Matrifocal Vs Patrifocal Mythology

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Throughout our everyday life we live in a patrifocal society. That is a world where our corporate jobs, our politics, and our mainstream religions are mainly based on masculine values: domination, hierarchy and control.

It is a world where people are alienated from the earth and from each other, where spirituality is often linked with suffering and with escape from this world, where warfare and ecological destruction is a constant and where violence, aggression and the oppression of women and minorities is a norm.

Our patrifocal society is between 4-6,000 years old, but there is evidence that, before this, it was actually a matrifocal society. That is, instead of the deity being male as in patrifocal mythology, the deity was female known either as the Goddess or Great Mother- who is always depicted as the maiden, matron or crone.

According to Archaeologists there is evidence that 25,000 years before the rise of male dominated religions in the world "Old Europe" was a matrifocal society.

Many believe that in the matrifocal societies woman and men were considered equals, though the women were the magicians, shamans, and priestesses.

Women were revered not only for their ability to give birth, but also for their ability to bleed without injury or dying. Menstrual blood was deemed to be highly magical and women, as the holders of the magical blood were thought to be religious leaders. And unlike in today's society where women are valued for their youth, women who were no longer menstruating were thought to be all that knowledgeable and powerful as they retained the magical powers of their blood.

These societies were people of the soil, peaceful with a love of art. They were earth and sea bound cultures that worshipped the Great Goddess, the earth.

They believed that just as agriculture...