Over the years we've all heard about different goddesses and heroines -- those remarkable females of myth, history and the imagination who have become famous, at least to some extent, for their powers, their characteristics and their attributes, which sometimes are miraculous.
From Fortuna, the Roman goddess of destiny, to the Greek goddess of sexuality, Aphrodite, these women are the stuff of legend and lore. And, as I say, sometimes history, such as Mary the mother of Jesus of Nazareth.
But who knew there were hundreds and hundreds of them?
Patricia Monaghan (1946-2012) knew. And now you can know, too, with publication of a revised edition of her book, Encyclopedia of Goddesses & Heroines.
You will find entries on more than 1,000 real and imagined women here. A small sample:
* Sicasica: A mountain goddess of the Aymara of Bolivia.
* Venus: ". . .as familiar as her name might be, few today could distinguish the Roman goddess of strawberries and kitchen gardens from Greek Aphrodite."
* Papa: An earth goddess (despite the name) "found in many Pacific cultures."
* Phoureima: The Indian rice goddess.
In the end, this book helps reveal how the world has viewed women across many centuries and across many cultures. Which is to say that it has at once honored them in various ways while also assigning to them certain manipulative sexual roles and certain domestic roles that now often get referred to derisively as "women's work."
As Monaghan writes, "This volume shows the breadth of possibilities associated with the feminine through many ages and cultures."
No doubt many stories and legends of goddesses and heroines have been lost, but this volume at least gives us a good sense of who these women have been over the centuries.
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BARE RELIGIOUS ESSENTIALS?
Church services are being held at a strip club in Ontario, it's reported. Apparently someone misunderstood. It's "good news," not "good nudes."