Posted by: Nyxks | January 24, 2007

God/Goddess

God/Goddess
by A. J. Drew and Patricia Telesco © 2003
New Page Books
219 pages + Appendices & Bibliographies paperback
ISBN 1-56414-699-8
$14.99 (U.S.)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason

Are you one of those people who believe men and women are the same? Do you wonder whether God or Goddess came first? Are you open to exploring these questions? A.J. will provoke you to think about these questions and more.

Patricia Telesco has a different slant on things. She most certainly doesn’t agree with A.J. on everything. That doesn’t mean she and A.J. are opponents. It simply puts them on opposite sides of this particular discussion.

The masculine and feminine aspects alternate throughout the book. Each segment explores various aspects of the God/Goddess throughout the cycle of their, and our own, existences.

While addressing the subject of friendship a vital, but often overlooked, point is made by A.J. There is a tendency, and Gods know we all do it, to look at the myths and mythological reference books to find out about the attributes and correspondences of various deities. Doing this, we tend to see the divinities in isolation, which is not how our ancestors saw them. We need to view, for example, the relationships between Mars and Discordia. This way of looking at the entities involved shows how warfare (Mars) is preceded by strife and misunderstanding (Discordia). Our ancestors knew the stories of the gods and goddesses – not merely their attributes and correspondences. The current generation of neo-Pagans would be well advised to learn this approach.

Patricia provides activities designed to help the reader, male or female, access the feminine energy we all have. In this her approach diverges from that of her co-author. Together the two approaches help to create a nicely balanced approach to the divergent energies we all have within ourselves.

There is an on-going problem, not just with this publisher, which I have noticed frequently over the past several years. There are large numbers of typographical errors. Some of these are synonyms; some are dropped letters; some missing words. If people are going to spend their hard-earned cash on a book, they should be able to depend on certain, basic, expectations. I don’t expect to agree with everything I read, but I do expect not to have to decipher what is actually meant.

Probably the biggest problem I had with the editing of this particular book was the frequency of irregular spacing. Most of the time it was extra sp ace in a word, but occasionally itwas a lack o f spacing. As you can see in the preceding example, it can make you stop and wonder.

There are 69 god forms and 85 goddess forms in the appendices. A.J. tends to go into greater depth in these entries (19 pages and 7 pages, respectively). These lists are not exhaustive – they would comprise many volumes if they were. What they are, is a stimulus. They are not just the “standard” forms (Greek, Roman. Egyptian, Nordic), but include ancient Mesopotamian, Native American, African, and other sources as well.

On a personal note, I would recommend the mythological books in the bibliographies as a good source of reading material. If you have some spare cash, you should definitely have a few of them in your household library. And, if you have children in your life (offspring, nieces, nephews, etc.) consider spending some time with them reading (and discussing) the stories of our ancestors.

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