Hallie Iglehart Austen’s The Heart of the Goddess is an empowering compilation of goddess history, lore, and worship, along with over a hundred photographs and illustrations. The book was first published in 1990; this new edition was inspired by the reawakened consciousness and social protest efforts of recent years, along with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
The Heart of the Goddess explores mythic female figures of power, creation, and nature, surveying a worldwide range of cultures from ancient to present times. Some of its goddesses are still revered, while others have been minimized to mere fertility figures. Certain names are more familiar, such as Greek mythology’s Aphrodite, Mexico’s Virgen de Guadalupe, and Japan’s Amaterasu.
Intriguing legends regarding cultural heritage are recounted, such as that of Pele, who created Hawaii with her volcanic intensity, and Queen Maya, whose conception of the Buddha caused flowers to rain from the sky and a healing light to flood the world. The natural heritage of the earth is also goddess-linked through Gaia, whose resources must be revered and preserved as a matter of collective survival.
Well researched and engagingly written, The Heart of the Goddess is an excellent informational text, but it succeeds further as a personal and spiritual resource. Taking the time to bring one or more goddesses into our individual lives is encouraged with suggested activities and meditations for doing so. For women in particular, the book asserts, connecting with goddess figures can promote pride in one’s own body and lead to channeling divine feminine energies of sensuality, strength, and intuition.
The Heart of the Goddess is an exultantly female-centric text whose wisdom is universal.
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