📘 The Spiral Dance by Starhawk

This thread is for anyone reading The Spiral Dance for the Spells8 Book Club!

Witchcraft for Beginners The Spiral Dance
[Picture from Francisco]

Feel free to swap thoughts and share highlights with one another as you read :open_book:

Things to keep in mind…

  • Others may read slower than you! Hide spoilers by clicking the gear (:gear:) and selecting either [Hide Details] or [Blur Spoilers]

  • This topic is just for those reading this book- others can post about their books in the main topic thread or in a separate post in the forum

~ Happy Reading! ~

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@Tamera
@Limeberry
@Francisco

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I read this book in August & I got about halfway through it. I couldn’t get into it. :frowning_face:

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I don’t know how far everyone is into this book so I’ll share a few quotes from the first chapters.

I’ve posted about the energy work exercises in the Spiral Dance but the conceptual parts of it are great too!

As a male witch, I identified with this paragraph, in page 34 of my book, as it is common for men to feel excluded from circles of Goddess-worshippers for different reasons:

The Goddess is also important for men. The oppression of men in Father God-ruled patriarchy is perhaps less obvios but no less tragic than that of women. Men are encouraged to identify with a model no human being can successfully emulate: to be minirulers of narrow universes…”

“…every male brought up in a traditional home develops an intense early identification with his mother and therefore carries within him a strong feminine imprint. The symbol of the Goddess allows men to experience and integrate the feminine side of their nature, which is often felt to be the deepest and most sensitive aspect of the self. The Goddess does not exclude the male; She contains him, as a pregnant woman contains a male child…”

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I have decided to start reading as well. I just got through the introduction. Enjoying her tone.

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@Francisco, I highlighted those passages in my book! I am really enjoying this book, it is as if I’m listening in on a conversation rather than reading words from a page.

“The word Witch carries so many negative connotations that many people wonder why we use it at all. Yet to reclaim the word Witch is to reclaim our right, as women, to be powerful; as men, to know the feminine within as divine. To be a Witch is to identify with nine million victims of bigotry and hatred and to take responsibility for shaping a world in which prejudice claims no more victims. A Witch is a “shaper,” a creator who bends the unseen into form, and so becomes one of the Wise, one whose life is infused with magic.”
This is one of my faves…

Starhawk. The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition (p. 32). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

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I’ve been totally pants over the last few days so today is my Official Reading Day - I have my coffee and have just finished the intro section too. :coffee: :open_book: :nerd_face: Welcome to the team @crystal8! :hearts: :dancer:t3:

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OMG at

Exercise 35: The Circle Visualisation Exercise
Chapter 4 (Page 94 in 20th anniversary edition)

:heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:
Breathtaking.
I’ve found my new favourite way to cast a circle :hearts:

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This is lovely! I especially like the statement after that, “Casting the circle is an enacted meditation. Each gesture we make, each tool we use, each power we invoke, resonates through layers of meaning to awaken as an aspect of ourselves. The outer forms are a cloak for inner visualizations so that the circle becomes a living mandala, in which we are centered.”
This echoes what I am reading about states of mind in meditation.

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This touched me as well! This idea alone made this a have-to-read book.

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@tamera We’re in sync! I had also highlighted the paragraph about the word Witch! That’s a very practical statement to remember. “One who bends the unseen, One whose life is infused with magic!”

I’m glad you’re enjoying the read @crystal8!

@Limeberry I think there are so many great exercises in the book! You definitely found a good one there!

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Agreed! You’re most welcome in the Spiral Dance book club, Wendy!

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I frequently read more than one book at a time on the same topic and compare and contrast ideas. I retain more that way. Since I just finished Spiral Dance, I am rereading it along with The Inner Temple of Witchcraft.

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Waiting on my book to be sent out, but for now I am reading the PDF file! Can’t wait to get started!

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Include me here as well. My other book is meant to be done over a year!
Wendy

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Sure thing, @wendy4! You have been added to the reading list. Have fun and enjoy! :open_book::grin:

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I am still reading The Inner Temple of Witchcraft, but I am taking the time, and doing the work. Christopher is teaching about things I read in other sources. I need self-work as well. Thanks TravelWitch.

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I have two sons. My husband was a gentle soul who supported the feminine. However, children will be who they are as well. My husband was a long-haired hippie in sandals. My sons were preppy dressed who never had to be reminded to cut their hair. Jerry spent a great deal of time with them. My youngest granddaughter misses him the most. He taught her compassion is the goal and helped her save a praying mantis from other children who harmed her. They kept a terrarium with wounded wildlife ( lizards, bugs, etc,")

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:books: I’m finally making my way through this book and have worked through the two introductions (I’m reading the 20th Anniversary Edition) and I found some powerful and informative things that really show how Starhawk themselves have evolved in their practice and beliefs over time. Most of what I’ve highlighted came from the 10th Anniversary edition and I wanted to share them here.

So my major critique of this work [speaking of their own writing] now centers on questions of inclusiveness. (pg.40)

But that journey cannot be rich and varied unless we are willing to let go of seeing our own experience, our own answers and styles and insights, as defining reality for everyone. We need not deny our experience but must recognize that it is one facet of the gifts that are there for us in other perspectives. (pg.40)

:heart: It really shows a lot that Starhawk makes mention of inclusivity in this part of the introduction because it shows their growth and allows us to also see how they have changed. I find it extremely important to be inclusive in my own craft and beliefs, so it is refreshing to see that in an edition that was published more than 10 years ago, Starhawk was still speaking of inclusivity.

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It’s great to be able to browse through the notes: 10 years after, and 20 years after, and see how things have changed in the mind of the author through time.

It’s like seeing that growth and reassessment of her own writing. Really an unique experience that doesn’t happen with many books!

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