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Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power Paperback – September 23, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Amazzone's powerful narrative of her personal experience backed by extensive field and library research is a must read for anyone interested in the relationships between the divine female, women's spirituality, and women's empowerment. It is a splendid example of feminist writing in which the author is deeply engaged in her own journey. Hers was a pilgrimage to the source, and of personal renewal and redemption promising hope for the return of the goddess in Western consciousness. (Elinor Gadon, PhD., Author of The Once and Future Goddess, religious studies professor at Brandeis University)

Amazzone's voice is strong and clear. Goddess Durga promises the transformation, empowerment, and dignity that is our birthright. (Marisa Tomei, Academy Award-winning actor)

Scholarly and fierce, the work of Laura Amazzone draws from our ancient strength. The time for this wisdom is now. (Alice Walker, poet; activist; author of The Color Purple)

Laura Amazzone is a modern day yogini. She is a scholar as well as a practitioner and her new book Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power embodies this duality....True to feminine form, Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power is a balanced read, utilizing the logical brain and the intuitive heart. The book itself is in a non-linear layout, meaning it does not need to be experienced from start to finish- it is cyclical and can be picked up, flipped through and enjoyed from any angle. (Common Ground)

About the Author

Laura Amazzone is an author, teacher, jewelry artist, and Yogini. She completed her master's degree in philosophy and religion with an emphasis in women's spirituality at the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2001. Laura teaches goddess classes and workshops in California and is adjunct faculty in the Yoga Philosophy program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Hamilton Books (September 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761853138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761853138
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #604,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Theos on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
This well-researched, well-written book is accurate in its information on Durga worship in India and the author's personal narrative is wonderful and refreshing. However, as a Durga devotee myself, I must say that I feel like Miss Amazzone is projecting her own worldview onto the religion of Durga and using the Durga tradition to promote her own ruthless feminism. In fact, there are as many male followers of Durga as there are female - especially in India (I am a man, myself and an ardent follower of Durga for some time), yet she completely sidelines them and their role in the tradition. In addition, she seems to miss the point of Durga worship, which is ultimately to transcend one's own limited worldview - to include any type of "-ism", i.e., feminism - and unite with Lord Shiva, the transcendent divine consciousness and source of all reality (including Shakti, which arises because of the existence of Shiva).

Through the manifest (Durga), we aim to unite with the unmanifest (Shiva). Of course, shakti is always characterized as feminine. However, this is largely an abstraction and more for our ability to understand and progress spiritually than a literal, concrete representation of the underlying source of all manifest reality as a female. In truth, shakti transcends gender (gender arises out of shakti, not the other way around) and in fact is not even separate from divine consciousness (Shiva and Shakti are in fact one - there is no duality). It is easier, though, to approach divine shakti as separate and feminine, so we do - but this is for us to comprehend, not an accurate reflection of reality.
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Fabulous book on Durga. Well worth the price. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the intensity of the author. Highly recommended for anyone on a spiritual journey and interested in the divine feminine.
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Format: Paperback
Laura Amazzone has written a book that will speak to everyone. It's a story with several levels: it explains Goddess in all her forms; it tells the stories of Goddess from earliest history to present day; and, most importantly, it describes a profoundly personal spiritual journey.

Reading this book, I was riveted. I have never been a student of Goddess and I had a smattering of knowledge about her forms. Truthfully, I found the whole subject confusing. This book handled all my confusion. Plus, I got to read a fascinating story about Laura's personal interaction with Goddess. She tells her own story with courage, humility, humor and joy. I loved it!

As a woman and a human being, I highly recommend this book!

Patricia Anderson
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Laura Amazonne takes the understanding of the Divine Feminine to the next level! I couldnt put the book down and it is highlighted all over! Phenomenal. If you are a devotee, or if Shakti, Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, Saraswati ever speak to you.. you need this book!
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Format: Paperback
I read this book for the first time in 2011, when I was in a deep and intense state of spiritual searching. Since then it has become worn and dog-eared, underlined and highlighted, bent and curled and coffee-stained... so many times I have picked this book up off the shelf, flipped it open to a random page, and found exactly the passage I needed on that particular day. It's one of those books. When I first read it I felt such a resonance with the tradition and the festival that she described, and her experience of it, that I promised myself I would attend the Durga Puja in Nepal one day. Three years later, through an incredible series of coincidences and synchronicities, I found myself there with Laura as my guide. Her decades of intense practice, scholarship, and total devotion to the tradition and culture originating in the Kathmandu Valley, along with her connections formed over so many years of travel to Nepal, gave our group access to an extraordinary depth of experience at the festival that would not have been available without her guidance. It is not just that she has academic "knowledge" of the festival's origins, history, iconography, and rituals (though believe me, as a scholar she has that in spades - and all of it can be found in this book). It is also, and primarily, her depth of profound heart-connection to the lineage and tradition that only comes through years of committed & initiatory practice that really makes the festival come alive. Under Laura's auspicious leadership Durga revealed Herself in powerful, shocking, unmistakeable, awe-inspiring ways every day we were there and then some.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
"Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power" is a unique combination of exemplary scholarship and enthralling narrative. Amazzone invites the reader into her personal and sometimes heart-rending journey to discover the nature of consciousness and her own spiritual place in the universe. As that story unwinds, she simultaneously presents its historical, cultural and anthropological context, drawn from her scholarship and her journeying to the source of one of India's earliest and most potent religious traditions. Dispassionate observer becomes passionate devotee as one profoundly spiritual encounter after another explodes from the page. We realize, in the reading, that the two are inevitably one. One cannot describe religious or spiritual experience from the outside, only from deep within. It takes strength and an unusual courage to present such intimately personal revelations for all to read. We are fortunate that the author has both, and the skill to write about them in a way that allows us to share them.
This is an account of years of research. One might reasonably expect it to be filled with dry, dense prose, laden with footnotes and heavy with esoterica. There are notes, certainly, but the book is anything but dry. There are entire chapters where the palpable tension and thrill of discovery make for page-turning fascination and the "can't put it down" satisfaction of a great mystery novel. For there *are* mysteries here, and she explores them with courage, insight, compassion, and a marvelous talent for narrative.
This is an unusual and a necessary book. It is at once as ancient as humanity and current as tomorrow. Women should read it to understand how very far displaced they have become from their central role in human affairs.
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