Sunday, May 16, 2021
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Gail Wood: Sisters of the Dark

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Author: Gail Wood
Title: Sisters of the Dark
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Rated: * * * * *

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What I liked about Gail's books was the way she discussed the Dark Goddess' many aspects using the zodiac symbology and how she connected them in stages and elements. She took a set of each element in a 'minor' stage and then the second group in the 'mid' stage and the third grouping in the 'full' stage and associated these also with Maiden, Mother, and Crone. I also enjoyed her meditations and the statements of ritual purpose as well as the associations of a different God and Goddess archetype for each. I even liked her unique use of Arachne as a tie-in and a summation of sorts of the sequence. I think she should have made a stronger clarification that Arachne is used only symbolically as a 'spirit' sign as I think the mere mention of the reference to Arachne as a 13th sign or Vogh's book only makes her work look uninformed as Vogh's book was not to be taken seriously as he has self-proclaimed. However, I do think Arachne is the appropriate archetypal tie-in for the completion of this work as the Weaver. What I did not like about this book is redundancy regarding the rituals. Personally I'd prefer someone say here's the basic structure and just substitute this or that in whichever placement for each aspect rather than write repeatedly the evokation of the elements etc.. However, I will admit I can see her point for doing so in that there are subtle differences in each and it is nice to have the entire ritual in one place when you actually want to use the book as a quick reference. The other thing I did not like about this book is that while I'm all for women's empowerment and I like much of Starhawk's writings myself I find it arrogant and assuming to write everything as if only women would be interested in these works. There is nothing wrong with men exploring the Dark Goddess as well as women and the author does mention a time or two items such as 'if you are a man performing this' but there are times where she seems to forget that she may actually have a male audience and one that is not afraid of their feminine side at that. However, while parts of the book may 'seem' to be written for women alone, the entire work is usable by both genders. Overall I think it's a decent work that could have been elaborated on much more but works as a rather simple basis with a good and insightful start as people are only recently becoming more aware of and accepting of the darker aspects of paganism and of their own psyche's.


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