The Witches’ Goddess
Janet and Stewart Farrar, Phoenix Publishing Inc.
The past 2,000 years the world has been dominated by patriarchal religions that have suppressed the feminine divine impulse. This century has brought about a new awareness of the divine feminine principal. Wicca a fast growing religion based on ancient principals is spearheading the awareness.
But what exactly does the feminine divine principal mean? Ancient Paganism had a plethora of God and Goddesses how does the concept of only one God and goddess come about? Dion Fortune one time said that all Goddesses are one one Goddess and all God are one God. In effect all the Goddesses are masks of the great mother goddess and all gods are a mask of the male god who is both the consort and son of the great mother goddess.
The Farrar husband and wife team dive into ancient texts, mythology and scholarly studies to examine the goddess and her role in both ancient and modern life. Everything from early Mesopotamian texts all the way to Celtic texts are analyzed and studied. This is no Wicca 101 book but a comprehensive study of the Goddess and her many masks which encapsulate her many aspects.
The book is divided into three parts. The first part talks about the Goddess concept in general. Early mankind is discussed and how the women were revered for their ability to have children. The role of men was not realized yet. But as history moved forward the role of man became realized and slowly but surely man came to dominate as violent behavior and war fare became the norm. Patriarchy came supreme and the feminine was suppressed. But even as Christianity dominated the femine could not be entirely expressed. The virgin mary become the epitome of the mother Goddess. in fact many believe that the virgin mary churches and statue may have been Isis statues that were taken over by Christianity. The role of the dark goddess, the moon and Jungian archetypes are discussed in depth.
The second part of the book examine thirteen goddesses up close. a full story is given about them and a ritual honoring them.From the Middle East come Isis and Ishtar. Isis having an Egyptian ritual peculiar to her taken from the book "Egyptian magick" by Wallace Budge. Believe me this is Egyptian not Wiccan. Ishtar was the Babylonian queen of heaven who descended to the world of the dead to rescue Dammuzi her consort.speaking of descents to the lower world. There is a ritual for Demeter and Kore. Remember that Demeter has a daughter that gets abducted to the underworld. There is also a section for the lovely Aphrodite showing how she evolved from a Middle Eastern beginning into her Greek form as the Goddess of love.Lilith and Eve have a ritual dedicated to them as well. The ritual itself was rather comical involving a Jewish husband and a Christian wife. Good for laughs at least. Epona was a Celtic horse Goddess that came to be revered by the Romans, in fact she was the only Celt deity to be honored by the Romans. arianrhod mother of llew Laws also has a ritual dedicated to her as well. Of course there are a few others like Hekate, Maat, Brigid and Aradia but I will let the reader explore that for him/herself.
The third section of the book is a glossary of all the Goddesses world over. It makes for slow reading, but it is a great reference if you are trying to choose a deity to work with for a ritual. I mean if you are going to ask for money then you want a Goddess who deals with money right?
The book is well researched with a good bibliography in the back for further reading. These are not fluff book but books that are based on solid research. at the beginning of the section is an inventory of perfume and incense recipes that you can choose to make. This get's 5 out of 5
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