(Book Excerpt 2) Introduction from She Rises: Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?

My heartfelt thanks go to my co-editor Kaalii Cargill and the project committee members, Trista Hendren and Wennifer Lin. This collaborative writing project began as a discussion in The Mago Circle, a Facebook group venue for Goddessians/Magoists. The phone conversation I had with Wennifer Lin, during which she expressed a need of focusing on the Goddess for her organization, Mother Tree Sanctuary, prompted me to think of an idea for a collective writing on the topic of Goddess. I facilitated a discussion in The Mago Circle by inviting members to answer the question “Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, or Spirituality?” As indicated in the question, I wanted us not only to revive the Goddess talk but also to claim its transformative power. Many members of The Mago Circle participated in the discussion over the course of the coming months. Initially, short writing contributions were published in the Return to Mago E-zine in eight parts.[1] Our discussion gained momentum and grew strong, as Trista Hendren, founder of The Girl God, created and shared a meme out of each contribution. Along the way, I noticed that there were longer essays/articles already written for the topic by such longtime writers/advocates as Carol P. Christ, Max Dashu, and Genevieve Vaughan. The next task became apparent, to publish it as an anthology. We formed ourselves as the planning committee and collected short writings, poems, and artworks, as well as longer essays. At this point, Kaalii Cargill joined the project committee with her expertise in self-publishing as well as a keen interest in the topic. With Kaalii, the editing process was soon set on schedule. I am indebted to her collegial support and commitment beyond the project.

Consequently, the original manuscript published in Return to Mago has evolved to a large volume of the present anthology over the course of one year. The present volume represents the collective voice of as many as ninety contributors, many of whom are well noted for excellence in their work, activism, and advocacy. The number itself adds a sense of collaboration, to say the least. It is our hope that the patterns of the WE consciousness that this anthology interweaves will continue to grow in our collective mind/heart/body. With our gratitude and honor, we share with our readers that She Rises pronounces our collective turning of the wheel toward the primordial consciousness of WE in S/HE.

Our authors take us far and near, from the cosmic horizon to the very political site of one’s inner feeling. Readers are invited to feel, laugh, rage, celebrate, experience, and do the ritual together with our authors. The Great Mother is Here, was in the Beginning, and will be in the End. S/HE lives after we humans may be gone from Her Garden, the planet Earth. It is true that the English term “Goddess” is incapable of conveying the original and ultimate status of the Female Divine. Derived from “God,” “Goddess” is linguistically hampered in the sense that it can’t be perceived without an association with “God.” (For more, see Max Dashu’s “The Meanings of Goddess” in this volume.) This is no small linguistic predicament, when it comes to “the Goddess talk.” S/HE as the Source of all beings precedes the “God.” Also unlike “Mago,” for example, the term “Goddess” lacks a gynocentric mytho-historical-cultural context. Indeed, we are faced with the dilemma that our modern languages are inadequate for the talk of the Primordial Mother. By embracing the word “Goddess,” however, we invite our readers to think at the level of epistemology. I often use “the Goddess” and “the Great Goddess” interchangeably. The distinction between the two lies in the emphasis of her manifestation as One and/or many. S/HE is the First Mother, the Great Goddess, from whom all beings on earth originate for existence. S/HE manifests in the form of Her female descendant, the Goddess. We need to keep in mind that the modern languages that we use, to different extents, work against our perception of the ultimate female. It is no secret that the Great Goddess has been, both nominally and ontologically, hijacked by patriarchal mind-molders. The Great Goddess is called many names according to ancient peoples of the world. Mago is the one that I introduce.

[1] See “(Special Post 1) Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, or Spirituality? A Collective Writing” in Return to Mago [http://magoism.net/2014/04/12/special-post-1-why-goddess-feminism-activism-or-spirituality-a-collective-writing/ (May 11, 2015)].

(This is the beginning of a section of Introduction by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, co-editor and publisher of Mago Books)

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Book Reviews & Endorsements

  • 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 […]

  • She Rises: A Book Review by Kate Brunner

    She Rises: Why Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality? edited by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang and Kaalii Cargill is the product of a collective writing project that began in March 2014 with an open call for submissions that answered the questions now found on the book’s brilliantly beautiful cover. As the project took shape, a total of 92 voices contributed their thoughts, feelings, images, poetics, prose, challenges, & calls to prayer in answer to why– Why Goddess feminism? Why Goddess activism? Why Goddess […]

  • (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 Volume 1 Book Review by Marcella J. Lively

    The anthology, She Rises, edited by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang and Kaalii Cargill is a powerful exploration of the Sacred Feminine, what She means to women’s lives, and why humanity and the planet need Her now. Its 468 pages include essays, poetry, and art from 92 women and men including Vicki Noble, Barbara Mor, Carol P. Christ, Starhawk, and Janine Canan. The collection is divided into three sections responding to the questions: Why Goddess Feminism? Why Goddess Activism? and Why Goddess […]

  • (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 […]

  • (Endorsement) Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess by Charlene Spretnak

    “A wise and poetic gathering of the many ways in which Goddess spirituality, past and present, engages with the grand cosmological drama of the seasons of the year and the phases of the moon – resulting in a sense of time that is deeply and beautifully grounded.” Charlene Spretnak, author of Lost Goddesses of Early Greece  

  • The Mago Way book review by Dr. Glenys Livingstone

    Order it Mago Bookstore! This book, The Mago Way: Re-discovering Mago, the Great Goddess from East Asia, is an important and major contribution of scholarship to the rising global return of gynocentric consciousness; to the return of the Female as imagined source of all being – and it is an wholistic vision, wherein no difference is known “between you and me or between one nation and the other”. It is a radical work. The work that this book unfolds on […]

  • (She Rises Volume 2) Endorsement by Kathryn Rountree

    See book info here. 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 to act. They are […]

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