The blessings of the Goddess upon the early clan women were many
The most revered and feared was woman’s connection with, not control of, the creative force. Through their unique relationship with the cycles of the earth the faithful daughters of the Goddess enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with nature. Woman’s sacred status was inexorably bound to the blessing of her fertility. She was revered not only for the life that sprung from her body, but the nourishment and bounty that she and her sisters coaxed from the land.
As small, stable social units evolved from the nomadic gather tribes, the deliberate cultivation of specific crops, coalesced women’s primacy as the tribe’s food producers. Knowledge of not only of the types and locations of eatable foods, but healing herbs and medicinal practices were passed down from mother to daughter. The clan women gathered and later cultivated Mother Earth’s bounty. They remembered and selected that which was eatable, while abstaining from that which was not.
Historians and archeologists have estimated that Paleolithic women foraged, planted and gathered up to eighty-percent of the clan’s food provisions. In this process of providing reliable food sources for her clan, early woman improvised the first harvesting and cultivation tools. Woman identified animals that would benefit the tribe and purposefully set about domesticating them. In her role as creator of life and caregiver within the clan, primordial woman discovered and used the natural elements, including fire to better the life of her tribe.
Woman’s miraculous power to create, nurture and maintain life was the central, sacred mystery of Goddess worship.
Women were revered as embodying the three faces of the Goddess — Maiden, Mother and Crone.
This holy trinity of Fertility, Life, and Survival was represented by the three phases of the moon — waxing, full and waning.
Excerpted with permission:
Goddess of Wonder, Goddess of Light, by Leslie C. Botha and H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik, 2004 Pleiades Publishing, ISBN 0-9716968-1-0