Chapters

The Goddess as the Ancient Greek Women Saw Her

Medusa: The Story

The story about Perseus killing Medusa not as it was told in the beginning, but how we received it.

Medusa: Homer and Hesiod

The literary tradition.

Medusa: The Earliest Image

An  image different from the later ones…

Medusa: the Questions.

If Medusa is not a monster who is She?

The Rhodian Medusa I

Beginning the discussion and amplification of the plate  made 650-630 BC and found in a tomb on Rhodos.

Rhodian Medusa II

The mask: the spirals, eyes, tusks. The Moon.

The Goddess Combs Her Flaxen Hair of Nettles

Introduction: The Problem

Miniature combs have been unearthed at prehistorical sites all over the world. They were never
used; they were images, symbols. Were they only looked upon as combs, tools of grooming or
perhaps, vanity? Who was supposed to use them?

Chapter 1. What is a Symbol

A symbol is not a sign or an allegory and we can never explain it except by using the expression
“not only . . . but also.”  It is not only the best possible explanation of what cannot be explained
except through analogies with our physical world, but it is also a bridge between our inner and
outer lives, between our dreams and the life we live.

Chapter 2. The Beginning

Combs are not only used for combing the hair, but also by the weaver at the loom. The earliest traces of woven cloth have been found outside Brno in the Czech Republic and are about 30,000 years old. They were not made of wool or linen, but nettles.

Chapter 3. The Power of Transformation

The fibers inside the nettles are like a blond baby’s soft hair just waiting for us to comb them, twist them, spin and weave them into a shining cloth. Contrary to hemp and flax, nettles are powerful tools of transformation as two fairy tales show: The Nettles, a Flemish folktale, which Arthur Lang published 1890 in the The Red Fairy Book, and The Six Swans by H.C. Andersen.

Chapter 4:1. Gaia’s Hair

The chapter begins with examples of the hair’s power, that lead to a question asked by the Plutarch why all the women in ancient Rome washed their hair on August 15th, the day dedicated to the goddess Diana.

Chapter 4:2 Our Planet Gaia: A Different Perspective

Thirty-thousand years ago, a potter imbued some of her figurines with her feelings about Gaia, our mother, the Earth. In their heads she inserted blond nettle-hair: Gaia’s hair and female sexuality.

Chapter 5. The Goat that is a Comb

Six-thousand-years-ago, a potter in Naqada, Egypt, painted a wild goat (an ibex) as a comb inside a bowl. The bowl was then placed in a tomb. Comparing this image with the rock-engravings of the ibex all over the northern hemisphere and especially with the incisions found in Har Karkom it becomes clear that it is a lunar symbol. The moon that transforms every month and the transforming work of the weaver is the link between the cloth and the moon.

My Chronology is all Wrong

Homo erectus began extracting fibers and bast from plants c. 850 000 years ago. C. 500 000 years ago they may have used nets. The pottery found in the kiln in Dolní Vestonice is too advanced to be the earliest one.  The dates I published earlier are wrong. Sorry about that.

Chapter 6. The Combs of Wood: the Anthropomorphic Tree

In the same way as a tree can be a father or a girl, the comb made of wood may be made in the abstract shape of a woman.

Chapter 7. The Combs of Wood: the Cosmic Tree

Here I continue what I began in “Combs of Wood: the Anthropomorphic Tree” weaving the image into a larger picture. As we stand in the center of the horizon, so the Tree is a symbol of the Center. Climbing this Tree allows us to enter another reality. The humble comb of wood reminds us of this.

Chapter 8. Crouching Tiger

Combs of bone and ivory carry their own special meaning of indestructible life.

Chapter 9. Climate Changes and . . .

We find it strange to believe that if the climate had not become stable in the last twelve thousand years, there would have been no agriculture, no metal working, no civilization as we know it.
The oldest pottery after the Ice Age, 13 000 years ago, comes from Eastern Siberia, southern China and northern Japan. Some of the pots from all three places have been combed. 9 000 years later, potters on the island of Cyprus made combs of ceramic.

Chapter 10. What Pottery Symbolizes

A short introduction to what the Pottery symbolizes.

Chapter 11. Mother Earth?

Does Mother Earth exist? Some historians of religions say no. Well, not as a physical figure, but . . .

Chapter 12. Child of Water

Child of Water (or Grandchild of Water) is Apam Napat, the Hindu god of fire that is born from fresh water. I also tell the stories how Inanna was killed by her sister and returned to life when the Water of Life was sprinkled on her, and how the terrifying monster Medusa, in modern Greece, has become a strict and kind goddess of the sea.

Chapter 13. Fire and Why Potters Made Useless Combs of Pottery

Fire transforms the fragile clay object into a nearly indestructible container. In the same way as the jar contains water or cereal, the future mother is a container. Thus, when the potter combs her vases or decorates them with combs or makes useless combs of pottery for the dead, she at the same time symbolizes the Goddess who combs her flaxen hair of nettles and will transform the dead in her womb like the fire transforms the fragile clay into a durable jar.

Chapter 14.  Vesta and the Circle of Fire

Vesta was the holy Fire on the hearth, not only in the private houses, but also in her round house, aedes Vestae, too holy to be consecrated. The symbol of the center being so important  I discuss how our ancestors developed the circle, our earliest abstract symbol ,and found its center.

Chapter 15. Vesta and the Phallus of Fire

What we know about the Vestals, that is, Vesta’s priestesses, and one preserved myth make it clear that the goddess, who was the center, heart and foundation of ancient Rome, was an androgynous goddess-god.

Chapter 16. Combs of Bronze or the Fascination with Metal

Before the sixth millennium the discovery had been made that when certain stones are smelted they begin to ooze a fiery substance, that once cooled can be formed into objects. The discovery was powerful and gave birth thethe modern world.

Chapter 17. The Smith: God of Male Fertility

The wild goose was the symbol of the goddess that gave the gift of pregnancy; with the smith, the crane takes its place. The crane is the new symbol of masculinity and the limping Smith, Hephaestus is the new fertility god.

Chapter 18. The Dark Side of Transformation

This is the end of the Goddess Combs Her Flaxen Hair of Nettles. Every true symbol also has a dark, frightening side. The song of the suffering flax sung by the youths harvesting grapes. The link between Dionysus and the Goddess, the transformation of grapes into wine and nettles and flax into cloth.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anna-Lena Bager  |  February 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks for this jorney through time! And thanks for opening up and connecting and portraying our world, loaded with meanings.
    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  • 2. krpfll  |  February 12, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you for reading it!

    Reply

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