Walking an Ancient Path
by Karen Tate

O Books, 2008. ISBN 978-1-846-94111-5
Reviewed by Becca Taylor
Posted on 05/04/2009

Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration

Ever since reading Dance of the Dissident Daughter several years ago, I've been on my own journey seeking knowledge and understanding of the feminine Divine. Most books about Goddess, Sacred Feminine, paganism, and even Wicca, usually focus on ritual and lore that is very much focused on day-to-day practice. I haven't found a Goddess-related book with the perfect balance of practicum and memoir. Until now.

Karen Tate takes us along her own journey of awakening, learning, and becoming, ultimately guiding us to a place where we can adopt those lessons for our own lives and philosophies. This book is a wonderful mixture of personal narrative, travel essay, spiritual guidance, and how-to rituals and meditation. As you might guess from the subtitle, "Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth," Tate's focus is on illustrating how she and other Goddess advocates believe that our world would benefit from a return to a societal structure based on Goddess principles. Core to Goddess beliefs is a pervasive and prevailing compassion for all beings on Earth: "It is the hope of Goddess Advocates that global issues...will no longer be talking points manipulated by political factions, but instead sincere concerns of humans everywhere working together to uplift and solve problems of our human family." (p. 10) If that aspiration calls to you, this is the book for you.

Tate structures the book as a reflection of the energies or elements of the universe: spirit, earth, fire, water, and air. In this book, the spirit section serves to provide the foundation, inspiration, and personal journey of the author. The earth section is about the author's earthly and physical journey, a recollection of how certain travels have enlightened her. Fire is a transformative and passionate element, so the fire section encourages us to shed the old for the new and embrace change and leadership. The water section offers rituals that help a seeker begin her inner journey in search of Goddess. Finally, in the air section, Tate offers guidance on how to apply your newfound knowledge and wisdom to different aspects of your life. A welcome bonus is the extensive bibliography and resources sections Tate provides at book's end.

As Tate mentions in her introduction, no one cosmic element acts separately; they mingle for a beautiful diversity and complexity. That magical metaphor carries through the entire book and left me looking for more, not because the book is lacking in any way, but because Tate's stories and experience inspires me to always actively navigate this beautiful and complex world.

Karen Tate is an independent scholar of the Sacred Feminine, ordained minister, prolific writer, speaker and sacred tour organizer. She is the author of Sacred Places of Goddess, founder of The Isis Ancient Cultures Society, and her internet radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine, airs weekly. Learn more on her website.

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