Language of the Goddess

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Audio File

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This presentation was part of the From the Realm of the Ancestors: Language of the Goddess conference sponsored by the Women’s Spirituality Program at CIIS (June 12-14, 1998 at Cowell Theatre, Fort Mason in San Francisco) in honor of the pioneering archeologist Marija Gimbutas. The conference focused on the necessity of refocusing our collective memory, and to the cultivation of vision, creativity, insight, and the celebration of life. The conference was moderated by Joan Marler and featured presentations by scholars and artists who acknowledge the significance of Dr. Gimbutas’ research and theories. Gimbutas’ discovery of Goddess-centered, matristic societies that preceded the development of patriarchy in Europe has initiated a new perception of European prehistory that challenges traditional assumptions about the origins of western civilization.


Vicki Noble is a feminist shamanic healer, author, scholar and wisdom teacher. In the 1970s she created, graduated with honors from, and subsequently taught in, the first women's interdisciplinary studies program at Colorado College. Noble worked for many years with archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, and has lectured and taught at the graduate level, both in the United States and abroad, on female shamanism and the healing arts. She has written several books, developed a ritual healing process, and led tours of women on pilgrimage to sacred Goddess sites around the world. She has taught the Women’s Spirituality graduate programs at New College of California and at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

Mary Mackey, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of English and former Writer-in-Residence at California State University, Sacramento where she helped found both the CSUS Women's Studies Program and the CSUS English Department Graduate Creative Writing Program. She is the author of fourteen novels, four of which tell the stories of priestesses of the Goddess-worshiping cultures of Old Europe and pre-historic Sumer (The Year The Horses Came, The Horses at the Gate, The Fires of Spring, and The Last Warrior Queen). Her novels about Old Europe are based on the research of the late archaeologist Dr. Marija Gimbutas. Her novel about ancient Sumer (The Last Warrior Queen), is based on a non-patriarchal interpretation of the Sumerian legend of the Goddess Inanna's Descent into the Underworld and takes readers into the Fertile Crescent Goddess-worshiping-cultures described by the late Merlin Stone in When God Was a Woman. Mary is also the author of seven collections of visionary, mystical poetry including Sugar Zone which won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award For Excellence in Literature. Her poetry often contains references to the priestesses and sacred rituals of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé.