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The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth by Monica Sjöö
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“Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belong to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virle. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chasity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past…, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus - they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chasity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched. When Joan of Arc, with her witch coven associations, was called La Pucelle - ‘the Maiden,’ ‘the Virgin’ - the word retained some of its original pagan sense of a strong and independent woman. The Moon Goddess was worshipped in orgiastic rites, being the divinity of matriarchal women free to take as many lovers as they choose. Women could ‘surrender’ themselves to the Goddess by making love to a stranger in her temple.”
Monica Sjoo, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“Mature development—does not come from severing the early infantile sense of unity with the Mother, but from reestablishing it. The holistic point of ancient women’s religion was that the Mother is not one’s personal maternal parent solely, but the entire community of women, the entire living earth, and beyond this the entire surrounding and ongoing cosmic process. One could not be alienated because one is always within this process, as it is always within the self. Unless, of course, such knowledge is suppressed from the outside, by patriarchal conditioning.
Truly, our very sanity is at stake with continuing patriarchy and the denial of the cosmic self—the Goddess—within us all, and within her.
The Great Mother was the projection of the self-experience of groups of highly aware and productive women who were the founders of much of human culture. In this sense the Great Mother is not simply a mental archetype, but a historical fact.”
Monica Sjoo Barbara Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“The major premises of Christian religions are (1) the idea of Original Sin and (2) the belief in salvation through faith. Deists totally opposed these two basic Christian principles. Instead, they espoused the eighteenth-century philosophy that defined human beings as (1) essentially good, and (2) capable of progress through knowledge, reason, justice, and liberty. Deists denied the dogmas of the virgin birth, the divinity of Christ, the concept of heaven and hell, and all ideas of damnation and redemption. Deism was, in fact, the origin of what is now called “secular humanism,” and it was the practicing philosophy of the men who conducted and won the American Revolution, and became the “Founding Fathers” of the American government.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“Witches cast spells, not to do evil, but to promote changes of consciousness. Witches cast spells as acts of redefinition. To respell the world means to redefine the root of our being. It means to redefine us and therefore change us by returning us to our original consciousness of magical-evolutionary processes. This consciousness is within us, in our biology and in our dreams. It works on subliminal levels, whether or not we are aware of it, because it is the energy of life and imagination. When we are aware of it, it works for us, as the energy of destiny. And it is powerful, with the genuine power of biological life and cosmic imagination. Perhaps”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“Patriarchal religions keep this fusion from happening, imagination dies, and is replaced by mechanical-linear thought patterns, i.e., indoctrination.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“You must completely destroy all the places where the nations you dispossess have served their gods: on high mountains, on hills, under a spreading tree. You must tear down their altars, smash their pillars, cut down their sacred poles [asherahs], set fire to the carved images of their gods, and wipe their name from that place. (Deuteronomy 16:20)”
Monica Sjoo, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“We need a new, global spirituality—an organic spirituality that belongs innately to all of us, as the children of earth. A genuine spirituality that utterly refutes the moralistic, manipulative patriarchal systems, the mechanistic religions that seek to divide us—that control and oppress us by successfully dividing us. We need a spirituality that acknowledges our earthly roots as evolutionary and sexual beings, just as we need an ontology that acknowledges earth as a conscious and spiritual being. We need this organic, global spirituality because we are ready to evolve as a globally conscious species. We are at the point where we must evolve or die.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“Our consciousness is a property of our biological being. At the deepest levels of biological and of physical being, all consciousness in the universe is inextricably linked in a galactic network, or webwork, of mutual awarenesses and mutually interchanging gestalts. This mutual interaction may be described as the brain of God, in which all “thoughts” are living realities. This is where we live, either mutually evolving or mutually dying—just as all thoughts either realize themselves or die. Within such a living and dying cosmos, how can we make rational distinctions between “spirit” and “flesh,” between “spiritual systems” and “political systems” and “economic systems” and “social systems”—clearly they are all bound together as interacting thoughts.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“What these modern researchers are now “discovering” is something ancient women always knew. The warring dualisms of “matter vs. spirit,” the hostile antagonisms of “sexual body” versus “religious truth,” are recent patriarchal inventions, destructively forced on the world and the soul. They had no place at the beginning of things, for they are neither natural nor true.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“We are the imagining animals. We are the ones who participate in the earth’s evolutionary process of imagination. For what is every manifest life-form and activity on earth if not the product of earth’s imagination? Imagination, which is a form of memory moving both forward and backward in time; i.e., the creative process itself. Perhaps”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“The “Founding Fathers” were not Christian. They were Deists. Deism was an eighteenth-century rationalist philosophy, emerging from the European Enlightenment. Deists understood “God” to be the principle of organization and intelligence in the universe. This ordering principle could be discerned by rational thought and investigation, but it was not a personal deity who could be petitioned by humans. Deists considered themselves to be decent and spiritually devoted men, but when they said “God” they referred to “cosmic law,” not the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible. Some Deists, including the American Deists, spent a good amount of time and energy criticizing and refuting the superstitions, dogmas, and rituals of the organized Christian churches, both Catholic and Protestant.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“So the city emerges as man’s ultimate attempt to become manmade, born from himself rather than from Mother Nature. The feeling of self-sufficiency he achieves through the city is largely abstract and spurious: The sources of our biological lives remain the same as they always were—they come from Matter and Land. But city-man maintains contact with his natural life-sources not through immediate body experience, but through an artificial medium of exchange: money.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“No human being—no preacher, no holy man, no church—can “put God at the center” of life. God is already there; we choose to perceive, or not to perceive, this fact. No one can “put God” anywhere; God is already there. What the fundamentalist preachers and self-appointed “holy men” mean is that they are going to put some man’s idea of God at the center—an idea that is born of the inflated egos of these preachers and holy men themselves.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“We have still not recovered, in the West, from that act of primary alienation from the source of our earthly lives. No matter how sophisticated our technologies or how “secular” our lifestyles, we in the West, because our culture is so historically saturated with biblical imagery and worldview, still tend to be ruled by archetypal models of a male pastoral god whose power comes not from giving birth, or enhancing life, but from dominating and breeding cattle herds as a sign of egoistic individual wealth. And dominating women as unclean but profitable cows, as well. The”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“The envisaged self is the next stage in human evolution, and it will be born explicitly from the refusion of experienced spirit and experienced flesh—not as a “means” toward any externally established “end,” but as a consciously perceived process of evolution unfolding itself. The primary urge of patriarchy has been to control and repress life toward some profitable end, rather than to allow this self-perceiving unfolding to occur.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“God is the universe. We are all now living inside the body of God. There is nowhere to go to get there, we are already here. There is nowhere to go to get outside of God; there is just a forgetting of this truth. It is impossible not to be living, right now and always, within God’s body. It is only possible to be aware, or unaware, of this fact. Religions”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“This perpetual success of war and failure of peace is then said to be “the human condition”—but it is only the condition of humans under patriarchy. Under”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“We will not find the enemy.8 Because the enemy does not exist in space, but in time: four thousand years ago. We are about to destroy each other, and the world, because of profound mistakes made in Bronze Age patriarchal ontology—mistakes about the nature of being, about the nature of human being in the world. Evolution itself is a time-process, seemingly a relentlessly linear unfolding. But biology also dreams, and in its dreams and waking visions it outleaps time, as well as space. It experiences prevision, clairvoyance, telepathy, synchronicity. Thus we have what has been called a magical capacity built into our genes. It is built into the physical universe. Synchronicity is a quantum phenomenon. The tachyon is consciousness, which can move faster than light. So, built into our biological-physical selves evolving linearly through time and space, is an authentically magical capacity to move spirally, synchronously, multi-sensorially, simultaneously back and forth, up and down, in and out through all time and space. In our DNA is a genetic memory going back through time to the first cell, and beyond; back through space to the big bang (the cosmic egg), and before that. To evolve then—to save ourselves from species extinction—we can activate our genetic capacity for magic. We can go back in time to our prepatriarchal consciousness of human oneness with the earth. This memory is in our genes, we have lived it, it is ours. This”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“our global memory, as we all recede backward through the Christian Era, through the Bronze Age, through the Neolithic, through the Stone Age consciousness of Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal, through the primates, mammals, birds, reptiles, starfish, algae—to the first cell. By going back to our clear knowledge that the earth does not belong to us, but rather that we belong to the earth—as the cosmos does not belong to us, but we belong in the cosmos—we can also leap forward to that time when we know with equal clarity that we all belong together, belong equally with one another, on the earth which is our Mother and our home. Within a universe that is eternally God’s body, and our home. Such”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“But, when the cult of the male god was established, there must have been difficulty in explaining how he could be the giver of life to all creation—since the man, unlike the woman, cannot produce from his body either the child or the food for the child. The whole attitude of humans towards the God had to be altered—violently altered. There could not be that same vital biological and magical link (the I-Thou) between the child and the father, as there is between the child and its mother: two beings evolving in and from the same body, the same rhythms, the same dreams. From the religious point of view, this means the loss between the human and the divine of direct, continuous physical-emotional-spiritual relationship. Oneness is dualized, the “self” is isolated within, and the rest of the universe, including God, is displaced and objectified without. The evolutionary, protoplasmic connection between the experienced self and the All is broken, and the new relation becomes: I-the Other; or worse: I-It. The father is not of the same all-containing, all-infusing, shaping and nourishing substance, and so the relation between humans and the Father God becomes abstract and alienated, distant and moralistic. The”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“To the ancients, the cosmic serpent—the spirit of earth and water—was everywhere known as the energy source of life: of healing and oracular powers, fertility and maternal blessing. This energy-spirit, with emerging patriarchy, was redefined as the dangerous enemy, to be reviled, defeated, destroyed. Then it was said by the new holy men that “Chaos has been ordered and the serpent-force has been mastered.” And what was to be the new source of world energy? Slave labor, military force, the rule of the fist, threats of punishment and coercion by fire-breathing, guilt mongering male priesthoods, in service to the God of War and Wealth. In”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“In the world’s oldest creation myths, the female god creates the world out of her own body. The Great Mother everywhere was the active and autonomous creatrix of the world . . . and, unlike the aloof and self-righteous patriarchal gods who only recently usurped her mountain-throne, the ancient Goddess was always there—alive, immanent—within her creation; no ontological scapegoater, she was wholly responsible for both the pain and the good of life.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“The wholly desacralized cosmos is a recent discovery in the history of the human spirit.”1”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“When we see this worldwide occurrence of the Goddess and her Serpent, and then recall the ancient African Black Goddess, the Black Witch, imaged with the snake in her belly—we can see the profound power as well as universality of this cosmological symbol, its range of endurance in the human mind. And we begin to see why the upstart patriarchal religions based themselves on the utter destruction of the goddess/serpent, pictured by the Babylonians as “primeval chaos”—an image picked up later by the Hebrews and used in the biblical Genesis, where Eve linked with her serpent become the symbols of ontological evil.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“The snake was first of all a symbol of eternal life (like the moon), since each time it shed its skin it seemed reborn. It represented cosmic continuity within natural change—spiritual continuity within the changes of material life.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“The current “thrust” of materialism is to escape the earth’s orbit, to flee the knowledge and the problems of our messy, bloody, hungry, and waste-producing bodily origins—to dwell on wholly sterile and manmade stations (stasis, static) in space, where the astronaut, the modern priest of the techno-phallic religion, realizes his ancient dream: to utterly escape the earthly processes the rest of us remain wallowing in. In”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“The source of life (female) is redefined and now hated as the enemy of male life. What was once woman’s power is now to be woman’s curse, woman’s shame. Woman’s estrangement from God. In the Bible we can see the original Orwellian Newspeak occurring, in which false male imitations of menstruation and childbirth (the circumcised foreskin, the wounds of Christ) are made sacred and holy, while the real thing done”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“Whether she is seen as the benevolent Mother of All Living, or the Goddess of bloody battle, or the Death Goddess, or the prophetic witch—the attitude toward life in matriarchal society remains the same. All life is created out of the Mother and is one with her.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“More important, acts of mental construction were performed which allowed people to live together harmoniously, in meaningful and exciting intercommunication with all the creatures of earth, earth herself, and the energy-beings of moon, sun, planets, and the stars. The time when “the mountains sang and the rivers clapped hands” was perhaps that numinous terrestrial time when all human beings were able to live harmoniously and consciously together as magic children within the living body of the cosmos.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
“The immortality promised by the Moon Goddess was not a state of perfection or stasis in eternal light. She offers an ever-renewed life like the moon’s own, in which diminishing and dying are as essential to spirit growth as birth and becoming. Her “redemption” is not from “sin” and matter, but from mental traps that block the self from its source. It is union of the opposites within the psyche which brings release from the final power of death, which allows consciousness to pulsate from one dimension to another in the cosmic field. This is the only “redeeming” experience: To be lived by an inner presence—the creator behind the ego.”
Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth

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