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The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition 20 Anl Sub Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Now that I'm moving back to focus on the Craft again it was the first book I picked up, of course. And I was disappointed. Since I read it 12 years ago I have gotten a degree in History. It has become common knowlege that Margaret Murray's history is at best nice mythology. There is now a real debate going on about the Goddess utopia in ancient prehistory that is leaning HEAVILY towards the assertion that the concept is again, nice mythology. YET she still uses this bogus/controversial history as fact--in the main text!
She did not rewrite the chapter on The God at all for the *newest edition*, and it needed it because most of her information comes from Murray.Read more ›
First the pluses. Nobody nowhere can *ever* measure just how influential this book has been on the modern neopagan movement. I would guess that just about every pagan I know, myself included, has a copy on the shelf. I'd also venture to guess that it's also been responsible for more women starting up their own covens than any other single book in the United States. (Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner may be the most popular beginner's book these days, but Spiral Dance is still likely to be the #1 coven source book around.) The hugely important thing that Starhawk did was to take some of the basic ideas of modern Witchcraft as it was being exported from Britain to the United States and to marry those concepts with the developing feminist/earth-first/spiritual sensibilities that were active out on the West Coast in the early to mid 70's. Put the two together and in a blaze of white light you've given birth to the Goddess Movement. The Goddess movement, its core ideas and sensiblities, expanded the vocabulary of American Witches and allowed those Witches to continue to develop their own spiritual forms independently from the traditional Garnderian structures. Much of this was going on anyway, (check out the 13 Principles of Wiccan Beliefs, as promulgated by the Council of American Witches in 1974) but the Spiral Dance gave it an immediately accessible shape.
However, in that innovation itself lies some of the problems I have with Starhawk's work. Simply put, the Goddess Movement is not the same thing as Witchcraft or Wicca.Read more ›
Starhawk essentially married some core Wiccan beliefs and practices to the social and political ideas of the 70s -- feminism, environmentalism, gay rights, civil rights, and the peace movement. In doing so, she created a new path that is less concerned with secrecy and tradition and more with a sustainable future. Her tradition continues to thrive.
Many criticize Starhawk unfairly, forgetting that The Spiral Dance was published in 1979 and is clearly a product of its time. Starhawk makes no distinctions between Paganism, Wicca, and Witchcraft, but few writers did in the 70s. She also presents Wicca as an ancient religion and the Burning Times as a persecution of Witches. These ideas have since been debunked, but they were prevalent at the time. Starhawk is well aware of this and she revisits these issues in her commentary.
With The Spiral Dance, Starhawk presented an entirely new model of spirituality in an era where there were scarcely any models of women's spiritual power and leadership. It may be hard to see now just how mind altering the very concept of a Goddess is, but at the time, it was a radical, illuminating idea. So, yes, Starhawk spends a lot of time talking about the Goddess and what a liberating path this is for women. But by no means is this a women-only book. On the contrary, Starhawk emphasizes that Wicca is for everyone and is clear about her position: that a female-only model of the universe would prove to be as constricting and oppressive, to women and men, as the patriarchal model has been.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book years ago as an introduction to alternative religions, particularly goddess-worship. Given the time period, and the limits thereof, it served the purpose.Published 19 days ago by Valerie J. Douglas
The only reason I can't leave five stars for this amazing book is because even when I told Amazon that they sent me a different printing edition than the one pictured (it was... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Jessica
This is a highly inspiring work well worth buying, in fact I bought a paperback and then bought the kindle version to make it easier to read on the move.Published 2 months ago by Christopher Schultz
I forgot that I had read this in 2007' and had an autographed copy of it. Enjoyed it just as much the second time around.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I got to page 123 and almost threw it out the window. If this was required reading for a coven I'd leave. Read morePublished 3 months ago by cody
Could the kindle sample please contain part of the book itself, rather than consisting entirely of the introductions to the 10th and 20th anniversary editions? Read morePublished 4 months ago by ChrisB72