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The Spiral Dance: A rebirth of the ancient religions of the great goddess: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess Paperback – Special Edition, 6 Dec 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco; Special 20th Anniversary edition (Reissue) edition (6 Dec 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676974678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676974676
  • ASIN: 0062516329
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘A very beautiful call for a worldly spirituality.’
New York Times Book Review

From the Back Cover

This brilliant overview of the growth, supression, and modern-day reemergence of Wicca as a Goddess-worshipping religion has left an indelible mark on the feminist spiritual consciousness. In this beautiful 20th-anniversary edition, Starhawk now reveals the ways in which the practice of ritual and Goddess religion have, in the face of a changing world, developed over the last 20 years – and the ways in which these changes have influenced and enhanced her original ideas. This important spiritual guidebook provides both the tools of ancient practice and the means to adapt them to our lives today – for, according to Starhawk, ‘a living tradition is not static or fixed; it changes and responds to changing needs and changing times.’


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First Sentence
On every full moon, rituals such as the one described above take place on hill, on beaches, in open fields, and in ordinary houses. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kate Large on 15 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was first told about this book by my boyfriend, who had read it some time back when it was pretty new. As I was reviving my old interest in Wicca, I thought I'd give it go - and I'm so glad I did. Starhawk is quite simply a very gifted writer who also happens to be a witch - this means there's no wading through clunky, mawkish prose to get to the ideas - everything leaps off the page, taking you along with it.

Another thing I love is Starhawk's joy in science - physics, astrophysics, microbiology - there's no positing of the scientific *against* the spiritual - or, indeed, the intellectual - she embraces it all. There are ideas here on magic, ritual, covens, the sabbats - but what makes this book unique to any other wiccan book you'll read is that she also covers feminism, ecology, politics, the 'roles/identities of the sexes' (an conceit she rightly explodes, and wonderfully) - and as I've mentioned before, science.

*Another* great aspect of the latest edition of this book it that is also includes all of Starhawk's addenda - from ten years after publication, and then 20 years. It's wonderful to see how her conception of Wicca - and how Judaeo-Christian and other religions relate to it - develops over the years. And she's not afraid to admit when she think she's been wrong, most noticeably in her attitude to eastern religions.

I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about wicca - though solitaries will find it extremely coven-based. But I'd also recommend it to anyone, of any age, who wants to read a wonderfully-written book, full of passion and poetry, that explores our role in the contemporary world, and gives plenty of inspiration for ways we can improve it.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Jun 1998
Format: Paperback
If you know anything about Wicca, you probably know that the way a lot of people begin on this religious path is by reading The Spiral Dance. Most seekers are told to read it - and for good reason. In this book, Starhawk recognizes the God and Goddess and gives a complete description of the way witches worship. It is my opinion that it is impossible to go away from this book unchanged. Even if you do not accept her teachings or the God and Goddess, you will find that you can never look at the seasonal changes and moon phases the same way again. This is because she does a wonderful job of showing the seeker the Wiccan world view. Starhawk's prose and poetry brings the spirits of nature to life and inspires the seeker to call out to them as well as the moon, the sun, the earth and everything in it as we reclaim our Father and Mother of pagan heritage.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Mar 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a must have. It not only contains higly effective magical insight but it looks into some of the over all views of male and female energy and the way the world views them. Adding this book to your library could most definatly change the way you look at societys roles of gender as well as how you work in a coven. This book was one of my first beginning books and I wouldn't have traded it for any of the other books I've read to date. The " Spiral Dance " helps explain some of the enigmas behind and in magick. Starhawk sets down a very realistic and tangable over-view of what magick is and how to attain it. There is much depth on the Gods and Goddesses relation to male and female energy and what each is a representation of as well as how it relates to each individual ( man or woman ) Reading this book will help you to understand how the masculine and feminine energys work in the world and lay some serious questions about how society catigorizes and stereo types us all. It most deffinatly will help change the way you view the patrearchial system. It also lays a good foundation for the spiral dance. What it is, how it's celebrated and how it relates to the world we live in on a daily basis. The spell craft, oil, insence, tinicturs, brews, candle magick and meditation formulas are a most deffinate must for any witches library. This book will lay a firm foundation for anyone who is new to the craft as well as help advance an intermeadit or just plain lend some new insight or ideas out to thoose who have practiced craft for years. Without this book I would not have come so far is so short of time. I concide myself to be an intermeadit witch but don't think I would have gotten there without Starhawks exqusit book.Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Mar 1999
Format: Paperback
There's lots of New Age pap about. This book is NOT in that group. Sure, Starhawk's personal brand of ecofeminist paganism may not be for everyone's taste, but that's part of the point: this is a *personal* book that encourages you to take a *personal* look at your spirituality.
Very readable, some good meditations and exercises (the faint scent of workshop-land wafts across the pages), and well-referenced. Recommended.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 April 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an incredible book. It goes into far more depth than most books on the subject and beginners may find it a bit tricky to read. It is however, one of the best books I've ever read. It made me see the world in a different way.
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