Be suspicious of a book about Goddesses that has Eve as the title. I figured that was just because she was a well known female mythic figure; it isn't. I considered stopping reading after getting really annoyed within the first section (archtypes). I kept going, since the one myth mentioned there (Beauty & The Beast) was an interesting, if brief, interpretation. I should have stopped. I made it 2/3rds of the way through before I just couldn't stand it anymore.
The author in the introduction/first part references "men" to refer to both men and women (or I'm giving that benefit of doubt--if she just means men it's even worse). The archetypes are presented heavily in their relation to men rather than focused within women. The priestess is tied in with the wise woman, and repeatedly talks about how women mature into that role (what, they're children through all of raising kids?). "Fully flowered" is an obnoxious way of referring to motherhood/sexual maturity. The amount of "magic" ascribed to all women is nauseating. Women (all women, apparently) can look within themselves and just know the right path because of their menstrual cycle.
The myths are brief; the long ones are 1/2 page. While I know there are many versions of most myths, way too many of these are versions I've never run across--and I did read a lot of various myths for a while because they interested me. The modifications are always to the benefit of whatever box the author is trying to stuff the mythic figure into as well, which also makes me look slant-eyed at it. The interpretations are repetitive and often insulting. For example, women shouldn't try to get in touch with their Kali-aspect except with professional help. (No such warnings on being, say, a mother or such. Apparently everything is fine as long as it's family and lovey-dovey, but the moment there might be a whiff of anger, better be careful! That's a scary emotion for women to dare touch!)
The longest section appears to be on Mary and it's one of the least impressive attempts to tie her into the Mother Goddess myth I've read. I am not saying she isn't the descendant of part of that, I'm saying this is a poor representation of it. Besides, given this is a book on the Goddess, why does Mary receive so many more pages than any other Goddess? Beyond that--why does the female Pope appear in the book at all, let alone with pages of trying to prove she existed? Myths aren't reality, at least, that's not their point. The Christian church should not figure so heavily in a Goddess book.
Some of the artwork included is very nice and is much of the good parts of the book. I think that's by random chance more than anything else, though, since a lot of it doesn't seem to fit at all to me. For example, the woman who looks rather horrified at standing nude before a bunch of old men in the warrior woman section. Other nudes also very much appear to be painted for the benefit of men, not to honor or celebrate women.
If it weren't for the fact the author picture and bio make her female, I'd have guessed this was written by a college male who was trying to impress a female, but doesn't really get the point or have the ability to interpret myths from a female perspective. It's written passably, but with the problems I'd expect of an educated but not very experienced writer. The interpretations are way too often based on men's point of view, or how the myth/archetype relates to men. The pictures are all of women, but not always relevant to the chapter or to the Goddess. (Oh, and capitalizing Goddess and not God is just flat weird).
Song of Eve compares conventional theological beliefs about the position of women in society to ancient stories involving early feminine archetypes.
This book is a beautifully illustrated look at traditional religious art, mythological symbols and a reflective study of the Goddess.
What makes these divine pictures and images even more breathtaking and achingly beautiful is the contrasting stories of repression of the feminine, and the misinterpretation and censorship that their beauty camouflages.
The Song of Eve is an example of how our thinking has been distorted throughout history. Even the story of Eve is an example of "a patriarchal inversion of the myth of the hero-god born from the Goddess Earth, which had pre-existed Christianity."
Eve can be a powerful archetype for women.
We can enlighten our thinking and change our ways of looking at her by re-examining the gift of knowledge she gave us.
We can can stop thinking that we, as women, have inherited the sin of all sin
Strong historical and illustrated journey into the myths, symbols, and rituals of goddesses.
This book is a richly illustrated journey into the myths, symbols, and rituals of the goddess.
From back cover:
The Song of Eve is the song of all women. It's a chant sounding from centuries ago out of the mouths of the goddesses who gave women their strength and individuality. Lover, mother, priestess, creator/destroyer, virgin, muse -- here lie the most powerful female images in the rich tapestry of words and pictures for the woman of today to discover and celebrate the goddess in herself.
This is a very nice book with nice pictures. Nothing new or innovative, but concise and entertaining.