An earlier time when humans led more harmonious lives is (also) a recurrent theme in the legends of Mesopotamia. Here there are repeated references to a time of plenty and peace, a time before a great flood, when women and men lived in an idyllic garden. These are the stories from when biblical scholars now believe the Old Testament myth of the Garden of Eden in part derives.
Viewed in light of the archeological evidence we have been examining, the story of the Garden of Eden is also clearly based on folk memories. The Garden of Eden is an allegorical description of the Neolithic, of when women and men first cultivated the soil, thus creating the first "garden." The story of Cain and Abel in part reflects the actual confrontation of a pastoral people (symbolized by Abel's offering of his slaughtered sheep) and an agrarian people (symbolized by Cain's offering of "the fruits of the ground" rejected by the pastoral God Jehovah). Likewise, the Garden of Eden and Fall from Paradise myths in part draw from actual historical events. As will be detailed in succeeding chapters, these stories reflect the cataclysmic cultural change we have been examining: the imposition of male dominance and the accompanying shift from peace and partnership to domination and strife.
Later, Eisler writes:
In sum, under the new view of cultural evolution, male dominance, male violence, and authoritarianism are not inevitable, eternal givens. And rather than being just a "utopian dream," a more peaceful and equalitarian world is a real possibility for our future. ... our legacy from these Goddess worshipping societies is not only the haunting memory of a time when the "tree of life" and "the tree of knowledge" were still viewed as Mother Nature's gifts to both women and men.
Dedicated to every witch's personal return to Goddess and to Her Garden of Eden, available at WITCHCRAFTS by Liorah Lleucu ... this exquisitely detailed hand carved WITCH'S GARDEN black soapstone mortar and pestle.