Truth as a Goddess

Here’s an experiment. Take a second and clear your mind. Close your eyes. Now envision……

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truth.

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Chances are you saw a metaphor of purity, silence, a blanket of white, a naked figure or a feminine form. Sages and poets have attempted to describe the “truth” ideal for thousands of years and the central themes of feminine purity remain one of the primary metaphors or comparisons.

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Gian Lorenzo Bernini: Truth Unveiled by Time (1645-52)

Why is this? I would argue that for most human beings, our first entrance into this world places us in the arms of the “mother” figure. As a babe, our entire sense of security, nurture and external reality begins in a feminine comfort zone. It is our truth.


Egyptian Goddess

The sense that truth feminine is cross-cultural and evidenced by ancient matriarchal societies and classical symbols. In an essay by Iakov Levi:

The association between Truth and Mother – Woman is omnipresent in mythology. In Egypt, Truth was represented as a goddess, Maat. In Hebrew, the same goddess became the word Emeth, which means “Truth”. In Mesopotamia, Inanna – Ishtar, the goddess of sacred harlots and fertility, was associated with wisdom. In Greece, the goddess of Wisdom was Athena, who was also called Meter (mother). She is a later evolution of Medusa, herself strongly associated with primal wisdom. Sophia, which in Greek means “wisdom”, is feminine, and became also a personal name. In Hebrew, where official censorship was able to repress every image of a goddess, all the concepts associated with truth, wisdom, intellectual penetration etc. are feminine: Torah (the written law), Mishnah, Ghemarah (the oral law), Emeth (truth), Chochmah (wisdom), Binah (understanding), Da’t (knowledge). (Theodor Reik has written on the Torah, as symbol of the repressed Mother, in “The Re-Emerging Mother-Goddess”, in Pagan Rites in Judaism, Farrar & Straus, New York 1964, pp.66 – 68).

Nietzsche also offers an explanation:

Supposing truth is a woman – what then? Are there not grounds for the suspicion that all philosophers, insofar as they were dogmatists, have been very inexpert about women? that the gruesome seriousness, the clumsy obtrusiveness with which they have usually approached truth so far have been awkward and very improper methods for winning a woman’s heart? What is certain is that she has not allowed herself to be won: – and today every kind of dogmatism is left standing dispirited and discouraged. (F.Nietzsche, Beyond Good And Evil, Preface).

Truth, which is called a Divine Attribute, is the foundation of every virtue.

Truth, which is called a "Divine Attribute, is the foundation of every virtue." - Phoenix Freemasonry

Courageous, unconcerned, scornful, coercive – so wisdom wisheth us; she is a woman, and ever loveth only a warrior. (F.Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Part I, 7)

Jung’s perspective is considered in Erich Neumann’s essay Amor and Psyche
In traditional Jungian thought the total psyche of both men and women is conceived of as a relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind. Jung has posited that the unconscious of each man and woman is personified by symbols or figures of the opposite sex, so a man’s unconscious is personified by female figures, while a woman’s unconscious is personified by male figures. The classical statement of Neumann’s unusual view is found in The Origins and History of Consciousness:

But one thing, paradoxical though it may seem, can be established at once as a basic law: even in woman, consciousness has a masculine character [italics added by Gollnick]. The correlation “consciousness—light—day” and “unconsciousness—dark—night” holds true regardless of sex and is not altered by the fact that the spirit-instinct polarity is organized on a different basis in men and women. Consciousness, as such, is masculine and even in women, just as the unconscious is feminine in men.

Time rescues daughter Truth from Envy and Discord, Nicholas Poussin, 1641. Truth in feminine form is often portrayed in peril, humble, or pentitant---nude veritas---the naked truth is upheld by the fundamentals of nature, time. Click to see the full image.

Anne Waldman discusses the feminine metaphor and its use in classical poetry in an audio lecture. The text of the ancients is preserved through poets and storytellers enabling us to see that the concept of truth being a goddess has been analyzed for centuries. Listen

In her 1977 lecture, Anne Waldman discusses one of the most controversial references to the metaphor of truth as a woman: The White Goddess, by Robert Graves. A synopsis of The White Goddess from Sacred Texts reads…

The White Goddess is a key book for modern Pagans and Wiccans. Subtitled ‘A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth’, Robert Graves investigates the links between poetry, mythology and the worship of the Goddess. The White Goddess had a profound influence on Gerald Gardner, the modern reinventor of Paganism.

Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy (1737) François Lemoyne The artist committed suicide the day after the work's completion. Click to read more.

The White Goddess advocated a Goddess-centered spirituality. It builds on Frazer’s Golden Bough, a popular mythological study published in the 1890’s that aligns a god deity incarnated as an earthly king who unites in life to the mother earth. Graves work takes the perspective of a poet finding a connection between the crafts of poetry and mythology in the modern age. The text investigates links in ancient runes, text, languages, ancient poetry and the Celtic lunar calendar. The book brings a valid ancient artistic perspective to the study of Wicca.

Published in 1948, and reissued with additional text 1966, The White Goddess theorizes a European, “White Goddess of Birth, Love and Death,” which Graves argues, represents the three phases of the moon. The trilogy is also comparable to the Diana Triformis: Luna, Diana, Prosperine.

The Triple Goddess, waxing full waning. Graves proposes the existence of a European deity, the "White Goddess of Birth, Love and Death," inspired and represented by the phases of the moon, and who, Graves argues, lies behind the faces of the diverse goddesses of various European mythologies.

The Triple Goddess, waxing full waning. Graves proposes the existence of a European deity, the "White Goddess of Birth, Love and Death," inspired and represented by the phases of the moon, and who, Graves argues, lies behind the faces of the diverse goddesses of various European mythologies.

Graves proposes “true” or “pure” poetry is manifested through a connection with the  White Goddess. Graves aligns his theories with speculation on how early spirituality was developed and organized, however there is no archeological evidence that a “White Goddess”, as he purports, ever existed in early belief systems. see Wiki

In The White Goddess, Graves is led to state his conviction that as militaristic patriarchal tribes moved in on the sedentary agricultural communities who worshiped the Mother Goddess, the priestesses of this ancient religion migrated to sacred caves and secret islands for refuge taking the icons and practices with them into safety. Islands like Malta, Crete, the Cyclades, Cypress, Ireland and Scotland, even Iceland. Serpentina

devi

The Indus Valley Civilization, with its neighboring cultures of Zhob and Kulli regions in Balochistan, have yielded data on prehistoric religious practices on the Indian subcontinent dating back to 3000 BC. Some scholars suggest that the Indus Valley culture has a cult of the Great Mother or the Divine Mother, similar to such cults in Asia Minor and the Mediterranean; and some have even hazarded a guess that this may be the earliest form of Shaktism.

Devi (Devanagari: देवी) is the Sanskrit word for Goddess, used mostly in Hinduism. Devi is synonymous with Shakti, the female aspect of the divine, as conceptualized by the Shakta tradition of Hinduism. She is the female counterpart without whom the male aspect, which represents consciousness or discrimination, remains impotent and void. Goddess worship is an integral part of Hinduism. ref. Wikipedia: Devi

Ma'at, Goddess of Truth, Balance & Order

Ma'at, Goddess of Truth, Balance & Order

Maat was the personification of the fundamental order of the universe, without which all of creation would perish. The primary duty of the pharaoh was to uphold this order by maintaining the law and administering justice. To reflect this, many pharaohs took the title “Beloved of Maat,” emphasizing their focus on justice and truth.

At any event in which something would be judged, Maat was said to be present, and her name would be invoked so that the judge involved would rule correctly and impartially. In the underworld, the heart of the deceased was weighed by Anubis against Maat’s feather (truth). If the heart was heavy with wicked deeds, it would outweigh the feather, and the soul would be fed to Ammit. But if the scales were balanced, indicating that the deceased was a just and honorable person in life, he would be welcomed by Osiris into the Blessed Land. Maat’s presence in all worlds was universal, and all the gods deferred to her. Gods of Egypt

Flight of Maat Moon, Meinrad Craighead. Meinrad sees with the "All Seeing Eye of the Mother" and knows that all she sees is sacred... She connects the visible and the invisible in a true evocation of the soul of nature.

This representation of the Flight of Maat Moon, Meinrad Craighead. Meinrad sees with the "All Seeing Eye of the Mother" and knows that all she sees is sacred... She connects the visible and the invisible in nature. Click the image to visit the artist's work.

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Aside

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13 Phase Tree Calendar

 

Source: http://thehamletenigma.com/Chapter%203.htm

Robert Graves, in his book on the Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth titled The White Goddess, explores the common language in the tradition of poetic composition. At the very conception of poetic myth, Graves discovers a common cryptographic theme. The earliest poems, he finds to be encoded with secret information, and not just any information, but near omniscience itself, which is precisely the explicit subject matter of the stories told in the those ancient poems. As in the beginnings of both Hamlet and Phaedo the presence of guardians serves as a symbolism of the meaning encoded within. The secrets of the primordial poems analyzed by Graves were protected by mythical guardians, such as Dog, Roebuck and Lapwing.

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Secret Tree Alphabet for Poetry

“The fullest account of the original Battle of the Trees, though the Lapwing is not mentioned in it, is published in the Myrian Archaiology. This is a perfect example of mythographic shorthand and records what seems to have been the most important religious event in pre-Christian Britain.

In ancient times, once a god’s name had been discovered, the enemies of his people could do destructive magic against them with it.” (The White Goddess p. 49)

Graves, more importantly ascribes this to be a very complex, cryptographic riddle rooted in the poetic tradition since the very conception of poesy. The early poems that participated in the tradition were seeded with encoded information. These early poems therefore (much like a genetic code) efficiently encoded functional store of information, locked, to be unlocked when and where appropriate by “friends” and not by “strangers”.

 

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All images are copyright of their respective owners and are used here under Fair Use for research and informational purposes and represent the subject of this article in critical commentary.

19 Comments

  1. Ria said,

    August 6, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Thank You for telling Ma At’s story…it has inspired me. She has inspired me. I was searching for ideas for a collaborative film with an artist and there she was!

    • garden of the witch said,

      August 10, 2009 at 4:18 am

      Wonderful that you found the information useful. Good luck with your project, Ria.

  2. Micha-el said,

    August 21, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Truth is the one goddess, and Justice her Angel-beloved machine, the creation she adores, the son she devours- in unification, so that she may walk among her children as Lord, protecting them from her singularity, the crushing power that is her pure form. She is always here-now perpetually reformed to best suit the space-time her children inhabit, she is the infinite flux of her own creative energy, she is my (m)OM.

    Micha-el? (Who is like God?)

    • Garden of the Witch said,

      August 22, 2010 at 1:31 am

      Micha-el, you are a compelling writer. I devoured your words. However, your question I cannot answer. I think our blinders open slowly, some quicker than others, as a blossom, that grows and bears fruit.

      “protecting them from her singularity” is an interesting phrase. Do expand, your visit was most welcome.

      Fare thee well.

  3. Micha-el said,

    November 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Her SIngularity threatens to devour all duality (from created life to stars) in the vacuum of her original nature. Within the nexus of her infinite gravity all things are destroyed, and all are born.

  4. Micha-el said,

    November 21, 2011 at 12:11 am

    “Who is like God?” Nothing can be “like” God because God is everything-all matter, all energy, and all the space between. It is this Truth that the name Micha-el indicates and it is for this Truth that he fights.

  5. Micha-el said,

    November 21, 2011 at 12:16 am

    In Truth there is nothing but “the One”, the mother from whom all illusion has sprung, giving birth to the myriad forms of life and the Universe by dividing herself from herself, albeit, temporarily. This Goddess of Truth is also the Goddess of Death, because Death merges all back into the One and the Truth of her nature expresses itself again and again and again. I hope these three help answer your question.

    Love.

    Micha-el

    • Garden of the Witch said,

      November 22, 2011 at 6:23 am

      “the Truth of her nature expresses itself again and again and again.”

      As I perch in the meadow, I experience the percolation of life and death, an embrace of happening. Your eloquent explanation invites much contemplation, Micha-el. Thank you for taking time from your travels to share this.

      And with love from all.

  6. Micha-el said,

    May 31, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Aletheia-1.the process of perception; unveiled. 2.An awakening to the presence of the all that is experienced unconcealed. 3. The sense information the mind-body complex receives unmitigated. 4.An interpersonal over-ride, bypassing of the transistors of psycho-social conditioning. 5.The archetype of Truth as a Goddess in Greek Mythology. 6.Mary Magdalene-the divine witness.

    • June 18, 2012 at 6:43 am

      I appreciate your comment Micha-el, and to offer an anecdote—I have been traveling and in a place where a mind is valued clear and clean for observation. Your words are underlined by fundamentals that each may claim.

      joy and ready aid in your calling

      • Gabri-el said,

        June 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm

        *note the time at which the 6th post was made. Apply it to the 6 planes through which Aletheia is experienced and you have the map-up and down and up- to and from the destination. Furthermore if you attribute zero its meta- physical property of “1” (Truth as zero is also Truth as 1 spiritually speaking) then you have the original number of the beast. 616. and also the wisdom needed to unravel it’s mystery. ; )

      • June 21, 2012 at 12:05 am

        Gabri-el

        As I leave dominion over such serendipity to another, I remain a student, and rely upon your keen eye to discover connection in such happenings. What does this bode? If it leads to what must be, then there was one among us with something to learn or teach.

        May light and wonder walk with you.

  7. Juan said,

    June 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    This was just a wast of my time
    although a little relaxing

    • June 18, 2012 at 6:25 am

      Opportunity to delay you from misfortune by wasting your time can be my only solace. I await word that you are well and of good cheer.

      To bring you relaxation is worth song.
      Peace and love as we travel in this place.

  8. Micha-el said,

    March 15, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I am always here.

    • Garden of the Witch said,

      March 22, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Thank you for your ongoing support. In the physical realm, I have recently begun to move my garden. It is going somewhere very remote within a preserve where much wildlife abounds. I have done what I can with our current garden, fostering animals and flora, however approaching development is now at our door. Of course, I could be gone in whisper, however I want to give the indigenous beings enough opportunity to adapt to my absence.

      With best regards,
      GOTW

  9. Micha-El said,

    March 28, 2014 at 5:59 am

    In my experience the Garden of the Witch is a level of consciousness where we realize and enter the singularity of all life on this planet. it is becoming Gaia, the unified entity that is mother earth and of whom every individual witch is a reflection. As you create your new abode remember that in our duality we are always a part of the whole, and though we are separate, as plant, animal, or element, there is something between us that connects us indivisibly forever within the cycle of creation and destruction that leads us down the paths we walk.

  10. sam said,

    August 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    So wierd
    But tanks for leting me know about this.

    • Garden of the Witch said,

      August 12, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Nature and the universe are part of a feminine paradigm. If the world of people ever seems a little troublesome, do look for your garden within. Thank you for visiting.


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