A History of the Goddess
An Abbreviated Timeline of the Biblical Goddess
The Ice Age
- Global temperatures 9 degrees cooler.
- Ice sheets cover much of N. America and Europe.
- Sea levels 400 feet lower. Coastlines farther out.
- Climate completely different.
- Homo Sapiens leave Africa.
- Humans follow the Nile River to the Levant and onto Eurasia.
- Cave paintings and ritual burials show culture.
- Venus Figurines demonstrate primeval Goddess worship.
- Glacial maximum
- Global temperatures rising steadily.
- Younger Dryas Extinction
- Global temperatures plummet suddenly.
- Devastation of all large animals across the Earth.
- Human populations decimated.
- Comet strike(s) theorized as the cause.
- Possible origin of the global flood myths.
- Neolithic Revolution
- Survivors of the Younger Dryas devastation begin planting and agriculture.
- The first settlements were established in the Fertile Crescent; Goebleki Tepe, Catal Huyuk, Jericho.
- Holocene period - temperatures and climate stabilized in the range we live in today.
- Neolithic cultures were peaceful, egalitarian, and matriarchal. Women were respected.
- No signs of war, weapons, or social hierarchies.
- Venus figurines continue to be common, the "Seated Goddess" from Catal Huyuk is famous.
- Goddess worship was focused on the fertility of nature and the cycles of life.
- Matriarchal farmers build the first cities and follow the Divine Mother.
- Patriarchal shepherds are nomadic and follow the Heavenly Father.
-Transgendered people were mystics and shamans.
- Cannabis was cultivated for fiber and drugs throughout Fertile Crescent.
Editors Note: This is Edward Dodge's vision of history as detailed in the book: "A History of the Goddess: from the Ice Age to the Bible" that blends archaeology, mythology, and culture into a new narrative.
Essay coming soon...
- Bronze Age Revolution
- Civilization emerges from disparate settlements.
- Bronze introduces weapons, warfare, and slavery.
- Warrior kings take power on Earth and the Heavens.
- Farmers and shepherds united, shepherd kings rule as patriarchs.
- Society is hierarchical and class-based.
- Sumer in Mesopotamia had the first civilization.
- Uruk was the first great city in the world, and the leading cultural power for over 1000 years.
- Egypt, China, and India soon followed.
- Invention of writing in Sumer; cuneiform
- The first pantheon of gods; An the Heavenly Father, Ki the Earthly Mother, Enlil King of the Gods, Inanna Queen of Heaven, etc. Nammu was the primordial mother goddess.
- Women have strong rights to own property, run businesses, inherit, and divorce.
- Sex seen as a form of creation and was celebrated publicly. Ritual prostitution is run by women and they gain great wealth and influence from it.
- Qedesha (qaditsu) priestesses are the "Holy Ones," "Virgins," and the "Set-Apart." Sacred Marriage ceremonies confirmed the king's right to rule.
- Inanna/Ishtar was Queen of Heaven and the most popular deity in the ancient Near East. The goddess of love and war was fierce, beautiful, ambitious, and independent. Her worship was highly sexual and ecstatic, cannabis was a sacred offering, and trans people were high priests.
-- Uruk was originally dedicated to An, but Inanna became preeminent when they built a larger ziggurat to her, while the worship of An faded.
- Sargon of Akkad was the first military
emperor ever in history.
- Sargon's daughter Enheduanna was the first-named poet in history, she wrote hymns in praise of Inanna/Ishtar.
- Babylon rises under King Hammurabi to be the most sophisticated and cultured city in antiquity.
- Ishtar was the patron goddess of Babylon, Uruk, and many great cities.
Essay coming soon.
- Abraham was given direction from the High
God El/An to revive his forgotten religion.
- Abraham lead his shepherding tribe from Mesopotamia to Canaan, the Promised Land.
- El is the God of Israel.
- But all the Canaanite gods are worshipped. Asherah is the mother goddess, Astarte/Ishtar is the Queen of Heaven, Anat is her terrifying sister. Baal is the King of the Gods.
- The patriarchal Shepherds disdained the matriarchal Farmers living in the cities with their licentious Goddess worship filled with sex, drugs, drink, music, and ecstatic dance (see Sodom and Gomorrah).
~ 1600 BCE
- Famine forced the Israelites into Egypt, where they lived well at first (perhaps related to the Hyksos), but were later enslaved and subjugated.
- Egypt ruled Canaan with an iron fist.
- Bronze Age Collapse
- 200 year Dark Age
- Devastation across the Near East and Mediterranean as natural disasters, famine, and invasions caused all the leading civilizations to collapse in domino fashion.
- For two hundred years there was no governance, trade, or literacy. It was a dangerous and lawless time.
- Cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphics stop being used forever.
- The Iron Age
- New cultures and new religions emerged out of the Bronze Age Collapse. Iron replaced copper with new military powers and trade routes.
- Women had been losing their rights throughout the Bronze Age, but their position is dramatically reduced in the Iron Age.
- The Phoenicians are the first new power to
emerge in the Iron Age. Their leading cities were Tyre and Sidon. They were wealthy and sophisticated artisans and traders, great sailors, they colonized the Mediterranean.
-The Phoenicians and Canaanites kept the old gods and their most sacred site was at Baalbek, Lebanon. They followed the old matriarchal goddesses.
- Baal religion had child sacrifice.
- The Hellenistic Greek culture emerged from
the Dark Age with new Olympian gods led by Zeus.
- The Olympian gods had to defeat the older generation of gods to take power. This likely reflects an actual cultural shift/reformation.
-The Greeks were extremely patriarchal and they watered down the goddesses so they did not challenge the authority of Zeus.
-Ishtar's powers were divided among Aphrodite and Athena, while Hera was the Queen of Heaven. Demeter, the "Good Goddess," oversaw the cycle of life rituals in the Eleusinian Mysteries, while Dionysius oversaw the sex, wine, and drug rituals.
- Moses introduced the new god Yahweh.
- Yahweh is one of many "Sons of El," but unlike the other pagan gods, Yahweh is a reformer and wants to end idolatry, child sacrifice, and public sex rituals. Yahweh wants to put the other gods out of business and take power for himself, his chief rival is Baal.
- Moses leads the Exodus out of Egypt and 40 years of wandering in the desert. Though clearly a legendary story, the Exodus does fit the historical context of the Bronze Age Collapse.
- Egypt's withdrawal from Canaan allowed the Israelites to move in.
- Moses met Yahweh at the Burning Bush, and he includes cannabis in the ingredients for the Holy Anointing Oil. God appears in a cloud of smoke.
- King David seized Jerusalem as the new
capital of the Israelites. The Kingdom of Israel was at its maximum territorial extent. King David had good relations with King Hiram of Tyre.
- King Solomon built the first Hebrew temple to Yahweh in Jerusalem.
- King Solomon was pagan and worshipped Astarte, Asherah, and the rest of the goddesses. He loved women, and his Song of Songs is a vestige of Astarte's sacred marriage rituals.
- An Asherah pole stood in Solomon's temple for 2/3's of its history.
- Solomon burned cannabis in the temple, and God always appeared in a cloud of smoke.
- King Solomon is the father of the Wisdom traditions and is responsible for transmuting the visceral portrayals of the pagan goddesses into the transcendent notion of Wisdom (Sophia) as the feminine aspect of God seen in Proverbs.
- Queen of Sheba visited Solomon from Ethiopia. Their son Menelik took the Ark of the Covenant back to Ethiopia and fathered the Solomonic Dynasty.
- Solomon is dead and there is a civil war,
Jereboam leads the northern kingdom of Israel in a split away from the southern kingdom of Judah and the leadership in Jerusalem.
- Jereboam's first act is to erect two Golden Calves representing the old worship of El, to signify that they do not follow Yahweh in Jerusalem.
- Judah is fully pagan as well.
- Pharaoh Shishak invaded Canaan and sacked
Jerusalem, stealing all the treasure from Solomon's temple. Good thing the Ark had left with Menelik.
- Greek and Hebrew writing emerge as new languages, both based on the Phoenician model of phonetic characters based on sounds. We still use phonetic alphabets today.
- King Asa of Judah was a Yahwist reformer.
- The Yahwists (followers of Yahweh) were patriarchal reformers and they were hostile to the qedesha who served in Solomon's temple and their worship of Asherah, Astarte, and Anat.
- King Asa deposed the Queen Mother Maacah for her worship of Asherah, and he also kicked the trans qadesh out of the temple, though the female qadesha remained.
- Queen Jezebel of Israel went to war with the
Yahwists. Jezebel sponsors the prophets of Asherah.
- The Prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal and Asherah to a battle on Mt. Carmel. Elijah prevailed and killed the 450 prophets of Baal, but the prophets of Asherah were unmolested.
- Queen Jezebel vowed to kill Elijah and prayed to Anat to eviscerate him.
- Queen Mother Jezebel was assassinated by Jehu who lead a coup and had the Queen thrown from a window.
- Jehu desecrated the temple to Baal and viciously murdered all the people in it. The grand Asherah pole in Samaria remained standing, as did the two Golden Calves.
- Queen Mother Athaliah of Judah, Jezebel's daughter and the only woman to ever rule Jerusalem alone, was also assassinated by Yahwists.
- 3 times in the Bible, a Queen Mother who followed Asherah was deposed by the Yahwists.
- Hosea, a prophet of Yahweh preached in Israel.
- His wife was Gomer and she was likely a qedesha. - Hosea preached an end to Goddess worship and declared that Yahweh had taken over the powers of fertility for himself.
- This is the declaration of divorce of God from the Goddess.
- Israel is destroyed by the Assyrian empire.
- Ten Tribes of Israel were scattered to the winds.
- Refugees from Israel flee to Judah and Jerusalem.
- King Hezekiah of Judah is a Yahwist reformer.
Hezekiah smashed the sacred stones, burnt the Asherah poles, dismantled the pagan altars, and centralized all worship in the Jerusalem temple.
- Hezekiah broke down the bronze snake on a pole that Moses had made, the Nehushtan.
- Judah was attacked and devastated by the Assyrians.
- Hezekiah was trapped in Jerusalem and survived by paying a heavy tribute. The Hebrews saw it as a miracle.
- Prophet Isaiah says, "the women of Zion are haughty... Yahweh will make their scalps bald."
- King Manassah replaced Hezekiah, he reversed
all the reforms and restored pagan worship. King Manassah was popular and successful with a long reign of 55 years.
- King Josiah is the next great Yahwist reformer. Restored Yahweh's temple, found the lost scroll of Moses (book of Deuteronomy).
- Burned the Asherah poles. Smashed pagan altars.
- Expelled the male/trans qadesh from the temple, female qadesha left unmolested.
- Desecrated the topeth, the burial ground for infant sacrifice.
- Closed down the temples to Astarte.
- Josiah smashed the altar at Bethel built by Jacob.
- Killed the pagan priests and burned their bones.
- Deuteronomist writers of the Bible hard at work.
- Assyrian empire defeated, Nineveh sacked and burned by alliance of Persians, Medes, Babylonians, and Scythians.
- Josiah killed by Pharaoh Necho in an unnecessary fight. Yahweh was apparently not protecting Josiah.
- Egypt takes over Judah and installs vassal kings.
- End of the House of David.
- Battle of Carchemish - Babylonians defeat Egypt and remnants of Assyrian empire.
- King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon is master of the largest empire ever.
~ 600 BCE
- Prophet Jeremiah advised King Josiah and following kings. Witnesses fall of Jerusalem and exile.
- Nebuchadnezzar invades Judah and Jerusalem, installs vassal king, sends 10,000 elites into exile, stripped Yahweh's temple of valuables.
- Judah rebels, Babylonians invade Judah again.
- Lay siege to Jerusalem, city falls after 30 months.
- King Solomon's temple is burned, the rest of the people are exiled to Egypt and Babylon.
- Devastation and heartbreak for the Israelites.
- In Egypt with exiles, Jeremiah criticizes the people for their pagan worship, says it was their fault that Jerusalem fell.
- The women argue back, they chastise Jeremiah and say everything was good when they worshipped the Queen of Heaven. They tell Jeremiah to fuck off.
Essay coming soon.
- Babylonian Exile
- Prophet Ezekiel has phantasmagoric visions of God down by the rivers of Babylon.
- Ezekiel condemns the women and the qedesha, comparing the culture of Jerusalem to a prostitute.
- Ezekiel preaches doom to Tyre. People have been debating the nature of this prophecy ever since.
- Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Tyre for 13 years but never took the island city.
- Persian King Cyrus the Great marches into Babylon without a fight and establishes his new empire.
- Cyrus practices religious tolerance, frees all exiles to return to their homes.
- The Israelites were allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple.
- Cyrus is hailed in the Bible as a near-Messiah.
- King Cyrus is killed by Scythian Amazon warrior Queen Tomyris. She decapitates Cyrus and keeps his head as a war trophy in revenge for Cyrus killing her son.
~ 500 BCE
- A series of Persian kings sponsor the Hebrews to write, curate, and edit their holy texts that became the Torah and Hebrew Bible.
- Most of this work was presumably done in Babylon, in the shadow of the hated cult of Ishtar that was the most popular in the city.
- Monotheism as a theological concept is crystallized at this time.
- In an act of grand syncretism, Yahweh is fused with El to become the new Heavenly Father.
- Yahweh is a new kind of Sky Father, an innovation, as Yahweh is alone with no wife and family.
- Yahwist writers of the Bible construct a history of the world where there is no Divine Mother, the Goddess is completely removed from the narrative, she does not exist in their worldview.
- The Hebrew language does not even have a word for goddess.
- New myths are written that honor Yahweh and give him credit for creation and fertility. The old native gods are recast as foreign gods.
- The flood story, one of humanity's oldest stories, is rewritten with Yahweh as the cause.
- The old stories of Abraham and the Patriarchs are rewritten to include Yahweh in them, even though Yahweh did not exist at that time.
- Biblical writers emphasize the continuity of patriarchal authority since the beginning of time, denying that women ever held roles of influence or authority in society.
- The Garden of Eden story is written at this time, presumably post-Exile.
- The Garden of Eden story is aimed squarely at condemning the Goddess traditions and the qedesha priestesses who were the great rivals to the Yahwists.
-Serpents, the Tree of Life, sacred plants, midwifery, weaving, and farming were all sacred to the matriarchal goddesses, and these are all recast as evil or forbidden by Yahweh.
- The Tree of Knowledge is likely cannabis as described in Genesis 3:6-7, its attractive to the eye, good to eat, desired for wisdom, creates an entheogenic experience, Adam and Eve make clothes from the fibers.
- God punishes Adam for listening to Eve and eating the forbidden fruit.
- Eve is punished that she will only desire her husband and no other men, in contrast to the non-monogamous traditions.
- Eve is told she will suffer in childbirth, rather than have good midwives.
- God gives them furs to wear, not woven clothes.
- God casts Adam and Eve out of the Garden and instructs them to suffer as farmers.
- The Greek Pandora and the Hebrew Eve are both the first woman, and both stories cast them as the source of all men's troubles and justify the need by men to keep their women locked down and under firm control.
- Cain and Abel story continues to demonstrate the rivalry between the farmers and shepherds.
- God favors the offerings of meat made by Abel the shepherd and rejects the vegetables offered by Cain the farmer.
- Cain responds to the rejection by murdering Abel, presenting the farmers as unworthy. Cain's offspring found the first cities, which the Hebrew shepherds view as sinful.
- Jewish tradition says that Ezra the Scribe led the effort to complete the writing of the sacred texts.
- By tradition, Ezra brought "Book of the Law" from Babylon to Jerusalem where he read it aloud outside the not-yet-completed 2nd Hebrew temple.
- This marks the beginning of Judaism. Ezra is almost a second Moses to the Jews.
- In the 2nd Temple there are no qedesha priestesses, no holy smoke, no cannabis incense, all the older pagan elements have been purged.
- Ezra is outraged when he discovers that the Hebrew men in Jerusalem had been marrying and having families with local Canaanite women.
- It is unacceptable to the patriarchal authorities to intermarry with the pagans. The pagan women with their sexually charged goddess worship and maternal bloodlines cannot be trusted, they will lead the men astray.
- Ezra orders the Jewish men to divorce their pagan wives and abandon their families if they want to stay in the community.
- To be Jewish, one must be born of a Jewish mother.
- In Greece, Aeschylus wins the Gold Medal at the Dionysia Theater Festival for his trilogy, the "Oresteia."
- In the play, goddess Athena rules that the mother has no claim on her child as her womb is just the anonymous carrier of the father's all important seed.
- Athena says she always vote in favor of the father.
- Patriarchy instituted in mythology.
Timeline to be continued...