The Heart of the God­dess: Art, Myth and Med­i­ta­tions of the World’s Sa­cred Fem­i­nine

Hal­lie Igle­hart Austen Monk­fish Book Pub­lish­ing (OC­TO­BER) Soft­cover $26.95 (202pp), 978-1-939681-94-2

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews | Adult Nonfiction - MEG NOLA

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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