FILM DIARY for The Goddess: N°1: my story
My story: How I found the Goddess - or she found me
I am very happy about your interest in the new film on this WOMENBODIMENT platform and would like to take you step by step on the way to its creation.
Two years have passed now since my last film on the topic of women's circles in May 2020, which could not have been more intense on a global level. I have used the time wisely to read deeply into a topic that has not quite let go of me since 2016: The Goddess, the Great Goddess, or the Great Mother, the Primordial Mother - there are so many names.
I often noticed in the course of research that women share their stories of how they found the Goddess. After much reflection, it occurred to me that I too had experienced an introduction to this world of an initially whimsical nature and - I just gotta tell you! Now I would not claim to worship the Goddess or various archetypes of the Goddesses, but on becoming more aware, I encounter her concept in nature as Mother Earth on a daily basis.
So, let me tell you how my story went: in 2015 and 2016, I studied documentary filmmaking in Los Angeles and lived in the house of a very interesting woman, Mary Ann. I had found the ad for the room on Craig's List, an equivalent to the German Ebay Kleinanzeigen. For several months I had been looking for a new, more suitable place for me and my dog Rhani - a house with a garden, as nice as in Topanga Canyon but closer to the university and preferably in my favourite neighbourhood Echo Park. Every day, I spent almost two full hours in the car (not that unusual for the LA metropolitan area) and was plagued by both the pointlessly wasted gas and the many hours away from Rhani.
At the beginning of my trip to the USA, I had a vision - a small, quiet house in the countryside on top of a hill, but still in the city. As it is often the case with visions - I forget about them and only realise much later after the manifestation that I am sitting in a homemade dream. In this case literally! So now I was actually sitting with Mary Ann and her cute little dog Motet in this little house on a hill in Echo Park, in the middle of the city, surrounded by greenery and chirping birds, with moderate rent and a short distance to university.
With her being a Cancer and me being the Pisces, we immediately had a good (water) connection and an incredible amount to exchange. Mary Ann had spent her earlier years in the New York art scene and had excellent taste, a gentle and playful nature, and struggled with similar anxieties to mine. I was very grateful to spend the last few months with her in her house, after which she eventually sold it and moved to Arizona to initiate a grey water treatment project.
Now it's getting super spooky. I pulled all the photos from my phone onto hard drives the other day and organised them, because I needed storage space. Don't ask me why, but I found a screenshot from July 2013 with a woman in it with two dogs, cuddling up to her. I have zero recollection of why I had this image on my phone. The caption says Fort Green, which means the picture must have been uploaded in Brooklyn. The most likely explanation is that I must have seen it on Facebook once during my internet research and maybe thought it was so super cute that I photographed it to show a friend. The things you do as a homo digitalis, well well. In any case ......... the woman in the picture is MARY ANN! Motet is cuddling next to her, and the dog of a friend of hers is lying on top of her. I only met Mary Ann in 2015 and had never seen her before. There are millions of people living in the United States. What are the odds of my moving in with her and she then leading me on such a memorable new movie trail?
Okay. Let's breathe for a second...
So Mary Ann not only provided me with a cosy place to live, but introduced me to the idea of the Goddess. When I told her about my first film idea about women's circles, she gave me two literary works that are the absolute basis for this next film. A beautiful art magazine from the 70s, titled so sexily and simply "Great Goddess". From a feminist publisher with contributions from the pioneers of the Goddess movement. I've carried it with me like a treasure ever since and will post a photo and poem or two from it on Instagram.
And secondly, one day she proudly held out the book "The Alphabet vs. the Goddess" to me. At first I was overwhelmed by this big book and I still am, because I so rarely have time to read out whole books. I don't know about you, but it is increasingly difficult for me to find the peace to read many pages at a time in a concentrated way besides my online work. Since I haven't taken a holiday without filming, i.e. working, for a long time, these beach book moments also fall by the wayside, so I have to be very disciplined to read from time to time. But back to Leonard Shlain's work! Luckily, I found a talk by him as a little summary to his book, the most memorable 75 minutes for me in a long time. I knew immediately that I wanted to pass on this knowledge. Namely, the knowledge that there were times when the Goddess was worshipped all over the world, the woman was worshipped as the creator of life. Temples were built and figurines dedicated to her. The oppression of women came relatively late in time, but we all know little about the herstory and more about the history. For me, this topic was groundbreaking - and still is.
Not once in my geography studies had I heard of the worship of female power in the Neolithic. Not once had I heard of such a thing at school. Sadly, I had never been in circles that could have initiated me about such things, either. And although I often do almost fanatical research on mystical things and the like, I never got even a trace of it. Like so many people around me, by the way, because whoever I tell about the new film idea - very few of them had heard about it.
Maybe you've known about it for a while, in which case I'm very happy for you. As I mentioned above, I have had a lot of time to read up on this new world and there seems to be no end to exciting discoveries. So I hope that I might be able to tell you some new ones too. I've already been able to recruit so many great protagonists for it and over the next few months I'll be embarking on filming trips again and again. It's worth following the project on Instagram, because that's where it's easiest for me to stay in touch. But I'll also continue regularly on this homepage, because there's a lot to report ;)
All the best,
PS: I would also like to mention here that I am not looking at this from a religious angle.