LOVE the Book!
What I love so much about this book is how perfectly she captures and describes my own stages of spiritual evolution.
As I read it, I keep nodding and recognizing my own thoughts and feelings. And I find myself revisiting my own spiritual experience, and understanding it in an even deeper way than I did at the time, as she so eloquently describes her own experience.
By the way, if you want to read it with journal in hand, the back of the book offers great journal questions for each section of the book (awakening, initiation, grounding, etc.) and there is an 8-page interview with the author.
Here are some of the quotes from the book that jumped out at me. See if they resonate with you, too.
“To name is to define and shape reality. For eons women have accepted male naming as a given, especially in the spiritual realm. The fact is, for a long time now mean have been naming the world, God, sacred reality, and even women from their own masculine perspective and experience and then calling it universal experience. Was it such a wild thought that women might start naming God, sacred reality, and their own lives themselves?” –p.38
Awareness of Patriarchal Influence
“Just how is Everywoman’s life created? How much of my life did I allow to be painted into existence by church, culture, and male attitudes? Down deep, was my life as woman self-conceived and self-created as an original and unfolding work from my own hands, or was it contrived according to hidden blueprints?” –p.43
Fear of Change: The Bargaining Stage of Grief
“Despite the growing disenchantment women experience in the early stages of awakening, the idea of existing beyond the patriarchal institution of faith, of withdrawing our external projection of God onto the church, is almost always unfathomable. We believe if we sail out on the spiritual ocean beyond a certain point we will fall off the edge of the known world into a void. We think there’s nothing beyond the edge. No real spirituality, no salvation, no community, no divine substance. We cannot see that the voyage will lead us to whole new continents of depth and meaning.” –p.48
“An uneasy reaction to the word Goddess is common among women. Thousands of years of repression, hostility, and conditioning against the Divine Mother have made a deep impression on us.” –p.72
Leaving Home: Spiritually
“This is a stupendous moment for a woman – when she decides to live from her own inner guidance. It is, however, excruciatingly hard for a patriarchal daughter to accomplish. She may have to do it, as I did, in stages.
Women grow afraid at this moment because it means giving up a world where everything is neat and safe. In that world we feel secure, taken care of; we know where we’re going. Then we wake up and find the old way doesn’t work, that it no longer fits our identity, that by clinging to it, we’re cutting ourselves off from something profound.” –p.76
Owning Your Soul
“My whole life just fell open, and I began to see why things have happened as they have happened.” –Nelle Morton (on p.72)
“I knew that despite how unthinkable and forbidden it was, I needed to move beyond religion in a patriarchal institution. That may not be true for every woman. But for me it was crucial to my spiritual maturity and growth. At that moment I took sole responsibility for my spiritual life.” –p.81
Do you recognize any of these stages in your own spiritual evolution?