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Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality Paperback – July 8, 2016
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"This fiercely inspired body of work is art, theory, and passion. Genius."
―Rosa De Anda, from her foreword
"Lasara Firefox Allen delves deep into the ways in which colonialist language has shaped our experience of the divine feminine. . . . This is an innovative work that has the potential to change the face of modern feminist spirituality."
―Suzanne Sterling, founder of Voice of Change
"Jailbreaking The Goddess is a delicious tool for dismantling (and reimagining) the way we think about women's spirituality and power. [The] fivefold goddess model honors the divine nature in all women, regardless of age, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, and economic status. This is an exciting, smart, and practical approach to liberating the mind, body, and spirit."
―Laurie Lovekraft, Reclaiming Witch, priestess, and Huffington Post columnist
"Lasara is a dynamic and powerful woman who shows us that revolution starts within. This radical new way of looking at the divine feminine injects a much-needed freshness into Goddess spirituality!"
―Sharon Knight, musician and priestess
"Yes and more yes to this new model,which moves us out of the expectation of conformation to outdated cultural norms. One of the things I love most about this book is how it allows for other forms to exist within it (and you!). It's an opening of possibility for all women to re-divine all parts of ourselves."
―Jenya T. Beachy, teacher, blogger, and author of the forthcoming The Secret Country of Yourself
"A fantastic and sorely needed contribution to feminist spirituality discourse. It breaks open the tired tropes of maiden, mother, crone and makes more space for the variety of lived experiences of anyone who relates to the female experience."
―Niki Whiting, MA, co-founder of Many Gods West
"In Allen's vision the goddess is young and old,creative and wise, and above all strong. This is a Goddess who can map onto our own journeys at any part of our life. Allen's gentle, fierce,and wise work guides us through the process of rebuilding our sense of ourselves as holy through relationship to these new faces of the Goddess."
―Brandy Williams, author of For the Love of the Gods and The Woman Magician
"Lasara Firefox Allen has created what may well be the definitive guide to feminist spirituality. . . . The depth of Lasara's passion, knowledge,and skill allows her to reveal and reframe the fundaments of magick in a way that will have a lasting impact within the field of magick and throughout the wider culture."
―Philip H. Farber, author of Brain Magick
"Jailbreaking the Goddess is challenging, unabashed and wild, yet thoughtful and articulate. I found pieces of myself and my personal Goddess journey that have never been illuminated by any other text. Lasara Firefox Allen has truly broken the Goddess out of an antiquated jail. The world needs this freed Goddess.This book is part of that liberation."
―Courtney Weber, author of Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick
"Reading Jailbreaking the Goddess is a view into a world that but rarely exposes itself to the likes of me.The magic is classic, but updated to self-rooted authority, and the politics are heart-felt, leading to a vision of societal transformation centered on the Woman of Power, Wisdom, and Compassion."
―Sam Webster,PhD, MDiv, Executive Director of the Pantheon Foundation
"Whilst honoring the roots of Goddess worship, Lasara has successfully opened up avenues of exploration for anyone who identifies with worship of the feminal divine in clear and loving guidance towards a stronger community of men, women, and all in between."
―Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir,HPs/x, Wayfarer Tradition
"For nearly fifty years I have been the consort of a most extraordinary Woman/Priestess/Goddess. Never in those fifty years (or in our childhood years that preceded them) has her divine and infinite person-hood ever allowed itself to be limited and taken captive by the simplistic classic model of maid, mother, and crone. Lasara Firefox Allen's fivefold goddess model identifies and describes the Mysteries of Modern Woman, and comes dangerously close to allowing me to at least hear Her sphinx's riddle."
―Lon Milo DuQuette, author of Low Magick
"Lasara has brought us the goddesses who speak across time and space, who invite us to be inclusive and intersectional in our worship. . . . They remind us that the survival of our species, of all species of life, requires that we create diverse, complex, dynamic communities."
―Mai'a Williams, journalist, teacher, activist, and editor of Revolutionary Mothering
"Moving beyond our feminine biology as a definition of who we are and how we relate to the divine feminine, Lasara Firefox Allen creates a whole new template more suitable for women today. It is a game changer."
―Anodea Judith, PhD, author of Wheels of Life and Anodea Judith's Chakra Yoga
"This book makes room for discussions that include colonization, appropriation, representation, binary gender concerns, sexuality, and many other elements of dominant culture. . . . Each section gives a wealth of information on the ways in which we can connect to the five archetypes that Firefox Allen has presented."
―Crystal Blanton, MSW, editor of Bringing Race to the Table
From the Author
I wrote Jailbreaking the Goddess as a way to remediate what I saw as problematic elements of patriarchal overshadowing (or root rot) within our goddess traditions. This book is born of the cleansing fire of transformation. Jailbreaking is an invitation to us all to grow beyond the patriarchal assumptions that leave many of us outside of the circle.
May the new forms offered here carry us a step (or maybe even a few steps) closer to our individual and collective liberation.
Top Customer Reviews
The thing that really showed me how different this book was from others of it's ilk is that Allen begins it with a chapter called Standing Where We Stand. More than an introduction this chapter is both a building block and stepping stone to the rest of the book. Filled with socio-cultural observations about our culture today along with information about how limiting certain viewpoints are, this chapter is one of the most necessary first chapters I have ever read.
Going forward from this chapter Jailbreaking The Goddess dismantles the too prevalent ideas of Maiden-Mother-Crone and shows that not only are they limiting, they can also be harmful. Chapter two continues thoughts and ideas from chapter one, but then chapter three begins the discussions on the first of the five archetypes Allen is discussing in this book; Femella. Each of the next four chapters discusses the next archetypes; Potens, Creatrix, Sapientia and Antiqua. Part one of the book then finishes with chapter eight, "Rewilding; The Path From Here."
Each of the chapters three through seven goes into detail about the archetype including Goddess correspondences, rituals, practical ideas for how, when and why to call that archetype into your life as well as journaling prompts and creative actions to take/do alongside the journaling. I have to say it's these actions which really caused me to fall in love with this book. In Jailbreaking, Allen gives the reader so much more than myth stories, so much more than socio-cultural observations; Allen gives the reader practical ways in which to make incorporate these archetypes into their life, ways to break free of the seemingly forced Maiden-Mother-Crone archetype,and allows that reader to take these changes one step at a time at their own pace. Additionally, while this book is obviously Pagan centered and would be easiest for someone who is already Pagan, this book can be read and the action steps followed by someone of any spiritual path, from any cultural background with only a few modifications.
Part two is an odd yet interesting combination of leaving the hard work behind and getting into the nitty gritty, the deep topics and the hard magical workings. In chapter nine "It's All About Relationship" there are discussions, as well as journal entries and the associated actions for topics like intention and responsibility. In chapter 10 the topic is magic and the privileges that gives us practitioners, as well as the responsibilities and consequences that go with it. Chapter 11 is Decentralizing Your Working Group, Chapter 12 is Building Divine Relationships, 13 is Decolonizing Our Magics, 14 is Ritual Elements and Techniques and the book ends with Appendices including information for the new magical practitioner.
To say this book is life changing does not fully encompass how truly liberating this book will be for many, many women. To say it is groundbreaking does not encompass the true revolutionary nature of it. To say that it is divine does not at all express that it was written by a woman who saw a need and met it. There truly is nothing I can say that will be fully appropriate for this book, so I will say only this: everyone who identifies as female, as a woman, really, truly, needs to read Jailbreaking The Goddess by Lasara Firefox Allen.
~review by: Jessica Elizabeth, reviewer
first posted at: Facing North (facingnorth.net)
Reading Jailbreaking the Goddess was like reconnecting with a long-lost friend. Every few paragraphs I found myself saying “Yes! She gets it!” or “Of course! That makes perfect sense!” The questions Lasara poses are challenging, because they require us to look deeply at our own spiritual practices and see if we are honoring or appropriating with our religious practices; if we are helping others for our own spiritual and political gain or because we are working towards a common goal.
There are many strands of feminist spirituality that have relied heavily on Maiden, Mother and Crone archetypes, but Lasara shows how this relies on the assumption that women exist to bear children for men and is deeply problematic because it deprives women of agency. The five-fold model she proposes is fluid, allowing us to move between archetypes or phases as we need to. It was great to read a book on feminist spirituality that I could recommend to any of my LGBTQI friends without a second thought.
Her emphasis on decolonizing our spiritual traditions is also something I gladly welcome. She tackles cultural appropriation head on, which is something I see a need for in the larger Pagan spiritual community. I think my favorite part was the section on intention- it reminded me of a very dear mentor of mine.
This is a book I will be rereading and referring to again and again. I am going to be incorporating the five-fold goddess model and sigils into my own spiritual practice because they matched my own experiences on such a deep level. I also loved Lasara’s term “organic magick”- now I finally have a term for what I’ve been doing all along!
The model is new; the concept is not. However- the concept has not been very accessible for decades, and with the plethora of pagan oriented books that perpetuate the common maiden-mother-crone model, it's past time for a new voice to rise above the din and get our attention.
This is that voice. Highly recommended. It will be added to my required reading list.