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I’ve nothing against Goddess-centered spirituality, being a longtime neopagan and devotee of Artemis myself. Unfortunately, sometimes the Goddess’ spokespeople disagree vehemently with my sensibilities. This book contains a number of the complaints that I have with the New Age in particular (as opposed to neopaganism or other forms of alternative spirituality), though the author seems quite sincere in her experiences and attempts to communicate them.

 

Ray works with soft polytheism, the idea that “all Goddesses are one Goddess”. She attempts to rekindle interest in the Divine Feminine, particularly as the Mother, in this text, using anecdotes, a bit of light research, and a smattering of exercises. While I agree with some of her general messages, such as the need to increase the well-being of women around the world, and the need to make the world a better place through everyday actions, there are some things that I very distinctly disagree with.

 

First, she draws on a lot of Hindu elements, but taking way out of their original context and slapping them into a New Age container. She also seems to suffer from the need for a guru, again a common theme in New Age systems. And she skims over a number of topics that really ought to be discussed in more depth, such as her brief, shallow treatment of kundalini and Tantra. (And I know a number of pagans whose blood pressure would rise with all the talk of the Virgin Mary, Quan Yin, and Lakshmi all being the same Goddess!)

 

There is a market for this book, but unfortunately I can’t in good conscience recommend it to anyone who might read this review. Between the rampant cultural appropriation and the shallow, New Age approach to practices that can really cause a lot of damage if done improperly, there are just too many problems with this text.

 

~review by Lupa

Author: Sondra Ray

New World Library, 2007

$14.95

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