Creatrix Blog

“In the Vedas, creation is likened to the spider and its web. The spider brings the web out of itself and then remains in it. God is the container of the universe and also what is contained in it”

  • Venus of Willendorf

    I crafted this Venus of Willendorf just before my child was born for our birthing shrine this year. In a recently published paper, Weber et al. (2022) placed the Venus at ~30,000 years old. She was rediscovered by Szombathy et al. in the Danube in Willendorf/Lower Austria in 1908. According to Weber et al. (2022), the depiction of the Venus “represents a symbolized adult and faceless female with exaggerated genitalia, pronounced haunches, a protruding belly, heavy breasts, and a sophisticated headdress or hairdo.” Vandewettering (2015) states that hundreds of these types of “Venus” figurines were discovered “across Eurasia from Southern France to Siberia,” and that these figures varied greatly in material. Further, Vandewettering groups scholarship on the purpose and function of the Venus statues into themes, “sex, fertility and beauty; religious functions and matrifocal societies; and representations of actual people with practical functions” (2015). Though many sources question the validity of the Venus as a symbol for fertility, a recent paper (Johnson, Lanaspa, & Fox, 2015) affirms that, “Because survival required sufficient nutrition for child-bearing women, we hypothesized that the undernourished woman became an ideal symbol of survival and beauty during episodes of starvation and climate change in Paleolithic Europe.” The problem with ancient goddess traditions is that we understand very little about what those cultures actually practiced in their day to day lives. So we are left with assigning modern meaning to ancient custom. Whether the Venus of Willendorf represents divine goddess or mundane woman, I think we can assert our own goddess theology here and recognize the divinity in all women.

  • The Great Goddess and the Golden Asse

    The Metamorphosis of Apeluis, dubbed the Golden Ass by Augustine, written in the 2nd century AD, details Lucius Apeluis’ encounter with the Goddess,

    “When I had ended this orison, and discovered my plaints to the Goddesse, I fortuned to fall asleepe, and by and by appeared unto me a divine and venerable face, worshipped even of the Gods themselves. Then by little and little I seemed to see the whole figure of her body, mounting out of the sea and standing before mee, wherefore I purpose to describe her divine semblance, if the poverty of my humane speech will suffer me, or her divine power give me eloquence thereto. First shee had a great abundance of haire, dispersed and scattered about her neck, on the crowne of her head she bare many garlands enterlaced with floures, in the middle of her forehead was a compasse in fashion of a glasse, or resembling the light of the Moone, in one of her hands she bare serpents, in the other, blades of corne, her vestiment was of fine silke yeelding divers colours, sometime yellow, sometime rosie, sometime flamy, and sometime (which troubled my spirit sore) darke and obscure, covered with a blacke robe in manner of a shield, and pleated in most subtill fashion at the skirts of her garments, the welts appeared comely, whereas here and there the starres glimpsed, and in the middle of them was placed the Moone, which shone like a flame of fire, round about the robe was a coronet or garland made with flowers and fruits. In her right hand shee had a timbrell of brasse, which gave a pleasant sound, in her left hand shee bare a cup of gold, out of the mouth whereof the serpent Aspis lifted up his head, with a swelling throat, her odoriferous feete were covered with shoes interlaced and wrought with victorious palme. Thus the divine shape breathing out the pleasant spice of fertill Arabia, disdained not with her divine voyce to utter these words unto me: Behold Lucius I am come, thy weeping and prayers hath mooved mee to succour thee. I am she that is the naturall mother of all things, mistresse and governesse of all the Elements, the initiall progeny of worlds, chiefe of powers divine, Queene of heaven! the principall of the Gods celestiall, the light of the goddesses: at my will the planets of the ayre, the wholesome winds of the Seas, and the silences of hell be diposed; my name, my divinity is adored throughout all the world in divers manners, in variable customes and in many names, for the Phrygians call me the mother of the Gods: the Athenians, Minerva: the Cyprians, Venus: the Candians, Diana: the Sicilians Proserpina: the Eleusians, Ceres: some Juno, other Bellona, other Hecate: and principally the Aethiopians which dwell in the Orient, and the Aegyptians which are excellent in all kind of ancient doctrine, and by their proper ceremonies accustome to worship mee, doe call mee Queene Isis. Behold I am come to take pitty of thy fortune and tribulation, behold I am present to favour and ayd thee, leave off thy weeping and lamentation, put away all thy sorrow, for behold the healthfull day which is ordained by my providence, therefore be ready to attend to my commandement.”

    Lucius Apuleius, The Golden Asse, trans. William Adlington (Apple Books, 1566), 433.

    Though a work of fiction, the goddess theology apparent in this text remains germane today. Compare this with the theology of the Devī Māhātmya of the Indian subcontinent. The great goddess multiplies Her forms when slaying a host of demons, and encountering the demon Śumbha, He declares,

    “10.3 ‘O Durgā, who are corrupt with the arrogance of power, do not show your pride here, for though you are haughty, you fight depending on the strength of others.’

    Kali, Devadatta. Devimahatmyam: In Praise of the Goddess. Berwick, ME: Nicolas-Hays, Inc., 2003.

    To which the Great Goddess responds,

    “10.5 ‘I am alone here in the world. Who else is there besides me? Behold, O vile one! These are but projections of my own power, now entering back into me.’”

    Kali, Devadatta. Devimahatmyam: In Praise of the Goddess. Berwick, ME: Nicolas-Hays, Inc., 2003.

    Although we cannot necessarily come to the conclusion that there was a comprehensive and global goddess cult in the ancient world simply from this comparative theology here, we can at least note that goddess theology has a recurring theme: (1) The goddess has a singular great form, and (2) the goddess multiplies her names and forms across time and place. This establishes a sacred cultural window by which the goddess touches the mundane world and reaches to Her devotees in the form that they understand best. Or as Ramakrishna said so beautifully,

    “The mother cooks different dishes to suit the stomachs of her different children. Suppose she has five children. If there is a fish to cook, she prepares various dishes from it—pilau, pickled fish, fried fish, and so on—to suit their different tastes and powers of digestion.”

    Mahendranath Gupta, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, trans. Nikhilananda (New York, NY: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 2007), 127.
  • Oak Wood

    Sea of pine and waves of oak

    The Forest is a home

    And I will always go there

    A cold breath moves the branches

    In the wood, 

    Cooling the rocks with patterns of moss

    The oaks are old gods and I thank them


     fear is  thunder

    It beats the drum of the heart

    And for a time

    I am its muted prisoner

    Though this sound blisters,

    I can still hear the old muffled whisper

    The hills and trees are alive

    With a kind of thought Unknowable.

    In the Other World,

    They arise and fall

    Arise and fall

    I declare my love for them,

    Old gods, old noble creatures

    Though fears tympani beats continuous,

    I see faces in the wood

    And bones in the mountains

    I call these beings my long time friends

    I shall sit with them a while and wonder

    At the rocks stuck between my toes

  • Sweet Mother

    One thousand times I have failed you
    Folly in that notion of a mustard seed
    This body wrought of insufficient faith
    And this heart of pulp seems
    covered over by Father stone
    like asphalt redolent from the new smell of tar

    Still this nascent string of undivided love
    moves inside like the coil of a spring
    brick by brick along the vertebrae of bone

    What creature stirs in that eternal cavern?
    I’ve no sense of justice
    bitumen - a Red Sea of taillights incessant
    dragging wastrel in the tortuous Highway

    He was a man they said - that Lord -
    called God in iron wrath who dangled
    His creations on the tip toe of His Finger
    Held in utter horror aghast over
    that Lake of liquid fire - well I
    never wanted that from start to finish
    Fear ranks high among the qualities of survival.

    Then they - saving grace over the ages
    called It woman.
    Oh hold at bay those night terrors
    the jackal of sermon leaving white pellets of spittle on the mouth corner:

    Wait. What fear is there of Mother?
    Oh Dear - will you speak to Father for me?
    He always seems to follow your command.