Goddess Power, Sexuality, and the Feminine Divine

ISBN-10: 047208934X

ISBN-13: 9780472089345

Edition: 2003

Authors: Shahrukh Husain

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Description:

Drawing on myth, religious beliefs, and a revealing selection of iconography from the Paleolithic Venus of Willendorf and ancient Egyptian images of Isis to medieval Madonnas and contemporary visions of female Hindu deities, psychotherapist and folklorist Shahrukh Husain offers readers a comprehensive, cross-cultural panorama of goddess worship through the ages. Using a wealth of examples from every era and tradition, she traces a long and primal struggle that over the course of millennia saw originally female deities usurped by male-dominated priestly hierarchies, a process reflected both in myth and in actual religious practice, which saw the goddess principle attacked, diminished, and eclipsed, but never entirely eliminated. Husain examines cosmic concepts of creation and seasonal fertility, the mythic rivalries and partnerships between male and female divinities, and the explicitly sexual duality personified in the West by the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene (but common to cultures all over the world), as well as such other aspects as the warrior, the queen, and the witch or crone who snips the threads of Fate. Finally, she reviews contemporary attitudes, values, and rites, finding a new vitality after centuries of suppression: the goddess is today a subject of renewed interest to feminist theorists, cultural historians, Wiccans and Paganists, and even environmentalists, for whom the Gaia hypothesis offers a powerful metaphor reconciling modern science with ancient wisdom. Filled with vivid full-color illustrations and dozens of informative sidebars on subjects as diverse as the Vestal Virgins of Rome, the Matronit of the Kabbala, and the almost universal association of the planet Venus with goddess figures, this is a book that will appeal to a wide audience, from scholars in women's studies, anthropology, folklore, and ancient history to more general readers interested in the female influence on cultural evolution and the antecedents to modern New Age thought. Shahrukh Husain is a psychotherapist, folklorist, and storyteller. She has lectured extensively and has worked as a consultant on TV documentaries and in an advisory role to members of Parliament on cultural matters ranging from marriage and race to religion and language issues. Her publications include Daughters of the Moon: Witch Tales from around the World (1993) and Handsome Heroines (1996).
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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Publication date: 2/18/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 186
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.858
Language: English

Introduction
The Goddess Rediscovered
Recent discoveries
The Paleolithic and Neolithic ages
Creating a Golden Age of woman
The Great Mother archetype
Conflict and Survival
The shifting balance
India
Australia and Oceania
The Americas
Africa
The triumph of Isis
Celtic Britain
Rome and Christianity
The Goddess and the prophets
Festivals of the Goddess
The Goddess and the Cosmos
The three worlds
The Goddess of the primordial waters
The river Goddess
The sea Goddess
The cosmic egg
The Goddess as the earth
The Goddess in the soil
Mother Earth and the cosmic order
Light, sun and moon
Patrons of the seasons and the elements
The gifts of life and grain
The Goddess and the natural order
Fertility and the Divine Couple
The journey into the underworld
The Goddess and her son
Drought and plenty
Divine incest
Yahweh, Shekhina and Eve
The Sexual Life of the Goddess
The creative function
The yoni
Handmaids of the gods
From creatrix to harlot
The Goddess of love
Mary Magdalene
Virgin, Mother and Crone
Cycles of the Goddess
The changing woman
The many faces of Ishtar
The virgin as classical ideal
Virgins and lovers
Mothering the gods
The Virgin Mary
Mary, Queen of Heaven
Nourishing mothers
The makers of fate
The bringers of death
The witch Goddess
Warriors and Guardians
The divine destructress
The Goddess in arms
The Goddess of the quest
The Goddess of mercy and fortune
Liberating the Goddess
The Goddess today
Searching for the Goddess
Wicca
The female essence
Contemporary pagan festivals
Documentary Reference
The Goddess and the animals
Males as females
The Romance tradition
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
Picture credits
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