Reviews & Interviews

Book Review – When God Had a Wife: The Fall and Rise of the Sacred Feminine in the Judeo-Christian Tradition by Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince

Book Review

When God Had a Wife

The Fall and Rise of the Sacred Feminine in the Judeo-Christian Tradition

by Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince

336 Pages

 

 

I am thrilled I got to review this phenomenal publication by a phenomenal power duo who have worked on many projects together over the years, doing almost all their own research.

Residents of London, England, they travel to places like Egypt, France, and even the USA. This British duo met in 1998. She was previously employed as both a journalist and editor with various groups, and he was simply a systems analyst. They began pursuing researching and publishing together soon after.

 

 

Their fascination with the occult and religion provides plentiful subject matter for their research, books, and speaking engagements. More about them and their publications can be found on their website:

http://www.picknettprince.com/home.htm

This particular book is one that members of the Judeo Xtian faiths should most especially read, but more than likely believers in the Divine Feminine will read it more often.

Almost every goddess worshiper I know is fully aware of the fact goddesses were celebrated by many of the people the Bible speaks of. The Egyptians. Romans, and Mesopotamians had plenty of their own goddesses! But many don’t know, the Hebrews themselves worshiped more than one god, and more than one goddess at one time.

In the intimately titled introduction “Bringing Her back home”, they write, “This book returns our own lost goddess to Judaism and Christianity, the two religions that have underpinned Western civilization. Her return will be a lightning strike against misogyny and much abuse, bringing with her new and ancient freedoms for all people. This time she will not be ignored. This time she is here to stay.”

Good luck reading this without crying if you are a child of the goddess, because this is moving.

Before I go into more detail about this book, I will share something from the Wikipedia article about a goddess named Asherah:

Between the 10th century BC and the beginning of their exile in 586 BC, polytheism was normal throughout Israel;[22] it was only after the exile that worship of Yahweh alone became established, and possibly only as late as the time of the Maccabees (2nd century BC) that monotheism became universal among the Jews.[23][24] Some biblical scholars believe that Asherah at one time was worshipped as the consort of Yahweh, the national God of Israel.[23][25][26] There are references to the worship of numerous gods throughout Kings: Solomon builds temples to many gods and Josiah is reported as cutting down the statues of Asherah in the temple Solomon built for Yahweh (2 Kings 23:14). Josiah’s grandfather Manasseh had erected one such statue (2 Kings 21:7).[27]

Following the Exile, references to polytheism were heavily redacted from the Jewish scriptures. Hosea, for example, lambasts a goddess who is associated with trees but whose name is never mentioned. The “Queen of Heaven” is likewise anonymous in Jeremiah, despite that she was widely revered. As the women of Jerusalem attested: “We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem” (44:17).[28]

Further evidence for Asherah-worship includes, for example, an 8th-century BC combination of iconography and inscriptions discovered at Kuntillet Ajrud in the northern Sinai desert[29] where a storage jar shows three anthropomorphic figures and several inscriptions.[30][31] The inscriptions found refer not only to Yahweh but to ?El and Ba?al, and two include the phrases “Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah” and “Yahweh of Teman and his Asherah.”[32] The references to Samaria (capital of the kingdom of Israel) and Teman (in Edom) suggest that Yahweh had a temple in Samaria, while raising questions about the relationship between Yahweh and Kaus, the national god of Edom.[33] The ‘asherah’ in question is most likely a cultic object, although the relationship of this object (a stylised tree perhaps) to Yahweh and to the goddess Asherah, consort of ?El, is unclear.[34] It has been suggested that the Israelites may have considered Asherah as the consort of Ba?al, due to the anti-Asherah ideology which was influenced by the Deuteronomistic Historians, at the later period of the kingdom.[35] It has also been suggested by several scholars[36][37] that there is a relationship between the position of the g?bîrâ in the royal court and the worship (orthodox or not) of Asherah.[38] In a potsherd inscription of blessings from “Yahweh and his Asherah”, there appears a cow feeding its calf.[39] Numerous Canaanite amulets depict wearing a bouffant wig similar to the Egyptian Hathor. If Asherah is then to be associated with Hathor/Qudshu, it can then be assumed that the cow is being referred to as Asherah. “

This is exactly the kind of things written about by Picknett and Prince. The book is divided into seven chapters, followed by an epilogue, and with of course notes, bibliography, and index.

I will focus on one of the chapters in this review so I won’t spoil the whole book for you!

Chapter One “Out of Egypt” states the ugly truth that the Israelites aka Hebrews faith was not what modern Judaism is, and they were just one of twelve tribes of Israel- and thus their faith was THEIRS, and certainly not everybody elses. The Old Testament basically “ tells the story of the emergence of Judaism from the earlier Israelite beliefs and practices. “ Not something an Xtain today would want to hear, but something they certainly NEED to hear. Picknett and Prince state the beginning of Judaism proper was sometime during the return from Exile in Babylon, and state “the governor of Jerusalem, Nehemiah, and the priest-scribe Ezra set about a root-and-branch regeneration of the religion, codifying it in the form of scrolls to be read out at public gatherings and relating to the people’s legendary past.” They go on to list the major events the Old Testament states happened, and then muse “ That’s the whistle stop version of the Bible story. But did it really happen like that?”

A couple of pages later, they write, “ As biblical archaeologist William G. Denver notes, The Pentateuch and Deuteronomic history “ were set down in writing in the present form at least 500 years after the Exodus and Conquest they purport to describe.” (His emphasis.) …”during the process of assembling the canon, the sources were reinterpreted, and reworked to match the situation of the day, inconvenient passages being quietly airbrushed out. In effect, they were revising both the religion and their own history.”

Further in the chapter, they write about women in the Bible. Not just goddesses, and the roles human women played also. They say women played very important roles although men dominated everything. Very important women like sexy Delilah, Deborah a judge, Miriam, a prophetess are referenced, as well as women who served in the Tabernacle, whose role was never really explained in the Bible. It is also pointed out in this chapter that “Transgressive women do feature prominently in a major theme of the Old Testament.”

Of course! How many Xtains have you heard say men are better than women because Eve tempted Adam with the apple and brought about the fall of humankind? ALL women are guilty based on what ONE woman did. How many of these same people refer to women as “the weaker sex”? How many of them tell you that since Jesus was a man, god MUST be a man also? How many of them call women Jezebels, smearing the name of the queen of Israel who made sure worshippers of the god Baal and Asherah had rights and could worship. According to the Old Testament, she was an evil idolator who led her husband, King Ahab astray from YHVH. In reality, events listed in the Old Testament about Ahab and Jezebel’s reign were skewed and this is because people recorded these events hundreds of years after they took place, and also because of cultural hostility the writers had to both paganism, and the region they ruled.

So if somebody calls you a Jezebel, take it as a compliment.

Further in this chapter, “Is the Bible History” is examined, And no, it’s really not. While some things have been proven, much is proven wrong. Some is right, though. There WERE Jewish slaves in Egypt after all, but the Bible makes it out ad if ALL of them were salves, and that’s absolutely false.

So whole many practitioners of Judaism, Islam, and Xtianity take the Old Testament as a literal ture account of history, it’s got some facts right, but certainly not all of them, and starting with the Jews themselves, and furthered by Xtianity, much propaganda was added to create a fantastic , glorious story that in no was ever existed.

Smearing the names of great women, and cutting goddess down to false “idols” is just one way the Biblical authors of both Old and New Testaments lie.

Later in the book, the well documented jealousy of YHVH is listed, and what a great threat Asherah is to YHVH and his followers monotheism is written about.

The following chapters talk about priestesses of these goddesses, how certain prophets
heard God’s voice” , and elected themselves saviors of the wicked monotheists. An entire chapter is devoted to theories of how Jesus of Nazareth venerated the feminine divine and women in general.

This book is chock full of great history, amazing research, great messages, and intriguing writing. All devotees of religion in modern times ought to read it because of its exemplary research, revelation of ugly, uncomfortable truths we ALL need to accept, and its celebration of the once, present, and future goddesses who history and the patriarchy could not silence , and never will.

Buy your own copy of this book and many others at the shop on Picknett and Prince’s website today.

http://www.picknettprince.com/shop.htm

Happy reading. Blessed Be!

 

 

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About the Author:

Saoirse is a practicing witch, and initiated Wiccan of an Eclectic Tradition.

A recovered Catholic, she was raised to believe in heaven and hell, that there is only one god, and only one way to believe. As she approached her late 20’s, little things started to show her this was all wrong. She was most inspired by the saying “God is too big to fit into one religion” and after a heated exchange with the then associate pastor of the last Xtian church she attended, she finally realized she was in no way Xtian, and decided to move on to see where she could find her spiritual home.

Her homecoming to her Path was after many years of being called to The Old Ways and the Goddess, and happened in Phoenix, Arizona. She really did rise from her own ashes!

Upon returning to Ohio, she thought Chaos Magic was the answer, and soon discovered it was actually Wicca. She was blessed with a marvelous mentor, Lord Shadow, and started a Magical Discussion Group at local Metaphysical Shop Fly By Night. The group was later dubbed A Gathering of Paths. For a few years, this group met, discussed, did rituals, fellowship, and volunteering together, and even marched as a Pagan group with members of other groups at the local gay Pride Parade for eight years.

All the while, she continued studying with her mentor, and is still studying for Third Degree, making it to Second Degree thus far.

She is a gifted tarot reader, spellworker, teacher, and was even a resident Witch at a Westerville place dubbed The Parlor for a time.

Aside from her magical practice, she is a crocheter, beader, painter, and a good cook. She has been a clown and children’s entertainer, a Nursing Home Activities Professional, a Cavern Tour Guide, a Retail Cashier, and a reader in local shops. Her college degree is a BA in English Writing. She tried her hand at both singing and playing bagpipes, and…well…let’s just say her gifts lie elsewhere! She loves gardening, reading, antiques, time with friends and soul kin, and lots and lots of glorious color bedecking her small home!

On the encouragement of a loved one several years back, she searched for a publication to write for, and is right at home at PaganPagesOrg.

She is currently residing in Central Ohio with her husband, and furbabies.

Saoirse can be contacted at [email protected].