What is the meaning of the Virgin Mother-Goddesses in ancient mythology?
In Egypt, Uta-Hor-resenet, a provost of the temples and prophet of the goddess NEITH at Sais had risen to positions of high dignity under the last kings of the 26th (XXVIth) Dynasty. The great King of all lands, Cambyses I, came to Egypt, and the provost taught Cambyses of the mysteries of NEITH.
This Provost taught king Cambyses the Elder, of the S a i t i c Mysteries:
“I made known to His Majesty the grandeur of Sais, as being the abode of NEITH, the Great Mother [the great producer, or Genetrix], who gave birth to the Sun-god RA, the First-born [i.e., Logos], when as yet no birth had been; together with the doctrine of the grandeur of the house of NEITH, as being a Heaven in its whole plan (…)” (see The Pastophorus of the Vatican, Records of the Past, Vol 10: Egyptian Texts published by the Society of Biblical Archaeology, pg. 49)
She is the Greek NYX, or in another sense, Athena/MINERVA (Parthenos), because she is Ani-ma Mundi (Soul of the World).
She is the Life-giver or Universal Soul, symbolised as the “waters of Space,” in which lives all her children.
In the ancient cosmogonies, the first commencement of cosmic differentiation is when the latent Nature proceeds to emanate from the Chaos like a shadow into the Objective, and its result is called in nearly all, the Mother Goddess, from whom proceeds the Logos, or SUN-RAYED (the “first-born”) god. Such ideas long ante-date that of the Eastern Church and Roman Catholics, whom say these were copies.
and their Cosmological Symbolism
The goddess of the ancient Pagans has many semblances in the Mariolatry of the new Christian religion in classical antiquity, and we can say in a sense, transferred to the new myth. Concerning “luniolatry” so-called, these goddesses were not moons (layered interpretations), but the symbolism pertained to beliefs about the sidereal (i.e., constellation and astronomical) and divine realms. It is because the sidereal mysteries hide the mysteries about the planes.
The Mother Goddess is in the ancient beliefs, the female or feminine aspect, as a figure of speech. In strict terms of philosophy, it is an aspect of one sexless principle and Substance. It is because the ancients symbolised the divine in phallic language. The divine, symbolised as a “Mother” or the cosmos in the shape of a vagina (yoni) as a producer of things (cosmogonic and terrestrial), and often involving a common romantic mythos of the Sun and Moon.
In the Book of the Dead, the meaning of the moon is given, when the moon is referred to as “The Light which shineth in Darkness,” whom houses Thoth — the god of secret Wisdom. The moon is referred to as Queen of Heaven in the ancient theogonies, and drawn standing on, or crushing a serpent or dragon. The crescent, or moon became a symbol for all the Virgin-Mother goddesses, for explaining the sidereal mysteries; and even Mary. All are demiurgic goddesses, but the Christians have made the demiurgic goddess a terrestrial historical character, whom gives birth to a human Soter. These goddesses, because representing the generative power of nature, were therefore, linked to agriculture, or growth. Many people believed in subtle (psychical) influences of the Moon on the earth, and both sun — with its fructifying power — and moon were life and light-givers. Jewish Kabbalists anthropomorphised the demiurgic goddess, or figuratively, the female aspect of space, with their En Sof. The Talmudists addressed En Sof (the infinite), a sexless principle, as a He, while representing the Sephirot Keter כֶּתֶר (or Crown) emanating from it as a feminine aspect they call “Torah,” or the law, and the wife (Torah) of The God. It actually influences the meaning underlying certain Jewish views on love, and marriage.
the transformation of
the mother goddess in christianity
Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1., pg. 399-402.
“How much more grandiose, philosophical and poetical is the real distinction — for whoever is able to understand and appreciate it — made between the immaculate virgin of the ancient Pagans and the modern Papal conception. With the former, the ever-youthful mother nature, the antitype of her prototypes, the sun and moon, generates and brings forth her “mind-born” son, the Universe. The Sun and Moon, as male-female deities, fructify the earth, the microcosmical mother, and the latter conceives and brings forth, in her turn. With the Christians, “the first-born” (primogenitus) is indeed generated, i.e., begotten, “genitum, non factum,” and positively conceived and brought forth — “Virgo pariet,” explains the Latin Church. Thus, she drags down the noble spiritual ideal of the Virgin Mary to the earth, and, making her “of the earth earthy,” degrades that ideal to the lowest of the anthropomorphic goddesses of the rabble.
Truly, Neith, Isis, Diana, etc., etc., were each of them “a demiurgical goddess, at once visible and invisible, having her place in Heaven, and helping to the generation of species” — the moon, in short. Her occult aspects and powers are numberless (…) All the lunar goddesses had a dual aspect — one divine, the other infernal. All were the virgin mothers of an immaculately born Son — the Sun. Raoul Rochetti shows the moon-goddess of the Athenians — Pallas, or Cybele, Minerva, or again Diana — holding her child-son on the lap, invoked in her festivals as [[Monogenes Theou]], “the one Mother of God,” sitting on a lion, and surrounded by twelve personages; in whom the Occultist recognises the twelve great gods, and the pious Christian Orientalist the apostles, or rather the Grecian pagan prophecy thereof.
They are both right, for the immaculate goddess of the Latin Church is a faithful copy of the older pagan goddesses; the number (twelve) of the apostles is that of the twelve tribes, and the latter are a personification of the twelve great gods, and of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Every detail almost in the Christian dogma is borrowed from the heathens. (…) That which is interesting to note is the perfect identity between the archaic copy and the modern original. (…) Did space permit we might show the inconceivable coolness and unconcern exhibited by certain followers of the Roman Catholic Church, when made to face the revelations of the Past. To Maury’s remark that “the Virgin took possession of all the Sanctuaries of Ceres and Venus, and that the pagan rites, proclaimed and practised in honour of those goddesses, were in a good measure transferred to the mother of Christ,” the advocate of Rome answers: —
“That such is the fact, and that it is just as it should be and quite natural. As the dogma, the liturgy, and the rites professed by the Roman Apostolical Church in 1862 are found engraved on monuments, inscribed on papyri, and cylinders hardly posterior to the Deluge, it does seem impossible to deny the existence of a first ante-historical (Roman) Catholicism of which our own is but the faithful continuation. . . . But while the former was the culmination, the summum of the impudence of demons and Goetic necromancy . . . . the latter is divine. If in our (Christian) Revelation (l’Apocalypse), Mary, clothed with the Sun and having the moon under her feet, has nothing more in common with the humble servant of Nazareth (sic.), it is because she has now become the greatest of theological and cosmological powers in our universe.” — (Archaeol. de la Vierge, pp. 116 and 119, and by the Marquis de Mirville).
Verily so, since Pindar’s Hymns to Minerva (p. 19) . . . “who sits at the right hand of her Father Jupiter, and who is more powerful than all the other (angels or) gods,” are likewise applied to the Virgin. It is St. Bernard, who, quoted by Cornelius a Lapide, is made to address the Virgin Mary in this wise: —
“The Sun-Christ lives in thee and thou livest in him.” (Sermon on the Holy Virgin.) . . . .
Again the Virgin is admitted to be the moon by the same unsophisticated holy man. Being the Lucina of the Church, that is in childbirth, the verse of Virgil — “Casta fove Lucina, tuus jam regnat Apollo” — is applied to her. Like the moon, the Virgin is the Queen of Heaven,” adds the innocent saint; (Apocal., ch. xii., Comm. by Cornelius a Lapide).
The reason of early Christian and later Roman Catholic astrolatry, or the symbolical worship of Sun and Moon — identical with that of the Gnostics, though less philosophical and pure than the “Sun worship” of the Zoroastrians — is a natural consequence of its birth and origin. The adoption by the Latin Church of such symbols as the water, fire, sun, moon and stars, and a good many other things, is simply a continuation by the early Christians of the old worship of Pagan nations.”
 Helena P. Blavatsky, Star-Angel Worship in the Roman Catholic Church, Lucifer, July, 1888.