Wiccas are amongst the wise ones who participate in the work of creation in order to nourish the people and protect the EARTH. Magic belongs to no one culture, society or tribe -- it is a part in every culture. Whether they were called Wiccas, shaman, priests, priestesses, sages, medicine people, or mystics they knew how to heal the sick, summon the herds, grow crops, assist at births, track the influences of the stars and planets, build the temples and sacred mounds, they knew the secrets of the earth the powers of the moon, and the longings of the human heart. They created language, writing, metallurgy, agriculture, and the arts. Their rituals and ceremonies, their spells and incantations, their prayers and sacrifices were expressions of their oneness with the source of all life, the Great Mother of all living things.
If you study Akkadian, Assyrian and Sumerian ancient history you will discover that most of the stories in the Bible come from far more ancient stories. Ancient cuniforms have been found to prove this. The Bible is a recounting of these stories. Wiccas have always been able to interpret omens. Long before written word the wise ones were master storytellers. They knew all the ancient myths and they passed the word down from generation to generation. Many truths come from a subconscious level. Wiccas have always believed all things are filled with gods and goddesses. The Druidic leaders of the Celts stood as shining models for the Wiccas. A Wiccas knowledge is ancient, as is her worldview. The craft has always thrived both in the past and in highly developed cultures. In ancient Egypt nothing was decided until a sooth sayer was consulted. Numerous presidents of the United States had their own personal astrologists. There is no where one can go and not see the influence of the craft.
Wiccas have never forgotten the basic truth about creation. The Earth and all living things share the same life force and are composed of Divine Intelligence. All life is a web of interconnected beings, and we are woven into it as sisters and brothers of the All. Wiccas believe the ageless wisdom of the soul will survive. For we are the embodiment of the gods and the goddesses... again we go back to the Genesis story: We created man in our image and our likeness.
The craft deals with natural rhythms. As women are biologically more engaged than men, it makes more sense that the Goddess would be the creator of life, more so than the God; however, his fertilization was indeed needed, of course. The ancient tablets tell of a creation story that challenges every major religion: When the Gods came to earth, and every ancient civilization speaks of this, man was still pretty much an ape. The Gods decided to create man and woman in their image and likeness. The Gods and Goddess, this is on Sumerian tablets, decided to genetically produce a race more like themselves. They took the egg of the apewoman, fertilized it with a male God and a surrogate Goddess carried the child to term and called his name Adam....sound familiar?
Deeper inner knowledge from the unconscious cannot always be expressed in words, it often requires poetry, song or ritual. Guarded in the centre of your being is the secret of who you are and how you personally connect to the rest of the universe. To a Wicca life's mysteries have created great wonder and worship came from understanding and from that understanding came meaning. All religion is about creation, not simply the tales and legends but of how a creator or creators brought forth the universe. Therefore religion is about creation and for that reason religion should be about the earth. The pagans believed that biological processes are spiritual processes and there is divine meaning in every natural event.
To our ancient ancestors, the great mysteries of life were the mysteries of transformation: how things turn into other things, how things grow, die, and are reborn. Nowhere are these events more personal than the transformation of a woman. The ability to conceive a new life, give birth, produce milk, and bleed with the phases of the moon. These cycles did not go unnoticed by early man that woman and nature shared the great role of motherhood. Men were awestruck... no wonder they took so much from us, including our lives, when they felt threatened.
Venus figurines dating back to 35,000 BCE have been found depicting the Great Mother. Oddly, there are no male depictions dating back that far. To ancient man, woman was the source of life. God was female for at least the first 200,000 years of human life on earth! The Old Religion was a religion of ecstasy. Archaeological evidence of primal religious experiences show in cave drawings: women with awestruck eyes dancing with wild animals, flying with birds and sharing the watery realms with the fishes. Religion should be ecstatic, dancing, drumming, chanting reenacting primal creation stories. Followers of the Old Religion believe the universe was created in ecstasy out of the body and mind of the Great Mother of all living things. Around the world stories recount the many ways that humans have perceived the original birth of the Earth, sky, plants, animals and humans, but they all recount how the Great Mother created the world.
Hebrew legends tell of the all powerful Yahweh was originally the Goddess Iahu-'Anat, a Sumerian Goddess. Actually the word God is a plural noun translated as creative nature spirits. Around the world the Great Goddess is referred to as the Great Moon Goddess. She is the great female trinity of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. A Wicca's spells and rituals are always performed in conjunction with the phases of the moon. We discover the special powers and mysteries of the moon and the unique wisdom it teaches us about the Divine Mother of the universe.
In mythologies and sacred literature written around 2500 to 1500 BCE, there is a noticeable change in sensibilities. The strong Goddess who dominated thought and feeling for several thousand years was slowly replaced by the powerful male Sky Gods. The Son/Hunter/Lover who as a child and consort to the Great Mother always had a subordinate position now became the primary deity. Sky Gods reigning with the power of the sun challenge the older Goddesses of earth and moon. The Goddesses became villains and many old tales were rewritten. Among the revisions was the Old Assyrian story of Adam and Eve. It was rewritten so that Eve is born of Adam's rib -- rather than the reverse, as it appeared in the older versions. In Mesopotamian legend, Eve creates a male, Adam, and makes him her mate, following the usual Goddess/Son myth.
A point of great interest here is that the Gods and Goddesses had sexual relations within their family members to keep their genes pure. Mothers with sons and brothers, fathers with daughters and even with sisters and granddaughters. It is quite interesting.
In a Gnostic text, Eve is the Mother of All Living and actually creates Jehovah. One of Christianity's best-kept secrets says the Mother of All Living was the Creatress who chastised God. Jehovah is formed by the four Hebrew letters Yod-He-vau-He. The first Yod means I and the next three, He-Vau-He means both life and woman. In other words the name of Jehovah is feminine and it means: I am woman; I am life.
As the mythologies drifted further and further away from the original religious view of the Great Goddess, the dualism that has come to dominate so much of Western thinking grew stronger and stronger. Life was seen primarily as a struggle between the forces of good and evil, rather than a dynamic dance of all things working together for the Good. Life on earth became less important than the life to come. The old saying that "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" sums it up pretty well: everything associated with this life, Earth, the body, sex, women became suspect, if not down right evil. Woman was to be rejected as a spiritual leader who reflected the image of the divine Feminine, dirty and impure. Then a curious thing happened to the male Gods: as they consolidated their hold over the human imagination, they lost their animal identities.
God became completely human and completely male. The arrival of monotheistic thinking with it's rigid and inflexible form was the mark of advancing civilization. With the arrival of the Father Gods came the degradation of the earth, woman, the body, sex and the most natural tasks in which earlier people found joy and happiness. Actually the Goddess cultures of the southern more warmer climates were invaded by the Sky Gods or Thunder God cultures of the less hospitable climates from the north.
Survival depended on stockpiling food and resources. They gave way to the warrior classes which simply took what they wanted by force. Curiously this coincides with the smelting of iron around 2500 BCE when the patriarchal technology began to fashion weapons. Matriarchal cultures were relatively peaceful. During these times women and children were amongst the spoils of war, raped and held prisoner. Later in time the status of women and children fell to that of slaves. A woman became subservient to her husband who legally owned her life, she was merely property. Men emerged socially, economically and politically dominate and eventually patriarchal institutions, laws and values reflected the myth of male superiority. Patriarchal societies organized around warfare were based on violent, militaristic values and coincide with written history.
Patriarchy is a rather recent development over the last four thousand years and is still a new experiment when it comes to the hundreds of thousands of years that human beings lived in matriarchal societies. It is certainly a mere drop in the bucket when compared to the 3.5 billion years that other forms of life have existed on the planet known as Earth. With the dawn of the New Age, women are regaining their lost stature. The earth and its creatures are in deep peril because we have lost touch with the old ways which were built around worship of the life on earth. If we are to have any hope, we must set our paths in new directions. We must incorporate the old with the new. For only through knowledge can we make the necessary changes. Each and every one of us can make a change like the ripples in a pond. Nothing goes unnoticed and nothing is forgotten. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Take hold of that, respect all life in its great diversity and remember that the Earth is not inherited from our ancestors, but borrowed from our children.