I have a T-shirt that reads: "This is what a feminist looks like". I got it when I did a fire walk in aid of Fawcett, the UK charity for women’s equality and rights. It is Fawcett's motto, but I've seen the shirt being worn by both men and women of all ages, all ethnicities and all walks of life.
Anyone can be a feminist; a feminist is someone who believes that all people are entitled to the same rights and liberties regardless of gender. I know that - so why was I surprised when I read The Spiritual Feministand discovered it had been written by a woman who, apart from being a witch, might be considered to live a very traditional life for a woman?
Author Amythyst Raine-Hatayama is a home-lover, a mother and very family orientated. Her book is a lovely collection of Goddess mythology, spells, seasonal recipes and instructions for making magical oils and potions. My initial reaction was that it was a beautiful book about female spirituality, but I wasn't really sure it was particularly feminist.
Then I remembered my T-shirt. I'd fallen into that old trap of imagining that most feminists - certainly the ones likely to write a book about feminism - would be career women first and foremost. I guess I was expecting a book of spells for stuff like breaking through the glass ceiling or not getting mistaken for a male colleague's secretary when you answer the phone at work. I wasn't expecting fairy godmother baby shower spells and recipes for magical apple crumble. But of course, feminists have babies too - and who doesn't like apple crumble?
So I read The Spiritual Feministagain, discarding my stereotyped image of what a feminist writes like, and realised the book is lovely. It is a book to make women feel good about themselves - and on days when it is hard to feel good about oneself there are goddesses to call upon to lift you up, to help you laugh or love, forgive or fight, or whatever you need to deal with what life throws at you. There are simple, seasonal rites that are easy for a busy woman with a large family to do and there are plenty of other ideas for magic to help you get what you want.
Being a keen tarot reader myself, I was particularly fascinated by a long section looking in detail at the meanings of the cards in the Motherpeace tarot deck- a deck designed for women and using powerful female archetypes. Amythyst Raine-Hatayama is a professional tarot reader and she knows her stuff.
The Spiritual Feministis, I would say, a lovely, gentle book offering inspiration for women who want more from life than just careers. And it does have a fabulous recipe for apple crumble.
Amythyst is also the author of the Gray Witch's Grimoire: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/05/review-gray-witchs-grimoire.html
Links and previous related posts
The Spiritual Feminist
Motherpeace Round Tarot Deck