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by Dr. Andrea Fleckinger
The Matriarchal Landscape Mythology is a theory and a practice that allows rediscovering the matriarchal art of landscape formation and decodes landscapes in their ancient, sacred meaning. The methodology of the Matriarchal Landscape Mythology had been developed by Dr. Heide Goettner-Abendroth. The Matriarchal Landscape Mythology allows us to restore the ancient meanings of the sacred places, the great goddesses, the spiritual symbols, and the rich mythology of Central Europe. The analytical process consists of ten steps: 1) Walking the landscape, 2) Discovering sacred hills, 3) Individuating sightlines according to archaeo-astronomy, 4) Research for cult lines/paths, 5) Archaeological analysis, 6) Linguistic analysis, 7) Research in churches 8) Research of legends and myths 9) Folklore research 10) Research of retreats and cultural niches. The single steps of the methodological process will be deepened in my lecture.
by Dr. Heide Goettner-Abendroth
With the cosmological references of the Neolithic tombs and other sacred places and their meaningful emplacements, people created not only a social but also a symbolic landscape. They projected their religious symbolism onto the landscape, turning it into a sacred one.
As the landscape was always regarded as a manifestation of Mother Earth who, depending on the local area, may have had different forms with different names: this results in many different landscape goddesses but they always refer to the one Mother Earth. The sacred landscape is shaped by her divine forms and forces. Until now, this symbolic relationship between sacred monuments and the landscape has not been taken into consideration in archaeology because of the ideology of “taking over and possessing the land by elites.”
However, the Neolithic people not only emphasized the natural landscape with their religious buildings, but also transformed the landscape itself into a symbolic one, with large earthworks. The formation of sacred landscapes in the image of Mother Earth, occupying an area with places of worship in a particular arrangement, is a widespread feature in Neolithic cultures. It led to the phenomenon of “landscape temples.”
These characteristics of Matriarchal Landscape Mythology will be illustrated by examples and pictures in my lecture.