The Goddess Books that Influenced Me
There are a gazillion goddess books in the marketplace today. From intensively researched scholarly tomes to smaller, more personal books that offer insights into the author's lived experience with goddess spirituality. There is a plethora of powerful and enchanting books to choose from and I, in fact, have tossed a few of my own books into the publishing ring. But when I began my journey as a student of the Goddess twenty-five years ago, books on her history and how to connect with the divine feminine were not as prevalent. But there was a crop of must-have books that were part of an explosion of goddess wisdom in the nineties. I know for sure that the authors of these books influenced my thinking and my understanding, and their books guided my earliest experiences. I want to acknowledge them here and share with everyone the books that were the foundation of my learning experience, way before I could even hope to find a goddess course or college program.
An Oracle Deck that Changed My Life
The Goddess Oracle: A Way to Wholeness through the Goddess and Ritual by Amy Sophia Marashinsky, illustrated by Hrana Janto. Boston: Element, 1997; Stamford, CT: U.S. Games Systems, 2006.
Classic Goddess Books
Absher, Tom. Men and the Goddess: Feminine Archetypes in Western Literature. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press/Inner Traditions,1990. An interesting look at how Westerners view the sacred feminine.
Baring, Anne, and Jules Cashford. The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image. New York: Viking, 1991. A delightfully comprehensive compendium of goddess history.
Graham, Lanier. Goddesses in Art. New York: Artabras, 1997. A beautiful collection of female deities as depicted in art.
Jordon, Michael. Encyclopedia of Gods—Over 2,500 Deities of the World. New York: Facts on File, 1993. Who's who in all pantheons—half of the deities are goddesses!
Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1997. Who's who in the world of the Sacred Feminine.
Muten, Burleigh, ed. Return of the Great Goddess. New York: Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 1997. Art, inspiration, poems, and ponderings about the Feminine Divine.
Redmond, Layne. When the Drummers Were Women. New York: Three Rivers, 1998. A terrific history of goddess worship that traces the practices of ritual, drumming, and gathering in community.
Shlain, Leonard. The Alphabet vs. the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image. New York: Viking, 1998. A history of the Goddess approached through a fascinating premise: she was lost to left-brain thinking.
Stone, Merlin. When God Was a Woman. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1976. Classic ancient history text.
Interfaith RoundUp of the Divine Feminine
Brown, C. Mackenzie, trans., annotation, commentary. The Devi Gita: The Song of the Goddess. Albany: SUNY Press, 1998. Original sacred text of Hindu workshop of the Great Mother.
Gottlieb, Lynn. She Who Dwells Within: A Feminist Revision of Renewed Judaism. New York: HarperCollins, 1995. Shekinah and the Sacred Feminine in the Hebrew tradition.
Hawley, John Stratton, and Donna Marie Wolf. Devi: Goddesses of India. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. In-depth study of Hindu goddesses.
Kinsley, David. The Goddesses' Mirror: Visions of the Divine from East and West. Albany: SUNY Press, 1989. Excellent roundup of goddesses of many traditions.
Johnsen, Linda. The Living Goddess: Reclaiming the Tradition of the Mother of the Universe. St. Paul, MN: Yes International Publishers, 1999. Brings the daily worship of the Mother to life in a way that Westerners can understand.
Raver, Miki. Listen to Her: Women of the Hebrew Bible. San Francisco: Chronicle, 1998. Brings the Goddess alive through stories of the first females.
Young, Serinity, ed. An Anthology of Sacred Texts By and About Women. Fort Collins, CO: Crossroad, 1993. Amazing collection of journal entries, musings, sacred writings, speeches, and reports.
Specific Goddesses and Discovering the Goddess Within
Cott, Jonathan. Isis and Osiris: Exploring the Goddess Myth. New York: Doubleday, 1994. Extraordinary chronicle of the active worship of Isis today, edited by Jackie Onassis (currently out of print).
Monaghan, Patricia. The Goddess Path: Myths, Invocations and Rituals. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1999. Primer on stepping onto the path; an excellent overview of hundreds of divine females. de Regula, Traci. The Mysteries of Isis: Her Worship and Magick. St. Paul, MN:Llewellyn, 1995. The ultimate book on one of the most famous goddesses.
Stassinopoulos, Agapi. Conversations with Goddesses: Revealing the Divine Power Within You. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1999. Greek goddesses in everyday life.
Telesco, Patricia. 365 Goddesses: A Daily Guide to the Magic and Inspiration of the Goddess. New York: HarperOne, 1998. Offers a goddess, her history and mythology, and a ritual for each day of the year.
Waldherr, Chris. The Book of Goddesses. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words, 1995. Beautiful picture book with brief bios on twenty-six goddesses.
Anderson, Sherry Ruth, and Patricia Hopkins. The Feminine Face of God: The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women. New York: Bantam, 1991. A compelling look at how women evolve their spiritual lives and needs.
Cabot, Laurie, with Jean Mill. The Witch in Every Woman: Reawakening the Magical Nature of the Feminine to Heal, Create, Empower. New York: Delta/Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1997. Modern insights on ancient earth religions.
Carnes, Robin Deen, and Sally Craig. Sacred Circles: A Guide to Creating Your Own Women's Spirituality Group. San Francisco: Harper SanFrancisco, 1998. Best book available to support the spiritual gathering of women in many contexts outside of religion.
Curott, Phyllis. Book of Shadows: A Modern Woman's Journey into the Wisdom of Witchcraft and the Magic of the Goddess. New York: Broadway, 1999. Tells of the author's journey as a corporate lawyer and a high priestess.———. Witch Crafting: A Spiritual Guide to Making Magic. New York: Broadway, 2002. A "Goddess 101" book on how to begin learning the Craft with wisdom and creativity.
Ritual Work and the Art of Gathering With Others
Baldwin, Christina. Calling the Circle: The First and Future Culture. New York: Bantam, 1994. A wonderful how-to book on creating sacred circles and gatherings.
Beck, Renee, and Sydney Barbara Metrick. The Art of Ritual: A Guide to Creating/Performing Your Own Ceremonies for Growth/Change. Berkeley: Celestial Arts, 1990. One of the original how-to books on creating rituals for people of all backgrounds.
Biziou, Barbara. The Joy of Ritual. New York: Golden Books/St. Martin's Press, 2006. Best ritual book available for people of all faiths, paths, and levels of experience.
Starhawk. The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess, 20th-anniversary ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. A great primer on the religious worship of the Goddess.