I initially picked this book up because it had the same main title as one of my favorite books, A Circle of Stones: Journeys and Meditations for Modern Celts by Erynn Rowan Laurie, and occasionally I’ve had people mistake the two in conversation. So I was curious as to what this other text was all about, since it had gotten favorable feedback.
This Circle of Stones is a lovely little text on women’s mysteries and connecting to the Divine Feminine, including that within. Rather than being an academic text or how-to book, it’s a veritable stream of consciousness filled with philosophies and advice for coming more fully into one’s identity as a woman. Much of it hints at a different society where there’s not millenia of sexism and worse oppression towards women, and what that might look like. I’m generally somewhat cynical about “herstory”, but I liked this as an alternate concept of what could be.
Because of this, I think my favorite parts of the book were the meditations beginning “How might your life have been different…”. They’re short meditations on what might have happened if, for example, women-only spaces that weren’t based on shutting women away, and how that might affect a woman’s development over her lifetime. Rather than telling the reader what to think, the author simply invites contemplation and personal consideration.
I will warn those who are intent on historical accuracy that there is a bit of revisionism, particularly at the beginning, to the tune of “There used to be matriarchies before the patriarchies took over”. However, this is minimal, and most of the book–including the practical material–is not based on this premise.
Overall, a lovely read, and I understand why others have spoken well of it.
~review by Lupa
Author: Judith Duerk
New World Library, 2004
pp. 240, $13.95