I'd like to start the discussion with a few excerpts and open the conversation up for any and all responses from those who read or are reading to book, as well as any lurkers who want to share from their well of female experience, pain, joy wisdom and healing. Over the next days and weeks I invite each of you to post a quotes) you found moving, provocative, confusing, disturbing or healing so that all of us can join in a substantive process of dialogue and digestion of our experience with the book.
1. As you read and post about Dance of the Dissident Daughter, pay attention to your body. If you feel fear, tension, resistance, anger, hope, dreaming, release or longing, where in your body/spirit do you most feel it?
2.How do you feel, on the most fundamental level, about being female?
3. What experiences (postive and negative) have most shaped your sefl-identity as a woman?
4. How do you feel about naming your own identity as a woman and your experience of Sacred Reality-God-ess?
"In the beginning of Christianity, church fathers debated whether women had souls at all. Later the issue became whether or not a woman's soul could be saved. Today the issue is one of women reconnecting with their souls." (p 21)
"Mostly, I didn't want to believe I could have been wounded by my own faith. I didn't want to acknowledge how it had relegated half the human population to secondary status and invisible places. I didn't want any of this to be true." (p 33)
"How odd, I kept thinking, that the same man who wrote, 'Our hearts were made for Thee, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in Thee,' also wrote, 'Man but not woman is made in the image and likeness of God.' In 1140, this actually became an official decree of the church." (p 71)
"To my surprise I'd learned that in ancient times the snake was not maligned or seen as evil but rather symbolized female wisdom, power, and regeneration." (p 71)
"I desperately needed to give myself full permission to get angry...Yet anger needs not only to be recognized and allowed; like the grief, it eventually needs to be tranformed into energy that serves compassion...anger can fuel our ability to challenge, to defy injustice. It can lead to creative projects, constructive behavior, acts that work toward inclusion. In such ways anger becomes a dynamism of love." (p 74)
"Often, like Ariadne, a woman cannot recognize or contact the heroic, freeing energy in herself. Instead she projects it outward, usually onto a man." (110)
"When we truly grasp for the first time that the symbol of woman can be a vessel of the sared, that it too can be an image of the Divine, our lives will begin to pivot." (p 99)
"'But the word God does not register in us as neuter,' I said. 'Technically it may not imply any particular gender, but what registers and functions in the mind is male.'
As Mcfague says, androgenous terms only 'conceal androcentric and male assumptions behind the abstraction.' How many times have I heard someone say, "God is not male. He is spirit?" (p 141)