compiled by Pegi Eyers
Books that kickstarted, informed, inspired and empowered Feminism and Goddess Spirituality in contemporary times.
The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype
by Erich Neumann
Neumann examines how the Feminine has been experienced and expressed in many cultures from the neolithic to our own time. Appearing as Goddess and demon, gate and pillar, garden and tree, hovering sky and containing vessel, the Feminine is seen as an essential factor in individual consciousness and the cosmic mind as symbolized by the Great Mother.
The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth
by Robert Graves
The classic tapestry of poetic and religious scholarship. Graves explores the stories behind the earliest of European deities—the White Goddess of Birth, Love, and Death—who was worshipped under countless titles.
The First Sex
by Elizabeth Gould Davis
The first work on Goddess Spirituality by a woman author, Davis brings to light ancient matriarchal societies that were based on the worship of the Great Goddess and were characterized by pacifism and democracy. These societies attained a high level of civilization, but were overcome by a patriarchal culture that worshipped a stern and vengeful male deity rather than the caring and nurturing Mother Goddess. The patriarchy introduced a new system of society based on property rights rather than human rights.
When God Was a Woman
by Merlin Stone
A breakthrough study on ancient Goddess-worshipping egalitarian matriarchal cultures. Archaeologically documented, Stone describes this ancient system and the decline in women’s status with the ascendancy of the Indo-European patriarchal warlords circa 3000 BCE. The concept of a female deity was made accessible to modern women, and the rise of feminist theology in the 1970s was made possible with the publication of this book.
Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her
by Susan Griffin
In this famous cornerstone of feminist literature, Susan Griffin explores the identification of women with the earth - both as sustenance for humanity and as victim of male rage. Her analysis of how the patriarchy has used language and science to bolster their power over both women and nature is brilliant and persuasive, coming alive in poetic prose. Poet Adrienne Rich calls Woman and Nature "perhaps the most extraordinary nonfiction work to have merged from the matrix of contemporary female consciousness - a fusion of patriarchal science, ecology, female history and feminism, written by a poet who has created a new form for her vision."
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion
of the Great Goddess
The bestselling classic and unparalleled guide to the life-affirming ways one can turn to the Goddess to deepen a sense of personal pride, develop inner power, and integrate mind, body, and spirit. Starhawk's brilliant, comprehensive overview of the suppression and modern day re-emergence of Wicca as a Goddess-worshipping religion has left an enduring mark on the feminist spiritual consciousness. Updated editions reveal new developments in Goddess religion, and this invaluable spiritual guidebook is more relevant than ever.
Womanspirit Rising: A Feminist Reader in Religion
edited by Carol Christ and Judith Plaskow
This classic anthology on feminist spirituality offers inclusive feminist critiques on religion from many perspectives and backgrounds. The essay by Christ "Why Women Need the Goddess" conveys the social & political implications of affirming a Goddess instead of a God as a new vision of the Divine. This revolutionary new understanding has given women much-needed power and control over their own lives.
The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries
by Z. Suszanna Budapest
A classic by one of the founding mothers of the women's spirituality movement, this book is essential for pagans, feminists, and all women seeking to learn more about the spiritual path as it relates to the Divine Feminine. A guide to the Dianic tradition, Goddess lore, spells, rituals, divination, rites of passage and fabulous personal stories by Z! www.zbudapest.com
Motherpeace Round Tarot Deck
by Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble
The cards in this extraordinary tarot deck are gestalt circles of powerful symbols celebrating 30,000 years of Matriarchal Cultures. Motherpeace recovers the positive, nurturing peace-oriented values of pre-patriarchal times, and brilliantly combines art, history, mythology, folklore and philosophy with an informed spiritual and feminist perspective. An inspiration and oracle for all women.
The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets
by Barbara G. Walker
25 years in the making, this unique, comprehensive feminist sourcebook has multiple entries on magic, mythology, anthropology, religion, Celtic Spirituality, word origins, legends, superstitions, customs, ideas of the soul and sexuality to uncover what other encyclopedias leave out or misrepresent. A revolutionary work of scholarship, Walker traces these concepts to their pre-patriarchal origins and explores the hidden aspects of her-story.
Goddesses in Everywoman:
Powerful Archetypes in Women’s Lives
by Jean Shinoda Bolen
A classic work of female psychology that uses 7 archetypal Greek and Roman Goddesses as a way to describe behavior patterns and personality traits. A powerful tool for women to identify their own inner Goddesses and use these archetypes to guide and empower themselves to greater self–esteem, creativity, and happiness. http://www.jeanbolen.com
The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future
by Riane Eisler
This is a key book that can transform us and initiate fundamental change in the world. Eisler documents the global shift from egalitarian to patriarchal societies, interweaving archeological evidence and feminist scholarship. She examines how social cooperation within Goddess-worshipping cultures gave way to a patriarchal reliance on violence, hierarchy and authoritarianism. Eisler says that the challenge of our time is to create for ourselves and our children images and stories of the sacred more congruent with a partnership model than that of a dominator social organization. This powerful treatise on Matriarchal Values proves that the dream of peace is not an impossible utopia.
The Great Cosmic Mother:
Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth
by Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor
This classic exploration of the Goddess and Her sacred sites through time and throughout the world draws on religious, cultural, and archaeological sources to recreate the Goddess religion that is humanity's heritage. With symbol, myth and image, Sjoo and Mor describe women's ancient history as the creators of culture.
The Once and Future Goddess:
A Sweeping Visual Chronicle of the Sacred Female and Her Reemergence in the Cultural Mythology of Our Time
by Elinor Gadon
Using art and artifacts, Gadon traces the history of Goddess worship from Paleolithic times to the present day. This compelling and challenging book is an important contribution to our understanding of the key role of women and feminine images in both ancient and contemporary times.
Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism
by Mary Daly
By the powerhouse radical feminist philosopher and theologian Mary Daly, a deeply original, provocative book that shocks and angers us to a new level of feminism. She speaks truth to power by her merciless expose of the atrocities perpetuated by the patriarchy. Author of many important papers, essays and books, including “Beyond God the Father” and “Amazon Grace.”
Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism
by Irene Diamond
The ecofeminist movement represents a weaving of environmental, feminist, and women's spirituality movements out of a shared concern for the well-being of the Earth and the cycle of all life. Reweaving the World is a major resource with articles, essays, poetry and prose by foremost scholars, activists, artists and spiritual teachers. Interweaving politics, philosophy, theory and activism, this provocative collection advocates a restoration of harmony in a global environment damaged by the devaluation of nature and women.
The Feminine Face of God:
The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women
by Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins
Based on a series of interviews with diverse women, this fascinating and illuminating narrative is structured like a spiritual journey, to assist women in defining for themselves what is sacred. Each story and each woman has her own unique relationship to the Divine Feminine.
The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image
by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford
A groundbreaking, rich, ambitious work that traces the evolution of consciousness by following humanity's changing attitudes toward the “Feminine Divine,” through myth, art, literature, archaeology and other cultural traditions. The definitive sourcebook for scholars, feminists and all those seeking to balance and integrate the masculine & feminine components of the psyche. Packed with scores of riveting illustrations.
The Civilization of the Goddess: The World of Old Europe
by Marija Gimbutas
The classic illumination of Neolithic Goddess-centered cultures, this text provides a picture of a complex world, offering evidence of the matriarchal roots of civilization. The essence of this renowned archaeologist’s life-long research and her final conclusions, with photographs, maps, charts and an analysis of Neolithic art and culture. Also recommended is “The Language of the Goddess” (2001).
Islands of Women and Amazons: Representations and Realities
by Batya Weinbaum
A trail-blazing work that explores the archetypal theme of islands of women and Amazons in world myth, literature and history.
The Body of the Goddess:
Sacred Wisdom in Myth, Landscape and Culture
by Rachel Pollack
A literal and spiritual journey through the ancient world of women-centered cultures and the re-emergence of Goddess consciousness in our time. Part celebration, travelogue and solid research, this compelling work takes you on a tour of places historically significant to Goddess Spirituality. Through archaeology and mythology Pollack discovers landscapes imprinted with the symbolic form of the feminine.
Societies of Peace: Matriarchies Past, Present and Future
edited by Heidi Goettner-Abendroth
The definitive work on the outpouring of Matriarchal studies and scholarship in recent years. An excellent anthology of essays, research and ideas by luminaries in the academic world, political activists, Goddess scholars, feminists and indigenous wisewomen from all over the world. The new paradigm of Matriarchal Studies is here to stay! Presenting concrete social alternatives to the looming global crisis of patriarchal civilization, Matriarchal Studies holds great political potential, offering lifeboats developed from thousands of years of experience.
Pegi Eyers is the author of Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community, an award-winning book that explores strategies for social justice, uncolonization, ethnocultural identity, building land-emergent community & resilience in times of massive change.
Available from Stone Circle Press or Amazon