September/October 2003 Conscious Media
An Interview with Vicki Noble
Interviewed by Connie Hill
Vicki Noble is a professional astrologer and co-creator of the round
Motherpeace Tarot Deck, and is author of Motherpeace Playbook
and Shakti Woman. Her new work The Double Goddess,
interprets the history of early women as leaders, warriors and healers.
CH: Hi Vicki. What is the significance of Amazons you talk about
in your new book? I think of them as fictional.
Vicki: In 1996 I heard archeologist, Jeanine Davis Kimball lecture
about warrior women and priestesses and that fit right in with my double
goddess idea. She described Amazons as having ruled in dual queenship.
I was fascinated to hear her use words like priestess because most American
archeologists dont use that word, but the Russians do. The Russian
anthropologists, who have been digging old sites for 50 years actually
refer to the burials of these warrior women, priestesses and Amazons.
This whole subject is so much more interesting than fiction. I've always
been very interested in what happened to the ancient goddess cultures.
In Double Goddess I look at burials of high status women who
wore gold crowns and headdresses, gold clothing and who were buried
as high ranking priestesses in the 3rd and 2nd Millennium in Turkey,
in the Cycladic islands, Crete and along the Silk Road and I begin to
see the migrations of my intuitions.
CH: For years I have looked at all that is going on in my life as
symbolic, from illnesses to other problems. I was wondering about the
symbolic meaning of the double goddess.
VN: I got to the symbology myself seeing double goddess figurines all
over Europe. When I got into the images I began to understand that the
ancient cultures were working from the lunar menstrual model and that
everything was organized around the function of the moon and sun and
how they relate. I went back to Eric Neuman's The Great Mother.
He put together two intersecting axes. One was the physical great mother:
she's about everything relating to birth, death and life on the physical
plane. The other axis was the transcendent function which he ascribed
to the moon. It ruled psychic powers, intoxication, ecstatic visionary
qualities and so on. That's exactly what I'm looking at in The Double
Goddess. But I'm anchoring it with female menstrual cycles. I'm
pulling it through anthropology and looking at ancient lunar calendars,
which have been identified as menstrual calendars. Then I'm looking
at how ancient people worshipped the earth mother and moon goddess.
Then I realized that the biggest differences between human females
and chimps is that we don't have estrus, the bloody show that signals
males for fertility. Human females bleed when we are not fertile and
pheromones during ovulation signal males that we are fertile. So we
have this figure eight going on that is quite distinctive. And this
figure eight cycle is synchronized to the moon exactly.
The thing that is so basic here is that the whole tribe of women would
have menstruated together until recently. Only electric lights have
changed that. When women lived together in non-nuclear family arrangements
they would bleed and cycle together. Rituals in the tribe were organized
around that. It's a huge shift to isolate individual women in individual
houses with a man and children. It is a huge shift to isolate people
in these one family dwellings and to give up that collective ritual
based religion that we had for so long. It was really key to our evolution.
So I look at the double goddess as a symbolic representation of early
people's religion and social organization. These early people organized
themselves in relation to the bi-polar experience of reality that we
have here on earth, in other words, day and night, winter and summer,
the northern hemisphere and the southern. Everything is organized that
way. My leap is to say that women governed ancient societies based on
this model of one woman being the mother of the physical plane and the
other, the religious mother. I really think it is true, I think we are
looking at a model of female government and then finally to come back
to your original question, its very much a model for each woman
of sovereignty. Ruling over ourselves, belonging to ourselves.
CH: So what is the place of men in this model?
VN: One of the ways this relates to us now in terms of everybody is
understanding again the damage that is done to women when the whole
culture is organized around male functions and characteristics. If you
have an entire system, as we do today, that is organized around a male
linear model of what is normal, what that means is that the male gender
has been universalized. It is the norm. Maleness is taken as if it is
the model for being human.
I'm saying in my book that we are normally bi-polar and that everything,
from the tides, the diurnal cycle, everything on this planet is actually
organized around this polarity. The bottom line is that men fit into
that. Nature didn't make a mistake. Culture made a mistake. Men will
benefit enormously in ways we haven't even anticipated by an acknowledgment
of the natural state of polarity that we all live in.
In Jerry Mander's book In the Absence of the Sacred he suggested
that for millions of years we evolved in relation to nature and made
our mutations and adaptations in relation to nature. He says we now
live inside of a technological bubble and are making our mutations and
adaptations to technology instead of nature. And it is transforming
us in horrific ways that could be the end of our species. So there is
an urgency in the double goddess model that I didn't even go into in
this book because it's not really an environmental book. The urgency
is that we've got to return to natural cycles or the planet is threatened.
And we know the planet is threatened.
CH: Thank you, Vicki.
Join Vicki Noble at New Renaissance Bookshop on Friday, September
26 for an evening talk on The Double Goddess, Saturday, September
27 for a workshop on Motherpeace Astrology and Sunday, September 28
for a workshop on Dakini Sacred Woman Ceremony. Call 503-224-4929 or
visit www.newrenbooks.com to
Connie Hill works at New Renaissance Bookshop and is a local astrologer.
She can be reached at 971-244-0567, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.