Finding New Goddesses: Reclaiming Playfulness in Our Spiritual Lives

Description

224 pages
$17.95
ISBN 1-55022-524-3
DDC 158.1

Publisher

Year

2003

Contributor

Reviewed by Lynne Perras

Lynne Perras teaches communication arts at the University of Calgary.

Review

Barbara Ardinger’s fourth book follows three previous efforts that
focused on the spirituality found in ancient Greek and Roman goddesses.
In this latest work, Ardinger takes a lighter and more modern look at
the goddess religion, encouraging her readers to find new goddesses for
frustrating, tiresome, or unusual situations, and to call on them for
guidance and help. Using puns, parody, irony, and satire, she has
written an amusing commentary on modern life that takes good-natured
jabs at the usually serious and often dour subject of religion.

The goddesses are listed alphabetically (beginning with “Acme,
Goddess of High Tech” and ending with “Zombonie, Goddess of
Taxes”) and a chapter (including discussions of history, habitat, and
usefulness) is devoted to each. For example, making meetings less
tedious is accomplished through an invocation to Agenda, Goddess of
Meetings: “Hail, Agenda, social rover / Help us get this meeting
over.” Caloria, Triple Goddess of Potluck, can be summoned to aid in
the maintenance of both spirit and weight control: “Hail Caloria, rich
and wise / Feed my soul, but not my thighs.” Hormonia, Goddess of
Menopause, encourages women by saying, “It’s not a hot flash, it’s
a power surge.”

Ardinger’s spoof of sombre religious texts is also reflected in the
book’s pseudo-academic format. There are two forewords by two separate
authors, acknowledgments, two “notes” sections (one on playfulness
in “Spiritual Writing” and one on “Playing with Words”), and two
mini-chapters on goddesses in general. The chapters on each goddess
conclude with a “Final Note,” an index, and a collection of amusing
footnotes.

Finding New Goddesses is aimed primarily at women whose concerns
include motherhood, child care, housekeeping, office politics,
sexuality, and images of women in popular culture. Readers who have some
familiarity with the goddess religion might also appreciate Ardinger’s
clever and amusing take on society and spirituality.

Citation

Ardinger, Barbara., “Finding New Goddesses: Reclaiming Playfulness in Our Spiritual Lives,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/18169.