“Naming the Goddess”, edited by Trevor Greenfield

Reviewed by Daniel McIlvenny-Cox

"Naming the Goddess"'Naming the Goddess' is a must-have-book for all Witches and Pagans, Shaman and others of that ilk. For those of us who follow a spiritual path incorporating or solely representing the Goddess path, this book is a beautiful read, and a treasure to add to our book collection. Written by a long list of Goddess representatives, the first half of the book contains a comprehensive guide to Goddess in all Her many aspects. What touched me most was the raw honesty and personal accounts of the writers and their experiences with Goddess. To truly know Goddess you must experience Her, and commune with Her, meet with Her in the dark forests and glades, feel Her within you, whether it be Her love in your heart, or the ache in your bones, so reading about Her can sometimes feel a little flat, but not in 'Naming the Goddess'; She is alive here, and She seeps throughout this book. She gently touches each page with a gentle trickle of wisdom and sometimes humour, and occasionally she vents her rage and terror as a torrential flood that pours out. Reading each chapter is like sitting within a sacred circle of brothers and sisters of Goddess, hearing their accounts and listening to the stories and histories of Her, seeing how She has shaped our societies, our views on spirituality and of women generally, and as a gay man myself, I found this book wasn't exclusive (like many Goddess books) to women. With references to Her consorts, lovers, husbands and Gods I felt I could connect, it even included a very interesting chapter on 'The Queer of Heaven: Goddess Culture and the Empowerment of Gay Women and Men' by David Salisbury, which I found fascinating.

The second half of the 'Naming the Goddess' is a classical cornucopia of Goddesses, beautifully and alphabetically listed from 'Aine' the Irish Goddess of the sun and the moon to 'Yinggarna' the Australian Mother Goddess and Rainbow Serpent. Amongst the histories and stories of each Goddess, is a feeling of who She is, and more importantly, how to connect with Her and build your own relationship with Her, Each Goddess chapter contains a passage about who She is, Her history and story, and includes her sacred days, what offerings were and still are gifted to Her. Whether you believe these Goddesses to be an aspect of the Divine Feminine, or sentient and singular Goddesses in their own right, this book offers the opportunity to discover more about Her and to connect to Her on a deeper level.

Thank you to all who contributed to 'Naming the Goddess', I can see this book sitting next the other great books published about Her on my shelf, along with a feather, a crystal and a set of bone runes.

"Naming the Goddess" is published by Moon Books and is available from their website and from Amazon.


Daniel McIlvenny-Cox

As a child, Daniel McIlvenny-Cox daydreamed of distant lands and enchanted forests. Being spiritually aware at a young age was confusing and often challenging; being gay didn't help matters either. The descent into the underworld is always perilous, and his own decent came at a cost, at aged sixteen he called death, and death came that night in the form of meningitis meningococcal septicaemia. Twenty four hours later he was in resus. Despite what the doctors and surgeons told him, he made a full miraculous recovery, limbs intact. But something changed, still the journey was long dorm in the underworld, but something new was born. The journey lasted for almost another two decades before he found his true calling, in the form of a healing with a shaman - death was finally removed. And so it began, the path of shaman-hood, the path of a healer and the quest to portray the image of the Divine Feminine for all to see, through art and poetry, bringing Her back into our culture and society; back to our hearts and soul.

Daniel lives in Berkshire where he practises shamanic healing sessions. He lives with his husband and their 20 month old son, and a cat called smudge.
Daniel McIlvenny-Cox

Latest posts by Daniel McIlvenny-Cox (see all)