The simplest and most basic meaning of the symbol of the Goddess is the acknowledgment of the legitimacy of female power as a beneficent and independent power.
Our great symbol for the Goddess is the moon, whose three aspects reflect the three stages in women's lives and whose cycles of waxing and waning coincide with women's menstrual cycles.
The Goddess of Old Europe and Ancient Crete represented the unity of life in nature, delight in the diversity of form, the powers of birth, death and regeneration.
After much diligent research, aided by other women, I gradually came to understand that beneath the familiar Goddesses of the patriarchy, there is a much more ancient Goddess.
In Goddess religion death is not feared, but is understood to be a part of life, followed by birth and renewal.
I first became interested in women and religion when I was one of the few women doing graduate work in Religious Studies at Yale University in the late 1960's.
Watching birds has become part of my daily meditation affirming my connection to the earth body.
The mother must socialize her daughter to become subordinate to men, and if her daughter challenges patriarchal norms, the mother is likely to defend the patriarchal structures against her own daughters.
In my book I specifically discussed the structural nature of injustice and offered Nine Touchstones of Goddess ethics as an alternative to the Ten Commandments of Biblical religion.
In Old Europe and Ancient Crete, women were respected for their roles in the discovery of agriculture and for inventing the arts of weaving and pottery making.
Throughout the years, many Christian women have told me of their great respect for the bravery and courage evident in my work, perhaps even gesturing to their own Isis earrings or a Nile River Goddess pendants.
Beliefs and values that have held sway for thousands of years will be questioned as never before.
The often cruel behavior of Christians toward unbelievers and even toward dissenters among themselves is shocking evidence of the function of that image in relation to values and behavior.
Because religion has such a compelling hold on the deep psyches of so many people, feminists cannot afford to leave it in the hands of the fathers.
Women must be the spokesmen for a new humanity arising out of the reconciliation of spirit and body.
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