He then left the book, to focus on King Jesus, a historical novel about the life of Jesus. In response to critics, Graves has accused literary scholars of being psychologically incapable of interpreting myth  or too concerned with maintaining their perquisites to go against the majority view. See Frazer quote below. The Golden Bough , but begun in , an early anthropological study by Sir James George Frazer , is the starting point for much of Graves’s argument, and Graves thought in part that his book made explicit what Frazer only hinted at. Sir James Frazer was able to keep his beautiful rooms at Trinity College , Cambridge , until his death by carefully and methodically sailing all around his dangerous subject, as if charting the coastline of a forbidden island without actually committing himself to a declaration that it existed. What he was saying-not-saying was that Christian legend , dogma and ritual are the refinement of a great body of primitive and even barbarous beliefs, and that almost the only original element in Christianity is the personality of Jesus. Graves’s The White Goddess deals with goddess worship as the prototypical religion , analyzing it largely from literary evidence, in myth and poetry. Graves admitted he was not a medieval historian, but a poet, and thus based his work on the premise that the language of poetic myth anciently current in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe was a magical language bound up with popular religious ceremonies in honor of the Moon-goddess, or Muse, some of them dating from the Old Stone Age, and that this remains the language of true poetry Graves concluded, in the second and expanded edition, that the male-dominant monotheistic god of Judaism and its successors were the cause of the White Goddess’s downfall, and thus the source of much of the modern world’s woe. He describes Woman as occupying a higher echelon than mere poet, that of the Muse Herself.
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Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron:
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There are also chthonic deities, those of the Underworld, but the celestial ones set the tone. A version of it may be drunk by us in ritual, giving us power and long life, but even that won’t keep death from us forever. We are not gods. This is one of the articles of the Indo-European faith. We are related to them, made from similar stuff, and even able to interbreed with them.
But they are a different kind of being, as different from us as we are from the animals. We are ontologically different. The gods are beings who are powerful, holy, and good. They are not archetypes, and in no way are mere projections of psychological reality.
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There were many God-leaders associated with the Tuatha Dé Danann – Lear, the God of the sea, Aonghus the God of love, Brighit the Goddess of the countryside, Lugh the God of fertility and genius.
It is only when we understand this that a lot of the legends here begin to make sense, including those concerning Cuchulainn. Many of our legends, place names, traditions, and even physical structures are part of an ancient pagan homage to them, lodged now in the subconscious. The name of my own area, Lislea, has a direct linkage to them. Lios is one of the earliest words in Irish for a dwelling place.
When the Celts first came to Ireland they continued the nomadic traditions which they had followed in Europe. The only time during the year that they settled down was in winter, when they built a circular fortified camp, inside which all the animals were taken. The name for this winter camp was Lios. The highlight of the year was, Bealtaine, May Day, when all the animals were released and they continued on their nomadic trail.
They represented the spirit of the land, the Good People. Their association with the Lios has caused the meaning of this word to change to the present day ‘Fairy Fort’.
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Regarded as sacred by Hindus, the river is personified as the goddess Ganga in ancient texts and art. Ritual bathing in the Ganges was and is an important part of Hindu pilgrimage and the ashes of the cremated are often spread across her waters. The Ganges in Sacred Texts Described in the Mahabharata as the ‘best of rivers, born of all the sacred waters’, the Ganges is personified as the goddess Ganga.
Ganga’s mother is Mena and her father is Himavat, the personification of the Himalaya mountains. In one myth Ganga marries King Sanatanu but the relationship comes to a shattering end when the goddess is discovered to have drowned her own children. In the Mahabharata Ganga is the mother of Bhishma and in some myths Skanda Karttikeya , the Hindu god of war , is her son with Agni , the god of fire.
In Hindu mythology the Ganges river was created when Vishnu , in his incarnation as the dwarf brahmin, took two steps to cross the universe. On the second step Vishnu’s big toe accidentally created a hole in the wall of the universe and through it spilled some of the waters of the River Mandakini. Meanwhile, the great mythological king Bhagiratha was concerned to discover that 60, of King Sagara’s ancestors had been incinerated from the stare of the Vedic sage Kapila.
Wanting these ancestors to reach heaven, Bhagiratha asked Kapila how this might be achieved. The response was to pray earnestly to Vishnu and perform ascetic acts for a thousand years. The great god, gratified by Bhagiratha’s piety, agreed for Ganga to descend to earth where she might wash over the ashes of the 60, , purify them, and permit them to ascend to heaven. There was a problem though, that if Ganga merely dropped from heaven her swirling waters would do untold damage.
The Story of Sif, Powerful Wife of Norse God Thor
A short history of the Gaelic celebration dating back to 10, BC Celebrations are held by pagan communities on 1 February to observe the astronomical midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Updated February 1, But the Gaelic festival — observed annually on 1 February — is one of the oldest celebrations marking the beginning of spring, and has a rich history in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Imbolc celebrations are held by some pagan communities on 1 February in the northern hemisphere, to observe the astronomical midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, justice, and political power. She was originally worshipped in Sumer and was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar. She was known as the “Queen of Heaven” and was the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult.
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She is goddess of the sea, particularly along the shore, of the fertility of humanity, flocks, and crops, and of great wisdom. The Goddess is also mentioned in Amorite form as Ashirta. And She was known in Southern Arabia. Miners working for the Egyptians in the Sinai called Her the Turquoise Lady, which was also an epithet of Hathor, with whom She was later identified by the Egyptians.
She is most commonly formed as a nude torso, cupping Her hands under Her breasts, with short curly hair.
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The most important is the Volsunga Saga, written around Like Beowulf, another Germanic hero, Sigurd triumphs over the forces of evil and chaos by slaying a monster. Major Themes and Myths Bravery in the face of a harsh fate is one of the main themes of Norse mythology. Even the gods were ruled by an unalterable fate that doomed everything to eventual destruction. A hero who strove to accept his destiny with reckless courage, honor, and generosity might win lasting fame, regarded as the only true life after death.
Various accounts of the creation of the world and of human beings appear in Norse mythology All begin in Ginnungagap, a deep empty space between realms of heat and ice. Frost formed and became a giant, Ymir. A cosmic cow named Audhumla also appeared. Licking the cliffs of ice, she revealed a man who had three grandsons.
One of them was Odin. With his two brothers, Odin killed the frost giant Ymir and formed the earth from his body, the seas and rivers from his blood, and the sky from his skull, which was held suspended above the earth by four strong dwarfs.