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In her book "Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power", Amazzone not only gives us an in-depth, coherent understanding of Goddess Durga and Her many forms, she remarkably has given us an intelligent, fierce, and necessary model of female consciousness. Not a devotee of Durga, myself, I was riveted by this book. The way in which Amazzone weaves her own personal spiritual journey with scholarly and experiential research pulls the reader in from the first page, and she keeps you with her until the last word. In flipping back through the book I discover I have yellow highlighted passages on almost every page.
Reading Amazzone's thoughtful, inspiring descriptions of the many forms or manifestations which Durga takes raised surprising and intense feelings in me. I found myself feeling fierce, courageous, and thrilled. As an artist and poet, I strongly connected with the chapter on Saraswati.
The way in which Amazzone weaves the feminist thought of French philosopher Luce Irigaray into both her and Durga's story is richly supporting of Laura's ideas (and makes me want to read Irigaray). I also found it satisfying to note many similarities between those on Durga's path to those of us on the path of Zen: living the middle way, freeing ourselves from the tenacious grip of ego, recognizing and cutting through our illusions, recognizing that we always have a choice in the way in which we respond to situations.
"Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power" reconnected me with truths I'd let grow quiet: trusting one's intuition, the fact that there are many ways of knowing, the power of oracles and ritual. It also introduced me to ideas I didn't know I needed - the idea that women are always becoming, that we are "erratic" in the best sense - having no fixed point, not following a linear, "rational" path. As a woman who has walked and continues to walk many paths simultaneously, this idea of continuously becoming is a gift I was not expecting and one for which I am deeply gratified for having received.