Book Recommendation: “Pagan, Goddess, Mother”

This was recommended to me by a fellow ADF initiate who does a lot of academic research on various philosophical and pagan topics. Now I’m going to recommend it to you, my dear pagan parents. Particularly those of you who are steeped in both leadership roles and parenthood simultaneously.

It’s an anthology with multiple authors about how those things intertwine and overlap, as well as how to find yourself while navigating those roles of parent and priestess in relation to both the mundane and the divine.  Now, to be fair, I don’t follow a goddess spirituality, nor do I consider myself a woman, but I pagan (clergy) and am a parent. I found many of the chapters in this to be relatable and have nuggets of wisdom or thought-provoking ideas.  

One of the things that really struck me, and took me long enough to figure out for myself, is summed up in this part of the second chapter by Sarah Rosehill:

“Can our practice be integrated into our daily lives, or does it need to be set aside in dedicated time… It wasn’t until I had a baby that I came to place equal value on ordinary practices…My twenty-year-old self’s harsh judgement of what a good practice looked like turned out to be yet another thing to let go of… [this season of parenthood] is only a season, and in this season, my practice is… to do what needs doing.”

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ll have seen me touch on this struggle between my religious life and my daily life, and only just recently write about it.  So, if you’re still struggling, that’s okay.  It took me nearly 10 years and two kids later to even start to figure stuff out.  I promise, wherever you are, you’re doing fine, and what you can give is enough.  

“Pagan, Goddess, Mother” by Nané Jordan and Chandra Alexandre. I managed to get it through InterLibrary Loan, though it’s also on JSTOR if you have access to that.

From the summary:

“This anthology calls Pagan and Goddess mothering into focus by highlighting philosophies and experiences of mothers in these spiritual movements and traditions. Pagan and Goddess spirituality are distinct, yet overlapping and diverse communities, with much to say about deity as mother, and about human mothers in relationship to deity. Authors share creative voices, stories, and scholarship from the forefront of Pagan- and Goddess- centred home, in which divine mothers, Goddesses, diverse female embodiments, and generative life cycles are honoured as sacred. Authors inquire into how their spirituality impacts the perceived value and experiences of mothers themselves, while generating new ways of imagining and enacting motherhood in spiritual and daily life. Pagan, Goddess, Mother opens spaces for dialogue in areas such as how Pagan- and Goddess- centred mothers engage in, and are impacted by, their spiritual leadership through practices of ceremony, ritual, magic, and priestessing. Authors consider mothers’ lived connections with their children, family life, and themselves, through nature, the Earth, and mothering as a spiritual practice. Chapters reflect upon the ways that Pagan- and Goddess- identified mothers creatively navigate daily interactions with dominant religions, the public sphere, community leadership and activism–facing the challenges of such while forging new pathways for spirited wellbeing in mothering and family life.”


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