In the majority of religions, the head deities are a male and female pair. Some examples being Osiris and Isis, Vishnu and Lakshmi, Rama & Sita, Zeus and Ganymede, I could go on with a list of deity couples from nearly all faiths with a polytheistic trait. But the three main religions of the world; Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been monotheistic religions for a long time all purporting to the one God, who may go by many names but is definitely male.
Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince’s latest book ‘When God had a Wife’, published by Bear & Co questions this concept, its subtitle being; ‘the Fall and Rise of the Sacred Feminine in the Judeo-Christian Tradition’ the book delves deep into the ancient history of the Jews to find the spiritual legacy of the Goddess in this old religion.
Surely, the Divine feminine is needed to balance out the forces, the energies, within religious faith. There are two genders for every being, and if we were made in the gods image, and I use the plural word gods here because Elohim (Hebraic for gods) in the chapter Genesis in the Bible which relates the creation story writes the word gods, as in plural, if we were made in the image of the gods and these two gods had genders that are male and female, then that would explain why humanity is made up of two types-the male and the female.
The Goddess would represent the feminine, amongst her many attributes are fertility, the various types of love and wisdom, she is the mother, the sister, the wife and this is how she is represented in faiths that have a Goddess in partnership with the masculine god and his role.
Where is she in the modern day major Abrahamic religions? She seems to be missing. Yet there are hints that she was, in the ancient past, a major part of the Hebraic religions. What happened to the old Goddess? Was she forgotten? Was she suppressed? And if she was; how and why did this happen?
Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince have been researching this theme for some years, their previous books such as ‘The Templar Revelation’, ‘The Forbidden Universe’ and ‘The Masks of Christ’ touch on the subject and in their latest book they look at the Divine Feminine and at how and why it has happened that the Goddess has been suppressed in the Abrahamic faiths. Has the Goddess been forgotten…or dismissed?
With a thorough knowledge of the Old and New Testaments the writers discuss how the ancient people of the holy lands, the then Israelite nations, did indeed have a Goddess as well as a God to adore. Though these faiths are now known as the people of the book that follow a patriarchal system the authors show that this was not always the case. There was a Goddess worship, women had an important role within the community but how did this change?
‘When God had a Wife’ is the book to read to find out what happened to the Goddess; how she was turned into a cult and had to go underground, how the Goddess has links with the ancient Egyptian religions and how she was represented and adored by the ancient peoples. This is an important book in that it rewrites the narrative of the God & Goddess story, and also explains the important role a Goddess had for society as well as the essential roles women played in those times.
The authors take us on an adventure as the Goddess is re-awoken, explaining how her character has been distorted, how she has been misrepresented and by whom. The book is a comprehensive study that shows the relationship between the God and the Goddess with the peoples that worshipped them, the authors define the terms used in the ancient texts that describe the feminine divine principle and how this has been changed over the years. Why did this happen is expounded upon in detail, revealing to the reader the revelation that is the feminine divine and all her aspects that she can share with us.
This book explains why women were regarded for a long time, too long in fact, as second-class citizens. How did this happen when in ancient times a wise woman and priestess were highly respected members of the community?
‘When God Had A Wife’ sheds a much-needed light on the mystery of the Goddess. She may have been forgotten a long time ago but the times are a changing, the Goddess is being revived and in this book the authors have a strong claim to suggest that the Goddess revival is the real story that was happening in the times of the New Testament and within the Teachings of the groups of that day.
This book is a must for those who want to reconnect with the Goddess, those who want to know her history and want to welcome her back into the present. As the authors write; “For centuries the worship of just one God has been seen as the ultimate in religious sophistication, exemplifying the progress of civilization. But the most cursory glance at monotheism’s track record tells us a different story.” ‘When God Had A Wife’ tells us that story.
‘When God Had A Wife’ by Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince is out now.