process. While those of us in the West may often think of tattoos as some combination of art or fad, there have always been those who practice tattooing as part of their spirituality. And among these people, we see a rich history of women tattoo artists and Goddess imagery. 

A recent issue of Archaeology delighted me with an overview of some ancient tattoo practices, including the role that women played in various cultures. I would like to introduce you to some of these ancient tattooers and their work over the course of the next few posts that I make. This will build up to the eventual discussion of spiritually significant tattooing in women's lives today. At some point, I will share with you the experience I went through adding an ancient tattoo image to my own collection of tattoos.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I apologize for my absence this month. My husband was in a bad car crash just before New Year's. Our car was totaled. He's doing well now, but January was a hectic month!

I'm about to start a new series in February about ancient and contemporary tattooing as related to goddess spirituality.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • DiAnna Stephens
    DiAnna Stephens says #
    I don't have any spiritual tats right now, but my next tattoo (planned to be done in the next couple months) combines my spiritual
  • Twilight Kallisti
    Twilight Kallisti says #
    I have three tattoos and all of them are for spiritual reasons. I'd be happy to be interviewed.
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Emily, I'm just glad that your husband is well. Be careful out there!
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    Thank you. I'm so grateful that he wasn't hurt worse. Our car was hit in three places by an old Dodge Ram. We are avoiding that wh

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Other Season of the Witch?

I'm currently getting into the Yule spirit by reading a new Llewellyn title. The book The Old Magic of Christmas by Linda Raedisch is a collection of Christmas traditions that many of us may not be familiar with. Creatures such as elves, gnomes, and werewolves roam the wintry landscape and leap off the pages. Goddesses and witches also make appearances, which has helped me to look at the Christmas season in a new light.

Yes, this book focuses on historical Christmas traditions, but Raedisch posits that many of these traditions and tales have their origin in Europe's pre-Christian past. I'm inclined to agree.  This book really does explore the "old magic" of the season. For instance, there is an interesting tension between the feminine aspect of death and birth in many of the folk customs that are described. Much like the traditional Halloween, there is the juxtaposition of the crone witch with the young woman who tries her hand at fortunetelling for fertility, luck, and husband-seeking.

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jeanine Byers
    Jeanine Byers says #
    Love the idea of a Christmas witch!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Museum Meditations

Do you ever long for an ancient temple to visit or wish that there was a centuries old place full of a rich history of the feminine Divine to tap into? I don't always, but sometimes I do. I love Gaia and do feel that for the most part my worship and meditation is wherever I am; this is especially true for me when I am outdoors. While there are places I could go, temples to visit, and other gatherings, they are not always accessible.

That's when I turn to museums and art galleries to seek out a human expression of the goddess. A few years ago this was limited to the small college art gallery in the tiny town I lived in. This past year I have been fortunate enough to live near a major art museum with a classical collection. Now, I am in the process of moving again, and I don't know what I will find in my new town. So, to tide me over, I took one last trip this year to one of my favorite places, the St. Louis Art Museum.

I want to share some of my favorite images of Goddesses with you, which you can view if you ever find yourself at SLAM.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Kalyca Schultz
    Kalyca Schultz says #
    This is wonderful--I wish more people would share photos of Goddess statues and other objects from the museums nearest them. Perha
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    Thank you! That's a great idea, and the pictures could show the locations, so people would know where to go. Hmmm.. Maybe I can st

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Women Who Painted in Caves

As the upcoming Mercury retrograde and the natural progression of the seasons here in the Northern Hemisphere takes us on a journey into the Underworld, let us contemplate our deep, ancient ancestors. Fittingly, we will travel into the caves of our past, if only in our minds.

Cave paintings have been presented to us as a masculine narrative. Often, these stunning examples of paleolithic art, have been interpreted as created by male hunters to increase the hunt. Other theories have suggested that the paintings were to communicate something to visitors to the caves, perhaps of religious significance. Intriguingly, these paintings depict both predator and prey animals. However, that’s not all. Cave paintings also sometimes depict voluptuous female figures and symbols for the vulva.

Who painted these images?

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Mills, Thanks for the insight! It helps to illuminate not only the how and the why, but the who, of paleolithic cave art. It

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Goddess at Pagan Pride

As I explore how the Goddess and women made a mark on our shared spiritual heritage, I cannot forget that we are creating a history of Her, here and now. What we make, do, write, and become will be analyzed by future generations. How will we be remembered?

One of the traditions that we are creating now is the celebration of Pagan Pride throughout September. This weekend I attended the new St. Louis Pagan Pride event with the intention of seeking the Goddess. I found her in the faces of the women around me.

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
African Beer Goddesses

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Yesterday right after I read your column I headed off for my monthly massage - my masseuse was randomly drinking a beer during my
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    So interesting! I love the connections that I'm finding as I blog here.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Fun! Thanks for the info - whiskey next?
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    Um. If there is a whiskey goddess, sign me up! I picture a goddess of moonshine barefoot in Appalachia! Seriously, though, as a

Additional information