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We don't know what language was spoken by the Copper Age peoples of what Marija Gimbutas called “Old Europe.”
But whatever it was, we still—in a sense—speak it today.
English is an Indo-European language. The Indo-European languages all descend from a language spoken during the late Stone Age on the prairies (“steppes”) between the Black and Caspian Seas. This language was spoken by a milk-drinking, pastoralist people who domesticated the horse and invented (and named) the wheel. (Our wheel comes ultimately from their word *kwelkwlos, literally a “turn-turn.”)
Their nearest neighbors, to the southwest, in what is now Ukraine, Poland, and Rumania, were the Cucuteni-Tripolye cultures made famous by archaeologist and feminist ideologue Marija Gimbutas. These were settled farmers, eaters of bread and beans, whose bold, swirling designs, striking ceramics, and fetching little female figurines still speak directly to us today.
These two, the Indo-European and the Old European, were, in effect, our Father and Mother Cultures.
And we still speak their languages today.
This isn't the blog entry I intended to write this week.
The blog entry I intended to write was going to talk about the article featuring me that appeared in my local alt-weekly, the Dallas Observer. It was going to talk about the reception of the article in the Pagan community, which was surprising in ways both pleasant and not. It was going to talk about the way that I've seen coverage of Paganism change in the Dallas press over the last 20 years....
I am because you are.
In the spring of 1974, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa—arguably the most famous painting in the world—visited Japan.
There she was welcomed in a manner quite quintessentially Japanese.
People sent flowers.
At the time, I can remember thinking, Of course: that's absolutely right. That's exactly what you do to honor such a powerful...well, kami.
It's an action quintessentially Shinto.
And quintessentially pagan.
"Dear Good Witch/Bad Witch:
If Wiccans are to follow the law of 'harm none' then would abortion not be accepted because it ends the life of the unborn? Does that fall under harm none?"
Sara in South Bend
Was the common American children's song She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain originally a hymn to the Moon Goddess of the Witches?
A new study by historian and ethnomusicologist Stefano Pozzo, current chair of ethnomusicology at Massachusetts' prestigious Miskatonic University, suggests that this may indeed be the case.
“It's one of the great mysteries of American paidomusicology [the study of children's music],” says Pozzo. “Who is this mysterious and powerful female driving six white horses? I think that we can now say confidently that we know exactly who she is.”
In the current issue of Ethnomusicology Today, Pozzo examines the earliest surviving texts of the song to present his case.
“She'll be coming' round the mountain when she comes,” he writes, “Could one ask for a clearer image of moonrise?”
According to Pozzo, when 17th century British witches fled to the New World to escape religious persecution, they brought their immemorial devotion to the Moon along with them.