Europeans came from
Africa. From the Sahara to be precise. Archeologists have called them
"Cro-Magnon". These early people were hunters and gatherers. They inhabited the
caves of Southern Europe, like Altamira in Spain, the Dordogne in France, Willendorf in
Austria and the Balkans. From hundreds of images and statues, we know that our ancestors
revered the Great Mother as the Source of life. Their world wasn't split up, yet. So,
everything was still whole, consisting of the Universal Body of the Mother. A
"sensation" is the 40.000 years old "Venus" from Hohle Fels,
Schelklingen/ Blaubeuren in Germany.
Waves of people from Northern Africa
continued to reach us. This time they crossed the waters of the Atlantic, as well. Groups
settled down along the coasts. The remainders of their cultures are called
"Megaliths" e.g. standing stones ("Menhirs"). They were used for
fertility rituals, representing both maternal and phallic functions. Many places contain
neolithic graves. The most famous ones are the mounds of Brittany and Ireland (Newgrange).
Stonehenge (Britain) is a megalithic temple, constructed as a Womb. Highlights of
neolithical religious art are the Great Mother Temples of Catalhöyük, Malta and Gozo.
With Sumeria a new era dawned. It was
the time of the agricultural revolution. Women invented the cultivation e.g. domestication
of plants and animals. They developed a culture of settlers including weaving, dyeing,
painting, pottery, herbal medicine and much more. From observation people learned about
the changing of seasons, from the sprouting in spring to the harvest in autumn. This is
how the new myth of the Cycle of Vegetation originated. Everything was born out of the
Womb of the Mother, while continuously returning into Her. It laid the foundation for the
"Law of the Universe": the dynamic balance between "death, rebirth and the
web of life".
Later in time the function of
"Vegetation God" was "delegated" to men. By their (symbolic) death in
autumn, their resurrection in spring, together with their sacred marriage to the
MotherGoddess, represented by the Queeen, the harvest had to be secured. These myths can
be found in Egypt (Isis and Osiris), Sumeria (Inanna and Dumuzi), Babylon (Ishtar and
Tammuz) and Canaan (Astarte and Baal). The latter - through the trade routes of the
Phoenicians - spreading the religion further West. Remainders are abundant all over the
Mediterranean, reaching even further into the mainland of Africa, Spain, Britain and
Ireland. Even Yahweh is his early days was a Son of the MotherGoddess Astarte. The latter
later surviving as the Jewish Shekinah, who is equal to the Christian Sophia. Sophia is
particularly revered in Orthodoxy, to a degree, that She almost re-occupies Her original
position as Ultimate Deity.
In the mean time, on Crete, the Mother
culture ("Snake Goddess") had a surprising comeback. Here the Goddess ruled,
assisted by Her Son/Lover, symbolized by the bull. Minoan art is light, playful, gentle
and colorful, expressing the joyful character of the culture of that time. Knossos, the
capital, was built in a valley, unprotected, which is proof of the peaceful, matriarchal
character of society. The Mother was still very present in neighboring lands. Anatolia
("land of the mother") accomodated many, among the best-known Cybele and
Artemis. The former became the Magna Mater of the Roman Empire, while the latter was
"succeeded" by the "Mother of God", the Christian Virgin Mary.
Canaan, however, would again further
fertilize the Mediterranean and beyond by the Goddesses Europa and Aphrodite, both
manifestations of the old Mother Astarte. Accounts tell us that Europa, a Goddess of
Byblos, now Libanon, was playing on the beach, together with some of her girlfriends. A
beautiful white bull raised from the sea, inviting her to ride him. Once that happened the
bull - who turned out to be the God Zeus - swam away, direction Crete. There he raped her.
Europa then gave birth to Minos, the later legendary king of Crete. More likely is, that
this story is the result of a "patriarchal inversion". Goddesses riding the bull
was a common religious symbol, going back to the time of the Mother with Her Son/Lovers.
If this is true, then Europa had seduced Zeus and not vice-versa. It was Her, who directed
him to Crete, in order to start a new Western kingdom, the true beginning of Europe.
In Europe, another migration had taken
place. It were the Celts, who, coming from Anatolia!, occupied central parts of the
continent (Hallstadt). They had taken their Anatolian MotherGoddesses with them, together
with evolving warrior Gods. Still, there was this millennia old relationship between the
Mother and Her Sons (Daughters), although it were the men, who determined the daily
affairs of the tribe. Later, the Celts were driven further westward, settling down in
Northern Spain, Brittany, Britain and Ireland. There they mixed with descendents of e.g.
Megalithical people and Phoenicians. In Ireland these were the mythical "Tuatha de
Danaan". The Irish name for Ireland - Eire - is the name of a Goddesss. Nordic people
had preserved their MotherGoddesses as well, f.i. Freya, the Goddess of death, rebirth and
Through the crusades a new impluse came
to Western Europe. In the Orient, the crusaders came across stories about Isis, the Dark
One. She had been the predecesssor of the Virgin Mary. She and the child Horus on Her lap
had changed into Mary with her child Jesus. Even into the 6th century CE She had temples
in France f.i. (Soissons). So, the crusaders, among them very pious and intelligent men,
started to link things. They also heard about the legendary temple of Solomon - in fact,
to find the temple was one of their main ambitions, hence the founding of the Knights
Templar - which "Holiest of Holiest" in ancient times was called the "Womb
of Astarte". Sufi's still practised worship toward the "feminine aspect" of
Allah. Last but not least, stories about the famous Black Queens of Nubia may have reached
their ears, as well.
Coming back to their European homelands
an intrigueing mixture of religious and wordly culture had emerged. The old MotherGoddess
of the Celts (Cerridwin), together with Her "Cauldron of Regeneration", through
which killed warriors miraculously resurrected, besides the old Goddesses Isis and Cybele,
now became fertilized by myths and legends from the Orient. Black Madonna's had been found
already from the 8th century or even earlier, however, it were the crusaders who gave
these phenomena new impulses. At the same time mysticism and courtly culture - a revival
of Lady worship, with the famous Eleanor of Aquitaine taking the lead - flowered all over
Western Europe. It was the context for the Legend of the Grail, not surprisingly having
originated in Toledo, a cultural and religious centre with direct links to the Middle
East. Both Black Madonna's and the Grail can be linked to the ancient Mother Religion,
with the latter symbolizing the Cosmic Womb of everlasting abundance.*
* The Shrine
Madonna should be mentioned here. It is a statue of the Virgin. From the outside nothing
special can be seen. Opening two secret doors at the frontside, you see the Mother
embracing - giving birth to the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It was the most
daring attempt to restore the Original Mother, ever. See: "Shrine Madonna Gallery".
Parsifal was the last pre-Christian
hero. Later authors already re-wrote the Legend, adding a Christian meaning to it.
However, the conflict between the old beliefs and the Church went on smouldering. What was
the case? Since the time of Constantin, Christianity had become a state religion, having
the entire state apparatus at its disposal. Interrupted by the Dark Ages, they got it back
through the baptism of Clovis. From that moment on Christianity was imposed on the people
by force. Its aim was to crush the "pagan" belief, which was still very much
based on the Mother as the Ultimate Source of the universe. Being rooted in "Heaven,
earth and the community" was destroyed in favor of the "Christian Good
News". This "news" consisted of the invention, that all people were born in
"sin". Unable to liberate themselves, they had to become "redeemed" by
Jesus Christ, the "Son of God", sent to earth in order to die on the cross
exactly for this purpose*.
* The Mother is
All-Inclusive. Therefore, while critisizing the system (Church), I very much respect
People turned from self-relying men and
women, who had lived in the cosmic context of "Heaven, earth and the community",
protected by the all-embracing Mother* into sinful, weak, powerless, ugly, self-denying,
self-torturing, depending, insecure, helpless and confused human beings. The earth, rather
than being a home, in which life is good, turned into a "vale of tears". Not
enjoying the fruits of the earth, but trying to escape from it became the supreme
commandment. The Church did everything to denounce the earth and everything that was
connected to it: nature, the body, women, sex and pleasure. Everything natural was part of
the "devil", the latter trying to distract people from their heavenly
destination. Society became obsessed with death, for only death - with Jesus as the
example - could bring "redemption". In fact, the Church had alienated an entire
culture from its original roots, replacing it by surrogate "values". It is the
source of alienation, which still dominates our world today.
* This had
become considerably eroded in the course of time. In fact, Babylon with Marduk destroying
Mother Tiamat, and Israel doing the same with Astarte, were the forerunners of
partriarchal religion. However, strong "undercurrents" of the Old Religion were
People resisted wherever they could. In
the 5th century they had already forced the Church to restore the ancient Great Mother in
Her old glory. At the Concilium of Ephese (431 CE) the Church declared Mary to be the
"Mother of God" (Theotokos). It could be explained in two ways: literally and
symbolically. They thus cleverly satisfied both pagans and believers. In the course of
time, because of "slow progress", the Church started to apply violence in order
to decide the course of events in its favor. It started the Inquisition. This organization
terrorized society for many centuries.....It was so perfectly organized, with spies
everywhere, that the later Gestapo found in it an inspiring example. A little gossipping,
a rumour or a fake story was already enough to make one suspicious. Crimes were blasphemy,
pride, heresy, intercourse with the "devil", disloyalty towards the Church or
simply the envy of a neighbor targeting somebodies' wealth. For if convictited, which was
pre-determined through show trials, your wealth was conviscated and
Not surprisingly, women became main
targets. Wasn't the Old Mother Religion the Churches' main enemy, after all? Eve had been
declared the mother of evil, the cause of "original sin". It were the women, who
had brought suffering to this earth. That's why Mary was called the "second
Eve", to whom every woman had to pray for purity, rescue and forgiveness. The crusade
against women already started very early. In fact, it was Peter, who sidelined Mary
Magdalene, the latter not only being the Beloved of Jesus, but also Priestess of the
Mother Religion (who therefore anointed Jesus), Apostle of the Apostles and Successor of
the Messias. Later, "saints" like Clemens of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hyppolit,
Augustin and Ambrose, all "fathers of the Church", denounced women in no
uncertain terms, in fact, labeling them as animals or worse. No wonder, that this orgy of
violence turned into the witch hunt, in which hundreds of thousands of women died, mostly
on the stake.
In fact, since the start of the
Inquisition, people turned themselves en masse toward a secular culture. Alienated from
their original roots - Heaven, earth and the community - they started to embrace
materialism and individualism. It was the beginning of the Reanaissance. It was the Church
who caused the turning to an ego-centered culture, hence the former is responsible for the
deterioration that followed. It was the Church that turned healthy people into poor souls,
wretched people, deprived of their possibility to realize their innermost Core.
God-Realization - to be the One You Really Are - was the worst sin possible, after all.
The second worst sin was to be part of nature, for that was the realm of the
"devil"*. Sacredness of nature was denounced and ruthlessly destroyed, including
trees, hills, valleys, groves, wells, streams, together with the monuments of
"pagan" people. Pagan rituals were forbidden or reshaped according to the
Christian calendar and many mountain tops were "decorated" with a cross.Yes,
pope Benedict is right. Europe's "soul is dead". He only forgot to mention, who
it was who killed it.
with Christianity turning out to be the champion of environmental action.....Well, we all
need each other, nowadays. The advice of a protestant minister from the US should be taken
to heart, though. He confronts Christians with their past, saying that every Christian who
cares about nature should do it with a continuous attitude of repentance.
What would those, who boast about
Europe as "resting solidly on Christian norms and values", exactly mean? Anyway,
in the Renaissance, people found relief in pursueing their self-centered goals. They
created space for themselves, in which they developed new arts, science, trade
(capitalism!), societies and more. The Mother, however, went underground. Open appearence
would have been - even in these new circumstances - too dangerous. The Church had
comfortably replaced Her by the "neutralized" Virgin Mary. The latter being the
instrument of the Church and the ruling elite. During the centuries hundreds of churches
had been built, all in the name of the Virgin. They all pleaded for support from "Our
Lady" or "Notre Dame". The Original Mother on the other hand, manifested
Herself in disguise: as Lady Fortune, Philosophia, Nature, Sapientia, Eternal Wisdom or La
Dame a là Licorne*, the latter consisting of the Mother and Her Son/Lovers. It was
J.W.Goethe, who continued the tradition throughout Romanticism, by dedicating his
"Faust" to the "Eternal Feminine". The drift of the play is, that only
She is able to ultimately redeem a man's ego. His age wasn't too far away from the
collective mass movements like industrialization, capitalism, socialism and communism.
People started feeling the "curse" of modern life.
* Consisting of
6 marvellous carpets. To be seen in the Musée de Cluny, Paris. See: "Gallery"
It was a favorable circumstance for
Mary and Her various apparitions. She warned the world against ongoing degeneration and
decay. It has drawn millions of people to Her various shrines. The most "risky"
among them - often Black Madonna's, the ones that originally were a symbol of protest
against the Church - were now safely locked up in bunkerlike churches, firmly under the
control of the clerus. Recently, it was the Third World, who, through Fr. Tissa Balasurya
- a Catholic priest from Sri Lanka - started protesting against the
"traditional" cult of the Virgin. He accused the Church of having the Virgin
stripped of Her Power, leaving people meak, weak, "humble", depending and
powerless behind. He goes to the core of the matter. Only by imposing the original sin on
people, the Church is able to exert power. No sin, no Church. The Virgin Mary, he says,
only functions as an accomplice to this Church strategy. In reality, Fr. Tissa stresses,
Mary was not a sweet idol, but a mature woman, fighting for the cause of Her son. Hence,
She should become a symbol of liberation, rather than submission.
The current global crisis has made this
all much more acute. The Church has stepped into the grave it itself digged. It
"began" with F.Nietzsche. He declared God dead. Ever since, we increasingly move
towards "nothingness". This fear is real, because the survival of our planet is
at stake. Normally, this should be reason for confusion, depression and despair. With the
Mother as Ultimate Reality, the senseless becomes sensible. Nothingness isn't the end
everybody is afraid of, but proves to be a Cosmic Vacuum, in ancient times called the
Great Mother. Full of surprise we realize, that we are at the beginning of a new
evolutionary cycle. It started with the Great Mother, as the All-Embracing Source of
Existence. Subsequently, She split into various Goddesses, each representing a part of the
Original Mother. Followed by various Gods e.g. the One God of monotheism. This One God
delegated its competence e.g. authority to his representative on earth, e.g. Jesus (also:
Buddha). The latter being eventually replaced by rude Church dominance. This would be the
end, were it not, that spiritually seen, the "end" proves to be the Cosmic Womb,
from which everything without exception is being born, while continuously returning to its
Source. It signifies the return of the Mother. The cycle (spiral) is closed.
Looking at other continents, every
continent has had its own development. The USA went from a liberal republic to a
repressive state dominated by big corporations and Christian fundamentalists. To the
latter the Gospel is a book that supports you in gaining wealth and power. In China, after
the disaster of communism and against the light of a possible future capitalist disaster
is putting its eggs on a renewal of Confucianism. In India, society at large still
embraces the traditional MatriDevi. The latter has lost strength, though. She hardly
supports the people in their struggle for freedom, justice, peace and sustainability.
Russia has a state-sponsored revival of the Orthodox Virgin Mary. In Africa, traditional
religion and subsequently Goddesses are increasingly overpowered by either Islam or
Christianity. Native South America still struggles to overcome the Spanish Conquista, more
and more emphasizing their Mother of Creation: Pachamama. Europe in its turn is
celebrating the Return of the Great Mother: She Who was there at the
"Beginning"; She Who has never abandoned us throughout the centuries. Aren't we
very fortunate? It has given us back our roots, while simultaneously being on the eve of A
The Return of the Mother takes place at
exactly the right moment. It is a moment in which we are confronted with the fiasco of
religion, culture and society. We are in the middle of a global crisis, without
precedence. Nobody dares to predict the outcome. Its norms and values are worn-out, a
father God will not rescue us this time. Rescue has to come from the Beyond, the Dimension
that hasn't been exhausted by our usage. Thus, what is "new" about the Mother?
First of all, She is All-Embracing, giving everybody security e.g. "maternal
care", without exception. Isn't She the Birthgiver of the entire universe? So, She
takes care of us more than a father is. Secondly, everybody who surrenders to Her is
granted Her Light Body, putting an end to the miserable world view of Christianity. We are
allowed to realize the Divine Spark within ourselves, being joyful, strong and
compassionate, once again. Thirdly, She is the Unity in Diversity. With increasing
fragmentation, this bonding capacity is indispensable. Fourthly, She is giving us a
guideline for life. By giving us Her "Law of the Universe", people once again
have something to hold on. This Law consists of the dynamic equilibrium of destruction,
creation and permanence. Destruction of ego-centeredness, greed and addiction, birth of
our Deeper e.g. New Self, while becoming part of the Whole - "Heaven, earth and the
community" - once again*.
* The Law of
the Universe gives a new impulse to gender roles, as well. See f.i.: "Green Men", "HisStory"
and "Wise Women"
Fortunately, despite all oppression,
the Original Tradition had not completely died out. It is the Tradition of the Mother
giving birth to Goddesses, the latter in their turn being the archetype to "Wise
Women". On the male side, the Mother is giving birth to the VegetationGods
("Son/Lovers"), the latter being the archetype of the "Green Man".
Both were revived in the Middle Ages with "Green Man" carvings in houses,
castles and churches (The Church had no choice but to allow pagan images. In fact, it was
its strategy to incorporate them with the aim of neutralizing), while the women shined as
Ladies in courtly culture (Eleanor of Aquitaine). Women mystics (beguines) set themselves
free from Church oppression, while founding their own independent communities. The
phenomenon of "Green Men" is astonishing. They are found in wide areas in Europe
e.g. France, Britain, Germany and Spain. Their faces are intimately connected to foliage,
expressing their unity with nature. As the successors of the VegetationGods, their
symbolism doesn't stop here, though*. The "Green Men" embody the "death and
rebirth" aspect of the Mother, while the "Wise Women" are complying with
Her "web of life". While the dominant culture created rational, one-dimensional,
self-addicted, exploitative and violent men (currently including more and more women, as
well), the "Green Man" embodies a totally different "archetype". In a
world in which especially men suffer from acute deterioration and loss of identitiy, the
emergence of the "Green Man" is a gift from Heaven. The survival of the entire
culture depends on it. "Green Men" acknowledge their descent from the Mother,
are willing to continuously "die and being reborn" (dropping the identification
with their ego's), while dedicating their lives to serving the Whole**.
"Green Men": Dionysos, Parsifal.....See: "HisStory"
** Europe thus
resting on two pillars: The Mother on the one hand and Her children: "Green Men" and "Wise Women" on
the other. The cooperation between those two will mark a New Era. See also: "Mother Blog" and "Healing Communities" or "Heilende Gemeinschaften"
or "Helende Gemeenschappen".
The strength of Europe has been
undermined by two millennia of patriarchal oppression. The current weakness is the result
of that. Because of this, Europe is almost defenseless against religious fundamentalists,
Christian and Islamist, alike. Besides reclaiming its original spirituality - Mother
spirituality - it has to face up to many other challenges. From overcoming the climate
crisis, the desintegration of society, the fiasco of political parties, the
commercialization of every sector of life, the collapse of the welfare state and the
community, to putting an end to poverty, homelessness and hunger, maintaining a certain
level of prosperity for all, the desolate situation our youth is in, the demography with
corresponding influx of foreigners, the "State of the Union", the increasing
violence and the possibility of more wars, and last but not least the oppression of women.
At the moment it only seems to become worse. However, with the Mother as its Patroness,
Europe will be taking the lead in promoting a new "feminine" (holistic) world
view with its emphasis on connectedness, respect, love, tolerance, reconciliation,
justice, cooperation, community, peace and sustainability. This will be manifested through
a firm resolve toward the "Healing the
Planet" initiative, consisting of its 7 stages: healing yourself, each
other, the community, the tradition, society, the economy and the earth.
"Europe-Motherland" isn't a metaphor for yet another publicity stunt. For the
first time in centuries, Europeans have the chance to re-connect to Reality*. Don't miss
* It is like
predicted by the historian A.Toynbee. He said, that in the stage of decay of a
civilization, we have to first go back to the Source, in order to become renewed.
* In the last
decades literature about "Goddesses" have been abundant. Some outstanding works
about the Mother: E.Neumann "The Great Mother" (Jungian psychology),
A.Baring/J.Cashford "The Myth of the Goddess" (history/ mythology) and F.Baumer
"Der Kult der Großen Mutter" (archeology/mythology). The latter also made a
very important film with the same title, broadcasted on the Bayrische Rundfunk in 1986.
Recently, the BR Radio once again payed attention to the Great Mother.
The Mother has left countless traces in
the European landscape. From Marian shrines to state patronesses. In these times of
intercultural living the Mother necessarily has to transcend every local limitation. She
has to stand above the parties*. Or the other way round: people of every creed should be
able to recognize themselves in Her. In the Old China, f.i., the Mother ("Wusheng Lao
Mu") didn't have any image, just a black screen embodied Her Essence. Which, of
course is a very realistic approach. In Europe we are used to images, though. Therefore,
our first obligation is to create images that are as close to Her Reality as possible.We
think, that with the Cosmic Womb Mandala and the Black Goddess (See: "Mother Healing") we have come rather
close to that ideal. It unifies Christians (Black Madonna), Hindu's (MatriDevi), Buddhists
(Emptiness or Kuan Yin), Indigenous people, Jews (Shekinah), Shintoists (Eternal Mother)
and Voodoo-Goddesses f.i. equally. Moslims are forbidden to revere through images.
Something that obviously has to be respected. Here it helps, that in Islam Allah can be
considered a "Mother", as well. It is in "His/Her" quality of the
Merciful, that Islam may be able to link with the "Maternal Dimension of God".
Left are those who prefer to stay agnostics or atheists. Maybe even for them the idea of
the Mother as Cosmic Vacuum - Nothingness - can bring some food for thought. In the end
Her "web of life" - to be part of Heaven, earth and the community - may offer
refuge to all, without exception**.
* Obviously, all
manifestations of the Mother - Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist etc. - will be respected by
everyone. It is the core of interreligious tolerance and reconciliation.
"Green Man ", "Existential Consciousness",
"The Self-Sovereign Society",
"Sociocracy", "Transformation Manifesto for the 21st
the Mother is very prominent in Europe, She is equally Present throughout the world.
Obviously, we will promote Her wherever we come
Sumerian greeting, meaning "Freedom in the Mother"