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Mother Goddess

  • By: Gillian M. E. Alban
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Archaeological findings indicate that from the Palaeolithic era, circa 20,000 B.C.E., Europeans worshipped a mother goddess, since they ascribed importance to procreation and reproduction, which was originally believed to occur solely through women's power. In later eras, deities were shown anthropomorphically as interacting males and females, and then with the widespread acceptance of monotheism, toward the Common Era, female deities were generally subordinated or denied. Not all goddesses were represented as purely maternal, nor was fertility the only feature of goddesses emphasized. They were often shown as goddesses of wisdom, fate, and warfare too, and there was a strong association between the reproductive forces of women and the earth as mother, with sexuality embraced as a powerfully necessary life force.

Sculptures from the Palaeolithic to the ...

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