RETURN Neolithic Goddess (Tiamaat), TEXT BELOW
      This 11 inch figurine (at right) is based on the famous Venus of Willendorf which is one of many thousand Neolithic goddess figurines that have been found. Though the word "Venus" is rather a misnomer, as Venus was the Roman goddess of love, and more specifically of sexual romance. The Goddess worshipped in the era of the figurines, was a more universal Mother Goddess, both benevolent and terrible. This was a monotheist religion in which there was no duality; both Good and Evil were immanent from the same deity.
      The reproduction of the painting, "Eve Approaches the Great Goddess" (above and at the bottom of the first chapter) is a mythical impression of the same figurine carried to monumental proportions. To my knowledge, no such monument was ever created, but was inspired by the standing stones that characterize Neolithic culture. cultures.
      In the aeons before Time began, stone age peoples worshipped this single Great Mother. From grass, wood, stone, ivory and bone, the materials of the Eden in which they dwelt, they fashioned images of the Great Mother.
      Their peaceful pastoral circle of Life was violently torn asunder by invading metal age warriors, worshippers of the great sky gods, who descended upon their viallges and farms. The rapacious spirit of those new gods, which also drove the archetypical hero/god marduk to hack apart his great grandmother, the Earth and reduce her body to a lifeless carcass, still survives in our modern psyche: the Earth is a dead and inert mass to be mainpulated, mangled and probed without conscience.
      The shattered pieces of the Great Mother were transformed into lesser goddesses. In Greece, Aphrodite (Venus), Hera, Artemis, Persephone and Demeter all took on attributes of the Great Mother. Despite being divided and weakened under the new patriarchal gods arising from the ashes of Eden, the Soul of the Great Mother lived on in the hearts of her believers. Through the millenia of tyranical rule of the Deus Patris, many recognized he could never offer the Spiritual Comfort or personify the Creative Energy of the Great Mother he had supplanted.
      To compensate, his new religions incorporated legends and aspects of the Great Mother into their own doctrine. For example, Mary, the Mother of Jesus retains the titles of the Great Earth Mother such as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven. It is no coincidence that many Christians still pray to Mary to intercede on their behalf with a distant and unyielding God.
      The Great Goddess was created in her ancient form to focus the image of the Great Mother. She gazes down proudly at her swollen breasts and belly contemplating the mystery within her. All Life springs from her womb, and all Life returns to it, just as all souls are borne of her Spirit, and those which embrace her in Life are reunited with her after Death.