"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Book Review 1 - The Language of the Goddess

Venus of Willendorf 30,000 - 25,000 BCE

Today I initiate a series of regular posts about books - today's post is about one of a number of books by author Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994), Professor of European Archeology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Curator of Old World Archeology at the UCLA Museum of Cultural History (now the Fowler Museum of Cultural History).

Gimbutas' writing is of great interest, in particular to those of us who grew up asking ourselves in so many classes of our early schooling : where were the women? We heard and read about so much history that involved men, so many exploits that involved men, so much that was exciting that involved men, but when women were mentioned, it was basically about having babies, cooking, and so on.

Marija Gimbutas is the author of:
  • Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, 7000-3500 BCE
  • The Living Goddesses
  • The Language of the Goddess (co-author with Joseph Campbell)
  • The Civilization of the Goddess

"Marija Gimbutas found that Europe’s origins lay in a cooperative, peaceful, neolithic Goddess culture. Her theories challenge conventional archaeology, spirituality, theology, and religious studies, while inspiring artists, feminists, environmentalists and activists." Source

"Marija Gimbutas is largely responsible for the resurgence of interest in Goddess-oriented religions. Her discoveries were the foundation for Riane Eisler 's highly influential book, The Chalice and the Blade. For fifteen years, Marija was involved with excavations in southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean, which revealed the existence of a prehistoric Goddess-oriented culture. For at least 25, 000 years this peaceful civilization seemingly practiced complete equal rights between the sexes--socially, politically, and spiritually. As Riane Eisler pointed out, the full implications of this discovery have yet to be fully realized by the scientific community, or by society at large." Source

"The Goddess is the most potent and persistent feature in the archaeological records of the ancient world. She was a symbol of the unity of life in nature, and the personification of all that was sacred and mysterious on Earth. Here, in this pioneering and provocative volume, Marija Gimbutas resurrects the world of Goddess-worshipping, earth-centered cultures, bringing ancient matriarchal society vividly to life. She interweaves comparative mythology, early historical sources, linguistics, ethnography and folklore to demonstrate conclusively that Goddess-worship is at the rool of Western civilization." From the back cover of The Language of the Goddess.

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