[Originally posted in Cyborgs Vs Earth Goddess.]
During the last two decades, the feminist literature has expanded to become more diverse and inclusive. Yet, relatively few books have emerged which focus on Goddesses and their significance to feminism and women’s liberation. This is due in part to a complete lack of interest by academics and feminists alike in exploring either historical or contemporary Goddess cultures. This disparaging view of gynocentric tradition is unfortunate, since it creates the false impression that patriarchy is permanent and inevitable, and it erases 100,000 years of gynocentric prehistory.
Goddess cultures are part of a vast gynocentric background that predates the horrendous and escalating violence of the patriarchal foreground. Goddess worship is antithetical to male supremacy, so an essential part of men’s domestication of females was their destruction of once powerful Goddesses. The oppression of the Goddess is inseparable from the oppression of females and nature. Far from being arcane and irrelevant, Goddesses provide activists and feminists alike with a glimpse into a possible future beyond male supremacy and domination.
The new anthology, She Rises: Why Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality, is a wonderful collection of essays put together by a dedicated team consisting of Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, Trista Hendren, Wennifer Lin, and Kaalii Cargill. The four editors carefully crafted a deeply feminist anthology, starting with the way the book is organized. The table of contents uses an innovative convention: instead of “parts” and “chapters,” the book uses Mothers and Sisters.
There are three Mothers named “Why Goddess Feminism?,” “Why Goddess Activism?,” and “Why Goddess Spirituality?” And, there are Nine Sisters named after five directions and four natural elements – Sister East, Sister South, Sister West, Sister North, Sister Center, Sister Wind, Sister Fire, Sister Water, and Sister Earth. The unique organization of the book remind readers of the deep interconnections between nature and the Goddesses, who are all based on Earth unlike the sky magic of patriarchal religions. Honoring the Goddess is honoring the Earth, but patriarchal cultures have largely negated both. This anthology on the Goddess therefore represents a vital form of female resistance and empowerment.
Each one of the many excellent essays, stories, poetry, inspirational passages and artwork capture some part of the mystery of ancient Goddesses and gynocentric cultures. This excellent anthology include important contributions on goddesses and radical feminism by researchers and writers like Susan Hawthorne, Carol Christ, Max Dashu, Vicki Noble, Genevieve Vaughan, Suzanne Baile, Glenys Livingstone, Michela Zucca, Starhawk, Barbara Daughter, and many others.
This anthology is extremely important in addressing some of the historical inaccuracies perpetuated by the patriarchy. It is essential reading for women seeking knowledge grounded in female experience and in reclaiming the female body. And it should be required reading for anyone interested in understanding radical feminism, and in moving beyond patriarchal thought and its gross disorder.
Dr. Moses Seenarine is a plant-based father and activist. He is founder of Climate Change 911 and the author of Education and Empowerment Among Dalit (Untouchable) Women in India: Voices from the Subaltern (2004) by Edwin Mellen Press.
(She Rises can be purchased in ebook, black-and-white print, or color print through Amazon.com or Amazon UK. If you choose to get a print copy and order it via Mago Books, you are supporting the Mago Work.)
See other Book Reviews:
- She Rises Book Review by Hearth Moon Rising
She Rises: Why Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality (Review) June 26, 2015 The eagerly awaited anthology She Rises: Why Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality?, edited by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang and Kaalii Cargill, was released this past Solstice (Summer or Winter, depending on your perspective) and I don’t exactly know what to say about it, except WOW. It certainly does not disappoint. This is a hefty anthology of almost 500 pages. It has scholarly essays, stories of personal experience, poetry, and […]
- She Rises Book Review by Sara Wright
“She Rises” uses a thousand perspectives to perceive Her Presence! Yesterday I finally finished this extraordinary book and wanted to share a few thoughts with you. First, once again I am astonished at the amount of labor that went into this amazing creation. Secondly, I wish this volume had been available to me during the ten years that I taught Women’s Studies. I believe that the Women’s movement cannot survive without the goddess in whatever form she may manifest, and […]
- (Book reviews) The Mago Way Volume 1 by Mary Blair Petiet and Sara Wright
The Mago Way: Re-discovering Mago, the Great Goddess from East Asia by Dr. Helen Hye-Sook Hwang. Order it at Mago Bookstore. The Mago Way: Re-discovering Mago, the Great Goddess from East Asia (Volume 1), is an original and vital contribution to goddess scholarship and feminist studies. Dr. Helen Hye-Sook Hwang’s work provides crucial insight to early eastern goddess centered thought similar to that provided to western goddess studies by Marija Gimbutas. The Mago Way places the great goddess of […]
- She Rises Book Review by Mary Hazlett
Legitimacy of female power in a patriarchal world I’ve seriously explored my spirituality for nearly 40 years, since i began college. Raised catholic, i immersed myself in that religion and its mystical tradition. and for a long time it served me well. but over time, as i matured in all areas of my life, i saw the effects of patriarchy on society and in my religion. language was and is the most obvious sign of patriarchy. what is wrong with […]
- She Rises Book Review by Dr. Moses Seenarine
Order it in Mago Bookstore! [Originally posted in Cyborgs Vs Earth Goddess.] During the last two decades, the feminist literature has expanded to become more diverse and inclusive. Yet, relatively few books have emerged which focus on Goddesses and their significance to feminism and women’s liberation. This is due in part to a complete lack of interest by academics and feminists alike in exploring either historical or contemporary Goddess cultures. This disparaging view of gynocentric tradition is unfortunate, since it […]
- (Book Reivew) She Rises Volume 2 by Dr. Lila Moore
(She Rises Volume 2 Live Now. See and oder here.) She Rises Vol 2: How Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality? explores how Goddess-based spirituality, which is sometimes termed as women’s spirituality, is expressed and actualized in the lives of contemporary women from around the world. The book is a body of writings with creative imagery by 96 authors which is contextualized within a Magoist Cosmology and Mago Work. According to co-editor, Dr Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, Mago Work “advocates feminist and […]
- She Rises Vol 2 Reviews/Endorsements
She Rises: How Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality? This second volume of She Rises addresses the practical question of how Goddess feminism makes a concrete, vital difference to the everyday lives of its 96 contributors, and, in turn, how these women make vital, concrete differences in the world. It is a glorious and robust tapestry of prose pieces, poetry and art revealing a vast variety of ways in which Goddess inspires women from diverse religious, ethnic, cultural, and disciplinary backgrounds […]
- (Book Review) Helen Hwang’s The Mago Way by Elizabeth Hall Magill
Dr. Helen Hwang’s The Mago Way makes a significant contribution to our understanding of thealogy (the theological study of the divine feminine) and to the transnational feminism that must be the basis of global change. The Mago Way weaves together several stories—Dr. Hwang’s own journey away from Christianity and toward Mago (the gynocentric principle, rooted in pre-patriarchal East Asian/Korean culture, that encompasses all of existence), the story of Mago as told through the text of the Budoji (made available in […]
Subscribe Mago Book via Email
You can Make Your Own Rose (Poems and Reflections) by Andrea Nicki (forthcoming)
Goddesses in Myth, History and Culture Edited by Mary Ann Beavis & Helen Hye-Sook Hwang (forthcoming)
She Rises: What Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality? Volume 3 (forthcoming)