Editors: Helen Hye-Sook Hwang and Mary Ann Beavis
Below from Introduction
As co-editor of this volume, my primary role has been editorial. As such, I have, as with She Rises II, chosen, along with my co-editor, to respect various English spelling and punctuation conventions (U.S., U.K., Canadian, etc.), rather that forcing uniformity.
As one of the first readers of the entire volume, I have been impressed and educated by the many perspectives on Goddess spirituality expressed by the writers and artists. Unlike my friend and colleague Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, I am still very much in the institutional academic realm, and have had to resist the impulse to be overly critical of matters of minute detail and referencing (although I have queried some authors’ statements in the process). Several of the essays in this volume are, indeed, valuable academic contributions in their own right, but even more, the essays, poems, artworks and photos are a feast for the mind, the heart, and the spirit (and even the stomach; see Anna Tzanova’s chapter). Above all, they illustrate that Goddess spirituality suffuses many and varied religious traditions, sometimes overtly, sometimes in disguise, and that She Rises, no matter how She may be suppressed. It has been my honour and pleasure to assist.
Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess is a cousin book to the series She Rises Why Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality? Volume 1 (2015) and She Rises Why Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality? Volume 2 (2016). Like the She Rises books, it takes the form of a collective writing in which authors, editors, the publisher, and readers collaborate to achieve the common goal of consolidating the platform of Goddess feminist activism. By “Goddess feminist activism” I mean an elemental[i]understanding of feminism that, derived from the consciousness of the Creatrix, Mago, embraces the cause of socio-cultural-personal change on behalf of all beings on the terrestrial community. Flanked by her two cousin books, Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess, on the one hand, takes on the mission of engaging Goddess Spirituality with feminist activism. On the other hand, she is here to inaugurate the wheel of Goddess feminist activism!
As the coeditor and publisher who proposed and undertook the project, I ask myself what really has motivated me to undertake the project and what it means to have this book published. The very idea of the book would neither have been thought alone nor independently outside the context of Goddess feminist activism. I thought of this book as a collective effort (1) to empower Goddess feminist practitioners, (2) to counter patriarchal holiday conventions espoused with capitalist drives, (3) to support the wheel of Goddess feminist activism, (4) to visualize gynocentric unity across cultures and histories, and (5) lastly, to guide to the consciousness of the Creatrix.
A GYNOCENTRIC CONTEXT
Foremost, I saw the need for a fresh context that would designate Goddess Spirituality as an ultimate seal of feminist social change, while systematically steering it away from the machine of modern patriarchal capitalism. Precisely aiming for a systematic change, the paradigm shift, I wanted this book to be more than just a collection of individual Goddess works. I intended that a solid platform of Goddess feminist activism would be in place before the birth of this book. I was well aware that a gynocentric context would not come into being overnight by someone’s fiat. The task was daunting and I did not have an answer to how it was going to take place, or if it were meant to. Nonetheless, I must say that the time was ripe for me to take another new leap to the unknown. It was no coincidence that The Mago Work, referring to a collective effort to implement the vision of Goddess feminist activism in conjunction with my own advocacy of Magoism, was there to conduct the collective writing projects. I began to feel the magical force around The Mago Work. Things moved along step by step and grew larger and more complex. The first two volumes of She Rises: Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spiritualty were born (we have 93 contributors for Volume 1 and 96 contributors for Volume 2) and portended the arrival of Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess. And the third volume of the She Rises series is yet to come.[ii] The context of Goddess feminist activism is a living organism that grows and evolves. As a matter of fact, The Mago Work’s collective writing projects are not limited to these books. They take place on a day-to-day basis through Return to Mago E-Magazine and The Mago Circle (Facebook group). Recently, Gynapedia (free online encyclopedia) and Mago Pool Circle (hub for sharing one’s available resources) were born to support the wheel of Goddess feminist activism.
On a deeper level, the task of building the fulcrum of Goddess feminist activism is motivated by my own commitment to Magoism, the gynocentric understanding of human cultures, histories, and practices, originated from the veneration the Great Goddess. This vision of Goddess feminist activism is organically intertwined with my study of Magoism and The Mago Work. I was destined to encounter Magoism in the course of my life’s quest for the meaning of myself and Life as a whole, and, it came to me as a revelation, when I was ready to see. I first heard of the Great Goddess by the name of Mago in 2000 and soon after reconstructed Magoism during the years of my graduate studies in feminist studies in religion.[iii] In studying Mago, I detected the mytho-historical-thealogical background drawn from pan-East Asian transnational primary sources and named it Magoism. And The Mago Work is propelled by the Magoist Mandate, Return to the Origin of the Great Goddess, the central message of Magoism.
To be continued; Read Book Announcement 1.
[i] The term, “elemental” is derived from Mary Daly’s notion of “Elemental Feminist Philosophy”. Daly uses it to mean the following:
… women who choose to biophilic be-ing belong to the Race of Lusty Women, which participates in the Race of Elemental be-ing. For we are rooted, as are animals and trees, winds and seas, in the Earth’s substance. Our origins are in her elements. Thus, we true to our Originality, we are Elemental, that is , “of relating to, or caused by great force of nature.”
See Mary Daly, Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy (Beacon Press, 1984), 4-5.
[ii] She Rises Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality series are planned as trilogy.
[iii] I have stated my encounter with Magoism in my book. See Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, The Mago Way: Re-discovering Mago, the Great Goddess from East Asia (Mago Books, 2015).