A Thought Adventure

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

23. Men’s Place in the Goddess Cult

As to the young men who fertilize the Great Goddess, they’re all beautiful delicate blossoms, obliging, narcissistic, pleasing her by their physical appearance. Symbolized in myths as anemones, narcissi, hyacinths, violets, they’re devoid of strength and character and totally lacking in individuality and initiative. (A pretty striking parallel with patriarchy’s feminine ideal, wouldn't you say?)

According to Neumann (in The Origins and History of Consciousness), the phallic youths are not fertility deities only; they are the vegetation itself, "Their existence makes the earth fruitful, but as soon as they have reached maturity they must be killed, mown down and harvested." Although lamented over and reborn as gods, they’re nevertheless only drones serving the queen bee and destined to be killed off after doing their duty. The Great Mother portrayed with an ear of corn, her corn son, is an archetype that extends to the mysteries of Eleusis in Greece and to the Christian Madonna.

'Comfort men' or eunuchs.
These flowerlike boys have no masculinity, consciousness, or higher spiritual self and are identified with their bodies only, the distinguishing mark of which is the phallus. As gods they appear in the form of dwarfs. Pygmies displaying their phallic character are worshipped in places like Cyprus, Egypt, Phoenicia. In Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker reports that the choice of a king depends on the promptness of his erection upon the sight of the naked Goddess. In some places he’s killed if his virility fails him. 

The ministers and priests of the goddess are often eunuchs. As such, they needn’t die having already done so symbolically by renouncing their sex and assimilating themselves to women. In Syria, Crete and elsewhere the castrated priests use women’s clothing (compare modern Catholic priests) so as to carry the sacrifice to the point of identification. The male is not only sacrificed to the Great Mother but he also becomes a woman.

In Hindu mythology (but not in Tantric myths) the dominant woman is dangerous in two ways; one, as the non-maternal goddess who beheads her lover in a symbolic act of castration, dances on his corpse and impales herself on his still animate lingam; two, as the mother goddess whom the worshiper doesn’t dare to approach for fear of incest. On the human level, says Doniger, the two roles merge in the sexually aggressive mother who is “a persistent stereotype in conventional perceptions of Hindu family relationships.”

Doomed by sex.
Cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia tell the myth of Dumuzi, the shepherd king of the city-state of Uruk. He reigns early in the 3rd millennium BCE and becomes divine by marrying Inanna, goddess of Love and Procreation, who in this poem expresses the inseparable bond between love and death:
Hindu Goddess Kali dancing on Shiva's body

“Oh my beloved, my man of the heart . . . 
 My brother of face most fair . . .
 I have brought about an evil fate for you,
 Your right hand you placed on my vulva,
 Your left hand stroked my head,
 You have touched your mouth to mine,
 You have pressed your lips to my head.
 That is why you have been decreed an evil fate.”

What does men’s sexual slavery to the priestesses say about their status at this time? While sexuality glorifies woman and brings immeasurable good to all life, for man it 's a harbinger of his demise; his very instinct for survival is transformed into a death wish. The best way to imagine ordinary men‘s life in this society may be to look at women’s life in patriarchy, and turn it clear around. Because just as femininity counts for little in a society where man is the model for human being, so does masculinity in a society where that model is woman.

Women were the first sexists.
I therefore suggest that the early goddess-worshipping society is a female autocracy, and that abuse of the opposite sex (including discriminatory sexual stereotyping) is an early female invention. Which of the sexes that practices this kind of abuse from then on, and when, is a toss-up that depends on which sex holds most outer power in society. At this juncture in history it’s women, a few thousand years later men.

Now, if as I’ve said the goddess cult is a mere stunt thought up by power-hungry matriarchs, what remains for me is to explain how both the spectators and the victims themselves could accept and put up with it for so long. Let's start by taking a look at religion. See next post.

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For the full block click  originofsexism.blogspot.com


  1. Nice looking and interesting. Need to investigate further..

    1. Thanks for commenting. Yes, this blog tells a long story. Hope you'll keep following it.
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