With the holidays coming in just a few weeks, I bet you're thinking of the presents you'd like to buy--whether for loves ones or for yourself. For me there's no gift better than a good book. Books are food for the soul, precious companions on our life journeys. Honoring the magical number three, as well as the multitude of voices that speak about the Sacred Feminine, allow me to share with you my three favorite anthologies:
“As I continue writing stories about people who are transforming religion and culture through including the Divine Feminine in sacred rituals, hope stirs within me. As I hear their visions for the future of the Divine Feminine, my vision expands.”
–Jann Aldredge-Clanton, Healing, Freedom, and Transformation through the Sacred Feminine.
“…monotheists have described the divine as ‘Father’ for over 2,000 years. Even if we neutered the God, to be labeled only an ‘It,’ we would still have the masculine echo ringing in our ears for another thousand years. So maybe it would make sense to call her the Goddess for a millennium or so, if only to even things out. Then perhaps we could move on to something more gender inclusive.”
–Tim Ward, Why Would a Man Search for the Goddess
“I don’t believe the Goddess is stupid or suicidal. I believe she evolved human beings for a purpose, to be her healing hands and loving heart. We may be growing into the job.”
–Starhawk, Earth, Spirit, and Action: Letting the Wildness In
As a way to keep the blog flowing (and supplement a new project Ill share with you soon!) I'm rereading Ronald Hutton's Triumph of The Moon. I'm placing here summaries of the chapters for reference and easy reading for any of you who don't have the book.
Ronald Hutton’s Triumph of The Moon, undertakes the task of tracing the developments of contemporary paganism and witchcraft as it originated in the English speaking nations of Europe and their influences. His first chapter, “Finding A Language” is a necessary foundation for the reader, supplying and clarifying a vocabulary with which the rest of the book uses and sets the historical framework within which the events examined take place. Hutton superbly mingles witty observations with historical records and cultural paradigms to produce, not merely definitions, but a working understanding of how and why the terms came to be.
“On any spiritual path, and most especially on one that is simultaneously a path of magical practice, our real progress and growth is measurable largely in the capacity to pass the challenges that are set before us. The easy parts of the journey are not the most important.”
–Philip Kane (in his essay on Laverna, Naming the Goddess, p. 232)
Naming the Goddess, published by Moon Books, is a collaborative work bringing together essays written by over eighty scholars and practitioners of Goddess Spirituality, including contributions from Selena Fox, Kathy Jones, Caroline Wise and Rachel Patterson. A unique aspect of this book is that it is a two-part project with the first part of the book containing a series of contemplative and scholarly essays and the second part serving as a “gazetteer” of different goddesses, making it useful both as a reference book and as well as one that encourages reflective spiritual thought.
A few months back, I wrote a post about proper book review etiquette. Most of it was common sense stuff: be polite, be fair, point out the good aspects and the bad. Well, I apparently forgot one obvious point of etiquette:
Use the book review space to write an actual review.
I frequently find myself inspired by the books I read, and sometimes, a good memoir can even encourage my wanderlust. I wanted to share three titles with you today that have me itching to get up and go experience the goddesses of these places:
I read. A lot. Really, a lot. Like many bibliophiles, I also post reviews of what I read, mostly on the Barnes and Noble site, but also on Amazon and iTunes. Plus, I have a LibraryThing account. And I post reviews here at BookMusings. So, I write about books. A lot.
That's the thing about bibliophiles. We love to talk and write and rant and rave about the books that we love and hate and love to hate. The thing is ... not everyone does it well. There are, to put it mildly, some really bad book reviews out there, written by some really bad reviewers. As someone who not only writes reviews, but who bases many of my purchases on others' reviews, let me offer a few pointers.