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Recommended Reading

For Goddess related readings, there are numerous excellent books available.  Just a few of the possibilities include the following.


Goddesses in Everywoman -- A New Psychology of Women, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Harper Colophon Books, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1984.

Gods in Everyman -- A New Psychology of Men’s Lives & Loves, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Harper & Row, Publishers, San Francisco, 1989.

The Goddess Within -- A Guide to the Eternal Myths that Shape Women’s Lives, Jennifer and Roger Woolger, Fawcett Columbine (Ballantine Books), New York, 1989.           

The two books by Bolen provide the best description of the female and male archetypes existing within the patriarchal system. Dr. Bolen’s description of the relevant Greek myths and their connection to the archetypes is particularly worthwhile, both from the standpoint of clarity and inclusiveness.  Her Jungian approach to understanding the psychology of the roles each of us play is essential reading for anyone trying to understand themselves.  But please note that both sexes need to read both books -- we all have a little of the opposite sex in each of us.  For example, Margaret Thatcher is a strong Zeus archetype!  These books are strongly recommended.  

The book by Jennifer and Roger Woolger contains a great deal of the material that Dr. Bolen’s book on the goddesses does, but takes it from a different viewpoint.  It's primary failing is that it doesn’t include male god archetypes.  Nevertheless, it is still recommended for the serious student.

The Patriarchy

When God Was a Woman, Merlin Stone, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, New  York, 1976.

The Chalice & The Blade -- Our History, Our Future, Riane Eisler, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1988.           

Merlin Stone’s ground breaking book, and later Eisler’s extraordinary classic both deal with the rise of the patriarchy and its subjugation of the Great Goddess.  Both investigate in some detail the conditions of pre-history (as opposed to herstory), the implications of the denigration of the Goddess, and where we can go from here.  Eisler’s book is particularly good in making a case for an alternative system.           

In fact, according to the Los Angeles Weekly, Eisler’s book is “The most significant work published in our lifetimes... might make the future possible.”  Which, when you think about it, is a reasonably positive endorsement.  I would echo the recommendation, and suggest that Eisler’s book is absolutely must reading.  When one considers that one well known individual, Ashley Montagu, called it “The most important book since Darwin’s Origin of the Species, you can perhaps appreciate its value. Very Strongly Recommended.  (That means, “go out and buy it.  Now!  Not later.  Now!”)

The Great Goddess

Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth -- Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer, Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, Harper&Row, Publishers, New York, 1983.

Descent to the Goddess -- A Way of Initiation for Women, Sylvia Brinton Perera, Inner City Books, Toronto, 1981.           

These two books are excellent.  Wolkstein’s book can be considered more of the source, and is ideal if one wants to be able to read the Sumerian myths of Inanna in their entirety (as well as the scholarly details of decipherment, and Wolkstein’s excellent, but comparatively brief, analysis.  Perera’s book, on the other hand, is essential if one wants to actually make the descent and become fully empowered. Perera is speaking primarily to women, and in some respects to just those women who have bought into the patriarchy (either as a “father's daughter”, or as the submissive wife).  Nevertheless, this is a must read for both sexes (although Bolen’s books and Eisler’s book might be considered pre-requisites).  These two books are strongly and very strongly recommended, respectively.

Return of the Goddess

Return of the Goddess, Edward C. Whitmont, Crossroad Publishing, New York, 1982.

The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light -- Mythology, Sexuality & the Origins of Culture, William Irwin Thompson, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1981.

Mysteries of the Dark Moon -- The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess, Demetra  George, HarperSanFrancisco, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1992.

The Goddess Re-Awakening, Shirley Nicholson (compiler), Quest Books, London, 1989.           

Whitmont’s book is an excellent, albeit more scholarly, work on many of the myths concerning the goddess and related matters.  There is also considerable discussion on the matters of the Holy Grail (including both the patriarchal and pre-patriarchal views), as well as many of the myths surrounding King Arthur, the Fisher King, and Divine Kingship.  A Jungian scholar, Whitmont takes a psychological, scholarly approach, and for this reason, this book is slightly more difficult to master.  Still, I recommend it strongly.  

Another scholarly book (requiring yet more mental gymnastics) on the potential for major shifts in our cultural paradigm, Thompson’s book considers the nature of myth, prehistoric transformations, displacement of the feminine and the coming myth beyond history.  Thompson describes some ancient Egyptian myths, for those seeking to round out their mythological studies.  An excellent book.  

One description of George’s book might be summed up as: “The secret rites of the hidden period of the month -- a specific aspect of life cycles, the dark period, which is symbolized here as the dark phase of the moon.”  This book covers a lot of territory, including the description of many myths not encountered readily in other books, detailed discussions of such things as the Eleusinian Mysteries, and the astrological connections to the relevant myths.  George tends to repeat herself, but there is a lot of material that women (and men) will find very relevant, particularly in regard to understanding the nature of the feminine cycle -- be it The Great Cycle, or lunar and/or solar cycles.  

Nicholson’s book is a collection of short essays, dealing with the prospects of a returning goddess, from the viewpoint of the goddess herself, psychological perspectives, religious and traditional views, and socio-political concerns.  Essays include topics from Sophia to Isis to Buddhist female deities.

The Lady of Myriad Offices

To Be A Woman -- The Birth of the Conscious Feminine, Connie Zweig (ed.), Jeremy P. Tarcher, Los Angeles, 1990.

An excellent collection of short essays, organized into six parts:  Retracing our common evolution, re-mothering and re-fathering ourselves, resacralizing the female body, reawakening the divine feminine, and renewing the world.  Some of the very best short essays.  Very strongly recommended.  

The Passion of Being Woman -- A Love Story from the Past for the Twenty-First Century, Mary Hugh Scott, McMurray & Beck Communications, Aspen, 1991.

A detailed study of the myth of Psyche and Eros, including Psyche’s descent into Hades.

The Triple Goddess -- An Exploration of the Archetypal Feminine, Adam McLean,  Phanes Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 1989.

A discussion of the myriad ways the triple goddess concept pervades Greek mythology.  

Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, Charles Spretnak, Beacon Press, Boston, 1978.

Pre-patriarchal myths of such goddesses as Athena, Pandora, Hera, and Aphrodite.  Provides a whole new viewpoint -- for example, Pandora as the “giver of all gifts”.  

Other Relevant Books

Reincarnation Is Making a Comeback --  The Ins and Outs of the Human Spirit, Dan S. Ward, Whitford Press, West Chester, PA, 1990.

Inasmuch as we might tend to find fault in one sex or the other for the rise of the patriarchy, it may be useful to recall that according to the theory of reincarnation, we have all been incarnated many times and as a member of both sexes!  This book provides an insight into a great deal of the “New Age”, and the sort of things our world and society may be progressing toward.  Very strongly recommended (i.e., I wrote it myself).  

Male Sexuality, Bernie Zilbergeld, Bantam Books, New York, 1978.

Inasmuch as sexuality is such a part of the Goddess and her return, it might be well for both sexes to attempt a better understanding of the sexual myths foisted upon us by the patriarchy.  Good book.  

You Just Don't Understand -- Women and Men in Conversation, Deborah Tannen, Ballantine Books, New York, 1990.

We may want to talk, before and after, having sex. It’d be nice to be able to communicate.

The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ballantine Books, New York, 1982.

A novel of the reign of King Arthur, but told entirely from the female point of view.  Good book.  Something of a classic in the field.  


Astrology According to the Goddess         Dance of the Seven Veils

Inanna         Return of the Goddess         The Great Goddess

Forward to:

Hierarchy of Values         It’s in Every One of Us         Collective of Frequencies



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