Our Mother Goddess, the female aspect of Divine Love.
In Neo-pagan Witchcraft the Goddess is the very essence or central figure of the Craft and worship. She is the Great Mother, representing the fertility which brings forth all life; as Mother Nature she is the living biosphere of both the planets and the forces of the elements; she has roles of both creator and destroyer; she is the Queen of Heaven; and she is the Moon. She possesses magical powers and is emotion, intuition and psychic faculty.
The Divine Force within the Goddess is believed to be genderless, but within the universe it is manifested as male and female principles. Often within the worship of the Divine Force, the Goddess or the female principle, is emphasized to the exclusion of The Horned God, or the male principle. But, theoretically both are recognized.
The Goddess has many facets, names and aspects. Although in witchcraft and Neo-paganism she is mainly worshiped in her aspects of the triple Goddess: Virgin (or Maiden), Mother and Crone.
Goddess worship dates back to Paleolithic times. Many anthropologists speculate the first “God ” or gods of the peoples were feminine. This coincides with ancient creation myths and beliefs that creation was achieved through self-fertilization. Within the concept of creation the participation of the male principle was not known or recognized yet. The Goddess was believed to have created the universe by herself alone.
From this belief came the agricultural religions. It was thought that the gods only prospered by the beneficence and wisdom which the Goddess showered on them. Evidence appears to indicate most ancient tribes and cultures were matriarchal.
Although this maybe true, there seems to be little evidence that the feminine portions of these societies held themselves superior over their male counterparts. Generally Goddess worship had been balanced by the honoring of both the male and female Deities. This is illustrated by the belief in and the observance of the sacred marriage of the Sky God (or Father Sky) and Earth Mother in many global societies.
Among the first human images discovered are the “Venus figures,” nude female figures having exaggerated sexual parts that date back to the Cro-Magnons of the Upper Paleolithic period between 35,000 and 10,000 BC.
In southern France is the Venus of Laussel which is carved in basrelief in a rock shelter. This appears once to have been a hunting shrine which dates to around 19,000 BC. In this carving the woman is painted red, perhaps to suggest blood, and holds a bison horn in one hand.
Also in Cro-Magnon cave paintings women are depicted giving birth. “A naked Goddess appears to have been the patroness of the hunt to mammoth hunters in the Pyrenees and was also protectress of the hearth and lady of the wild things.”
Other female figurines were discovered dating back to the proto-Neolithic period of ca, 9000 – 7000 BC, the Middle Neolithic period of ca. 6000 – 5000 BC, and the Higher Neolithic period of ca. 4500 – 3500 BC. Some of these figurines were decorated as if they had been objects of worship. In black Africa were discovered cave images of the Horned Goddess (later Isis, ca. 7000 – 6000 BC). The Black Goddess images appeared to represent a bisexual, self-fertilizing woman.
During the predynastic Egyptian period, prior to 3110 BC, the Goddess was known as Ta-Urt (Great One) and was portrayed as a pregnant hippopotamus stand on her hind legs.
The Halaf culture around the Tigris River, ca. 5000 – 4000 BC, had Goddess figurines associated with the cow, serpent, humped ox, sheep, goat, pig, bull, dove and double ax. These things were known to the people and became symbols representing the Goddess. Thus becoming an act against Nature to kill animals, but instead to honor them as we honor ourselves.
In the Sumerian civilization, ca. 4000 BC, the princesses or queens of cities were associated with the Goddess, and a king was associated with the God aspect.
Throughout the eons of history the Goddess assumed many aspects. She was seen as the creatress, virgin, mother, destroyer, warrior, huntress, homemaker, wife, artist, jurist, priestess, healer and sorcerer. Her roles or abilities increased with the advancement of the cultures which worshipped her.
She could represent a queen with a consort, or lover. She might bear a son who died young or was sacrificed only to rise again representing the annual birth-death-rebirth cycle of the seasons.
Throughout the centuries the Goddess has acquired a thousand names and a thousand faces but most always she has represented nature, she is associated with both the sun and moon, the earth and the sky. The Goddess religion, usually in all forms, is a Nature religion. Those worshipping the Goddess worship or care for nature too.
It might be acknowledged that author Barbara G. Walker made two comments concerning the thousand names of the Goddess. The first is that “Every female divinity in the present Encyclopedia (Source: 56) may be correctly regarded as only another aspect of the core concept of a female Supreme Being.” The author’s other comment is, “If such a system had been applied to the usual concept of God, (giving him the different names and titles which people throughout the centuries have attributed to him), there would now be a multitude of separate ‘gods’ with names like Almighty, Yahweh, Lord, Holy Ghost, Sun of Righteousness, Christ, Creator, Lawgiver, Jehovah, Providence, Allah, Savior, Redeemer, Paraclete, Heavenly Father, and so on, ad infinitum, each one assigned to a particular function in the world pantheon.”
Both comments may be considered correct when it is recognized that humankind is only able to speak of God, the Supreme Being and the gods in anthropomorphic terms. As it has been noted elsewhere, the human mind is unable to comprehend any godhead without the aid of anthropomorphism. But, many people such as Simon Magus have gotten themselves in serious trouble when calling God by another name. The early Church Father Hippolytus condemned Simon for referring to God as the Infinite Force.
The beginning of the Hebrew religion with its God Yahweh is said to have marked the end of the Goddess’ Golden Age. Approximately, this was between 1800 – 1500 BC when the prophet Abraham lived in Canaan.
The Christian Church, and especially the Roman Catholic Church, has fought hard to suppress or root out all Goddess worship. The Goddess along with all pagan deities were labeled as evil. But, no proof has been offered for this. One notable example is The Canon Episcopi.
The people from the villages, or villas, which were the lower class, were the Goddess devotees. This is how, with the rise of the Catholic and Christian Churches, the term “villian” became negative or “evil”.
Even though the Church attempted to completely abolish Goddess worship it never successfully did so. Remanents of it remained within the hearts of the people. An example of such devotion is seen within the actions of the people during the Church Council of Ephesus (432 AD). Until Christianized Ephesus had been a sacred city where the Divine Mother was worshiped by “all Asia and the world” (Acts 19:27). Also in this city of Ephesus, as elsewhere, she was called Mother of Animals. “Her most famous Ephesus image had a torso covered with breasts, showing her ability to nurture the whole world.” During this council of bishops people rioted in the streets demanding the worshipping of the Goddess be restored. The prime candidate was Mary, the Virgin and Mother of Christ. The bishops conceded so far in allowing Mary to be called the Mother of God, but forbade her to be called Mother Goddess or Goddess.
To the very present day, many, both Catholics and especially Protestants, wonder why Catholics have a great devotion toward the Virgin Mary. Few know the occurrences at Ephesus, and that this devotion is probably the long surviving remanent of their early ancestors’ devotion to the Goddess.
The Virgin is the first aspect of the Goddess that dates back to Grecian times. “Holy Virgin” was a title for temple prostitutes, a duty of the priestesses of Ishtar, Asherah, or Aphrodite. The title itself did not mean virginity, but it simply meant “unmarried.” The functions of these “holy virgins” were to give forth the Mother’s grace and love by sexual worship; to heal; to prophecy; to perform sacred dances; to wail for the dead; and to become Brides of God.
The Semites, and parthenioi by the Greeks called children born of such virgins “bathur”. Both terms mean virgin-born. According to the Protoevangelium, the Virgin Mary was a kadesha and perhaps was married to a member of the priesthood known as the “fathers of the gods.”
There is an analogy between Mary’s impregnation and that of Persephone’s. The latter, in her virgin guise, sat in a holy cave and began weaving the great tapestry of the universe, when Zeus, appearing as a phallic serpent, impregnated her with the savior Dionysus. Mary sat in a temple and began to spin a blood-red thread, representing Life in the tapestry of fate. The angel Gabriel came to Mary, telling her that the spirit of the Lord would over-shadow her and she would be with-child. (Luke 1:28-31) This child was Jesus Christ, who many call savior.
In the Hebrew Gospels the name Mary is designated by almah which means “young woman.” The reason that Mary is held to have remained a virgin by Catholics and some Christians is because Matthew in his gospel used the Greek word parthenos, meaning “virgin,” instead of almah when referring to the virgin birth of Jesus (see Immanuel). Also almah was derived from Persian Al-Mah, the unmated Moon Goddess. Another cognate of this term was the Latin alma, “living soul of the world,” which is essentially identical to the Greek psyche, and the Sanskrit shakti. So the ancient Holy Virgins, or temple-harlots, were “soul-teachers” or “soul- mothers.” Thus comes the term alma mater.
The second aspect of the Goddess is that of Mother. As previously stated among her names by which she is called are the Great Mother and Mother Nature, which signifies, and her worshippers believe her to be the Mother, Creator and Life-Giver to all of nature and to everything within.
This, at first may seem confusing to many within the Christian Age where the Father God is claimed to be the creator. What many are not aware of, but more are becoming so, is that the world passed through a matriarchal age before the present patriarchal one. There is amble archaeological, historical and anthropological evidence of this. The previously mentioned findings of numerous female figurines and drawings in many locations supports the fact that during such ancient times the female was very honored. The depictions of self-fertilization and women giving birth states the Goddess has been very honored for motherhood.
Seas, fountains, ponds and wells were always thought as feminine symbols in archaic religions. Such passages connecting to subterranean water-passages were often thought as leading to the underground womb. Currently, science partly substantiates these archaic beliefs. It is known that huge quantities of microscopic plants and animals live close to the ocean surface. Upon this sea life’s death its shell remains settle to the ocean floor, and when studied through accumulations of sediment core samples, which represent millions of years of sea life, they provide a continuous history of the earth’s environmental stages. To this extent the ocean, which seems to contain the beginning stages of life, may be thought as the Mother’s womb. “And water, like love, was – and is – essential to the life-forces of fertility and creativity, without which the psychic world as well as the material world would become an arid desert, the waste land.”
This idea of the Goddess or maternal womb is embedded in history. It was and is symbolized by the ceremonial bowl. When used in the Egyptian temples as the temple basin it was called the shi. In Biblical times it became the brass sea in Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 7:23-26). Such bowls or vassals were used for illustrations, baptisms and various purification ceremonies. Although the Christians often fail to disclose that the holy water fount still symbolizes the womb. This symbolically is true since the water is to bestow blessings or grace upon the one which it is sprinkled upon, or who sprinkles it upon himself, and this grace supposedly comes from Jesus Christ who came from the womb of Mary.
Although, in the ancient maternal temples this womb-vessel was very much respected for its inherent fertile power. Its holy waters were revered as they were considered spiritual representing the birth-giving energy of the Goddess.
Throughout the history of Goddess worship, witchcraft, and currently in Neo-pagan witchcraft the cauldron has been a feminine symbol associated with the womb of the Mother Goddess.
All Christian sects have not thought of God as just masculine. This is especially true of the Gnostics. It is in the Apocryphon of John, one sees the apostle John grieving after the crucifixion. John was in a “great grief” during which he experienced a mystical vision of the Trinity:
“the [heavens were opened and the whole] creation [which is] under heaven shone and [the world] trembled. [And I was afraid, and I] saw in the light…a likeness with multiple forms…and the likeness had three forms.”
To John’s question of the vision came this answer:
“He said to me, ‘John, Jo[h]n, why do you doubt, and why are you afraid?…I am the one who [is with you] always. I [am the Father]; I am the Mother; I am the Son.'”
To many this description of the Trinity is shocking, but it need not be. What so many forget, or do not realize is that the New Testament was written in Greek; whereas, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. The Hebrew word meaning spirit is ruah having a feminine gender, but the Greek word for spirit is pneuma having a neuter gender. Thus the Greek language, or to be more specific a change in language when writing the New Testament, virtually made the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, asexual. It also, when accepted by the orthodox Christian Church, eliminated any femininity concept of God. As also Mary remained a virgin by Catholics and some Christians because of the mis-translation (where Matthew in his gospel used the Greek word parthenos, meaning “virgin,” instead of almah when referring to the virgin birth of Jesus).
But, the Gnostics did not adhere to the orthodox teaching. Possibly one reason was that many of the Gnostic leaders, particularly Simon Magus, were of Greek or Samaritan heritage, and within these heritages polytheism and feminine deities were known and accepted, also they knew Hebrew. Therefore, they kept the feminine meaning of the Holy Spirit which remained in their sacred writings and interpretations.
In The Sacred Book one reads:
“…(She is)…the image of the invisible, virginal, perfect spirit… She became the Mother of everything, for she existed before them all, the mother-father [matropater]…”
In the Gospel to the Hebrews, Jesus speaks of “my Mother, the Spirit.” Again, in the Gospel of Thomas “Jesus contrasts his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, with his divine Father–the Father of Truth–and his divine Mother, the Holy Spirit.” And, in the Gospel of Philip, “whoever becomes a Christian gains ‘both father and mother’ for the Spirit (rurah) is ‘Mother of many.'”
In a writing attributed to Simon Magus it states:
Grant Paradise to be the womb; for Scripture teaches us that this is a true assumption when it says, “I am He that formed thee in thy mother’s womb” (Isaiah 44:2)…Moses…using the allegory had declared Paradise to be the womb…and Eden, the placenta…
The river that flows forth from Eden symbolizes the navel, which nourishes the fetus. Simon claims that the Exodus consequently, signifies the passage out of the womb and the ‘the crossing of the Red Sea refers to the blood.'” Sethian gnostics explain that:
“heaven and earth have a shape similar to the womb … the pregnant womb of any living creature is an image of the heavens and the earth.”
In scriptural writings we find standing at the foot of the cross at the time of the crucifixion three Marys: the Virgin Mary, the dearly beloved Mary Magdalene, and a more shadowy or mysterious Mary. “The Coptic ‘Gospel of Mary’ said they were all one. Even as late as the Renaissance, a trinitarian Mary appeared in the Speculum beatae Mariae as Queen of Heaven (Virgin), Queen of Earth (mother), and Queen of Hell (Crone).”
Within modern culture these roles of Goddess and Mother are seen to be reemerging. While the psychanalyst Sigmund Freud down played the emergence devotion to the Goddess as infantile desires to be reunited with the mother, his theory was challenged by C.J. Jung who described this emergence devotion as “a potent force of the unconscious.”
Jung theorized that “the feminine principle as a universal archetype, a primordial, instinctual pattern of behavior deeply imprinted on the human psyche, brought the Goddess once more into popular imagination.”
The basis of Jung’s theory rested on religious symbolism extending from prehistoric to current times. His archetypical concept is that it is not “an inherited idea, but an inherited mode of psychic functioning, corresponding to that inborn ‘way’ according to which the chick emerges from the egg; the bird builds its nest;…and eels find their way to the Bermudas.”
The biological evidence of Jung’s archetypical concept indicates the psychological meaning. Although the psychological meaning cannot always be as objectively demonstrated as the biological one, it often is as important or even more important than the biological one. It lies deep within the levels of personalities, and can elicit responses not possible by mere abstract thinking. These responses energize and deeply affect persons. “Jung believed all religions rest on archetypical foundations.”
This does not necessarily mean that all or every religion originated from an archetype, but rather the archetype on which most, if not all, religions were and are based is the deep felt need within the people for their particular religion. This need is what brought forth the religion. There are various views on the causes this need arouse, but “Jungians have espoused the Mother Goddess as an archetype, a loadstone in the collective consciousness of both men and women to be minded of psychological wholeness.”
Many men have expressed the need to return to the Goddess, indicating that this is not only a woman’s search or desire. “English therapist John Rowan believes that every man in Western culture also needs this vital connection to the vital female principle in nature and urges men to turn to the Goddess. In this way men will be able to relate to human women on more equal terms, not fearful of resentful of female power. Perhaps this is how it was in prehistoric times when men and women coexisted peacefully under the hegemony of the Goddess.”
To many men in Neo-paganism and witchcraft sexism seems absurd and trifling. If all men were honest they would admit that they would not be here if it were not for their biological mothers. Sexism immediately disappears when this fact is agreed to. All human beings are sexual, and sexuality propagated, although at times it would seem the Christian Church would have liked to dismiss this fact completely. But, the fact cannot be dismissed because, and again, according to Jung this biological fact is also imprinted as the archetypes of anima and animus upon the human unconscious. They represent the feminine side of man and the masculine side of woman. As behavioral regulators they as most important; for with out them men and women could not coexist. When the two unconscious elements are balanced harmony exists, but when there is an unbalanced over masculinity or femininity is exerted.
Most people admit we currently live in troubled, if not, perilous times. Both our species and planet are endanger of extinction. Our customary religions and governments seem stifled if not helpless to solve all of the enormous problems which confront us. Perhaps many are feeling the urgent need to cry for help to the Good and Divine Mother asking her to please clean up her children’s mess, or wipe up their spilt milk before it’s too late.
The third aspect of the Goddess is that of the Crone. With the exception of Neo-pagan practitioners, Goddess worshipers and others the Crone has become, or been made to be the most feared aspect of the Goddess. This is mainly because of the Crone’s function which is death. In primitive and ancient societies this function was called the mother’s curse, and became known as the Crone’s curse.
The purpose of the Crone’s curse was to doom the sacrificial victim inevitably, so no guilt would occur to those who actually shed his lifeblood. He was already ‘dead’ once the Mother pronounced his fate, so killing him was not real killing…The Markandaya Purana said there was nothing anywhere ‘that can dispel the curse of those who have been cursed by a mother.’
This curse alone with its destruction ability is the Destroyer aspect of the Goddess. The fear of this aspect arises within people of modern societies because the aspect of the Destroyer has been misrepresented or guised as sinister. There is nothing sinister about the Crone’s curse when fully understood. Again, the function of the curse dates back to ancient times when women thought they were the sole propagators of life. When they thought they had the full authority to produce life, and they thought they had, or were given, the authority to destroy it.
When comparing this analogy to the Goddess, the Crone’s function as destroyer of life becomes natural rather than sinister. Within her aspects as Virgin and Mother, the Goddess is the giver or bearer of life and the nourisher and protector of life. Since life ends, the function of the Crone is natural and necessary too. In most, if not all, female-oriented religions of nature there are cyclic patterns ruled by karmic balance. Everything which develops has a decline. “There could be no dawn without dusk, no spring without fall, no planting without harvest, no birth without death. The Goddess never wasted her substance without recycling. Every living form served as nourishment for other forms. Every blossom fed on organic rot. Everything has its day in the sun, then gave place to others, which made use of its dying.”
The Crone’s curse which is often called the doomsday curses or myths are found in countries as widely separated as India and Scandinavia. The origins of some of the myths date to prehistoric times. Psychologists claim deeper meanings lie within these myths than just primitive eschatology. These meanings are being discovered as belonging to the collective unconsciousness. “For example, the body and world stand for each other so consistently in the mythological mode that every tale of doomsday can be seen to allegorize the terrifying dissolution of the self in death, while every creation demonstrably presents a buried memory of birth. Both are inextricably entwined with the image of the Mother.”
The Triple Goddess in her three aspects, Virgin, Mother, and Crone, can be considered a representation of humankind’s life cycle: birth, life (or maturity), and death. This is the natural life cycle. The Neo-pagans, however, extend this cycle into multiple cycles of birth, death, and rebirth. This is the reason that most Neo-pagan, especially those in witchcraft, believe in reincarnation. In rituals such as Drawing Down the Moon, the high priestess may stand in the pentacle position with her arms and legs outstretched symbolizing the birth and rebirth cycle. The priestess may take several stances of this position within the magic circle to emphasize multiple birth and rebirth cycles.
To the Neo-pagans, as well as many others, the concept of reincarnation or the birth and rebirth cycle is natural because it is prevalently seen in nature. One grand example are the annual seasons: in the spring everything buds to take on new growth; seeds are planted and germinate; flowers and trees grow and bear fruit in late spring and summer, different crops are harvested; in the fall other crops are harvested, while dead growth is cut away and burned off; and then during winter many things seem to die, but in early spring this cycle begins repeating itself again.
This was the thought concept of the ancient matriarchal and agricultural cultures. Every facet of life evolved around the yearly seasons. This is principally why these cultures were worshippers of the Goddess. Their thought concepts were cyclic like the seasons.
When societies began changing from matriarchal to patriarchal cultures a different thought concept was produced: a shift from cyclic to linear. This change principally brought about two things. The first, as previously mentioned, was in the thought concept from cyclic to linear. Coinciding with this was the advancement of the patriarchal religions such as Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Manichaenism. About this time man begun thinking of his life in the terms of a straight line; as from birth to death. Death assumed the concept of the “final end.” To some men it meant extinction or obliteration. Added to this came the Christian concepts of heaven and hell. Men now almost had given up the cyclic idea of birth and rebirth, the thought of extinction of their lives seemed intolerable to them, so it was easy for the eternal life concept of heaven or hell to clasp hold of them. Once they held these concepts they were in the control of the Christian Church that made every effort possible to eradicate the Goddess.
Those who have done any study of witchcraft and paganism surely know the road which the Church took in it’s pursuit to destroy the world of the Goddess. The means used become only too clear at just the mention of the Inquisition and the witch mania which produced the hunts and burnings. The ironical part of this whole series of tragic episodes is that the Church called herself the “Holy Mother Church.” Never is it known that the Goddess needlessly killed her children the way the Church has.
It is suggested that this rejection or annihilation of the Crone has hidden psychological undertones. Men sought to vanish both the kind of death that the Crone presented and her control as well. The thought of the Crone having the control of Atropos the Cutter, the old-woman third of the Greek trinity of Fates or Moerae, snipping the thread of every life with her inexorable scissors was intolerable. In a patriarchal world a feminine figure with such enormous power could not be withstood.
There is a long history of mistreatment and torture of elderly women. During the 16th century the physician Johann Weyer was strongly reprimanded for even suggesting that “…executed witches were really harmless old women who confessed to impossible crimes only because they were driven mad by unendurable tortures.” As a rule such women were in the circumstances of trying to live alone, independent of male or ecclesiastical control, and being poor.
In 1711 Joseph Addison reported “that when an old woman became dependent on the charity of the parish she was ‘generally turned into a witch’ and legally terminated.”
In contrast, in pre-Christian Europe elderly women were in charge of religious rites at which omens were read for the entire community. In the Goddess temples of the Middle East and Egypt they were doctors, midwives, surgeons, and advisors on health care, bringing up children, and sexuality. They officiated at ceremonies, were scribes for sacred books and vital records. They were teachers of the young.
Seldom are elderly women teachers of the young today, in fact, they are seldom given any consideration at all. Present day societies seldom see them or want them seen. Emphasis is on youth, beauty and sexuality. The young woman is the ideal. Society gives the elderly woman her pension check while she sits by her television set being contented. Most are because society and the Church has decreed this an appropriate lifestyle for them. After 65, if not long before most women feel they have served of their lives, only death awaits them. Many fail to recognize that their minds and bodies are still growing. Aging is a growth process, if not there would be no adulthood; becoming elderly is the next step in the process.
Many are eager to lay the total blame of this misguidance of the elderly women on men. It must be admitted, men do share a large part of the guilt; until recently women have been denied a major part in ecclesiastical life, in governmental and commercial sections of society as well; but, elderly women share some of the guilt too, there are those who just sit down accepting their fate while forgetting they can still think and act.
It has previously been mentioned that we currently live in troubled, and perilous times. Our religious, social and governmental institutions seem unable to rid us of the dangerous situations which we find ourselves in. For many it seems time to turn to the Goddess for help. This also may be true for the elderly, both women and men. As long as people breathe, the Crone has not cut that string yet!
The time to start is now. How to start is by reading articles such as this one. Information is a twofold tool: it is food for the brain–mind food, and it will provide courses of action.
It has been noted that Western cultures as a whole have not been prepared for the function of the Crone. This is very true, people tend to think that death is something which happens to others, not them. Death is feared, and mis-interpreted. They are used to seeing death depicted and glamorized on the television and movie screen. This makes it impersonal. This is why so many are unprepared for death.
And, those who are prepared for death seem to be so in an almost selfish way. Most think there are only two alternatives after death: heaven or hell. Heaven is the good place where all want to go. The Churches set down the rules as how to get there, and most people ritualistically follow them. One of these rules is that the person should love and help his neighbor along the path to heaven too, but like the others this rule has become a ritual too. One thing we all must remember is that there is no such thing as hell.
An example of this is seen within the current patriarchal religions themselves. They assume they provide comfort by denying the reality of dying. The ministers administer the properly prescribed rites, with the gestures, over the dying person and say the appropriate words, and then leave. The dying person is then left alone, usually dying in a hospital or convalescent home. Seldom does anyone sit with the person to give comfort, to help them in their sickness and loneliness. Elderly women used to do this, minister to the sick and dying, hold and comfort them, lovingly wipe up the blood and mess. Now all of this is done by professionals, who most of the time are cold hearted, very busy people running from one hospital room to the next. After death the body is shipped off to the mortuaries. At the funeral, family and friends see the body in the most pleasant condition possible. The person looks asleep, not dead. Why do we feel the need to disguise death, when it’s another rite of passage?!
Society has tried to deny death in all possible ways. This is the purpose of the heaven and hell concepts; the immortal soul lives on for eternity. This is not a denial of the immortality of the soul. Even many pagans believe in other planes of life besides the physical one on earth, and in reincarnation. However, currently many people are attempting to make some sense of an after life. At a funeral this author heard a Protestant minister say the person’s mission in this life had been accomplished, so God called the person for better things to do. This would seem to indicate even some Christians are getting tired of a “do-nothing” heaven.
Many Goddess worshippers have no fear of death. They realize the Crone’s function is natural in the birth-death-rebirth cycle which they see throughout nature. To many death is the going home to the embrace of a loving Grandmother. The mother of the Christian Mother of God, Mary, name was Anna which comes close to Diana. So, even in Christianity there is also a grandmother-representation of the Crone.
Many think Christian men prefer the idea of an eternal hell to the thought of nonexistence. Perhaps they are right. No one knows with certainty, but with a belief in the birth-death-rebirth cycle one is sure of the type of life he might look forward to when being born again of the Virgin, and having a Mother.