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Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century Paperback – November 30, 2011
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"Her instructions for meditation and chant are at once inclusive, flexible and practical. Both the merely curious and the long-time practitioners of goddess spirituality have much to learn from Laura's work."
"Intellectually exciting and spiritually satisfying, this new classic is highly recommended." --The Beltane Papers
"I found this book so enlightening and encouragingly expressed, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to any layperson interested in the beauty of the feminine face of God as expressed in Kabbalah." --The Sacred Green
From the Publisher
Excerpt from Rachel Pollack's Foreword to this Second Enlarged Edition: "This remarkable book manages to say more than many works on these subjects four or five times its size. What's more, what it says is not just clear and lucid, and stocked with information, it also is valuable for women and men living their lives today. . . .Through the principle of the spiritual is political we can come to understand the way an all-male concept of God has distorted our society and our own lives. The modern Goddess religion, based on archaeological discoveries, mythological clues, and contemporary inventions, has helped many of us overcome those distortions.. . . Because Qabalah includes Goddess imagery, and Kabbalah seems to address the idea of re-uniting male and female, they have both attracted many people who seek a traditional base for Goddess work. And yet, as Judith Laura demonstrates so precisely and eloquently, the Kabbalist traditions are not somehow magically free of patriarchal bias. They are not an absolute truth outside of culture. On the contrary, they, like all other religious traditions, are thework of humans--humans at a very intense state of consciousness, but still humans formed, at least in part, by their culture and its assumptions. . . .Esoteric beliefs usually include an assumption of privilege. They claim to come directly from divine sources, and usually ancient origins. . . .They also claim to speak of truths very difficult to grasp. All this results in texts that are mysterious and hard to comprehend, along with a readership that accepts their divine authority without question. Laura has read vast amounts of material, and then has outlined the ideas and information in clear and concise language. The wealth of information alone would make this book of great value. But she goes further, for she shows us that these ideas did not emerge from instant revelations but grew over time, and in historical settings. And then she goes further still, for she suggests ways we can rework, perhaps even restore, a genuine balance of male and female. . . .And then, so we can make use of this river of clear information, she gives us meditations and exercises to make these symbols our own. . . .she then goes on to apply those same remarkable abilities to a field at least as dense and difficult as Kabbalah--quantum physics. . . . As with Kabbalah, Laura manages to absorb vast amounts of information...and then give it out in precise details and large ideas. . . .Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century is a rare book, a kind of sacred quest of ideas. We can all give thanks that Judith Laura has undertaken it, and fulfilled it with such dedication." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Yet this book makes a delightful exception. I bought this book assuming that I wouldn't like it, yet I was drawn to her premise and wanted to give the book a chance. I"m very glad that I did. Her treatment of Kabbalah very obviously stems from a study in Traditional Kabbalah, which for me indicates scholarship, dediation, and true desire to help seekers understand the subject matter. It would have been easy for Ms. Laura to use entirely hermetic sources and views in her treatment of Kabbalah, but instead she teaches from the source, from the heart of Kabbalism, and for that alone, I applaud her.
I did have a few issues with some of her theories, most notably her feminization of the sephira Chokmah. I feel that this is a violation of the most baisc ideas of traditional Kabbalah, and while I understand why she did this and why she feels justified in doing so, this sat wrong with me. But it is the only major beef I have with this work.
I reserve my 5 star ratings for books that in some way change my world. This book didn't quite do that, but only because my own studies of Kabbalah have advanced beyond the level of study this book intended. Had I read it several years ago, it very well may have changed my world. As it is, it is a sound, well researched, opinionated and interesting look at Kabbalah through the lenses of feminist spirituality. Job well done.