Maiden. Mother. Crone. How often do we hear or work with this image of the Goddess in Pagan circles? It seems that every Pagan has encountered Her three faces at least once on their path, even if only in passing. Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality by Lasara Firefox Allen speaks of a different view of the Goddess.
In this book the Goddess is described through FIVE faces. There is the inner child, Femella. Potens stands much like the maiden. Creatrix who’s name says it all (and gets rid of that silly notion that we all must have children). The woman in her peak is the Sapentia. Finally, the crone is re-envisioned as the Antiqua. The first half of the book goes into depth describing each face of the Goddess. There are ideas for worship and meditations. It’s easy to read but still gets you to question some long held beliefs you might have had.
I’ll be honest. I had never really considered how limiting the Maiden, Mother, Crone Goddess could be. It had been such a relief coming from Catholicism that I didn’t really question it. My thoughts on Deity had always leaned more towards Animism, but the Goddess as all encompassing Deity was an empowering shift for me. This book was another great shift in my understanding and thoughts on Deity.
The second half of the book goes into the ways we can take these ideas into our communities. A great deal of time is spent on educating and expanding ideas around identity. This sets the stage for the ritual work and ability to step out into your community to affect real change through magic. I found this section less exciting, but still a great source of many ideas that help move Paganism into a more progressive culture.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I’m going to keep it on my shelf for a while and see if it becomes a keeper.
~On a side note, this book had a TON of journal prompts scattered throughout the pages. It annoyed me. I couldn’t tell if it’s just I’ve been reading too many Pagany-How-To books lately or if it really was too much.