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From: (Goddess in Training)
Subject: Re: Astarte
Date: 4 May 96 19:32:26 CDT

Catherine Deville ( wrote:
: (Brightshad) wrote:

: >I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your response to the extremely
: >confused bunch of stuff on Astarte in the original message. 

: who are you replying to here?  you reply in public but you do not
: state to whom this was directed.

She was replying to me--I got this post in private email as well as 
seeing it here in usenet.

: >Your statement about the Great Goddess being a modern invention is
: >one too many Neo-Pagans don't want to hear. They have  allowed the
: >prevailing monotheism of this culture to infect their ability to respond
: >to the multiplicity of Nature.

: excuse me, but _who_ stated that the Great Goddess was a modern
: invention.  there are scholastic authorities which disagree with you.
: (and yes, i am neo-pagan, but many of them are not).  i realize that
: this is currently a controversy, but it is far from being decided.  i
: conclude, however, from your statement, that you disregard the
: research of Joseph Campbell, Merlin Stone and Gimbutas among others
: and accept the old prevailing patriarical viewpoint? 

Campbell is interesting, albeit biased and a bit sexist. He's more 
interesting, though, for his interpretations of myths than for 
scholarship into the origins of myths. Stone is even shakier in terms of 
scholarship. I haven't read Gimbutas yet, so I will refrain from comment. 
Also, it's false to assume that just because one rejects extreme 
revisionist theories that one accepts the old prevailing "patriarchal" 
viewpoint. My personal belief is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

: it is demonstrated, even in your own post, that cultures tended to
: absorb the attributes of the gods of existing tribes.  why is it
: controversial to believe that this happened in the case of the Great
: Goddess myth?  

Yes, cultures absorb aspects of other cultures and deities are often 
borrowed between cultures (c.f., Astarte, Inanna, Ishtar), but there has 
been no proof of the Great Goddess, merely one very important goddess 
being worshiped by various countries that had contact with each other. 
The existence of the Queen of Heaven in one area (mainly Mesopotamia but 
also in Egypt--Astarte was referred to as Ashtar by the Egyptians, according 
to _the Hebrew Goddess_ by Patai, so I can see how you would think Ishtar 
for the Egyptian form of the name--as well as other Ancient Middle Eastern 
countries) does not imply that she was "the Great Goddess" or that her 
worship existed in any other areas.
--'--,-{@  --,--'-{@  --'--,-{@                                             
Renee Rosen                                "Was I a witch?
Goddess in Training                            In the dark days, I heard 
Astrud and Astarte on irc      		                      voices . . ."
LadyGodiva on the DivWeb                            	--Art Bears     
          Email me for information on jap-l, the Jewish Pagan list
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