thrilled to find your eZine on the Goddess! Please, keep up
the great work!! Your article "Reconciling
Kali and Guari"is a terribly important one because
it's about peace, and, in my opinion, substituting Goddesses
for gods may constitute one of the few avenues to world peace.
Not however before certain misconceptions are put to rest. Kila,
author of "Kali and Guari"suggests one such very common
misconception when she asks, "Why are there War Goddesses?"The
answer is tremendously important -- and hopeful:
always War Goddesses.
were invented late in history, by god societies trying to annihilate
the Goddess. Previously peaceful Goddesses were given male war-god
characteristics. Kali is one example. Athena is another; originally
"Athana"of the peace-loving Minoans, it was only during
her Greek incarnation that Athana was transformed into a war
it's really very simple, I've seen even well-read writers confused
over this issue: Goddess history consists of three critical
eras: 1. Pure-Goddess times: Only Goddesses and few (if any)
gods at this point; 2. Mixed God-Goddess times: Goddesses and
gods exist side-by-side in the beginning, with gods slowly hijacking
the Goddess; and 3. Pure-god times: Goddesses vanquished/vanished.
to eras two and three, there's good evidence that human existence
in Pure-Goddess times was close to idyllic (see for example,
Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade, almost any of
Marija Gimbutas'; works, or my article in the upcoming issue
of PanGaia Magazine: "Can a Society Exist 1000 Years
Without War? Maybe -- If the Goddess Is Afoot." In this
article I do battle against a few mainstream archaeologists
who suggest the ancient Goddess-worshiping Minoans were not
the peace-loving peoples we've assumed).
suggests that although Goddess stands for peace today she didn't
in the past ("war...is contrary to Goddess thealogy today...as
opposed to in the past when we know there were women warriors...").
But much suggests that Pure-Goddess-era Goddesses stood for
nothing but peace! How else could their worshipers go for centuries
without lifting one weapon in war? This is true not only of
the ancient Minoans, but also for the Catal Huyukians in Turkey
and the "Old Europeans" in what is now Eastern Europe.
Pure-Goddess peoples constitute a vital reason we Goddess lovers
need to know our stupendous history -- and spread it around
Studebaker raises some very important historical issues with
regard to the culture of Goddess worshipping societies. And
there is really nothing inherently contradictory between her
position and mine. The difference is that my article is based
in historical times and is not meant to engage in the historico-cultural
debate of whether war goddesses existed at a particular prehistorical
time or not. I take for granted that in historical times, there
have been war goddesses and in our times, many of us worship
these goddesses as war goddesses. My statements were a reflection
of possible arguments that pro-war women might make.
Many of us
hope that what Studebaker argues is "true". But it
is not a settled question, and Studebaker relies on assumptions
made and not proved by proponents of a particular interpretation
of archeological findings. The theory of a prehistorical matriarchal/matrifocal,
peace-loving culture is not without controversy for many reasons.
One is that the archeological findings are open to different
interpretations. Another is less contigent on history but poses
a challenge to the notion that Goddess culture is "essentially"
peaceful because women are "essentially" peaceful.
These latter objections are to what seems to be a constriction
of women's nature (weaker sex, etc).
the desire to spread this knowledge around the globe and to
correct those of us who haven't heard the good news. However,
I urge more caution before accepting as proven Truth and Fact
the theories presented by either side of this debate. And I
am somewhat disturbed that history is being homogenized in such
a way as to erase the differences between Minoan history and
Indian history. In my homeland, Assam, where there continues
to be a matriarchal culture and where Kali has been worshipped
for millennia after millenia without break, there is no history
of a male-dominant culture coming and wiping out the peaceful
goddess worshippers (historians now contest the theory of the
Aryan invasion). And Kali is not only a divine mother, exquisite
lover, but also a warrior goddess.
is for diversity in both history and thealogy. I'm comfortable
with the idea that some areas of the world could have been completely
peaceful while others, also worshipping the Goddess, might have
had a different history (to my knowledge Gimbutas never made
it to India or to Africa, so we can't be sure that discoveries
there would be consonant with her work in Europe). I prefer
not to wipe out/revise other peoples' historical truths and
differences in an effort to provide proof for a pre-patriarchal
idyll. And perhaps this is why my arguments for a new thealogy
are not historically based. History is important to know and
to understand, but it does not have to be the basis for thealogy.
And particularly where the history is contested, thealogy based
on assumptions is liable to simply break down as soon as the
assumptions are falsified. That's why, to me, the validation
or falsification of a matriarchal prehistory makes absolutely
no difference to the thealogy I propose. I'm not trying to get
back the power that women purportedly lost in prehistory. It
doesn't matter to me when we lost our power or how, it matters
that we did and that we strive to get it back.
Thus, I stand
by my article and its fairly safe assumption that warrior goddesses
existed and continue to exist. I do appreciate Studebaker's
desire to promote the interpretation of a matriarchal prehistory
but I cannot base my thealogical arguments on this interpretation
and it is clear to me that a progressive, radical thealogy simply
does not require this "myth"/"history" to
be true in order to be a valid response to current patriarchy.