By Dr. Lauren
The Age of Pisces, a period in the zodiac system that organizes time around the precession of the equinoxes (Ward, 2003), started to dominate the collective unconscious around 2,000 years ago (between 600-200 BCE) when the era of logos, logic, and rational elitism began. This time period in Western culture was tantamount to the takeover of a new patriarchal culture that placed a male sky god in charge and displaced the once ubiquitous Goddess religions.
During this time, certain ancient cultures of Western Europe moved away from the matriarchal veneration of the Great Goddess and female fertility towards a more aggressive, violent, misogynistic, heterosexist, and racist view of life.
Though the shift was gradual, as the Age of Aries (roughly 2400-600 BCE) shifted into the Pisces era, major aspects of the culture moved away from a peaceful and egalitarian way of life to one that focused on domination, power, and control (Baring & Cashford, 1993; Stone, 1979; Eisler, 1987). This began a new psychological era of emotional repression, rooted in misogynistic belief systems that ultimately keep the psyche confused, shut down, and shamed.
Since feelings inside of us all must go somewhere, these repressed parts of ourselves get stored in the shadow and, therefore, split-off from consciousness.
Consequently, classic mythological archetypes and tribal educational narratives were eventually manipulated, repressed, and demonized, including the myths of Inanna, Isis, Aphrodite Dione (the Goddess of physical and heterosexual love), and Aphrodite Urania (the Goddess of spiritual and same-sex love), Adam and Eve, Demeter and Persephone, and Mary Magdalene, as their value was regarded as inferior and/or a threat to the promising new order. These sacred feminine archetypes, in their collective and personal manifestations, fell into the shadow aspect of the patriarchy.
This phenomenon, in turn, or in retaliation, began the demonization of all things related to the feminine. The subsequent repression led to an even more distinguishable psychological separation of psychic contents into “good” and “evil” as people unconsciously projected this personal and collective shadow material back onto society. This cycle expanded and was perpetuated into the present.
Some of the literature on the Goddess cultures, such as the mythological study edited by Joseph Campbell and Charles Muses entitled In All Her Names (1991), Riane Eisler’s sociological study The Chalice and the Blade (1987), Merlin Stone’s When God Was a Woman (1979), and the revolutionary archeological study by UCLA scholar Marija Gimbutas The Language of the Goddess (1989), alleging that recent archeological excavations reveal that the cultures of the Goddess era (7000 to 3500 BCE and possibly earlier) seemed harmonious in their relationships and attitudes.
That claim might seem impossible or even arrogant, considering that all that is known from the patriarchal perspective is a world that is in a constant stream of conflict and unrest, symbolically or literally; yet recent archeological finds point to a former world full of harmony and balance (Eisler, 1987; Stone, 1979).