The Cult of the Goddess


By Rosario GómezImage of a prehistoric goddess

They are accepted by the historiography the beliefs that defend that during the paleolithic, the cult to the Mother Goddess was normative, the sexuality was related to the rites of fecundity of the nature, the sacred intercourse was the hierogramia, the marriage of the gods in favor of fertility. Several authors agree that during this period, equality between the sexes is justified by several indications. The male was not aware of his participation in human reproduction to which a mysterious origin was attributed.

Neolithic times and settlements brought great changes in the destinies of humanity and once man's participation in the dynamics of reproduction was assumed, he began to impose his criteria. It is said that it was the Hindu nomadic shepherds who imposed the phallic spirit that, in its long evolution, would banish the old gynaelatric rites, other theories suggest that it was in Mesopotamia that this type of change began to take place.

The relationships between sex and power are very old and conflicting. The phallic spirit was built with power and made religions evolve towards monotheism, rising against the paganism of the Goddess. Fixation for virginity is a typical feature of patriarchal societies that seek to control in women their ability to father children.

As André Van Lysebeth, a Belgian writer and well-known yogi, explains to us in the patriarchal regime, where the lineage goes from father to son and goods to the eldest son, the man must appropriate the woman and her sex, physically enclose her, for example in a harem and socially in a network of rules and obstacles linked to dissuasive punishments in cases of adultery and to impose virginity until marriage and when the man carries this logic to its ultimate consequences, we reach sewn women and ablations.
With the concept of matrilineal succession this problem does not exist, nobody questions the motherhood of offspring, it is science. The matrilineal principle still persists in Kerala (India). One might think, in a hopeful way, that matrilineality would leave man with no reason against a good part of the atrocities committed against women in the five continents, originally based on the control of reproduction. In the meantime, it will be difficult to eradicate the inertia of relegating attitudes historically learned. Let us trust, at least, that our Western culture imposes, through educational systems and from infancy, a positive correction of abusive sexist attitudes and that finds solvable arguments to help our fellow human beings from other civilizations that do not find an outlet for so many barbarism.


Spiritually speaking, the goddesses are transformed throughout history, so the mother goddess is transformed into tempestuous wife, like Hera or monster folding by the hero of turn, as Gorgon, Nymph, Siren, personifying the fears of men . These attitudes still persist in some contemporary representations, as Erika Borkay denounces in her book The daughters of Lilith. However, the spirit of the mother and lover Goddess continued to emerge intermittently throughout history and there are indications of that. The cult of the goddess has not died, it has only been transformed. It is striking how the symbolism and the cult of the Mother Goddess has manifested itself in very different geographical locations and without apparent contact. Pachamama, Virgin Mary, Isthar or Maya are forms of reappearance of the sacred force of femininity so relegated spiritually by some. Another way of survival has always been the tales of fairies and prodigious beings filled with radiant and allied light.

Robert Graves, outstanding anthropologist, in his book The White Goddess, reconstructs the magical language of ancient Mediterranean and northern Europe, linked to popular religious ceremonies in honor of the goddess Luna. It tells us how in Europe and the Middle East there were matriarchal cultures that worshiped a Supreme Goddess.

Graves comes to accuse Socrates of "intellectual homosexuality," because by turning his back on poetic myths through philosophy, he also turned her back to the Goddess who inspired them; the masculine intellect trying to become self-sufficient has deprived us throughout the history of our right to integrity, this would lead to a loss that has to be corrected in favor of a greater recognition of the feminine cultural contributions and has to be translated into a greater harmony in the relationship with nature, enhancing ecocentrism, respect for Mother Earth in which biodiversity is sustained.


On the other hand, as Georges Feuerstein points out to us, in spite of the progress of the phallocracy, it was difficult to socially inhibit the forces of veneration to the Great Goddess and practiced mystery cults in the shadow of the official religion throughout the Mediterranean. The mysterious ecstasy was a refuge from the hostility of the social environment, the faithful were mainly farmers and other social groups relegated.

In the company of the erotic Divinity and its enthusiastic followers, social and economic differences were diluted, women could express themselves in freedom, the mystery religions were true emotional channels. The most notable mystery cults were those of Demeter and Persephone, Aphrodite and Adonis, Cybele and Attis, Isis and Osiris, Eurydice and Orpheus and the androgynous god Dionysus.


In this religion the body is opposed to the soul and sexual practices outside of procreation are considered impure, the spirit of the goddess is reflected as we have previously noted in the cult of the Mother and Virgin Goddess and is collected in a special way and in certain subversive way, in the joyous songs of The Song of Songs of King Solomon, son of David that contravene the usual dynamic of rejection of bodily pleasures, that is why religious orthodoxy points out that it is a spiritual relationship between the church and the deity.

With St. Augustine, St. Thomas, and other members of the patristics, criticisms of bodily pleasure were hardened and the church silenced with fire the spirit of the goddess that emerged in women condemned by witchcraft.


According to Raphael Patai, the Hebrews knew the cult to the goddess and this cult was retaken in the s. XVI by the flourishing Jewish esoterism, The Cabala. The whole history of Israel is marked by the reappearances of the cult of the goddess as we can see in the two examples that follow.

Queen Maacah mother of Asa, fifth king of the house of David, who fought against pagan heretics, was also set apart for having made an image of Asherah, name of the main female deity venerated in ancient Canaan, Phenicia and Syria. The Phoenicians called it Astarte, the Assyrians worshiped him as Istar, and the Philistines had a temple of Asherah (1 Samuel 31: 10). Considered the goddess of the moon, Asherah was often presented as the consort of Baal, the sun god (Judges 3: 7, 6: 28, 10: 6, 1 Samuel 7: 4, 12: 10). Asherah was also worshiped as the goddess of love and war and was sometimes linked with Anat, another Canaanite goddess.

Queen Athalia of Judah during the period (842 BC-837 BC), approximately, was the only female ruler. During his reign, he tolerated the worship of the god Baal, so he earned the hatred of the priests of Yahweh.

Pagan resurgences carry the habit of sacred sexuality, so reviled, according to Ray Tannahill, British historian, because she embodied the cult of gods that were not Yahweh.


In India, the spirit of goddess worship reappears in tantric practices, the two opposing forces of nature unite in Shiva and Satki in an eternal dance from which life springs. Some authors, such as André Van Lysebeth, point out that because of their distancing from the power of the Brahmins, which is markedly phallic, Tantrism has always been persecuted in India.

The medieval and Renaissance minstrel it is also associated with the line of survival of the spirit of the prepatriarchal Goddess, the woman is seen in her supranatural dimension, as a being to whom we must render cult and reverence. Robert Graves, wrote in his book The White Goddess, that poetry was a magical language linked with popular ceremonies in honor of the Goddess Luna, Mother Earth, Giver of Life (or some other of her thousand names). The invocation to the Muses would maintain the nexus of union with the poetic and artistic principles of life associated with the Goddess.

In our contemporary civilization the cult of the goddess is claimed from the holistic and transpersonal visions They seek rootedness in the deepest part of being and deep respect for nature. Authors such as Edward Whitmon or Georges Feuerstain mention in their books the nostalgia and need of the return to the goddess, of revaluation of the feminine aspects of the personality more receptive to counteract the devastating effects of capitalism.
Jerry Mander, "In the absence of the sacred," argues that he does not know native Indians who do not call Mother Earth, from Native Americans, Australian desert aborigines, Pacific Islanders, equatorial jungle Indians, Inuit from Arctic Canada ... The Seattle Indians have left us a conceptual legacy in this same line, the cult of the mother goddess. "Teach your children what we have taught our own: that the earth is our mother. Everything that affects the earth will also affect the children of the earth. If humans spit on the ground, they spit on themselves. Because we know this: the earth does not belong to the human being, but the human to the earth. Everything is related as the blood that unites the same family. The human being did not create the Fabric of Life, but simply is a thread of it. What he does to that fabric, he does to himself. "Chief Seattle

Today the General Assembly of the United Nations considers "Mother Earth" as an expression used in diverse cultures to refer to our planet and that exemplifies the deep interrelation between all the beings of the globe. The Gaia hypothesis, by the chemist James Lovelock, who states that our planet behaves as a self-regulating system to make life possible, is a scientific re-enactment of that feeling or that need for union between Earth and man and all beings that live in She, likewise, the fractal theories of Maldebrot speak of a planetary interrelation in which the phenomena of different geographical areas would be interrelated in an effect-cause relationship, the earth is understood as an organic and living unit.



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