Author: Mark Carter
Publisher: Moon Books
Published: June 16, 2012
In 1948 Robert Graves published The White Goddess. His study of poetic mysticism and goddess worship has since become a founding text of Western paganism. As Wicca emerged from what Graves called, a few hopeful young people in California, to over two million strong, The White Goddess has achieved near liturgical status. This rising appreciation brings all the problems of liturgical texts. Many pagans consider Graves’ work like the goddess herself; awe inspiring but impenetrable. Stalking The Goddess is the extensive examination of this enigmatic text to come from the pagan community and guides readers through bewildering forests of historical sources, poems, and Graves’ biography to reveal his unorthodox claims and entrancing creative process. Relentlessly perusing each path, it explores the uncharted woods and reveals the hidden signposts Graves has posted. The hunt for the goddess spans battlefields, ancient manuscripts, the British museum, and Stonehenge. En route we encounter not only the goddess herself but her three sacred animals; dog, roebuck, and lapwing. Perhaps the muse cannot be captured on her own grounds, but now at least there is a map.
I have to admit, that I would never have picked up this book if it wasn’t for the recommendation of a trusted friend. I was never interested in The White Goddess or Robert Graves after reading it, but after reading the synopsis for Stalking the Goddess, I decided to give it a try.
The author of Stalking the Goddess is trying to explore the myriad of historical sources, poems and Robert Graves’s own biographical details to show the reader what the The White Goddess was based on, and maybe along the way the reader may learn a few things that they didn’t know. I’ll say that the book has a good bibliography at the end and in-line citations.
The book starts with the Preface, where the author talks about why he decided to write this book and the impetus behind it, which I think is actually interesting, and why it plays such an important part of many people’s spiritual practice. He also gives us the aim of the book which is to explore where it came from.
I would say that the author of this book pretty much delivered the goods. Anyone who is thinking of reading the White Goddess should absolutely read it, and use this book as a companion and a reader’s guide into the mind of the author and the subject matter of the book itself. As with every book that I have read I didn’t agree with all his points and conclusions but it did not detract from the value of the book at all.
This book is absolutely brilliant.