Friday, June 1, 2007

The Eternal Sacrifice of the Great Goddess

When reflecting upon the concept of the 'Eternal Sacrifice', one usually thinks in terms of gods or heroes such as Dionysus, Adonis or Jesus. Today I realised that the ultimate sacrifice is that of the Great Goddess who is torn to pieces in order to allow the creation of Heaven and Earth.

Very often her sacrifice is not a voluntary one, as in the case of Tiamat. In the traditions that extol the great virtues of a male protagonist, the female god is perceived as a powerful being who must be tamed or even redesigned in order to further the cause of good, which is law and order according to a male prototype.

This is where my admiration for the old Babylonian creation myth cools. I do not see why Marduk should be the greatest of all gods, and why the terrible betrayal of the Great Mother by her whelps should be regarded as a positive act. There are many such betrayals in ancient myth, both of male and female gods.

Death, of course, is the archway of rebirth. Without the sacrifice of the Goddess or God, transformation could not occur. In a sense, one could argue that the agent who facilitates this sacrifice is not a villain but merely a necessary participant in the ancient mystery. By this reckoning, Judas Iscariot is not the villain portrayed by mainstream Christians but the 'best friend' of Christ who takes that most difficult of tasks upon himself: delivering the god to the altar of Sacrifice.

Without the murder of Tiamat, there would be neither Heaven nor Earth. The Great Goddess lives on, transformed into the very foundation of our world. Her bones and sinews are the rocks and mountains. Her blood forms the waters that bring life to all creatures.

1 comment:

Fleming said...

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