zondag 13 oktober 2013

The Sacred Prostitute


Like the devadasis of Hindu temples, prostitute-priestesses dispensed
the grace of the Goddess in ancient Middle-Eastern temples. They
were often known as Charites or Graces, since they dealt in the
unique combination of beauty and kindness called charis (Latin caritas)
that was later translated "charity." Actually it was like Hindu karuna,
a combination of mother-love, tenderness, comfort, mystical enlightenment,
and sex.
Hesiod said the sensual magic of the sacred whores or Horae
"mellowed the behavior of men."1 Ishtar, the Great Whore of
Babylon, announced, "A prostitute compassionate am I." 2 Mary Magdalene
said of her sisters in the profession, "Not only are we
compassionate of ourselves, but we are compassionate of all the race of
mankind." 3
Ancient harlots often commanded high social status and were
revered for their learning. 6 As embodiments of the Queen of Heaven,
in Palestine called Qadeshet, the Great Whore, the harlots were
honored like queens at centers of learning in Greece and Asia
Minor.7 Some even became queens. The empress Theodora, wife of
Justinian, began her career as a temple harlot.8 St. Helena, mother of
Constantine, was a harlot before she became an empress-saint.9
In an Egyptian story, a priestess of Bubastis demanded all of a
man's worldly goods for one night of her love. She said, "I am a
hierodule; I am no mean person." 10 Until recently Egypt still had a class
of women called ghazye, "sacred whores," who were greatly honored
in the time of the Mamelukes and prized as brides when their period of
service was ended.
Temple prostitutes were revered as healers of the sick. Their very
secretions were supposed to have medical virtue. A Sufi proverb still
suggests this opinion: "There is healing in a woman's vagina." 12 Even
their spittle could perform cures. Jesus's cure of blindness by spittle
(Mark 8:23) was copied from a matriarchal tradition. A clay tablet from
Nineveh says eye diseases can be cured by a harlot's spittle. 13 Harlots
were also sorceresses, prophets, and seers. The Hebrew word zonah
means both a prostitute and a prophetess. 14
Holy Mothers designated the promiscuous priestess-shamanesses
of Japan, also known as spirit-women. Becoming Brides of God, they
entered the shrine to lie with a priest possessed by the god's spirit. 15
Similar customs distinguished the Indian devadasis, human copies of
the lascivious Heavenly Nymphs.
The profession was popular. Temples of Aphrodite at Eryx,
Corinth, Cyprus, and other sites were served by a thousand sacred
harlots a piece.16 When Hellenic Greeks reduced wives to the status of
servants, the hetaerae or courtesans remained legally and politically
equal to men. Roman matrons of the highest aristocracy prostituted
themselves in the temple of Juno Sospita when a revelation was
needed. 17 Every Babylonian woman prostituted herself in the temple
before marriage.18 By Amorite sacred law, "she who was about to
marry should sit in fornication seven days by the gate (of the temple)."19
Such laws were supposed to appease the Goddess, who disapproved
of monogamy in the era when there was no formal marriage and
children didn't know their fathers.20 In Greek myth, the Great
Mother forbade the Heavenly Father Zeus to make a monogamous
marriage, holding that only her own ancient system of group marriage
was honorable.21
The Tantric word for a sacred harlot was Veshya, probable origin
of the Goddess's oldest names in Greece and Rome, Hestia or Vesta,
the Hearth-mother, served by the Vestal Virgins who were originally
harlot-priestesses.22 "Hearth" and "Earth" both arose from the altar
of the Saxon Goddess Ertha, or Heartha, the northern Hestia-Vesta. In
the matriarchal age, every woman's hearth-fire was her altar.23 The
hearth was also the omphalos, feminine hub of the universe, navel-stone
of the temple, around which the sacred harlots performed their
Dances of Time.
Dancing harlots came to be called Hours: Persian houri, Greek
horae. Egyptian temple-women also were Ladies of the Hour. Each
ruled a certain hour of the night, and protected the solar boat of Ra in
the underworld during his passage through her hour. 24 The Dance of
the Hours began as a pagan ceremony of the Horae (divine "Whores")
who kept the hours of the night by dances, as Christian monks later
kept the hours of the day by prayers. The oldest authentic Hebrew folk
dance is still called hora after the circle dances of the sacred harlots.
The Horae also guarded the gates of heaven, ministered to the souls of
the blessed, and turned the heavenly spheres.25 (See Houri.)
The Hebrew word hor means a hole, cave, or pit, common
synonyms for both a sacred prostitute and the Goddess she served,
whose yoni was represented by a hole, cave, pit, or pool of water in the
heart of the temple.26 A similar Latin term was puteus, a well or pit,
source of the Spanish puta, "whore." Common folk the Romans buried
in puticuli, "pits," which like all graves used to stand for the womb of
rebirth.27 The common root was Vedic puta, "pure" or "holy," and the
Avestan putika, a mystical lake of the waters of birth. 28 "Lady of the
Lake" was a title of the Great Goddess throughout Eurasia. In Aramaic,
her shrines were Athra qaddisa, "the holy place," literally a "heavenly
harlot-place," or genital pit or lake. 29
"To dive into water means to delve into the mystery of Maya, to
quest after the ultimate secret of life .... [T]he cosmic waters are at
once the immaculate source of all things and dreadful grave." 30 All
Asia called water a female element, the source of creation, the arche of
Stoic philosophy. To dive into such water was a symbol of sexual
intercourse. Communing in this way with a holy whore, man could
realize the spiritual enlightenment called horasis. This word appears
in the New Testament (Acts 2:17), misleadingly translated "visions." 31
A Semitic clan, the Horites of Genesis 36, traced their descent
from the Great Goddess as "Hora." 32 The Jews had cult prostitutes
in the time of King Josiah, when they lived next to the temple and wove
hangings for the sacred grove (2 Kings 23:7). Modern translations of
the Bible call them "sodomites," but the original wording meant holy
harlots. 33 Such holy harlots were often "brides of God," set apart to
give birth to Sons of God, i.e., prophets and sometimes sacrificial
victims. 34
Holy whores were called "virgins" because they remained unmarried
(see Virgin Birth). Like medieval nuns, they took veils as a
badge of their office. Ishtar-Asherah-Mari-Anath was not only the Great
Whore but also the Great Virgin (kadesha, holy one). Her Greek
name was Athene, also described as a "virgin" (Parthenia); but Athene's
temple, the Parthenon, was served by promiscuous hierodules like all
other shrines of the Goddess. Later myths rationalized the perpetual
"virginity" of lascivious fertility-goddesses by periodic hymen-renewing
ceremonies such as sea baptism, annual bathing in sacred springs, etc.
The virginity of Great Mother Hera was annually restored by a dip in
the spring of Canathos at Nauplia. Pausanias said the myth was based
on a rite of bathing the Goddess's image.35
Because whores occupied a significant position in paganism, Christians
vilified their profession. Churchmen didn't want to stamp out
prostitution altogether, only amputate its spiritual meanings. St. John
Chrysostom earned high praise from the Patriarch of Constantinople
for robbing temple prostitutes of "the honors paid to them." 36 The triad
of heavenly Horae were mythically virginized as three maiden saints
martyred together, Agape, Chionia, and Irene (Love-feast, She of
Chios, and Peace). 37 Real horae were relegated to hora-houses, no
longer temples. The traditional red light of the whorehouse descended
from the houses of Roman venerii who displayed the sign of an erect
phallus, painted blood red. 38
Medieval Germanic law forbade a man to build a horgr, or to call
his house a horgr, on pain of forfeiting every penny he owned;
because horgr meant a pagan shrine, a house of "holy whores" where
priestesses carried on the old religion. Such place names as Horgsholt
in Iceland still identify ancient shrines. 39
In the year l 000 A.D. the Icelanders agreed to become Christian in
name at least, and to be baptized; but all who wished were still legally
permitted to celebrate the rites of their ancestors in private houses called
horgr, for a while, until the church rescinded its promises of tolerance.
40 In earlier centuries, the horgr seems to have been a mons
veneris or omphalos in a sacred grove. 41
Sometimes the alternate word hus (house) carried the same sense
of "a place of worship," because every matriarch once worshipped
the Goddess of her own hearth, which she could share with more than
one hus-band. Hence the word hussy, Lady of the House, by
Christian definition a promiscuous woman.42
Promiscuity was appreciated, rather than deplored, by medieval
minnesingers who worshipped the Goddess under her new name of
Minne, "Love." They objected to commercialized prostitution as a
degradation of their deity: "Love, the queen of all hearts, the freeborn,
the one and only, is put up for public sale! What a shameful
tribute is this that our mastery has required of her! We cultivate Love
with embittered minds, with lies, and with deceit, and then expect from
her joy of body and heart; but instead, she bears only pain, corruption,
evil fruit, and blight-as her soil was sown." 43
Theologians however accepted commercial prostitution as "a lawful
immorality," in St. Thomas Aquinas's self-contradictory phrase.
Aquinas said prostitution was necessary to prevent men from sodomizing
each other: ''Take away prostitutes from the world," he said, "and
you will fill it with sodomy."44 Prostitution enabled man to look upon
promiscuous women as depraved, though their equally promiscuous
clients were seen as helpless victims of compulsion. There was no
recognition of the truth, that most prostitutes acted under a more
telling compulsion than any man's sexuality: the need to earn wherewithal
to keep alive. It was not an easy living. At best the prostitute
was forced to make herself a stranger's abject servant. At worst, she
could become his tormented victim.45
Certain anticlerical writers maintained that prostitutes should be
respected for their willingness to be kind. Lorenzo Valla's 15th-century
De Voluptate called for a return to ancient customs, echoing
Horace's Omnia voluptas bona est. Valla wrote: "Whores and
prostitutes deserve more from the human race than do nuns with their
chastity and virginity!" 46 Of course, such sentiments did not prevail.
Two centuries later, English apprentices celebrated each Shrove Tuesday
by breaking into whorehouses and beating the inmates. It also
became customary in England for men to "punish" the whores they
patronized by hamstringing: cutting the sinews of the legs to make
the woman a permanent cripple.47 One might be reminded of the
Chinese custom of crippling courtesans by footbinding.
God punished the whores in hell even more severely than men
punished them on earth, according to God's spokesmen, whose
asceticism engendered sexual fantasies of astonishing violence.48 Monkish
deprivations and repressions led to secret envy and fierce hatred of
the carnal folk who might be suspected of enjoying sexual activity.49
 The hatred poured out in a thousand nasty fantasies of hell. Abbe
François Arnoux, canon of Riez in 1622, provides an example:
And the light women, these shall have in their arms a dragon most cruel,
flaming with fire ... who shall bind and enchain their feet and their
legs with his serpent tail and shall clasp their whole body with his cruel
talons, who shall put his beslabbered and reeking mouth upon theirs,
breathing therein flames of fire and sulphur and poison and venom, who
with his nose, glandered and hideous, shall breathe into theirs a breath
most stinking and venomous ... this dragon shall make them suffer a
thousand agonies, a thousand colics and bitter twistings of the belly, and
all the damned shall howl, and the devils with them, "See the wanton! see
the strumpet! Let her be tortured indeed! To it, to it, ye devils! To it,
ye demons! To it, ye hellish furies! See the harlot! See the trull! Hurl ye
upon this whore and wreak upon her all the torments ye can!" 50
On the wall of the women's section of the Church of St. John
the Baptist in Kastoria, a painting showed God's punishment of a
whore. Bound in hell, the woman had her legs stretched apart by two
demons, while a third demon plunged red-hot irons into her vagina.
Next to the woman punished for being sexually available, another
woman labeled the Vain Coquette was similarly punished for not being
sexually available. 51 Women attending this church might well be
excused for thinking they were damned if they did and damned if they
Churchmen did not distinguish between a professional prostitute
and a woman in love with a lover. Both were "whores." The whole
point of patriarchal morality was that women must not have the right
to pick and choose men. For a woman to fall passionately in love was a
tragedy under the medieval church: to pay for a few stolen hours of
love, both she and her lover were doomed to an eternity of suffering. 52
The point was illustrated by Grunewald's painting The Damnation
of Lovers, showing a sinful pair as emaciated corpses living in hell, with
worms burrowing through their flesh, the woman crowned with a
coiled serpent, her genitals gnawed by a toad. According to a 15th-century
illustration for St. Augustine's De Civitate Dei, lovers would
be bound together on spits in hell and roasted over coals fanned by
devils. 53
With western religion envisioning such grisly punishments for
sexual enjoyment, it is hardly surprising to find western civilization as
a whole seized by a sick compulsion to destroy all forms of pleasure. 54
Even in the Christian heaven however, whores had their special
protectors, modeled on pagan Roman harlot-goddesses like Venus
and Meretrix. Official Catholic patrons of whores were St. Aphra, St.
Aphrodite, and St. Maudline (Magdalen), simple canonizations of
former titles of the Goddess. 55 Chief protectress of whores was the
virgin Mary. In Antwerp up to the present century, prostitutes spent
certain annual feast days marching in procession to the churches, to
dedicate candles to the Holy Virgin whom they called their own
special deity. 56
An oft-told tale of the Middle Ages said when a nun decided to
run away from her convent, to live as a prostitute for a few days,
Mary assumed the errant nun's appearance and took her place in the
convent, so she wouldn't be missed and pursued. 57 A German variant
of the story said the nun, Beatrix, left the convent to live with her
heathen lover for 15 years. When she returned, she found that Mary
had served as her stand-in all the while. 58
Medieval brothels were not always clearly distinguished from
convents. A trace of the pagan collegia of priestesses still clung to
both institutions. Early "double convents," with men and women
united in one community, sometimes housed consecrated prostitutes.
Several popes maintained "holy brothels" in Rome; Queen Joanna of
Naples founded a religious house of prostitutes called The Abbey in
the papal city of Avignon. In Victorian times, it was still a common
custom to call the madam of a whorehouse "the abbess," though the
historical precedent was forgotten. 59 See Mary Magdalene.
Outside the Judea-Christian tradition, prostitution often became a
fully legitimate lifestyle. Black Africans never fully accepted missionaries'
views on the matter. White men's laws deprived African women
of their property and their monopoly of farming, trading, and crafts
by which they supported their children. African women suffered a
devastating loss of self-respect, for in their society a woman without
her own income was regarded with contempt. On finding that white
men would pay for their sexual favors, many African women took up
prostitution as their last remaining chance to make an honest living.
Africans still regard a successful prostitute as a usefully employed
businesswoman rather than a criminaJ.60
By contrast, Christian society seldom offered women any formal
opportunity to take up prostitution as a career, but half-deliberately
looked the other way as many hundreds of young girls "fell" into it.
Eighteenth-century London swarmed with female children struggling
to keep themselves alive by prostitution, according to a
contemporary pamphlet denouncing "little Creatures piled in Heaps
upon one another, sleeping in the public streets, in the most rigorous
seasons, and some of them whose Heads will hardly reach above the
Waistband of a Man's Breeches, found to be quick with Child, and
become burdensome to the Parish." Far from extending sympathy to
these little girls, the pamphleteer called them wicked whores, "a most
enormous Sin to lay Snares for the Unwary, and to be the Means of
ruining both Souls and Bodies of so many innocent young
Gentlemen." 61
According to the terminology of the time, a "wench" was a child
of either sex. Dryden's description of a gentleman as one who "eats,
drinks, and wenches abundantly" apparently meant a man who picked
up homeless male or female children in the streets to service his
sexual idiosyncrasies. Later, "wench" came to mean only a lower-class
female, a servant or peasant available for a gentleman's sexual use.62
By the 19th century, thousands of girls under the age of 14 were
listed on English police registers as "common prostitutes." London in
1860 had at least 500 registered prostitutes under the age of 13, and
1500 more under the age of 16. Victorian gentlemen had a taste for
raping child virgins, who commanded the highest prices in whorehouses.
Experienced child whores were taught to imitate the cries
and struggles of a newly deflowered victim, and to insert leeches or
broken glass into their vaginas to produce a convincing flow of
Josephine Butler's investigations of the English system of prostitution
led to legislation to raise the "age of consent" to 14; still, large
numbers of younger girls were captured and immured in brothels. "The
law was lax on the matter of abduction, and the punishment for
trafficking in girls was derisory." Male authorities took an interest in
prostitution only after they clearly understood its connection with
rampant venereal disease. Legal regulation of brothels was instituted
then; but this didn't mean closing them. It meant subjecting them to
medical inspections, so they would be safe for male patrons.64
Whores were not considered full-fledged human beings. The
18th-century term for a whore was "a fleshy convenience." 65 The
word "convenience" also meant an outhouse. One might say that from
the revered sacred harlot of antiquity to this was a long road
Marginal note:
As Mother of
Harlots, Ishtar was
called the Great
Goddess HAR. Her
high priestess the
Harine was spiritual
ruler of "the city of
Ishtar." 4 HAR was a
cognate of the
Persian houri and the
Greek Hora, also the
origin of "harem,"
which used to mean
a Temple of Women,
or a sanctuary.5 A
similar meaning was
once attached to
seraglio, from Semitic
serai, a shrine of

Alma Mater

"Soul-Mother," a Roman teaching priestess, especially one empowered
to give instruction in the sexual Mysteries. (See Cowrie). The
name was based on Al-Mah, a Middle-Eastern name of the Moongoddess,
also a title of her temple women, almah- the same word that
described the virgin Mary in the Hebrew versions of the Gospels.1
The priestess called alma mater bore a relationship to the male initiate
similar to that of the Tantric Shakti.


The earliest angels were heavenly nymphs, like Hindu apsaras, who
dispensed sensual bliss to the blessed ones. Vikings called them
Valkyries. Greeks called them Horae. Persians called them Houris, or
Peris (fairies). A guardian angel was a personal Shakti who watched
over a man and took him into her ecstatic embrace at the moment
of death.
Hindu angels were created primarily for lovemaking. They had no
menstruation, pregnancy, birth, or nursing, though they were mothers.
Each child appeared miraculously on its mother's knee at the age of
five years. Apsaras could copulate endlessly with gods without any
emission of fluids or loss of energy. Such a being was "the perfect
dispenser of sensual delight and amorous bliss on a divine scale."1
Like the queen of the Holy Grail palace in bardic romance, the angel
was a "Dispenser of Joy." (See Grail, Holy.)
There were earthy angels too, the dakinis, "Skywalkers." Tantric
writings said they lived in the Palace of Lotus Light. They were
sometimes called prostitutes' daughters, or yoginis, i.e., yogapriestesses. 2
Although such angels seemed to be every man's wish fulfillment,
patriarchal religions denied the sexuality of angels. Moslems rejected
the Houris (heavenly "whores"), and insisted the angels are without
carnal desires. 3 Yet this contradicted the teaching of the Koran, that
after death every hero would receive beautiful girls as heavenly
European Christianity consigned the formerly divine Horae to
Fairyland, the earthly paradise distinguished from the celestial one.
The place was called locus voluptatis terrestis, the Terrestrial Place of
Pleasure, or pratum felicitatus, the Paradise of Joy.5
Angels were often confused with seraphs and cherubs. The former
were six-winged fiery flying serpents, the lightning-spirits of Chaldean
myth. The latter were Semitic kerubh, from Shehan mu-karrib,
"priests of the moon"; sometimes they could take the form of birds.
Angels accompanying the Hindu Great Goddess were able to fly on the
wings of garuda birds.6
Biblical angels were "sons of God" who came to earth to beget
children on mortal women (Genesis 6:4). Later these were called
demons, or incubi, or "fallen" angels. The Book of Enoch blamed
women for the angels' fall. Women had "led astray the angels of
heaven." 7 In the Magic Papryi, the words angel, spirit, god, and demon
were interchangeable.8 When St. Paul said women's heads must be
covered in church "because of the angels" (1 Corinthians 11:10), he
meant the daemones (demons) supposed to be attracted to women's
hair. The Greeks thought each person had an individual guardian angel
or daemon which could appear in animal form, and under Christianity
evolved into the "familiar spirit." There were no really well-defined
distinctions between angels, demons, familiars, fairies, elves, saints,
genii, ancestral ghosts, or pagan gods.9 Among supernatural beings one
might always find many hazy areas of overlapping identities, even
"good" or "evil" qualities being blurred.
A Gallup poll showed in 1978 that over half of all Americans still
believe in angels. 10  


Sacred She-Wolf of Roman legend, nurse of the foundling twins
Romulus and Remus. Lupa' s temple harlots were lupae, sometimes
called Queens (or high priestesses) in outlying towns of the empire.
Lupa' s greatest festival was the annual Lupercalia, celebrated in the
Grotto of the She-Wolf, with orgiastic rites to insure the year's
fertility. After participating in the ceremony, naked youths traveled
throughout Palatine towns to "purify" them.1 Perhaps this was why,
after Lupa' s festival was adopted by the Christian church, it was
renamed the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin.2 See Dog;


This became a naughty word in Christian Europe because it was one of
the most sacred titles of the Goddess, Artemis-Diana, leader of the
Scythian alani or "hunting dogs." The Bitch-goddess of antiquity was
known in all Indo-European cultures, beginning with the Great Bitch
Sarama who led the Vedic dogs of death. The Old English word for
a hunting dog, bawd, also became a naughty word because it applied to
the divine Huntress's promiscuous priestesses as well as her dogs. 1
Harlots and "bitches" were identified in the ancient Roman cult of
the Goddess Lupa, the Wolf Bitch, whose priestesses the lupae gave
their name to prostitutes in general.2 Earthly representatives of the Wolf
Bitch ruled the Roman town of Ira Flavia in Spain, as a queen or
series of queens named Lupa.3
In Christian terms, "son of a bitch" was considered insulting not
because it meant a dog, but because it meant a devil-that is, a
spiritual son of the pagan Goddess.


Vedic bitch-goddess, mother of the brindled Dogs of Yama, who
were westernized first as the Celtic Hounds of Annwn and then as the
Christian Hounds of Hell. 1 Sarama was the eastern form of the
Huntress, known in classical mythology as Artemis, Diana, or Hecate.
(See Dog.) Like other Huntress-figures she symbolized the deathdealing
function of the Goddess who implacably hunted down all whose
time of dissolution had come, according to the cycles of karma.


Amazonian Moon-goddess, worshipped at Ephesus under the Latin
name of Diana or "Goddess-Anna." Like the Hindu Goddess Saranyu
who gave birth to all animals, she was called Mother of Creatures.
Her image at Ephesus had a whole torso covered with breasts, to show
that she nurtured all living things. Yet she was also the Huntress,
killer of the very creatures she brought forth.1 In Sparta her name was
given as Artamis, "Cutter," or "Butcher." 2
Artemis's myths extend back to Neolithic sacrificial customs. At
Taurus her holy women, under their high priestess lphigeneia,
sacrificed all men who landed on their shores, nailing the head of each
victim to a cross.3 At Hierapolis, the Goddess's victims were hung on
artificial trees in her temple. In Attica, Artemis was ritually propitiated
with drops of blood drawn from a man's neck by a sword, a symbolic
remnant of former beheadings. Human victims were later replaced by
bulls, hence the Goddess's title Tauropolos, "bull-slayer." 4
Her Huntress aspect was another form of the destroying Crone or
waning moon. Like Hecate, she led the nocturnal hunt; her priestesses
wore the masks of hunting dogs. Alani, "hunting dogs," was the
Greek name for Scythians who revered Artemis. The mythological
hunting dogs who tore the Horned God Actaeon to pieces were really
Artemis's sacred bitches.
Classic mythographers pretended that Actaeon committed the sin
of seeing the chaste virgin Goddess in her bath, and she condemned
him out of offended modesty. Actually, the bath, the nakedness, and the
tearing to pieces of the sacred king were all part of the drama. In
barbarian Germany, the Goddess's ritual bath could be witnessed only
by "men doomed to die." 5 Actaeon's deerskin and antlers marked
him as the pre-Hellenic stag king, reigning over the sacred hunt for half
a Great Year before he was torn to pieces and replaced by his tanist
(co-king). In the first century A.D., Artemis's priestesses still pursued and
killed a man dressed as a stag on the Goddess's mountain.6 Her
groves became the "deer-gardens" (German Tiergarten, Swedish Djurgarden),
once the scene of venison feasts.
One of Artemis's most popular animal incarnations was the Great
She-Bear, Ursa Major, ruler of the stars and protectress of the axis
mundi, Pole of the World, marked in heaven by the Pole Star at the
center of the small circle described by the constellation Ursa Major.
Helvetian tribes in the neighborhood of Berne worshipped her as the
She-Bear, which is still the heraldic symbol of Berne. The city's very
name means "She-Bear." 7 Sometimes the Helvetians called her Artio,
shortened to Art by Celtic peoples who coupled her with the bear-king
Arthur. As Artio's Lord of the Hunt, the medieval god of witches
came to be known as "Robin son of Art." According to the Irish, Art
meant "God," but its earlier connotation was "Goddess" -specifically
the Bear-Goddess.8 She was also canonized as a Christian saint,
Ursula, derived from her Saxon name of Ursel, the She-Bear.
There was a rather sophisticated astronomical reason for worshipping
the heavenly She-Bear who followed her track around the Pole
Star, year by year. It was probably discovered first in the far east. "The
months and seasons are determined by the revolution of Ursa Major.
The tail of the constellation pointing to the east at nightfall announces
the arrival of spring, pointing to the south the arrival of summer,
pointing to the west the arrival of autumn, and pointing to the north the
arrival of winter. ... The Great Bear occupies a prominent position
in the Taoist heavens as the aerial throne of the supreme deity." This
deity in Taoist tradition is the Queen of Heaven, Holy Mother Ma
Tsu P'o, with characteristics similar to those of Artemis. She protects
seafarers and governs the weather; she is called a virgin, and Matron
of the Measure; she is a Mother of Mercy who has been compared to
the virgin Mary and to the Buddhist Goddess Maritchi.9
The axis mundi was often associated with male gods, as either a
Great Serpent or a World Tree more or less recognized as a phallic
symbol. Similarly the Little Bear within the circle of the Great Bear was
pictured by the Greeks as Areas, her son (see Callisto). Yet among
the oldest traditions may be found hints that this world-supporting tree
or pole was female. Even as Yggdrasil, the World Tree of the
Vikings, it showed many parallels with birth-giving, fruit- or milkproducing
mother trees of the Near East, under its older name of
Mjotvidr or Mutvidr, "Mother-Tree." Sometimes it was Mead-Tree,
like "the milk-giving tree of the Finno-Ugric peoples, a symbol which
must go back ultimately to Mesopotamia, and be of great antiquity." It
was said that "the tree is the source of unborn souls," which would
give birth to the new primal woman, Life (Lif) in the new universe after
the present cycle came to an end. Its fruit could be given to women
in childbirth "that what is within may pass out." The spring at the tree's
root was a fountain of wisdom or of the life-giving fluid aurr, which
may be likened to the "wise blood" of the Mother-that much mythologized
feminine lifesource likened to the Kula nectar in the
uterine spring of Kundalini, as if the maternal tree upholding the
universe were the Mother's spine with its many chakras.10 See
Menstrual Blood.
"Many-breasted" Artemis was always a patroness of nurture,
fertility, and birth. Male gods turned against these attributes in
opposing the cult of the Goddess. Her own twin brother and sometime
consort Apollo made birth illegal on his sacred isle of Delos;
pregnant women had to be removed from the island lest they offend the
god by giving birth there.11 Christians continued to vilify Artemis.
Tatian said, "Artemis is a poisoner; Apollo performs cures." 12 The
Gospels demanded destruction of Artemis's Ephesian temple (Acts
19:27). St. John Chrysostom preached against this temple in 406 A.D.
Soon afterward, it was looted and burned. The patriarch of Constantinople
praised Chrysostom's zeal: "In Ephesus he stripped the treasury
of Artemis; in Phrygia, he left without sons her whom they called the
Mother of the Gods." 13 See Diana.
Marginal note:
 Ursa Major "Great
Bear," colloquially
called the Big
Dipper, a circumpolar
constellation with
seven bright stars
including the "north
pole pointers."

"Fairest One," a title of Artemis as totemic She-Bear and mother
of Areas, the Little Bear. Calliste was an old name for Artemis's sacred
island Thera (She-Beast). Hellenic writers said the Attic rites of
Artemis involved young girls dressed as the She-bear, which gave rise to
the myth of Callisto, a nymph who lost her virginity to Zeus and gave
birth to the bear-child. They were placed in heaven as Ursa Major and
Ursa Minor.1 Of course the nymph was the virgin aspect of the
Goddess herself.


"Hunting dogs," Greek name for the Scythian tribes who worshipped
Artemis as their Divine Huntress. The name Alan still carried
the original Greek meaning of a hunting dog when it became popular
among the Scots during the Middle Ages. Artemis was often called the
Great Bitch, and her hunting priestesses were the "sacred bitches"
who chased, killed, and consumed boar-gods and stag-gods like Phorcis
or Actaeon. Thus, to Christians, "son of a bitch" meant a devil
worshipper-that is, a pagan devotee of the Goddess. See Dog.


Black bitch-totem of Hecate, a form assumed by her Trojan incarnation,
Queen Hecuba, when she was captured by Odysseus. The cause
of his long wandering exile apparently was the curse Hecuba-Maera
laid on him. Some said she was killed and buried in "The Bitch's
Tomb." Others said she scared away her enemies with her spells and
curses and ran free.
She was an animal version of the fatal Crone-goddess Moera,
symbolized by the Lesser Dog Star whose rising announced human
sacrifices in Attica. One of her victims was a king whose daughter
Odysseus married, "and whose fate he will therefore have shared in
the original myth." 1 Similar sacrifices were still offered to the Death -
goddess and Wolf-mother Maerin in her temple at Trondheim as late
as the 11th century A.D. 2

"Queen of Heaven," Roman name for the Triple Goddess as (1)
Lunar Virgin, (2) Mother of Creatures, and (3) the Huntress (Destroyer).
Her Greek name was Artemis. Her major pilgrimage centers
were Ephesus and Nemi, the Sacred Grove. She was Dione, Diana
Nemorensis, or Nemetona, Goddess of the Moon-grove. In her
sanctuaries, sacred kings periodically engaged in combat, the loser dying
as the god Hippolytus, the winner invested as the Goddess's new
favorite, Virbius. See Hippolytus, Saint.
As Diana Egeria, patroness of childbirth, nursing, and healing, the
Goddess made Nemi' s holy spring the Lourdes of pagan Rome.1 The
legendary King Numa was said to have derived all his wisdom from a
sacred marriage with her.
Diana's cult was so widespread in the pagan world that early
Christians viewed her as their major rival, which is why she later
became "Queen of Witches." The Gospels commanded total destruction
of all temples of Diana, the Great Goddess worshipped by "Asia
and all the world" (Acts 19:27).
Roman towns all over Europe habitually called the local mother
goddess Diana, as later Christian towns were to call her Madonna.
Fortunatus said Diana was the Goddess worshipped at Vernemeton,
"which in the Gaulish language means the Great Shrine." In the 5th
century A.D., the Gauls regarded her as their supreme deity. Christians
spoke slightingly of their pagan custom of adoring the spirit of Diana
in a cut branch or a log of wood.2 Gozbert, a 7th-century Frankish
chieftain, doubted the claims of a Christian missionary on the ground
that the Christian God was "no better than our own Diana.''3
At Ephesus, the Goddess was called Mother of Animals, Lady of
Wild Creatures, and Many-Breasted Artemis, shown with her entire
torso covered with breasts to nourish the world's creatures.4 In the 4th
century A.D., the church took over this shrine and re-dedicated it to
the virgin Mary. 5 One of the earliest churches devoted to "Our Lady"
existed at Ephesus in 431; but most of the people believed the Lady
was Diana, not Mary. In 432 the Council of Ephesus tried to eliminate
worship of the pagan Goddess, but the bishops were besieged by
crowds demanding, "Give us our Diana of the Ephesians!"6
An excuse for converting Diana's temples into Mary's churches
was provided by a made-to-order legend that Mary lived at Ephesus
in her old age. Her tomb was located there, and some Christians even
pointed out the house in which she had lived. 7 But sometimes she
was identified with the sinister Widow of Ephesus, a Crone aspect of
the Goddess showing some primitive features.
Petronius's version of the myth said the Widow hung her husband's
dead body on one of the three crosses in front of Diana's
temple, replacing the body of a previously crucified thief. Then she lay
with her new lover at the foot of the cross. 8 The parallel between this
image and that of the triple Mary at the foot of Jesus's cross was too 
close for comfort, especially since Diana herself was assimilated to the
Christian myth as Mary's mother, or elder self, the "Grandmother of
God" under the name of either Anna (Hannah) or Di-anna
Gnostic Christians called their Wisdom-goddess Sophia the same
Grandmother of God, and frequently identified her with Diana of
Ephesus. When Diana's temple was finally pulled down, as the Gospels
ordered, its magnificent porphyry pillars were carried to Constantinople
and built into the church of Holy Sophia. 10
The magic of Ephesus was remembered through the Middle Ages.
A writer said in 1725: "It is recorded in divers authors that in the
image of Diana, which was worshipped at Ephesus, there were certain
obscure words or sentences ... written upon the feet, girdle and
crown of the said Diana: the which, if a man did use, having written
them out, and carrying them about him, he should have good luck in
all his businesses." 11
Some Christians even remembered that Diana was once the triple
deity who ruled the world. A 14th-century poem attributed to the
Bishop of Meaux said Diana was an old name for the Trinity. 12
Officers of the Inquisition however regarded Diana as the "Goddess
of the heathen" with whom witches made their aerial night
journeys-or thought they did. 13 The worship of Diana was denounced
wherever it was found, even when the worshippers were members of
the clergy. In the 14th century, a bishop found the monks of Frithelstock
Priory worshipping a statue of "the unchaste Diana" at an altar
in the woods, and made them destroy it. 14 The notorious inquisitor
Torquemada declared bluntly that Diana is the devil. 15
Devil or not, Diana ruled the wild forests of Europe through the
medieval period. As patron of the forest of Ardennes she was Dea
Arduenna; as patron of the Black Forest she was Dea Abnoba. 16
Serbians, Czechs, and Poles knew her as the woodland Moongoddess
Diiwica, Devana, or Dziewona.17 She remained the Goddess
of wild woodlands and hunting, all the way up to the 18th century in
Dianic rites were celebrated even in church, despite objections
from the clergy. A minister wrote against the traditional parade of a
stag's head into St. Paul's Cathedral in London: "bringing in procession
into the church the head of a deer, fixed on the top of a long spear or
pole, with the whole company blowing Hunters Horns in a sort of
hideous manner; and with this rude pomp they go up to the High
Altar, and offer it there. You would think them all the mad Votaries of
Diana." 18


Teutonic Moon-goddess, Venus of the Horselberg; also called Ursel
or Ercel. Her many lovers included Tännhauser in Germany and
Thomas Rhymer (Thomas of Ercel's Down) in England. According
to the Thuringian Chronicle, she appeared as a fiery trinity in 1398,
as "three great fires in the air" descending to rest in the Horselberg.1
Eventually the Goddess Horsel was canonized as the apocryphal St.
Ursula, with her "eleven thousand virgins" -transformations of the
Moon-mother and her daughter stars.

Ursula, Saint

Christianized form of the Saxon Goddess Ursel, or Horsel, the
"Ercel" of Thomas Rhymer's Erceldoune, and the Venus of the
Horselberg-Venusberg. Ursel means "She-Bear," the title of Artemis
Calliste, the same as the Helvetian Goddess Artio, in the guise of Ursa
Major, the Great Bear (Big Dipper), whose constellation circles the
pole star without disappearing into the sea. The ancients said Artemis
the She-Bear ruled all the stars until Zeus usurped her place.1
The mythical St. Ursula was accompanied by eleven thousand
virgins, a common pagan image of the Moon-goddess accompanied
by her children, the stars. One of the Goddess's foremost shrines was
Cologne, where "Ursel'' was converted into a Christian heroine to
account for the reverence paid to her by the local people.
The tale on which Ursula's canonization was based was first
invented about the 9th century A.D.; then, "During the 12th century
this pious romance was preposterously elaborated through the mistakes
of imaginative visionaries; a public burial-ground uncovered at Cologne
was taken to be the grave of the martyrs, false relics came into
circulation and forged epitaphs of non-existent persons were
The churchmen claimed that St. Ursula was a Breton princess
betrothed to Conon, prince of England, in the 5th century A.D. Prior
to her marriage, she took her eleven thousand virgins on a pilgrimage.
While passing through Cologne, they were attacked and slaughtered
by the Huns, at the instigation of two Roman generals who feared the
Christian ladies' exemplary piety would convert all the northern
barbarians to Christ.3
This fable was intended to Christianize the lunar bear-goddess
worshipped at Cologne, the same who was Artio, the Helvetian
"Mother of Animals," with another cult center at Berne ("She-Bear"),
where her portrait still appears on the Bernese coat of arms.4 Ursel
and Artio were alternate names of the triple Artemis who took the
"bear-king" Arthur to paradise. The Greeks said Artemis Calliste,
" Fairest One," was associated with both the moon and the constellation
of the Great Bear. In Britain, Ursa Major was often called "Mistress
Ursula," at fust a title of ~he Goddess, later transferred to the saint. 5
Artemis the She-Bear was so widely recognized as the Mother
of Animals that the island once sacred to her, Callista, is still called
Thera, "She-Beast."6 Arcadians traced their descent from her son
Areas, the Little Bear (Ursa Minor), a bear-god like the Celtic Arthur.
Hellenic mythographers pretended that Areas's mother was a mere
nymph, Calliste, who was punished for losing her virginity by receiving
the form of a bear, along with her child; but Artemis took pity on
them and placed them in the stars as Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. This
version of the myth was invented "to account for the traditional
connection between Artemis and the Great Bear." 7 The Christian
version was invented for different reasons, but with the same ultimate
aim: to mortalize the Goddess.
Some memory of Ursula the Moon-goddess seems to haunt the
foundation of the Ursuline order of nuns, by St. Angela Merici in
1506. Catholic authorities now claim the Ursulines were the oldest
order of teaching nuns. But most convents were centers oflearning
for women until the church forbade women's education in the 13th
century.8 The Ursulines were perhaps the only order of teaching
nuns who remained obedient to the papacy, and so were permitted to
Yet the Ursulines began under a cloud of suspicion. Angela Merici
was a native of Brescia, which Pope Calixtus III described as a hotbed
of witches.9 Angela's first group of sisters numbered exactly 28, the
lunar number. They made their first devotion in a church dedicated
to another mythical saint who was only another transformation of the
Goddess, St. Afra or Aphra (Aphrodite). 10 Angela was not allowed to
establish her holy society of teachers until forty years had pass~d since
her original vision, which she received not in a church but in an open
field under the moon. She and her women had no religious habit, no
vows, no communal life. They went to their pupils' homes to teach,
like itinerant governesses.
The church was not interested in Angela until she underwent
"popular" canonization in her home territory. Two centuries later,
the church decided to take advantage of the popularity of her cult by
declaring her Blessed. Finally in 1807 she was canonized by Pope
Pius VII. 11 But she is still almost as vague and dim as the Ursuline lunar
She-Bear that the people of Brescia once worshipped. A 20thcentury
Catholic scholar mentioned her with one of those curious slips
of the pen so common among patriarchal writers; he said the
Ursuline order was founded by "Bishop Angela of Brescia." 12


Tantric term for the basic quality of mother-love, directly experienced
in infancy and ramified in adulthood to embrace all forms of love:
touching, tenderness, compassion, sensual enjoyment, and eroticism.
Many centuries before Freudian psychology recognized "infantile sexuality,"
Tantric sages called karuna the essence of religion: a gut
feeling of loving-kindness, as opposed to the often cruel or useless
verbalizing of theological principles.1 It was understood that karuna
must be learned through physical and sexual contact comfort, by adults
and children alike. Thus the identity of infantile, sexual, warmly
loving, and religious behavior patterns was perceived long ago and is just
now being rediscovered by western civilization.
The ancients well knew the experience of being in love recapitulates
the mother-child relationship in its intimate physical attachment,
trust, and dependence. Recognition of one particular other as a love
object surely evolved from the instinctive mechanism that binds
together individual mothers and offspring. It has been shown even in
the animal realm that adequate sexual functioning in adulthood
depends on satisfactory relations with the mother in infancy.2
In ancient times the Goddess's sacred whores were special teachers
of karuna, which may have been the root of modern Italian carogna,
"whore." Pagan Rome gave the Great Goddess the title of Mater Cara,
"Mother Beloved." 3 She combined all the qualities of sexuality,
motherhood, marital bliss, friendship, generosity and mercy, or caritas,
which the Christian church later purged of its sensual implications
and transformed into "charity," the giving of money to earn points in
the after-life. The Greek version of karuna was embodied in the
Charites or Graces, the naked Triple Goddess, whose quality of "grace"
was also altered in the Christian context. In Babylon, the Great
Mother under the name of Ishtar was also the Great Whore and the
lover of all men, expressing karuna in her self-description, "A
prostitute compassionate am I." 4
The Christian derivative of Mari-Ishtar was Mary Magdalene,
the sacred harlot who said harlots are "compassionate of all the
race of mankind." 5 Gnostic Gospels mentioned Mary Magdalene as the
original female pope, embodying the true Christian spirit kept secret
from male apostles, while it passed directly from Jesus through
his surpassing love for Mary.6 Significantly, Christian iconographers
often confused Mary the harlot and Mary the mother. See
Motherhood, sensual satisfactions, and kindly feelings were associated
with the spirit of the Goddess under all her names, and especially
with women as her earthly representatives. The integrated idea of
karuna with all its ramifications has virtually disappeared from modern
western society, where it is even difficult to explain its older
meanings. Yet "those modes of perceiving the world and organizing
behavior which are more distinctly 'female' can't be thought of as
having sprung into being in the context of the world we now inhabit.
... We must think in terms of patterns of behaving that developed over
untold centuries, and which were keyed to survival of the human
group in the primitive environment. Such a way of being would have
been predicated upon powerful social bonds, 'bonds of love,' which
would serve to keep otherwise more vulnerable individuals in close
proximity to protectors." Every individual was to some extent in need
of protectors: "It may be that we feel loneliness to be so potentially
annihilating because, to the lone human-and above all, the lone
human infant or child-being alone was death." 7
Western culture began to lose sight of the close relationship
between sensuality and loving-kindness when its theology followed
St. Augustine to his conclusion that every child is born tainted with sin
because of its necessarily sexual conception. 8 Nearly all manifestations
of love fell under theological suspicion because nearly all involved
the feminine principle in some way. (See Romance.) "Men's sexual
drive was unacceptable to them and so it was projected onto women. It
was women whose lust was said to be insatiable .... [V]iewing woman
as seductress and temptress is still evident, as can be seen by the fact
that prostitutes, but seldom their customers, are arraigned, and the
fact that the rape victim is often seen as having 'asked for' her attack by
dressing or behaving seductively."9
In a society that lacks any coherent articulation of the concept of
karuna, women as mothers, lovers, and caretakers "learn early that
they should be ashamed of the very set of qualities which are particularly
theirs. Ironically, at the same time, they are constantly threatened by
the prospect that if they are not affectionate enough and as close and
loving to others as they ought to be, they will have failed in their own
and others' eyes." The result is "a noxious social climate which fosters
too little feeling in men and too much in women." 10
Loss of this all-important concept may create social evils of the
most pervasive sort. "Male public culture gets caught up with
machines and puts emphasis on things that are not alive. The decisionmaking
of males in power tends to happen in a vacuum with little
reference to the needs of life. Paradoxically, the public leaders who are
supposed to help us deny death become increasingly oblivious to life
and show increasing contempt for it. We have a civilization in which
males in high places imitate a male god in heaven-both think
themselves above the petty concerns of simple nurture and delight in
generative life." 11


 Pre-Vedic name of the Goddess as dispenser of karuna. Kauri was
sometimes translated "Brilliant One," a name for the Goddess's virgin
aspect: she who gave their "Power" (Shakti) to the gods.1 Kauri was
also a name for the vulva (yoni), descriptive of the cowrie shell accepted
 all over the world as a symbol of the female genital and its curative
and generative properties.

Kwai-Yin / Kuan-Yin
Eponymous Great Mother of China, known as the Lady Who Brings
Children; embodiment of the yin principle, as Kali embodied the yoni
principle in India. Kwai-Yin perpetually contemplated the Golden
Vial of her own womb, which produced the entire world while her
consort Shang-te (Father Heaven) lived within her in a Chinese
version of the Jewel in the Lotus. Kwai-Yin and her Japanese counterpart
Kwannon represented the principle of karuna, Boundless


In a famous New Testament passage, the quality said to be greater
than faith or hope is caritas (1 Corinthians 13), translated sometimes
"charity," sometimes "love." Both translations are inexact. The word
meant "grace," specifically the grace of the Triple Goddess, embodied
in the boon-bestowing Three Graces who dispensed caritas (Latin) or
charis (Greek) and were called the Charites. Julian said their grace was a
gift from heaven: "The threefold gift of the Charites comes to us
from heaven, from the circles of the stars." 1
Romans sometimes called grace venia, the divine correlative of
Venus, bringing visible tokens of the goddess's favor. 2 Grace meant
the same as Sanskrit karuna, dispensed by the heavenly nymphs and
their earthly copies, the sacred harlots of Hindu temples (devadasis) .
Their "grace" was a combination of beauty, kindness, mother-love,
tenderness, sensual delight, compassion, and care.
Graces were emanations of the Goddess. They danced in her
shrines. They tended to her adornment. They acted as midwives to
the gods. They were patrons of music, dance, poetry, and art.3 They
were shown over and over in the same classic pose as three naked
women dancing, in attitudes strongly resembling those of the Heavenly
Nymphs on the Temple of Love at Khajuraho in lndia.4
Greek writers called the Graces Aglaia (Brilliant), Thalia (FlowerBringer),
and Euphrosyne (Heart's Joy); but they had older names
inherited from a dim prehistory. Homer knew only one Grace, named
Cale or Kale, perhaps a cognate of Kali.5 The Gnostic author Marcus
also used the word Grace or Charis as a title of the Goddess: "May She
who is before all things, the incomprehensible and indescribable
Grace, fill you within, and increase in you her own knowledge." 6
Christians took the pagan concept of charis and struggled to divest
it of sexual meanings for application to an ascetic creed. "Charity"
became a basic tenet of primitive Christianity, as of Buddhism before it,
on the theory that a sure place in heaven could be won by giving
away one's worldly goods to the poor. Jesus listed the blessings prepared
for those who voluntarily made themselves meek, humble, and poor
on earth (Luke 6:20-30). The church's word for these "Beatitudes" was
macarisma, a word of ancient origin, invoking the Triple Goddess as
Ma (birth), Charis (grace), and Ma (death).7 The cognate word charisma
meant Mother-given grace.
Charis merged with "charity" via ancient precedents equating love
and affection with hospitality and gift-giving, the "maternal virtues."
Homeric literature used the word philein, "lovingness," to mean openhanded
hospitality.8 As re-interpreted by Christian theology, the
"graciousness" that used to mean both liberality and warm physical
affection came to suggest liberality alone, practiced to secure one's
own immortality.


"Graces," heavenly dispensers of charis (Latin caritas), the grace of
Mother Aphrodite, which the Bible translates either "love" or "charity"
(1 Corinthians 13). The Charites were ancient manifestations of the
Triple Goddess. Pausanias said they were worshipped at Orchomenos
as three standing stones.1 The classic myth of their nymph-hood
hardly described them; nor did their Christian form, the mythical St.
Charity. See Grace; Sophia, Saint.


"Companion," Greek title of a courtesan, the only kind of woman to
retain full equality with men in the male-dominated Hellenic period.
Like Christian nuns of the early medieval period, Greek hetaerae
remained unmarried to protect their property rights from the depredations
of patriarchal marriage laws. Unlike wives, they were free to
attend schools, establish salons, and take a vital part in social and
intellectual life of the time.
Their title may have been related to Egyptian heter, "friendship,"
whose hieroglyphic sign was two women grasping each other's


Ishtar as the patroness of temple prostitutes or harines was known as
the Great Goddess Har. Like Greek horae, Persian houris, and other
sacred harlots, her priestesses occupied the part of the temple that
came to be called Harem, the Sanctuary. 1 Kings had to prove their
virility, hence their right to rule, by impregnating the harines, until it
became a custom to let certain priests take over this duty. (See
From the root har came Hara, Hebrew for both a holy mountain
and a pregnant belly; Hariti or Haraiti, the "Lofty Mountain" of
paradise in both pre-Vedic Dravidian and Old Iranian cosmology; and
Harmonia, a "daughter of Aphrodite," a bringer of peace, one of the
functions of the holy harlot. Harmonia was mythologized as an ancient
queen of Boeotia, married to Cadmus, whose name in Phoenician
was kedem, "the Oriental." 2 When Cadmus and Harmonia died and
went to paradise, they were both transformed into serpents.3 Probably
they were assimilated to the male-and-female, perpetually entwined
serpents of the Hermetic caduceus, whose meaning was "Life." (See


Babylonian "Star," the Great Goddess who appears in the Bible as
Ashtoreth, Anath, Asherah, or Esther, the Queen of Heaven (Jeremiah
44: 19). She was also the Great Whore, described in Revelation 17:5
as Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots. Another of her titles was
the Goddess Har, who called herself the compassionate prostitute.
Men communed with her through the sexual rites of her harlotpriestesses.
1 See Prostitution.
Babylonian scriptures called Ishtar the Light of the World, Leader
of Hosts, Opener of the Womb, Righteous Judge, Lawgiver, Goddess
of Goddesses, Bestower of Strength, Framer of All Decrees, Lady of
Victory, Forgiver of Sins, etc.2 Much of the liturgical flattery addressed
to God in the Old Testament was plagiarized from Babylonian prayers
to Ishtar. One example:
Who dost make the green herb to spring up, mistress of mankind! Who
hast created everything, who dost guide aright all creatures! Mother
Ishtar, whose power no god can approach! A prayer will I utter; may she
do unto me what seems good unto her . ... 0 my mistress, make me to
know my deed, establish for me a place of rest! Absolve my sins, lift up my
face! 3
A Babylonian prayer that obviously prefigured the prayers and
psalms of biblical writers, even the biblical theology, said to the Goddess:
"0 Thou art adorable, who givest salvation, life, and justice, vivify
my name." 4 Like the Old Testament God, Ishtar was the Mighty One,
winner of battles and overthrower of mountains.5 She said:
In the brilliant heavens, to give omens in abundance, I appear, I appear in
perfection. With exultation in my supremacy, with exultation do I, a
Goddess, walk supreme; Ishtar, the Goddess of evening, am I; Ishtar, the
Goddess of morning, am I; Ishtar, who opens the portals of heaven, in
my supremacy. The heavens I destroy, the earth I devastate, in my
supremacy. Who rises resplendent on the firmament of heaven, invoked
above and below, in my supremacy. The mountain I sweep away
altogether, in my supremacy. The great wall of the mountain am I,
their great foundation am I, in my supremacy. 6
A long Babylonian prayer presents numerous metaphors and
liturgical phrases later copied by Jewish priests on behalf of their god:
I beseech thee, Lady of ladies, Goddess of goddesses, Ishtar, queen of all
cities, leader of all men. Thou art the light of the world, thou art the
light of heaven .. . . Supreme is thy might, O Lady, exalted art thou above
all gods. Thou renderest judgment and thy decision is righteous; unto
thee are subject the laws of the earth and the laws of heaven, the laws of
the temple and of the shrine, and the laws of the private apartment and
of the secret chamber. Where is the place where thy name is not, and
where is the spot where thy commandments are not known? At thy
name the earth and the heavens shake, and the gods they tremble; the
spirits of heaven tremble at thy name and the men hold it in awe. Thou
art great, thou art exalted; all the men of Sumer, and all creatures, and all
mankind glorify thy name. With righteousness dost thou judge the
deeds of men, even thou; thou lookest upon the oppressed and to the
downtrodden thou bringest justice every day. How long, Queen of
Heaven and Earth, how long, how long, Shepherdess of pale-faced men,
wilt thou tarry? How long, O Queen whose feet are not weary and
whose knees make haste? How long, Lady of Hosts, Lady of Battles?
Glorious one whom all the spirits of heaven fear, who subduest all
angry gods; mighty above all rulers, who hold est the reins of kings.
Opener of the womb of all women, great is thy light. Shining light of
heaven, light of the world, enlightener of all the places where men dwell,
who gatherest together the hosts of the nations. Goddess of men,
divinity of women, thy counsel passeth understanding. Where thou
glancest the dead come to life, and the sick rise and walk; and the mind
that is distressed is healed when it looks upon thy face. How long, 0 Lady,
shall mine enemy triumph over me? Command, and at thy command
the angry god will turn back. Ishtar is great! Ishtar is Queen! My Lady is
exalted, my Lady is Queen. 7

the Ishtar Gate

Akkadian sources show that Ishtar was the same Great Goddess
revered all over the Near East under such names as Dea Syria, Astarte,
Cybele, Aphrodite, Kore, Mari, etc.:
Praise Ishtar, the most awesome of the Goddesses, revere the queen of
women, the greatest of the deities. She is clothed with pleasure and
love. She is laden with vitality, charm, and voluptuousness. In lips she is
sweet; life is in her mouth. At her appearance rejoicing becomes full.
She is glorious . ... The fate of everything she holds in her hand. . ..
Ishtar-to her greatness who can be equal? Strong, exalted, splendid
are her decrees .... Ishtar among the gods, extraordinary is her station.
Respected is her word; it is supreme over them. She is their queen;
they continually cause her commands to be executed. All of them bow
down before her. 8
The powers of the underworld bowed down before her when
she went underground to rescue her son-lover Tammuz, as her Sumerian
forerunner Inanna rescued the same son-lover, Dumuzi. She said
to the seven gatekeepers: "If thou openest not the gate so that I cannot
enter, I will smash the door, I will shatter the bolt, I will smash the
doorpost, I will move the doors, I will raise up the dead, eating the
living, so that the dead will outnumber the living."9 This threat was
typical of Ishtar's dark underworld twin, Eresh-kigal, the Death-goddess
who had power to deprive the heavenly gods of their sacrificial
food. 10 Ishtar's temporary departure caused sterility and suspension of
sexual activities over the whole earth: "After the Lady Ishtar has
descended, the bull no longer mounts the cow, the ass no longer bends
over the she-ass, and the man no longer bends over the woman in the
street: the man slept in his place, the woman slept alone." 11
This Descent into Hell was a perilous but necessary part of the
sacred drama, lasting three days and culminating in the Day of Joy,
when the god was restored to life. 12 This inaugurated a new year after
penitential atonement and sacrifice. "It is on New Year's Day that
Ishtar lies with Tammuz, and the king reproduces this mythical hierogamy
by consummating the ritual union with the Goddess [i.e., with
the hierodule who represents her on earth] in a secret chamber of the
temple, where the nuptial bed of the Goddess stands." 13
Gilgamesh said the Goddess was cruel to her lovers, since each in
turn personified the dying god who refreshed the earth's fertility with
his blood. 14 When the god was incarnate in bulls, the animals were
emasculated and their severed genitals thrown to the Goddess's
image, a rite "probably derived from the rite of self-emasculation which
had been practiced in honor of lshtar." 15 Ishtar's priestesses apparently
performed some version of the rite each year in the temple of Jerusalem,
where the virgin form of the Goddess was called Mari, Mari-Anna,
or Miriam, and her holy women annually wailed for the sacrificial death
of Tammuz (Ezekiel8:14). See Salome; Mary Magdalene.


"Weepers," title of sacred harlots of Ishtar, whose duty it was to make
formal lamentations for the dead. 1 They also wailed for the dead savior
Tammuz in the temple of Jerusalem, where Ishtar was worshipped as
Mari, Queen of Heaven (Ezekiel 8:14 ). Their title was related to
Egyptian Utchatti or Udjatti, Divine Eyes, sacred to the Goddess
Maat as the All-Seeing Eye, whose hieroglyphic eye emblem later
became associated with the cult of Horus.2


Semitic name of the Great Goddess, possibly from Old Iranian asha,
"Universal Law," a law of the matriarch, like Roman ius naturale.1
Asherah was "in wisdom the Mistress of the Gods." 2 Sumerians
called her Ashnan, "strength of all things," and "a kindly and bountiful
maiden." 3 Her sacred city Mar-ash appears in the Bible as Mareshah
(Joshua 15:44).
The Old Testament "Asherah" is translated "grove," without any
explanation that the sacred grove represented the Goddess's genital
center, birthplace of all things. In the matriarchal period, Hebrews
worshipped the Goddess in groves (I Kings 14:23), later cut down by
patriarchal reformers who burned the bones of Asherah's priests on their
own altars (2 Chronicles 24:4-5).
The Goddess's grove-yoni was Athra qaddisa, "the holy place"
(literally, "divine harlot"). Sometimes she was called simply "Holiness,"
a word later applied to Yahweh. Canaanites called her Qaniyatu
elima, She Who Gives Birth to the Gods, or Rabbatu athiratu
yammi, Lady Who Traverses the Sea (i.e., the Moon).4 Rabbatu was an
early female form of rabbi. Athirat, Athra, Aethra, Athyr, and Egypt's
Hathor were all variations of the same name for the Goddess.5 In Egypt
she was also a Law-giving Mother, Ashesh, an archaic form of lsis;
the name meant both "pouring out" and "supporting," the functions of
her breasts. Her yonic shrine in Thebes was Asher, Ashrel, or Ashrelt.
Some called her "Great Lady of Ashert, the lady of heaven, the queen
of the gods." 6
For a while, Asherah accepted the Semitic god El as her consort.
She was the Heavenly Cow, he the Bull.7 After their sacred marriage,
she bore the Heavenly Twins, Shaher and Shalem, the stars of morning
and evening (see Lucifer). The marriage rite seems to have involved
the cooking of a kid in its mother's milk, a procedure later forbidden by
Jewish priests (Exodus 23:19).8


"Holy One," female form of rabbi, applied to the semitic Goddess or
her priestesses. 1 See Asherah.


Arabic qadisha, Hebrew kadesha meant a sacred harlot or Holy
Virgin; qadeshet was also the title of Astarte and her temple women.
The word meant "priestess." In the Koran it was used as a name for
Mohammed's rich wife Khadija, whose money supported the prophet's
endeavors.1 Astarte-the-Qadeshet was the Syrian counterpart of Ishtar,
Babylon's Great Whore, who declared herself the Mother of
Compassion.2 See Prostitution.


Lady of Byblos, one of the oldest forms of the Great Goddess in the
Middle East, identified with Egypt's Hathor, Mycenae's Demeter,
Cyprus's Aphrodite.
Her shrine at Byblos dated back to the Neolithic and flourished
throughout the Bronze Age.1 She was the same creating-preserving and-
destroying Goddess worshipped by all Indo-European cultures, and
still typified by Kali as the symbol of Nature. Astarte was the "true
sovereign of the world," tirelessly creating and destroying, eliminating
the old and generating the new. 2 Sidonian kings could not rule
without her permission. Each king styled himself first and foremost
"Priest of Astarte."
Sumerian cylinder seals from Lagash, ca. 2300 B.C., showed the
Goddess in a pose identical with Kali' s love-and-death sacramental
posture, squatting on top of her consort's body. 3
Astarte ruled all the spirits of the dead who lived in heaven wearing
bodies of light, visible from earth as stars. Hence, she was known as
Astroarche, "Queen of the Stars." 6 She was the mother of all souls in
heaven, the Moon surrounded by her star-children, to whom she
gave their "astral" (starry) bodies. Occultists still speak of the astral body
as an invisible double, having forgotten the word's original connotation
of starlight.7
Astarte-Ashtoreth was transformed into a devil by Christian writers,
who automatically assumed that any deity mentioned in the Bible
other than Yahweh was one of the denizens of hell. She was also
masculinized. One finds in books of the 15th and 16th centuries a
demon Ashtoreth or Astaroth, a "duke" or "prince" of hell. 8 Milton
knew better; he spoke of "Astarte, queen of heaven, with crescent
horns." 9
Scholars who really understood the mystery of Astarte recognized
in her one of the ancient prototypes of the virgin Mary. In Syria and
Egypt her sacred dramas celebrated the rebirth of the solar god from the
celestial Virgin each 25th of December. A newborn child was
exhibited, while the cry went up that the Virgin had brought forth.
Frazer says, "No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore a
son on the twenty-fifth of December was the great Oriental goddess
whom the Semites called the Heavenly Virgin or simply the Heavenly
Goddess; in Semitic lands she was a form of Astarte." 10
 Marginal notes:
The Bible calls her
Asherah or Ashtoreth,
the Goddess worshipped
by Solomon
( l Kings 11:5).
To the Arabs the
Goddess was Athtar,
"Venus in the
Morning." In Aramaic
she was Attar-Samayin,
"Morning Star
of Heaven," uniting
two sexes in herself, like
Lucifer the Morning
Star and Diana Lucifera.
Her Hurrian
name was Attart, or
sometimes Ishara,
another form of lshtar,
"the Star. " 4 To Canaanites,
she was
Celestial Ruler, Mistress
of Kingship,
mother of all baalim


Basic name of the Goddess known to the Chaldeans as Marratu, to
the Jews as Marah, to the Persians as Mariham, to the Christians as
Mary: as well as Marian, Miriam, Mariamne, Myrrhine, Myrtea,
Myrrha, Maria, and Marina. Her blue robe and pearl necklace were
classic symbols of the sea, edged with pearly foam. 1
The Goddess's Amorite' city of Mari was one of the wonders of the
ancient world. Its six-acre temple-palace astonished archeologists who
uncovered it in the 1930s. Mari dominated the area now known as the
Holy Land until it fell to the armies of Hammurabi in 1700 B.C.4
Semites worshipped an androgynous combination of Goddess and
God called Mari-El (Mary-God), corresponding to the Egyptian
Meri-Ra which combined the feminine principle of water with the
masculine principle of the sun.5
The Syrian version of Mari or Meri was worshipped in combination
with her serpent-consort Yamm, derived from Yama, the Hindu
Lord of Death. Yamm alternated with Baal, "the Lord," as the
Goddess's favorite and a sovereign over heaven and the abyss. Indian
Yama was one of the consorts of Kel-Mari, as Kali was called in the
south.8 Tantric Buddhists still speak of the "Slayer of the Death
King," Yama-Mari, who was identified with the Dalai Lama.9 Jews and
early Christians used the same combination of names, Mari-Yamm or
Mariam, for the mother of Jesus.10
The spirit of the archaic Mari entered into Babylonian diviners
known as mare baruti, sea-mothers, who operated in the bit mummu
or womb-chamber, where statues of the gods were said to be "born"
(made animate). 11 In similar womb-chambers the Hindu goddess was
worshipped as Kau-Mari or Kel-Mari. 12 She is still invoked as Marici-Tara,
the Diamond Sow on the Lotus Throne, "Glorious One, the
sun of happiness." She is the Goddess "whose mayik vesture is the
sun," forerunner of the Gospels' "woman clothed with the sun"
(Revelation 12: I), who was identified with the virgin Mary.l3
She was also the Great Fish who gave birth to the gods, later the
Mermaid, Mare-mynd, mareminde, marraminde, maraeman, or
mereminne. 20
In short, she was always Mother Sea. Her Latin name was Maria,
"the Seas." St. Peter Chrysologus called her Christian incarnation,
the virgin Mary, "the gathering together of the waters." 21 But she was
also the earth and heavens, since her earliest form was a trinity. She
was worshipped in pre-Roman Latium as Marica, mother of the first
king Latinus, who was also her priapic goat-footed consort Faunus.
She was probably the same Goddess worshipped by the Slavs under the
name of Marzanna (Mari-Anna), who "fostered the growth of
fruits." 22
Mari and her pagan consort were incongruously canonized as a
pair of Christian saints, Addai and Mari (Adonis and AphroditeMari).
Their legends called them "bishops" dispatched to Aphrodite's
cult center at Edessa, probably because their portraits appeared there,
and it was easier to Christianize them than to destroy them.
Their cult began with Nestorian Christians who called them "Holy
Apostles Addai and Mari." 23 Another Christianization was St.
Maura, from the Goddess's Fate-name Moera, "older than Time." 24
As the Fate-spinner who held men's destinies in her hand, she
generated a taboo: on St. Maura'a day, women were forbidden to spin
or sew.25
Medieval Spain knew the Goddess Mari as a "Lady" or "Mistress"
who lived in a magic cave and rode through the night sky as a ball of
fire.26 This may have meant the red harvest moon, or possibly the moon
in eclipse-always a dire omen. The Goddess Mari was said to give
gifts of fairy gold and precious stones, which might turn into worthless
lumps of coal by the light of day.27 In later centuries, the same
worthless gifts were given to "bad" children by St. Nicholas at
The island of lnis Maree had a ruined temple, sacred to a certain
"St. Mourie" -none other than the Goddess Mari for whom the
island was named. In 1678 the Presbytery of Dingwall "disciplined"
some people who sacrified bulls to the divinity of Loch Maree on the
25th of August, a day dedicated to Aphrodite-Mari for more than 1500
years. 28
Marginal notes:
Many place names
evolved from Marian
shrines. Among
them were Amari or
Ay-Mari, the
Cyprian home of
Aphrodite Marina;
Marib, City of the
Moon, seat of the
queens of Sheba; Marea
in western Egypt;
Maronea near Lake
Ismaris; Maru,
mother-city of the
Medes; Sa-Maria, a
country whose name
meant literally "holy
blood of Mary." 2 One
of the entrances to
her underworld womb,
a sacred cave
accessible only by sea,
was Mar-Mari,
"Mother Sea." 3
Sometimes the deity
was named simply Mer,
an Egyptian word for
both "waters" and
"mother-love." 6
Mer was also a
component of the
names of Egyptian
queens in the first
dynasty. One of Egypt's
oldest names was Ta-Mera,
Land of the
Waters, which could
also be interpreted as a
Land of the Great
Northern Europe
knew the same Goddess
as Maerin, wedded
to Thor at her shrine in
Trondheim.14 To
the Saxons she was
literally, a Wood-Mary,
or Goddess of the
Grove. To the Celts she
was Maid Marian,
beloved by Robin, the
witches' Horned
God. Their greenwood
cult caused church
authorities considerable
trouble in the 14th
century. 15
Mari was the same
Merian or Merjan
worshipped in Persia as
Queen of the Peris
(Fairies).16 Iran had its
mother goddess
Mariana from very
ancient times.I7 She
might be traced to the
land of Akkad,
created by a Goddess
called the Lady
Marri, Mother of the
World.18 A king of
Mari in 2500 B.C.,
united with the
Goddess, took the royal
name of Lamki-Mari.


Persian-Arabian heavenly nymph, sexual angel, or temple prostitute:
cognate with the Greek hora, Babylonian harine, Semitic harlot or
"whore." Houris were dancing "Ladies of the Hour" who kept time
in heaven and tended the star-souls. See Angel; Prostitution.


Aphrodite's celestial nymphs, who performed the Dances of the
Hours, acted as midwives to the gods, and inspired earthly horae (harlotpriestesses)
to train men in the sexual Mysteries. The dance still
called hora was based on the priestesses' imitation of the zodiacal
circling of "hours." Time-keeping is horology because of the systems
devised by these ancient priestesses of the Goddess. See Prostitution.
The Horae were called "fair ones, begetters of all things, who in
appointed order bring on day and night, summer and winter, so as to
make months and years grow full."
Marginal note:
In Egypt they were
"Ladies of the Hour,"
in Persia houris, in
Babylon harines; among
Semites they were
the "whores" called hor
(a hole), ancestresses
of the Horites.

Agape, Saint

"Love Feast," first of Aphrodite's holy whores (Horae), was canonized
as a Christian saint when icons of the Horae were re-labeled
"virgin martyrs": Sts. Agape, Chione, and lrene.1 Agape originally
personified the rite of sexual communion, as practiced in Aphrodite's
temples and adopted by some early Christian sects as a Tantric type
of "spiritual marriage." By the 7th century A.D. the agape ceremony was
declared heretical, but it continued secretly throughout the Middle
Ages.2 See Menstrual Blood.


"Snow Queen," a Greek title of one of the Horae; an untouchable
virgin Goddess of the high mountains, prototype of the medieval fairy,
Virginal the Ice Queen. She was also canonized as a Christian
"virgin martyr."

Irene, Saint

"Peace," the third of Aphrodite's three Horae; the Dove who
announced the coming of death. She also associated with the "peace" to
be won by ritual castration, even as late as the 14th century A.D. when
a nun or priestess bearing her name was linked to the heretical sect of
Mount Athos monks who emasculated themselves.' (See
The pagan temple of Irene on the acropolis of Constantinople was
taken over by Christians and renamed the Church of Holy Irene. 2
Thus the Byzantine Goddess was canonized, along with her two sisters
in the same Trinity.3


Often dismissed as a "Greek goddess of love," Aphrodite was really
much more than that. Like Kali, she was a Virgin-Mother-Crone
trinity. She was once indistinguishable from the Fates (Moirai); her
old name was Moira, and she was said to be older than Time. She governed
the world by ius naturale, the natural law of the maternal clan.1
She was not only Greek. She was the Dea Syria, also known as
Asherah or Astarte, Goddess of the oldest continuously-occupied
temple in the world.2 She was the ancestral mother of the Romans, for
she gave birth to their founding father, Aeneas.3 Under the name of
Venus, she was the mother of the Venetii, whose capital city became
Venice, called "Queen of the Sea" after the Goddess herself.
One of Aphrodite's major centers of worship was the city of
Paphos on Cyprus, the island named for its copper mines. Thus, she
was called "the Cyprian" or "the Paphian," and her sacred metal was
copper. She was also called Mari, the Sea. Egyptians referred to her
island as Ay-Mari.4
During the Christian era, Aphrodite's temple on Cyprus was
converted into a sanctuary of the virgin Mary, another name of the
same Goddess, but in this sanctuary the virgin Mary is hailed to this day
as Panaghia Aphroditessa, "All-holy Aphrodite." 5
Continued worship of the goddess on Cyprus probably contributed
to the Christian belief that the whole population of Cyprus descended
from demons.6 In reality, Cyprian Aphrodite was like all other
manifestations of the Great Goddess: ruling birth, life, love, death,
time, and fate, reconciling man to all of them through sensual and
sexual mysticism. The Cyprian sage Zenon taught Aphrodite's philosophy:
"mankind and the universe were bound tqgether in the system
of fate .... Diogenes Laertios tells us that Zenon was the first to
define the end of human existence as 'life in accordance with nature.' " 7
Aphrodite had almost as many "emanations" as Thousand-Named
Kali. She was not only Mari and Moira and Marina and Pelagia and
Stella Maris, all titles related to her control of the sea; she was also
Ilithyia, Goddess of childbirth; Hymen, Goddess of marriage; Venus,
Goddess of sexuality and the hunt; Urania, Queen of Heaven; Androphonos,
the Destroyer of Men; and many others. She was often
identified with Isis. Anchises, her lover who begot Aeneas and then was
castrated, had a name meaning "he who mates with lsis." 8 Under
several of her names, Aphrodite mated with Semitic gods. Her cult
occupied the main temple in Jerusalem after 70 A.D. In the 4th
century it was said that Constantine's mother found the true cross of
Christ buried in Aphrodite's Jerusalem temple. (See Cross.)
One of Aphrodite's greatest shrines in Asia Minor was the city of
Aphrodisias, once dedicated to Ishtar. Up to the 12th century A.D.,
when the city was taken by Seljuk Turks, the Goddess was worshipped
there as the patron of arts and letters, crafts, and culture.9 Recent
excavations have uncovered exquisite artifacts and statuary, bespeaking
a cultivated and sophisticated lifestyle under the Goddess's rule. 10
The calendar still keeps the name of Aphrodite on the month
dedicated to her, April (Aphrilis). The ancient Kalendar of Romulus
said this was the month of Venus. 11

Aphrodite, Pan & Eros

Aphrodite's totem, the bird of sexual passion, symbolically equivalent
to the yoni.1 In India, too, the dove was paravata, the symbol of lust.2
Joined to her consort the phallic serpent, the Dove-goddess stood for
sexual union and "Life."
The phrase attributed to Jesus, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents,
and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16), was no random metaphor
but a traditional invocation of the Syrian God and Goddess.3 The
Oriental meaning was remembered by the gypsies, whose folk tales
said the souls of ancestors lived inside magic hollow mountains, the men
having been changed into serpents and the women into doves.4
Christians adopted the feminine dove as a symbol of the Holy
Ghost, originally the Goddess Sophia, representing God's "Wisdom"
as the Goddess Metis represented the "Wisdom" of Zeus. Gnostic
Christians said Sophia was incarnate in the dove that impregnated the
virgin Mary, the same dove that descended on Jesus at his baptism to
impregnate his mind (Matthew 3:16). Pious admirers of Pope Gregory
the Great made him even more saintly than Jesus by reporting that
the Holy Ghost in dove shape descended on him not once but many
times.5 All this was copied from Roman iconography which showed the
human soul as a dove that descended from the Dove-goddess's
oversoul to animate the body.6
Aphrodite as a bringer of death, or "peace," sometimes bore the
name of Irene, Dove of Peace. Another of her death-goddess names
was Epitymbria, "She of the Tombs." 7 Romans called her Venus
Columba, Venus-the-Dove. Her catacombs, mausoleums, and necropoli
were known as columbaria, "dovecotes." 8 Thus the soul
returning to the Goddess after death was again envisioned as a dove.
From this image, Christians copied their belief that the souls of saints
became white doves that flew out of their mouths at the moment of
death. In the Catholic ceremony of canonization, white doves are
released from cages at the crucial moment of the ritual.9
Christian iconography showed seven rays emanating from the
dove of the Holy Ghost: an image that went back to some of the most
primitive manifestations of the Goddess.10 In the Orient, the mystic
seven were the Pleiades or "Seven Sisters," whose Greek name
meant "a flock of doves." They were daughters or "rays" of Aphrodite
under her title of Pleione, Queen of the Sea.11 Hemdotus said seven
holy women known as Doves founded the oracles of Dodona, Epirus,
and Theban Amon.12 They were worshipped in the Middle East as
Seven Sages or Seven Pillars of Wisdom: the seven woman-shaped
pillars that had been upholding temples of the Goddess since the
third millenium B.C. 13 See Caryatid. Arabs still revere the Seven Sages,
and some remember that they were women, or "doves." 14 The
Semitic word for "dove," ione, was a cognate of "yoni" and related to
the Goddess Uni, who later became Iune, or Juno.
The cult of the Doves used to incorporate primitive rites of
castration and its modification, circumcision. India called the seven
Sisters "razors" or "cutters" who judged and "critically" wounded men,
the Krittikas, "Seven Mothers of the World," root of the Greek
kritikos, "judge." They killed and gave rebirth to gods who were
castrated to make them fertile, like women. The name of Queen
Semiramis, legendary founder of Babylon, also meant "Dove" in the
Syrian tongue. She was said to have castrated all her consorts. 15
When circumcision replaced castration, the doves were involved in
that too. Even Christian symbolism made the connection. The
official symbol of the Festival of the Circumcision of Christ was a dove,
holding in its beak a ring representing the Holy Prepuce. "Christ's
fructifying blood" was linked with the similar emblem of Pentecost,
which showed the descending dove on a background of blood red,
officially described as a representation of the church fertilized by the
blood of Christ and the martyrs.16
A certain "maiden martyr" called St. Columba (Holy Dove) was
widely revered, especially in France, although she never existed as a
human being.17 Another curious survival of pagan dove-lore was the
surname given to St. Peter: Bar-Iona, "Son of the Dove." 18 Some
survivals may have been invented to explain the doves appearing on
ancient coins as symbols of Aphrodite and Astarte.19

Columba, Saint

"Holy Dove," a spurious canonization of Aphrodite as a "maiden
martyr" Columba of Sens.1 Celtic myth called her Colombe, the yoni
maiden mated to Lancelot as a lightning bolt, the Phallus of Heaven.2
See Lightning.


 Literally "Virgin of the Sea," the mermaid was an image of fish-tailed
Aphrodite, the medieval Minne, Maerin, Mari, Marina, mereminne,
mare-mynd, mareminde, marraminde, or maraeman.1 Her Death-
goddess aspect, sometimes named Ran, received the souls of those put
to sea in funeral boats; or, she might trap living men in her fish net.
Teutons said drowned men went to dwell in the house of Ran.2
An English law, still on the books in the 19th century, officially
claimed for the Crown "all mermaids found in British waters." 3


The Goddess at Rhodes and Miletus, mother of the Telchines
("enchanters"). As patroness of sex and marriage, she was an archaic
form of Aphrodite Marina. She was invoked at Roman weddings by
the cry Talassio, the meaning of which had been forgotten, but
everyone knew "it was the correct thing to shout at weddings." 1


Greek nymphe, Latin nympha, a bride or a nubile young woman.
The same word was applied to female-genital symbols like the lotus
flower, water lilies, and certain shells. "Nymphs" served as priestesses
in ancient temples of the Goddess, especially in sexual ceremonies,
where they represented the divine principle of flowering fertility and
were sometimes known as Brides of God. See Virgin birth.
In medieval times the word nymph was applied to either a witch or
a fairy, since both descended from the pre-Christian priestess. As
spirits of nature, the "nymphs" were believed to embed their souls
forever in certain parts of the natural world that the Goddess had
ruled in antiquity: there were water nymphs, tree nymphs, mountain
nymphs, and nymphs who dwelt in the earth, the sea, or Fairyland.
Their ancient connection with sexuality was more or less consistently
maintained. Even now, "nymphomania" connotes sexual obsession,
like the moon-madness supposed to motivate the ancient nymphs in
their seasons of mating.


Greek "nymph" at whose reflecting pool Narcissus met his death.
According to the classical myth, Echo grieved so sorely for her beloved
flower-god that she pined away until there was nothing left of her but
her voice.
Originally, she was Acco, the pre-Hellenic birth-goddess, in an
oracular mood as "the last echo of the Voice," meaning the Voice of
Creation, the same as the Goddess Vac in ancient India (see Logos). In
Hebrew she was Bath Kol, Daughter of the Voice. 1
Apparently the Word she spoke to the springtime god NarcissusAntheus-
Adonis-Hyacinthus was the death curse heralding the final
phase of the sacred king's fatal drama; for Narcissus was the same god as
Dionysus with all his flower-titles.2


Persian fairy or genie, usually female, like western fairies but sometimes
considered one of the fallen angels (djinn). A peri could also be a
familiar spirit, a mischievous elf, a heavenly nymph, a Shakti. Sufis
called a peri a pir, lady-love.


 Both Mohammed and Jesus claimed to restore sight to the blind by
applying saliva to their eyes (Mark 8:23). This was an imitation of cures
previously attributed to priestesses of the Goddess. A clay tablet from
Nineveh says eye diseases could be cured by the mixed saliva and milk
of a temple harlot. Romans thought blindness could be cured by the
saliva of a mother of sons. As late as the 19th century, Italian folk
healers were still trying to cure blindness with the saliva and milk of
the mother of a premature child.1
Notions of the wonderful curative power of female saliva may be
traced back to Tantrism and its Chinese offshoot, Tao, whose
scriptures called women's saliva "a great medicine," one of the three
wonderful yin juices, the others being breast milk and menstrual
European pagan heroes also cured blindness with saliva-so many
of them that medieval churchmen had to say this was one of the
recognition signs for Antichrist. 3


Garment of clan-ruling matronae in pre-patriarchal Rome. Men
adopted the toga as they gained political power, until in classical times
the only women still wearing it were promiscuous priestesses of the
Goddess. Thus it became a custom to distinguish a prostitute by the
name of "toga-wearer." 1

Vestal Virgins

Priestesses of Rome's oldest Goddess-matriarch, Vesta, who was the
same as the Greeks' Hestia. Descendants of an ancient order of holy
women who guarded the public hearth and altar, the Vestals were
entrusted with keeping alight the perpetual fire that was the mystic heart
of the empire.
Vestals were virgines, i.e., women who vowed never to marry
because they were brides of the spirit of Rome, in the same sense that
Christian nuns were brides of Christ. Vestals underwent the same
ceremony that was later applied to nuns, to limit their magic female
powers: they had their hair shaved off.1 In an earlier era, however, they
were not so restricted. Like all other ancient priestesses who ruled by
virtue of magic and motherhood, the Vestals used to be the governing
sisterhood of Latium.
Rhea Silvia or "Rhea of the Woodland" was called the First
Vestal; she was actually the Goddess Rhea transplanted to the Latin
colonies. According to Roman legend; she gave birth to Romulus and
Remus, the founders of Rome. Their midwife, Acca Larentia,
another Vestal described as a "courtesan," gave birth to all the ancestral
spirits the Romans called lares. (See Akka.)
The Vestals were never altogether virginal in the physical sense.
Their marriage to the phallic deity of the Palladium was physically
consummated in Vesta's temple, under conditions of great secrecy. The
ceremony was performed by a priest called the Pontifex Maximus,
"great maker of the pons/' which meant a bridge, a path, or a way. The
Pontifex Maximus had what Dumezil calls "an obscure, now unknown
duty" toward the Vestal Virgins. 2 One might suppose that his
"way" was something like the Way of eastern sex-sacraments; that is,
he built the "bridge" between Father Heaven and Mother Earth
The office of Pontifex was adopted by Christians, and became a
"pontiff," synonymous with "pope." The Vestals however were
emphatically not adopted by Christians, although several of the details
of their habit and lifestyle passed on to Christian convents. Pagans
revered the Vestals and were horrified by the way they were treated by
Christian regimes in the 4th and 5th centuries. In 382 A.D., the
endowments of all the pagan temples were withdrawn, including that of
Vesta's 600-year-old Mother-hearth. "Worst of all in the opinion of
some traditionalists, the fire on Vesta's hearth was to be permitted to go
out: the Vestal Virgins were to lose their endowments and immunity
from taxation, and all their privileges were to be taken away. The tiny order of
six Vestals was particularly hated by the Christians .... Their
Christian enemies feared them as mysterious and magical: they did not
understand them and did not want to do so; they wanted only to see
them destroyed." 3


"Beloved," the title of a Vestal Virgin as a Bride of God-that is,
bride of the spirit of Rome manifested in the phallic Palladium.1 The
title was copied by Christian nuns who called themselves Brides of


Greek "Hearth," one of the oldest matriarchal Goddesses, in Latin,
Vesta. She represented the home place, every man's "center of the
world." When the matriarchs ruled, "The hearth was in the midst of
the dwelling; that hearth was to each member of the household, as it
were, an umbilicum orbis, or navel of the earth ... [h]earth being
only another form of earth, as in the German erde and herde."
Pythagoras said the fire of Hestia was the center of the earth.1
Romans had the same idea about the altar of Vesta, with its
perpetual fire tended by the mystic Vestal Virgins. Cicero said the
power of Vesta extends over all altars and hearths, therefore all prayers
and offerings begin and end with her, "because she is the guardian of
the innermost things." 2
Hestia never had a consort, for no god could share her strictly
matriarchal province, the Prytaneum or public hearth of every town.
It was said of her that "seated in the midst of the celestial dwelling-place
she receives the richest part of sacrifices, and among men she is of all
the deities the most venerated." 3


Latin for "hearth," the first altar, and center of early tribal life. 1
Goddess of the focus was Vesta (Greek Hestia), whose priestesses
· tended a perpetual fire that was bound up with the soul of Rome. It
was believed the altar of Vesta was the center of the universe. The cult
arose from Neolithic views of matrilocal power radiating from the
home center of the clan, with the matriarch as high priestess and
religious ceremonies centering on her hearth. 2


Roman name for the Great Goddess in her sexual aspect, derived
from the eponymous mother of Venetian tribes of the Adriatic, after
whom the city of Venice was also named. "Veneration" and "venery"
were further derivatives. Venery used to mean hunting; for, like
her eastern counterpart Artemis, Venus was once a Lady of Animals,
and her Horned God-Adonis, both the hunter and the sacrificial
stag-became venison, which meant "Venus's son." 1
Early Christian fathers denounced the temples "dedicated to the
foul devil who goes by the name of Venus-a school of wickedness
for all the votaries of unchasteness." 2 What this meant was that they
were schools of instruction in sexual techniques, under the tutelage of
the venerii or harlot-priestesses. 3 They taught an approach to spiritual
grace, called venia, through sexual exercises like those of Tantrism.4
Like Tantric yogis, educated Romans envisioned the moment of
death as a culminating sexual union, a final act of the sacred marriage
promised by the religion of Venus. Ovid, an initiate, said he wished to
die while making love: "Let me go in the act of coming to Venus; in
more senses than one let my last dying be done." 5 Centuries later, in
Shakespeare's time, "to die" was still a common metaphor for sexual
orgasm.6 An English treatise on interpretation of dreams said if a sick
man dreamed of marrying a lovely maiden, it meant death.7 When
Christians said to die was to be gathered to the bosom of Christ or
Abraham, they unwittingly based the concept on the ancient female
Modern interpretations of classical mythology tend to picture
Venus as a sex goddess only. Her birth-giving and death-giving
aspects have been suppressed; but they were equally important in her
cult. As Queen of the Shades she was identified with Proserpine, but
went by the name of Libitina. Plutarch said Libitina was only another
name for Venus, "the goddess of generation." 8
During the early Middle Ages, Venus became the ruling Fairy
Queen of the magic mountains called Venusbergs. She also became
a Christian saint, St. Venerina, who never existed in human form but
only as a cult figure continuing the worship of the Goddess in
Calabria.9 In the Balkans she was called St. Venere, and is still invoked
as a patron of marriage by young girls making a wish that they might
find good husbands. 10 The magic rhyme addressed to the planet Venus
as Evening Star still echoes down the centuries: "Star light, star
bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish
I wish tonight."
Venus the Evening Star was also Stella Maris, Star of the Sea. In
her sacred city of Venice, on Ascension Day each year, the Duke of
Venice ceremonially married her by throwing a gold wedding ring into
the sea.11 This practice continued through Renaissance times, even
when the title of Stella Maris was assimilated to Mary.

Virgin Birth

"Holy Virgin" was the title of harlot-priestesses of lshtar, Asherah, or
Aphrodite. The title didn't mean physical virginity; it meant simply
"unmarried." The function of such "holy virgins" was to dispense
the Mother's grace through sexual worship; to heal; to prophesy; to
perform sacred dances; to wail for the dead; and to become Brides of
Children born of such temple women were called by the Semites
bathur, by the Greeks parthenioi, "virgin-born." 1 According to the
Protoevangelium, the Virgin Mary was a kadesha and perhaps married
to one of that class of priests known as "fathers of the god." 2 See
Mary's impregnation was similar to Persephone's. In her Virgin
guise, Persephone sat in a holy cave and began to weave the great
tapestry of the universe, when Zeus appeared as a phallic serpent, to
beget the savior Dionysus on her. 3 Mary sat in the temple and began
to spin a blood-red thread, representing Life in the tapestry of fate,
when the angel Gabriel "came in unto her" (Luke 1:28), the biblical
phrase for sexual intercourse. Gabriel's name means literally "divine
husband." 1
Hebrew Gospels designated Mary by the word almah, mistakenly
translated "virgin," but really meaning "young woman." 5 It was
derived from Persian Al-Mah, the unmated Moon-goddess.6 Another
cognate was Latin alma, "living soul of the world," virtually identical
to Greek psyche, Sanskrit shakti. The Holy Virgins or temple-harlots
were "soul-teachers" or "soul-mothers" -the alma mater.
Christian translators insisted on rendering Mary's title as "virgin,"
which saddled their religion with an embarrassing article of faith.
Even today, theologians like Karl Barth declare that "It is essential to the
true Christian faith to accept the doctrine of the virgin birth" -thus
drastically reducing the number of people who can be called true
Early Christians demanded a virgin birth for their Savior out of
simple imitativeness. All the other Saviors had one, for they were
born of the Goddess incarnate in a chosen "virgin of the temple,"
whose business it was to bear Saviors. The notion that mortal women
were impregnated by gods or spirits was a matter of everyday acceptance
throughout the ancient world. Even the Old Testament says the
archaic "giants" (ancestral heroes) were born of mortal women impregnated
by spirits that came from God (Genesis 6:4).
Zoroaster, Sargon, Perseus, Jason, Miletus, Minos, Asclepius, and
dozens of others were God-begotten and virgin-born. Even Zeus, the
Heavenly Father who begot many other "virgin-born" heroes, was
himself called Zeus Mamas, "Virgin-born Zeus." 8 Plutarch noted
among the Egyptians the common belief that the spirit of God was
capable of sexual intercourse with mortal women.9
Heracles was born of another almah, the Virgin Alcmene, whose
name means Power of the Moon.10 Her husband also, like the
biblical Joseph, kept away from her bed during her pregnancy. The
same tale was told of Plato, whose nephew affirmed that he was begotten
 by the god Apollo, his earthly parents having no sexual
relations until after his birth. 11 Christians believed this, and solemnly
attested that Plato was a virgin-born son of the sun god. 12
After Christianity was established as the official religion of the
Roman empire, however, church fathers tried to discredit all other
virgin births by claiming that the devil had devised them, and maliciously
placed them in a past time, so they would pre-date the real Savior.
Justin Martyr wrote, "When I am told that Perseus was born of a virgin,
I realize that here again is a case in which the serpent and deceiver
has imitated our religion." 13
Despite the efforts of church fathers, the virgin birth of Jesus was
neither the first nor the last such miracle given credence by Christians.
Priapic idols of antiquity, credited with the power to father
children, actually fathered other priapic idols who became saints like
Foutin, Gurtlichon, Gilles, Regnaud, and Guignole; these were credited
with the same power of fertilization and were much adored by
women who desired offspring. 14 Women of Tuscany and Portugal
thought they could become pregnant by eating apples specially
consecrated by a priest. Spaniards remembered the virgin birth of Mars,
and thought any woman could conceive like Mars's mother Juno, by
eating a lily. It was believed that souls could enter a woman's body in
the form of flies, worms, or serpents, to cause impregnation. Cases
were solemnly documented, like that of a Scot named Gillie Downak
Chravolick, conceived when his mother raised her skirts on an old
battlefield and received into her "private member" some ashes from the
burned bones of dead warriors. 15 As impregnation by a god used to be
the "acceptable explanation for pregnancy in most pagan countries
where the sexual act was part of the fertility rites," so Christians
thought impregnation by spirits was still credible, whether the alleged
father was a dead hero, a devil, an incubus, or even-in some sects the
Holy Ghost again.l6
Such an untenable belief survived because it was important to
men. The impossible virgin mother was everyman's longed-for resolution
of Oedipal conflicts: pure maternity, never distracted from her
devotion by sexual desires. Churchmen unwittingly showed their
anxiety by denying even the evidence of their own Gospels that Jesus
had brothers and sisters. St. Ambrose insisted that Mary never
conceived again, since God couldn't have chosen for his mother-bride
"a woman who would defile the heavenly chamber with the seed of a
man." 17
Theologians in effect severed the two halves of the pagan Goddess,
whose realistic femininity combined abundant sexuality and
maternity. One half was labeled harlot and temptress, the other a female
ascetic even in motherhood. The Goddess's old title, Sancta Matrona-
Holy Mother-was added to the canon of saints as a phony St.
Matrona, whose pseudo-biography made her a "hermitess." 18
The primitive naivete of the virgin-birth concept was dressed in
pretentious verbiage, purporting to explain it, while actually hiding it
from prying eyes. "A shadow is formed by light falling upon a body.
The Virgin, as a human being, could not hold the fulness of divinity;
but the power of the most High overshadowed her, while the incorporeal
light of the godhead took a human body within her, and so she was
able to bear God." 19
Churchmen often presented the doctrine of the virgin birth as
"ennobling" to women, since they viewed women's natural sexuality
as degrading. Seldom were female sexuality and motherhood perceived
as component parts of the same whole. Some women were astute
enough to see that the doctrine effectively degraded real womanhood by
exalting a never-attainable ideal. At the end of the 19th century one
woman wrote:
I think that the doctrine of the Virgin birth as something higher, sweeter,
nobler than ordinary motherhood, is a slur on all the natural motherhood
of the world. ... Out of this doctrine, and that which is akin to it,
have sprung all the monasteries and nuns of the world, which have
disgraced and distorted and demoralized manhood and womanhood for a
thousand years. I place beside this false, monkish, unnatural claim ...
my mother, who was as holy in her motherhood as was Mary herself. 20
Marginal note:
The temple hierodules
were called
virgines or venerii in
Rome, horae in Greece,
kadishtu, qadesh, or
kadesha in Babylon, Canaan,
and Palestine.


Babylonian Goddess of Der, a serpent with a woman's head and
breasts. Her name was the root of kadishtu, Hebrew kadesha, a temple
harlot known as a Holy One, or Virgin Bride of God (see Prostitution;
Virgin Birth). She may have descended from the Vedic Goddess
Kadru, mother of all Nagas or sacred serpents, who attained immortality
through the magic blood she gave them to drink. 1


Mother-goddess of Athens, worshipped as Holy Virgin, Athene
Parthenia, in the Parthenon, her "Virgin-temple." Though classic
writers insisted on her chastity, older traditions gave her several
consorts, such as Hephaestus and Pan.1 She was united with the phallic
Pallas, whose "Palladium" was a lingam, later Rome's greatest fetish. 2
Athene came from North Africa. She was the Libyan Triple
Goddess Neith, Metis, Medusa, Anath, or Ath-enna. An inscription
at Larnax-Lapithou named her Athene in Greek, Anat in Phoenician.3
Pre-Hellenic myths said she came from the uterus of Lake Tritonis
(Three Queens) in Libya.4 Egyptians sometimes called Isis Athene,
which meant "I have come from myself." 5
Greeks claimed Athene was born from Zeus's head, after he
swallowed her mother Metis-i.e., Medusa, "Female Wisdom,"
formerly symbolized by the Gorgoneum, Athene' s snake-haired mask,
invested with power to turn men to stone. 6 Gorgo, or Gorgon, was
Athene's Destroyer aspect.7 Funerary statues or phallic pillars were her
"men turned to stone," perhaps even identified with the pillars of the
Parthenon which was seized by Christians at an unknown date in
the 5th or 6th century A.D. and rededicated as a temple of the virgin


The Bible presents the Dance of the Seven Veils as a mere vulgar
striptease performed by Salome to "please Herod" (Matthew 14:6-8).
Actually, the Dance of the Seven Veils was an integral part of the
sacred drama, depicting the death of the surrogate-king, his descent into
the underworld, and his retrieval by the Goddess, who removed one
of her seven garments at each of the seven underworld gates. The
priestess called Salome or "Peace" (Shalom) impersonated the descending
Goddess, passing through seven gates in the temple of
Jeru-salem which meant House of Peace. "Josephus records that the
first name of the city was Solyma. Salma, or Salim, was evidently the
Semite god of the rising or renewed sun; Salmaone was the Aegean
goddess from whom he took his titles, as did Salmoneus the Aeolian." 1
Salome represented Ishtar as the third of her three high priestesses
or "Marys." Her name was a translation of the Greek Irene,
"Peace," the third of the sacred harlots called Horae.2 She may have
been identical with the sacred harlot Mary Magdalene, or Mary of
the Temple, whose so-called "seven devils" were the same underworld
gatekeepers to whom the temple dancer gave her veils. These veils,
like the rainbow veils of Maya, signified the layers of earthly appearances
or illusions falling away from those who approach the central
Mystery of the deeps. Isis too had seven stoles with the same mystical
significance. 3
The dancing priestess was more than a trivial entertainer. Salome's
husband Joseph was killed after he lay with the queen, Mariamne or
Miriam (Mary).4 Salome was present with the virgin Mary-the same
Mary?-at the birth of Jesus; some said she was the midwife who
delivered the holy child.5 Salome was present with all three Marys at the
death of Jesus (Mark 15:40). Obviously she was also involved in the
death of John the Baptist, which seems to have been not a murder but a
ritual sacrifice.
Some early Christian sects (the Mandaeans) ignored Jesus, and
worshipped John the Baptist as the true sacrificed Christ.6 An early
Greek epiphany hymn said it was the blood of John the Baptist that
"bedewed" -i.e., fructified-the mothers and children of Jerusalem.
7 As an initiated Essenic prophet, John would have been sacerand
"chosen" to die as a surrogate for the king, whose blood was required
for fertility of the land. John was beheaded, a common form of sacrificial
death throughout the early Aegean and Levantine cultures, still
practiced to this day in some of the eastern temples of the Goddess,
though the victims are now animals instead of men. 8
Though only a fragment in its present form, the story of Salome
presents evidence for the survival of the Tammuz-lshtar cult in
Jerusalem, where someone periodically died in the role of the god, and
the women raised the ancient lament for the victim in the temple
(Ezekiel 8:14).

Fathers of the Christian church strongly opposed the worship of
Mary because they were well aware that she was only a composite of
Mariamne, the Semitic God-Mother and Queen of Heaven; Aphrodite-
Mari, the Syrian version of lshtar; Juno the Blessed Virgin; Isis as
Stella Maris, Star of the Sea; Maya the Oriental Virgin Mother of the
Redeemer; the Moerae or trinity of Fates; and many other versions of
the Great Goddess. 1 Even Diana Lucifera the Morning-Star Goddess
was assimilated to the Christian myth as Mary's "mother," Anna or
Dinah. Churchmen knew the same titles were applied to Mary as to
her pagan forerunners: "queen of heaven, empress of hell, lady of all
the world." 2
The Speculum beatae Mariae said Mary was like the Juno-Artemis-
Hecate trinity: "queen of heaven where she is enthroned in
the midst of the angels, queen of earth where she constantly manifests
her power, and queen of hell where she has authority over the
demons." According to the Office of the Virgin, she was the primordial
being, "created from the beginning and before the centuries." 3
Christian patriarchs therefore sought to humanize and belittle
Mary, to prove her unworthy of adoration. Epiphanius ordered: "Let
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be worshipped, but let no one
worship Mary." 4 Anastasius said, "Let no one call Mary the Mother
of God, for Mary was but a woman, and it is impossible that God should
be born of a woman." 5 Ambrose called Mary the "temple" of God,
and "only he is to be adored who worked within the temple." 6 Up to
the 5th century the church persecuted as heretics a sect calling
themselves Marianites, who claimed that Mary possessed the true
quality of divinity.7 Mariolatry has plagued Christian patriarchy
throughout its history, as the popular need to worship the Mother-figure
always arose unbidden.
Some early church fathers sought a way out of the dilemma by
attacking Mary's motherhood, to prove her neither divine nor really
maternal. Some claimed Jesus wasn't born in the ordinary way but
suddenly materialized before Mary.8 Marcionites said Jesus could
never touch vulgar female flesh, therefore he was never born at all. He
descended from heaven as a fully formed adult.9 Some church fathers
rejected Mary's motherhood on the ground that she was not only a
mere mortal, but even a sinful woman.10
There was ecclesiastical opposition to Mary throughout the Christian
era. Pope Nicholas III ordered Jean d'Olive, a friar
"distinguished for learning and piety," to burn with his own hands a
tract he had written in praise of Mary because it expressed excessive
devotion to her. 11 When it was permitted, Marian devotion did appear
to take on an Oriental extravagance.
Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople in 717, called Mary "Lady
all-holy" and "Lady most venerable," maintaining that no one could
be saved or receive the gift of grace except through her, since God
obeys her "through and in all things, as his true mother." Henri
Boudon, archdeacon of Evreux, said his people thought Mary "as much
as, or more than, God himself." Isidore Glabas said Mary ruled in
heaven before her earthly birth; like a creatress she brought all things
into being, and all the angels obeyed her. Bernardine of Siena said
Mary's birth of the Savior through her own mystic powers was more
 miraculous than God's generation of him. "Even if she had not been
the Mother of God, she would nevertheless have been the mistress of
the world." Louis-Marie de Montfort declared that Mary had absolute
power over God.12
People of the Middle Ages often viewed God as their persecutor,
Mary as their defender. Early 16th-century woodcuts showed God
shooting arrows of pestilence, war, and inflation at the world, while the
inscription pleaded with Mary to restrain him.13 It was said that
"Mary stands for Mercy, and it is only because of her influence at court,
not because of love or goodwill on God's part, that heaven is within
reach." 14 A 14th-century Franciscan wrote:
When we have offended Christ, we should go first to the Queen of
Heaven and offer her . .. prayers, fasting, vigils, and alms; then she, like
a mother, will come between thee and Christ, the father who wishes to
beat us, and she will throw the cloak of mercy between the rod of
punishment and us, and soften the king's anger against us. 15
Ashe says, "Christian scripture and doctrine totally preclude
placing Mary above Christ. Yet the vitality of Christ's own Church has
often seemed to depend on her rather than him . ... [W]ithout her he
would probably have lost his kingdom." 16 During its first five centuries,
Christ's church discovered that no amount of force would make
people renounce their Mother Goddess. She had to be preserved in
some form :
The church seemed doomed to failure, destined to go down to bloody
death amidst the bleeding corpses of its victims, when the people
discovered Mary. And only when Mary, against the stem decrees of the
church, was dug out of the oblivion to which Constantine had assigned
her and became identified with the Great Goddess was Christianity finally
tolerated by the people . ... The only reality in Christianity is Mary, the
Female Principle, the ancient goddess reborn. 17
In the eastern empire it was said the mark of true Christian faith
was to "confess the holy Ever-Virgin Mary, truly and properly the
Mother of God, to be higher than every creature whether visible or
invisible." Ephraem of Syria called Mary the bride or spouse of Jesus as
well as his mother, after the fashion of the pagan Goddess and her
son-consort; she was also Gate of Heaven, Ark, and Garden of Paradise.
Mary personally sprinkled the face of Adam with life-giving rain,
which placed her in the creation myth as "co-redemptress." Ephraem's
opinions were called heretical by some, but after a lapse of 1600
years-in the year 1920-he was declared a Doctor of the Universal
Church by papal decree.18
The Christian figure of Mary was gradually created during the first
four centuries of the Christian era, out of bits and pieces of the Great
Goddess who conceived "sons of God" and Saviors in all the temples of
the ancient world. The Protoevangelium said Mary served as a
temple hierodule, and received God's seed as she was beginning to spin
a blood-red thread in the temple-the work of the Fate-virgin, first of
the Moerae or "Marys," who spun the thread of destiny. 19 At this
mystically crucial moment the angel Gabriel "came in unto her"
(Luke l :28), the biblical phrase for sexual intercourse.
Other sources also identified Mary with the Fate-spinner, whom
the Greeks called Clotho, youngest of the trinity of Moerae. The
Coptic Discourse on Mary, attributed to Cyril of Jerusalem, represented
Mary as the same triple Goddess of Fate, incarnate in the three
Marys who stood at the foot of Jesus's cross. 20 In like manner, the three
Fates of Nordic myth stood at the foot of Odin's tree of sacrifice; their
virgin aspect was sometimes Freya, "the Lady." The Swedes called the
constellation of Orion the distaff of the virgin Mary, because it was
formerly the distaff used by Freya to spin the destinies of men.21
Greek myth presented an image of the Virgin Persephone almost
identical to that of fate-spinning Mary. Persephone sat in a sacred
cave or temple, starting to spin a web with a great picture of the
universe-the magic picture which the Mother made into reality. At
that moment the Heavenly Father appeared in the form of a phallic
serpent and begot the savior Dionysus on her.22
In an effort to make Mary's impregnation as sexless as possible,
some Christian ascetics invented very peculiar mechanisms for it.
Sacred art showed semen emanating from God's mouth and passing
through a long tube that led under Mary's skirts. Some theologians
claimed God's seed was carried to Mary in the beak of the Holy Dove.
Others said it came from Gabriel's mouth, to be filtered through the
sacred lily before entering Mary's body by way of her ear. 23
Though the Christian God took over the Triple Goddess's ancient
trinitarian character at the Council of Nicaea, there is some evidence
that early Christians perceived Mary as a trinity. Like the Buddhists'
Mara, she was sometimes a spirit of death.24 The Gospel of Mary
identified all three of the Marys at Jesus's crucifixion with one another,
as if they were the same Triple Goddess who attended the death of
the pagan Savior. 25
For some centuries, eastern churches worshipped a Father-Mother-Son
trinity modeled on such pagan triads as Osiris-Isis-Horus,
Zeus-Rhea-Zagreus, Apollo-Artemis-Heracles, etc. This idea was so
commonplace that even writers of the Koran felt compelled to deny
the divine trinity of God, Mary, and Jesus.26 Moslem sources also
preserved another manifestation of the Virgin Goddess as Mar
Mariam or Sancta Maria, mother of the Persian savior Mani.27 As "the
Sea" (Maria), the Triple Goddess swallowed up the god she gave
birth to. In solemn imitation, the women of Alexandria threw images of
Osiris into the sea after his Passion Play. 28 Hebraic copies of this rite
probably account for Plutarch's report that the chief city of Palestine-Jerusalem-
was built in honor of a child whom Isis killed and threw
into the sea. 29
Mary was also closely associated with the Great Goddess of
Ephesus, whose temples she took over. In the 5th century an
Ephesian priest named Proclus delivered a sermon on the multiform
nature of Mary, calling her "the living bush, which was not burnt by
the fire of the divine birth ... virgin and heaven, the only bridge
between God and men, the awesome loom ... on which the garment
of union was woven." 30
Much was made of the. reversal of Mary's Latin Ave and the name
of Eve (Eva). Mystics said Mary was Eve's purified reincarnation, as
Jesus was the similar reincarnation of Adam.31 Somehow, theologians
failed to recognize that the new incarnations apparently reversed the
parent-child relationship. Then again, as Adam and Eve were spouses,
so the relationship of Mary and Jesus sometimes verged on the sexual
or conjugal. In a legend ascribed to St. John, Jesus welcomed Mary into
heaven with the words, "Come, my chosen, and I shall set thee in my
seat, for I have coveted the beauty of thee." 32
The church's doctrine of the assumption of Mary was explained in
a number of ways. Early churchmen declared that Jesus visited
Mary's tomb-variously located in Ephesus, Bethlehem, Gethsemane,
or Josaphat-and raised up her corpse, which he made to live again;
then he personally escorted her into heaven as a live woman.33 She was
not a soul or a spirit but an immortal person in her own original body.
This became the official modern view when the doctrine of the
assumption was declared an article of faith in 1950, when Pope Pius
XII pronounced that "the immaculate mother of God, the ever Virgin
Mary, when the course of her earthly life was run, was assumed in
body and in soul to heavenly glory." 34 But the point had already been
argued for more than a thousand years.
The church's problem was to take advantage of popular reverence
for Mary but at the same time prevent her literal deification. Some
theologians of the 13th century claimed Mary's mortality should bring
more women to obey the church, because the king of heaven "is no
mere man but a mere woman is its queen. It is not a mere man who is
set above the angels and all the rest of the heavenly court, but a mere
woman is; nor is anyone who is merely man as powerful there as a mere
woman." 35
Always the theologians feared to impute too much power and
glory to Mary. Pope John XXIII, presuming to know Mary's inner
thoughts, announced: "The Madonna is not pleased when she is put
above her Son," though in fact it was the church who was not
pleased. Catholic doctrines themselves attributed to her two of the three
basic characteristics of divinity: she was immortal by reason of the
assumption, and sinless by reason of the Immaculate Conception.
The third requirement of divinity, omniscience, was conceded to her
by popular belief. A 13th-century Mariale said she had perfect knowledge
of divine mysteries, understood all scriptures, foresaw the future,
and knew everything about mathematics, geography, astronomy, alche-
my, and canon law-even in her earthly life, when there was no
canon and therefore no canon law. 36 A French manuscript illustration
showed Mary enthroned beside God on Judgment Day, weighing
souls in her balances like her prototype the Goddess Maat 3000 years
earlier.37 (See Alchemy.)
The Welsh confused Mary with the triadic White Goddess, and
seldom asked the blessing of God without also imploring the favor of
"the white Mary." 38 Saints' tales implied that Mary's was the true touch
of canonization. St. Bernard was ennobled by three drops of milk that
the Virgin pressed from her own breast for him. 39 St. Catherine of
Siena also claimed to have been nourished by Mary's milk.40
Many legends depicted Mary as the only true source of the milk of
human kindness. At Mainz Cathedral she gave away one of her
image's gold shoes to a starving beggar, who had pleased her by playing
his fiddle for her. He was caught with the shoe, arrested, and
sentenced to death. On the way to the scaffold he paused to pray to the
Virgin, and she exonerated him by publicly giving him her other
shoe. The beggar was released, but the priests took away the gold shoes
and locked them in the treasury, "lest the Virgin should again be
tempted to bestow them upon some penniless beggar who prayed for
her aid." 41
Mary's mercy often proved superior to that of God or Jesus. She
was occasionally represented leaning on the balance that weighed a
sinner's few good deeds, to make them heavier than his evil deeds
and save him from damnation. Her mercy extended even to the Jews,
despite her priests' detestation of them. On Easter Day in Bourges, a
Jewish child took Holy Communion along with his Christian friends.
For this offense, the boy's father threw him into a furnace; but he lay
unharmed by the fire, saying the Lady who stood on the Christians'
altar was protecting him. "Then the Christians, understanding that
he meant the statue of the Blessed Mary, took the aged Jew and threw
him into the furnace, and he was burnt and consumed." 42
Ethiopian Christians' Lefafa Sedek, "Bandlet of Righteousness,"
said God gave the secrets of salvation to humanity only because Mary
requested it, when she began to grieve for her relatives writhing in hell's
River of Fire. Egyptian paganism was the real source of this "Christian"
scripture, copied from the Book of the Dead with the name of
God substituted for Ra, of Christ for that of Thoth, and of Mary for
that of All-Merciful Isis.43
Some theologians said even the worst of sinners could win a sure
salvation by doing some special service for Mary. Two scribes pleased
her by making copies of the Book of the Miracles of the Virgin Mary.
Afterward they committed many sins, and when they died, devils
came for their souls. But the Virgin pulled them away from the devils,
saving them on account of their devotion to her.44
At times it seemed that Mary, not God, was the real opponent of
evil forces. Spengler said this was "one of the maxima of the Gothic,
one of its unfathomable creations-one that the present day forgets and
deliberately forgets .... It is not possible to exaggerate either the
grandeur of this forceful, insistent picture or the depth of sincerity with
which it was believed in. The Mary-myths and the Devil-myths
formed themselves side by side, neither possible without the other.
Disbelief in either of them was deadly sin. There was a Mary-cult of
prayer, and a Devil-cult of spells and exorcisms." 45 Historian Henry
Adams noted: "Without Mary, man had no hope except in atheism,
and for atheism the world was not ready .... The thirteenth century
could not afford to admit a doubt. Society had staked its existence, in
this world and the next, on the reality and power of the Virgin." 46
Caesarius of Heisterbach told a story showing that Mary was more
revered than God. A knight of Liege needed money and so made a
pact with Satan. When asked to curse and renounce God, he did so
willingly. However, when the demon required him to renounce the
Virgin, he refused, horrified. Therefore the Virgin later intervened to
save him from damnation. 47
Mary dispensed compassion (Hindu karuna) more effectively than
Christ, for this very quality had been associated with the feminine
image from the beginning. Compassion was the charis of sacred harlots,
which contributed much to Mary's consistent patronage of prostitutes.
The "whore" Mary Magdalene was one of the original Marian
trinity.48 Augstein says Mariolatry evolved because "the people needed
a queen of heaven, as the Israelites needed one in Jeremiah's time,
one for whom they could bake cakes, a great mother, a fertility-prostitute;
but she was half shown to them, half withheld, and Freud
only gives us half the truth when he says that the Christian religion
recreated the mother-god." 49 Actually, the people recreated the
mother-god out of their own pagan heritage.
Churchmen claimed that all women lay under a threefold curse.
They were accursed if they were barren. They were accursed also if
they conceived, since conception was of the nature of original sin. They
were accursed by the pains of childbirth, in fulfillment of God's curse
on Eve. But Mary escaped all three curses. "Mary alone of all women is
blessed, because she is virgin and fruitful, she conceives in holiness,
and gives birth without pain." 50 Of course this view of Mary did little to
improve the lot of ordinary women, presenting them with a wholly
impossible ideal, yet implying that they fell short of the ideal only
because of their sinfulness. 51 The ancients saw no incongruity in a
Goddess who was both virgin and mother (as well as lover and crone),
because she represented all women in all phases of life. Christians
however insisted on taking the "miracle" literally, having lost sight of its
subtle allegory.
A hidden reason for the church's adoption of Mary was the
successful amputation of her pre-Christian sexuality. Of all the
attributes she inherited from the ancient Goddess, Mary's virginity was
most emphasized. She was called "the Virgin," not "the Mother."
Church fathers insisted that she never engaged in sexual intercourse in
her life, even though the Bible plainly spoke of Jesus's brothers and
sisters. 52 St. Ambrose demanded, "Would the Lord Jesus have chosen
for his mother a woman who would defile the heavenly chamber with
the seed of a man, that is to say one incapable of preserving her virginal
chastity intact?" 53 Marian legends insisted that, although Mary was
amazingly beautiful, no man could ever look on her with desire. 54
Yet some monasteries institutionalized desire for Mary, who "married"
the monks as Christ "married" nuns. If a knight placed his ring
on the finger of Mary's image, she would grip it firmly so it couldn't be
removed. At this, the knight considered himself a Bridegroom of the
Virgin and entered a monastery. The same tales were told of pagan
statues of Venus, who "married" any man who placed a ring on her
marble finger. 55 In 1470 a Breton Black Friar, Alain de Ia Roche,
claimed the Virgin married him in the presence of many saints and
angels, placing on his finger a ring woven of her hair. 56
Cistercians styled themselves "Knights of Our Lady," associating
their Lady with the pagan May Queen. Aegidus's 13th-century
history of the order said it was the custom in the time of Bishop Albero
for the clergy of Liege to choose "from among their concubines" a
Paschal and Pentecostal Queen, who was robed in purple, crowned,
throned, and worshipped with drums and music, "revered almost
with idolatry as if she were an idol." 57 She also manifested herself as the
Fairy Queen who watched over a monastery near Laach as the
monks' divine Bride. She announced each man's death three days in
advance by placing a lily in his stall at midnight. 58
Gothic cathedrals were dedicated not to God or Jesus but to Notre
Dame; they were collectively called "Our Ladies" or "Palaces of the
Queen of Heaven." 59 Many of them were built over pagan shrines of
the Great Goddess. Rome's cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore was
built over the sacred cave of the Magna Mater. Santa Maria in Aracoeli
on the Capitoline Hill was formerly a temple of Tanit. Mary's
churches throughout Italy were founded on shrines of Juno, Isis,
Minerva, Diana, Hecate. One church was even naively named Santa
Maria sopra Minerva: Holy Mary over (the shrine of) Minerva.60
In the 6th century, the great temple of Isis at Philae was rededicated
to Mary.61 Aphrodite's sanctuaries on Cyprus became
churches of Mary, whom the Cypriots continued to address by Aphrodite's
name.62 At Chartres, the heathen idol of the virgo paritura (Virgin
Giving Birth) was preserved in the so-called Druid Grotto underneath
the cathedral. It was said to be a black statue of Mary.63
Ecclesia, "the Church," was one of Mary's titles. She was identi-
fied with both the buildings and the organization of Holy Mother
Church as bride and mother of God. Yet this pseudo-female church
remained the exclusive property of men. As late as February 1977
Pope Paul VI again forbade ordination of women, saying the church
"does not consider herself [sic] authorized to admit women to priestly
ordination." The pope maintained that priests must have a "natural
resemblance" to Christ, and if they were women "it would be
difficult to see in the minister the image of Christ." 64 There was no
mention that a priestess might present a resemblance to Mary, who
symbolized the church itself. The modern church prefers to forget that
early churches of Mary were staffed by priestesses, not priests. 65
Above all, Christian authorities feared Mary might be the channel
through which Goddess-worship could reestablish itself, for she
inspired utterances similar to those the ancient Mother inspired, like
Goethe's: "Supreme and sovereign Mistress of the World! ... Oh
Virgin, in the highest sense most pure, oh Mother, worthy of all our
worship, our chosen Queen, equal with the gods." 66 The secret,
ineradicable heresies of Marian worship received graphic form in the
famous Vierge Ouvrante-Mary as a statue that opened up to show
God, Jesus, angels, and saints contained inside her.
In the generating and nourishing, protective and transformative, feminine
power of the unconscious, a wisdom is at work that is infinitely superior
to the wisdom of man's waking consciousness, and that, as source of vision
and symbol, of ritual and law, poetry and vision, intervenes, summoned
or unsummoned, to save man and give direction to his life.
This feminine-maternal wisdom is no abstract, disinterested knowledge,
but a wisdom of loving participation . ... In the patriarchal
development of the Judea-Christian West, with its masculine, monotheistic
trend toward abstraction, the goddess, as a feminine figure of
wisdom, was disenthroned and repressed. She survived only secretly, for
the most part in heretical and revolutionary bypaths . ...
Seen from the outside, the "Vierge Ouvrante" is the familiar and
unassuming mother with child. But when opened she reveals the
heretical secret within her. God the Father and God the Son, usually
represented as heavenly lords who in an act of pure grace raise up the
humble, earth-bound mother to abide with them, prove to be contained in
her; prove to be the "contents" of her all-sheltering body. 67
Mary represented the second of the two expedients men used to
overcome their fear of women, according to Horney: disparagement
and idealization.68 But she was so ideal that she had to be apotheosized
just as unmistakably as Jesus himself. So she rose bodily from the
earth and ascended to glory. Unfortunately, those who formulated
this idea were quite ignorant of the vastness of the universe, and their
simplistic "rising to the sky" no longer serves an age in which such
information is readily available. Even assuming that Mary's body could
travel at the speed oflight-an impossible idea to begin with-it
would be only two thousand light-years away at the present time, about
one-fiftieth of the distance across our own galaxy, let alone plunged
into the unthinkable immensity of intergalactic space. And yet in an era
when the absurdity of the idea is perfectly plain to the educated, to be
exact on June 30, 1968, the Credo of Pope Paul VI reconfirmed the
dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary-though God
apparently didn't take the trouble to inform him about the method of its
accomplishment. 69
But not all minds in the modern age are modern minds. Many
remain ignorant of what has been discovered about the physical
universe. Many are ignorant of the theories and doctrines professed by
their own religion. They worship Mary only because their inner
being demands a mother-archetype, and she is the only one presented
to them. They don't know how many "Marys" there were before
Christianity. But educated churchmen know. Canon John de Satge
wrote: "The evangelical has a strong suspicion that the deepest roots
of the Marian cultus are not to be found in the Christian tradition at all.
The religious history of mankind shows a recurring tendency to
worship a mother-goddess . ... May it not be the case, the evangelical
wonders, that what we have here is in reality an older religion, a
paganism which has been too lightly baptized into Christ and whose
ancient features persist under a thin Christian veil?" 70
However, Mary wasn't "lightly" adopted by Christianity. She was
opposed, attacked, and finally accepted only with many theological
misgivings and restrictions. Early Gospels that dwelt on the divinity of
Mary were labeled "poisonous" by the orthodox church.71 Christian
mystics who coveted the female role and spoke of "becoming Mary and
bearing God from within," did so in defiance of the church's earlier
edict that Mary couldn't claim the title of Theotokos (God-bearer),
because God couldn't be born of a mortal woman.72 The edict was
abandoned after several centuries only because Christians wished to
emulate the pagan Mystery-cults whose Savior-gods were invariably
born of mortal virgins. (See Virgin Birth.)
Christian art of the first five centuries showed Mary in a position
lower than Jesus, even lower than the Magi, who wore haloes while
she wore none. In the 6th century she acquired a halo and rose to the
central position in a group of non-haloed apostles. By the 9th century
she reigned as Queen of Heaven in the middle of the apse in two
cathedrals. 73
By the 14th century, Wyclif was writing: "It seems to me
impossible that we should obtain the reward without the help of Mary.
There is no sex or age, no rank or position, of anyone in the whole
human race, which has no need to call for the help of the Holy Virgin."
The Te Deum Laudamus declared, "All the earth doth worship
thee, Spouse of the Eternal Father." 74
When Mary appeared in a subordinate position, it was in the role
of Daughter-like the Virgin Kore-on the lap of the Elder Goddess
represented by "God's grandmother," the ancient Anna (St. Anne,
called Mary's mother). In some painted or sculpted groupings, the
two Goddesses and the male infant seem to form a trinity quite
exclusive of God. 75 An observer might be reminded of the Egyptian
god-king on the laps of his Two Mothers, they who would nurse him
forever and thus give him eternal life. The mythical history of St.
Anne reveals that she, even more directly than Mary, descended from
the image of that fertile Creatress, Mother Earth. 76
Legends and images of Mary exerted an uncanny appeal even in
the "scientific" modern age with its professed skepticism about the
supernatural. In 1945, a young boy named Joseph Vitolo was greatly
impressed by the film Song of Bernadette, and subsequently conjured
up a vision of the Virgin for himself. He conversed with her for sixteen
consecutive nights at a certain rock in the Bronx. She told him to
have a chapel built on the spot, and promised the appearance of a
healing spring within a short time.
Though the site received the popular name of the Bronx Lourdes,
and credulous folk hurried there in astonishing numbers to pray for
miraculous cures, the spring never appeared. Eventually, young Joseph
became embarrassed by the fuss he had caused. He then said the
Virgin told him she wouldn't come any more to that place. Despite this
disappointment, for many years the faithful continued to gather and
dig in the mud, seeking the holy spring.77
But it was not only the simple-minded who sought help from
Mary. Historian Henry Adams thought Christianity's divine mother,
however attenuated, offered the only hope of spiritual comfort in an
alienated technological society. He saw that "the males of his society,
who had transferred so many of their once autonomous activities to
machines and automatons, did not have sufficient life-sense to save
the race. In their blind pride over their scientific facilities, they would
cling to the insensate mechanisms they had created, making them go
faster and faster, though incapable of applying the brakes .... Henry
Adams, at the end of his own career, turned to another countervailing
form of energy, the energy of life, the energy of erotic love, reproduction,
and creation; he sought a counterpoise to chaos by invoking
woman's faith in her own creativity, in all the ramifying, formative
processes of life, above all those of sex, love, and motherhood." In a
poetic address to the Virgin he said: "I feel the energy of faith, not in
the future science but in you."78
Once more it seemed that God (or man) depended on his Mother
(or woman) to straighten up the mess he had made, even if it meant
ceding supreme power to her. An 18th-century theologian wrote, "At
the command of Mary all obey, even God." Today it is widely
recognized even by laymen that "two rivers of common source, Mary
and Maya, the Virgin and Shakti, once again run into one: and the
Goddess is once more, as she ever was, the creatrix of the universe, the
self-revealing energy of the unknowable God." 79


Appearing at two crucial points in Christian mythology, at Jesus's
birth (Matthew 2: ll) and again at his death (Mark 15:23), myrrh
represented the mystic virgin mother who was also Mother Death,
called Mary, or Miriam, or Mari, or Myrrha, or-as the Christians
called the virgin Mary-"Myrrh of the Sea." 1
The pagans' version of Mary was the temple-maiden Myrrha, who
gave birth to Adonis, "the Lord," in the same cave at Bethlehem that
Christians claimed as Jesus's birthplace.2 Myrrh was used as aphrodisiac
incense in Adonis's rites, and its thorny twigs probably formed the
mock crown of the sacred king, still called the Crown of Thorns. Myrrh
was an emblem of Mara, a common Oriental name for the spirit of
Some scholars have offered a theory that myrrh was given Jesus on
the cross to deaden his pain, because of a Jewish tradition that "the
kindly women of Jerusalem" used to give myrrh to "those who were led
out to execution." 4 The theory cannot be supported, since myrrh has
no analgesic properties. The women of Jerusalem apparently had
another, less kindly reason for giving myrrh to those executed; even
early Christians remembered that myrrh meant the death and rebirth of
a god and was identified with his holy mother.
In the lore of magic, myrrh was credited with power to cause
menstruation: perhaps a relic of ancient legends of the castrated god's
shedding of the "blood of life." 5


"God-bearer," title of the virgin Mary. Church fathers originally
opposed the title because "It is impossible that God should be born of a
woman." 1 Later church authorities changed their minds and pronounced
it possible.


"The Church," a title of the virgin Mary, who was supposed to
represent the physical body of which Christ was the spiritual head. Holy
Mother Church was both bride and mother of God, according to
Christian mystics, postulating even an incestuous Sacred Marriage in
the old pagan style. The erotic poetry of Solomon's Song was glossed
as an expression of the love between Christ and "Ecclesia." lrenaeus
said Mary-Ecclesia was "the pure womb which regenerates man unto
God." As in the manner of pagan temples, even the church building
was likened to Mary's body.

Immaculate Conception

Often erroneously thought to refer to the conception of Christ, the
doctrine of the Immaculate Conception actually was invented to absolve
the virgin Mary of original sin from the moment of her own
conception. Early fathers of the church said Mary couldn't be Theotokos
(God-bearer) if she was human, therefore tainted with the sin of
Eve; it was heresy to worship her as divine.1 Nevertheless, people
insisted on worshipping her.2 By the 12th century, Mariolatry even
overshadowed the worship of God and Christ; so the doctrine of the
Immaculate Conception was invented to make her uniquely holy.
Many churchmen opposed the doctrine, which was heatedly
argued for the next 700 years. Finally it was adopted as an article of
faith by Pope Pius IX in 1854.3 Every Catholic was commanded to
believe henceforth that Mary "at the first instant of her conception,
was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, by the singular
grace and privilege granted to her by Almighty God." 4
A certain unnamed medieval holy man had been informed by a
divine source that Mary's birthday was September 8, precisely nine
months after the December festival which originally represented the
conception of the Virgin Goddess Kore.5 Apparently the date was
chosen to celebrate Epiphany and the Immaculate Conception at the
same time.
These events being equally devoid of documentation, their invention
and promulgation sometimes aroused scorn among
non-Catholics. Hazlitt scoffed: "We hear of her immaculate conception
as an afterthought, on the part of the Romanists.... [T]he whole
narrative touching her [Mary] is evidently fabulous, and ... the immaculate
conception by her mother, her own purification ... are
absurdities." 6
How Mary's conception took place was a problem that aroused
some ingenious theological nonsense. Mary's father was not God or a
spirit but a living man, and if he had sexual intercourse with Mary's
mother it would mean using the medium of transmission of original
sin, by the church's own teaching. Some theologians would have it that
his seed was carried magically, as if he were an incubus.


The angel who brought God's seed to the virgin Mary. The Bible
says Gabriel "came in unto her," which meant he had sexual intercourse
with her, in King James terminology (Luke 1:28). Gabriel's
name means "divine husband." 1 There seems to have been a hidden
reference to the ancient custom, whereby temple virgins were impregnated
by certain priests.designated "fathers of the god," as in
Egypt.2 See Mary; Virgin Birth.
Mary Magdalene

The Gospels say Jesus cast seven devils out of the sacred harlot Mary
Magdalene, and appeared first to her after his resurrection (Mark 16:9).
Books later eliminated from the canon by Christian censors gave
further curious details about the relationship: Jesus loved Mary Magdalene
more than all other apostles, called her Apostle to the Apostles
and "the Woman Who Knew the All," and often kissed her.1 He said
she would excel every other disciple in the coming Kingdom of
Light, where she would rule. 2
Before Gnostic Gospels were cut out of the canon, they were
accepted as the Word of God, as much as the synoptic Gospels and
other New Testament writings. Therefore medieval traditions concerning
Mary Magdalene hark back to her early mystical supremacy. She
was called Mary Lucifer, "Mary the Light-giver." It was said Jesus
raised Lazarus from the dead solely for love of her. "There was no
grace that He refused her, nor any mark of affection that He withheld
from her."3
The Pistis Sophia made Mary Magdalene the questioner of Jesus,
in the Oriental manner of the catechism applied to the god by his
Shakti or Devi (Goddess). The female questioner then was addressed as
"Dearly Beloved."4 Jesus used the same form of address, though later
editors eliminated all traces of the identity of his questioner; but it was
apparent that his "dearly beloved" was Mary Magdalene.5
Origen showed a mystic devotion to Mary Magdalene, confusing
her with the Goddess by calling her "the mother of all of us," and
sometimes Jerusalem, and sometimes The Church (Ecclesia, another
title of the Virgin). Origen claimed Mary Magdalene was immortal,
having lived from the beginning of time.6
Thus it seems Mary the Whore was only another form of Mary
the Virgin, otherwise the Triple Goddess Mari-Anna-Ishtar, the
Great Whore of Babylon who was worshipped along with her savior-son
in the Jerusalem temple.7 The Gospel of Mary said all three Marys of
the canonical books were one and the same.8
Indeed, the Virgin and Whore were still confused with one
another in the 7th century A.D. when, on the day of the Nativity of
the Blessed Virgin, Pope Sergius instituted an annual procession to the
old temple of the prostitute-goddess Libera, changing the temple's
name to Santa Maria Maggiore: Most-Great Holy Mary.9 It was not
made clear which Holy Mary was meant. A Gnostic poem merged
the two of them as a primal feminine power: "I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one. I am the whore, and the
holy one." 10
Magdalene means "she of the temple-tower." The Jerusalem
temple had a triple tower representing the triple deity, one tower
bearing the name of the queen, Mariamne, an earthly incarnation of the
Goddess Mari. 11 This was the same Mariamne, Miriam, or Mary
who took Joseph for her lover. 12 Priestesses of this temple apparently
subsidized Jesus and his companions, according to Luke 8:1-3,
which says Jesus and "the twelve" were financially supported by Mary
Magdalene and a group of women. Latin texts say the women
provided for "him" (Jesus), but Greek texts make it "them." 13
The seven "devils" exorcised from Mary Magdalene seem to have
been the seven Maskim, or Anunnaki, Sumero-Akkadian spirits of
the seven nether spheres, born of the Goddess Mari. Their multiple
birth was represented in her sacred dramas, which may account for
their alleged emergence from Mary Magdalene. An Akkadian tablet
said ofthem: "They are seven! In the depths of the ocean, they are
seven! In the brilliancy of the heavens, they are seven! They proceed
from the ocean depths [Maria], from the hidden retreat." 14
The Gospels say no men attended Jesus's tomb, but only Mary
Magdalene and her women. Only women announced Jesus's resurrection.
This was because men were barred from the central mysteries
of the Goddess. Priestesses announced the successful conclusion of
the rites, and the Savior's resurrection. The Bible says the male apostles
knew nothing ofJesus's resurrection, and had to take the women's
word for it (Luke 2 4: 10-11 ). The apostles were ignorant of the sacred
tradition and didn't even realize a resurrection was expected: "They
knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead"
(John 20:9).
Mari-Ishtar the Great Whore anointed-or christ-ened-her
doomed god when he went into the underworld, whence he would
rise again at her bidding. That is, she made him a Christ. Her priestess
raised the lament for him when he died in the flesh, as a sacrificial
victim. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, victims were told: "The harlot who
anointed you with fragrant oil laments for you now." 15 Templewomen
of Jerusalem raised the same lament for Tammuz (Ezekiel
8: 14), with whom Jesus was identified. Jesus himself said Mary
Magdalene anointed him for his burial, pouring a precious unguent on
his head in the time-honored manner of the sacred king' s crowning
(Matthew 26:7-12). The christening-vase of holy oil was the ubiquitous
symbol of Mary Magdalene in Christian art-though the virgin Mary
also bore the harlot's title of Holy Vase. 16 See Jesus Ben Pandera.
Virgin and Whore constantly exchanged attributes through the
Middle Ages; the virgin Mary was consistently a special patron of
prostitutes.'7 A Christian magic ring, now in the London museum,
bears the legend, "Holy Mary Magdalene pray for me." 18
Pope Julius II by a papal bull established a "sacred" brothel in
Rome, which flourished under his successors Leo X and Clement
VII. The earnings of this brothel supported the Holy Sisters of the
Order of St. Mary Magdalene, indicating that the Holy Sisters and
the magdalenes (whores) were one and the same. Pope Innocent III
also favored Rome's collegia of prostitutes, called virgines, "unmarried
women." He publicly announced that ariy man who married one of
them would be specially praised in heaven. 19
Much Christian myth-making went into the later history of Mary
Magdalene. She was said to have lived for a while with the virgin
Mary at Ephesus. This story probably was invented to account for the
name Maria associated with the Ephesian Goddess. Afterward, Mary
Magdalene went to Marseilles, another town named after the ancient
sea-mother Mari. Her cult centered there. Bones were found at
Vezelay and declared to be hers. Her dwelling was a cave formerly
sacred to the pagans, at St. Baume (Holy Tree).2° For thirty years she
lived there without eating or drinking, her only nourishment the sweet
songs of the angels, a "delightful repast" she daily took in through her
ears.21 A church was built over her grotto. Local winegrowers still offer
votive candles to her for a good vintage, as if the ancient fertilitymother
still occupied the site. 22
St. Martha accompanied Mary to Provence and worked a number
of miracles there. Meeting a dragon named Tarasque (i.e., the Celtic
deity Taranis), Martha destroyed him by tying him up with her girdle
and pouring holy water on his head. 23 Old images of the Twofold
Goddess with her Great Serpent seem to have been renamed Mary and
Martha. More often, Mary appeared as the typical feminine trinity
ruling birth, love, and death. As Holy Mary at the Cradle, she was the
midwife (or birth-goddess) who delivered Jesus.24 As harlot and
funerary priestess she was linked with sex and death. Finally there was
the Gnostic suggestion that she was the original "pope," foundress of
Christ's church, according to the Oriental idea that spiritual authority
must pass from male to female and vice versa (see Peter, Saint).
Some said she married St. John the Evangelist.25 In 12th-century Milan
they were worshipped together in a dual cathedral built and administered
by the monks of St. John jointly with the virgines of St. Maria
Maggiore, also entitled Sancta Dei Genetrix (Holy Mother of God).
The androgynous cathedral was excavated in 1943-44, but its discovery
was kept secret. 26
During the 13th century a Dianic temple was rededicated to Mary
Magdalene. At Easter, the story of her conversion of the rulers of
Marseilles was chanted at the altar. Later the sacred song was suppressed.
Later still, Mary's devotees were forbidden to hold mass. In
1781, the Magdalene temple was demolished. 27


"High Place," or "Temple"; in Herod's triple-towered palace in
Jerusalem, the sanctuary of Queen Mariamne. Thus "Miriam of
Magdala" (Mary Magdalene) was either the queen herself or a high
priestess impersonating the Goddess Mari. See Mary.


Great Goddess of northern Europe, leader of the "primal matriarchs"
called Afliae, "powerful ones," or Disir, "divine grandmothers":
the same as the Hindu matrikadevis or mother goddesses. Freya was
the Vanadis, the ruling ancestress (dis) of the Vanir or elder gods, who
ruled before the arrival of Odin and the patriarchal Aesir ("Asians")
from the east. Myths said Odin learned everything he knew about magic
and divine power from Freya. 1
The pagans said nothing could be lucky without Freya's presence.
Even the gods languished and began to decline toward death, like
mortals, when Freya was taken from them.2
Like all forms of the Goddess, Freya represented sexual love,
which is why her alternate name Frigg became a colloquialism for
sexual intercourse. Her consort Frey sometimes took the form of a
phallus. In Uppsala his name was Fricco, "Lover," cognate with the
phallic god Priapus, from the Indo-European root prij, to make love-which
also gave rise to the modern "prick." 3
Though he was sometimes called Freya's twin brother, like the
Artemis-Apollo, Isis-Osiris pairs, Frey made a lingam-yoni combination
with Freya. Their names meant "the Lord" and "the Lady." 4
Some writers identified them with Attis and Cybele, tracing Frigga to
"Frigia" or Phrygia, the Magna Mater's home.5
Frey was the god of Yule, the pagan solstitial festival assimilated to
Christmas. At the turning of the solar year he was born of his virgin-mother-
sister-bride.6 Like other seasonal gods he had a perpetual rival,
Njord, the other half of the year. They were collectively blotgodar
(blood-gods), who fought and sacrificed each other over and over. Njord
was called the first god of the Swedes, having ruled before Odin
brought alien gods from Asia. Frey was another aspect of him, worshipped
in the sacred grove at Uppsala long before it was taken over
by Odin's priests.7 The grove itself stood for the body of the Goddess.
Many of Freya's names were only kennings (metaphors) from the
hymns composed in her honor by her skalds. Focusing on the theme
of love, and known as mansongr, "woman songs," these compositions
were specifically forbidden by the medieval church. 11 Despite the
opposition of the clergy, Germans persisted in believing that Freya's
sacred day, Friday, was the luckiest day for weddings. 12
Freya or one of her equivalents married each of the early Swedish
kings: "They were regarded in heathen times as the husbands of the
fertility goddess .... [T]hey suffered a real or symbolic death in that
capacity when their time of supremacy came to an end." Scandinavian
Aryans followed the typical pattern of sacred marriage between
Goddess and king, the latter becoming identified with the male
fertility deity whose function it was "to die for the land and for his
people, while the goddess never dies. Her function is to weep over
him, perhaps to help bring about his return, or to give birth to the divine
child who is to take his place." 13 (See Kingship.)
After their abrupt sacrificial deaths, Freya kept the spirits of slain
kings and heroes in her Fensalir or Marsh-halls, also called Folkvangr,
the Field of Warriors. 14 They could be reborn after spending a
cycle of time in the wet, fertile earth-womb. Freya's Marsh-halls
recall the "bog" where Baal-Hadad lay for seven years before he was
resurrected to godhood by priestesses of Asherah. 15 Like the early
Semitic worshippers of the Great Mother, Aryans were "men of
clay"-the meaning of their name-because their bodies came forth
from Modir. This meant the root of both "mud" and "mother"; she was
the same primal creatress whom the Russians called Moist Mother
Earth. 16 Modir too was another manifestation of Freya.
She was especially linked with the strange archaic god Heimdall,
whose name meant "a ram," undoubtedly one of the ubiquitous
animal substitutes for a human sacrifice. The ram's horn was Heimdall's
ringing Gjallarhorn, on which he blew the Last Trump to announce
the coming of doomsday and the world's destruction. In the Bible,
magic ram's horns were supposed to bring about the destruction of
Jericho in the same manner 17 The link between Heimdall and Freya
suggested her Kali-like function as a Destroying Goddess, which she
would assume when men and gods displeased her by forgetting her
principles of right living, justice, honor, and peace. She knew more
magic than the gods. Her knowledge was collectively seidr, cognate of
Sanskrit siddhi, the miraculous powers developed by the practice of
Freya had so many incarnations and aspects that the scholars who
tried to characterize her by only one of them soon ran into a mass of
contradictions. She was called the Goddess of fertility, love, the moon,
the sea, the earth, the underworld, death, birth; virgin, mother,
ancestress, queen of heaven, ruler of fate, of the stars, of magic; the
Great Sow wedded to the sacrificial boar; the Mistress of Cats; the
leader of Valkyries; the Saga or "sayer" who inspired all sacred poetry.
In sum, she was as many-sided as any other version of the Goddess.
Marginal note:
Freya had many
alternate names. She
was Gerd the Earth
Mother, or Eartha;
Godiva, "the
Goddess"; Syr, "the
Sow"; Gefn, "the
Giver"; Horn, the holy
harlot; the Vanadis;
or Mardoll, the Moon
Shining Over the
Sea.8 Sometimes she
was simply Lofn,
"Love." 9 She was also
identified with
Mana, the Moon; or
Hel, the underworld;
or Nerthus, the primal
Goddess of the Plow,
in charge of the fertility
of the earth; she
separated the island of
Zealand from
Sweden by plowing a
furrow around it. 10


Day of the Goddess Freya, called unlucky by Christian monks,
because everything associated with female divinity was so called. Friday
the 13th was said to be especially unlucky because it combined the
Goddess's sacred day with her sacred number, drawn from the 13
months of the pagan lunar year. (See Menstrual Calendar.)
Romans named the day dies Veneris after Venus, their own
version of the same Goddess. In modern French, Friday is still
vendredi, 1 and in Italian, venerdi.
Friday used to be the seventh day of the week. It was the Sabbath
of the Jewish lunar calendar and is still the Sabbath of Islam.
Scandinavian pagans, Hindus, and rural Scots insisted that Friday was
the most propitious day for a marriage because it was the day that
favored fertility.
Fish were eaten on Friday as fertility charms, in honor of Venus
(or Freya) whose totems they were. Fish are still considered "aphrodisiac"
food because they were sacred to Aphrodite. Thus the Catholic
habit of eating fish on Friday was wholly pagan in origin. But the
church never acknowledged the debt. In the Middle Ages, when pagan
votaries of Freya continued to celebrate her rites on Friday, churchmen
designated her day as the day of "devil worship." 2


Scandinavian elder deities: peace-loving, matriarchal, agricultural
nature spirits led by Mother Earth and by Freya, "the Lady," called
Vanadfs or Matriarch of the Vanir. The warlike Aesir led by Father
Odin moved into the territory of the Vanir and made war against them,
beginning with an act of cruelty: the Aesir seized and tortured their
holy sorceress, Gullveig.1 In the end the Vanir were conquered, but
many generations remained in awe of their miraculous powers. They
were said to have accomplished everything by magic, and invented all
the knowledge that the new gods learned. 2
Whether the Vanir were described as elder gods, giants, elves,
matriarchs, or "primal ancestresses," they seem to have represented
pre-patriarchal farming cultures who were forced to give way to nomadic
Aryan invaders.


Irish-druidic priest-name, derived from pre-Christian holy harlots of
the Goddess Kelle, Kale, or Kali. Irish writings described the divine
harlot Mary Magdalene as a kelle. 1 The medieval term Kele-De was
considered somewhat mysterious, translated "Bride of God" if a woman,
"Servant of God" if a man.2 These translations were inaccurate.
Kele-De meant literally the spirit of the Goddess Kele, evidently
identical with the Goddess Kali of the original Indo-European Celts.
Votaries of the Goddess Kele stressed the search for inward
perfection through meditation, yogic style.3 Her gods assumed the
lotus position like eastern yogis. Her primitive Grail hero, Peredur,
experienced her as the "most beautiful woman in the world,"
represented by the three colors of the Divine Prakriti, still known as the
Gunas, standing for her powers of creation, preservation, and
destruction. 4
The mythical "St. Kilda" seems to have been another version of
the Goddess Kele, dwelling on a remote rocky islet once identified
with the western paradise of the dead. St. Kilda's Isle still exists, but the
origin of its name has been forgotten. The ubiquitous Irish word kill,
a cell or cave, once meant a shrine of Kele, whose holy men called
themselves Culdees, Colidees, Cele-De, Keledio, etc. Some were
described in Christian histories as monks, though they were obviously
Kildare was a major shrine of the Goddess Kilda-Kele, or Brigit,
identified with the virgin Mary after Christian monks appropriated
the site. But the guardianship of the sacred fire at Kildare had long been
a prerogative of priestesses; the shrine was forbidden to men.6
Confusion of Kilda-Kele-Brigit with Mary was not too far-fetched, as
they had been aspects of the same Goddess for thousands of years in
India as Kali-Mari or Kel-Mari, the Pot Goddess who made human
forms out of clay.7 (See Kali Ma.)


Mexican Aphrodite: a many-faceted Love Goddess, Moon-virgin,
fairy queen, and Madonna; a patroness of marriage and sacred harlots,
dance, songs, spinning, weaving, changes and transformations, magic,
and art. Like Syrian Adonis, her son-lover was a young vegetation god. 1
Her worshippers said Xochiquetzal was the mother of all races of
humanity after the primordial flood. Her many children were as
dumb as animals until her holy spirit in the form of a dove descended on
them from the Tree of Heaven and gave them speech. In this way all
the world's languages were created. 2
In addition to the dove, another symbol Xochiquetzal shared with
the ancient Indo-European Goddesses was her sacred flower, the
marigold-perhaps a New World version of the golden Thousand Petaled
Lotus representing the Great Mother in India.
Xochiquetzal's paradise was located "above the nine heavens in a
very pleasant and delectable place, accompanied and guarded by
many people and waited on by other women of the rank of goddesses,
where are many delights of fountains, brooks, flower-gardens." 3 This
fairyland was available after death to those who faithfully served the
Goddess and lived according to her laws.

Thais, Saint

The famous harlot Thais, mistress of Alexander the Great, was
transferred to the 4th century A.D. in her Christianized legend, which
ignored chronology so Thais could repent her gaudy life and be
converted to Christianity by one of the Coptic cenobites, usually St.
Anthony. To fulfill what seemed to be one of the ascetics' favorite
fantasies, Thais at the height of her beauty and fame was said to have renounced
her sins, mortified her flesh, burned her fine clothes and
ornaments, given away all her wealth to the church, and walled herself
up in a desert cell to live in the midst of her own filth. The only trouble
with the hagiographer's tale was that, at the time it was supposed to
have happened, Thais had already been dead for more than 600

From Barbara Walker's Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

12 opmerkingen:

  1. They represent the world history from the beginning of the Tamil; First Akasththiya muni till the formation of religions in our world for a period of more than 5000 years!

  2. As a Neo Pagan woman, I say it's pathetic and ridiculous considering mary as goddess: in the gospel maria is a female who is fertilized and gives birth to a male child (considered god by Catholic: a god with penis!)
    mary has no role in the Gospels, she is not powerful, she is not sexual.
    Jesus denies and humiliates here, silencing her in public. mary is nothing and served only as a uterus, for 9 months for the male: that's all her role.
    idolize her, as do Catholics, it is idiotic, because christianity is a religion that worships a god father and a god christ with penis, and no Goddess, and it is disgusting to celebrate a hymen intact, and no clitoris and female orgasm.

    Women who want to worship Goddesses, do not need the monkey mary. We have our true Goddesses. mary is a monkey postulated by males misogynous in the history of the theology. call her "immaculate" serves only to say that other women are impure and dirty and that god (a male!) could not accept for himself to lodge in a normal uterus. call her "virgin forever" is sexual phobia and only serves to deny the pleasure female - clitoral and vaginal - (mary is considered frigid, in Catholics' ideas, she doesn't had sexual thoughts, "lust")
    Christianity is a religion of disgusting idolatry of the phallus, and the same jesus want women to serve him: women kissed his feet and this sh*tty thing is written in all the gospels!

    if you want to worship the True Feminine Cosmic Principle, stop being below the idiocies of the Christian gospel and worship Hecate, Ishtar, Kali and so on.
    mary is a total idiot in the Gospels, Jesus himself humiliated her and she had only one role and status: the cow fertilized by god's sperm (again! a god male with sperm!) for giving birth to a male god called jesus who prayed ONLY a god the father in the sky and NEVER SPOKE ABOUT A GODDESS IN THE SKY! he prayed only a father!

    Christian Wicca is ridiculous. you don't understand that the cult to mary offends all real women, who have a clitoris, a menstrual cycle, do not become pregnant for "male's will" and do not call themselves as "ancilla domini" (slave of god), as says mary herself, in the gospel, in the "magnificat", because the only role she had was the status of the servant and the status of the pregnant cow!

  3. here you can find the EXACTLY WORDS of the gospels where jesus humiliated mary and she rest in silence, like an idiot!
    (Mark 3:31-35)
    (Luke 11:27-28)
    and this should be "a lovely son" with his dearest mom?!
    this should be "a great mistress, a great queen"?!
    an idiot of woman who stays in silence?!
    another sh*tty thing taken from the phallic gospels:
    a woman slave who kissed jesus' dirty feets! a woman who stand down in her own kneels before "the great master and king jesus, the male, the god!"
    this is a disgusting form of penis-supremacy and worshipping penis-cult.
    (Luke 7:36-50)

  4. see the disgusting images of this sado-masochistic worshipping of the male's feets!

  5. other images 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

  6. see the images with your own eyes searching "Luke 7.36"


  7. here some images of mary, as a servant (her own role: she calls herself "ancilla domini", the servant of the lord - READ THE MAGNIFICAT https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+1%3A46-55&version=ESV) a weak dumb woman who call herself "a slave, a servant"! this is mary
    : http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N45CuF91k3o/T6E2ARs5-0I/AAAAAAAAEIo/IXQBSY5pPMs/s1600/Mary%27s+Greatness.jpg
    (magnify god... of course, the fertilizing male god with seed, not herself as a woman...)
    down kneel before the male-christ
    down kneel before the father god.

  8. this should be a goddess, a queen, a mistress?!
    this is the real mary, in christian mind and theology!
    a servant! and the folk's fantasy celebrates her as a goddes just because centuries ago the cult of Isis or Diana was FORBIDDEN!
    THIS IS THE REAL IDEAS ABOUT WOMEN WRITTEN BY SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/sum102.htm
    Aquinas himself wrote about the passive virgin mary and the active god's seed.

    please stop promoting christian wicca. we don't need it. we have a lots of real Goddesses. mary is just a monkey. and christianity should be throw in the garbage. it's not a religion form women, only for men and their ideas of a father god, a male god on earth and a spermatic spirit who makes pregnant a weak frigid slave without clito and without brain.

  9. "My" blog (The subject "The Sacred Prostitute"/"Mary") is but a copy & paste collection of "Barbara Walker's Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets". All credits go to her. You're sisters alike!

    1. so, you copy e paste the post of another woman?! by the way, the essay I have written it's right. you can read the gospel and you will find the exactly words and ideas I have written. mary is not a goddess. she was an uterus and she is adored only for her hymen, not for her clito or free will.
      please take a look into my blog: http://nochristianwicca.blogspot.it/2015/05/mary-is-not-goddess-christianity.html
      you can read and see with your own eyes the real words and images in real catholic theology. I am not english, and you are not english too, I suppose, but you can find the books I mentioned here in your country too.
      and by the way, the images of women kissing jesus' feet are useful even if a person don't speak english...