This is such a fun book to own. Anything, most anything, especially concerning myths and secrets, that you want the feminist perspective on, you can look up in this book. And if it’s not in this book you will wish it so! It’s more than just the feminist perspective. It’s chock full of extraordinary information.
The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets is a must have resource. Entries are cross-referenced, leading you from one to another to find out more and more and more. You can really fall into a rabbit hole of learning, exploring and giggling in this book.
Barbara G. Walker has done an amazing job gathering and compiling all this data! She offers meanings, origins, and interpretations from multiple cultures and mythologies.
There is a five page entry on the meaning and symbolism of the cauldron:
“The symbol commonly opposed to the cross, as the witches’ object of worship; in pagan tradition, the Great Mother’s cosmic womb”(150).
“As shown by its importance in witch-charms and in the mutual exchange of talismans between lovers, hair was usually viewed as a repository for at least part of the soul”(367).
“Ab was the Egyptian word for heart-soul, most important of the seven souls bestowed by the seven birth-goddesses(Hathors)”(375).
“From Greek orgia, “secret worship”(742).
“Bees are still called hymenoptera, “veil-winged”after the hymen or veil that covered the inner sanctum the Goddess’ temples, the veil having its physical counterpart in women’s bodies. Defloration was a ritual penetration of the veil under the “hymeneal” rules of the Goddess herself entitled Hymen in the character of patroness the wedding night and “honey-moon”(407).
A ten-page entry on Menstrual Blood. An eleven-page entry on Sex and much much more.
Warning: if you are a devout Christian, this book may be upsetting for you. If you are a Christian woman who would like to know the origin of many Christian teachings and are not necessarily in line with all that the church historically carried out in the name of Christ, it will be illuminating for you.
It is a remarkable addition to your bookshelf. Highly recommended.
©Theresa C Dintino