Feminism and Spirituality
Vicki Hill 2004

Editorial Commentary:
This article was written as a Final Exam Question. It covers some of the recent scholarship and history of the periods of the Taurian Age to the Picean Age of the Great Cycle of the Earth. As it indicates the change from a Feminine (Venus ruled period) The Taurian Age to the (Mars ruled)Arian Age and the (Jupiter,Neptune ruled) Piscean Age. Much of this information was not available to Hermetic writers at the beginning of the 20th century. So it is presented here for students to use in the ever evolving consicousness of the Aquarian Age.

According to Gadon, Eisler, and Gimbutas, the Kurgans were Indo-Europeans or Aryans who were ruled by powerful priests and warriors. They brought with them their male gods of war and mountains in three waves of disruption from about 4500 B.C.E. to 2800 B.C.E. and gradually imposed their ideologiesand way of life on the lands and peoples they conquered. The small Neolithic villages had no evidence of military fortifications or weapons but they did show evidence of a peaceful sedentary people who focused on agricultural cycle of birth, death, and regeneration, which embodied in the feminine principle of the Goddess. Joseph Campbell, author of The Mask of God: Primitive Mythology, wrote, "A very different type of development is to be traced in the sphere of tropical gardening cultures, a stage of social organization matured that was almost completely antithetical to that of the hunting peoples. For in these areas it was the women, not the men, who enjoyed the magico-religious and social advantage, they having been the ones to effect the transition from plant-collecting to plant-cultivation. Here it was that women who showed themselves supreme: they were not only the bearers of children but also the chief producers of food. By realizing that it was possible to cultivate, as well as gather, vegetables, they made the earth valuable and they became, consequently, its possessors. Thus they won both economic and social power and prestige,and the complex of the matriarchy took form (Campbell pg. 320)." On the other hand, Davis-Kimball says she found evidence of the existence of warrior women in early Indo-European cultures and she introduces us to the remains of a warrior priestesses found in Kazakhstan. Unlike Gimbutas, Gadon, and Eisler, Davis-Kimball reveals a different interpretation of the female social roles in the Kurgan culture. She explored the concept of the patriarchal power structure but found that in the primitive religious beliefs women were often priestesses, prophets, diviners, and healers who received a great deal of power and respect. These commanding women were also fearsome ruthless nomadic warriors who held elite leadership positions within the culture's military and within its hierarchal social structure.

Unfortunately, the signs of chaos, devastation, and disruption were beginning to emerge in the peaceful horticultural communities around the fifth millennium B.C.E. British archaeologist James Mellaart, says "In Old Europe the physical and cultural disruption of the Neolithic societies that worshiped the Goddess seem to begin in the fifth millennium B.C.E., with what Gimbutas calls Kurgan wave number one. Archaeological remains indicate clear signs of stress and in many territories there is evidence of invasions, natural catastrophes, and sometimes both, causing large-scale destruction and dislocation. During this time, the development of civilization comes to a standstill" (Mellaart). Referring to the Kurgans, Joseph Campbell wrote, "A vigorous population of Mesolithic hunters were receiving ideas and new techniques from the great centers of the south… Retaining all their savagery while finding their powers of attack and plunder increased, they soon became a really terrible danger to the farming villages and merchant cities (Campbell pg. 428)."

Other nomadic invaders, such as the Semitic warriors, also known as the Hebrews came from the deserts of the south and invaded Canaan, which is modern day Palestine. The Hebrews were divided up into tribes and ruled completely by male warrior priests. "In the Hebrew cult, where the myths and rites of the earthbound, ancient civilizations of the Near East have been assimilated to a profoundly group-conscious tribal unit, the participation of the individual in the destiny of the group is stressed to such a degree that for any valid act of public worship not less than ten males above the age of thirteen are required (Campbell pg.291)." From the Biblical records, we learn that one of the tribes were the Levites and they were ruled by several infamous leaders such as Moses, Aaron, and Joshua. "Like the Indo-Europeans, they too brought with them a fierce and angry god of war and mountains sometimes known as Jehovah or Yahweh (Mellaart)".

The striking similarities between the Indo-Europeans and the ancient Hebrews is that they both had male dominate social structures that included violence, they were nomadic with a hierarchic and authoritarian social structure, and they were lethal with their well-crafted weapons that were used for killing, plundering, and enslaving. These invaders caused a shift in the interpretation of the female and her role in society. Instead of giving her respect, adoration, and equality, she was reduced to a mere "consort or concubine" for the dominate males of the tribes. Women, were not only reduced to a possession in the Hebrew philosophy, but they were also punished severely and blamed for the ills of their people by their angry lord. Joseph Campbell points out, "Hebrews in their book of Genesis; namely, that, if he (Adam) had sinned, it was because the woman who had done so first. The angry Lord of Israel conceived in a purely masculine form is suppose to have allowed a certain value to this excuse; for he then promptly made the whole race of woman subject to the male. 'I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing, in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you' the Lord declared (Campbell pg. 322)." Warfare, looting, creating invisible borders and division of the land, as well as the enslavement of women became the norm. Archeological evidence indicates that in many of the camps, the female population was not Kurgan, but rather from the Old European population which according to Gimbutas, suggests that the local men and male children were massacred by the Kurgans, who then kept the local women for slaves, sex, or as simple possessions (Mellaart).

One can read the entire passage regarding the "Kurgan-like mentality" that Gadon, Eisler, and Gimbutas speak of in the Bible's Old Testament and from the book of Numbers 31:1-18 "Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war. So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war… Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe… they slew all the males… the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire. And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts… Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

One may find it suspicious that the ancient Hebrews referred to their god as Elohim and El Elyon,which may have roots to the word 'Kurgan' according to several sources. The Hebrew god, El Elyon and Elohim, is derived from the Mesopotamian or Sumerian god who was called Kur-Gal. In the article "Enlil", written by Micha F. Lindemans, it seems that he believes that the Indo-Europeans, Aryans, Kurgans, Hittite, and evidently the early Hebrews all shared the same kingship, the same customs, origin, and they all believed in a similar god, derived from the name Kur-Gal. This may lead one to the conclusion that these people, including the early Hebrews, were all invading Kurgans. Lindemans says, "It is obvious that Indo-European sun god was created after the Sumerian god Enlil and is god of the air who was worshiped from 3500 B.C.E. to about 1750 B.C.E. In ancient Sumero-Babylonian myth, Enlil is the foremost god of the Mesopotamian pantheon and is referred to as Kur-Gal, which means the 'great mountain'. The very idea of a monotheistic god, the very fabric of Judaism and then Christianity, was actually based on the Babylonian hierarchy of gods where Enlil, was the god of air, land, earth, and of men's fate. Since all Indo-European languages use the same root lemma for the sun god identical with Enlil, this is a proof that all Indo-European languages derive from the same ancestor language spoken in Asia Minor". In addition, the name by which Abraham knew his god, the God Almighty, was El Shaddai, which translates into 'El of the Mountain'. This could simply be a variation of the name Ilu Kur-Gal, which translates to the 'great mountain lord'."

Further evidence of the Hebrews as Kurgans is found in an article "Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as Illustrated by the Religion of the Ancient Babylonians" written by A. H. Sayce. Regarding sacred mounds and kurgans, Sayce wrote, "They had in this way become veritable hills -- tumuli, as we should term them in our modern archaeological vocabulary - and as such deserved the venerable title of sadu, or 'mountain'. They were like the mountains of the eastern frontier, the everlasting altars of the gods, on whose summits worship could most fittingly be paid to the deities of heaven. And, like the mountains, they were something more than altars; they were themselves divine, the visible habitations of the spirits of the air. It is possible that Prof. Friedrich Delitzsch is right in proposing to see in the Assyrian sadu, or 'mountain', the explanation of the Hebrew title of the Deity, El Shaddai."

In chapter three "Myths of Kur" from the Sumerian Mythology; A Study of Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millennium B.C., author Samuel Kramer says, "One of the most difficult groups of concepts to identify and interpret is that represented by the Sumerian word kur. That one of its primary meanings is "mountain" is attested by the fact that the sign used for it is actually a pictograph representing a mountain. From the meaning 'mountain' developed that of 'foreign land', since the mountainous countries bordering Sumer were a constant menace to its people. Kur also came to mean 'land' in general; Sumer itself is described as Kur-Gal, which means 'great land'."

Gerda Lerner, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin has explored human history, the cultures of the ancient Near East, Mesopotamian, and ancient Hebrew societies. She is the author of The Creation of Patriarchy, and said, "Male dominance over women is the product of historical development and is not natural or biological. Therefore, patriarchy as a system of organizing society that can be ended by historical process." Much of Lerner's research has focused on women's differing roles in early developing societies, the gender metaphors of Western civilization, as well as the origins of women forced into slavery. Within Kurgan-type tribes, the practice of forced marriage was common among members and when these invaders conquered a weaker tribe, they would often rape, torture, and enslave women, as well as force matrimony. In addition, Lerner states, "There has been an exclusion of women from the role of mediator with the Divine - the dethroning of the fertility goddess and priestesses".

The epitome of the brutality of Kurgan-like behavior are found in the stories of Moloch (also spelled Melech, and Molech), who is the divinity or divine king, who was at one time worshiped by the early Canaanites and Israelites. The worship of this cruel god-like king included the death and sacrifice of children by passing them through fire. These monstrous atrocities took place in a valley outside of Jerusalem. Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, authors of The Book of Hiram said, "King Solomon intoxicated with his great power, plunged into all manner of licentiousness and debauchery, and profaned the Temple by offering incense to the idol Moloch." According to the authors, Moloch, a man-god with a bull's head, came to represent burning alive one's own children through ritual sacrifice and this unspeakable act was committed among the Jewish people so that the gods would be kind. The sacrificial ritual was carried out, by placing the young innocent on a large bronze monstrous god-like statue and then into the consuming fire. While the murder was taking place, the sound of flutes and tambourines drowned out the screams, but the music compelled the tribesman and tribeswomen to dance in an untamed and unnatural way. (Knight and Lomas pg. 164-165).

Mount Moriah, north of the city of Jerusalem, is the place that Abraham, known as the father of Judaism, prepared to set his first-born son Isaac on fire in 'searing flames' as a 'burnt offering', a sacrifice to his god he called El Elyon (Knight and Lomas pg. 167-168). The authors believe this is the same god, that John Milton wrote about in the well-known Paradise Lost and who Milton called, 'Moloch, horrid king'. The custom of causing one's children to pass through the fire seems to have been common in the Hebrew's Northern Kingdom and it gradually grew in their Southern Kingdom, it was encouraged by the Hebrew tribes Asher and Manassah, the ritual became more prevalent in the time of the prophet Jeremiah,and it continued until the Babylonian captivity of the Israelites. "A magical power is gained according to the measure of one's sacrifice. The most potent supporting offering of this sort is another human being – one's son, one's slave, one's prisoner of war (Campbell pg. 449)." The holocaust of innocent children was later condemned by the creators of Mosaic Law, whereby transforming the ritual. Instead of killing children, unblemished animals were brought to the holy temple and they, were used in the sacrificial rituals.

Merlin Stone, author of "When God Was a Woman", said, "The dis-enthronement of the Great Goddess, begun by the Indo-European invaders, was finally accomplished by the Hebrew, Christian, and Moslem religions. The female goddesses faded into the background, and women in society followed suit." Although both of the different views of Kurgan cultures, substantiated by archeological discoveries, it seems apparent that the views of Gadon, Eisler, and Gimbutas have actually come to bare out in our society today. Although, there is evidence of the Amazon-type warrior women, as Davis-Kimball has documented,it seems that they have historically been in the minority. We continue to witness the devaluation of women today. History repeats itself. There continues to be harsh condemnation and resistance from the members of the male-elite Cabal who are in constant and vigilant control of the world economy, the governments, the level of military might, the educational system, as well as imposing their judgmental fundamentalist-type spirituality and belief system onto the people of the Earth. At the same time, the majority of women are really in the minority when it comes to equality, power, and holding leadership positions in society. Women all over the world are continually subjected to the most demeaning and cruel treatment by a patriarchal and chauvinistic mentality. Not always, but often times, it seems that women who do reach that high place with the 'Kur-Gal gods of the mountains' it is often because they are born into the role of the modern Amazon woman. For those not born into the role of a warrior woman, it is an arduous climb and they must constantly struggle and fight their way up that mountain. Unfortunately, oftentimes for the woman to keep their position on the top of that mountain, they begin to look and act like men.

Works Cited

Bible, King James, Old Testament, Numbers 31:1-18.

Campbell, Joseph, The Mask of God: Primitive Mythology, Penguin Group Inc., New York, revised 1976,Arkana, 1991.

Knight, Christopher and Lomas, Robert The Book of Hiram; Freemasonry, Venus, and the Secret Life of Jesus, Element; An imprint of Harper-Collins Publishers, London, 2003.

Kramer, Samuel Noah, http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/sum/sum08.htm, Sumerian Mythology; Study of

Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millennium B.C., University of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia 1944, revised 1961.

Lerner, Gerda, The Creation of Patriarchy, quote from book review.

Lindemans, Micha F., http://www.geocities.com/protoillyrian/god

Mellaart, James, http://www.dhushara.com/book/renewal/voices2/eisler.htm

Sayce, A.H., "Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as illustrated by the religion of the Ancient

Babylonians", From the Footnote: Mul-lil is called kur-gal sadû rabû in Semitic, 'the great mountain,' W.A. I. iv. 18, 15; 23, 30; and in v. 44, 41, 'the god Kur-gal is rendered by Bel. In the list of Babylonian kings in which the meaning of their names is explained, the Accadian E-Guzi-kharsag-men is interpreted Ê-Saggil-sa-idu-ni, 'Ê-Saggil is our mountain.'] At all events, God is compared to a rock in the Old Testament and the worship of sacred stones was widely spread through the Semitic world." -- p. 407.

Smith, Larry http://www.motherbedford.com/ANU04.htm, "Descendants of the AN.UNNA.KI"

Stone, Merlin, "When God Was a Woman", quote from book review.