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CDeville: Astarte

From: (lorax)
Subject: Re: CDeville: Astarte
Date: 8 May 1996 16:16:01 -0700

49960507 (perhaps we're losing sight of the claims.  let me try to reassess)

KRShane (
|>...the central claim of most of the better *scholarship* on early 
|>Goddess worship is that the figure of the Goddess *as symbol/archetype* 
|>is so similar in a vast variety of cultures and eras that one can posit 
|>a basic human *experience* that gives rise to belief in a Goddess figure, 

taking this one in particular, what I hear being claimed is that the
worshippers of these various gods had a similar RELATIONSHIP to hir 
goddess, and more, that the goddesses had some similarities due to 
proximity.  I can accept this, actually, especially as the GiT pointed
out, when we lose the term 'archetype', though I'd hear arguments to
the contrary.

|>and further that cultures of common biological, geographic, and 
|>cultural heritage will evince this archetype in forms that
|>are in essence "the same Goddess". 

how could this ever be proven?  how many different cultures are there
which share common biological, geographical and cultural heritage?
is there a *control* culture which we may observe to recognize and
falsify/support this?  how are 'thealogists' supporting it? (Goddess in Training):
|So you are arguing that through experience, people develop certain 
|deities that are similar? If so, then why do you use a Jungian term such 
|as "archetype" for that hypothesis? Archetypes in the Jungian sense imply 
|the a priori existence of said archetypes, not that they are developed 
|through experience. Jungian psychology is very essentialist and 
|Idealistic, practically Platonic at times, so seeing the word "archetype" 
|associated with a phenomenon that is experiential in nature is rather 
|disconcerting to me.

perhaps the archetype becomes the goddess whereas otherwise the archetype
remains hidden within our interior/subconscious/unconscious/jello.

|Most sources that I've seen have considered Ashtoreth to be the 
|demonization of Astarte by the monotheistic prophets of the Hebrews....

I've noticed that many labels and names are demonizations by the JCI
'Patriarchy'.  The name PAGAN, the word MAGIC, amongst others I'm sure.

|As far as I know, no one in this thread has been attempting to prove that 
|they are not different culture's forms of the same deity. Most sources 
|seem to link Astarte, Ashtaroth, Ishtar, Inanna and often Anath as being 
|different names or forms of the same goddess but in different cultures. 

and this claim itself is ambiguous.  what does 'the same goddess' mean
here?  that there was a wide-spread religion which crossed over into
several cultures and whose practices and mythos were shared?

|Of course the same deity appears under different names in different cultures. 

I argue that this may be a facile rendering of 'the same deity' and that 
while it is already ambiguous within religious tradition where one deity ends 
and another begins (aside from historical and/or mythological analyses which
support concepts often totally unfounded by archealogical evidence), saying
that 'the same deity appears under different names in different cultures'
amounts to the same kind of 'essentialism' which you ascribe to Jung and his
'archetypes'.  there is no evidence that the gods exist in anything but our
minds, and where our minds are concerned there are not these formalized
boundaries historically or as a present globe.

|This does not mean, though, that there were no other goddesses worshiped by 
|these people or that all goddesses in all cultures are forms of this goddess. 
|The latter, though, is a claim that many "Great Goddess" adherents are wont 
|to make. It's a claim that, IMNSHO, does not stand up to close scrutiny.

Isn't there more to this?  Could someone please explain (without trying to
convince us of the historical and/or archeological/psychophysical data)
what or who this 'Great Goddess' is?  Is this like the God of the Hebrews
whose form might vary but whose identity was always Torah-based?

|>Anything more than that is thealogy - and notoriously difficult and 
|>unrewarding to pursue in terms of "evidence" and "proof".


ooooo, 'thealogy'.  scahwee.  what is that aside from goddess-worshippers
making up their own history about themselves and gods?  isn't this the
same project set out by countless religious from day one and about which
many goddess-worshippers/Neopagans daily complain?
I can see a need for a 'new mythology', but I'm unsure that, given the
globalization of culture, abstraction into 'Great God' and 'Great Goddess'
is really going to solve anything.  If we prove the existence via logic
of the Great Goddess in archeological digs will this mean that we should
consider Her 'more real' or somehow 'more deserving of our worship'?

just what is everyone trying to establish here by this argument?  generali-
zations about simplistic terms capable of being placed into sound-bytes 
are very popular.  attempting to add to this by conjecturing some sort of
religious quality intellectually where it did not in fact exist historically
can be a very important art-project, but if one begins to support it like
many religious support their favorite history it becomes much worse than
'thealogy', it becomes PROPAGANDA.
lorax of the evul wikkunz
"Wicce" (feminine) and "wicca" (masculine) is Anglo Saxon, not Celtic.  It
meant "bender," "sorcerer," "changer," with a neutral-to-negative
coloration, *not* "wise."  The Anglo Saxon word for "wise" was "wys" or
"wyz", as in "wizard," meaning "wise one."  Oh, and "wiccan" was
originally the plural, not the adjectival form. (Isaac Bonewits): alt.religion.druid

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