Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Book Review: Voices of the Sacred Feminine

Today I'm reviewing a lovely book that really captures the essence of the Goddess Spirituality movement and makes it meaningful for people - both women and men - in ordinary life. I enjoyed talking with the author on her radio show a few weeks back about Minoan spirituality and its egalitarian values. This book emphasizes similar values and gives a wide variety of interesting viewpoints.


Mythology drives culture and hence politics and the economy, so in order to change politics and economics, we have to change the mythology. That is exactly what Karen Tate has been doing for nearly a decade now with her radio show Voices of the Sacred Feminine. Her new book, also titled Voices of the Sacred Feminine, is an anthology that collects many powerful thoughts about Goddess spirituality as a tool for implementing that change on a personal, community and world level. Some of the pieces are essays written for this collection and some are transcripts of interviews from the radio show; all offer valuable insights into ways we can shift the current paradigm toward a more balanced, compassionate one.

Voices of the Sacred Feminine is not a polemic – though of course, people steeped in the limited monotheistic patriarchal worldview may view it as such – but an encouragement to move forward, evolve, and heal, both within ourselves and in our communities at large. The wide variety of women and, yes, men who contributed their thoughts to this collection provide us with a window into Goddess spirituality in its great diversity as well as its underlying unity. In these pages you will find righteous anger, certainly, but also compassion, inclusion, and the stubborn fearlessness that has allowed women to survive and even occasionally thrive throughout the centuries of male domination. It is these qualities that drive us forward as we work to change the world.

The book is divided into several sections based on several overarching topics. The first section, which addresses the existence of the Sacred Feminine and its (Her) manifestation in the world, gives us glimpses into divine forces from Mary Magdalene to Lady Liberty. These essays and interviews remind us that the Goddess is always relevant in every day and time and that to leave Her out is to risk dangerous imbalance, as we have seen for so long in worldwide society. The second section offers a variety of journeys into healing through opening ourselves to the Goddess in Her many guises. Whether it’s a formal ritual, a meditative reading, or a thought-provoking essay about why the Goddess should be important to men, each piece suggests a way toward the healing that is necessary if we are to put ourselves, and our world, back together again. The third section focuses on the values and paradigms that Goddess spirituality offers to the realms of politics and business. How wonderful it would be if the cooperative, egalitarian spirit of the Sacred Feminine infected our governments and companies! But that won’t happen on its own; we have to work for it. And the fifth section shows us exactly how we can achieve that goal. Sacred activism is a concept that can help us bridge the gap between personal spirituality and doing good in the world.

The Goddess lives in all of us and She empowers us to speak out against the current, damaging paradigm. But instead of just complaining, we must offer a replacement, a new model. Voices of the Sacred Feminine addresses exactly this issue, this need to find a better way and to take action to implement it in the world. As Ms. Tate so perceptively comments, we must take on the taboo subjects of sex, religion, power and politics if we are to change them, and with the Goddess at our side, I believe we will ultimately succeed.