The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

by Barbara G. Walker


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The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker

Do You Know...

  • where the legend of a cat's nine lives comes from?
  • why "mama" is a word understood in nearly all languages?
  • how the custom of kissing began?
  • whether there really was a female pope?
  • why Cinderella's glass slipper was so important to the Prince?

The answers to these and countless other intriguing questions are given in this compulsively readable, feminist encyclopedia. Twenty-five years in preparation, this unique, comprehensive sourcebook focuses on mythology anthropology, religion, and sexuality to uncover precisely what other encyclopedias leave out or misrepresent. The Woman's Encyclopedia presents the fascinating stories behind word origins, legends, superstitions, and customs. A browser's delight and an indispensable resource, it offers 1,350 entries on magic, witchcraft, fairies, elves, giants, goddesses, gods, and psychological anomalies such as demonic possession; the mystical meanings of sun, moon, earth, sea, time, and space; ideas of the soul, reincarnation, creation and doomsday; ancient and modern attitudes toward sex, prostitution, romance, rape, warfare, death and sin, and more.

Tracing these concepts to their prepatriarchal origins, Barbara G. Walker explores a "thousand hidden pockets of history and custom in addition to the valuable material recovered by archaeologists, orientalists, and other scholars."

Not only a compendium of fascinating lore and scholarship, The Woman's Encyclopedia is a revolutionary book that offers a rare opportunity for both women and men to see our cultural heritage in a fresh light, and draw upon the past for a more humane future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062509253
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/30/1983
Pages: 1136
Sales rank: 280,818
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.82(d)

About the Author

Barbara G. Walker, author of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, and many other books, is a member of the Morris Museum Mineralogical Society and the Trailside Mineral Club of the New Jersey Earth Science Association.

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Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This amazing book put me on the road to understanding the matriarchal underpinnings, well hidden, of our destructive Abrahamic patriarchal religions, but it needed an index, so I commissioned one, now available, free, by e-mail or on line. I wish some one would help get it out. It makes the Woman's Encyclopedia much more accessible as a reference. Beedy P.
adriadne on LibraryThing 4 days ago
When I read this years ago, I checked some of her "sources" because some of what I read just didn't seem plausible. I thought it was quite a stretch from the supposed source to her interpretation in many cases. Interesting ideas and perhaps a good jumping off point for further research and exploration though.
mysterytramp on LibraryThing 4 days ago
NOT just for women!! The best one volume reference on mythology, "hidden" history, & feminine origins of just about everything. Extended essays throughout are scholarly & extraordinarily informative. Highly recommended.
melannen on LibraryThing 10 days ago
This is a fun book - in a kitsch sort of way, not as good anthropology. Read it for what it tells you about the author, not for what it tells you about mythology. In this book, the biases are so transparent that it's a good guide for reading other interpretations, also biased but less ridiculously so. And it's a great example of a constructed mythology, if you're interesting in building your own. It's also fun to play 'six degrees of Kali'.
lilinah on LibraryThing 10 days ago
A real piece of junk. This was very popular among Pagans, Goddess-worshippers, and feminists when it came out. But Walker's resources are antiquated and long out-dated by newer studies.Unreliable and not to be taken seriously. It's more wishful thinking then real thought.Clearly NOT recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago