The Serpent and the Goddess, Mary Condren

Women, Religion and Power in Celtic Ireland

Read this some time ago, not sure when and not sure where I got the book.

As the author states in the preface: “This book will trace the development of the patriarchal mind-set and the sexual political struggle in Irish cultural history.”

Some quotes:

“History is not the objective science it was once thought to be but a particular form of power and knowledge involving the manipulation of academic and political resources and serving to ensure the dominance of certain groups.”

“Clearly the overthrow of the Serpent represented something fundamental and crucial to the foundation of patriarchal culture.”

“The word witch comes from wit, “to know,” and means “wise woman.” The witches claimed to be in direct communion with the divine.”

“…at first Christianity merely claimed that its power was superior to that of the old religion; then it asserted that women only used these powers for evil ends; lastly, it denied that they possessed any sacred powers in the first place.”

This is an excellent presentation of the subject, especially as it is centered upon a single culture.

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