A Maori representation of the creation myth.
It represents the coming together of the Sky Father and the Earth Mother to give birth to a daughter and a son who created all of mankind.
Atthis time in the Nineties, there is much new literature on the goddess concept. Many books list all the traditional stories of powerful female figures from mythology and many now incorporate newly discovered (to the Western press that is), stories from the more remote cultures of the world. The world is full of stories and selecting a segment of them shows a need to reveal an underlying message, one that has not been fairly told, either traditionally or even with modern embellishment rewriting new traditions.
It may be discouraging to the feminists who are seeking the empowerment of modern women to learn that the Matriarchal Age, if it existed at all and then only in Western Europe, was not one of female domination or control but more enlightened. There existed an equality that is just beginning to be enjoyed again and only in a few nations of todays world; an age that called upon men and women in sometimes separate ways that were appropriate to the strengths of each. There was mutual respect as feminine wisdom was used to temper the more adventuresome or rash aspects of men. Sometimes women fought alongside men in defense of their home and on long commercial expeditions the voyages of the sea-kings included wives and families. Women had the responsibility of education, scientific research and were the conscience of communities, especially in foreign affairs.
Read Homer who describes a so-called pastoral age in which the status of women is not the same as men but neither is it inferior like in the Victorian Age from which we are still emerging.
What is aggravating to the reader of these modern publications is the lack of substantiating written material from long ago. The Oera Linda Book is one of the very few sources of written information surviving and gives us a more wholesome picture of those times than the subsequent mythology has portrayed. In a world dominated by the patriarchal government, family and the market place for thousands of years, the time has come for change. That world has engendered survival traits associated with feminine behavior as it is known. Compliance, even submissiveness, feminine intuition or wily ways, and subtle, less direct forms of communication have been associated with the feminine. Is this natural biological behavior or has it been learned of necessity?
Men and women are not the same thankfully even though the basic differences of being are very slight. It would be a mistake to try to make all members of society the same just as it would be foolish to attempt to reverse the situations of inequity. Fortunately evolution is working things out and more quickly than before. The rapidity of todays changes is no accident; it is of course related to the speed of communications in this electronic world, but more importantly, our consciousness is built upon all that has happened. We can remember and know what we really want and what to avoid. There will be resistance to change, even some backward steps but out of the diversity will come quality.
The Oera Linda Book shows us at least three distinct periods in which woman assumed major roles in the choices that have affected the planet before the dominance of the male. They stated that four and a half thousand years ago, when "the years were not counted" there were goddesses on Earth, females who lived beyond time and were able to ascend to the stars and were wise beyond learning. This was the mythology of these ancient peoples which is not unlike that still told today in much of the world and referred to in modern publications with increasing frequency as fourth-dimensional. The author does not wish to pursue this subject in this work except to point out that such beliefs were presented by the Book as facts like the histories and that several occult practices which were referred to as citadel practices are mentioned but not described.
This brings us to the second period of female overt contribution; the two thousand year age of the earth mothers and citadel maidens. Their contributions are detailed in the Book, which included many scientific practices concerning foreign plant specimens and anthropological exhibits that were collected by the voyages of the sea-kings. We owe many of our European tree and food sources to this research. They are depicted as practical, caring mothers of the towns, not goddesses but with knowledge from study that was the awe of the common man.
The third stage is more complicated as it was a reaction to the pragmatism of the earth mothers by both, a basic need to believe in the first age and a desire for power by the succeeding patriarchs. These men initially needed the mothers to give legitimacy to their ambitions, often deifying them so that proclamations could be made in the name of the deceased. Vile rituals were introduced to add to the fear and mystery and in many cases these high priestesses exercised an independent power that became a new tradition, the goddess age that eventually became referred to in Europe as the old religion.
The goddesses are taking their rightful place besides the gods of our aspirations. These concepts are as important to men as to women and cannot be denied by our powerful social conditioning. Men are discovering a feminine side that is not a sexual issue although too often it is confused as such. Both women and men who project a socially accepted role of conduct have ridiculed men for showing an understanding, a softer side or an emotional vulnerability. They have learned to guard their expression of these aspects and play the role. Women have taken their masculine presentation in the business world home to everyday life and likewise have lost a valuable part of themselves, sometimes even their marriages.
The Oera Linda Book is essentially the story of Fryas children. Frya was the mother of their race and her story was told with the same breath as the factual histories of sea-kings and the generals of military campaigns. She lived with them in the "Old Land" but after the disaster at the beginning of the Age of Aries, left the "Earth plain" but not before giving them laws for their own society on the mainland. In this book, the author is using the term "Matriarchal Age" to represent the Age of Aries from the point of view of the Western free people who were losing their lands over a two thousand year period to the invaders from the East. The yellow people imposed the "Patriarchal Age" onto Europe and did not consider Aries as a feminine age at all and so we have this attitude in our histories with only a mythical or even a mystical understanding of the feminine aspects.
Practically no myths have arisen out of Fryas people since the loss of Atland, that "Old Land" the former oceanic home. That is not to deny the rich folklore of Baltic and Germanic traditions but they evolved afterwards when the land was no longer Fryas, and by the mixed races of a later date. In this category we would have to add the diverse traditions of the original White Goddess which because of more popular classical literature has become a Greek legend. This is true but it is also always been a European legend. All our European and near Asian myths with which we are so familiar, come from that mixture of cultures, black, yellow and white which replaced the homogeneous continent described as "all Fryas children" before the "bad times came". The process began with the enslavement of the Slavonic race, the most remote members and continued with the steady advance of the Magyar-Finn people. This admission of that loss shows us how expansively these people believed the original free continent extended. Even Crete (or they could have been referring to Cyprus) is written about as being lost to the Mother in a time long before the story of Minos.
Whatever the heroes did in real life, the stories do better. The actions of the gods, ancestors and heroes do not have any autonomous intrinsic value, but they stir something that is both within and beyond us; they become sacred folklore. The mythicization of historical personages occurs in sagas and poems soon after their physical death, even in historically recent times such as in the cases of Rip Van Winkle or that of George Washington. The true facts of heroes are ignored for the archetype of the mythical hero. It was the Finns that deified Wodin, not the Frisians who stayed at home. His military exploits were as entertaining as his family adventures thus giving the people to come, a vicarious sense of participation in these activities.
It is interesting to note that most of our known myths come from subjugated peoples, those so often mentioned in the Oera Linda Book as subject to priests and princes. In modern democracies and according to the Book, in the ancient lands of Frya, few myths arose from contemporary personages perhaps because a free expression of our own autonomy does not need the entertainment of a myth to do that for one. We still have that tendency however in our adulation of sport and movie heroes who nearly always turn out in personal life to be just as frail and vulnerable as anyone else. And it is the young who are not yet free in our competitive society that give the greatest acclaim to the present day super heroes of the moment.
Typically, the new gods have their lineage rewritten here. Wodin or Odin was acclaimed to be of parentage by the Magy the leader of the Finns. Of course his grandson by Wodin and his daughter would be all the more legitimate for the succession, a principle not part of the traditions of the occupying army. Here is an example of the beginning of claiming divine rights for kings in Europe, nothing divine, just politics as usual, duping the populace. Spouses of the new divinities also became divine just as the more ancient belief in the families of the gods is a repeating pattern.
When we eulogize the deceased at a service or wake, it pleases us to see the good in them even if it is larger than the actual life of the departed. It pleases us to remember the best in our own lives and forget the mediocre. And so we have myths of Odin, Minerva, Neptune, Minos and Ulysses, all real people who have been placed on the stage of fantasy for our enjoyment.
The concept of the Earth Mother is usually equated with a preliterate religion where Mother Earth is the eternal source of the everyday needs of life. Although considered female, as she gives birth to all things and all things die and return to her, she is not presumed a sexual being needing intercourse to gestate. That her breasts feed everything is symbolic. It is a symbolic concept reflecting the comfort of personification and an example of `as in the microcosm, so in the macrocosm. The Book refers to Irtha as a female deity and after Wr-Alda (their term for God) as the most ancient one in importance. Then it shows the mythical beliefs of three goddesses, Lyda, Finda and Frya as being the actual mothers of the races of mankind.
Finally, the word Eeremoeder or Earth Mother is used as the title of the chief of state elected from the various Mothers or the leading maiden in the many district citadels. All this is from a period before most of classical mythology was formulated so naturally these myths and our personal abstractions are a combination of old beliefs and historical figures. This is a universal concept that in various forms is recounted throughout the world. In Hinduism there is Gaya who corresponds with Irtha and Gaea in classical mythology, but in the southern forested regions, Mother Earth is a great goddess whose marriage with the Earth or the Sun is celebrated annually. The Maoris of the South Pacific represented Papatuanuku as earth mother who with Rangi (the Sky Father) were their primal parents. In one version of the Chinese Earth myth, Ti Mu (earth mother) and Tien Lung (Celestial Dragon) are credited with reproducing all of creation, including man. In another delightful version, a god, Plua Ku fashioned man from clay, some of which became wet with rain and so gave deformed people.
Baltic mythology is typical of much of Europe in that it has male sky gods and female earth gods except in Lithuanian tradition where they also have an Earth Master. Deities have always been given mates and in many instances have changed their sex such as in China where Buddha became Kwan Yin, an exception to the usual rule of female to male transformations. It was a slow transformation because in the Sixth Dynasty in the sixth century AD there was Guanyin, a male Bodhisattva, whose statues could easily be mistaken for female. That Buddhist mythology, which is usually limited to male stories making an intellectual point, should transform Buddha himself to a mother figure is understandable. A female Buddha had to be created and the virgin mother of Sakyamuni, Mahamaya (Great Consort) became the mother of all Buddhas, showing how Buddhist discipline could not escape its Hindu origins. She was known as Tara and is identified with supreme wisdom just as Sophia was once a feminine aspect of God, in early Christian theology, suppressed by male decree while female figures became male in the telling of a myth.
In classical Greek myth, the Hesperides were the daughters of Hesperus or the Daughters of the Evening Land. Their names were Aegle, Erytheis, Hespera and Hestia (Fasta). They were said to dwell beyond the ocean at the extreme western limit of the world. They lived in a wondrous garden and guarded its golden apples or some say its celestial flock of sheep. This myth speaks of western origins and identifies wonders out there.
There was once an old satyr named Silenus who was sleeping after drinking too much wine in a rose garden that was owned by King Midas. The guards bound him and brought him before the king whom he assuaged with wondrous tales of a huge continent lying beyond the ocean and separate from either Europe or Africa (legendary Atlantis?). Those people had splendid cities, enjoyed an equitable legal system, and were tall and lived long. They launched a mighty expedition on ships to the land of Hyperboria (the land beyond the north winds) but determined it to be no more desirable than their own country. Silenus told Midas many fantastic tales, which may have saved him from the Kings displeasure or may have been from the known stories of that time. There are other stories of Hyperboria mentioned by Herodotus. People lived a thousand years in that paradisal place but soon died when they left it. It was like a western version of Shangri-La.
That many significant Greek gods had an eastern origin or counterpart is not in question. The point is, a civilization that must have seemed wondrous to the early Greeks existed in the west or northwest.
Of enormous importance to the whole national concept of unity to Fryas peoples were the sacred lamps. The first mention of them comes in the goddess Fryas `Tex that she gave to the first Earth Mother, Fasta. Before Frya left the earth plane, she said:
"Then shall the lamp which I have lighted for you never be extinguished. Its brightness shall always illuminate your intellect, and you shall always remain as free from foreign domination as your fresh river-water is distinct from the sea."
And so the whole concept of nationalism and freedom began. The sacred lamp is mentioned twenty-two times in the Book but there is no mention of sacred fire. It is easy to combine the two but not really appropriate as nowhere in the Book is there mention of sacrifices or sacrificial fire made except in disgust when referring to the rituals of the Magy. There are cruel entries of the use of fire as a legal punishment just as it has been used in more recent historical times but it can be assumed that the lamp symbolized light or enlightenment of consciousness and freedom.
A new citadel could not be consecrated except with a lamp lit from the original one at in Fryasburgt in Texland. The Tex states:
When a citadel is built, the lamp belonging to it must be lighted at the original lamp in Texland, and that can only be done by the mother.
The mother of Texland may have twenty-one maidens and seven assistants, so that there may always be seven to attend the lamp day and night.
It does not take such a large number of maidens to keep a light burning at all times so Frya must have had other benefits in mind for her chosen ones. These were the benefits of meditating on the light, a practice gaining popularity in the West at this time but long rendered in the East and apparently in the ancient West as well. This practice was considered essential to maintain a wholly state of mind for the maidens whose duties were similar to the magistrates of today but also combined elements of the academic world of biology, astronomy, education and the serious side of international peacekeeping.
When many women learn of the history of the deliberate suppression of the feminine aspects of God by the Church there is anger against men in general but actually the present goddess movement is related to the re-empowerment of women. She may not be staying home raising his children so much now but is still subject to the "patronizing" social definitions she did not help establish. There exists today besides, just formal religion and our language inequities, injustices in such services as health. Traditionally women have been healers, using plants and tender loving care to cure but our medical institutions, staffed with masculine doctors of both sexes, enforce a male power-stand for prescription drugs and appears to be against herbs and nutrition. Has this not led us into the present health crises of expensive medicine? It has been proven that "feminine" remedies of touching, caring and problem attention rather than symptom fixing can greatly reduce health costs, which ought to be of interest to insurance companies, as well as state budget mongers, even if not to the medical associations. Were not the witch hunts male attacks on female healers?
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