Goddess 2.0 has a nice balance of topics on the intersection of Goddess spirituality, feminism, politics and ecology. With some very well-known authors like Riane Eisler and Starhawk and lesser known names, it gives voice to a wide variety of perspectives including some international writers. Split into part one on Sacred Wisdom and part two on Sacred Action, the idea is to present a new way into the future based on the values of Goddess spirituality. Several essays were so good I would have liked to share them immediately with friends. A few of the essays irritated me. In a well-rounded anthology, feeling a full circle of emotions should be required.
The introduction by Rev. Dr. Kate Tate is steeped in the kind of Goddess infused thealogy that declaims the patriarchy and sets up Goddess worship as the answer to the ills of male domination. Initially I wondered if the rest of the book would tread the same well-worn path but was pleasantly surprised to find thoughtful, researched essays, some of which turn a word in ways that will stick with you long after reading them. This collection doesn't shy away from controversy and will likely provoke you occasionally.
I would like to highly recommend a few different essays to pique your interest:
- The Dark Goddess in the 21st century: Rebooting the Sacred Feminine for the 21st Century by Cristina Biaggi is an unusually riveting account of living with contradictions and extremes and the death of a partner.
- Goddess Based Morality of Women's Health, Abortion and Healthcare by Starhawk simply states that moral people care for each other. Her description of the forces at play in society that impact the ability of women to receive healthcare and healing is spot on.
- Nancy Vedder Shults in Goddess at the Center, Goddess Everywhere presented some fascinating ideas of interconnection from India. She describes the myth of the net of Indra. The concept of the spider web and the spiritual web connecting all people is widespread in different forms throughout mythology but I had no idea of its Indian origins.
- On Building Bridges, Not Walls: A Goddessian-Christian-Muslim Perspective by Trista Hendren is a smart look at how we can bridge the gap with members of different faiths by understanding the way the Divine Feminine manifests in these faiths.
- What's Good for Women is Good for the World: Foundations for a Caring Economy by Riane Eisler brings real world politics and social action to redress the worst problems faced by women in this economy. This is an exceptionally clear explanation of intent which is not surprising considering the author also has started a non-profit to promote these ideas.
- The Rev. Dr. Karen Tate in Reawakening Our Earliest Sacred Stories wishes to reawaken, retell, reinterpret and rewrite the feminine face of God and is in fact writing what she calls A Goddess Bible, a sacred feminine liberation thealogy. She asks the thought provoking question: What if the Garden of Eden and the myth of Pandora's Box were actually positive images of women?
- Professor Andrew Gurevich in the essay Columbia: America's Forgotten Goddess mounts an interesting response to the current anti-immigrant sentiment fomenting in America today. His writing is visually and viscerally engaging. In describing the inheritance of western religions, he states: “Catechisms of left brained ego-worship, they spread through the uncritical passing of dangerous, misogynistic, Bronze Age memes. They are catacombs of our collective human shame, eternally separated from their own mythological “womb”, from the vast, cosmic ocean that is the source of all knowledge and forms.”
- Equally engaging is the writing of Harita Meenee who opens our eyes to international struggles and anti-immigrant sentiments in Greece. In her essay, Activism and the Dark Aprhodite: Battling Oppression and Fascism in Greece, Meenee reintroduces readers to Aphrodite in her more ancient form, Androphonos, a Dark Goddess whose potency is so much more than beauty and love. As a native born Greek, Meenee's insight into the rising threat of fascism in Greece and the powerful resistance to it will help non-Greeks understand the political right's rise in Europe and the forces that counteract it. This combination of political comprehension with the spiritual support of Aphrodite as a Dark Goddess challenges everyone to step beyond our comfort zone.
~review by Larissa Carlson Viana
Editor: Rev. Dr. Karen Tate
A Megalithica Books Publication, An imprint of Immanion Press 2016
pp. 215, $16.00