The Evolution of Deity
The Male Divine
Gods
 Although the Magna Mater may have been the earliest type of
deity to be worshiped, she was eventually accompanied b...
 The attempted eradication of the feminine divine did not come about
until the advent of monotheism. When the ideology of...
 The earliest documented “case” of monotheism (from
records of the time) occurred in the eighteenth
dynasty of Egypt when...
Upper Paleolithic: The Sorcerer of
Trois Frere
 As with goddesses, researchers must rely on iconography and
archetypal as...
 From its head sprouts antlers, setting a
trend for “Horned Gods” that still
lingers today.
 The eyes are owlish and the...
 Another figure from the cave of
Gabillou (Dordogne)—a composite
creature, half-man and half bison .
 Anthropomorphic de...
Neolithic
Archaeologists at
Catalhoyuk have
unearthed figures of
gods/men as well as
figurines of
goddesses/women.
This ...
The Sun Gods
 Gods were most often connected with the sun; if the earth was the
mother, the sky became the father. There ...
Ra and Aten
Ra guided his sun-boat across the sky during
the day and through Tuat, the netherworld, at
night. Aten was the...
Apollo and Helios
 The tradition of the sun “vehicle” is
carried on
 In Greek myth, Apollo or his son,
Helios, drove a c...
 The sun was more than just light to see by, it symbolized rationality
and logic. We still “see the light” when we come t...
Mithra(s)
 Mithra was originally a Persian and
Indian god, but around 300 BCE he
became the patron god of the Roman
Army....
 The most common depiction of Mithras is the killing of the bull.
 The tauroctony or taurobolium is highly reminiscent o...
The Horned Gods
 Goddesses such as Isis and Inanna were often portrayed with horns, but
in other myth, gods also sported ...
Pan
•Pan is highly licentious and known for
chasing women. He is bawdy in nature
because he is highly influenced by his
go...
Cernunnos  Cernunnos is a little documented
god of the Celts. His name
means “the horned one.”
 Like many other deities
...
 One of the best depictions of Cernunnos is from the Gundestrup cauldron
found in Denmark.
 Cernunnos was mainly a Gauli...
In the Gundestrup scene, he bears a very close
resemblance to a Hindu deity, Pashupati, Lord of the
Animals.
 There are other horned
characters of mythology:
notably, the Minotaur!
Although the Minotaur is not a
deity, he is remin...
• The Devil has Pan’s goat
features and carries a
pitchfork/trident, symbol of
both Hades and Poseidon.
• In some depictio...
Archetypal Resemblances
 Miscellaneous resemblances of many gods include a virgin birth:
Mithra, Jesus, and Hephaestus am...
Thunder Gods
 Another set of similar gods are those who deal with thunder, lightning,
and mountains. We still connect lig...
Blacksmiths
 Brigit is the goddess of smiths in Celtic myth, but she has a male
counterpart named Waylon or Wayland.
 Wa...
Patricide
 The cycle of patricide exists in various mythologies. In this cycle, a father is
killed by his son; in turn, t...
Dying and Resurrected Gods
 Although goddesses such as Inanna and Persephone made the trip to the
underworld, it largely ...
Osiris
 Osiris might be the oldest
resurrecting god to be
recorded. He died at the
hands of his evil brother
Set and Isis...
Dumuzi/Tammuz  These two gods are
basically the same
deity; Dumuzi
(Inanna’s consort) in
Sumeria and Tammuz
(Ishtar and A...
Dionysus
 Dionysus died in a couple of
different myths, but rose again.
 As Zagreus, he is torn apart and
eaten (except ...
Adonis
 Adonis was the beloved of
both Aphrodite and
Persephone.
 Ares was jealous of Adonis
and sent a boar to gore him...
Jesus
 In Judaism, there is no resurrected god because there is only ONE god,
and he is incapable of dying, but the theme...
Baldur/Balder
 In Norse myth, Baldur is a much beloved god who dies at the
instigation of Loki.
 Baldur descends to Hel ...
 The Dying and Resurrected and the descent into the underworld is
common in most mythos including those of the Americas.
...
The Green Man
 The Green Man is another widespread archetypal image. “Green Man”
is a modern term, however, since we do n...
 The original Green Man was Osiris,
who is often depicted as having green
skin, symbolic of his association with
plants.
...
 In Britain, images of the
Green Man abound, even
featured in Christian
Churches.
 Early Christianity often
incorporated...
Kent
Canterbury
 For more information about Green Men, Mike
Harding has a great site:
 http://www.mikeharding.co.uk/gree...
Et Al
 As with goddess myths, the tales of gods are archetypal, shared by
many religions. Their similarities are too clos...
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The evolution of deity gods revised 3

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A short history of the archetypal associations of male deities.

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The evolution of deity gods revised 3

  1. 1. The Evolution of Deity The Male Divine
  2. 2. Gods  Although the Magna Mater may have been the earliest type of deity to be worshiped, she was eventually accompanied by a consort.  Many male deities remained minor in comparison to their wives or lovers: Dumuzi, Attis, and Adonis are a few.  In many cultures, however, gods rose to preeminence and gained equal or superior status to goddesses.  Some sociologists such as Marija Gimbutas think this trends reflects a shift from matriarchal to patriarchal cultures, but this theory cannot be proven or disproven.
  3. 3.  The attempted eradication of the feminine divine did not come about until the advent of monotheism. When the ideology of a sole deity was established in the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the god was referred to as “he” and the feminine was highly minimized.  Yahweh, however, evolving from the Semitic/Canaanite god “El,” originally had a wife named Anath. In addition, deity is also referred to as “Elohim” in Hebrew scripture—a word both feminine and plural.  In Christianity, the Virgin Mary became a weakened version of the maiden and mother, but never ages into the crone.  Modern paganism, including Wicca, Druidism, and Asatru, have returned to polytheism and the duality of deity. Other religions such as Hinduism never lost the concept of the goddess or polytheism.
  4. 4.  The earliest documented “case” of monotheism (from records of the time) occurred in the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt when the heretic pharaoh Akhnaten (1372-1354 BCE) declared Aten, the sun disk, as the sole divine. Egypt returned to polytheism when Akhnaten (mysteriously) died.  Other cultures remained polytheistic for thousands of years.
  5. 5. Upper Paleolithic: The Sorcerer of Trois Frere  As with goddesses, researchers must rely on iconography and archetypal associations for information about gods in preliterate societies.  One icon is dubbed “The Sorcerer of Trois Frere,” an ice age figure found drawn on a cave wall in Trois Frere, France.  The picture is of an anthropomorphic creature—half human and containing aspects of several other animals.
  6. 6.  From its head sprouts antlers, setting a trend for “Horned Gods” that still lingers today.  The eyes are owlish and the tail is canine.  Circa 13,000 BCE  It is not clear whether the figure is of a dancing god or a human, but the antlers —associated with horned gods— suggest a connection to deity. Other artwork from the same period show the same type of anthropomorphic figures.  The figures might have been used for “sympathetic magic,” to ensure a good hunt.
  7. 7.  Another figure from the cave of Gabillou (Dordogne)—a composite creature, half-man and half bison .  Anthropomorphic deities were common in the myths of Egypt and somewhat in Sumeria, but in Classical Greek myth, Pan remains as one of the few half-animal/half-human gods.  Creatures such as the centaurs were not gods, though they were immortal.  As humanity progressed, it often sought to separate itself from the animal world.
  8. 8. Neolithic Archaeologists at Catalhoyuk have unearthed figures of gods/men as well as figurines of goddesses/women. This figure portrays a male riding a leopard.
  9. 9. The Sun Gods  Gods were most often connected with the sun; if the earth was the mother, the sky became the father. There were exceptions to this, such as the portrayal of the earth as male (Geb) and the sky as female (Nut) in Egyptian myth. Also, in Norse myth, the sun was pulled by a goddess, Sunna or Sol, and the moon is male, Mani. Sumeria also had a moon god, Nanna.  But even in Egypt, the sun was distinctly male: Ra (Re) or Aten.
  10. 10. Ra and Aten Ra guided his sun-boat across the sky during the day and through Tuat, the netherworld, at night. Aten was the actual disk of the sun.
  11. 11. Apollo and Helios  The tradition of the sun “vehicle” is carried on  In Greek myth, Apollo or his son, Helios, drove a chariot carrying the sun.  Apollo was the god of logic/reason. He was not always so rational, however, causing Daphne to pray to be turned into a tree rather than be raped by him.
  12. 12.  The sun was more than just light to see by, it symbolized rationality and logic. We still “see the light” when we come to a realization. Sudden enlightenment is also cartoonishly portrayed by a light bulb coming on over a person’s head.
  13. 13. Mithra(s)  Mithra was originally a Persian and Indian god, but around 300 BCE he became the patron god of the Roman Army.  Mithra was called “sol invictus,” the unconquered sun.  He shares many parallels with Jesus, including a virgin birth in Armenian lore and a December 25th birthday.
  14. 14.  The most common depiction of Mithras is the killing of the bull.  The tauroctony or taurobolium is highly reminiscent of Attis and Cybele’s rite of initiation and is the most prevalent icon of the Mithraic religion.  Mithras also has a last dinner with his compatriots and descends to heaven right after dining.
  15. 15. The Horned Gods  Goddesses such as Isis and Inanna were often portrayed with horns, but in other myth, gods also sported horns or antlers.  The tradition of the horned deity most likely has roots in the Sorcerer of Trois Frere. It demonstrates a close association with nature and animals.
  16. 16. Pan •Pan is highly licentious and known for chasing women. He is bawdy in nature because he is highly influenced by his goatish attributes. •Strangely enough, the other Greek gods who do not have goat appendages are equally as bawdy—but unlike Pan, they are handsome.
  17. 17. Cernunnos  Cernunnos is a little documented god of the Celts. His name means “the horned one.”  Like many other deities including Christ and Mithra, the Horned God is often born at the winter solstice. He dies, also like many other gods, and is reborn on a yearly basis.
  18. 18.  One of the best depictions of Cernunnos is from the Gundestrup cauldron found in Denmark.  Cernunnos was mainly a Gaulish deity, but he was obviously known in Denmark and in the British Isles.  He is titled “Lord of the Animals” and has a close association with nature.
  19. 19. In the Gundestrup scene, he bears a very close resemblance to a Hindu deity, Pashupati, Lord of the Animals.
  20. 20.  There are other horned characters of mythology: notably, the Minotaur! Although the Minotaur is not a deity, he is reminiscent of Pan, ruled by his “beast” side.  It has been said that the gods of an old religion become the demons of the new religion; this is certainly true in the case of the Horned Gods.  Christians adopted the image of Horned Gods and applied it to the image of Satan.  Interestingly enough, Satan is not described as such in Christian scriptures.
  21. 21. • The Devil has Pan’s goat features and carries a pitchfork/trident, symbol of both Hades and Poseidon. • In some depictions of Moses, he is also shown wearing horns, but this was a mistranslation of Hebrew Scripture; when Moses came down from Sinai, that his face was “transfigured” was translated as he had “horns.” Check it out at: http://www.jewishencyclopedi a.com/articles/7869-horns-of- moses Michelangelo’s “Moses”
  22. 22. Archetypal Resemblances  Miscellaneous resemblances of many gods include a virgin birth: Mithra, Jesus, and Hephaestus among them. Often heroes such as Perseus were fathered by anonymously by gods.  Another type is the “Holy Child,” image—the special child who is intended for a great destiny. A modern myth also has this archetype: Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars.
  23. 23. Thunder Gods  Another set of similar gods are those who deal with thunder, lightning, and mountains. We still connect lightning with gods, saying “may lightning strike if I am lying (or whatever wrongdoing).”  In Greek myth, Zeus is the thunder god who lives on Mt. Olympus.  In Judaism, Yahweh speaks to Moses in a burning bush on Mt. Sinai.  Thor is the lightning god in Norse myth; he lives in Asgard, the topmost level of the nine worlds.  The earth largely remained the province of goddesses, but the sun and thunder gods ruled the sky.
  24. 24. Blacksmiths  Brigit is the goddess of smiths in Celtic myth, but she has a male counterpart named Waylon or Wayland.  Waylon was originally from Scandinavia where he was lamed in order to keep him there.  Hephaestus is the lame god of smiths in Greek myth; he was so important that Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, was given tohim in marriage. She was not a faithful wife, though.  Blacksmiths might have been deliberately lamed in order to keep them in a village.  In the modern world, we do not understand the importance of smiths to ancient cultures; without them, there were not only no swords, but no pots, pans or other items made of metal.
  25. 25. Patricide  The cycle of patricide exists in various mythologies. In this cycle, a father is killed by his son; in turn, the son is often killed by his offspring.  The most famous acts of patricide occur in Greek myth wherein the Titan Uranus is killed by his son, Cronos. Cronos is killed by Zeus.  Zeus forestalls his own deposition by a son when he swallows Metis whole.  In Norse myth, the frost giant Ymir is killed by Odin. Ymir is not Odin’s father, but having arisen first out of the icy chasm, he is a prominent father figure.  Fathers are often not kind to their children, as well. Cronos swallowed each of his children at birth in order to thwart the prophecy that one of his children would kill him.  There are also accounts of matricide, including the death of Tiamat in Sumerian/ Babylonian myth.
  26. 26. Dying and Resurrected Gods  Although goddesses such as Inanna and Persephone made the trip to the underworld, it largely became the province of male deities.  The Dying and Resurrected God myth is one of the most common tale shared by diverse cultures.  An entire module will be dedicated to this myth, but here is a preview.
  27. 27. Osiris  Osiris might be the oldest resurrecting god to be recorded. He died at the hands of his evil brother Set and Isis, Osiris’ wife, goes in search of him.  Even though Osiris comes back to life, he cannot live in the world of the living so he becomes the God of the Dead.
  28. 28. Dumuzi/Tammuz  These two gods are basically the same deity; Dumuzi (Inanna’s consort) in Sumeria and Tammuz (Ishtar and Astarte) in Babylon and Phoenicia.  Their tales differ, but they both die, descend to Kur, but are allowed to live half the year aboveground.
  29. 29. Dionysus  Dionysus died in a couple of different myths, but rose again.  As Zagreus, he is torn apart and eaten (except his heart) by Titans. Zeus blasts the Titans with a thunder bolt, the heart is saved and Zagreus is reconstituted.  In another myth, he was hung on a tree to die. (Odin also hung himself on Yggdrasil in order to gain wisdom).  Dionysus is best known to the modern world as the god of wine, but he is god of much more.  He was gestated in Zeus’ thigh, giving him a licentious nature like Pan.
  30. 30. Adonis  Adonis was the beloved of both Aphrodite and Persephone.  Ares was jealous of Adonis and sent a boar to gore him to death.  Aphrodite mourned him so much (although Persephone was delighted to have him in her realm) that Adonis was allowed to divide his time among the goddesses plus a few months to spend wherever he wished.
  31. 31. Jesus  In Judaism, there is no resurrected god because there is only ONE god, and he is incapable of dying, but the theme is so strong that Christianity reinstills it.  Jesus’ birth and death parallels that of many other deities.He breaks the cycle, however, because after he resurrects, he does not return to the earth on a yearly basis, but ascends to heaven to await a second coming or rebirth.
  32. 32. Baldur/Balder  In Norse myth, Baldur is a much beloved god who dies at the instigation of Loki.  Baldur descends to Hel and in the original tale, almost gets to ascend— IF all of creation will weep for him. Loki spoils the deal by refusing to weep.  Later myths have Baldur resurrecting after Ragnarok to lead the new set of deities.
  33. 33.  The Dying and Resurrected and the descent into the underworld is common in most mythos including those of the Americas.  In Mayan myth, the Divine Twins descend to Xibalba to save their father.  In Mayan, Aztec, and North American Native myth, the resurrection has to do with fertility and the maize/corn harvest.
  34. 34. The Green Man  The Green Man is another widespread archetypal image. “Green Man” is a modern term, however, since we do not know of a specific name that the ancients called him or even if he was a specific god. His image is found from Egypt to India to the British Isles.  The Green Man is the Lord of Spring and Summer, connected with fertility and fecundity (in Celtic myth, he alternates with the Holly King, a winter counterpart).
  35. 35.  The original Green Man was Osiris, who is often depicted as having green skin, symbolic of his association with plants.  Later, the trademark of the Green Man became the vegetation growing from his mouth and ears. Green Man From New Delhi
  36. 36.  In Britain, images of the Green Man abound, even featured in Christian Churches.  Early Christianity often incorporated pagan icons in their ranks, and just as often built churches over ancient pagan shrines or holy places. Green Man in Devon
  37. 37. Kent Canterbury  For more information about Green Men, Mike Harding has a great site:  http://www.mikeharding.co.uk/greenman/green1.ht ml
  38. 38. Et Al  As with goddess myths, the tales of gods are archetypal, shared by many religions. Their similarities are too close to be discounted—but the question still remains as to the reason for their similarities.

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