Matriarchy, Wicca and Satanism
Letter written to Blanche Barton who was disparaging Wiccans by using hokey scholarship. The letter is good also for Wiccans who also use hokey scholarship!
Some hard facts on matriarchy versus patriarchy without appealing to "feel good" new religions about this and exposing those popular writers who are anti-feminist at the same time due to their own romantic notions.
I would like to respond to the many articles pro and con Wicca and feminism with a bit of hard-sci reality. I will not repeat things others have said in letters to some or on the internet. What I would like to get you to see here is just one thing: that most reading material on the subject of "ancient matriarchies," authors both pro and con, like Budapest and Kelly, are, to put it mildly, as "hokey" as can be. In both cases, on both sides, there is complete ignorance and bowdlerization of hard scientific facts of biology, anthropology, historiography, etc. I will confine myself to this narrow subject, since, as I sit here, I can see that this will probably become a rather long letter even so. The only proviso and indulgence I ask of you as you read my letter is this: before you mistake me for someone who is a Marxist, a "male feminist," politically correct, or a third-world revisionist or anything else you can dream up from your own Western and probably Xian-ish point of view, let me tell you now to put that aside: it is not so. I am most decidedly politically incorrect all my life and still am now, which really seems to confuse Westerners so used to having their cubby-holes clearly defined.
As I already said, most reading matter on the subject is by "hokey," non-scientific authors who are either out to promote the neo-Pagan agenda or out to challenge and "refute" it. None of the usual popular authors have any connection to any scientific institution (like, for example, the Smithsonian, which is radically anti-White Western Christian Male), nor any regard for scientific facts. Margaret A. Murray never gave any "scholarly impetus" to the theory of an ancient goddess cult, as most incorrectly assert, but was sternly ignored by serious archaeologists and anthropologists in the three decades following the publication of "The Witch-Cult in Western Europe" - and still is ignored! Nor did the scholarly impetus for this theory, which "folklorist" (that is a real pseudo-science, "soft-science") Tristram Coffin ignorantly says now lies in the "junkyard of ideas," come from the "humanist classics" that college students are forced to read, like the early, representative feminist essays by Wollstonecraft, Mill, and Condorcet. The real scholarly impetus came from Charles Darwin and Bachofen, and even Marx and Engels, who believed that "Mother-right," in which property is passed down to heirs on the mother's side, is the prototypical and ideal form of social organization! Coffin does not mention this (he may not even be aware of this, so embroiled is he in "pop" soft- and pseudo-science) because then he would have to imply that Darwin and Marx, two of the most ALIVE thinkers today (one responsible for "Social Darwinism," the other for its antithetical movement "Communism"), are "in the junkyard." Plus, he would then be admitting that "intellectual giants" (whose ideas, as I said, are not archaic in any way, but the basis of all modern thinking on these subjects) could "fall" for ideas your author Rose dismisses as a "cozy and eccentric parlour-game... ." Surprised that I can justly claim Darwin and Marx on the "side" of the theory of ancient matriarchies? Then read on.
I am correct about a "matriarchy" never having existed, but look carefully at what I am SAYing, and at the facts. "Matriarchy" (in the sense and of the type I will explain further along to have really existed) was not the polar functional opposite of patriarchy, which is the social centrality and dominance of men and which Wiccans and Feminists usually refer to. Matriarchies are egalitarian (in the legal, Constitutional sense, not in the perverted and idiomatic sense of the term as used by politically correct "equalitarians"), patriarchies are emphatically NOT. Patriarchies SUPPRESS women, children, other races among them, and what they disparage as "the mad" (by the latter I mean certain well-recognized creative types responsible for new ideas in the realm of DRESS, DANCE, the ARTS, etc., like Ezra Pound, Wilhelm Reich, et al.) In patriarchies, there are always three things conspicuously absent in matriarchies: an elite, wealth and destitute poverty side by side, and social class. Perhaps you are enamored of these. If so, you have to admit to yourself that you cannot be objective in this matter. If you were indifferent to these three things, you could begin to be objective. Any one who is enamored of these three things will not be objective either. What is more, matriarchal societies are NOT based on the institution of property, a state of affairs patriarchists have difficulty even envisioning, wondering how Marx could have done so. They are based on KINSHIP, the famous (among real scholars) "classificatory system," which I can be certain none of the authors you have read has ever studied in any depth. This is a social system based on a mother and her descendants in the female line. Well sure, you will say, but this is not matriarchy, but rather a MATRILINEAL society. I agree, and, as I just said, I agree about matriarchies never having existed except among a few scattered and oddball tribes. What is more, many matrilineal societies are actually patriarchal because power is wielded by a mother's brother (a fact which the authors of most reading material are again probably ignorant of, since this is learned only by studying the "nuts and bolts" of real anthropology, not by reading "humanist classics" or neo-Pagan apologies or diatribes. So what this really boils down to is THE ISSUE or STUDY OF WOMEN'S STATUS or RANK in society, and if you look carefully and objectively at this you find out that things were (and in some places and among some people right here, STILL ARE) a lot like the neo-Pagans claim, which I will now delineate.
The Mediterranean area is the best area for studying ancient social systems. In Babylon, Egypt, Phrygia, and Phoenicia, to mention some outstanding ancient civilizations, we find the worship of important mother goddesses. You cannot compare this widespread, lavish, dominant reverence and adoration with that of the "Catholic" veneration of Mary Magdalene or the Virgin Mary, as if the latter could "fill the gap," as is glibly put it many essays, "left" by Ishtar in Babylon, Astarte in Phoenicia, Cybele in Phrygia, or Isis in Egypt. That would be like thinking a cork could fill the crater blown off the cap of Mt. St. Helens. Some also have had in mind, in this weak "argument," the minor Catholic hyperdulia cults, typically like those in the Caribbean or on Calabria in Italy, for example. But these are clearly distinguishable from what went on in Babylon with goddess cults, even well into the patriarchal era. Look at the STATUS of women in Babylon, for example. What went on?
Consider the fascinating little figurines mentioned in so many articles: the "small statuettes and images of round, fecund females as fertility symbols," they say. Most authors have misinformed you on these interesting artifacts, some recently discovered examples of which are gigantic. They are known today, throughout the SCIENTIFIC world, as "fat ladies," so I shall refer to them as such here. The fact that most writers do not call them this is evidence that they have NO first-hand acquaintance with them, and are "outsiders" to the whole subject. One finds the fat ladies in all the most ancient city-states, for example in Malta they are associated with the earliest free standing public stone buildings yet discovered (see Scientific American, Dec. l993). They go back to the Upper Paleolithic (about 25,000 years ago), through the Neolithic and the dawn of metal-working. Only a few are found in Europe, but in the Mediterranean world they are found in unusually very great abundance in far-flung sites. And many own such artifacts as they were indiscriminately lifted from excavations and sold as objets d'art. This was not really looting, but there is great regret in the archaeological community that this went on because modern archaeological methods, of which the authors most of you read are not apparently aware, have become very strict as to how excavations are conducted and artifacts removed due to what happened to these fat ladies. Owners of fat ladies cannot fully account for where they come from, or exactly where or how they were situated in a dig site before removal. Now they are not removed from any excavation unless they are first photographed in three dimensions (i. e. from many angles) in situ and the nature of their locations carefully documented in a log. This is because WHERE an object is found in an excavation is as important as the image or material of the object itself. I am going to tell you where the new scientific methods of excavation have found these objects, and you will be surprised, because the new, more careful, documented, and fastidious work indicates they were not fertility symbols at all, as most articles and books imply. This fallacy was due, again, to "soft science" types in the art world who sold them as objets d'art. These people did not call them "fat ladies," which is a very objective and neutral name for them. They prejudicially called them "Venuses," based on their "Jungian" idea that they "look like" a "fecund mother archetype." There is no basis for the idea that they are fertility images, and the new excavating indicates they were something else. As I said, it matters WHERE you find something: did you excavate it from a devotional kitchen niche, or from a common grave.
Suppose you discovered a lot of mass graves in an archaeological dig. And in these graves, you always find swastikas. What would this mean? Archaeologists truly say that archaeological excavating is like detective work at a crime scene. It could mean that a Nazi killed everybody in the grave and then threw in his "calling card" (the swastika). Or, it could mean that everyone slaughtered in the grave was a Nazi. So these are tough calls for archaeologists. Why do I use the image of a mass grave? Because now that these fat ladies are not just summarily lifted from a site, trumpeted as evidence of early man's "obsession with fertility," and tossed about as "Venuses," it is known that they are NOT found where one finds an ancient city-state's fertility icons at all. They are most often found in common graves of disarticulated MALE bones! A skeleton is called "disarticulated" when the bones are separated from each other. In the case of these mass graves, the males' bones were summarily pulled apart in order to make room for more, like in an over full landfill, because men were not entitled to a burial. This is known with a great degree of certainty, for example, from the death cults in the Malta region I referred to above (in which these fat ladies are found in abundance) because FEMALE bones are found nearby fully articulated (NOT pulled apart like so much refuse), and their (the females') bones are invariably found very ceremoniously and carefully buried under the household itself! Men were not entitled to be buried there - and apparently not entitled to a burial at all! Thus speak the fat ladies! This is the HARD EVIDENCE of a new and much more careful method of "doing archaeology." For example, when these fat ladies were first found and passed around they started a tradition of scholarly speculation (which may or may not be mentioned by most authors) of an "eye goddess" cult spread throughout the ancient world. The "fertility" idea was more prevalent among art connoisseurs, not scholars of any real science. The "eye goddess" idea got its impetus also from the hard fact of the ubiquitous eye motifs in the ancient Mediterranean. It was believed that this religion spread from the Balkan area into Europe to form the "Old European Religion" from which Wicca claims descent. This speculation went on and had NOTHING to do with Murray et al. I repeat: this was speculation, and the scholars doing it knew it, UNLIKE the art connoisseurs who were bandying about the less well-grounded speculation that they were "fertility goddesses." What I have told you about the common graves, however, is NOT speculation, but hard fact, not otherwise easily explainable except as evidence of a social system vastly different from ours in which men lacked almost ANY social status at all. Perhaps neither the Wiccans nor their detractors WANT to contemplate a great civilization in which men were completely dispossessed, and couldn't even get a few square feet for their bones, which were regarded as garbage by corpulent women or "goddesses!" The women's superior status in these civilizations - in life and death - was not based on property, as in a patriarchy, but rather on a different kind of territorial idea in which men had "no territory" but women had the homesite, which they, in some sense, "owned." Note that this is NOT evidence of a powerful and dominant hierarchy of priestesses, but many archaeologists directly involved in these digs today THINK IT IS, contrary to what skeptics say, who seem to be unaware of the new and better work done here. But even if there was not the polar equivalent of a dominant hierarchy of male priests, the evidence speaks most clearly on the side of some sort of ancient matriarchal system, or something resembling one, and this evidence IS, contrary to what most authors say, HARD PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. Also consider evidence using the first hand accounts of Pythagoreans and who they claimed initiated them: Priestesses!
Should anyone be surprised at a social system of such widespread prevalence in the earliest stages of (documentable) civilization in which women had some sort of status based on some sort of (by them understood) connection of "territoriality" to a homesite, which the men did not have? It would not be a surprise to a primatologist in the least, for he would know, for instance, about the society of the bonobo or pygmy chimp, possibly the most intelligent primate alive next to man. In bonobo society, the female is clearly central and dominant. (See Scientific American, March, l995, "Bonobo Sex and Society," in which the author makes a remark that may seem out of place in a hard science journal, but surprises no one in these sciences. I quote from it here: "At a juncture in history during which women are seeking equality with men, science arrives with a belated gift to the feminist movement." He goes on to elaborate on the male-biased "evolutionary scenarios," as the author calls them, "Man the Hunter," "Man the Toolmaker," etc., which now appear to be romantic fantasies having no connection with actual primate and hominid evolution. All of this is quite matter of fact to a primatologist.
You must know that centuries after Copernicus and Galileo, certain people and "intellectuals" were still arguing whether or not the Earth was the center of the universe. So it is with the authors found in pop science. The "soft-science" folklorist is ignorant of what is going on in the hard sciences right now. The division of labor he regards as so "self-evident," i. e. man the mobile, female the sedentary, did NOT result in, as he puts it, "man the possessor" and women "the possessed." Even logic would disabuse you of this idea: Man the mobile comes home to find Woman with three other children by another man, or by THREE DIFERENT men. Hard evidence, both from primatology and scientific archaeology, indicates that the NATURALLY based sex roles of man-the-mobile and woman-the-sedentary resulted in just the OPPOSITE of what folklorists and even what popular writers in favor of "pair bonding" say during the Upper Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Metal Ages, i. e. it actually resulted in woman-the-"possessor" (of some sort of homesite "property") and man-the-nigh-banished! It should also be noted that "pair-bonding" is a scientific term defining a specific type of animal with in-built instincts which humans DO NOT HAVE; and that "monogamy" is a more proper term for the "sociopolitical" state of living they seem to be in favor of. If humans were true pair-bonders, they could not "cheat" on each other: it would not be POSSIBLE for them to do this due to in-build biological factors. Monogamy, in light of this, is an artificial and unnatural state of affairs forced on an animal (humans) against the instinct.
This continued well into the age of patriarchies. Should we be surprised that the patriarchies did not or could not just reverse this age-old system dictated by biological necessity (as Darwin in fact argued over a century ago)? Not at all, of course. Look at the Code of Hammurabi in Babylon, an early patriarchy. In that Code, women were still allowed a far greater degree of financial and personal freedom than in post-Renaissance European societies. A bride would have to be paid for, and guess who got the money: THE BRIDE. This payment, which often included real estate, was settled on her and remained HER property. A wife could sue for divorce (only allowed in modern times), but she KEPT her dowry-price. She could sue for divorce based on cruelty alone! Women could trade on their own account, independent of their husbands, and could be judges, elders, scribes and witnesses. I have found that when I use to tell people this, they once-upon-a-time were astonished: they thought that only in the Great Constitutional Patriarchy of America did this finally come about. I only recently heard a crony of William Bennett on a radio talk show claim that these ideas for the liberation of women were only realized for the first time in America, outside of which women had always been subservient to men. (She did not give the Founding Fathers credit for this, since she knew that none of their wives participated in politics, but, in an effort to promote Bennett's "moral and family values" and Christian myths, gave the Founding Fathers credit for it nonetheless by saying that they created the political system in which the political equality of women could come into existence. She did not mention that they were also anti-Christian Masons.)
Statements like this, that women's social status in America today is a new thing that never existed before, are made in popular books and journals as a matter of course and are never challenged. What Bennett's crony should have said is that WOMAN-RIGHT as it was UNIVERSALLY PRACTICED IN THE ANCIENT WORLD was ERODED BY the patriarchies until it reached a low ebb in the Puritan and Calvanist Christian societies of the Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries. I don't know if you really know what happened here so let me outline it. (I'm confining my point to Europe. Similar things happened in other parts of the world and under certain KINDS of people who ruled).
From the position of dominance I mentioned above in these ancient city states and the high status still maintained in early patriarchies, after wave after wave of new patriarchy, by the time of the Roman Empire, a woman had sunk to the level of what, in Roman law, was called an imbecile. This is kind of like an "incompetent" in modern jurisprudence, but slightly different. An imbecile cannot be called as a witness at a trial (an incompetent in modern jurisprudence can in certain cases), and cannot make contracts, wills, or hold public office (like the modern incompetent). How low can you go? Well, lower still, because in the post-Roman Christian world, something was added to women's being imbeciles: they were considered to be temptresses, responsible for the Fall of Adam, not permitted to speak at all, barred from all public affairs in Christian society, secluded in homes owned by the male, needing to keep the fact that they could read a secret, especially if they read Greek or Latin. That was the lowest they went, and that takes us into the Eighteenth Century in Europe, where this went on, and in some parts of the New World.
You can imagine what happened to women that freely spoke their minds and spoke from their hearts: the clans of people that produced such women were long gone from that area, otherwise such women (and their genes) were killed off as would have been any men (and their genes) that were outspoken and against this wretched state of affairs. It is typically Christian to cast women in the ROLE of temptress, whether this is considered "positive" or not, and whether this is biologically true or not (by her mere presence the male is aroused but not vice versa), just as I consider the imbecile image of the dumb blonde to be Christian whether or not most blondes tend to be imbeciles or just dumb.
It is male animals that vie for the privilege of being picked to sire the offspring of the females who judge and choose among them in most of the animal kingdom. In the microscopic realm of sperm and ova, the sperm might rush and struggle to fertilize the ova, but the ova's surface electrical field must collapse or "open" to ALLOW a sperm in. Israeli scientists have found that much infertility in healthy couples today is due to this "refusal" to allow the sperm in - a "choice" made by the ova (since these ova do not exist apart from the woman, but are HER ova, one could say the choice is being made by HER, whether she is aware of this or not. By studying human fertility, would not an extra-terrestrial race otherwise unfamiliar with humans have guessed what Darwin and Marx believed - as well as intellectuals in the ancient world, like Apuleius: that matriarchy is the norm for humans?
It is often mentioned that Herodotus is continually being upgraded and "rehabilitated" by modern archaeology. His credibility has soared. Until very recently, he was regarded by arrogant and smug Nineteenth Century European "scholars" as having the intelligence and veracity of Walter Winchell, a comparison I actually read once. (One may take time to read Sander L. Gilman's collection of European "scholarship" in his "On Blackness Without Blacks" to get an idea of what "thinking" was like in Europe not too long ago.) Herodotus is no longer thought to be so, and his reputation as "The Father of History" has been restored. With this in mind, one should consider his comparison of Egypt in his time to Athens, which was well on its way then into patriarchy due to Pericles, where women were already well on their way to having the great joy of their existence - childbearing - MADE INTO childbearing-SLAVERY (which is what astute feminists have pointed out is behind the Christian renewal of "family values"), as Bertrand Russell once pointed out happened in the Christian world. Russell's book on Christianity is an expose on the nature of fiendishness, but don't think I'm a fan of Russell - it's just that what he said was the truth. The beginning of the end of Athenian civilization came with Pericles, an age that should more properly have been called the "Age of Aspasia." This is about the time when the Pythagoreans went wholly underground. One of the wonders of Egypt Herodotus described is his observation that "the people also in most of the manners and customs exactly reverse the common practice" of the Athenians. He is known to have had the relation of the sexes in mind when he wrote this. In Egypt, in Herodotus's day, women were still owning property, working in many sectors of the economy, taking part in public life, and mixing freely with men. The authority of Herodotus, which, as I said, has reached a new high with modern archaeologists and historians, combined with what has been known all along about some very powerful Egyptian Queens, indicates then that the roles of Egyptian men and women were reversed from those in Athens, which were already much like those played by men and women of early Twentieth Century Europe and America (pre-WWI).
It's right under everyone's noses, but no one sees it: a powerful society in which the sex roles are reversed - Egypt prior to the Fifth Cent. B. C. E. Writers from the Christian Osmoconsciousness repeatedly err in their interpretations of the ancient world. For example, try to tell them that women's skeletons of the Neolithic Age show many of the growths and scars that result from their having spent many hours on a saddle quern (this is a kind of cracker, splitter, and grinder for grain) and they immediately and WRONGLY see this as evidence of ancient female subservience. Women really did this kind of hard physical work, and it often took several hours on a quern to make enough flour for one meal. If anything, the terrible, disfiguring scars and skeletal mutilations borne by male skeletons wounded in the hunt should be regarded as a sign of "banishment and subservience," and this WOULD BE thought were it not for the fact that there is a Romantic Glamour (emotional obscuration) surrounding the "Man the Hunter" scenario which keep European Christians from seeing what this really involved. I mentioned how the woman had a kind of specific "space" around a homesite which was "hers" and on which no man could be buried, where she and her female descendants alone could be buried. On this homesite she practiced, for example, what archaeologists call "textile technology." Recently, an intricately woven fabric was found some 25,000 years old, much older than previously thought existing. Women did all the pottery and crafts and fingerprints found on ancient pottery are female fingerprints, mentioned also by Elain Morgan. The romantic idea of "Man the Artisan" has also been eroded by SCIENTIFIC archaeology little by little, whatever "hold-backs" there may in the world of "pop" culture and "pop archaeology." Increasingly, the Neolithic is being seen as a transition from a HEALTHY system in which salutary foods picked and gathered by the females were supplemented by male-hunted game. During this late Upper Paleolithic Era, humans were very healthy, and women were the artisans and lorists. With the coming of the Neolithic, it is now ABSOLUTELY KNOWN that the health and vigor of humans SUFFERED MISERABLY. The stature (or "height") of a skeleton is physical evidence that archaeologists use to gauge a Neolithic individual's health. It is known that if you have two members of the SAME race, and one is taller than the other, the taller of the two is better nourished. As humans passed into the Neolithic and into the introduction of AGRICULTURE, the height of a Briton, for example, shrunk from close to six feet to a stunted five foot three. In addition, his new diet of grains, whether hard and rough grains, which are severely abrasive and damaging to the teeth, or cracked grains cooked into porridge to make them soft and stick to the teeth, resulted in massive dental caries: imagine the constant, sleepless pain they had to look forward to and endure as they passed into their twenties!
Only the late Twentieth Century modern Briton has BEGUN to approach the stature or health known for the ancient PRE-agricultural Britons. With the coming of agriculture and patriarchy (THEY COME AND GO TOGETHER: CONTRARY to any Wiccan pop-claims), women, at first, retained the skills of "craftsmen" (now known to be CRAFTSWOMEN: there were NO craftsMEN then). Men labored at the crops, keeping pests away, etc. With the coming of patriarchy and the developing urban elites, agriculture became more quantity-intensive. This is when men developed skill in engineering to irrigate crops, etc. This social system created a NEW, SERVILE CLASS of WORKERS which DID NOT EXIST under mother-rule, and caused massive salinization and DEVASTATION of planting sites that archaeologists and paleo-biologists NOW SEE at these city-sites over and over again from MODERN SATELLITE SURVEYS and other SCIENTIFIC investigations of these sites. The social decline of women was only BEGINNING at this point! I touch briefly on this broad subject here, because, in the hard sciences, the artifacts and objets d'art that "the cultured" and "the rich" and in fact people of all classes of society wait in like to ogle at museums are increasingly seen by hard science types as TOKENS OF systems of massive single-crop agriculture and catastrophic planting-site destruction, RESULTING IN THE CYCLIC RISE AND FALL OF PATRIARCHAL SYSTEMS based on property and an elite which lives off the mass-product of a labor-exploited or slave agricultural sector. (Try to see this all as if there is no intentional human component involved, like you might be inclined to view the complex and socially stratified system that exists in an ANT COLONY, for example, so as to TRY TO remain objective. Try, for example, to see the Earth's exhausted topsoil and the exploited agricultural slaves that are key components of this system like you would see the decayed leaves collected by ants as fertilizer and the fungi that ants exploit when they raise their fungus crops - yes, ants do agriculture too - though theirs is quite different!)
This (human) system employs a NEW professional group of males called "priests" which further employs an even NEWER professional group of "scribes and scholars" who reify the whole thing as somehow "divinely sanctioned, writen down in stone." The first known writing (in cuneiform), which is so glorified and revered by literate people such as you who believe in its (UNFOUNDED) "self-evident superiority" over phonocentric systems (using only sonic or oral adjuncts), was another key element of this system. The first "books" were written to justify "in stone" this system for the elite. These writings had nothing - and still have nothing - to do with ANY KIND of scientific or philosophical truth! This system is referred to very scientifically and UNromantically as a "new kind of bee hive" by the present secretary of the Smithsonian Institute and former University of Chicago Professor of Anthropology Robert McC. Adams - these so-called "great city-states of the dawn of civilization," as subsequent written histories in the continuing literate tradition of later agri-patriarchies called them well into this century TO GLORIFY THEM, a tradition of (literate) exaltation of which YOU ARE ENAMOURED. The fact of the matter is these "great civilizations" were sick; they were sick with religion and deranged religious rights (such as human sacrifice of "virgin" women or children and self mutilation), sick with self-destuctive potential that has come down to us today and threatens the entire eco-system of our planet, and sick with sick people born and bred to be stupid and obediant. It is, after all, all that people are willing, in literate cultures today, to call "civilization." Everything else to them is "primitivism," "tribalism," or, like the disparaging image some partly invoke articles of people sitting around campfires "tossing runes" - or just: "nothing"! When these great "hives" self-destruct, as satellite surveys show of their sites of layer upon layer of succeeding civilization - Sumeria, Egypt, Babylonia - in comes the only known really perennial form of human culture, one based on kinship and shared descent, reciprocal obligations, one REVILED AND FEARED BY these elites and their literate "fans," one with a low-density population, FLUIDLY ADAPTIVE, based not on property, as I said, but on the "matriarchal" classificatory system, one which lives on a LEAST-EFFORT basis, sharing risks and labors, capable of FLEXIBILITY in DRAWING FROM AMONG MANY SUBSISTENCE ALTERNATIVES (including "looting"!), one NOT VULNERABLE due to being tied to particular (planting) locations or administrations, ONE MORTALLY FEARED AND EVEN DEMONIFIED BY THESE PATRIARCHAL AGRICULTURALISTS AND ELITES. These incoming perennial cultures (sorry!) leave few "records" (of which YOU think so highly), few monuments that receive "historical" attention by anyone but a few rare Wiccans and few other soft-spoken hard-scientists like the mathematician and astronomer C. Piazzi Smyth and Dr. Alvarez (who has since been redeemed and rehabiliated from among the "mad" due to having won a Nobel Prize in a different field of science: the discovery and investigation of the Earth's iridium deposit, put their by a the collision of the Earth with a comet at the end of the Cretaceous!) The short interval you regard as "splendor" and its artifacts (like writing) you mistakenly take for the whole. You glorify something that will absolutely result in this, the SIXTH EXTINCTION, begun and perpetuated by humans, or I should say, by HUMAN MALES gone insane. What you glorify has not given you more leisure to play and rejoice in life, but it has made you have to work twice as hard to live and with very little time off. It has poisoned every water source and reduced oxygen in every water source (Science News, Feb 10, 1996), it has dirtied the very air you breath. What you glorify is Thanatos.
These incoming "matriarchal"-type cultures that the patriarchal soceities fear and hate are so completely sexually free (just like bonobo society, see article I referred to above) and so extremely exogamic (outbreeding) that they utterly scandalize and horrify the agri-patriarchies, which are, sexually inhibitive to the point of being pathological, even psychotically pathological, or outright repressive and puritanical, relying heavily upon sexual sublimation for the energy and drive for their many "cultural" pursuits. The idea of a woman having husbands from all over outrages and threatens them. Even the reasons for this "outbreeding" have been misunderstood by the theorists of these patriarchal societies who just "make things up" to "understand" these societies instead of using the modern method of letting the facts and details speak for themselves. These cultural liars and "sexo-phobes", who managed to overcome enough of their fear of these "tribal" societies they later ran into (from various other ethnic groups) to at least talk about them, made up the ideas, based on their own European experience, and not on ANY REAL scientific knowledge, that "outbreeding" of a certain kind is really necessary: you know what comes out when you breed with your first cousin, right? However, it is now known that certain cousins in these societies they so fear and misunderstand, under the classificatory system, are even encouraged to mate, and that the real reason for their women taking husbands of all types from all over, who were INVITED to live on the woman's homesite, was the advantage of dietary diversity these women obtained by having husbands and kin-through-marriage from all over. Christians have been misled by the black widow spider paradigm, how the male spider dies in order to mate. The "moral" these dolts have gotten from this, and still do, is that mating is the center of it all social relationships. It is expected or predictable that "thinkers" from a sexually repressed society would eventually arrive at this "idea." What people who do not really study hard-science entomology but only the "soft" versions are never told, apparently, is that the male spider does indeed have to be killed and eaten by the widow to mate, but the male black widow is frequently observed avoiding sex in order to just, say, eat his own food, or etc. He is not a "sex zombie," as people from Christian homes invariable ARE, unless they brace themselves unnaturally and try to "control" their already UNnatural urges with their minds. Believe it or not, another struggle anthropology and archaeology has had in the latter half of this century has been to overcome the new prejudice that "everything biological is centered on sex," including, of course, the phenomenon of outbreeding. This prejudice, which they mistakenly view a "new liberation in thought," born of their late "liberation" from Nineteenth Century Victorian strait-jackets on scientific - and other - repression, has continued right down to this day in Desmond Morris's pop science idea of "man: the world's sexiest mammal." (I have reason to believe, however, that Morris may be doing something like exploiting the new freedom on the BBC, which, at one time, did not even allow Donna Summer's "Love to Love You, Baby" to be played on the air due to all her orgasmic moans in it. Now Morris can at least - for the first time - talk about the social role of female breast display on the air. It was a long time coming - but that is so paradigmatic of agri-patriarchies that I am often surprised that anyone who does any reading at all does NOT know this, even, for example, someone who does a "sociological" study of, say, "censorship." I can only account for this blindness by using the concept of "osmoconsciousness" in the strong and broad sense in which I think it really applies when it does apply.
I admit that some of this is based on what would properly called "indirect evidence." But the idea that there is no direct or physical evidence of this is an idea purveyed by people IGNORANT of what they are talking about, with axes to grind of their own. Archaeology is detective work at real physical "crime scenes," analyzing real physical evidence, etc., though I would wager that Tristram Coffin does not practice it this way: he reads, he talks to people, he sits at his desk, he might even ski a little... And what is really bad: he teaches and gets published.
I would like to point out something that, when the opportunity arises, I point out to every young person I meet: these ancient societies are referred to as "tribal," which makes them sound ignorant and primitive, when they are actually as complex as societies based on, e. g. property, instead of kinship and sharing, as they are. Kin recognition is more basic to "the animal" in out tribal natures. There is kin recognition from wildflowers to wasps, from sea squirts to primates. Kin recognition is fundamental to choosing mates. The entire classificatory system of these "tribal" societies is based on this kin-recognition in complex and elaborate ways in the "clan" system with which you may be familiar. While "territoriality" is certainly correctly listed (by Carleton Coon) for example, as a "limbic," i. e. instinctual behavior, this is not the same as "property," which seems to be a cultural development of patriarchies exclusively. As to the contention that oral traditions are somehow less accurate or magical than written documents, I could not disagree more. If anything, the new profession of "scholar" that came into existence with the beginning of agriculture, unlike, for example, the profession of "poet," which had already existed, discovered that a newfound kind of "authority" came into existence with the existence of writing beyond the kind of authority already carried by the Emperor's or Pharaoh's voice, for example. A LIE written in stone is more permanent than a phonic one, and carries more "weight" for the GULLIBLE, which is exactly what the patriarchies and these pop authors are relying on. I do agree, however, about certain texts being "magical," about their "preserving" something "undiluted," etc. - for example Herodotus. But if you have ever seen Herodotus in the original Greek, instead of in the pompous near-forgery translations made in semi-archaic forms of English that are used to "awe" CERTAIN PEOPLE thus awed, you will see that he reads like he is delivering orally, as if Herodotus could have just stood up and said it all, Jack Kerouac style, which I believe he did or could have done based on the internal style of the speech involved.
The term "goddess" is misleading. These people never did (and STILL DO NOT) have a concept of a god or goddess in any way related to the idea AS IT IS CONCEIVED TODAY. Certain "classics" on this subject, like "The Golden Bough" and books by certain members of the Frankfort School have done a lot of harm by misleading generations of readers as to how man thought "before philosophy," and these misapprehensions have trickled down into the "common sense" ideas about ancient man of our decades. But in truth, the sun, moon, Earth, and water were all seen by them as "MOTHERS." The sun nourished, gave warmth, and made things grow. The water nourished the growing things. The Earth held the soil from which they grew. The moon defined the seasons and in some languages the Moon still is referred to as a male, showing that at some time, they gave the Moon to the males. The "goddesses" these pop-culture writers seem to focus on were nothing other than these natural THINGS. The concept of an apeiron, however, was similar to sciences newfound Dark Force in Nature, as were the Far Eastern concepts of Mahakala, Boundless Darkness. Even in the Kabbala that some Hebrews still keep esoteric and which is identical to Pythagorean and Tantrik thought, I am astonished to find NOT ONE SINGLE book informing the pop occult culture correctly! But I frequently find many with DELIBERATE MISdirections, like calculatedly misleading by the switching of Sephiroth, etc. This might not be surprising since Jewish keepers of this may NOT WANT to really tell this to people they - despise?
For example, Hochmah is said in pop books to be a kind of male concept. Yet the word itself is female grammatically. (It is true that in modern linguistics grammatical gender is distinguished from the "real" gender of a word's referent - but grammatical gender IS important in Kabbala.) Sephira is female singular and stands for Binah which is Sephiroth number TWO on the left below Kether! The rest of the Sephiroth emanate from this dark "female" or "yin" concept. But the rest are SephirOTH - female plural. Hochmah is first to emanate and is correctly number THREE, under Kether to the right: yet these are numerically (not positions) switched in all pop books! The foremost expert on this, Isaac Myer, explains how and why they got switched: to HIDE FROM CHRISTIANS, and later to DELIBERATELY CONFUSE THEM. Interesting? Even more interesting: try to buy his book! Do you find it hard to believe that people can keep something quiet and in their own group for that long a time? Amerinds do it right now: they tell the New Agers that they are all wrong and ask them to stay out of their business - but they will not tell them what they would have to know to understand anything the right way. Yet there are plenty of "teachers" willing to take money from people they regard as stupider than a monkey. (Remember what I said above about this kind of people having a much more "flexible" idea of finding subsistence, like "cheating," for example - no morals! Morals, however, are a cultural specialty of the societies adhering to rigid forms of subsistence: the agri-patriarchies.) I've seen this with my own eyes and read as much in a journal containing interviews with certain immigrant Eastern Indian "gurus" who had also obtained medical licenses in the U. S. These "gurus" broke a "code of silence" in these interviews, frankly admitting that Americans who paid to learn "yoga" from them were being taught the most rudimentary form of it that is taught in India to people physically DISABLED in some way or incapable of any "higher yoga." These guru-physicians said that people in America considered well-nourished and healthy are actually in abysmal physical condition, their spines, hearts, respiratory systems, joints, and nerves, for example, being extremely weak when not positively damaged. Several said that the people who come to them for "enlightenment" (from the world of Christian osmoconsciousness) are far too damaged to be fixed, and that what they were teaching them is not fraudulent, however, because it is rehabilitative, which is the best these students can aspire to. Modern neurology has equally much to say about this dualist mind-set sickness prevalent in the West, with hard empirical evidence to back it up.
New temples to unknown goddesses that involved worship on a scale that amazes even seasoned archaeologists are being discovered yearly (see Science News, Mar. 28, l993), including in Sadam Hussein's Iraq, which, of course is the same territory that was the scene of the Western world's first literate, urban civilization (in the late Fourth Millennium B. C. E.) You are not alone in being enamored by the self-importance and literary records and plastic artifacts of the "specialists in learning" whose JOB it is to help THESE KINDS of civilizations grow, rather than with the fluidly dynamic and adaptable social systems based on kinship and reciprocal obligation that I outlined above that THEY FEAR SO MUCH. Indeed, during the cyclic and periodic fluctuations of political fragmentation and urban decline, these tribal resurgences leave few records or monuments to receive "historical attention" or "magical admiration," as I said before. But these societies have culture too, and the urban elite you are enamored with, and their products, do not by any means represent the whole. When you revere the "written word" of these ant hills, or when someone else decries the widening "social gulf" between "civilized," artifact-producing elites and exploited populations, you are both missing what is really going on here. The "written word" would ALSO HAVE YOU BELIEVE that Christendom gave the world its inventions and technologies, like chemistry and medicine, and that no forms of writing pre-existed what the class of scholars I mentioned before utilized as part of their system of (unnatural) social stratification and control. There are those outside the scientific community too who have known otherwise all along, and while they might write down words themselves at one time or another, they tend to keep everything inside their own families, shutting out the rest of the world. I refer here to Masons and Eastern Star types. It is ONLY ON HINDSIGHT that anyone can know that the Founding Fathers of this U. S. A. were almost entirely Masons, and only through one of their own can you know what their "particular sigils" of their American Revolution meant: both that Eye and the Eagle, not to mention the two-point up pentagram used by their WOMEN before anyone in the pop-occult world used it. The recent finds and hard scientific methods only tend to PROVE, over and over again, what these generational people tell in the old, strictly oral form. They spoke the truth and kept it very well hidden. But the Earth itself tends to show and tell - in time, as every archaeologist knows.
I forgot to mention one celebrated case of modern matrilineality, not from Europeans, of course, but from an Israeli court ca. 1970, which decided that it did NOT matter if the FATHER of a child born in Israel was Jewish and a citizen of Israel: if the MOTHER was not Jewish, the child was NOT A CITIZEN OF ISRAEL! This decision came down when I was a student, and Christian and "freedom-loving American patriotic" types found it invidious and abominable, not to mention "racist." They also didn't have a clue as to what it was all about (and Jews are around us every day yet so little is really known of their real cultural ways as they also do not want Christians near them or their traditions). Only the Jews could understand it, based as this modern decision was on old Mishnah and Torah law. Many Americans found it outrageous that the court could say that the poor baby - born in Israel no less - and having a citizen for a father - was not an Israeli citizen. Not everyone seemed to know about this case, since it was an internal matter for Israelis, but the partriarchal Christians I met could not even BEGIN to understand it, even if they were intelligent enough to see how far away it is from ideas of citizenship or "status" based on the American Constitution. Attempts to try to find out about it from their Jewish fellow-student friends gave rise to that "mask" such people wear automatically. "The Jewish PEOPLE," does not refer to a religious group such as "The Catholics." Imagine if I was born in the U. S., and my Dad was a citizen, but I was not because - my MOTHER was not an Anglo (or whatever). This is pure modern-day MATRILINEALITY PLUS as it is hovering in the wide limbo between "matrilineality" and "matriarchy." Furthermore, this group of Matrilineals is under your noses and yet may as well be as unknown to you.
One other thing can be definitively said about agricultural societies: they are EXTREMELY puritanical and behave atrociously toward half of their race: their own women. If any society were to treat another race as badly, the world would speak up and call it a crime against humanity. Intensive agricultural work is so abominable, that it is no wonder that it gave rise to slavery - slaves to do that kind of back breaking work! This can be read about, if you don't already know it, in Marilyn French's book "The War Against Women." She merely touches the surface. Much has been exposed recently about the stagnant caste system still practiced in India and the brutality toward women. Some mothers simply murder baby girls as soon as they are born. The result is a village filled with males with no hope of having a bride: or any more offspring. These women have taken "the future" into their own hands: ended it. The author, Ms. French, doesn't seem to grasp that these women have TAKEN power into their own hands by doing this. These women say on interviews: "I'd rather my daughters go to the Death God than to live a life like this." An echo of "Give me Liberty, or Give me Death."
Copyright 1995-2003 Philip Marsh
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