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The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secretsby Barbara G Walker
"One of my favorite ways of reading is to pull a book off the shelf and open it at random. That's the great thing about reference books like dictionaries or encyclopedias. These books are treasure troves dip in anywhere, let chance take you, lead you off. Where did that come from? What is that old saying? Which god or goddess was that? These books have been a jump-start many times when I'm stuck for an idea. I can see them inspiring poetry, stories, or songs in others, too. Each contains many brief entries and some longer articles. For instance, from Walker's Myths and Secrets: 'Fly: popular soul-symbol in many ancient religions, due to a belief that women could conceive children by swallowing a fly bearing the soul of a previously deceased person.' Other entries discuss holidays, historical figures, tall tales, and origins of folk songs such as 'Turkey in the Straw.'"
Synopses & Reviews
Do You Know...
The answers to these and countless other intriguing questions are given in this compulsively readable, feminist encyclopedia. Twenty-five years in preparation, this unique, comprehensive sourcebook focuses on mythology anthropology, religion, and sexuality to uncover precisely what other encyclopedias leave out or misrepresent. The Woman's Encyclopedia presents the fascinating stories behind word origins, legends, superstitions, and customs. A browser's delight and an indispensable resource, it offers 1,350 entries on magic, witchcraft, fairies, elves, giants, goddesses, gods, and psychological anomalies such as demonic possession; the mystical meanings of sun, moon, earth, sea, time, and space; ideas of the soul, reincarnation, creation and doomsday; ancient and modern attitudes toward sex, prostitution, romance, rape, warfare, death and sin, and more.
Tracing these concepts to their prepatriarchal origins, Barbara G. Walker explores a "thousand hidden pockets of history and custom in addition to the valuable material recovered by archaeologists, orientalists, and other scholars."
Not only a compendium of fascinating lore and scholarship, The Woman's Encyclopedia is a revolutionary book that offers a rare opportunity for both women and men to see our cultural heritage in a fresh light, and draw upon the past for a more humane future.
About the Author
Barbara G. Walker, author of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, and many other books, is a member of the Morris Museum Mineralogical Society and the Trailside Mineral Club of the New Jersey Earth Science Association.
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