“As People of Mago, I have no country. As People of Mago, I want no country. My Country is the Whole World.”
This blog is created in an effort promote connection among people of differences including gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, economic status, and/or sexuality. We are scholars, researchers, teachers, artists, activists, seekers, and/or faith practioners from all corners of the world.
“Mago” is both a common noun meaning “the great goddess” and a specific goddess who is the progenitor, nature-shaper, and ultimate sovereign known to East Asians especially Koreans since the time immemorial. Mago is the Progenitor, Creator, and Sovereign, according to Dr. Helen Hye-Sook Hwang’s research.
“Why did I create Return to Mago (Magoism, the Way of S/HE)? It is my way of moving onward and forward to Life and Creativity as someone who is not coming from the dominant gender, race, class, and culture. Alas, we are positioned against one another in patriarchy! Are we going to just accept or sink down into silence? Mago is Here for us to return to the Female Origin of civilization and unity not only among peoples but also among species and cosmic entities!”
For Dr. Hwang’s publication, see her C.V. in Contact.
This Blog is an offshoot of the Mago Circle, a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/magoism/, which began as a result of Dr. Hwang’s roundtable discussion in the Creatrix Media Live, an internet radio show [http://www.blogtalkradio.com/creatrix-media-live# or http://www.blogtalkradio.com/creatrix-media-live/2012/03/18/march-mago-madness-with-dr-helen-hwang-phd].
The following is an excerpt from Helen Hye-Sook Hwang’s discussion with Jayne DeMente and Anniitra Ravenmoon for the Creative Media Live aired on March 23, 2011.
Jayne DeMente: Welcome Helen, I was fortunate to read some of your research and I applaud you because, we in the Western WSE movement have long needed to hear more from Asian women spiritual leaders and feminists and your reference to the Neolithic timeline…
For our listeners and participants online, let’s lead with the question of who is Mago, was she a mother figure, what is Magoism, does any other deity pre-date her?
Helen Hye-Sook Hwang: Mago is the great goddess known to East Asians throughout history. She is the first mother of all, cosmogonist, and ultimate sovereign/ruler. She has many names. Among them are Triad Deity (Samsin), Grandmother (halmi), Auspicious Goddess (Seogo), Evil (Magui), and Old Goddess (Nogo). She is also known as the Giantess who shaped the natural and cultural landscape. Her manifestations are so multivalent that one may think they do not refer to the same goddess. She was well loved, given high esteem, celebrated by East Asians in the past. She was almost completely forgotten, however in modern times, up until the 1980s in Korea, when the principle text of Magoism, the Budoji, re-emerged.
Mago is a mother figure in the sense that she bore two daughters, Kunghee and Sohee, and managed her household called the Castle of Mago, the primordial paradise of humanity. She is the ancestor of all races. She takes care of everything on earth via the equilibrium of cosmic music/sound/vibration.
Magoism is the term that refers to the totality of culture/civilization venerating Mago as the great goddess. It is a tradition largely unnoted but co-opted and distorted in major East Asian religions. The concept of Magoism helps one identify and understand Mago’s multivalent manifestations that are found trans-nationally. It also makes possible to name the female-centered original/primal civilization that gave birth to the forthcoming East Asian civilizations and religions.
Whether Mago is the earliest deity known to East Asia is unknown. In fact, there are goddesses unearthed from “pre-historic” archaeological sites without their names. The life-sized goddess statue was unearthed in the site of Hongshan Culture, northeastern region of present China dating from 4,700 to 2,900 BCE. The heavy use of jade along with the partly bear-figured female icon is congruent with the account of Magoism in the Budoji. Also, of course, there are numerous female figurines called dogu excavated in Japan’s “pre-historic” times.
The ancient origin of Mago or Magoism has a merit to explain some facts that remain a mystery, so to speak. Korea is also known as the land of dolmens. Half of the world megaliths are populated in the Korean peninsula. There are numerous pyramids found in mainland China. There is a documentary film about the sunken temple beneath the sea of Okinawa Japan, etc. dating to 10,000 years ago.
Then, how early does Mago date to? It is difficult to date the earliest evidence of Mago or Magoism simply because written history does not exist in pre-patriarchal times. As you see here, when we talk about the earliest of something, everyone assumes it is of Chinese. So let me follow this line of thought: Ge Hong’s record on Magu from China dates to the early fourth century CE (Ge Hong 283—343 CE). However, Daoist scholar Robert Ford Campany states that the cult of Mago dates back to the Stone Age.
It is more difficult to date Mago in Korean records simply because ancient written records did not survive. Two books, the Budoji and the Handan Gogi, alleged to have been written in the late 4th or early 5th century and subsequent later times, which refer to Mago otherwise known as Samsin (Triad Deity) remain controversial. Considering that the name Mago is embedded in Korean language as in “gom,” “geum,” and “gam,” whose meaning indicates ruler, sovereign, and head, the origin of Mago is as old as these words. Likewise, most materials that recount Mago as cosmogonist are of folklore, place names, literature, arts, and debris of historical and religious records, most of which are difficult to date for its origin.
(For the whole content, please read http://magoism.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/mago-the-first-mother-of-east-asia/)