(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 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 […]

  • 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 book review by Mary Petiet

    She Rises is a clarion call to action. The 92 voices raised in She Rises express the growing cultural realization of the feminine principle, and are instantly recognizable to anyone who has felt its pull. Divided into three parts, She Rises explores Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality. The voices range from the urgent to the gentle, and include both well-known and emerging artists. The forms range from poetry to prose to art, all expressing the common message that now is […]

  • (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 […]

  • (Book Review) Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess by Hearth Moon Rising

    This was first published in Hearth Moon Rising’s blog (https:hearthmoonrising.com).  [Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess is your gift book for this holiday season. It will delight any woman who enjoys reading about the Goddess.] Through essays, poetry, art, and ritual, this anthology addresses the ways we acknowledge the yearly cycle. It is fascinating heartfelt tribute to the Goddess of the Year by women who dedicate their lives to her. Helen Hye-Sook Hwang explains the Mago calendar in detail, exploring its history, […]

  • (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  

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