And I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the entire month of April. I’m posting an interesting topic for each letter of the alphabet. This excludes Sneak Peek Sundays. Follow this link to nearly 2000 other bloggers and authors.
The A to Z Challenge – participating blogs
Today’s Calliope’s Writing Tablet post is brought to you by the letter M — M for Magna Mater.
When I imagine a primordial goddess, the first image that comes to mind is the Venus of Willendorf. Plumped by plenty and filled with fecundity, her wide hips and bountiful breasts declare her fertility and suggest her sustenance. She is the Magna Mater – The Great Mother.
To date, hundreds of similar figures made of stone and bone and clay have been discovered all over the world. Unfortunately, we can only speculate on their exact purpose. The earliest Mothers are faceless. Such anonymity suggests she was beyond personification. Many wear the scars of motherhood on hips, belly, and breasts in acknowledgement of cycles – the cycles of life and birth – an undeniable symbol of the earth itself.
These Great Mothers, reverently called the Venus figures, span both Paleolithic and Neolithic eras. Some, like the Hohle Fels mammoth-ivory Venus, date back more 30,000 years. Older still are the chevrons (zigzags, M, or V patterns) in 40,000-year-old Neanderthal artworks. These too represent woman, and are often depicted beside the wavy lines symbol for water.
As a storyteller, I can see that The Great Mother never really left the scene. Donning the clothes of each region, she simply modernized and became the Goddesses worshiped in ancient civilizations.
This youtube video leads to a terrific education site called Education Portal. I recommend taking a look.
~ Other information worth your time ~
Individual images with descriptions
A terrific poster
An interesting conversation with Constance Tippet regarding the Magna Mater and women in society.
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Rose Anderson ~ Love Waits in Unexpected Places
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