The nurturing Feminine energy on Earth has been crushed for Millenia. The result is the current state of our world.
It is critical to remember that the majority of societies have been misogynistic for approximately the past seven thousand years and that, as integral parts of these societies, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism have manifested these attitudes.
As Riane Eisler (The Chalice and the Blade) and Maria Gimbutas have shown, the great majority of societies have been primarily misogynistic. This has been a function of the mindset of "men over women," "men over other men," and "men over nature."
Marija Gimbutas was an archeologist whose findings reveal an ancient, widespread, flourishing "partnership" culture which flourished throughout Europe during the era historians call the Neolithic. This civilization's metaphors were radically different from images of kings, warriors, and conquering gods that previously dominated our view of the past. "This was a long-lasting period of remarkable creativity and stability, an age free of strife. Their culture was a culture of art."
Her excavations and interpretations show, at the dawn of civilization, a society stretching across Europe from the Danube to the North Sea in which women had high status and power along with men. Egalitarian and peaceful, "Old Europe" existed for thousands of years without war. Hundreds of female figurines were found. Paintings, sculptures of birth-giving goddesses, pottery figures of bird-headed deities and sacred serpents all honored the regenerative powers of nature.
Eisler presents a contemporary overview of this archeological data from excavations of Neolithic human communities (ca. 10,000 BC).
In her reassessment Eisler argues that a substantial amount evidence now exists which suggests that in prior eras a "partnership" form of social organization was the norm. The work of Maria Gimbutas, for example, has strongly indicated that southeastern Europe held a flourishing partnership civilization from 6500 to 3500 BC.
Similar to the form of Neolithic groups found in Crete, it would seem that the people of Old Europe developed complex religious, governmental, and economic systems without rigid sexual or class hierarchies. Women held high positions in the social order; between the sexes a basically egalitarian relationships prevailed--one which indicated a division of labor, but not the superiority of either sex.
Parallel to evidence of such egalitarian cultures in Crete and Catal Huyuk (in what is now Turkey), there is much to suggest active trading, but little to be found which suggests military weaponry or fortifications.
Gimbutas stated: "The Goddess in all her manifestations was a symbol of the unity of all life in Nature. Her power was in water and stone, in tomb and cave, in animals and birds, snakes and fish, hill, trees, and flowers."
Building on Gimbutas' work, Eisler has offered a profound and beneficent distillation of some of our species' core issues in her revolutionary book, The Chalice and the Blade.
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