Breaking free of the emotional wreckage of her childhood and a devastating illness that challenged her physically, emotionally, and spiritually, Christina Crawford sought out an indomitable and innate inner source of power. Upon reconnecting with the very essence of the female spirit—that which unites all daughters throughout time—Crawford decided to pursue and discover its “herstory.”
Drawing on years of research, she explores every aspect of the evolution of womanhood over the past ten thousand years: culture, government, religion, professions, laws, customs, family, fashion, marriage, commerce, art, industry, and sexuality. Charting the trajectory of female communion, Crawford delves into the Goddess culture of the Neolithic period, in which self-sovereign women governed, built empires, and were deified; explores the Inquisition in which women were demonized, brutalized, and erased from history; and celebrates the rebirth of the WomanSpirit and its influence over generations on the Western world.
Both an enlightening journey and an invaluable reference, Daughters of the Inquisition is a testament to the rise, endurance, survival, and lasting impact of the WomanSpirit—its givers of life, its queens, and its warriors.
|Publisher:||Open Road Media|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||10 MB|
About the Author
Since then, Crawford has worked in corporate public relations, was a partner in a winery, owned and operated a country inn, and spent eight years booking concert entertainment for a North Idaho casino. One of the first people appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission for Children’s Services, she also served one term as county commissioner in Idaho. Her regional TV show Northwest Entertainment has won three Telly Awards for excellence.
Crawford has been a lifelong advocate of issues for social justice, from the early days of child abuse prevention and family violence intervention to issues of the rights of women across the world. She lives in Idaho, where she continues to write and pursue creative projects.
Follow Christina on her Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaCrawfordAuthor
Read an Excerpt
The Goddess: Herstory
WomanSpirit – Free
The Ancient Neolithic Western World 8000 to 2500 BCE
I wish we could sit together around the fire and tell one another the story of WOMAN, recounting the ceremonies of reverence for our deity and us in Her Image.
I wish we could collectively hear the seasoned voices of our aunties, our grand-mothers and their grand-mothers through them, telling the age-old story of the love of woman, the love of life, the love our connection to the great mother Earth, from whence we come and into whose loving womb we will return when this journey is over, to be reborn again.
Herstory begins with birth and the mystery of initiation into the life of a devotee of the Goddess, the woman who became priestess: sacred incarnation of the Goddess; sacred sexuality; giver of law, grantor of justice; provider of abundance, creator of music and dance; sweet strands of harmony on winged strings; diviner, teller of the future, holder of fate; snake goddess of transformation; knower of secrets beyond time; foreteller of fortune, queen of death and rebirth; keeper of the eternal circle of life death and renewal. We would say that She is Silence, Wisdom, Ecstasy, Joy, Terror, Sun, Moon and Starlight, Holy Blood, Sacred Earth. We would tell the daughters legends of the mystery of all the plants and animals, also the beloved creatures of the Goddess. They would come to know that She is also the Huntress, the mighty Serpent, the Honey, the Bees who made it, and great Auroch Bull. She is the Cow Mother, the Daylight, and the Dark. She is forever who ever was and who will ever be.
We would arise from the fire and take our daughters into the mystery as our mothers before had done with us. Taking our daughters deep into the caves, washing them in the sacred springs, adorning their precious heads with wreaths of flowers and herbs, painting their lovely skin with blood-hued Goddess signs, recounting to them the age-old story that life is a transit, therefore, ecstasy is precious – a life-affirming tribute to the great Goddess who is all life.
Women fasted and sang as they walked deeper and deeper into the great womb, the source, the life spring, the pulse, the blood, the beginning of all. Hand-in-hand they walked with their precious lifeblood daughters who were as beautiful as they were strong and loving, filled with joy and trust.
When they returned once again to daylight, these daughters were initiated. They belonged forevermore to the Mother Goddess, following in the footsteps of their own earthly mother and the mothers who came before they did. In full honor and glory, they took their places in the sacred temples. They became the young hearth fire keepers, graduated to being diviners with the help of the sacred snakes always held close. These new temple daughters divined for the people as countless others had done over the ages, imbibing of the sacred serpent nectar and achieved untold powers, needing no ramparts, no battlements, no weapons of sharp metal. The great Mother had given more than mortal minds could have ever conjured and provided eons of natural defense, because no one dared risk the vengeance of the diviners who knew about life, death, and the future forces across all time. In sacred SILENCE, the Wisdom of Sophia ruled supreme.
Who were these people? Where did they come from?
The people worshiping a female deity lived in Persia, Turkey (Anatolia), throughout the Middle East, the Mediterranean coastal areas and the Balkans (Old Europe), and into the islands beyond, now called Ireland and England.
They built houses, established permanent villages, and developed agriculture to ensure a stable food supply. Their trade routes flourished; they raised and domesticated animals, hunted and fished but were primarily vegetarians.
A new picture emerges of villages housing women, children, and the elderly with the men elsewhere tending herds, working fields or hunting and fishing. This would have been close to the model in nature which the people witness involving animals, particularly herd animals. Among grazers, leaders were females. Young males were permitted until puberty. Adult males were accepted only at mating time.
Adult women and men may not have lived together on a year-round basis. Perhaps this kept the peace. Perhaps this was the best model for delegation of responsibilities. But, as a result, women developed very different concepts about the cosmology of the world than did men.
The woman who lived in agricultural villages, which later became cities, developed a stable, communal, circular sense of time and social order with space for artistic endeavor because she had no need of self-defense. She was attuned to a natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth within the circular, lunar, cyclical sense of a time-space continuum which she chose as her attunement with the workings of the cosmos. She is earth centered, nurturing and believed in a personal attachment with the lunar planet.
These people who worshipped the female principle as deity believe She was the divine creatrix, the great mother, the goddess of all beginnings, the mother earth. Although she was called by a variety of different names, she was essentially the Goddess of all – all people, plants, animals, heavens, water, earth. She was Life, Death, Regeneration. She was the basic organizing principle around which all life, culture, religion, and art revolved, evolved, and nurtured the people of her communities.
The man is nomadic, constantly changing territory. He is a herder, but he is also a fighter, a killer, a follower of men stronger than he, even accustomed to being seasonally homeless. His loyalty is to his leader, his horses, dogs, weapons, and probably to his male lover, because often he has no access to women. He is attuned to the light of day wherein he is relatively safe because the ever present danger is more visible to him. He views life as having a definite beginning and end, with a sense of finality. He is born of woman and often dies at the hands of other men. He is steeled to hardship and taught to overcome weakness. The sun is his best friend, even when harsh. It awakens his sense of being nurtured by the light, which warms him and lights his way as he tracks across the land with his herds. He comes to revere and depend on this solar light, which guides him in the cold, frightening vastlands.
The man knows death firsthand. He has hunted animals for food and clothing, killed his enemies to ensure his own survival. He understands the finality of killing and being killed. He has a natural sense of this linear path of life, a linear sense of time. Start to finish, life for him is a line of time, from birth to death, and death is the end. Because within his physical being he has no power of regeneration, no power of giving birth, no power of creating life, his linear view of the life process will translate into a linear conception of the spiritual process when he becomes the one in charge of developing religious systems. The two – female and male – develop very different outlooks on natural life.
Much of what we know about the civilizations of the Neolithic in Europe has been unearthed recently: within approximately the last forty years. Even the archeologists have been astonished by what they discovered. Much work and research still is being done, but the basic facts have been established. However, because it is so recent, many are not yet aware that the information has now changed perspective on these ancient peoples, particularly on ancient women. Two people are credited with major finds in this area. They are James Mellart and Marija Gimbutas. Both have written extensively: Mellart on the city of Catal Huyuk in Turkey and Gimbutas on what she calls Old Europe. Even with these extensive studies, what emerges are tantalizing fragments: glimpses into a world completely different from our own. We know a lot more about all of it than we ever did before, but it is still not a complete picture. Therefore, what proceeds in the following pages are snapshots of life from those ancient times, which are to be used as guides while Herstory unfolds.
Archeologist Marija Gimbutas was Professor of European archeology at UCLA and participated directly in excavations for nearly thirty years. Her legacy on the very ancient cultures of the Goddess is contained in many journal articles and three books, published between 1974 and 1991, which form the foundation for some of the information contained in this work but have also been fundamental for the study of this subject internationally. The books are The Goddess and Gods of Old Europe; The Language of the Goddess; The Civilization of the Goddess. There may still be those whose education did not include study of this material, and they may doubt such cultures ever existed, but there is no longer any academic reason to dispute the legitimacy of the archeology.
In the Neolithic period between 6500 and 5500 BCE in Old Europe, a system empathic to the nurturance of human beings flourished. People could gather into larger groups in permanent settlements, develop an economy which created a new means of retaining surplus food, including both production and distribution, which today is called agriculture. Agriculture is the ability to plant domesticated seeds in order to produce reliable crops. Those crops in the Neolithic consisted of wheat, barley, flax (fiber for weaving cloth), legumes, domesticated forms of tree fruit (apples and plums), and the opium poppy for healing and sacred ceremony. Animals had been domesticated earlier than plants. Earliest were sheep, goat, and dog (from the wolf). Some people ate dogs, but the dog was used mainly for protection and to work the herds of animals before the horse was introduced from Eurasia centuries later. Sheep and goats were used to produce fiber from their hair with which to weave, skins for warmth and containers, meat and milk for food. Cattle, pigs and the horse were the second tier of domesticated animals.
At the dawning of human development, there appear to have been three different groupings of lifestyle in the temperate zones. The first is the hunter/fisher. It is most ancient and attributed to the Cro-Magnon of Old Europe. The second is a food-gatherer who became the food producer/agriculturist who came originally from the Middle East and North Africa, slowly migrating from the Mediterranean regions into Old Europe, the Balkans and Turkey (Anatolia), eventually traveling to the Atlantic islands of Britain and Ireland. The third lifestyle was called pastoral. These were the nomadic herders of animals, primarily sheep and goats. Pastoral people inhabited the vast lands and mountains beyond the temperate zones, to the East near present day China and the steppelands near Russia.
It appears that the muscular, rather massive Cro-Magnon and the more slender Mediterranean peoples did intermingle in very early Old Europe. Certainly they would have met on the waterways as they traveled and met again in the fertile valleys because these prime locations were chosen by both as places to live. One group wanted them for fishing, the other for agriculture. This intermingling was so successful that Cro-Magnon disappears as a separate identity. Throughout this introduction of peoples there is no archeological evidence of fortification, no use of weapons against one another, and no evidence of territorial aggression. The entire period was made notable because of orderly human expansion and increased trade: expanding villages, stable communities, the creation of crafts and artwork. All of this was made possible by peaceful coexistence and the continuing development of agriculture. With surplus food equitably distributed, humans could put their primary focus on improving the quality of life for all because they were not engaged in defending against war.
The archeology indicates that women and children lived together for most of the year, inviting males when it was time to procreate, to mate usually in the springtime. Otherwise, the males were sent away and not accepted in the social structure.
It has been supposed by many and written by some that the reason human men lived with this social positioning for thousands of years is because they did not understand the value of their role in the creation of new life. These men were breeders and herdsmen, intimately familiar with animal husbandry, which renders that explanation unlikely.
It has always been believed that the woman has a power of perception beyond what is literally seen and heard. Whether it is called sixth sense or woman's intuition, it is a highly developed, extra sensitive ability to see what is behind and forward in time. The culture of the Goddess appears to have developed this natural ability and made it into a source of power and prestige for thousands of years.
The ancient natural powers of the woman appeared as the first of the Great Mysteries. And in the circle of time with which women are so familiar, the Mystery became synonymous with Woman. Mystery is the name for the initiation process for ultimate spiritual development of woman from girlhood into adulthood. Mystery became the name of the religious process of the Initiation itself.
Men were permitted to have an initiation also, if they agreed to serve allegiance to the great deity of the Goddess – birth, death, rebirth and, therefore, life everlasting. (Later, many of the famous male philosophers in classical Greece chose to do just that.)
The culture these people evolved was women-focused, matrifocal and matrilineal, which is to say that inheritance and clan belonging was passed through mother to daughter, and only the relationship to one's mother determined belonging. However, all evidence from burials and art indicate a non-hierarchal structure with equality and division of labor between women and men. In governance, there is no evidence of master-slave or domination of ruler over subject.
These people lived in peaceful, equalitarian, agricultural communities, which "developed a rich and sophisticated artistic expression and complex symbolic systems formulated around the worship of the Goddess and Her various aspects, and thrived from approximately 7,000 BCE to 2,500 BCE, about 5,000 years." As pottery replaced stone carving, jewelry in copper and gold appeared, as well as thousands of figurines. And, it is these figurines that lead us to the discovery of an "intensive religious ceremonialism" according to Gimbutas. She writes,
The emergence of great numbers of figurines – anthropomorphic and zoomorphic, female and male – as well as anthropomorphic, bird shaped, and animal shaped vases, miniature replicas of furniture, stools, tables, and thrones, miniature offering tables and containers, libation vases, and lamps, as well as temple models, coincides with the early ceramic period. ... the second half of the 7 millennium BCE A pattern of worship (a rich Neolithic pantheon of Goddess and gods) is established which continues to the end of Old Europe, 2500 BCE. Specific places of worship – the temples are incorporated into housing with courtyards, altars, offering places and temple workshops for making pottery and bread.
From 5,500 to 3,500 more changes occur. Copper metallurgy occurred about 5,500 BCE and increased throughout the millennium. Gold was also discovered and used for both secular and religious purposes. Trade routes flourished, causing some of the people (usually the men who were more attuned to moving) to travel long distances on foot, leading pack animals such as goats or sheep, before the horse was introduced.
Advancements in more complex architecture led to building multi-room/multistory houses, in which one room always was used as a temple, usually on the second floor. Bread ovens, grinding stones, exterior ash pit collection areas, spinning whorls and food storage areas are now standard features in the village housing complex. There are underground food storage areas dug underneath the houses, complete with ventilation. The Bird Goddess was the main deity of the household and the Temple. Temples, pottery and houses abound with a symbolic script evidenced in painting on pots and walls, doorways and pillars, as well as on all the figurines of women.
Ritual headdress and costume are clearly detailed on pottery vases and figurines, leading to the possibility of eventually deciphering and understanding these complex belief systems and ritual ceremonies. Vertical looms for weaving cloth and loom weights are found now in every village excavation.
Excerpted from "Daughters of the Inquisition"
Copyright © 2003 Christina Crawford.
Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- Introduction: The Search for WomanSpirit
- Part One: The Goddes: Herstory
- Part Two: Transition Times
- Part Three: The Inquisiton
- Part Four: Aftermath