By Michael Harrison
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Extra info for The Roots of Witchcraft
It has been correctly pointed out that the Great Mother, as an object of worship, is to be found in all parts of the ancient and not-so-ancient world; it is, however, equally correct to point out that She was not always worshipped with the same fervour everywhere, and that, whilst exercising superior divine authority in some regions, she held inferior rank in others. The impulse to see, in the dominant Great Mother, an import from the mother-dominated peoples of Asia Minor and the eastern Mediterranean is irresistible.
I shall answer those questions completely in a later chapter, but their place of origin was guessed by Professor J. Morris-Jones, who explained his reasoning in his now famous Appendix to Sir John Rhys's The Welsh Language, published just before the First World War. Briefly described, Professor Morris-Jones's theory of the origin of the Welsh language is that it is a tongue having a preponderantly Celtic vocabulary (we shall disregard the 800 or so words of Latin origin), but with a non-Celtic syntax.
In 'Britain' they found them all; something of what they traded in exchange has been found - though little, since our damp climate does not lend itself to the preservation of much. But did they bring with them ideas? Certainly. And did those ideas include those of a religious nature? In all probability, yes. And did the Fertility Religion come in with these shrewd traders, who had come so far for what they sought? In the sense that the Fertility Religion that we are considering in this book came from another source, that I am about to de-scribe, no.