A Pagan Goddess

Pagan goddesses were responsible for weaving cloth, making beer, cooking grain, the storage of food and other valuables, the bookkeeping involved in that storage, imparting and holding wisdom, writing songs, writing poems and other literature, dream interpretation, pot making and surveying. Oh, yes, and the matters of birth, death and sexuality.

Because of the politics of the times in which pagan ideas were stamped out or driven underground, a myth arose that ancient pagan religion was sexy and its women were merely cultic prostitutes (who were, for some reason unexplained in this myth, found in temples of worship). Actually, the pagan goddesses, along with many male gods, involved themselves in every aspect of life. The laws and rules of behavior laid down in the Old Testament did not address the issue of sexual behavior except to urge detachment from the "sins" of the body in favor of more spiritual practices. Perhaps by comparison, pagan ways appeared overly sexual.

Merlin Stone, in When God was a Woman, said, "I suggest that it was the attempt to establish [the] certain knowledge of paternity, which would then make patrilineal reckoning possible, that these ancient sexual customs were finally denounced as wicked and depraved and that it was for this reason that the Levite priests devised the concept of sexual "morality:" premarital virginity for women, marital fidelity for women, in other words, total control over the knowledge of paternity."