We keep hearing that the Goddess and paganism are going mainstream as regular people show increasing concern for Mother Nature. Sacred Places of Goddess is an example of this mainstreaming of Goddess consciousness. You won’t find this book on the New Age or religion shelves of your local bookstore. It’s on the travel shelves, which means that ordinary travelers can pick it up and be inspired to travel to sites that commemorate the Goddess. Tate says that publisher has “seen the relevance of this surging interest in Goddess worldwide [and] chosen to be a catalyst for change in the publishing industry” (p. 12).
The book opens with brief chapters, including a map of Goddess sites that introduce Goddess scholarship to the general reader. We learn who the Goddess is and what terms like “divine feminine” mean. We also learn how to stay safe when we travel in a perilous world and what proper etiquette at a sacred site is. Whereas tours of Goddess sites have been mostly limited to those who already worship the Goddess, now ordinary tourists can also visit temples, earthworks, and other sites connected with Her. Thanks to Tate’s work, they’ll recognize what they’re seeing and know enough to be courteous and respectful.
In addition to descriptions of sacred places in Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, the Asian Sub-continent, East Asia, Oceania, South America and the West Indies, Mexico, and North America, the book includes Gaia Alerts and Goddess Focuses. A Gaia Alert, like “Peruvian Grave Robbers,” is a “notice of ongoing or impending ecological or cultural devastation.” A Goddess Focus tells us about a site (islands sacred to the Goddess), a person (a mini-bio of Marija Gimbutas), or an issue (what the Satanic Verses of the Koran are).
Although we wish the book had bigger pictures and competent editing, it’s interesting and useful to those who are just being introduced to the Goddess as well as those who already love Her. Before you book your next flight, consult this book! You’ll be glad you did.
~review by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.
Author: Karen Tate
CCC Publishing, 2006