Maya Magee Sutton, Ph.D
May 13, 2018

For at least 5,000 years, most cultures around the world worshipped a female deity as the creative power behind all animal and plant fertility. She was known as the Great Mother. Other titles were Earth Mother, Lady of the Beasts, and Grain Goddess. Since women, like the land, were seen as the primary source of life, an Earth Mother Goddess was seen as the natural giver of life and fertility. The spiritual phenomenon of the Great Mother was amazingly widespread. In this presentation, Dr. Sutton will show images from Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and Europe. Long before agriculture, female fertility was depicted in the Paleolithic painted caves of France 20,000 years ago. The earliest cuneiform writing from Sumeria 4,000 years ago tells the story of Inanna, queen of heaven and earth. The Middle Eastern goddess Ishtar/Astarte might represent the origin of the word Easter. To bring the concept of the Great Mother Goddess full circle, Dr. Sutton will show images of the Virgin Mary in Europe and the Americas, including Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Dr. Maya Magee Sutton graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service — an experience that lighted the spark for her many travels abroad. She has since traveled to 32 countries and lived in three of them.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico and has been on the adjunct faculty there for 30 years. At UNM, Dr. Sutton taught semester-long courses on The Goddess Mythology of the Celts, The Dark Goddess, and Black Madonnas of Europe and the Americas.  She is the co-author of Giants of Gaia, a tribute to the great earth shapes of the Earth Goddess. She contributed three articles to the book, Sacred Journeys, an Illustrated Guide to Pilgrimages Around the World.

Supported by Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, Haverland Carter Lifestyle Group
and Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union