Women's Rites, Women's Mysteries
Intuitive Ritual Creation
As women, we can mark our life’s passages and commemorate our milestones when we honor ourselves with rituals that address our own needs for meaning, and sourced from our own intuitive knowing. Written for beginners and experienced ritualists alike, this is the go-to resource for both creating and facilitating empowering and transformative rituals for our group, your seasons, and yourself. Together, with open minds and hearts, we can learn to shape chaos and human needs into works of great power and beauty.
Emphasizing the Dianic Wiccan tradition, Barrett shows women how they can create empowering, transformative rituals that strengthen their profound connection to the Goddess.
Instead of providing shortcuts, scripts, or rote rituals, Ruth teaches women how to think like a ritualist.
Step by step, readers learn the ritual-making process: developing a purpose and theme, building an altar, preparing emotionally and mentally (energetics), spellcasting, and more.
For beginners or experienced ritualists, solitaries or groups, this thorough, engaging guide to the art of ritual-making can help women commemorate every sacred milestone-from menstruation to marriage to menopause-that touches their lives.
“When we empower ourselves by ritualizing passages based in the realities of our life experiences, and to which we can ascribe their own meaning, like a snake, we shed our old skins and emerge into a new reality, a new conscious awareness. The mundane world of the previous moment is transformed and we are brought closer to greater understanding of the sacred. Women who create and participate in their own life cycle rituals are saying that their lives are important, that their stories matter, and that their lives are is a gift to present and future generations. Through the rituals we create and share, may we enter the Mysteries of female embodiment with wonder and awe, always expanding the possibility for deeper meaning in the daily sacredness of being alive.”
- Ruth Barrett
About This New Edition
Women's Rites, Women's Mysteries Expanded 3rd edition was included in 100
of the Best New Women's Spirituality Books of 2018!
WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY BOOK AWARDS & 25TH ANNIVERSARY LIBRARY COLLECTION
The Women’s Spirituality Graduate Studies program of the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco is pleased to honor and spotlight one hundred of the best new books in the genre of Women’s Spirituality! These acclaimed authors include a broad diversity of scholars and artists who are contributing to the emerging field of Women's Spirituality in academia.
Since this book’s original publication in 2004, exclusively female-centered rituals and even the right for women to gather have been under increased attack and eliminated by so-called progressives and transgender activists as being “non-inclusive”. The foundation of the Dianic tradition has always been exclusively for and about natal women and girls, and not about males or males who identify as women. Gender identity is not about or akin to biological sex, and transgender ideology dismisses biology, girlhood, and sex-based oppression as completely irrelevant to being a woman. Dianic rituals have always been about restoring reverence to the female body, celebrating female biology, autonomy, agency, and addressing ways to counter and heal from sex-based oppression and violence. I am one of many working for liberation from gender stereotypes that limit and oppress humanity while recognizing and seeking ways to honor the sacred in our biological differences.
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5 STARS ON AMAZON
I have to rave about this book! I'm in the middle of my year-and-a-day studies to be initiated as a Dianic witch, and this is a great resource. I'm sure it's all been said before, but I just wanted to emphasize Ruth Barrett's inclusiveness. She really gives attention and respect to the many aspects of women's lives. Many books on Goddess-centered witchcraft can put me off because of the emphasis on the literal interpretation of the womb as creator of life, and that being an essential part of womanhood. Ruth Barrett gives honor to that aspect, but she also honors the path of those who choose not to (or can't) have children, and focuses on how we can harness our womb or womb-space creativity. Very lovely book.
This is a great book not only for beginners but for experienced women as well. The beginning of the book gives the history of the Dianic tradition. From there, Ruth addresses the difference stages in women's lives and how to honor these passages. There is also a breakdown for the different roles within a group and how to set guidelines. I continue to use this book when I plan events or rituals for my local group. This is one of the first books I recommend to any woman that wants to know more about being Dianic.
Definitive discussion of feminine goddess philosophy by an author with real experience. Clear and easy to read, a real treat for the serious seeker.
This is just wonderfully written, and I enjoyed it very much, I think this book will be very useful for many years!
All-time classic book in this genre. Really important to have this book in your library if you are in the least interested in the process of creating your own rituals. I stupidly gave my other copy of this book away, and then I realized how much I missed and needed it, so this is my second copy of this book.
What I greatly appreciated about this book is that Ruth Barrett gives you exercises and tools to create a ritual that works for you... heart and soul. It's definitely NOT a recipe book, and you won't find any long lists of correspondences here, nor any line by line poetry to recite (although there are wonderful examples of what other women have written for their specific rituals).
If you are looking to create intensely personal, meaningful ritual I would strongly recommmend this book. It will give you powerful tools to ritually tackle issues such as healing from sexual abuse, miscarriages, abortion..to celebrating incredible life changes, new baby, a move, new jobs, honoring your Cronehood. etc. Several chapters address creating and facilitating rituals for the public. There is also a wonderful chapter on the Wheel of the Year, that has ample ideas for the Sabbaths.
Included in the Appendix is an explanation of the Dianic Tradition (in the Z Budapest lineage), as well as the roots and history of Dianic Wicca.
There is a bounty of questions and exercises throughout the book to deepen your understanding of ritual creation. Ruth offers up her toolbox and shows you way to dig deeper, build stronger and make your magical work resonate with incredible depth.
Recommended for any woman on the Goddess path, Dianic or otherwise.
This is not a book that will coddle one's spiritual practice or relationship with self - expect to be challenged and to grow by working with the exercises presented in these pages. A substantial reference for those seeking to deepen and strengthen themselves by invoking meaningful ritual in their lives, Ruth Barrett skillfully guides the reader along a course that is nothing short of transformative. Empowering and compassionate, Women's Rites, Women's Mysteries is something that can only benefit our world - it is material that should be taught in our schools to both genders, to open up the perceptions of men, and to equip women with the tools and community to truly thrive as the divine that we embody. I would not hesitate to state that the information I found in this book has changed my life, and can only hope that it has a similarly positive effect on others.
One thing that a potential reader needs to know about this book is that Barrett, aside from being a ritualist, is also a Dianic High Priestess, and an award winning recording artist of Goddess songs. She is co-founder of the Temple of Diana, a national religious organization. The foundation for this book, needless to say, comes from the Dianic tradition.
You will find references to such luminaries as Z. Budapest and Shekhinah Mountainwater, both historical references and personal references. Barrett’s own history is tightly woven with the history of these individuals. The reader is gaining insight into feminist history, Goddess spirituality, and the very real day to day cycle every woman goes through. This is all about Maiden/Mother/Crone, and female community.
I personally find ritual to have great importance, as it acts as a cornerstone for my life. I was happy to see that Barrett presents tools and exercises that can be used to create ritual for individual or group purposes, after putting great thought into it. Ritual, to have meaning, is not a cookie-cutter operation. Chapters are presented on focusing on a purpose, developing a theme, creating an alter, working with the energetics of ritual within a group, and facilitating ritual.
The book is developed along the lines of a story, where Barrett shares her personal experiences, as well as those of others. In this way, the reader is allowed to see how ritual really works, and that the energy of the ritual does not end when the ritual ends. A true gift to the reader is the exercises and practices offered at the end of each chapter.
Whether you are looking to create ritual for personal reasons (dealing with personal issues), to honor life changes (marriage, divorce, moving, the birth of a child), as a form of healing (whether mental, emotional, or physical), honoring the Sabbats, or for some other reason, Barrett gives the reader a thoughtful, safe place to start.
There are two well thought out appendices: one that covers the history of the Dianic tradition, and one that covers the Dianic Wiccan tradition.
This book is a wonderful resource for women just beginning to walk the path of ritual work, as well as for those that are more experienced. There is no “Do this, then do that”, or “Say this, then say that”. The reader is encouraged to reach within themselves for what is important to them, and how they want to present it in ritual format. I recommend this book because I see it as a very big step in women empowering themselves.
Being a solitary practitioner of paganism makes me curious about women's studies. This book was engrossing, and made me smile. It shows things about how to do certain rituals, and the importance of each part.
I've read numerous books on rituals, goddess and pagan spirituality/practices. This book is unique in that it provides deeper spiritual context to ritual creation. I'm not quite finished reading it, but I would recommend this book to anyone who is involved with women's circles.
If you are interested in the Dianic Tradition, this is an excellent book for you. Ruth does not give you step by step instruction of how to do a specific ritual, but leads you down a path of understanding on how to create meaningful rituals for you and/or your coven. As a ritualist, Ruth is one of the best you will ever work with; if you can't spend time with her in person, this book is the next best thing.