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Transitioning from Animal Deities to Goddesses

The transition from animal deity to goddess is an interesting process. It was especially well documented by archeologist Mariya Gimbutas, Ph.D., author of such classics as Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, Civilization of the Goddess, and others.

Dr. Gimbutas specialized in Neolithic cultures of what is now Eastern Europe. There were horticultural societies, early farming communities, who worshipped deities who were usually part animal, part woman.

One thing you notice in studying cultures of the New Stone Age Europe is that they transition first to goddesses, who later are depicted with male children, then with male consorts.

Eventually, as in ancient Greek culture, the consorts are promoted, and the goddesses are often demoted to daughters or wives of gods. But in the beginning, there are only goddesses.

Gimbutas‘s books are profusely illustrated with photos and drawings of statues and paintings of these transitional, part-animal, part-human goddesses. The variety and beauty are stunning and overwhelmingly convincing.

The books are beautifully designed, well written and fascinating to read. The photos and sketches of sacred and mundane objects tell the story.

A generation or so ago, most of the items depicted in the books were newly discovered, and there was tremendous resistance among the archeological diehards and patriarchalists to the obvious  conclusions Gimbutas draws from the archeological evidence.

The books are now considered classics. You can always find them for sale on line if not in your local bookstore.


Posted in Animal Deities, Europe, Goddesses, Modern Musings, Sphinx & Chimeras.

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