She Rises Book Review by Dr. Moses Seenarine

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[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.

Book Reviews & Endorsements

  • 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 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 […]

  • 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 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, […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • (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  

  • 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 […]

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