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Continuing her career of witty, brilliant, and thoughtful books, Ms. Ardinger brings us a wonderful treat in Finding New Goddesses. Feeling a little stodgy, perhaps a touch like you are stuck in the rut as far as your spiritual life is concerned? This book is the antidote as you are introduced to modern Goddesses like Gotcha, Jollity, and Blandonia and absurdity, celebration, and comic relief (respectively) comes into your life. 

These Goddesses are nowhere to be found in musty tomes, or museums – they walk the earth with us and share our daily lives. The old God/desses remain a part of the bigger pictures in our lives, such as wealth, health, and love. But these new Goddesses help us through the day-to-day struggles of modern life, such as finding parking spaces, finding/coping with temp jobs, dealing with technological issues, shopping, daycare, credit cards, etc. This book is not a mockery as there is plenty of wit and humor mixed into the Goddess backgrounds, chants, ritual ideas, meditations and visualizations provided. There are also thoughts on playfulness in spiritual writing, playing with words, found Goddesses, and finding new Goddesses every day. 

Ms. Ardinger argues that we alter our reality through the words that we use (affirmations are a common form of this magick) and by calling upon the new Goddesses we find within our transformed worlds, we give power to them. And in giving power to them, we create power sources for us to call upon. 

As Pagans, one of our blessings is our sense of playfulness (the Charge of the Goddess tells us "all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. Let there be . . . mirth and reverence within you"). We all know many people who are extraordinarily creative. We create inventive rituals, hilarious jokes, and share extraordinary stories with one another – in person and on the ‘Net. Despite this, so many of our books have a Puritan-like sense of seriousness. Maybe its our upbringing, or perhaps we are feeling defensive about having to explain that this a genuine religion to outsiders that we don’t feel safe in being humorous. (Can you image how badly a modern version of Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” would be misconstrued?) 

Stop taking yourself and your spirituality seriously, Ms Ardinger says – breathe life and vigor back into the Goddess movement. If your personal creativity fails you momentarily, reach for this book and giggle till the joy returns. 

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Barbara Ardinger

ECW Press, 2003

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