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Empowering the feminine ~ Woman's journey

A Sense of the Sacred : Finding Our Spiritual Lives Through Ceremony
Adele Getty
Publisher: Taylor Press
ISBN: 0878339469

A few years ago, I attended the outdoor wedding of some friends in the American Southwest. At one point, an attractive woman stepped to the front and spoke a kind of benediction for the ceremony that is a marriage. She spoke in a strikingly mood altering manner: calm, unhurried, sincere, with matter of factual intensity and grace; and she spoke of the deeper experience and meaning of this moment which we all shared in. Usually uncomfortable in the presence of sermons and ceremony, I found myself thinking that this woman was a new kind of priestess, one that could help us reintegrate our spirits with our lives on this planet in a natural and honest way. The speaker was Adele Getty, and we are fortunate that she has published here what amounts to a manual for the revitalisation of "The Sense of the Sacred" which she understands and embodies so well. Ms Getty speaks movingly and with insight on the meaning of the sense of the sacred in earlier societies and it's subsequent loss, and of revitalisation movements, particularly the current and recent New Age, before moving into the reawakening of the sacred in our lives. Here the reader especially benefits from Getty's particular gifts and experience, for she has a natural sixth sense for the personal as well as social processes involved here. She speaks of the use of creating meaningful ceremony, as part of the process of investing our experiences with the full dimensions of their meaning for us; of birth and dying, of troubled teens disconnected, of the women's and men's movements, and of the male-female partnership, and our lives in our communities. Sense of the Sacred is an engaging and insightful personal manual for the revitalisation of this resonant dimension in our lives. I heartily recommend it.-Stephen Miller, mkzdk.

See also Adele Getty's other book Goddess: Mother of Living Nature.

Circle of Stones: Woman's Journey to Herself
Duerk, Judith
Publisher: LuraMedia, 7060 Miramar Road, Suite 104, San Diego, CA 92121
ISBN: 0931055660

On rare occasions a book allows us to be utterly drawn in, to fall into another realm where a certain perspective we once struggled with becomes crystal clear. In essence, Circle of Stones is about discovering the power of the feminine and the core of our beings. It is rich with the history, myth and images of the collective consciousness of woman to guide us in our journey. Beautifully conveyed, it is art, poetry and metaphor-astonishingly simple, yet undeniably sublime. From The WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women; review by Ilene Rosoff , 02/01/97:

To quote - first blood

To Maiden quote

Women who run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
by: Estes, Clarissa
ISBN: 0345396812
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing--the Wild Woman. She is the internal, eternal essence of the feminine: instinctive, intuitive, primitive, powerful. In this remarkable collection of multicultural myths and stories, a renowned Jungian analyst and storyteller reintroduces this important archetype into the lives of modern women.

 

The Quest of the Warrior Woman
by: Feldman, Christina
Publisher: Aquarian/HarperCollins,1994
ISBN: 1855383233

Availability: This title is out of print, but if you place an order Amazon will attempt to find you a used copy within 1-3 months.

One book that is having a big impact on me is 'The Quest of the Warrior Woman' by Christina Feldman. Christina talks about a woman's tradition of warriorship which has little to do with injuring others, but is focused on one's quest for total freedom with integrity. Freedom includes analyzing oneself minutely and letting go of beliefs, prejudices etc that we enslave ourselves to. Here's a passage: "The call that inspires the spiritual warrior in her journey is the call to discover authenticity and freedom within herself and to embody that in her life. Answering this call does not demand that we divorce our partners, leave our children or renounce our jobs and aspirations. It does require us to question whether the forms and roles we have chosen communicate the values and wisdom we honour." It's a wonderful book and I recommend it highly. Sherri

Possessing the Secret of Joy
by Alice Walker, Bill Grose (Editor)
ISBN: 0671789422
Mass Market Paperback (June 1993)

Through intense character development, innovative plot structure, and dazzling manipulation of point of view, Possessing the Secret of Joy attacks the practice of female genital mutilation and the mythologies various cultures use to sustain this horrific practice. Well into her adolescence, Tashi chooses to have a clitorectomy -"the only remaining definitive stamp of Olinka tradition" - to help ensure the solidarity and preservation of her African tribe. She almost dies, but she survives and marries. It is only later that she comprehends the full implications of what has happened to her and is filled with a desire for revenge. While many would abhor the action she takes, it ultimately frees her. In Tashi's living and bedroom, with medical doctors and on psychiatrists' couches, in tribal villages and in an African jail and courtroom, Tashi works to understand and overcome her pain and rage. The novel is witnessed through Tashi, her husband and son, other family members, acquaintances, friends, and enemies. Tashi's suffering is neither silent nor singular; that "mutilation," "enslavement," "the domination of women," and "the collaboration of our mothers" constitute the unholiest of alliances can no longer be denied after one experiences Alice Walker's telling of Tashi's tale. This is a "magical journey," an initiation into ways of knowing, and an indictment of all that is cruel.

From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Mary Hope Whitehead Lee

Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets
by: Barbara G Walker
ISBN: 0785807209
Publisher: Book Sales, 1996

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Fiction

Like Bread on the Seder Plate
by Rebecca Alpert
ISBN: 0231096607

Not since "Nice Jewish Girls" by Evelyn Torton Beck and "Twice Blessed" by Andy Rose and Christie Balka has a book so thoughtfully explored the difficult balance of living as both a Jew and a lesbian. The title, "Like Bread on the Seder Plate," refers to a tradition that began in the 1980s among Jewish lesbians, whereby they placed a piece of leavened bread on the Seder plate at Passover to evoke their feelings of isolation from Jewish tradition. As one of the first women to be ordained as a rabbi, author Rebecca Alpert asserts a visible place for lesbians within Judaism, reinterpreting the homophobic strictures imposed by the Torah to construct a framework in which Jewish lesbians can feel included and accepted. A brave, accessible, and important book, "Like Bread on the Seder Plate" is sure to inspire many Jewish lesbians to reclaim a cultural and religious life that previously excluded them. - Kera L. Bolonik

Eva Luna
Isabel Allende
Bantam Books, 1989
ISBN: 0553280589

Isabel Allende's "The Stories of Eva Luna" captivated my senses as no other novel has done. Another world is waiting inside the cover. Allende holds the power to make her readers cry, laugh and scream with delight, only to wish they could experience her stories for the first time all over again! She was my first love of Latin American litereature and has turned me into a fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez as well. Other short fiction novels are not even comparable! Do yourself a favor & enjoy this one!

The Moon Under Her Feet
Kinstler, Clysta
Publisher: HarperSanFransisco
ISBN: 0062504975

A re-telling of the story of Jesus from the perspective of Mary Magdalene. I found myself in tears through much of this beautiful book. It was as if I was remembering a long forgotton truth. Laura-Doe

The Mists of Avalon
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Del Rey, 1987
ISBN: 0345350499

"There is no such thing as a true tale. Truth has many faces and the truth is like to the old road to Avalon; it depends on your own will and your own thoughts, whither the road will take you." The Mists of Avalon is a story of another time and place. It's the legendary saga of King Arthur and his companions at Camelot, their battles, love, and devotion, told this time from the perspective of the women involved. Viviane is "The Lady of the Lake," the magical priestess of the Isle of Avalon, a special mist-shrouded place which becomes more difficult to reach as people turn away from its nature and Goddess-oriented religion. Viviane's quest is to find a king who will be loyal to Avalon as well as to Christianity. This king will be Arthur. Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's Queen, is an overly pious, fearful woman who successfully sways her husband into betraying his allegiance to Avalon. Set against her is Morgaine of the Fairies, Arthur's sister, love, and enemy - and the most powerfully believable person in the book - who manipulates the characters like threads in a tapestry to achieve her tragic and heroic goals. The Mists of Avalon becomes a legend seen through new eyes, with details, majestic language, and haunting foreshadowing that hold the reader through its more than 800 pages. An all time favourite of mine - Laura-Doe

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