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Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  773 ratings  ·  44 reviews

The first Joseph Campbell work to focus on the Goddess, edited and introduced by Safron Rossi, PhD, Curator of Collections at Opus Archives and Research Center, home to the archival collections of Joseph Campbell, Marija Gimbutas, James Hillman, and other scholars of mythology, Jungian and archetypal psychology, and the humanities.

Joseph Campbell brought mythology to a mas

Hardcover, 1st edition Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, 303 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by New World Library
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4.15  · 
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 ·  773 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gender conflict has deep, historical roots.

Goddesses: Mysteries of the Divine Feminine, is a book based on lectures and notes by the late Joseph Campbell. It is produced by the Joseph Campbell Foundation and edited by Dr. Safron Rossi. The book traces the Goddess in history from ancient times and peoples to around the time of the European Renaissance (around the 15th century).

It is a fascinating work and an in-depth look into an aspect of mythology that is frequently overlooked. Many works featu
Peter Mcloughlin
I am going to say this again. Joseph Cambell was writing about Jungian Archetypes and world mythology long before Jordan Petersen came on the scene and does it much better than him and without the right-wing reactionary and misogynist baggage. I was into Campbell in the 1980s and the 1990s and revisit him in part because his legacy is being poisoned by ideologues like Petersen to further his right-wing agenda. Much better to go to the unadulterated original master of this stuff.
Steve Cran
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Joseph Campbell is a well known scholar of mythology who has taught a number if years at the University level and has authored numerous books. His material is gold  as far as I am concerned . AT the same time as being scholarly his style is also highly readable and enjoyable. Read this and you will get lots of information. Beware though because this book may well change your perspective on things.

Change it did. Many scholars such as Margaret Murray and Marija Gambutas have stated that in man kin
Lina Slavova
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Joseph Campbell, know that he was a renowned mythologist endowed with the ability to make myth accessible and appealing to all. It is a true pleasure to read his works and to receive his knowledge of the spiritual principles ingrained in all legends.

This book is a compilation of lectures given by Joseph Campbell on the subject of the feminine divine. Campbell traces the evolution of the concept of the Great Goddess from Neolithic Old Europe to the Renaiss
Billie Hinton
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a collection of Joseph Campbell's lectures and workshops on goddesses that explore the symbols and themes of the feminine divine. Edited by Safron Rossi, this book is a treasure chest and overview of Campbell's perspective on goddess mythology. A terrific read for anyone interested in the goddess tradition but as a writer and psychotherapist, I feel this book is an important source for writers, therapists, particularly Jungian and sandplay therapists, and adds an important piece to ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read the chapters I needed (up to the Gods and Goddess of Ancient Greece). Its been a while since I read anything even close to scholarly, and I really enjoyed Campbell's cross-cultural approach to understanding both the power of the Goddess and how that power was eventually stripped away as Creator Father figures took over. My only complaint is that the illustrations were small and in black and white. Some of the works he refers to as evidence for his theories are difficult to see, and you have ...more
Sharon Miller
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A little dated and a little disjointed, and as ever I always want him to finish his thoughts. His mercurial mind jumps to the next thing before wrapping up a subject. But that aside the only other criticism is how short this was. I want more! Miraculously accessible for being presented in a flurry of connections and texts and stories. Always enlightening and edifying. A rare treat.
Alicia K.
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This exceedingly well-edited collection of essays, lectures and notes by Joseph Campbell was useful in seeing his overall opinion of goddesses in mythology and the goddess as she appears in various mythologies.
David Melbie
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of the Myths
Recommended to David by: Twas a gift from a friend.
This is a wonderful editing job, of putting together in a very cohesive way, all of Campbell's writings on the Goddesses. I am already a big fan, but this is by far the best compilation that this publisher has done to date.
Kent Winward
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The title is a little misleading, because there isn't as much about the Goddess as there is about the Goddesses' place in ancient myth telling. (Hint: It is often tangential to the main story.)

When reading Campbell, you can usually count on at least one instance where you get an insight into an old story you didn't have before, like Paris choosing between Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera, was a choice between three archetypal female characters, love/lust, wisdom/career, and home/hearth. The obvious r
Maan Kawas
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book about the Goddesses & female deity vs. male deity related mythology in the ancient history. I particularly loved reading about Demeter & Persephone and the mystery traditions, the Male and female deities in Homer's "Iliad" & "Odyssey", and, of course, about the Great Mother. I found the information about the characteristics and deity of both the hunter & Planting societies so informative and interesting. I do highly recommend this book.
Daniel Swanger
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beginning popular readers of myth
Recommended to Daniel by: joseph Campbell Mythological Round Table
As important as St Jerome's fellow Latin church Father St Augustine for its contemporary post-Constantinian toleration, post-Byzantine Comparative Theology! As a participant in the local Joseph Campbell Mythological Round Table, and a presentation giver on myth and art there in my published book of verse and essays, I was interested in reading this book on goddesses, being a scholar of myth and art history and having it recommended by others in our group. I had overestimated Campbell. His Histor ...more
Joanne LaFleur
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I came across Joseph Campbell's lectures on the goddesses at a time when I was in a faith crisis precipitated by the realization that my participation in a religious organization with an all-male priesthood had caused me to internalize misogyny that I had not previously been aware of. My journey to understand that led me, first, to ask why a benevolent god who regards me as having as much worth as any of his other children would ordain a social order that diminishes women (short answer: he would ...more
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very well curated collection of Campbell's lectures on The Goddess. One of Campbell's best. Especially the chapters on the Greek Goddesses, including an enlightened approach to The Judgement of Paris and The Illiad/Odyssey. So many thought-provoking insights on Patriarchy/Matriarchy, Monotheism/Polytheism, and the intentional absence of a Goddess/female consort, in the development of early Judeo-Christian theology. A study of agricultural v/s herding or tribal systems, and how the addition or ...more
George Viana
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The author pulls back the curtain and reveals to me secrets that connect practically all of human history into one narrative. Delightful poetry writes how the pendulum of religion leans at one time to one direction and in the next era in contrapposto to the opposite. Beautiful themes reflect each other back and forth throughout and repeatedly, by Campbell's artful arrangement. This evolution of religion reveals the motivations of dozens or hundreds of civilizations, casting our history in a diff ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Joseph Campbell worked off of outdated theories and lacked a detailed knowledge of many of the cultures about which he theorizes. For example, he says that Egypt's geographical location protects it from stronger cultures in every direction except the north. Meroe in general, and The 25th Dynasty in particular, would like a word.

He is still an acknowledged giant in the study of mythology and folklore. Many of his ideas are still worth digging into, despite his frequent casual racism and sexism.
Pagan religions and goddess worship are the subjects of Campbell's work. He explores how the goddess is linked to both life and death, agriculture and spirituality. I expected him to delve more into the goddess cults of history but he does spend a lot of time providing a synopsis of myths too. This I feel detracts from the focus, as a lot of attention is given to Zeus and Odysseus, Atlas and other heroes.
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Joseph Campbell never wrote a book on Goddesses so this is a compilation of talks and articles that he did on the subject during his life time. There is some repetition of ideas and information. The book as it stands though is very interesting and information.
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Campbell's estate is taking all his old lectures and editing/converting them into books, and this reads like that. But I still liked a lot of the material, some of it new and some of it from other works of Campbell.
Jerry James
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable. It's helpful to know these are mostly transcribed lectures in order to understand the odd prose at times.
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really great gathering of feminine divine mythologies from practically the beginning of human history.
Leona Wisoker
Loved this one! Full review is available here:
Jan 02, 2016 added it
Recommended to Zach by: Emmy Kelley
A sublime book that is transparent to the transcendent.
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. Inspiring.
Baxter Trautman
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
The facts were a little repetitive as it is a compilation of his lectures, but because these were lectures they are written as he spoke them, hence delightful as Campbell was a master storyteller.
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was good. It linked the histories together in a clear way and explained the Greek mythology, particularly, in a way I haven't seen before.
Ryan Denson
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book aims to survey Joseph Campbell’s ideas on the depiction of women as divine in western mythology/religion. A couple of caveats are in order for anyone reading this book. First, one should remember that this is a patchwork of Campbell’s lectures that was compiled posthumously. As such, there is some repetition of ideas and themes as well as disjunctions between sections and chapters. Campbell’s characteristically mercurial style may also prove daunting for some readers. The editor has do ...more
Arthur Gailes
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Campbell goes through the history of goddess worship dating back to 4000 BC, and details the types of societies and environments that lead to goddess worship.

That discussion leads to an overview of the broad history of European religion, from the polytheistic "indo-europeans" (who would become Greek and Hindu), and the monotheistic Semites. The discussion of Christianity as a hybrid of those two groups (Christ being a Greek-style hero in a Hebrew tradition) is thrilling, as is the ide
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it

'The message here is of an actual age of harmony and peace in accordance with the creative energies of nature - which for a spell of some four thousand prehistoric years anteceded the five thousand of what James Joyce has termed the "nightmare" (of contending tribal and national interests) from which it is now certainly time for this planet to wake.'

The Feminine Divine is crucial to understanding the story of human philosophy, and though it's all still a mystery to me, the power of the Goddess-
Sebastian CG
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Written in a scholarly-friendly tone, even humorous at times, Campbell's work turns into a very entertaining and enlightening read. There's so much knowledge, culture, history, psychology, mysticism and of course, mythology and religion in this little book.

The goddess in her own right, is everything and her substance, her different manifestations in the pantheons and her essential universal meaning is beautiful. She's been with us since the beginning. I found her much inspiring, as a man, and I
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Joseph Campbell was an American author and teacher best known for his work in the field of comparative mythology. He was born in New York City in 1904, and from early childhood he became interested in mythology. He loved to read books about American Indian cultures, and frequently visited the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he was fascinated by the museum's collection of tote ...more
“In the older view the goddess Universe was alive, herself organically the Earth, the horizon, and the heavens. Now she is dead, and the universe is not an organism, but a building, with gods at rest in it in luxury: not as personifications of the energies in their manners of operation, but as luxury tenants, requiring service. And Man, accordingly, is not as a child born to flower in the knowledge of his own eternal portion but as a robot fashioned to serve.” 8 likes
“They are equals, but not the same, because when you lose the tension of polarities you lose the tension of life.” 1 likes
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