Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Millennia of Male Gods

Temple of Athena, Greece. Image Source: Guild of Sommeliers.

The anniversary of 9/11 yesterday got me thinking about how we live in a world of male gods. If you are a man, it is easy to be completely oblivious to the sweatlodge mentality that has dominated the concept of divinity over the past 2,000 years. This is not a post about warlike men and peaceful women. Nor is this a call for hand-holding and harvest goddess votives. This is merely a contemplation on what happened to our spiritual worlds, starting with the Ancient Greeks and ending now.

The Website that really made me think about the masculinizing of religions was the excellent blog, An Inner Journey, the Moon, Mythology, and You. Every day, that blog offers a profile of a different goddess. There are thousands of them from all of human history that millions of people once worshipped for thousands upon thousands of years. Where did these female gods go? And is the world really a better place with no serious, mainstream, respected religion that includes an all-powerful female deity?

For the past 2,000 years, the worship of female deities has been marginalized and ridiculed. It is true that that removal of female deities has gone hand in hand with the march of civilization. It is easy to assume there is a causal link there, even if there is not. It is also easy to see how the clarity of worshipping a single god rather than a pantheon ironically obliged an intensification of scientific pursuits.

Worshippers of female gods have retreated into off-the-beaten-path faiths like Wicca or New Age belief systems. In America, goddesses appear in geeky corners of popular culture. And despite the prevalence of gnosticism everywhere you look these days, there is no female Demiurge to mirror a Millennial male counterpart. It is that marginalization that I am questioning. I am not talking about a return to Paganism. I am not interested in thanking the Goddess at the Solstice. The Virgin Mary is a supporting character.

Dominant spiritual tenets justify the whole power structure of human society. The vicious madness in the name of faith that was 9/11, the hellish malaise that has followed, and the long, ugly trial that continues to unfold in its wake forced us all to sort out what we believe and seek to defend it. This, in a world where there are critical spiritual missing pieces in contending faiths dominated by male gods and male prophets.

In a similar troubled atmosphere, in another time and place, if I had lived in Ancient Greece, I would have made a visit to the temple of Athena by now. This was the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, female arts, crafts, justice and skill. And yet, a reconstructed image of what her great temple looked like tells us how alien that world was. The last time there were mainstream, respected, powerful goddesses, this is what the world looked like:

You can visit a full scale 1897 reconstruction of Athena's temple, the Parthenon, today in Nashville, Tennessee, see here and here.


  1. At a time and place where I am fully cognizant of the unknowability of higher powers, I have chosen to visualize a goddess figure as my spiritual totem. She embodies the qualities that I hold dear: wisdom, compassion, strength, mercy, humor, comfort and beauty, among others. She is not a specific goddess or religion, she is an invention of my mind, so to speak, with no name, and yet I sometimes feel her 'presence'. That is to say, I want so strongly to believe in such a spiritual being, that my mind seeks those qualities in life.

    I know that in the true meaning of male/female divinity we are not talking about a 'man or a woman' , but supposed male/female principles, traits and qualities.

    Personally, as a human, I can be sensitive, yet strong. In fact, I can be, and I am, all polarities. I don't think of such traits as being female or male in nature. Yet it comforts me to honor the human female as a symbol of all that I cherish, and in doing so, I feel that I am honoring 'the goddess', a universe where love and respect can thrive.

  2. Thanks for your comment Thomas - ideally a divine being would not have either gender I suppose or would encompass all possibilities.

    As I say, this wasn't a call on my part to indulge in paganism, exactly, just pondering that there is something missing from our concept of divinity. The world was not necessarily better when it was full of goddesses, whether angry or benevolent. But when female divinity is completely absent from mainstream religions for thousands of years - there is an absence there. The religious justifications that defended the perpetration of 9/11, I feel, reflect that absence.

  3. Thank you for this post, it is a subject "dear" to my heart.

    I have no doubts that the sudden proliferation of patriarchal religions was an effort - whether created consciously or on an unconscious level - to disempower the female gender... and to trivialize all other species. Sadly, it was successful on a scale that even its creators could not have imagined... and resulted in human atrocities no sane human can clearly comprehend.

    And, I agree... if there is (or can be) merely one divine absolute... it is an "it". No species. No gender. Or, as you say, all.