Meteorites, Sacred Shrines and the Fifth Age
Events beginning approximately 2,000 years ago began to dramatically alter the world’s religious landscape. At that time, a previously small religious sect gave birth to a messiah leading to an exponential growth in the monotheistic religions that dominate the world’s religious spectrum today. Judaism gave birth to Christianity and Islam with the later being the fastest growing religion on earth. Today 21% of the world’s inhabitants claim to be of Islamic faith.
In one of the more symbolic overthrows of the Earth Mother, in 630 C.E., Mohammed marched upon the peaceful Kabba shrine at Mecca with an army of 10,000 men proclaiming the holy site for Islam. What Mohammad’s legend often does not reveal is the dubious nature of his military attack. In spite of the discord amongst the many peoples of the Arabian Peninsula, those of all religious creeds, cultures and tribes had previously agreed to set aside their differences within a 20 mile radius of the sacred Kabba shrine making the holy place a violence-free zone.
The Kabba itself is a meteorite that ancient peoples of the region believed connected heaven and earth. Although as many as 360 gods were acknowledged at the holy site, the shrine itself was attributed to the worship of the sun goddess Al Lat. Upon seizing control through the first known violent act upon the sacred ground of Kabba, Mohammed replaced Al Lat with Allah (these names literally mean “Goddess” and “God,” respectively).
When Mohammed marched on Mecca, his 10,000 strong military invasion predictably met no resistance. While Islamic doctrine declares Mohammed’s success as proof the Islamic revolution was ordained by God. In reality, it was due to the faiths of those who had for centuries refused to tarnish the sacred soil of their holiest of places with the corrupt blood of warfare. Mohammed deliberately overtook those he knew would not fight back, placing great importance on military might and masculine physical strength. He subjected women to the same status and insignificance as those he vanquished. His justification for the suppression and control of women was “because God made one superior to the other (Sura 4:31).”
Until about 3,000 B.C.E., the predominant human settlements across Europe, Asia, Northern Africa and the Middle East were peaceful, earth goddess-worshipping farming communities. Their very lives depended upon an intimate knowledge of nature and her cycles. They bowed down to the earth each spring to plant seed, nurtured the crops through the summer and harvested in the fall all the while praying to and revering their goddess the earth for her gifts of life, death and rebirth.
When the Bronze Age conquerors swept through civilization, they brought with them new gods, a new culture and new objects of worship. Male gods revered for their powers of war replaced the nurturing goddess. Daily human tasks of tilling and nurturing the soil became secondary to the arts of domination and winner take all, and the earth herself was demoted from her position of worship to one of domination and exploitation.
Like all things, the domination of Yahweh’s culture is not absolute. Although in the minority, the doctrines of Buddhist and Hindu faiths and closely related faiths such as Jainism have maintained a reverence for nature and all life for thousands of years. Although now corrupted by western influences, the historical cultures of India, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and other regions can provide a road map as to how to proceed into the future in laying the groundwork for a harmonious relationship with the earth based on the traditions of these cultures from the past. By looking backward, we can move forward.
According to the Mayan calendar, the current age, known as the ‘fourth age,’ began around 5,000 years ago, more precisely on August 13th, 3114 B.C.E. and is scheduled to end on 12/21/12 ushering in a new age, albeit with some predicted dire circumstances. Interestingly, the Maya assigned sexual orientation to each of their ages. The current fourth age we are in has been designated as male. Not coincidentally, the previous third age was female. The end of the third, female age exactly coincided with the beginning of the decline of goddess worship. Fortunately, for those of us who may be lucky enough to see the fifth age, it is anticipated to be a golden age of balance between male and female. Time will tell.