I’ve been reading “When God Was a Woman” by Merlin Stone. I’m only on page 66 but it’s been fascinating thusfar.
There has been a question raised by/within the NeoPagan community for years. I sought out answers for the question when I was NeoPagan (’98-’05) and I’ve still been wondering about it. The question is: why have patriarchal cultures/religions prevailed over matriarchal cultures/religions?
Finally, the answer has been revealed!!!!
Early matriarchal cultures were agricultural and patriarchal were nomadic (this is in the Middle East thousands of years before Jesus). Agricultural cultures valued fertility, growth, nurturing, etc. because that was what was required to live. Nomadic cultures valued strength, brutality, and domination because that hwas what was required to live. Women gave birth and nursed infants so they were more valued in agricultural cultures. Men have more upper body strength and testosterone, so they were more valued in nomadic cultures.
Of course, the deities of agriculture-based religions were usually female and deities of nomadic-based religions were usually male. The nomadic societies were usually more territorial because they relied so heavily on animal herds and the like. They invaded agricultural societies because, well, it was easy! Nomadic tribes were more advanced in warfare because they had to live by it every day. They invented horse-drawn chariots.
Switching these agricultural societies over to patriarchal religions and culture was easy, too. They were matrilineal – the family’s bloodline was traced through the mother, her mother, her mother’s mother, etc. By destroying that tradition, the people of the invaded societies lost their identity. When you crush a collective identity of a people, you can do ANYTHING to them. Holocaust, much? Spanish Inquisition, much? Japanese internment camps, much? Anyway, replacing the matrilineage with patrilineage shifted power and also made a powerful impact on religion.
There you go. Politics and religion intermingle YET AGAIN!! Only instead of “again,” it was one of the first times . . . UGH