When I first received this book for review, I was unsure of what to expect. Especially as a reviewer I try to go in to a new book for review with no expectations, but in certain circumstances that is just impossible. Jailbreaking The Goddess, however, was one book which when I first started reading blew away any other thoughts except "I can't stop reading" and "I have to read this whole entire book." By Lasara Firefox Allen, this book can be many things to different people; it can be freeing, mind-blowing, life changing, a confirmation of sorts and so, so much more.
The thing that really showed me how different this book was from others of it's ilk is that Allen begins it with a chapter called Standing Where We Stand. More than an introduction this chapter is both a building block and stepping stone to the rest of the book. Filled with socio-cultural observations about our culture today along with information about how limiting certain viewpoints are, this chapter is one of the most necessary first chapters I have ever read.
Going forward from this chapter Jailbreaking The Goddess dismantles the too prevalent ideas of Maiden-Mother-Crone and shows that not only are they limiting, they can also be harmful. Chapter two continues thoughts and ideas from chapter one, but then chapter three begins the discussions on the first of the five archetypes Allen is discussing in this book; Femella. Each of the next four chapters discusses the next archetypes; Potens, Creatrix, Sapientia and Antiqua. Part one of the book then finishes with chapter eight, "Rewilding; The Path From Here."
Each of the chapters three through seven goes into detail about the archetype including Goddess correspondences, rituals, practical ideas for how, when and why to call that archetype into your life as well as journaling prompts and creative actions to take/do alongside the journaling. I have to say it's these actions which really caused me to fall in love with this book. In Jailbreaking, Allen gives the reader so much more than myth stories, so much more than socio-cultural observations; Allen gives the reader practical ways in which to make incorporate these archetypes into their life, ways to break free of the seemingly forced Maiden-Mother-Crone archetype,and allows that reader to take these changes one step at a time at their own pace. Additionally, while this book is obviously Pagan centered and would be easiest for someone who is already Pagan, this book can be read and the action steps followed by someone of any spiritual path, from any cultural background with only a few modifications.
Part two is an odd yet interesting combination of leaving the hard work behind and getting into the nitty gritty, the deep topics and the hard magical workings. In chapter nine "It's All About Relationship" there are discussions, as well as journal entries and the associated actions for topics like intention and responsibility. In chapter 10 the topic is magic and the privileges that gives us practitioners, as well as the responsibilities and consequences that go with it. Chapter 11 is Decentralizing Your Working Group, Chapter 12 is Building Divine Relationships, 13 is Decolonizing Our Magics, 14 is Ritual Elements and Techniques and the book ends with Appendices including information for the new magical practitioner.
To say this book is life changing does not fully encompass how truly liberating this book will be for many, many women. To say it is groundbreaking does not encompass the true revolutionary nature of it. To say that it is divine does not at all express that it was written by a woman who saw a need and met it. There truly is nothing I can say that will be fully appropriate for this book, so I will say only this: everyone who identifies as female, as a woman, really, truly, needs to read Jailbreaking The Goddess by Lasara Firefox Allen.
~review by: Jessica Elizabeth
Author: Lasara Firefox Allen
Llewellyn Publications, 2016