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Mary: The Successor of
the Great Mother

In the fifth century the Roman Empire was in decline. Because Christianity was already corrupted with power and wealth, it was dragged along with it. At the same time, the Church was confronted with the fact, that the power of the "old religion" had not totally subsided. Especially the Isis, Cybele and Artemis cults were still growing profusely. The latter was worshipped in her world famous temple in Ephese, now Turkey. The ever recurring devotion for the Mother of women within the Church, only added to the problem. It came to a point, where the Church had no choice, other than to re-introduce the feminine principle.

In the year 431 at the concilium of Ephese - the city of the pagan Mother/goddess - and with great dislike, Maria was declared to be the Theotokos, the "Mother of God". The people of Ephese were overwhelmed with joy, since "their" goddess has found a successor in Maria. Immediately, the struggle for the "right interpretation" broke out. The official version considered Maria to be just the mother of Jesus, while Gnostic-oriented people inclined to take "Theotokos" literally. For them Maria represented the original Great Mother, from whom - like Isis - the Godbirth had taken place. Since the Gnosis was suppressed, this belief went underground, until it re-appeared in the Middle Ages. Especially the Cult of the Black Virgins, as well as that of the Shrine Madonna's are witnessing this fact.

It is only too logic, that the Church did every effort to strip Maria from qualities, that could remind people of the old Mother religions. Aspects, which fitted in their own philosophy were on the contrary emphasized, like the "immaculate conception" (which in fact corresponds with the primordial "parthenogenesis", in which the Mother got pregnant of Her divine Son, without interference of a masculine principle), while at the same time suppressing aspects, that were unwelcome to them. What remained was a Maria, derived from the lust aspect of fertility, as well as the Mother's original destructive counterpart, leaving behind the harmless preservation aspect of a "caring mother", resulting in the neutral, sweet and powerless image of the Virgin.

"Maria" became the instrument in the hands of a Church, whose main purpose it was (is) to destroy sexuality: the main driving force behind the Law of the Mother, that is the "cycle of birth and death!" It has lead to the schizophrenic attitude, in which women were forced to deny their body and sexuality, while men projecting their ideals in the chaste Maria, considering all other women "whores". To Mother Worship however, Maria is one symbol - among others - of the Great Mother. Mother Worship is doing everything to put Her in the context of Her original meaning. For instance, Maria as the "Mother of God" is taken literally. It is finding its highest expression in the image of the Shrine Madonna, which is the Churches' main cult object.

Go deeper into:

* Shrine Madonna

Read:

* M.Warner "Alone of all Her Sex", 1985 Pan Books

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