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HUM 105 - Male and Female Divine

World Mythology

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HUM 105 - Male and Female Divine

  1. 1. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE WORLD MYTHOLOGY HUM/105 Prof. Francisco Pesante
  2. 2. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE Objectives: 1. Describe divine characteristics of male and female divinities. 2. Compare divine female and male characters in ancient myths with similar roles found in contemporary culture
  3. 3. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? Archeological findings of prehistoric artifacts in places extending from France to Siberia, depicts females figures of cultures dating back from 30,000 to 5,000 b.C.E.
  4. 4. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? Over the last 30 years, a growing number of scholars, have seen in these artifacts proof that human societies worshiped an all-powerful Great Goddess from whom the many goddesses of the historical period are descended.
  5. 5. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? Among the statuettes, a significant number are abstract representations of the female form, featuring exaggerated buttocks, breasts, vulvas, and bellies, associated to fertility and life-giving forms. Venus of Wilendorf, Alemania (20,000 b.C.E.)
  6. 6. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • Marija Gimbutas, (1982) The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. Connected the discourses of archaeology and the 1960- 1970’s women’s movement.
  7. 7. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • Matriarchal – woman-dominated
  8. 8. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • Matrifocal – woman-centered, – they enjoyed greater gender equality, freedom from violence, and harmony with nature.
  9. 9. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • A goddess worship and earth-magic, gives way for a new woman-centered vocabulary with which to discuss women’s lives and relationships.
  10. 10. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, several disciplines took for granted the existence of a Primal Mother or Great Goddess and further assumed that man had happily escaped through the logocentric power of intellect, from the dark, primitive past.
  11. 11. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • Archaeologists such as Lucy Goodison and Christine Morris, argued that members of the Goddess Movement weren’t being scientific—or even completely honest about all that the archaeological record includes.
  12. 12. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • The cultures that produced the various figurines upon which the Goddess Movement has based its assumptions never developed writing. There will be no eyewitness accounts, no histories to which modern scholars can refer their hypotheses about the objects they unearth.
  13. 13. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • These objects do not speak for themselves but become meaningful only when an interpretation explains them. Without knowing who produced them and for what purposes, we cannot hope to discover unequivocal answers to the many questions the archaeological record raises.
  14. 14. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • Gimbutas’s interpretation is that the female principle was the focus of social and religious life until the centuries between 4500 and 2500 bCE, when Old European social and religious systems began to fuse with the beliefs and customs of patrifocal (i.e., male- oriented) Indo-European invaders and settlers.
  15. 15. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • To test Gimbutas’s claims, she applies it to part of Hesiod’s Theogony. Specifically to that of Pandora’s Box .
  16. 16. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE I. The Great Goddess A. Was There a Great Goddess? • Our conception of ancient Goddess are assumptions inherited from of 19th century scholars associations: Women -> nature, primitive Men -> civilization, rational
  17. 17. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology • Psychologists have resurrected the Great Goddess and put her to work in the therapist’s office.
  18. 18. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology • The powerful archetypal forces shaping women’s lives can be represented “in the guise of Greek goddesses. • Archetype: the original pattern or model; an inherited idea or mode of thought (Merriam-Webster).
  19. 19. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology Type of woman who most values her: • monogamy, marriage, or children bearing, • independent, goal oriented • emotional intensity and new experiences and • woman seeks solitude and finds that her spirituality means the most to her.
  20. 20. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology • What is fulfilling to one type of woman may be meaningless to another, depending on which “goddess” is active.
  21. 21. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology The Goddess Within • Athena: Warrior Woman in the World (independent and goal oriented). The goddess of such civilized pursuits as technology, warfare, politics, education, priestcraft, and statecraft. Gustav Klimt (1898). Pallas Atenea
  22. 22. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology The Goddess Within • Artemis: Heart of the Lonely Huntress (woman seeks solitude and spirituality). Goddess of nature, virgin wilderness, animals, the moon, and instinct.
  23. 23. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology The Goddess Within • Hera: Queen and Partner in Power (monogamy, marriage). Pursues power into the sociopolitical sphere. Preserves traditional social and moral institutions.
  24. 24. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology The Goddess Within • Persephone: Medium, Mystic, and Mistress of the Dead (emotional intensity and new experiences). Pursues power inwardly and rules in women intensely interested in the mystical, magical, and spiritual possibilities withi themselves and others.
  25. 25. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology The Goddess Within • Aphrodite: Golden Goddess of Love (emotional intensity and new experiences). Purseus beauty, emotional intensity, and self- knowledge through a variety of artistic endeavors and sexual encounters.
  26. 26. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology The Goddess Within • Demeter: Mother of us (children bearing). Reserves her love for her children, serving as a selfless container for all her loved ones both physically and spiritually.
  27. 27. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE II. Archetypal Psychology • What is fulfilling to one type of woman may be meaningless to another, depending on which “goddess” is active.
  28. 28. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types • Scholars have argued that the literary character types that anyone can observe in stories about goddesses, reveals itself in three areas of influence corresponding to stages in a woman’s life cycle: – Life, – Death, and – Regeneration
  29. 29. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types • Life Goddesses. Female divinities like Mothers Earth, Gea, Demeter or Pachamama, have been the ground from which we derive sustenance and the creation of all life upon each. They all are Goddeses who transcends even the limits of space and time.
  30. 30. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types • In human affairs, life goddesses oversee the institutions that create the conditions for security and contentment, prosperity and growth, creativity and artistry.
  31. 31. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types • Like Greek Hera and Hestia, some life goddesses are depicted as encouraging and protecting the fundamental institutions of civilization—marriage and family.
  32. 32. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types • Sometimes life goddesses combine several qualities. In Greece, Athena was depicted as a virginal military strategist, but she was less associated with sexuality. Instead, the “grey-eyed goddess” of ancient Athens was thought to be a sponsor of domestic industry, particularly weaving.
  33. 33. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types Goddesses of Death. They frequently appear in the world’s myths as ancient wise women, witches, and mediums. often depicted as portals through which humans, bound by the limitations of our space-time.
  34. 34. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types Goddesses of Death. In human affairs, goddesses of Death often operate as Fates, apportioning to each his and her share of light and life, illness and health, prosperity and poverty. Ex. Persephones abduction by Hades.
  35. 35. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types Goddesses of Death. Persephones abduction by Hades (cont.). In ancient Greece, Persephone was abducted by Hades and became Queen of the Underworld, an event that so angered her mother, Demeter, that the elder goddess of life refused to let anything grow or breed upon the earth until her daughter was restored.
  36. 36. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types Goddesses of Death. Persephones abduction by Hades. Zeus, anxious to ensure that the people of earth had enough food and wine to offer the gods their customary sacrifices, brokered a deal with his brother Hades that allowed Persephone to visit her mother for half the year, and thus the earth is fertile for half the year and sterile for the other half.
  37. 37. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types
  38. 38. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types In esoteric Judaism it is believed that Lilith was Adam’s first wife, coeval and coequal with him. He later rejected Adam and was expelled from Eden. (Is 34:14)
  39. 39. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types Lilith Fair A concert tour and travelling music festival, founded by Canadian musician Sarah McLachlan, Nettwerk Music Group's Dan Fraser and Terry McBride, and New York talent agent Marty Diamond. It took place during the summers of 1997 to 1999, and was revived in the summer of 2010. It consisted solely of female solo artists and female-led bands. Source: http://www.facebook.com/lilithfairtour/info
  40. 40. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types Goddesses of Regeneration. • Appear as virgins and nymphs, as objects or embodiments of sexual desire, and as sponsors of and the inspiration for everything beautiful.
  41. 41. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types Goddesses of Regeneration. • Their representation as irresistible erotic power and feminine allure. As powers of regeneration and constant renewal, • But over their “fertility” symbolism, they honor female sexual power.
  42. 42. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types Goddesses of Regeneration. • Examples from classical Greek and Latin sources, are Aphrodite/Venus.
  43. 43. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE III. Goddesses as Literary Character Types Goddesses of Regeneration. • Represented the power of women to excite, attract, and inspire men. In a patriarchal world that premium rationality, this Goddesses were sources of raw power of sexual allure to tame. Ex. Aphrodite or Helene of Troy.
  44. 44. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE Male Divine
  45. 45. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods • Gods are usually described in terms of the various cosmic order and sociopolitical roles that they fulfill. • The following five broad categories through which we can approach the vast number of gods and heroes populating the world’s myths:
  46. 46. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods • Fathers and sons, • kings and judges, • saviors and sages, • shamans and tricksters, • and lords of destruction and the underworld.
  47. 47. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Fathers and sons • Embodies the male principle of fertility. Their life-giving seed energizes and organizes the life potential of womb and soil.
  48. 48. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Fathers and sons • Unlike many of their female counterparts, however, father-gods often do not remain intimate with their offspring.
  49. 49. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Fathers and sons • Fequently in the father-god in myth, the later his son to the earth as an ambassador of his will.
  50. 50. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Fathers and sons • The unknown and terrifying authority of the father God, sometimes is the base for a conflict where the hero must deal before he can fully realize his divine nature. Or as a battle for the father’s love and approval. (zeus, odin)
  51. 51. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Kings and Judges • Frequently, there is little distinction to be made between father-gods and kings. But the emphasis shifts away from the duties and responsibilities of familial relations, toward the duties and advantages of monarchical power.
  52. 52. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods King and Judges • The logic of the king archetype: safety, peace, and prosperity come from the power to ensure stability and order.
  53. 53. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Kings and Judges • Linked to the need for a firm heavenly power to create and preserve celestial order and thus the general well-being of mortals is the importance of justice. The divine judge enforces order by rewarding those whose deeds conform to his will and by punishing those whose deeds do not.
  54. 54. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Kings and Judges The Ancient Egypt Book of Death
  55. 55. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Savior and Sages • Saviors bridge the gulf that yawns between the father-god and his human children.
  56. 56. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Savior and Sages • Although the messenger may be human, he has so completely submerged his will and identity into that of the Divine that he is, in essence, the humanized voice of the Father. • Example: Padmasambhava in Buddism, or Mohammed in Islamism.
  57. 57. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Trickters and Shamans • Shaman, a human being capable of traveling between the natural and supernatural worlds. They cross the frontiers of the material realm. • Source: http://www.godchecker.com
  58. 58. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Trickters and Shamans • The Greek Hermes represents many features of the archetype. Being the messenger of the gods, he transmited to earth and the underworld the will of heaven.
  59. 59. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Trickters and Shamans Trick·ster (ˈtrik-stər): a cunning or deceptive character appearing in various forms in the folklore of many cultures. Source: Trickster. (2012) Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from: www.m-w.com
  60. 60. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Trickters and Shamans • Elegua, Niño de atoche Childlike trickster God in Yoruba myth. God of crossroads, beginnings and opportunities.
  61. 61. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Lords of Destruction and the Underworld • Held responsible for that which humans fear most: death, disease, misfortune, and supernatural malevolence.
  62. 62. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Lords of Destruction and the Underworld • Many ancient cultures identified the kingdoms of the dead the west, other believed the dead follow a path toward the setting sun into the Afterlife.
  63. 63. THE MALE AND FEMALE DIVINE IV. Male Gods Lords of Destruction and the Underworld • To some cultures a number of Lords of the Underworld were linked to fertility and renewal (Ex. Pluto or Osiris).
  64. 64. REFERENCE • Leonard, S., & McClure, M. (2004). Myth & knowing: An introduction to world mythology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
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