Feminine Mysteries in the Bible: The Soul Teachings of the Daughters of the Goddess, by Ruth Rusca
Bear & Company, 9781591430889, 144 pp., 2008
Rusca approaches the feminism in the Bible from a somewhat unique perspective. Born in Switzerland in 1929 to German Protestant parents who lived in an Italian-speaking Catholic village, she received a religious education which encompassed both cultures. Add to that mixture an appreciation of the work of Carl Jung and you have the makings of a unique approach.
She has found a four-fold path of women as both mothers and daughters. She sees them as embodying the aspects of sacred sexuality without, necessarily, approaching the concept of the Mother Goddess as it is currently conceived by modern neo-Pagans.
If you are looking for a book with an emphasis on the Goddess; with a de-emphasis on the masculine aspects; with a non-traditional view of the origins of Christianity, this book will be a disappointment. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a book which shows the importance of the feminine in the formation of the Abrahamic religions, this is a good starting point.
In order to gain the most from this book, the reader should have, at the very least, a thorough understanding of Jungian psychology, as its concepts permeate the writing. For those without such an understanding some of the finer points may well be missed. Of course that could be a stimulus to further reading and education.
In some areas Rusca’s approach is overly broad and tends to gloss over some details which could use further exploration while in different places she tends to concentrate too much on the details, thus losing sight of the larger perspective. When I finished reading this book I was left uncertain about how to evaluate it. It is not a book I would recommend to everyone. It will, most likely, appeal to a very narrow segment of the reading public.
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Mike Gleason (1951-2012) dedicated his time to sharing his knowledge and opinions with others, and spent years reviewing books for the Pagan, Wiccan, Witch and magickal communities.