The Double Goddess; Women Sharing Power by Vicki Noble. Bear & Company, Rochester, VT, 05767, 2003.
Vicki Nobles work always hits the mark. This is an extraordinarily rich book, combining Goddess mythology and stories, Vickis insights, and scores and scores of archaeological findings from all over the world which illustrate the Goddess stories. Almost every page has an archaeological illustration. And there are maps of sites. Just the references and bibliography provide rich sources of material. It is a gold mine.
Feminism is very much alive, and Vicki is one of its most articulate proponents. Here she describes its ancient foundations, and shows us the evidence to support it.
Says Vicki, "The Double Goddess is an ancient icon with luminous meaning for contemporary women, expanding on the single images that have prevailed in prior considerations of the Goddess. Among the numerous female figures important in the ancient world appear many twin figures of two women as well as symbolic dual female representations such as the Double Axe, birds, lions, leopards, and snakes."
The concept of the Double Goddess is most appropriate at this time, with Venus spending a long timeover four monthsin the dual sign of Gemini. Furthermore, Venus is beginning the climax of her dual phase (much noted by the ancients) of Evening Star and Morning Star. And she is moving in two directionsdirect and retrograde. Perhaps this ancient veneration of Venus, and her duality, relates to the Double Goddess.
"Double" in Vickis book refers to the repeating cycles of ovulation and menstruation in women, which represents a key evolutionary step in the process of becoming human. We differ from our close relatives, the primates, mainly in the human female being continuously sexually receptive. Further, our monthly cycle is often synchronized with the Moon. Honoring the Full Moon is an ancient ritual which honors human fertility and the Double Goddess.
Vicki says about the power of two: "All women are twins. All women are fundamentally two in one, our most essential structural feature being our bipolar nature entrained with the ceaseless rhythms of the Moon. Each one of us, for much of her adult life, moves monthly between the light and dark poles of hormonal and emotional fluctuationfrom ovulation to menstruation. At one point expanded, then introverted, reaching out and going within, we descend to depths of unfathomable complexity and return to the world empowered and ready to begin again. Women flow with the cyclic rhythms of the waxing and waning Moon, with its birth, death, and rebirth."
This description of women is very similar to the way both the Babylonians and Mayans viewed the retrograde and direct cycles of Venus! And it took Vicki eight years to write this bookone Venus pentagram cycle.
Vicki has done much traveling to many of the sites which she describes, and her personal experience shows. Fans of Maria Gimbutas will love this book. Anyone who enjoys reading about the Goddess in her many guises will also enjoy it. Vicki always gives is valuable and readable books.