Monday, 16 March 2009

Pre History: Wicca

The God and the Goddess

For most Wiccans, Wicca is a duotheistic religion worshipping both a God and a Goddess, who are seen as complementary polarities (akin to the Taoist philosophy of yin and yang), and "embodiments of a life-force manifest in nature."The God is sometimes symbolised as the Sun, and the Goddess as the Moon.
Traditionally the God is viewed as a Horned God, associated with nature, wilderness, sexuality and hunting.The Horned God is given various names according to the tradition, and these include Cernunnos, Pan, Atho and Karnayna. At other times the God is viewed as the Green Man,a traditional figure in art and architecture of Europe, or as a Sun God (particularly at the festival of Litha, or the summer solstice). Another depiction of the God is as the Oak King and the Holly King, one who rules over Spring and Summer, the other who rules over Autumn and Winter.
The Goddess is usually portayed as a Triple Goddess with aspects of 'Maiden', 'Mother' and 'Crone', though she is also commonly depicted as a Moon Goddess
A mother goddess is a term used to refer to any goddess associated with motherhood, fertility, creation or the bountiful embodiment of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother.
There have been many different mother goddesses throughout history and in the present day, including such deities as the Hindu Kali Ma, Greek pagan Gaia and Celtic Anu. In some forms of Neopaganism, and in the Hindu idea of Shakti, all the many mother goddesses are viewed as being the embodiment of one singular deity.
Clearly, deities fitting the modern conception of the "Mother Goddesses" as a type have been revered in many societies through to modern times. James Frazer (author of The Golden Bough) and those he influenced (such as Robert Graves and Marija Gimbutas) advanced the theory that all worship in Europe and the Aegean that involved any kind of mother goddess had originated in Pre-Indo-European neolithic matriarchies, and that their diverse goddesses were equivalent or derived from that concept.
Although the type has been well accepted as a useful category for mythography, the idea that all such goddesses were believed in ancient times to be interchangeable has been countered in 1968 by archaeologist Peter Ucko, who proposes instead that the many images found in graves and archaeological sites of these ancient cultures were toys

Marija Gimbutas. The language of the Goddess. Harpercollins (1989). ISBN 0062503561
Neumann, Erich. (1991). The Great Mother. Bollingen; Repr/7th edition. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. ISBN 0-691-01780-8.
J.F. del Giorgio. The Oldest Europeans. A.J. Place (2006). ISBN 980-6898-00-1
Goldin, Paul R. (2002) "On the Meaning of the Name Xi wangmu, Spirit-Mother of the West." Paul R. Goldin. Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 122, No. 1/January-March 2002, pp. 83-85. Prof. P.C. Jain: Conception and Evolution of The Mother Goddess in India 2004
Knauer, Elfried R.(2006)"The Queen Mother of the West: A Study of the Influence of Western Prototypes on the Iconography of the Taoist Deity." In: Contact and Exchange in the Ancient World. Ed. Victor H. Mair. University of Hawai'i Press. Pp. 62-115. ISBN-13: ISBN 978-0-8248-2884-4; ISBN-10: ISBN 0-8248-2884-4
Anne Carson, Goddesses and Wise Women: The Literature of Feminist Spirituality 1980-1992 An Annotated Bibliography (Freedom, California: Crossing Press, 1992).

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