Monday, September 20, 2010

Virgin Mother Goddesses of Antiquity

by Marguerite Rigoglioso. (Palgrave MacMillan, 2010)

I have not yet seen this book, it's coming out at the end of September 2010. It's the second book by this author, who also wrote The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece. My interview with her about Virgin Birth can be heard at
There's another podcast about her new book at
Marguerite has forwarded a press release and the table of contents for the new book. - FW


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16, 2010


Palgrave Macmillan announces the release of the pioneering new book Virgin Mother Goddesses of Antiquity by Marguerite Rigoglioso.

Various goddesses of the ancient Mediterranean world were once understood to be Virgin Mothers––creators who birthed the entire cosmos without need of a male consort. This is the first book to explore evidence of the original parthenogenetic power of deities such as Athena, Hera, Artemis, Gaia, Demeter, Persephone, and the Gnostic Sophia. It provides stunning feminist insights about the deeper meaning of related stories, such as the judgment of Paris, the labors of Heracles, and the exploits of the Amazons. It also roots the Thesmophoria and Eleusinian Mysteries in female parthenogenetic power, thereby providing what is at long last a coherent understanding of these mysterious rites.
"An original piece of scholarship that dares to imagine traditions at the foundation of Western culture in an entirely new light."
–– Gregory Shaw, author of Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus

Marguerite Rigoglioso, Ph.D., is a member of the faculties of Dominican University of California, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where she teaches courses on women and religion. Her pioneering research on female deities and women’s religious leadership in the ancient Mediterranean world and beyond has appeared in various anthologies and journals, including Feminist Theology, The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, Societies of Peace, She Is Everywhere, Trivia, and the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, where her paper on the cult of Demeter and Persephone in Sicily received an honorable mention for the New Scholar Award. She is also the editor of Where to Publish Articles on Women’s Studies, Feminist Religious Studies, and Feminist/Womanist Topics.

A detailed table of contents follows:


In the Beginning: Chaos, Nyx, and Ge/Gaia

Athena/Neith/Metis: Primordial Creatrix of Self-Replication
Neith as an Autogenetic Deity
Identification of Metis and Neith
The Greek Athena's Roots in North Africa
The Relationship of Neith/Metis/Athena to the Libyan Amazons
The Grecization of Neith/Athena and Her Cult

Artemis: Virgin Mother of the Wild, Patron of Amazons
Artemis as Creatrix
Artemis and Her Mother, Leto
Artemis's Connection with Athena/Neith
Artemis and the Amazons
Artemis as Parthenos

Hera: Virgin Queen of Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld
Mythological Evidence for Hera as a Great Goddess
Evidence at Samos for Hera as a Virgin Mother
Evidence at Argos for Hera as a Virgin Mother
Hera's Parthenogenetic Birth of Ares, Hephaestus, and Typhon
Hera as Guardian of Parthenogenetic Secrets
Hera, the Hesperides, and the Apples of Parthenogenesis
"Judgment of Paris" as Loss of Parthenogenetic Power
Heracles as Foe of Parthenogenesis
The Lernaean Hydra
The Nemean Lion
The Ceryneian Stag
The Oxen of Geryones and Stymphalian Birds
The Belt of Hippolyte
The Apples of the Hesperides

Demeter and Persephone: Double Goddesses of Parthenogenesis
Older Roots for Demeter as Great Goddess
Who Was Persephone?
Signs of Parthenogenesis in the Demeter/Persephone Mythologem
Reconstruction of the Demeter/Persephone Mythologem: Pure Parthenogenesis Interrupted
Persephone as Holy Parthenos
Persephone's Connection with Virgin Mother Goddesses
Persephone's Connection with Weaving
Persephone's Connection with the Bee
Persephone's Connection with the Pomegranate
Persephone's Connection with Flower Gathering
Persephone's Parthenogenetically Related Title
Persephone as Paradigmatic Raped Virgin Mother
Persephone as Virgin Mother of the God's "Double"
Persephone as Virgin Mother of (the) Aeon
As Above, So Below: The Appropriation of Divine Birth Priestesshoods
Daughters of Danaus as Divine Birth Priestesses
The Melissai of Paros as Divine Birth Priestesses
Metanaera of Eleusis as a Basilinna
Metanaera's Daughters as Divine Birth Priestesses
Divine Genealogies of Legendary Founders:
The Advent of Dionysus and Hieros Gamos in the Eleusinian Tradition
Degeneration of Esoteric Knowledge: Demopho├Ân's Failed Immortalization
The Great Beneficence of Demeter: Making the Best of a Patriarchal Situation
The Thesmophoria: Known Fragments
Thesmophoria as Commemoration of Pure Parthenogenesis
Matriarchal, Amazonian Elements in the Rite
The Centrality of Chastity/Virginity
Bawdy Joking and Inner Tantra
Friendliness Toward the Pomegranate
Entering an Altered State of Consciousness
Altered-State Ascents and Descents
Pursuit, Penalty, and Beautiful Birth
The Eleusinian Mysteries: Known Fragments
The Lesser Mysteries
The Greater Mysteries
The Eleusinian Mysteries as Cosmic Rape and Birth of the God
Female Origins of the Rite
Entering Altered-State Reality
Being Raped: The Dildo of Descent
Baubo as Dildo
Grieving for the Matriarchy
Witnessing the Divine Birth
Uniting (with) the Ineffable

CHAPTER 6 by Angeleen Campra
Sophia: Divine Generative Virgin
Sophia as Bridge to an Older Paradigm
Sophia of the Valentinian Cosmogony
Summary of the Valentianian Creation Story
Parthenogenesis in Sophia's Story
Sophia in The Thunder: Perfect Mind
Parthenogenetic References in Thunder
Parthenogenetic References in Other Gnostic Texts
Wisdom as the Ability to Generate Life –– Parthenogenetically
The Legacy of the Loss of Female Parthenogenetic Power

For more about the author and her works, check this site:

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to read her new one. I read The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece. We met in person and spoke of parthenogenesis for at least four hours. I've been researching this incredible subject for over 40 years.
    Marguerite has put down in stone what has been so illusive to us all for centuries. Her new one will further make solid these ancient truths. It is but the tip of an iceberg.
    I am a sincere radical male-feminist. Please check out my blog/article on this subject of subjects:
    It is fully endorsed by Marguerite herself----parts of which will be included in a future book by her about miraculous conceptions by women throughout the world.


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