The Great Goddess

Essay by buckaUniversity, Master's June 2006

download word file, 20 pages 5.0

A long time ago, people worshipped the Great Goddess as the supreme ruler of the world. She was recognized and praised in all of the three aspects of her being: as a maiden, a nymph and crone. According to Robert Graves, the most comprehensive account of the Goddess in all ancient literature is contained in Apuleius's Golden Ass, where she appears in answer to a plea. And this is how, on that occasion, she describes herself:" I am she that is the natural mother of all things, mistress and governess of all the elements, the initial progeny of worlds, chief of the powers divine, queen of all that are in Hell, the principal of them that dwell in Heaven, manifested alone and under one form of all the gods and goddesses." However, all that was about to change, when the matriarchal tradition was succeeded by the patriarchal one. The sovereignty of the Great Goddess was repudiated, and she herself replaced with a male God.

Namely, men found it impossible to keep up with the demands of the extremely ruthless and competitive society, and at the same time, cope with all this dark, mysterious, boundless, "female energy", which seemed to be a threat to the modern society, and kept undermining its principles. They were forced to choose. So, they decided to trade everything that was soft, warm and loving for the sake of the social progress. Consequently, everything that carried any taint of "feminine" had to be feared, loathed, suppressed and ultimately destroyed, in this male-dominated society. This, in turn, led to abuse and destruction of women as the greatest "defilers" of all.

One of the first to spot this "tragic error", and to predict its devastating consequences for the whole of the mankind was certainly William Shakespeare. In quite...