The Great Earth Mother Cybele  

Posted by Stella Clark

The Great Earth Mother Cybele Image
" THE RECOGNITION OF A PRIMORDIAL GREAT MOTHER GODDESS IS BY FAR THE OLDEST FORM OF SPIRITUALITY THAT IS KNOWN TO HUMANKIND; IN FACT, THERE IS EVIDENCE OF THE GREAT GODDESS REACHING BACK AS FAR BACK AS 7000 B.C.E. THE WORSHIP OF CYBELE", "THE GREAT MOUNTAIN MOTHER" IS BELIEVED TO HAVE ORIGINATED IN NORTHERN ANATOLIA, AND ALTHOUGH SHE HAS MANY NAMES,HER MOST COMMON NAME IS CYBELE. IT IS SHE WHO REPRESENTS THE POWER OF NATURE AND THE POWERS OF FERTILITY, PRESIDING OVER CAVES AND MOUNTAINTOPS. SHE IS ENVISIONED AS THE FORCE WHICH GAVE BIRTH TO ALL THINGS, AND WHICH GOVERNS ALL OF THE CREATURES OF THE WORLD. CYBELE REPRESENTS NATURE PERSONIFIED AND MADE DIVINE.

SHE PROTECTS THE CITY AND ITS PEOPLE FROM INVADERS AND WAR, AND IS DEPICTED AS WEARING A TOWERING CROWN ON HER HEAD WHICH PORTRAYS HER PROTECTION OF THE MANY TOWNS AND CITIES. SHE IS OFTEN PORTRAYED HOLDING A TAMBOURINE, DENOTING HER PASSION FOR SINGING AND DANCING. ALSO, SHE WAS ALWAYS ACCOMPANIED BY LIONS, ONE ON EACH SIDE OF HER.

CYBELE PERSONIFIES THE FERTILE EARTH IN ITS MOST PRIMITIVE AND SAVAGE STATE AND WAS WORSHIPPED ATOP OF THE MOUNTAINS IN THE FORM OF A BLACK METEORITE. HER LOVER, ATTIS, REPRESENTS THE END OF THE GROWING SEASON. WHEN HE WAS CASTRATED AND DIED OF HIS WOUNDS, SHE RESURRECTED HIM IN THE FORM OF A PINE TREE. TO CELEBRATE HER, A GREAT FESTIVAL WAS HELD WHICH BEGAN WITH THE ENTRANCE OF ATTIS, SYMBOLIZED BY A PINE TREE, AND WAS FOLLOWED BY A DAY OF MOURNING AND FASTING FOR HIM. AFTERWARDS, A GREAT FESTIVAL, LED BY CYBELE'S PRIESTESSES OCCURRED; IT WAS A DAY FILLED WITH DANCING, DRINKING, DRUMMING, AND ORGIES TO CELEBRATE THE GROWING SEASON.

CYBELE NOT ORIGINALLY CONSIDERED A ROMAN GODDESS, BUT THE ROMANS BEGAN TO CELEBRATE HER IN 204 B.C.E. WHEN HANNIBAL WAS CLOSE TO CONQUERING THE CITY. IT IS SAID THAT CYBELE STEPPED IN TO PROTECT THEM, AND HANNIBAL'S ARMY WAS DESTROYED. THE ROMANS, HOWEVER, WERE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THE RAW POWER OF THE OF THE STONE SO THEY ADDED THE BODY OF A WOMAN. A TEMPLE FOR CYBELE WAS BUILT ON PALATINE HILL IN ROME, AND HER RELIGION QUICKLY SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE EMPIRE. CONSEQUENTLY, FOR THE NEXT 500 YEARS, SHE WAS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR RELIGIONS IN THE KNOWN WORLD.

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This entry was posted on 20 July 2011 at Wednesday, July 20, 2011 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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