Yes, There are Goddesses in the Bible – Part 2 by Janet Maika’i Rudolph



As I wrote in my last blog post, there are female deities and goddesses sprinkled all throughout the bible. They just aren’t obviously in plain sight.

One example is the Goddess and Her association with birds. Many ancient creation myths have stories about life emerging from a cosmic egg and the Goddess who carries and/or lays that primordial egg-of-life. Like the bird, women carry the eggs of life’s creation within our bodies. This has given rise to numerous cultural symbolisms that have come down to us associating the Goddess with birds. The dove is Venus’ hallmark. Mother Goose is the keeper of our cultural stories. It is the stork who brings us babies. As I will show below, divinity, or the biblical LORD is sometimes depicted as a bird, making this biblical description of god a female.

Before heading to the bible though, let’s start in neighboring Egypt. There is a beautiful version of the Isis story where the Goddess goes to rescue her husband Osiris who had been trapped into a coffin by his jealous brother Set. After imprisoning Osiris into the coffin, Set threw it into the waters where it eventually became encased in wood. People who came across this wood marveled at how it had a particularly beautiful and wafting aroma. When the king of Byblos heard about this, he had the scented wood retrieved and carved into a pillar for his palace. When word reached Isis about this remarkable sweet-smelling pillar, she realized that this was the resting place of her husband. She journeyed to Byblos to free him. She split open the pillar/tree coffin and then, disguised as a hawk, She flapped Her wings to pump life-giving air into his lungs.[1]

With this story in mind, look how the biblical LORD is described as having eagle wings. In Exodus 19:4, the LORD is speaking to Moses from “the mountain,” telling him to remind the people of “Israel of what He has already done.”[2]

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians,
and how I bare you on eagles’ wings,
and brought you unto myself.

Notice the symbolism of eagles’ wings as a description of god’s work. And more specifically how god’s work was that of supporting the people.  

This eagle imagery gets even more descriptive in passage below which is part of a poem called the “Song of Moses.” There is an interesting mix of the deity referred to as “he” and “she” in the King James version. When referring to the eagle “she” is used.

He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness;
he led him about,
he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
As an eagle stirreth up her nest,
fluttereth over her young,
spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them,
beareth them on her wings:
So the LORD alone did lead him,
and there was no strange god with him.
               – Deuteronomy 32:10-12

Notice particularly the image of the eagle “fluttereth over her young.” This recalls Isis fluttering Her hawk wings as a bellows to give air and life to Osiris. For isn’t this one of the primary gifts of the Goddess; to bring breath to life?

I also find it intriguing that the eagle-divinity was “no strange god.” In other words, this female bird as deity was “no stranger” or perhaps better stated, was well known, to Moses and thus to the Hebrew tribes.

And as a final coup de grace, Moses was married to a bird-personage. He married Zipporah, the daughter of the priest of Midian. Zipporah in Hebrew means “little bird.” (Strong’s 6855)

Note: Here is the link to the first blogpost, “Yes, There are Goddesses in the Bible.”


[1] Caldecott, Moyra, Myths of the Sacred Tree; Destiny Books, 1993; 47.
[2] The Jewish Study Bible; 145.

 

Janet Maika’i Rudolph. “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE QUEST.” I have walked the spirit path for over 25 years traveling to sacred sites around the world including Israel to do an Ulpan (Hebrew language studies while working on a Kibbutz), Eleusis and Delphi in Greece, Avebury and Glastonbury in England, Brodgar in Scotland, Machu Picchu in Peru, Teotihuacan in Mexico, and Giza in Egypt. Within these travels, I have participated in numerous shamanic rites and rituals, attended a mystery school based on the ancient Greek model, and studied with shamans around the world. I am twice initiated. The first as a shaman practitioner of a pathway known as Divine Humanity. The second ordination in 2016 was as an Alaka’i (a Hawaiian spiritual guide with Aloha International). I have written three books: When Moses Was a ShamanWhen Eve Was a Goddess, and One GodsIn Ardor and Adventure, Janet.



Categories: animals, Bible, Divine Feminine, Feminism and Religion, Feminist Theology, General, Goddess, Goddess feminism, Goddess Spirituality, Goddess Spirituality, Goddess Spirituality, Myth, Paganism, Spirituality, Symbols

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8 replies

  1. I have always loved the correspondence between the birds and divinity. When I first started working with clay these strange bird women appeared as if by magic out of my hands… the first time this happened i was sitting on a beach, had just found a clay vein and sculpted a bird woman from the sea… astonished, I brought her home wondering what this could possibly mean… need I add that I was just on the cusp of discovering the goddess? Nature was speaking through my hands…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Beautiful post, Janet. I love this connection between the birds and Goddesses. I am stirred by the sight of and sound of birds, the tiniest ones to the largest, the songbirds hidden in the thickets and the raptors circling the sky. Thanks for quotations and stories.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hooray for the bird goddesses! Even the eagle you cited in the Bible. I hope those who find the Bible “inerrant” are paying attention.

    I love birds and have been an Audubon member for many years. I love it that birds sing and make other nifty sounds and that they fly high and perch on the phone and electricity wires and high in trees. Birds are truly miraculous, and seeing the connections between them and goddesses is wonderful.

    Thanks for the post. Bright blessings to the birds and to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yeah Barbara, “Hooray for the bird goddesses” indeed! Bright blessings in return (love that phrase of yours).

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love these biblical goddesses… and those of us who find Christianity a wonderful foundation for our feminism can delight in your bringing forward the lovely goddess symbolism and mythology in our tradition. As Judaism became more patriarchal, and Christianity became more sexist, now they are changing again to rediscover the feminist healing that flows through the stories and breathes new life into us! Bless your lovely work.

    Like

    • So well stated Trelawney about feminist healing that flows through the stories and breaths new life. I adore that concept. I just wonder, both with Christianity and Judaism, it just seems a tough fit for me. How do we acknowledge, gain from and honor the old traditions that nurture while not giving power to the thousands of years of that have torn at humanity? (That’s a rhetorical question coming from my own thoughts on the matter.)

      Like

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