None of these books are actually "required" reading for our time together, only personal recommendations for those who love reading. This list is ever growing as were it with me so I can add it to this list!
Our History as women of the Goddess.
The Once and Future Goddess by Elinor Gadon: Having demanded that spirituality be reexamined in terms of women's own spiritual needs, the women's movement has brought a resurgence of pre-patriarchal spirituality centering on the goddess--whatever her name. Along with this resurgence comes the need to reexamine artistic and anthropological assumptions. Using art and artifacts, Gadon traces the history of goddess worship from Paleolithic times to the present day. The most moving and effective chapters are on women's art of the late 20th century. A compelling and challenging book suitable for both public and academic libraries.
The Great Cosmic Mother-Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth. by: Monica Sjoo This classic exploration of the Goddess through time and throughout the world draws on religious, cultural, and archaeological sources to recreate the Goddess religion that is humanity’s heritage. Now, with a new introduction and full-color artwork, this passionate and important text shows even more clearly that the religion of the Goddess--which is tied to the cycles of women’s bodies, the seasons, the phases of the moon, and the fertility of the earth--was the original religion of all humanity.
The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. by Barbara G Walker This fascinating, scholarly hodgepodge spotlights the feminist underpinnings of myth, religion, and culture. Before being lionized as zaftig Norse angels who guided strong warriors to Valhalla, Valkyries may have offered rebirth through cannibalization. "Little Red Riding Hood" was based on Diana, goddess of the hunt. Marriage was once considered a sin, not a sacred union: St. Bernard once proclaimed "it was easier for a man to bring the dead back to life than to live with a woman without endangering his soul." A few of the other topics expounded upon are the Milky Way, Cinderella, the moon, and males giving birth. While some of the references put a cranky feminist spin on words that might in context have different meaning--St. Paul's oft-quoted "better to marry than to burn," for example--much in this vast tome will dazzle dabblers and intellectuals alike.
The Language of the Goddess. by:Marija Gimbutas Bringing together archaeological evidence, comparative mythology and folklore, and symbolic interpretations, Gimbutas's work asserts the existence in prehistoric Europe of a widespread culture centered on the Goddess, lifegiver and sustainer, as well as death-wielder. Through the examination of hundreds of Paleolithic and mostly Neolithic pieces, the author traces cross-cultural and cross-chronological symbolic parallels, some of which are quite broad and open to several types of inference. The central and venerated position of women in the unconscious of early European people seems probable; this order of things changed with the incursions by Kurgan groups (4300-2800 B.C.) and the European world moved "from matrilineal to patrilineal." Whether or not one agrees with these archaeomythological interpretations, Gimbutas offers a thought-provoking symbolic reading of hundreds of selected pieces, beautifully reproduced in this sizeable compendium. A History of Women-Five volumes by: Duby and Perrot: This five-volume work addresses the history of women from the ancients to the 1980s. Editors George Duby et al. state that this series of books "is the product of a revolution, an ongoing, far-reaching revolution in the relations between men and women in Western societies." It therefore focuses on the western European experience with some attention to North America and "is intended to be not so much a history of women as a history of the relation between the sexes" because that is "the crux of the problem, the source of women's identity and otherness." When God was a Woman. by:Merlin Stone Here, archaeologically documented,is the story of the religion of the Goddess. Under her, women’s roles were far more prominent than in patriarchal Judeo-Christian cultures. Stone describes this ancient system and, with its disintegration, the decline in women’s status. Index; maps and illustrations.
Shakti Woman:Feeling our Fire Healing our World. By: Vicki Noble This is an important work of feminist, New Age, and Goddess spirituality by one of the creators of the Motherpeace Tarot cards. Whether or not one accepts all of the beliefs she presents, Noble's book is a fascinating account of her personal journey and a powerful call to women to rediscover their connection to nature, their own bodies, and their creative and healing powers. Noble is concerned not only with personal healing but with the healing of the earth and human society. Her book is recommended for most libraries. Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Woman in the Shaman's Body: Barbara Tedlock Shamanism was not only humankind’s first spiritual and healing practice, it was originally the domain of women. This is the claim of Barbara Tedlock’s provocative and myth-shattering book. Reinterpreting generations of scholarship, Tedlock–herself an expert in dreamwork, divination, and healing–explains how and why the role of women in shamanism was misinterpreted and suppressed, and offers a dazzling array of evidence, from prehistoric African rock art to modern Mongolian ceremonies, for women’s shamanic powers.
The Beginners Guide to Shamanic Journeying. by:Sandra Ingerman Shamanic journeying is the inner art of traveling to the invisible worlds beyond ordinary reality to retrieve information for change in every area of our lives from spirituality and health to work and relationships. With Shamanic Journeying, readers join world-renowned teacher Sandra Ingerman to learn the core teachings of this ancient practice and apply these skills in their own journey. Includes drumming for three shamanic journeys.
The chalice and the Blade By: Riane Eisler The Chalice and the Blade tells a new story of our cultural origins. It shows that warfare and the war of the sexes are neither divinely nor biologically ordained. It provides verification that a better future is possible—and is in fact firmly rooted in the haunting dramas of what happened in our past.
Historical Fiction, and Priestess centred Fiction:
The Mists of Avalon. by Marion Zimmer Bradley Here is the magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne.
The Maeve Chronicles-The passion of Mary Magdaline. by: Elizabeth Cunningham Magdalene fans are in for more surprises in Cunningham's classy, sexy novel, which embraces the Magdalene's reputation for prostitution to the extent of casting her as a sacred whore serving the goddess Isis. For Cunningham, Mary is Maeve, a big, strapping, redheaded Celt sold into slavery in Rome and bought for her ample charms by a renowned domina (i.e., madam). Cunningham's big book is first an absorbing historical novel about down-and-dirty slave life in Rome and then a visionary fantasy about the Magdalene's life as Jesus' gentile wife.
The Year The Horses Came (The EarthSong Trilogy} by: Mary Mackey We travel back to prehistory (as in The Last Warrior Queen, 1983) to center her exemplary heroine in the Brittany of 4372 B.C.--and in the heart of Earth Mother goddess worship. To the east of the peaceful, creative peoples, however, are the patriarchal tribes of the steppes, where women--and life itself--are little valued. Doom is on the way, and lovers from two cultures find themselves in the thick of horror. It is on her coming-of-age day that Marrah finds and rescues the odd-looking stranger who's lying on the beach, almost drowned, after his boat has sunk.
The Moon Under Her Feet. by Clysta Kinstler Narrative weaving the biblical account of Mary and Jesus, the Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris, and the Sumerian story of Inanna and Dumuzi to create an exotic tale of a strong, sensual woman., who are priestess of the Goddess.
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. by: Katherine Howe Massachusetts, 1681. Fear and suspicion lead a small town to unspeakable acts. Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1991. A young woman is about to discover that she is tied to Salem in ways she never imagined. After moving into her grandmother's crumbling house to get it in shape for sale, Connie comes across a small key and piece of paper reading only Deliverance Dane. The Salem witch trials, contemporary Wicca and women's roles in early American history figure prominently as Connie does her academic detective work.
Year of Wonders. by Geraldine Brooks When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders."
The Heretic's Daughter. by Kathleen Kent Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived. Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendent of Martha Carrier. She paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution.
Red Hot and Holy: Sera Beak When one person dares to speak her truth, it challenges us all to live our own. With Red Hot and Holy, Sera Beak offers a provocative and intimate view of what it means to get up close and personal with the divine in modern times.With a rare combination of audacious wit, scholarly acumen, and tender vulnerability-vibrantly mixed with red wine, rock songs, tattoos, and erotic encounters-Sera candidly chronicles the highs and lows of her mystical journey. From the innocence of her childhood crush on God; through a whirlwind of torrid liaisons and bitter break-ups with Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism, and the New Age; and finally into committed monogamy with her own red hot and holy Goddess, Sera shares transformative insights, encouraging us all to trust our unique path and ignite our own spiritual love affair.
Living and working on theunceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.