I am looking forward to February’s meeting of the Willow Street Book Club this coming Sunday, where we will be discussing David Frawley’s, Spiritual Secrets of Ayurveda: Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddess. Especially since many of us will likely have been to hear some or all of Professor Douglas Brooks’ discussion of the great goddesses last weekend, the meeting promises to be full of lively, thoughtful, and insight-provoking discussion.
One of the things I have been pondering on this latest read is how I can fully imbibe the wisdom that is offered with the imagery and stories of the goddesses, without getting caught up in being troubled from a feminist perspective. Many yoga practitioners I know rely on the call in the texts to worship the “goddess” as a way of saying that women are not diminished in the classic texts. My conundrum is that when one looks at the texts and the images about the goddesses, all the stereo-typical notions of beauty and youth are inextricably intertwined. Like the Western fairy tales I gobbled up in my youth and their entrancing but insidiously prejudicial archetypes, the sweet, loving, desirable goddesses are the young and fair; the fierce and powerful goddesses are the ugly crones.