I must admit, for some reason I was having a serious block about my second “E” post. I had a number of ideas, but nothing was sticking with me, and I wasn’t getting anywhere with free writes on any of the topics. So I went back to the drawing board. I pulled out Barbara G. Walker’s, “Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets” and went to E. I found a number of interesting things there, and luckly one jumped out at me, a simple two sentence entry: eide- the “Goddess-within” or the Greek concept of the female soul. Huh. I had to do some research on this one.

Turns out that this is an ancient concept that corresponds to the Latin term “idea”.  Originally the concept was thought to be feminine in nature and emanated from the Female soul of the World. This female soul was known in many cultures and had a number of names, including Shakti, Shekina, Psyche, and Sophia.

Leave it to the Middle Ages to decide that eide with its feminine connotations was not going to work well in the male dominated system. They replaced the feminine eide (idea) with the masculine “concept”. Interestingly, concept used to mean the same as conception. It comes from the Latin words, concipere semina, which translates to the gathering up of semen…another huh…

I’m not sure where in there the term switched from eide to idea, but it obviously did, because how often have you used eide instead of idea in writing and conversation? Really the change has something to do with Aristotle, who lead the switch from the Mother-given intelligence to the doctrine of astral theology. Whew- I need a philosophy major to help me sort that one out.

Regardless of the history, many people still view the term idea as having feminine connotations.  We often call our ideas our “brain children” because we conceived them. Our original ideas come from within ourselves and we are the ones responsible for giving birth to our ideas. For the creatives out there, our ideas really are like our children. Every dance I create has a special place in my heart and I become very attached…well, to some more than others. But this notion demonstrates how my ideas for dances are like children. I conceive them and then bring them to life. In this connotation the concept of idea does indeed become very feminine in nature.

Eide- the “Goddess within”, I love it! I never realized how much was behind the simple term, idea. Yay for writers (or ideas) block! It led me to discover something I never knew, and something I can really connect to.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. okarnill
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 09:20:27

    This is a lovely entry, really interesting and informative 🙂


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