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The myth of the goddess / Anne Baring and Jules Cashford.

By: Contributor(s): Material type: TextTextPublication details: Viking Arkana, 1991.ISBN:
  • 0670835641
Subject(s): DDC classification:
  • 291.211 20
Contents:
Foreword / Laurens Van Der Post -- Pt. I. The Mother Goddess and Her Son-Lover. 1. In the Beginning: The Palaeolithic Mother Goddess. 2. The Neolithic Great Goddess of Sky, Earth and Waters. 3. Crete: The Goddess of Life, Death and Regeneration. 4. The Bronze Age: The Mother Goddess and Her Son-Lover. 5. Inanna-Ishtar: Mesopotamian Goddess of the Great Above and the Great Below. 6. Isis of Egypt: Queen of Heaven, Earth and Underworld. 7. Tiamat of Babylon: The Defeat of the Goddess. 8. Goddesses of Greece: Gaia, Hera, Artemis and Athena -- Pt. II. The Sacred Marriage. 9. Goddesses of Greece: Aphrodite, Demeter and Persephone. 10. Cybele: Great Goddess of Anatolia and Rome. 11. The Iron Age: The Great Father God Yahweh-Elohim. 12. The Hidden Goddess in the Old Testament. 13. Eve: The Mother of All Living. 14. Mary: The Return of the Goddess. 15. Sophia: Mother, Daughter and Bride. 16. The Sacred Marriage of Goddess and God: The Reunion of Nature and Spirit. Appendix 1: Prehistoric Times -- Appendix 2: The Christian Gospels.
Summary: The myth of the Goddess is the oldest myth we know; the evolution of that myth tells the story of how our understanding of ourselves--as we have achieved it through the images of our goddesses and gods--has developed over the millennia of human history. Yet today the Goddess seems to have disappeared, and only the God remains. But it has not always been so. In this definitive and powerfully argued study, scholarly yet accessible, Jules Cashford and Anne Baring draw upon art and mythology, poetry and literature, archaeology and psychology, to show how the myth of the Goddess has been lost from our formal Judaeo-Christian images of the divine. They explain what happened to the Goddess, when and how she was excluded, and the implications to us of this loss. They trace the image of the Great Mother Goddess of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic times through the Bronze and Iron Ages to the Virgin Mary, 'Queen of Heaven'. They show how the God separated from the originally androgynous Goddess and eventually came to stand alone as the creator of the world. But the Goddess, however devalued and debased, did not go away; the image of the universe as an organic, living and sacred whole--which is the essence of the Goddess myth--could not be eradicated, and went underground. This leaves an imbalance in the masculine and feminine images of the psyche. The authors argue that successive patterns of myth, legend and history demonstrate the importance of bringing the feminine and masculine images into harmony with each other, which is only possible when both are acknowledged. In earlier times the 'Sacred Marriage' of Goddess and God symbolized this harmony: Inanna and Dumuzi in Sumeria, Ishtar and Tammuz in Babylonia, Isis and Osiris in Egypt, Cybele and Attis in Anatolia, Aphrodite and Adonis in Greece--and, in the language of the image but not the doctrine, Mary and Jesus in Christianity. The parallels and similarities in all the Goddess myths are so striking that they suggest a continuous tradition of images throughout history. Today the Goddess is re-emerging in the surprising guise of New Science, which offers a vision of the universe as a living whole that can only be understood as a unity--and the scientists express themselves in images that belong to the old Goddess myth. This book's detailed evocation, description and analysis of the stories and images of humanity will surely help to restore the myth of the Goddess to our consciousness.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Foreword / Laurens Van Der Post -- Pt. I. The Mother Goddess and Her Son-Lover. 1. In the Beginning: The Palaeolithic Mother Goddess. 2. The Neolithic Great Goddess of Sky, Earth and Waters. 3. Crete: The Goddess of Life, Death and Regeneration. 4. The Bronze Age: The Mother Goddess and Her Son-Lover. 5. Inanna-Ishtar: Mesopotamian Goddess of the Great Above and the Great Below. 6. Isis of Egypt: Queen of Heaven, Earth and Underworld. 7. Tiamat of Babylon: The Defeat of the Goddess. 8. Goddesses of Greece: Gaia, Hera, Artemis and Athena -- Pt. II. The Sacred Marriage. 9. Goddesses of Greece: Aphrodite, Demeter and Persephone. 10. Cybele: Great Goddess of Anatolia and Rome. 11. The Iron Age: The Great Father God Yahweh-Elohim. 12. The Hidden Goddess in the Old Testament. 13. Eve: The Mother of All Living. 14. Mary: The Return of the Goddess. 15. Sophia: Mother, Daughter and Bride. 16. The Sacred Marriage of Goddess and God: The Reunion of Nature and Spirit. Appendix 1: Prehistoric Times -- Appendix 2: The Christian Gospels.

The myth of the Goddess is the oldest myth we know; the evolution of that myth tells the story of how our understanding of ourselves--as we have achieved it through the images of our goddesses and gods--has developed over the millennia of human history. Yet today the Goddess seems to have disappeared, and only the God remains. But it has not always been so. In this definitive and powerfully argued study, scholarly yet accessible, Jules Cashford and Anne Baring draw upon art and mythology, poetry and literature, archaeology and psychology, to show how the myth of the Goddess has been lost from our formal Judaeo-Christian images of the divine. They explain what happened to the Goddess, when and how she was excluded, and the implications to us of this loss. They trace the image of the Great Mother Goddess of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic times through the Bronze and Iron Ages to the Virgin Mary, 'Queen of Heaven'. They show how the God separated from the originally androgynous Goddess and eventually came to stand alone as the creator of the world. But the Goddess, however devalued and debased, did not go away; the image of the universe as an organic, living and sacred whole--which is the essence of the Goddess myth--could not be eradicated, and went underground. This leaves an imbalance in the masculine and feminine images of the psyche. The authors argue that successive patterns of myth, legend and history demonstrate the importance of bringing the feminine and masculine images into harmony with each other, which is only possible when both are acknowledged. In earlier times the 'Sacred Marriage' of Goddess and God symbolized this harmony: Inanna and Dumuzi in Sumeria, Ishtar and Tammuz in Babylonia, Isis and Osiris in Egypt, Cybele and Attis in Anatolia, Aphrodite and Adonis in Greece--and, in the language of the image but not the doctrine, Mary and Jesus in Christianity. The parallels and similarities in all the Goddess myths are so striking that they suggest a continuous tradition of images throughout history. Today the Goddess is re-emerging in the surprising guise of New Science, which offers a vision of the universe as a living whole that can only be understood as a unity--and the scientists express themselves in images that belong to the old Goddess myth. This book's detailed evocation, description and analysis of the stories and images of humanity will surely help to restore the myth of the Goddess to our consciousness.