Below you will find books that I have read and other resources that I have found useful. If links are included, they are not affiliate links.
This is obviously not an exhaustive reading list, but rather suggestions for getting started if you are wanting to learn more about women’s spirituality and the Goddess. I will be updating it periodically.
Women’s Spirituality Books
When God Was a Woman, Merlin Stone – I only read this book recently, in spite of having seen it recommended for years. I don’t know why I hadn’t read it sooner! It is fascinating, and I couldn’t put it down. Very, very highly recommended. It is not a light read, but I still found her writing very approachable and easy to understand.
The Chalice and the Blade, Riane Eisler – A great companion to When God Was a Woman, it explores how society used to be more equalitarian (her word), how it changed, and how it could transform again. An especially insightful read during this time in the history of our country and the world.
A Woman’s Book of Rituals & Celebrations, Barbara Ardinger, PhD – I can’t recommend this book highly enough! You can read my review of it for more information.
The Women’s Spirituality Book, Diane Stein – I recommend this with some reservations. I actually got a lot of great information from this book, but it was written in the mid-1980s when there was still a lot of historically inaccurate information about the burning times (9 million women were not killed during the burning times!), the history of witches, etc. around. Please take the historical information with a grain of salt. She also uses the terms Wicca/Wicce in a way that probably would not be used today, and might be a bit confusing if you’re new to paganism/women’s spirituality. But there is still a lot of useful information in this book, and it is worth reading.
Foremothers of the Women’s Spirituality Movement, edited by Miriam Robbins Dexter & Vicki Noble – This is a bit pricey, but I found it so interesting to read about some of the founders of the women’s spirituality movement and where their paths have taken them since they first discovered the Goddess and women’s spirituality. You could create your own women’s spirituality reading list to keep you busy for years from the bibliographies of each essay.
Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries, Ruth Barrett – A handbook for creating ritual from a woman-focused, Dianic perspective. I refer to her chapter on The Wheel of the Year for pretty much every holy day. I love the journaling/meditation questions she gives for each holy day, as well as her suggestions for seasonal practices and activities.
Ariadne’s Thread: A Workbook of Goddess Magic, Shekinah Mountainwater – I’m always surprised that this book isn’t more well-known. It is basically a year-long course of exploration of Goddess and women’s spirituality covering everything from deity concepts, to the moon, to divination and magic. Highly recommended.
Mysteries of the Dark Moon, Demetra George – An exploration of dark Goddesses, our own shadow, and the dark periods of our lives. I was especially fascinated by her theory in Chapter 3, “A Lunar Her/Story of the Feminine: The Birth, Death, and Rebirth of the Goddess” about the Goddess also going through cyclical phases of waxing and waning, reaching out and retreating.
The Goddess Companion, Patricia Monaghan – A daily Goddess-oriented devotional that includes a prayer, poem or other writing from around the world and a brief meditation on that day’s theme. This is a rich resource simply for the daily poems and prayers, but the meditations are wonderful, too. A great choice for Goddess-centered morning or evening readings each day.
Seasons of the Witch, Patricia Monaghan – Many wonderful poems for each season of the year. If you are not a poetry person, you probably won’t enjoy it, although there are also some wonderful prose sections with thoughts about each season, holiday, moon phase, times of day, time of our lives, etc. I tend to pick it up and read through the appropriate seasonal section at the beginning of each season.
Circle of Stones: Woman’s Journey to Herself, Judith Duerk – I recently happened upon this book in a used bookstore and fell in love with it. It is a small book, but so thought-provoking. I couldn’t put it down, and now I plan to go back and read it slowly and journal my way through it, because almost every paragraph of the book opened up floods of thoughts and feelings for me. It touched me deeply. I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same response, but it is worth reading it to find out.
Goddess Exploration Books
Tending Brigid’s Flame, Lunaea Weatherstone – If you are a devotee of Brigid, you will want to have this book. But even if you are just curious about Brigid, or you want to live a life of devotion to Goddess, any Goddess, you will find many ideas to inspire you in this book. Highly recommended.
Our Lady of Guadalupe: Devotions, Prayers & Living Wisdom, edited by Mirabai Starr – This is a beautiful little book full of prayers and meditations for Our Lady of Guadalupe. It does include Christian sources, but there is plenty to be gleaned from this book even for non-Christians.
Encyclopedia of Goddesses & Heroines, Patricia Monaghan – An incredibly well-researched reference with basic information about pretty much any Goddess you might be interested in.
Goddesses for Every Season, Nancy Blair – A kind of weekly Goddess devotional, each season contains information, an affirmation and an image of thirteen different Goddesses. The intention is to get to know the energy of many different Goddesses as you travel through the year, learning about a new Goddess each week.
The Heart of the Goddess, Hallie Iglehart Austen – This book is out of print, but it is pretty easy to find used copies, and I highly recommend it! It contains beautiful full-color images of a variety of Goddesses, both ancient and modern, and from many different cultures. There is information about each of the Goddesses, as well as a prayer, meditation, or other exercise for working with Her. It’s a beautiful book to simply open at random or to flip through and enjoy the artwork as you enjoy the beautiful Goddess images.
Menstrual Mysteries Books
Moon Time, Lucy Pearce – A wonderful exploration of our menstrual cycles and how we can honor the changes and cycles we go through each month.
The Complete Dream Book, Gillian Holloway, PhD – A wonderful place to start to explore the messages of your dreams. You can read more in my review of the book.
Crystals and Stones Books
The Book of Stones, Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian – One of my favorite books on crystals and stones.
Crystal Power, Crystal Healing, Michael Gienger – Another excellent resource for working with crystals and stones.
Celtic Spirituality Books
Kindling the Celtic Spirit, Mara Freeman – Exploring Celtic myths, magic, and seasonal celebrations month-by-month. An inspiring resource, especially if you practice a Celtic path.
Everyday Tarot, Gail Fairfield – An excellent book for getting started with the tarot. Her focus is on using the cards for insight and understanding rather than for predicting the future. I tend to be more intuitive when reading the cards, and not all decks will work with her basic interpretations, but would be a great place to start if you are unfamiliar with the tarot.
Tarot for Yourself, Mary Greer – The classic tarot book recommended by pretty much everyone! This book has many exercises, and I will admit, I have not worked through them all. She offers many interesting ways to work with the cards and look at ways that they relate to each other. I also like her card interpretations and questions for each card in the back. Again, they may not work for every deck, but I have found them helpful.
Tarot for the Healing Heart, Christine Jette – Working with the tarot for healing, whether physical, mental, or spiritual. She offers many activities and spreads as you work you way through the book as well as a section interpreting each card in light of healing, which is a wonderful resource.
Tarot for All Seasons, Christine Jette – Ideas for celebrating the Wheel of the Year as well as spreads for each holiday and the moon phases. Includes as section with brief card interpretations.
Tarot Shadow Work, Christine Jette – This books leads you through shadow work using the Major Arcana cards. Includes many spreads and exercises as well as a section giving shadow-related interpretations for each Major. Card images in the book are from the Robin Wood Tarot, so it has a nice Pagan-oriented feel to it. I have not worked all the way through it, but have found it to be a helpful reference on several occasions.
SageWoman Magazine – If you aren’t already a subscriber, SageWoman is a wonderful resource that “focuses exclusively on the experience of women.” I have also purchased some of the back issues from the ’80s, because I love reading what women were learning and exploring as the women’s spirituality movement was beginning to grow.
The Moon is My Calendar – This is the moon wheel/journal that I am using this year, and I love it. In the moon wheel I track my menstrual cycle symptoms, my moods and energy levels, whether I’ve exercised or meditated, etc., as well as keeping track of my daily tarot card and oracle draws. In the space allowed for writing each day I make a note of the weather and a few notes about the day. I also love doodling my goals on the monthly moon mandala page.
The Sacred Journey Journal – I used this daily in 2015, and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t published for 2016, so I found another daily tracking system, but I still recommend this one. It is great if you want more space to do some art journaling or regular journaling (although there still isn’t enough room if you want to do major journaling every day).
We’Moon: Gaia Rhythms for Womyn – This is great if you want a lot of astrological data in you calendar. I used this one year to write down the events of the day in each space every evening, and even though I don’t use it that way now, I still buy it every year because it is packed with so much beautiful artwork and wonderful writing, as well as a lot of great astrological information.
Full Circle Health: Integrated Health Charting for Women by Lucy Pearce – This book was just published in June 2017, and having become a huge fan of charting my moods, health and cycles, I had to get a copy of it. If you are new to charting, it might be a bit overwhelming, but for me it feels like the next step to take my current charting to a more useful level. The book includes the whys and hows of charting, ideas for customizing charting for your own needs, as well as a full set of charting pages, journal pages, and monthly planning and wrap-up pages. Highly recommended!
The Goddess in Art series by Starr Goode – This is a cable access show that was produced back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and is now available on YouTube. Starr Goode interviews some truly amazing women including Marija Gimbutas, Miriam Robbins Dexter, Riane Eisler, Starhawk, Elinor Gadon, and Vicki Noble. I have been gradually making my way through the episodes and am so grateful to have access to these great videos!
The Ascent of Woman – This is currently available on Netflix. Here is how the producers describe the series: “Dr. Amanda Foreman’s landmark series is the first ever documentary to present the history of women from the dawn of civilisation to the modern day. The Ascent of Woman argues that the history of women isn’t a straight line from Eve’s apple to Margaret Sanger’s Pill. Instead, over the past ten thousand years it has veered wildly between extremes of freedom and oppression, inclusion and exclusion.” It is an absolutely fascinating series, and I need to watch it again. Highly, highly recommended!
Women and Spirituality: The Goddess Trilogy – Three films about the Goddess and the women’s spirituality movement. The first video includes a dinner and discussion with women like Starhawk, Merlin Stone, LuisahTeish, Carol Christ, and Jean Bolen which is just amazing to watch in itself! “The Burning Times” contains some questionable history, but this series is still well-worth watching.
Signs Out of Time: The Story of Archaeologist Marija Gimbutas – Produced by Starhawk and Donna Read, this video explores the life and work of Marija Gimbutas. It’s worth seeing if you can track down a copy of it.