DREAMING THE DARK: Magic, Sex, and Politics by Starhawk

DREAMING THE DARK: Magic, Sex, and Politics

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Wisdom from a witch: a thoughtful but sometimes sloppy-minded blend of manifesto (down with the patriarchy!), grand Manichean vision (soulless technocracy's war on Immanence), historical primer (how the Protestant ethic, the Enclosure Acts, the Industrial Revolution, etc., cut the umbilical cord binding us to the earth), personal memoir (the Diablo Canyon blockade), and practical advice on running a coven/consciousness-raising group. As in her 1979 The Spiral Dance, Starhawk (Miriam Simos) shows herself to be a passionate but sensible radical, a leading light in what she hopes will be the glorious pagan renaissance--to end the Dark Ages of hypermasculine barbarism, militarism, devastation of nature, sexual persecution, and so forth. All this is fine, especially since Starhawk has a realistic awareness of how San Francisco-weird her sermons about union with the Goddess, and her stories about blissful naked worship, must strike the average feminist. Still, there are problems with her argument. She often oversimplifies: all ""power-over' hierarchical structures are bad. (Has she tried raising kids in her role as an egalitarian ""facilitator""?) She's as naive as the Playboy folk in imagining that sexual guilt can or ought to be wiped out in our lifetime. And once or twice she loses touch completely: the Diablo Canyon power plant never opened because the rituals and ""many focused powers"" of the protestors, past and present, put a beneficient whammy on it. Such lapses aside, Starhawk is an eloquent spokeswoman for many good causes (which, she plausibly insists, are really a single cause). Flawed but forceful.

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 1982
Publisher: Beacon