By Gee on Monday, August 9, 1999 - 05:12 am:

    By Charlene Spretnak.

    Not Exactly the best book I've ever read, but darn darn interesting, I thought! I read it years ago, and the sudden appearence of Persephone just reminded me of how much I loved the Demeter myth in this book. I wish I had it typed up. I remember I started to type up all the myths in the book because it was borrowed from the library and I was too cheap to buy my own copy, but I got tired of typing after the third myth. So here. This is my favorite one:

    The Myth of Pandora

    Earth-Mother had given the mortals life. This puzzled them greatly. They would stare curiously at one another, then turn away to forage for food. Slowly they found that hunger has many forms.

    One morning the humans followed an unusually plump bear cub to a hillside covered with bushes that hung heavy with red berries. They began to feast at once, hardly aware of the tremors beginning beneath their feet. As the quaking increased, a chasm gaped at the crest of the hill. From it arose Pandora with Her earthen pithos. The mortals were paralized with fear but the Goddess drew them into Her aura.

    "I am Pandora, Giver of All Gifts." She lifted the lid from the large jar. From it, she took a pomegranate, which became an apple, which became a lemon, which became a pear. "I bring you flowering trees that bear fruit, gnarled trees hung with olives and, this, the grapevine that will sustain you." She reached into the jar for a handful of seeds and sprinkled them over the hillside. "I bring you plants for hunger and illness, for weaving and dyeing. Hidden beneath My surface you will find minerals, ore, and clay of endless form." She took from the jar two flat stones. "Attend with care My plainest gift: I bring you flint."

    Then Pandora turned the jar on its side, inundating the hillside with Her flowing grace. The mortals were bathed in the changing colors of Her aura. "I bring you wonder, curiosity, memory. I bring you wisdom. I bring you justice with mercy. I bring you caring and communal bonds. I bring you courage, strength, endurance. I bring you loving kindness for all beings. I bring you the seeds of peace."


    I also have Gaia, Themis (another Darn good one!) and Aphrodite, for anyone who hasn't read the book. But if you haven't read the book, you're really missing out. I WISH (I wish I wish I wish I wish!) I could find more books about *these* goddesses.

By Semillama on Monday, August 9, 1999 - 07:06 pm:

    Try the "Women's Encyclopdia of Myths and Mysteries" (prob. wrong title, but close enough so you'll find it). Great alternate point of view. Probably as factual (i.e. close to orignal sources) as the male-oriented ones.

By Nate on Monday, August 9, 1999 - 07:28 pm:

    Bullfinch's Mythology

By Gee on Tuesday, August 10, 1999 - 01:41 am:

    Bullfinch won't do. By "these goddesses" I mean the ones from before they threw them together with the Gods. I think. It's been a while since I read the book, so I'm a little vauge, but aparently there were a whole other set of myths about these Goddesses that were a lot more..um...pro-woman. Then the people who worshiped the Gods had a fight with the people who worshiped the Goddesses, kicked their collective butts, and forced them to merge and mangle their Goddesses with their Gods. The differences between these myths and the ones that are commonly accepted are Amazing. In the pre-hellenic (not 100% sure that's the proper expression to use...) version of the Persephone myth, there's no Hades to drag her down into the underworld. Persephone simply see's that the souls of the dead are lost and confused and have no one to guide them, and goes down to lead them of her own free will. I have always loved that.

    I would be really pleased if I could find someone else to back this chick up, though, and I haven't yet. I'll look for that Encyclopdia jazz, but I won't hold my breath.

    The Myth Of Themis

    When the first man entered a cave and witnessed the first woman's magic of drawing forth a new person from her body, Themis was there. "The young shall be fed and nurtured, protected and loved." The Humans increased in number, living together in small groups. They shared meat, nuts, plants, shelter, and the pleasure of their bodies. Themis was with them. "All who shared the bond of a woman's womb, you are her Family. You are indivisible." The families multiplied, each woman giving birth within the aura of her mother's protection. Themis saw their needs. "All the families descended from one womb are a clan. Stay together. Listen to the elders as I guide them." Neighboring clans sought better water sources, needed new shelters, settled common ground. Themis united them in peace. "You who pass birth, love, and death on shared ground, who trade your skills and crops among your clans, you are a Village. Follow the judgments of your council as I guide them." The villages spread into towns, sometimes cities. Themis watched and issued from Her oracles pronouncements of order, justice, and mercy. "Keep central your agora. There I will reveal the Law to you leaders. Swear oaths in My name and they will stand untill you are received into My earth-womb. Grow in righteousness. I will feed you."

    In this way, millennia passed and Greece prospered in her infancy. Innocence ended abruptly. Barbarian invaders swept down through her mainland and later her islands. They seized Themis at the outset. With the Goddess a bound captive, the invaders proclaimed the new order: Children must be named after their fathers; cities must be fortified; power must be worshipped. They established their new god, Zeus, who ruled by the terror of his thunderbolt and procreated by deception and rape. Yet Themis would not be silenced. "You dare not crush the primal Order. When your new gods and your mutilations of our old Goddesses assemble on Mount Olympus, I alone will have the right to convoke them. I will not die."


By Semillama on Tuesday, August 10, 1999 - 06:50 pm:

    Yeah, reading these here myths, thery're nice stories, but they don't sound very authentic. They seem to have much more in common withsome of the stuff that came out of the Women's Movement, rather than ancient greece. I'm not knocking them, they are good myths, but i am skeptical about the age. You need good references whenever you challenge the academic status quo like that.

    I don't know about the idea that everybody worshipped goddesses first then the big evil barbarians came in and forced everyone to worship gods. that's far too simple. We don't even know if the so-called goddess figurines found in Europe even represent goddesses. They could just as easily be componenets of some spell to make womenmore fertile or something like that. ( Marvin Harris makes a great point when he says it's nigh on imposisble that anybody from the Paleolithic ever even saw a woman wwwith as much bodyfat as the figurines have.)

By Margret on Tuesday, August 10, 1999 - 07:05 pm:

    Sem, don't be a shitstain.
    There's quite a bit of evidence that pre-Hellene attic culture worshipped goddesses.
    Nonetheless, you're right about the fever for the flavor. My goddess worship, she be vi(o)lent and jist as bloodthirsty as any god worship, and more bloody than say yer average apollo style god thang.
    Just because all that Herstory is revisionist doesn't mean there weren't huge goddess worshipping matriarchies. Dig (as it were)?

By Margret on Tuesday, August 10, 1999 - 07:07 pm:

    Actually, my favorite myth is a story based on the Kitty Genovese murder by Harlan Ellison. Harlan Ellison is the funky fresh bomb that makes me go dog pound.

By Semillama on Wednesday, August 11, 1999 - 06:46 pm:

    Fuck yeah he is.

    I wasn't claiming there weren't big Goddess-worshiping cultures, but instead pointing out that it's not as simple as one replacing the other, and that we really don't have any concept of what religion was really like for pre-literate peoples.

    My favorite book of myths is "Thre-Fisted tales of "Bob". it's worth reading for the tale "'Bob' and the Oxygen Wars", by Waves Forest.

By Nate on Wednesday, August 11, 1999 - 08:11 pm:

    that's me in the rearview mirror.

    I wonder if Dr. Howl and PuzzlingEvidence are still on KPFA after the whole Pacifica hoopla. I'm not up during those hours anymore.

By Lucy Phurre on Wednesday, August 11, 1999 - 08:32 pm:

    I was just concerned about the hour of the post.

By Gee on Thursday, August 12, 1999 - 05:58 am:

    Why is it so silly that one religion replaces another? Isn't that what Always happens? Some new religion pops up and it's followers go all zealot and force other people to conform. no?

By Waffleboy on Thursday, August 12, 1999 - 10:55 am:

    people are insecure sheep, BAHHHHH

By Droop on Thursday, August 12, 1999 - 12:31 pm:

    i remember hearing that the german barbarians, after they were converted to christianity, never really thought of their old gods as false but just pushed to the side by a stronger god.

    as far as this thread goes: try reading up on minoan crete. this was a pre-hellenic culture on the island of crete that worshipped as a central diety a mother goddess. women had equality and some say the original settlers and cultural base was from ethiopia.

    p.c. in b.c.


By Waffleboy on Thursday, August 12, 1999 - 01:25 pm:

    i long for a matriarchal society...........

By Nate on Thursday, August 12, 1999 - 01:31 pm:

    we live in a matriarchal society.

By Gee on Friday, August 13, 1999 - 02:41 am:

    You live in a dream world.

By Nate on Friday, August 13, 1999 - 12:58 pm:

    ya right. my reality is the only reality.

By Semillama on Friday, August 13, 1999 - 02:41 pm:

    Think that if the trend towards single mothers raising families continues, we might turn into a matriarchal society? At least matrilocal. "A good boy always does what his mother tells him"

By J on Friday, August 13, 1999 - 03:50 pm:

    I wish someone would tell my son that.

By Nate on Friday, August 13, 1999 - 04:06 pm:

    if the trend continues towards single mothers raising families, our society will continue to disintegrate.

    children require fathers.

By Semillama on Friday, August 13, 1999 - 07:07 pm:

    Unless they're clones.


By Spider on Wednesday, June 6, 2001 - 02:04 pm:

    Do you think Margret is lurking around here?

    Do you think she could tell me the name of the Harlan Ellison story about Kitty Genovese?

By The Watcher on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 12:45 am:

    I'm posting to this thread because I just finished reading "Fifty Years After Kitty Genovese".

    The Book/Booklet is only 63 pages long.

    It is based on the files of former New York Chief of Detectives Albert A. Seedman. He was an Inspector at the time if her murder.

    I have known about her murder since high school when in one of my classes, English I think, we were shown a film of a play based upon this case.

    One detail I didn't know until now was that a friend of Ms. Genovese was an eye witness to the last, and fatal, attack on her in the stairwell of his apartment building.

    I to this day, at 60 years of age, can not understand how somebody could witness such a terrible thing and not either call the police or go to her aid.

By The Watcher on Friday, May 1, 2015 - 07:41 am:

    The Game of Thrones (the 5 book set)

By JusMiceElf on Friday, May 1, 2015 - 08:05 am:

    I was just talking with my almost-10 year old about the pre-
    Hellenic myths. I had a brilliant-but-troubled professor in
    college who taught myth and ritual, and spent a lecture talking
    about how Zeus was brought in and imposed over the local

    He also gave one of the best lectures of my college career
    when he talked about Gilgamesh's love for Enkidu, and how
    he went to the underworld to retrieve him. He managed to tie it
    in to a letter received from a student who'd been sent to fight
    in Viet Nam.

By The Watcher on Monday, May 11, 2015 - 05:13 am:

    I finished all five of the Game of Thrones books.

    And, the story's still not done!!!

    Now I have to wait for book six!!!


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