Saturday, November 8, 2008


Jean Shinoda Bolen wrote a wonderful book called Goddesses in Everywoman. In it, she describes several goddess archetypes and the energies that they carry. We each embody some of these more than others. I related to Aphrodite the most.

Aphrodite is unique among goddesses. She is not virginal, like Athena or Artemis, yet she is not defined by her relationships like Hera or Demeter. She is sexual, independent, sensual and free.

Aphrodite loves intensity, and so do I. In my book, I describe the end of my second marriage. It basically died from boredom; I needed more excitement.

Even though Aphrodite takes lovers when she wants to, she is not promiscuous. She is very choosy about who she connects with. That describes me as well, especially lately. I did have quite a promiscuous time when I was younger! I’ve never had a relationship that was completely monogamous, although I have had phases where I chose to connect only with one person for a time.

Bolen made the point that it is hard to be an Aphrodite in this culture, where women’s sexuality is supposed to be owned by men. I’ve gotten used to disapproval, and luckily they don’t stone women for adultery in this particular time and place!


Anonymous said...

I've read that book, as well as her follow-up "Gods in Everyman".

I sincerely wish that our culture will come full circle to the point where women will fully regain ownership of their sexuality. If we believe Marija Gimbutas, this was once the case, prior to the Kurgan invasions 4,000 to 6,000 years ago.

While I do not wish for a literal return to the Great Goddess cultures, where the God was almost an afterthought... I do hope for a future that reflects a balance between the Goddess and the God... each honoring each other.

Selena Truth said...

Yes, I think the pendulum has swung way too far in the other direction. I'd like to see it settle in the middle somewhere.

I have an aversion to the kind of man-hating, angry feminism that surfaced in the seventies. While the anger was understandable, the hating is not. I believe in loving all beings, male or female.

And indeed, having each person own their own sexuality!

"When God Was a Woman" by Merlin Stone is a great book about the shift from the goddess religions to patriarchy. She makes the point that the shift was rooted in economics, because they wanted to have patrilineal inheritance rather than matrilineal. The only way to do that was to control the women, so they could be sure of whose baby it was. All the religious morals were a result of this economic necessity. (Follow the money!)

Anonymous said...

Besides Merlin Stone's book, I also recommend "The Chalice and the Blade" by Riane Eisler. Like Stone's book, it is based on the conclusions of Marija Gimbutas about the ancient Goddess Cultures, and how they were eventually overrun.

And you are exactly right. A woman's power was maintained by having multiple sex partners, so that none of them could be certain he was the father of her children. In their communal lifestyle, being attached to a man and his wealth and productivity was unnecessary. Women had property rights, and in fact were in control of the distribution of wealth. And distribute it they did, as they were uninterested in the massive accumulation of wealth into the hands of a few.
Like you said: Follow the money.