Mariah's Reviews > Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths

Lost Goddesses of Early Greece by Charlene Spretnak
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's review
Apr 12, 2009

did not like it
bookshelves: mythology, greek, feminism, 2009, womens-spirituality, demeter, library, goddess

I wouldn't normally pick this up but Jennifer Reif used it as a source for Mysteries of Demeter which I am reading.
Call # BL782.S66 1992

In this book, Spretnak claims that before northern "barbarians" invaded Greece, idyllic matriarchal civilizations worshipped Greek goddesses. Then the awful warlike men demoted the peaceful mother goddesses and distorted the original mythology.

She includes myths about Gaia, Pandora, Themis, Hera, Artemis, Selene, Hecate, Athena, Demeter and Persephone. She says the myths are based on research about the goddesses, but since there is limited information she took some "poetic license". Spretnak said she didn't footnote them as it would take away from the power of the myths. Right, sure. Some of the stories are kind of pretty and might be spiritually inspiring but I wish I knew more of where she was getting her ideas.

I think matriarchal theorists take things to one extreme and those that reject them take it to another. I do think some ancient cultures were more *egalitarian (not matriarchal) before becoming patriarchal, I don't buy that they exclusively worshipped goddesses.
Real feminism is not about denigrating men or on a spiritual level male deities while women and goddesses are promoted above them.
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Reading Progress

April 12, 2009 – Shelved
April 12, 2009 – Shelved as: mythology
April 12, 2009 – Shelved as: greek
April 12, 2009 – Shelved as: feminism
Started Reading
October 10, 2009 – Finished Reading
October 11, 2009 – Shelved as: 2009
October 11, 2009 – Shelved as: womens-spirituality
October 13, 2009 – Shelved as: demeter
November 13, 2009 – Shelved as: library
February 27, 2013 – Shelved as: goddess

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Maya (new)

Maya Well said Mariah, I whole heartedly agree. I was thinking about picking up this book, now I am not going to bother.

Mariah I'm glad I could save you the time & money. Fortunately the Minneapolis library had it, and it was a quick read so I didn't have to waste much of either.

message 3: by Gunilla (new)

Gunilla Madegård There is no denigrating of men, just because mentioning former or contemporary existenses of matriarchy. There is neither any difficulty finding research about that if now Spretnaks book isn´t of that kind but written in a more popular genre as an introduction for laypersons. My own man is brought up in a matriarchy in Westafrica and finds that super - and dosen´t get offended at all by the fact that women are most capable of ruling a society, and my impression is that most men being brought up in matriarchies are very content with that. If your want to learn more about matriarchies you can get more info here:

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