The Great Goddess

Reverence of the Divine Feminine from the Paleolithic to the Present
By (author) Jean Markale

Other books by this author

The Great Goddess
Reverence of the Divine Feminine from the Paleolithic to the Present
By (author) Jean Markale

Availability: In stock

plus minus
$18.95

Free Shipping on orders over $18 (within the U.S.)

Pages : 272

Book Size : 6 x 9

ISBN-13 : 9780892817153

Imprint : Inner Traditions

On Sale Date : September 01, 1999

Format : Paperback Book

Patriarchal societies forced the preeminent power of the feminine into an obscure and subservient position, yet the Great Goddess did not simply disappear when her position was usurped. This book provides evidence of the extraordinary permanence of her worship--even at the heart of those religions that tried to destroy her.
Description

About The Great Goddess

• A study of the primordial figure of the Great Goddess and her continued worship through time as shown by the myths, shrines, and sanctuaries around the world that honor this powerful symbol of creation.


• A noted historian on pre-Christian societies provides an extensive worldwide listing of sites and sanctuaries associated with goddess worship.


• Explores goddess worship in cultures around the world, including Native American, Egyptian, Indian, and Oriental civilizations.


• Demonstrates that although her worship has sometimes been forced underground it has never disappeared.


In ancient Babylon she was Anat, in Egypt, Isis and Hathor, Dana in Celtic Ireland, Rhea and Demeter in Greece, and in India, Anapurna the Provider. She is the Great Goddess, the Goddess of Beginnings, the symbol of Earth and the giver of life, the Vast Mother, who represents all the powers and mysteries of creation for early humanity. 

Shifting her solar association onto masculine deities and blackening those of her symbols that, like the serpent, could not be assimilated, patriarchal societies forced the preeminent power of the feminine into an obscure and subservient position. Yet, as shown by noted scholar Jean Markale, the Goddess did not simply disappear when her position was usurped, and the power she represents has been the source of continuous religious devotion from ancient times through the Middle Ages up to the present day. 

In looking at the plethora of myths, sites, and sanctuaries devoted to this powerful figure, The Great Goddess provides abundant evidence of the extraordinary permanence of her worship--even at the heart of those religions that tried to destroy her. 

Table of Contents

Table of content


Introduction: The Vast Mother

Part 1: Images and Sanctuaries of the Goddess


1. Our Lady of the Beginnings: The Paleolithic Period
2. Our Lady Under Ground: The Megalithic Epoch
3. The Eclipsed Virgin: The Bronze Age, the Celts, and the Gallo-Romans
4. The Triumph of the Mother: The Christian Middle Ages
5. The Eternal Return of the Divine Woman: The Sixteenth to Twentieth Centuries
6. The Sacred Placed of Our Lady

Part 2: Our Lady in All Things

Introduction

7. The Indian Subcontinent, the Far East, and the Americas
8. Ancient Egypt and the Near East
9. Greece and the Aegean Sea
10. Continental Europe
11. Far Western Europe

Notes

Index of Sites, Museums, Sanctuaries, and Pilgrimages

Index

Author Bio
Poet, philosopher, historian, and storyteller, Jean Markale has spent a lifetime researching pre-Christian civilizations. He is the author of more than forty books, including The Druids, The Celts, Merlin, Women of the Celts, and King of the Celts. A specialist in Celtic studies at the Sorbonne, he lives in the Brittany region of France.
Reviews

Reviews

Book Praise

Book Praise

"Markale provides a breathtakingly sweeping overview of the divine feminine. Written with fervor and panache, Markale's very readable book is an extraordinary and challenging treatment of the subject."
Booklist

"He repeatedly compares the imagery of the Virgin Mary to the imagery of goddess worship as far back as we can trace Her. All in all, this is a good book. It has a great deal of interesting information about the history of Goddess imagery."
PagaNet News

"In this comprehensive work, Markale traces beliefs and practices from ancient times to the present. For those who wish to learn more of the Great Goddess, reviled yet embraced by religions of the world, this book is a general overview offering excellent, readable information."
Glenda Martin, Crone Chronicles

"This is an important book, adding well-researched and thoughtful information to the goddess literature. I recommend it."
Seacoast Spirit, March/April 2003
Back Cover

Back Cover Copy

MYTHOLOGY / WOMEN'S STUDIES

In ancient Babylon she was Anat, in Egypt, Isis and Hathor, Dana in Celtic Ireland, Rhea and Demeter in Greece, and in India, Anapurna the “Provider.” She is the Great Goddess, the symbol of earth and the giver of life, the Vast Mother, who represented all the powers and mysteries of creation for our ancestors.

In this comprehensive exploration of the Goddess figure, Jean Markale, one of today’s foremost Celtic historians, examines how over time patriarchal societies tried to force the preeminent power of the feminine into an obscure and sub-servient position, shifting her solar association onto masculine deities and discrediting those of her symbols, like the serpent, that could not be easily assimilated. With its extensive investigation of all the myths, sites, and sanctuaries devoted to this influential figure, The Great Goddess provides us with abundant evidence of the extraordinary permanence of her worship--even at the heart of those religions that tried to destroy her.

Markale explains how the Goddess did not simply disappear when her position was usurped, but went underground, resurfacing time and again in altered but distinctly recognizable forms. The great solar goddess of Celtic culture reappears as the mythical Grainne and in the well-known legend of Tristan and Iseult. Features of the primordial Lilith, relegated to darkness in rabbinical tradition, can be discerned in the incomprehensible Black Virgins of Christian sanctuaries. And one of the key figures of modern Christianity, the Virgin Mary, possesses all the characteristics of the ancient Mother Goddess: wisdom, beneficence, nurturance, and sacred sexuality. Whether in Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, Celtic Europe, or the present day, the goddess played, and continues to play, an integral part in society’s need to connect with the source of all creation.

Poet, philosopher, historian, and storyteller, JEAN MARKALE has spent a lifetime researching pre-Christian civilizations. He is the author of more than forty books, including The Druids, The Celts, Merlin, Women of the Celts, and King of the Celts. A specialist in Celtic studies at the Sorbonne, he lives in the Brittany region of France.

White Spirit Animals