Language of the Goddess

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Audio File

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This panel discussion 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.


Betty De Shong Meador, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst in Berkeley, California, and a past president of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. Her translations of myths and songs to the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna appear in her book Uncursing the Dark. The Inanna poems of the first poet of record, the high priestess Enheduanna, are featured in her book Inanna: Lady of Largest Heart.

Joan Sutherland received a Master of Arts degree in Asian Languages and Cultures from UCLA, where she studied classical Chinese and Japanese, with a focus on Chinese Buddhism and poetry. She began meditating then, and over the years she practiced in the Soto and Tibetan traditions before finding a home in Koan Zen. Before becoming a Zen teacher, she was a book editor and teacher, apprenticing in archaeomythology with UCLA’s Marija Gimbutas. She also worked for nonprofit organizations in the feminist antiviolence and environmental movements. She is the editor of the Language of the Goddess by Matija Gimbutas.