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Ecology Religion Spirituality

The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth

The Great Cosmic Mother:
Rediscovering the Religion
of the Earth 
Monica Sjöö and
Barbara Mor
Harper One1987

This classic exploration of the Goddess through time and throughout the world draws on religious, cultural, and archaeological sources to recreate the Goddess religion that is humanity’s heritage. This passionate and important text shows clearly that the religion of the Goddess – which is tied to the cycles of women’s bodies, the seasons, the phases of the moon, and the fertility of the earth – was the original religion of all humanity.

In the beginning… was a very female sea. For two-and-a-half billion years on earth, all life-forms floated in the womb-like environment of the planetary ocean-nourished and protected by its fluid chemicals, rocked by the lunar-tidal rhythms. The menstrual cycle originated here, organically echoing the moon-pulse of the sea. And, because this longest period of life’s time on earth was dominated by marine forms reproducing parthenogenetically, the female principle was primordial. In the beginning, life did not gestate within the body of any creature, but within the ocean womb containing all organic life. There were no specialized sex organs; rather, a generalized female existence reproduced itself within the female body of the sea.

Monica Sjöö in The Great Cosmic Mother

Table of Contents

I. WOMEN’S EARLY CULTURE: BEGINNINGS
… The First Sex “In the Beginning, We Were All Created Female”
… Marx and the Matriarchy
… The Original Black Mother
… Women as Culture Creators
… The First Speech

II. WOMEN’S EARLY RELIGION
… The First Mother
… The Organic Religion of Early Women
… Female Cosmology: The Creation of the Universe
… The Cosmic Serpent
… The World Egg: Yin/Yang
… The Gynandrous Great Mother
… Mysteries of the Throne, the Cave, and the Labyrinth
… The Cult of the Dead
… The Mother of Wild Animals and the Dance

III. WOMEN’S CULTURE AND RELIGION IN NEOLITHIC TIMES
… The First Settled Villages
… Southeast Europe: The-Bird-and-Snake Goddess
… The Megalithic Tomb: The Moon and the Stone
… The Earth Mound as Cosmic Womb of the Pregnant Goddess
… The Islands of Malta and Gozo
… Twelve Circling Dancers
… Earth Spirit, Serpent Spirals, and Blind Springs
… Underground Caverns and Alchemic Mysteries
… The Goddess at Avebury in Britain
… Moon Time: The Great Intellectual Triumph of Women’s Culture
… Lunar Calendars
… Moon Minds
… Moon Mother
… The Cow Goddess and New Foods
… Mother and Daughter, and Rebirth
… The Moon Tree
… The Dark of the Moon and Moon Blood
… Moon and Womb
… Menstrual Rites: Rights and Taboos
… The Original Woman: Witch, Rebel, Midwife, and Healer
… Goddess of the Witches
… Crete and the Bronze Age
… Tantra and the World Spine

IV. PATRIARCHAL CULTURE AND RELIGION
… God as Father
… The Olympian Male
… Sun’s Victory over the Dark Mother
… The Sun God
… The Jealous God
… Split in the Garden
… Life as a Mistake
… The Witch-Hunts
… Denial of the Mother: Denial of the People
… The American Split
… “The Divine Homosexual Family”
… The Machine
… Beyond the Male God and His Machine
… The Magic Flight Home
… Respell the World