Pursuing the Goddess

Originally posted 2014-01-21 13:02:20.

Since 2002 I have been researching into something that I felt more than anything else. Something was nagging me. At the time I lived, as I do now, in France, and the signs of Goddess-worship were all around me. Cathedrals were full of images of the Goddess, the art replete with them. I could see this but I couldn’t define it, I couldn’t understand what it meant.

When I returned to Scotland I was a very busy man for a long time, building a house and trying to make ends meet from my freelance work, and also my own mother became ill and died, so the research went on hold. But it was always there in the back of my mind, and as I travelled round Scotland, that epicentre of dry Presbyterianism, I saw again and again the unmistakable mark of the Goddess all over the architecture and in the symbolism.

The Goddess was the principal focus of my Masters’ Degree research and even though I came a long way, I didn’t reach the answer I sought. When I came back to France I began to write, but in April of 2012 I had to stop. I was getting too confused.

books by rod fleming

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Hot Cross Buns–Cakes for the Goddess

Originally posted 2013-07-08 16:49:11.

 

hot cross buns are bull buns
Hot Cross Buns are eaten every Easter, Pic: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. Used under a Creative Commons Licence

Hot cross buns. That’s what this article is about. So why do I have a picture of a Roman sculpture of a bull’s head here instead of a nice snap of some hot cross buns?

 

Well, hot cross buns actually originated in Assyria as a part of worship of the Moon Goddess Ishtar. At least that is the earliest record we have of them. The Egyptians continued the tradition of offering cakes to their Moon-Goddess Hathor. They decorated the cakes with bull’s horns, as the ox was the preferred sacrifice of the Goddess. The cakes, therefore, were symbolic of the sacrificed bull, whose flesh would be eaten by worshippers.

 Hathor has been identified with Ishtar and Astarte. Astarte is Ashtoreth, who was worshipped by King Solomon, as mentioned in the Old Testament (1 Kings 11, 2), and to whom he erected a temple or shrine in Jerusalem. Continue reading “Hot Cross Buns–Cakes for the Goddess”

Who we are 2: Cooking, Chattering and Time

cooking - lechon baboy

Cooking is now seen  as the definitive characteristic of modern humans, from which all others followed. It seems to have directly led to the development of tools, especially blade design, but it had many other consequences.

Cooking, particularly of meats and fats but also starches, partially pre-digests the food, making more energy available to us and allowing us to use less to digest it. We put this extra energy into growing brains. Growing big brains burns many calories and just running them consumes a significant part of our daily food intake. We know that the physical structures which allow us to speak were evolving at the same time as our brains were growing larger. Speech allowed more complex and efficient communication and cooperation. This encouraged conceptual thinking and other intellectual skills, again leading to the development of bigger brains.

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Who We Are 1: the beginning of culture

Modern humans first appeared in Africa around 150,000 – 180,000 years ago; one of a closely-related group of hominids that had populated the savannah over the preceding three million years. During that time, our ancestors learned how to talk, how to make fire and cook and how to cooperate in groups. We probably lived in a similar way to earlier hominids, but something extraordinary happened: we developed culture.

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Dar al-Harb: The Islamic stimulus for war.

If the Popes believed that their God intended to keep them in control of Jerusalem, or indeed, in such high esteem at home, then they were to be rudely disabused. Central to Islam is the notion that the entire world not under its control is Dar al-Harb.

(This is the second chapter of the book World War Three.)

The Qu’ran or Koran is the codification of messages believed by Muslims to have been received by Mohammed from the Angel Gabriel. It says a territory may exist under two conditions: Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. These mean, roughly, ‘Land of Submission’. and ‘Land of War’.

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The Reasons for World War Three.

World War Three has been much talked about in the seven decades since World War Two ended. At that time, almost all of Europe and large parts of Asia were in ruins, scourged by years of brutal, mechanised, industrial war.

Since the beginning of that peace, war has raged incessantly throughout the world. It has never stopped. The killing, the butchery, the rapes, the genocides, the ethnic cleansings. Mass rapes, murders, enslavements. Whole cities destroyed, nations impoverished or obliterated.

Has World War Three begun?

As I write, war is raging in the Middle East, in Africa, in Asia. Why? If the end of World War Two heralded in an ‘era of peace’, then why is there so much war? And how fragile is that peace?

This article and many others are available in the companion volume, Fifty-Two of the Best

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