"Though we live amid high-rise steel buildings, formica countertops, and electronic television screens, there is something in all of us, women and men alike, that makes us feel deeply connected with the past. Perhaps the sudden dampness of a beach cave or the lines of sunlight piercing through the intricate lace patterns of the leaves in a darkened grove of tall trees will awaken from the hidden recesses of our minds the distant echos of a remote and ancient time, taking us back to the early stirrings of human life on the planet. For people raised and programmed on the patriarchal religions of today, religions that affect us in even the most secular aspects of our society, perhaps there remains a lingering, almost innate memory of the sacred shrines and temples tended by priestesses who served the religion of the original supreme deity. In the beginning, people prayed to the Creatress of Life, the Mistress of Heaven. At the very dawn of religion, God was a woman. Do you remember?"
This is the first paragraph of "When God Was A Woman".
Near the end of the seventies I was back in the broom closet after a life changing run in with the first wave of mega-church fundies in central Ohio. I had been re-reading Frazer and turn of the century occultists and diving back into classics of Greeks and Romans. And I knew I was missing something. At a flea market in Marion, Ohio I saw a book sitting on the top of a stack of romance novels. It was an American first edition of "When God Was A Woman" by Merlin Stone. The dust cover was tattered then around the edges and the text underlined in places by the prior owner......but that book called out to me and it literally changed my life. I remembered in a flood of memories of my own life, the sacred places I had seen as a child throughout the world, the dreams of the Mother Goddess I had over and over when three and four years old. Within a year of reading that book I had an unwanted and unexpected hysterectomy when I was supposed to be having an appendectomy. And I had re-read many, if not most, of my collection of ancient texts, mythologies and accounts of ancient history armed now with the key to seeing the Goddess where She had been hidden before.
Everyone has a few authors who's works significantly change their lives, for me Merlin Stone was among the most important. The Goddess called Merlin back on the cusp of the Goddess awakening that became my life work. Merlin, you changed my life, thank you and rest well in the arms of the Great Mother.