The Mother of All

The worship of the earth mother evolved within a few millennia of the emergence of modern humans, as people began to understand and marvel at female fertility. They developed the concept of a great earth mother who gave life in the forms of human children , animals , birds and bought the annual seasonal growth of plants. In her womb, the soil , the dead were buried and it was imagined they were reborn like the blossoming of plant life.

Ecologically this view makes sense because the minerals restored to the soil of decaying life is vital for a healthy crop of plants to feed and give life to herbivores who in turn are eaten by carnivores , who themselves die and return to the soil.

Before too long the link between the female cycle and the moon was also made. In socialites where there was no artificial light women still menstruate by the moon. What is more the greater cycle for all humans of birth, maturity and fertility, decline , death and even rebirth were mirrored in the sky in the phase of the moon.

Pregnant and at first featureless, mother Goddess stones statuettes were probably the first fertility symbols , invoking the fecundity of earth and human kind. These statuettes have been found worldwide between 28,000 and 20,000 years ago, with prominent breasts and hips and have been names Venus figurines ..In later periods they were carved with a girdle and necklaces and wore a headdress or had coiled hair like the earlier forms. They are frequently stained by smoke , suggesting that they were worshiped by the hearth as household gods.

The earliest known fertility figurine was found in Willendorf in Austria. She dates from 24,00 to around 22,000 B,C,E, or even earlier. She is made of limestone with red ochre. The first moon mother , the goddess of Laussel, was unearthed in the entrance to an ice age cave in the Dordogne region in central France . She dates from around 23,000 B,C,E. She holds the right hand of a bison horn, shaped like the crescent moon. The horn is divided with thirteen marks possibly representing the 13 moons in the lunar year. Her other hand is positioned over her womb.

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