In 2014 Moon Books published Naming the Goddess, an anthology in two parts: a series of critical essays on the nature of the goddess and relationships with her, and then a series of dozens of short articles on individual goddesses/goddess aspects covering a large cross-section of world faiths. The book was well-received in general, and it is thus natural that we now have Naming the God. Once again edited by Trevor Greenfield, this 2021 publication follows the map laid out by the first volume - 11 essays on the nature of the god, followed by dozens of entries on gods from the ubiquitous (Mercury, Tyr) to the arcane (Tsusanoo, Har Par Krat). This begs the question - is this volume as good as the first one?

The easy answer is "yes". The god aspect of deity (sorry for the tortured language but people of *many* practices visit Facing North) is not always explored in depth, for completely understandable reasons. Nevertheless, if your practice takes the god into account at all, it is a disservice to yourself not to explore its place alongside the goddess. In that light, the essays are incredibly valuable for plumbing the depths of the god aspect. "Working with the Gods" by Rachel Patterson is essential 101 material if you need to get up to speed on this kind of working, while essays like "Warrior Gods" by Dorothy Adams and "Nature Gods" by Ellen Evert Hopman do an excellent job of helping the reader focus in on deities that fulfill specific roles within your practice. I particularly appreciated the breadth of the series, with the last two essays ("Mad About the Boy" by Robin Herne and "Gods of London" by Lucya Starza) straying from large, abstract concepts to dig more specifically into topics that nevertheless illuminate more general truths.

The second portion of the book, 59 short pieces on individual god aspects of deity, may be less useful when any piece is looked at individually, but taken together they make for an outstanding reference for when the reader needs to determine either a) which aspect of the god they are being spoken to by, or b) which aspect of the god they should try to speak with. Dozens of different authors help to keep fresh perspective throughout the catalog (not 59, however; several authors such as Kenn Payne and Mélusine Dracon contribute multiple entries) and ensure that you aren't just getting one author's take on the entirety of gods.

Whether you've got Naming the Goddess on your bookshelf already or not (and really, you should), Naming the God is a valuable reference and worthy addition to anyone's library. It is clearly a book that has been meticulously curated and lovingly crafted for maximum effect; Trevor Greenfield's editorial hand was well-suited to this task. Taken together, these two books make an excellent cornerstone to build upon in any exploration of the nature of deity.

~review by Wanderer

Authors: various
Edited by: Trevor Greenfield
Moon Books, 2022
pp. 248, $18.95