by Joyce Bergkotte
Reviewed by Tiziana Stupia
by Jill Smith
by Rev. Karen Tate
Dan Brown's bestseller, The Da Vinci Code, piqued the curiosity of millions of all faiths with his accounts of the Sacred Feminine. With nearly 50 million books sold, the long anticipated film version of Brown’s story hit the screen in May associated with such a hotbed of controversy the likes of which the film industry had not seen since The Passion of the Christ. With the release of The Da Vinci Code dvd, this theme of the partnership of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and the glimpse into the true herstory of Goddess will no doubt continue to be in the hearts, minds and living rooms of millions more for sometime to come despite Church disdain for the theme. Yet, their subsequent call for a boycott of the movie did not dampen enthusiasm, perhaps proving there is a hunger for these new ideas as readers and movie-goers alike let their wallets speak. But post-Da Vinci, what will those new to this alternative version of history be asking? Phone calls into The Temple of the Goddess and to some of the people associated with this Church have been learning the answers first hand. Among the inquiries are, “Who are these people advocating for the return to veneration or ideals of a female face of God?” “What would that mean for society?” and “Who is the Goddess?” “Why didn’t I know about Her?” The answer might best be answered by looking back before we look ahead.
Reviewed by Jacqui Woodward-Smith
by Cheryl Straffon
In rural areas, especially in the Celtic enclaves of Ireland and Scotland, a great number of customs grew up around this time, most associated with the Goddess whose festival this became, Bridget or Bride (pronounced Breed). When Christianity eventually took over, it found that such an important festival and its much-loved Goddess could not be ignored, so they changed the name to Candlemass, which still takes place in the Christian church on February 2nd, the festival of the purification of the virgin. The all-loving and nurturing Goddess, protectress of women and of childbirth, was turned into a festival in which the mother of Christ (who was still considered to be a virgin) had somehow to be cleansed of the process of giving birth, as if it were somehow unclean or shameful.
Max Dashu, the Suppressed Histories Archives
Goddess Heresies: the legacies of stigma in academia
The controversy over goddess figurines, and whether they should be so called, illustrates the chasm between spiritual feminists and most of academia. We especially need to look at the conflicting values and agendas that come into play when we discuss what “goddess” meant in historical context. Saying “goddess” causes nervous discomfort, whether out of fears of superstitious fantasy or political threat or cultural illegitimacy or out-and-out blasphemy. The interpretations offered by scientistic positivists, Marxists, orthodox theologians, post-structuralists have many differences, but in one respect they are similar. They don’t like to hear goddess talk, and especially don’t want to hear that it has any political significance.
I would like to turn the lens around to face this aversion, and trace the Western academic allergy to anything “goddess” back to its historical origins in the Catholic Church. The first professors were doctors of the Church, whose doctrine shaped all fields of study, and governed what could be said and thought.
Reviewed by Jacqui Woodward-Smith
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by Geraldine Charles
This chap might seem an unlikely introduction to an article about Hera. He strides across the landscape of Dorset, in South West England, and is known colloquially as “the Rude Man of Cerne Abbas”, although the tourist guides call him “the Cerne Abbas Giant”.
What is his relationship to Goddess? Come to that, why is he there – in that particular place? There’s no agreement as to when he first appeared – although many argue for an Iron Age dating (and there is an Iron Age earthworks just above his head, where maypole dances take place, still led by the local Morris Men). So far, however, no written record can trace him to any earlier than the 17th century and it has been theorized that he was created as an insult to Oliver Cromwell, who ruled England during the brief period of the English Revolution - but what Western man was ever insulted by being caricatured with “wedding tackle” which I’m assured would measure almost eleven inches if the 180 foot figure were downsized to around six feet? Interestingly, given that Hera's main attribute was that of protector, Cromwell's title was ""Lord Protector".