I am not a witch and I am not into New Age religion, but these were not stumbling blocks in appreciating and enjoying Amythyst Raine-Hatayama’s new book The Spiritual Feminist. I wanted to read this book because, as someone who has wasted her life being the good girl and being proper, I have been feeling an urge to throw off the shackles of others’ expectations and discover who I really am, to live a completely authentic life and to discover (and accept) my own power before it is too late.
¨In the end, they [the Trinity] underestimated the power and strength of feminine spirituality; they underestimated the ingrained ancestral instinct to embrace matriarchal divinity. At the end of the day, the spiritual icon left to walk the red carpet is a little Jewish woman with her own set of prayer beads and a kick ass attitude. Baby, the Goddess is back.¨ So begins The Spiritual Feminist. How can you not love a book as sassy and unapologetic as this? This tone carries throughout the book making it not only an informative but also a thoroughly delightful read.
The structure of the book is quite accessible. There are seven sections that focus on areas of interest. The first section is titled ¨Meet the Goddess¨ and is an introduction to 45 Goddesses covering their associated mythos, what each Goddess has to offer to women today, how to access her assistance, and the symbology which can be used in establishing alters and rituals which will involve the Goddess. Unfortunately, my goddess wasn’t one of the ones included but with 45 represented there is bound to be someone that speaks to the reader and offers encouragement and assistance on whatever burdens the heart. There were some that I would like to get to know better in my own spiritual practice.
The section ¨Affirmations and Goals¨ considers the physical, spiritual, and mental aspects of living and offers a list of questions designed to aid the reader in going deeper inside the self and honing one’s intention. This is followed by a section on establishing goals for the three stages of women’s lives (maiden, mother, crone). After the first two sections, a woman will have crafted a clear plan for her spiritual life and an idea of the Goddess companions who are available to assist in attaining the desired outcomes. All in all a strong foundation upon which to proceed.
The remaining sections look at women’s life through the lenses of the elements (earth, air, fire, and water), the seasons of the pagan year (what the seasons are, how her family celebrates, and recipes – yea!!!), and the transitions of the feminine life (maiden to mother, mother to crone).
The last three sections are less foundational and can be dipped into from time to time as the reader feels the need. There is a section on creating rituals to celebrate the various milestones of the female life (onset of menstruation, childbirth, menopause, etc.) There is a section that looks to Tarot for inspiration and goes through the cards of the Motherpeace Tarot on the lessons each holds for womankind. Finally, the book ends with a compendium of useful information for magickal work. The book does assume that the reader of this last section has at least a basic familiarity with the craft and, as I do not, it was perhaps less of interest to me than it will be to others on a spiritual path running parallel to that of the author.
I recommend this book to women everywhere who desire to get more in touch with their femininity and power or who feel estranged from the world of women for whatever reason. I am so glad that Goddess is back and that she is such a rollicking powerhouse!