The Goddess of Old Europe and Ancient Crete represented the unity of life in nature, delight in the diversity of form, the powers of birth, death and regeneration.
The often cruel behavior of Christians toward unbelievers and even toward dissenters among themselves is shocking evidence of the function of that image in relation to values and behavior.
The mother must socialize her daughter to become subordinate to men, and if her daughter challenges patriarchal norms, the mother is likely to defend the patriarchal structures against her own daughters.
If we do no mean that God is male when we use masculine pronouns and imagery, then why should there be any objections to using female imagery and pronouns as well?
I first became interested in women and religion when I was one of the few women doing graduate work in Religious Studies at Yale University in the late 1960's.
The women's movement will present a growing threat to patriarchal religion less by attacking it than by simply leaving it behind.
Why does everyone cling to the masculine imagery and pronouns even though they are a mere linguistic device that has never meant that God is male?
In my book I specifically discussed the structural nature of injustice and offered Nine Touchstones of Goddess ethics as an alternative to the Ten Commandments of Biblical religion.
In Goddess religion death is not feared, but is understood to be a part of life, followed by birth and renewal.
Because religion has such a compelling hold on the deep psyches of so many people, feminists cannot afford to leave it in the hands of the fathers.
Throughout the years, many Christian women have told me of their great respect for the bravery and courage evident in my work, perhaps even gesturing to their own Isis earrings or a Nile River Goddess pendants.
In Old Europe and Ancient Crete, women were respected for their roles in the discovery of agriculture and for inventing the arts of weaving and pottery making.
After much diligent research, aided by other women, I gradually came to understand that beneath the familiar Goddesses of the patriarchy, there is a much more ancient Goddess.
Subversive language, however, must be constantly reinvented, because it is continually being co-opted by the powerful.
The simplest and most basic meaning of the symbol of the Goddess is the acknowledgment of the legitimacy of female power as a beneficent and independent power.
Beliefs and values that have held sway for thousands of years will be questioned as never before.
Women must be the spokesmen for a new humanity arising out of the reconciliation of spirit and body.
The simple act of telling a woman's story from a woman's point of view is a revolutionary act: it never has been done before.
Our great symbol for the Goddess is the moon, whose three aspects reflect the three stages in women's lives and whose cycles of waxing and waning coincide with women's menstrual cycles.
At first the ancient images of the Goddess did not interest me.
Watching birds has become part of my daily meditation affirming my connection to the earth body.