25 Mar 2011

Semitic Sky God Married and Divorced

God's ex

Biblical scholarship has slowly been chipping away at the idea of the all-powerful and absolute Jehovah, beloved of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. As it turns out, he was just a normal little pagan god who, for various historical reasons, got blown out of all proportion.

The latest blow to the cult of the "Almighty" comes from a three-part documentary series by Francesca Stavrakopoulou, a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter, which reveals evidence showing that the first version of the Semitic Sky God, the Jewish god Yahweh, was actually paired with, or 'married' to, a fertility goddess called Asherah, known across the ancient Near East by various other names, such as Astarte and Ishtar.

This means that the Semitic Sky God is not the all-encompassing, universal, unchanging, eternal, and absolute deity that his followers have made him out to be, but actually a very specific, local god, whose marital status hasn't even been stable.

The blame for the divorce seems to lie on the heads of the Jewish rabbis who decided that Asherah was 'too much woman' for either them or Yahweh to handle, and accordingly started to write her out of Judaism thousands of years ago.

Fair-minded people might think it is high time the Semitic Sky God faced up to his responsibilities and paid a proper alimony to his ex out of the enormous proceeds of the three major religions now based on him?

More details of Stavrakopoulou's work can be found in this article from Discovery News.

12 Mar 2011

Pagan Art: Slavic Creation Myth by Ivanov

This painting by the Russian pagan artist Vsevolod Borisovich Ivanov appears to depict the Slavic creation myth.

According to this myth, the universe started from a golden egg surrounded by dark nothingness. The primordial god Rod emerged from this egg, depicted in this picture as the emanating light. At the same moment the mother goddess Lada was created to serve as Rod's helpmeet. We can see her immediately below the universal egg as a spectral and angelic figure.

Ivanov is hardly a purist. In true Neo-Pagan style, he incorporates many anachronistic elements, including what appear to be aliens and pyramids. The whole composition also seems to invoke the Big Bang Theory. I could easily imagine this as an Iron Maiden album cover.