Like the winds of the sea are the winds of fate, As we voyage along through life 'Tis the set of the soul That decides its goal And not the calm or the strife. -Ella Wheeler Wilcox, poet (1897)
We women are all goddesses. Let me get that out of the way.
This book is about all of us.
Releasing the Goddess Within by Gail Carr Feldman, Ph.D. and Katherine A. Gleason is written for the young maiden, fertile mother and mature woman… goddesses, one and all.
By-the-by: It’s a keeper! You really could just stop reading right this moment and dash off to buy it. I therefore deem my singular recommendation good enough. Go ye therefore, and shop!
I make me laugh. But I’m serious. Anyway.
There’s all sorts of excellent stuff in the first 200 pages but my favorite part is Appendix A: A Who’s Who of Goddesses. In it, we find Venus and the Mona Lisa and The Fates and even our first lady of creation, Eve. All there, along with a bunch of myriad others. All goddesses in their own right(s).
One entry prompted me to look up the movie it referenced, called, “The Red Shoes.” Based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale (same name) it is a story of love and the art of dance, not necessarily in that order. Here is the most famous ballet scene that speaks to power and beauty… and has been interpreted to represent the goddess, at least according to this book. Head’s up: It’s 15 minutes of beauty and a weirdness that rivals Moulin Rouge!
But I’m obviously getting ahead of myself.
In Chapter 1, we are told that the Goddesses in this book are “metaphors for the various aspects of the female psyche and personality – pieces of yourself.” OMG, I love this! Do you?
Of course, others will see them as symbols or archetypes.
Ah heck, why can’t we see them as ALL of that? I sure do!
The book is presented in three parts:
- Your Goddess in her infinite variety
- Finding your inner Goddess
If one needed a text book on goddesses, this would be that book. Every kind of goddess, tradition, culture and religion is covered here! I know, it sounds overwhelming… but it isn’t.
Published in 2002, it feels timeless. This is a book you could pick up any time and turn to any page… or… you can read it from front to back. Or sideways. Whatever floats your boat.
There is a short history of goddesses in the first chapter but there’s certainly more history than that, as stories throughout the book are not labeled history but of course, are. That was a weird sentence. Hope it made sense!
There are exercises in every chapter to help you determine where you are on your own personal path of Goddess discovery. Lots of quotes and little illustrations, too. Oh, and did I mention rituals, ceremonies and potions? Cuz, yeah, it’s all here!
It is when we are given choice that we sit with the gods and design ourselves. – Dorothy Gilman
I saw the quote above in the book and was tickled because I have a few of Ms. Gilman’s (d. 2012) Mrs. Pollifax books. My mom told me about her. I liked the book she gave me to read A LOT but had trouble getting into the others I’ve found along the way. Still, not surprising that she was a strong woman who designed herself. But I (as I so often do) digress.
Now, where was I? Oh, yes…
There’s almost too much in the book to talk about here, in this tiny space. For real. The book is JAM PACKED. If I could distill it down to one final thought, it is this: Feldman and Gleason have written a pretty cool book. I kinda love it. I think you will, too.