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 the Korean language in the 1980s), and the spiritual movement away from patriarchal imperialism and toward a unity of all people. The Mago Way is grounded in ancient history, channeled through Dr. Hwang’s personal experience, and shared in transcendence with all who read this vital and important work.
Dr. Hwang’s work is deeply influenced by Mary Daly, who was a friend and mentor to the author. The Mago Way shares both characteristics and goals with Daly’s work—Dr. Hwang identifies as a post-Christian feminist, seeks to inspire others to take spiritually-informed action in the here and now that is awareness in Mago, and “…aims at unleashing a new grammar that explains how cross-cultural symbolism is organically interrelated.” The author explains that Mago is all-encompassing and all-inclusive while also being specific to East Asia: “Like the word ‘Mago,’ ‘Magoism’ manifests as One Culture AND many cultures of the world that venerate the Great Goddess. In a broad sense, “Magoism” refers to the entirety of gynocentric civilization. It is pre- and metapatriarchal. It is the Source of patriarchal cultures. In a narrow sense, it indicates the one that has shaped East Asian histories and cultures. The very naming of ‘Magoism’ restores the nature of East Asian civilization as gynocentric, contrary to the standard Sinocentric [read ethnocentrically patriarchal] view that ancient China is the origin of East Asian civilizations. Magoism is the golden measurement.”
The Mago Way alternates the narration of histories in a truly fascinating way:
• First, Dr. Hwang gives her personal history, her journey away from Christianity through missionary work and then academic work, and toward a calling that brings Mago forth, both in the past and in the all-encompassing present. Reading Dr. Hwang’s story, and understanding how her path led to Mago, I felt a deep sense of admiration, and beyond—a connection, via the divine feminine.
• Second, Dr. Hwang narrates the history of Mago—the uncovering of the Budoji, and the re-discovery of ancient East Asian Goddess culture, with Korean roots. Because both Mago and ancient Korea have been obscured in modern patriarchal history, The Mago Way does the vigorous labor of re-membering. Here, the specifics of Mago—a Goddess with eight (grand)daughters—are told, and connected with systems of thought and belief, such as Daoism, that have co-opted or obscured the original Mago Way.
• Third, The Mago Way imparts the fundamental, gynocentric truth in the Mago story: the Creatrix is neither male nor female, but both precedes all and is all. In the beginning, Mago was sound, and Dr. Hwang connects the Mago history to stories of celestial music that are more familiar to modern readers—the Greek “music of the Spheres” and the Hindu Matrikas. Here, in the origin story that isThe Mago Way, is re-discovering, re-membering, and re-birthing: the beauty and universality of Mago is deeply compelling.It is in through this triad of histories—reminiscent and reflective of the Triad in the Goddess Herself—that Dr. Hwang communicates the power and transcendence of the Mago way. Reading this work was both intellectually enlightening and spiritually uplifting, as the book brings universal and grounded truth to the reader: She is, I am, We are. Being is in these pages—the struggle of it, the grief of it, and the release of it. I highly recommend The Mago Way—I hope you will read it, and find within its pages and its histories impetus for bringing divine action into the world, living the Mago way.
- 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 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 […]
- (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 […]
- (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, […]
- You Can Make Your Own Rose, Poems and Reflections by Andrea Nicki
Title: You Can Make Your Own Rose, Poems and Reflections Author: Andrea Nicki Mago Books (forthcoming 2017) Description: The book explores many topics such as male and female socialization, sexual violence against girls and women, child abuse, family dysfunction, exploitation in academia, goddess spirituality, animal spirituality, ecospirituality, tarot, and communal dance. About Andrea Nicki: Andrea Nicki grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. She has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Queen’s University and held a postdoctoral fellowship in feminist ethics and […]
- (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 […]
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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)