Yahweh and his Asherah

Asherah with two lions, in clay.

Asherah with two lions, in clay.

This comes adjacent to a lot of thinking about the perils of Dominator culture. That term is used to describe the overt military, patriarchal culture that arose out of the bronze and iron ages. Yes it really is only a few thousand years old. Religion has been a major driver in enforcing this kind of thinking. The religious gender binary at work in contemporary Western culture is part of Dominator thinking. Men are tough, boys don’t cry, don’t be a sissy… All in order to be tough and aggressive, to kill and colonise the enemy, who are typically described in feminine terms. Pussies, for instance.

These figures are commonly found in archaeological digs.

These figures are commonly found in archaeological digs around Palestine.

The underlying idea is that domination by (male) violence is legitimate authority. The earlier cultures it replaced were marked by management of resources and more inclusive society. Some of these have been referred to as Matrilinear cultures, to distinguish from the Patriarchal. The terms Dominator and Partnership were used by Riane Eisler, rather than focus on inheritance. These terms are becoming widely used now, particularly in connection with social movements directed at reconfiguring growth economics and debt. Think access to resources managed and maintained by the members of the community. Access rather than artificial scarcity, debt, violent religion, class and warfare.

The history of the god particularly interests me, as it’s a kind of myth or metaphor for what has happened to all men during the period of Dominator culture.

Christendom stole the god from the Jews and already he had been made unnatural. As a result of increasing hostility and technology of warfare, following the invasion and occupation, religious leaders reformed the god into an image more like the Dominator gods of the Assyrians and Babylonians.

This was not Etana riding the eagle up to trick the goddess to give him legitimacy, this was the religious leaders redefining the god to suit the influence of Dominator culture. Rather than Shiva coming out of the wilderness to be with Parvati, or Carnonoss coming to his mate, this is captivity and pressed service.

Another tablet depicting Asherah and two lions.

Asherah tablet.

He has been disconnected from the relationship with the earth and her ecosystem. He has been disfigured and armed. He is presented as unstable, insecure and violent. On top of all that they destroyed his wife! Instead of being a partner a woman was now property or livestock. A man became a kind of owner of the family rather than a member of it. By killing off his connection with his partner and environment, he could now be used to enforce domination of these new enemies.

This is taken from an engraving on a jar, showing Yahweh together with Asherah.

This is taken from an engraving on a jar, showing Yahweh together with Asherah.

Then along comes Christendom which snatches this lonely conscript, disfigures him some more and proceeds to mass murder Heathens and Pagans in His name, by sword. And flesh hook. And stake. And knee press. You’re probably aware of history like the Saxon wars in the 9th century when as many as 80% of the population were slaughtered by good Christian knights in the service of the Holy Roman Empire. (Catholicism.) The Inquisition came from a long line of brutality which extends to the overt economic and emotional manipulation of fundamentalist Dominion and Opus Dei.

I burn incense sometimes to Yaweh and his Asherah. And made little statues of them like the clay figures that are found all over the place by archaeologists. Just to give the poor bastard something. I know how it feels to be alone, lonely and having to pretend to be something you’re not.

Contemporary figurines.

Contemporary figurines.

Men who feel that they are punished for showing emotions, who feel marginalised in their experience of family life in favour of serving as canon fodder, those whose existence is reduced to being merely a life support system for a wallet, might find it interesting to consider that this was all first done to the god.

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About Syburi

Witch, bitch, creatrix; hippie, dreamer, gardener. Lover of books, music, rescue animals, piss and vinegar.
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