Meeting the gaze of the Goddess Continued... It is not only at Avebury that this vision of the Goddess walking on earth could be  experienced. Other sites in southern England which lend themselves to it are at Uffington,  below the white horse, Wilmington over the downs above the Long man and over the Tor at  Glastonbury. There, up at the top of the lane which leads past Chalice Well, the view to the  south-south-west did and does reveal the image. A little consideration of the landscape  requirements of this midwinter ceremonial experience reveals that, for 10,000 years, it has  been available and visible to people anywhere in the northern hemisphere right round the  world. Hail to the Goddess, the sky torch, the pure one. Hail to heaven’s noble one, crowned with great horns. Hail to the moon’s oldest daughter, heaven’s greatest queen. I sing of her greatness, her beauty, her nobility. I sing of her brilliance in the evening sky. I sing of her rising, to shine down on all our lands. Babylonian incantation, probably to Venus    © Jon Appleton 2010 under construction Move your mouse over image to reveal more Early 4th Millenium Goddess figurine  The changes made to the way the stars in the south were seen, brought about by precession over the last 12,00 years, can  be detected in the way the depiction of the Goddess alters in time. In the earliest period She was seen as much squatter or  sitting down. Later She was seen as a taller standing figure, sometimes with outstretched arms. In terms of the  development of the mythos, another effect was that the stars of Orion, always a male figure, only became visible in about  5000 BCE. This may have coincided with the rise of patriarchal dominance in religions. As the stars of Orion rose so that  he stood upon the earth he began to usurp the authority of his “Mother” and took on the role of the hero, bullslayer and  god. He also adopted the dogs that had once been Hecate’s companions as she carried her torches through the night sky  to stand at the crossroads of the heavens. At many times throughout the history of the world the constellations, the planets and the Sun and Moon have provided  the imagery for myth and religion. Understanding the significance of this is vitally important as it opens up a wealth of  possibilities for a greater awareness of the depth of ancient symbolism and belief systems. It is difficult to believe that  our ancestors, from prehistoric times, did not respond to the powerful combination of visual image, significant timing  and location of this long neglected group of constellations on the galactic plane and at the intersection with the plane of  the ecliptic.  Although the Goddess is harder to see in the sky made dimmer by man’s light pollution, those with eyes to see can still  look up to Her. The best time is during November, when She rises in the east after sunset, through December and the  Solstice and January when She rules the frosty skies of midwinter. Direct personal experience of Her presence changes  the abstraction of dry text to a heartwarming reality. The Goddess is universal, common to all cultures, paths and times.  Clothe Her as you will She remains “ the Unbounded One” and cannot be hijacked by any one spiritual, social or  religious system. Like the stars She is eternal.