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Those who know me well know that I don't think there is nearly enough written about the Divine Feminine. So I am always thrilled to find something that is both well-written and inspiring to read. The combination of the Divine Feminine with yoga makes for an interesting and motivating read.
"The feminine face of God is not easily found in mainstream Christian denominations. She is almost always discovered while we are roaming the terrain of the soul in quiet contemplation. Her name isn't proclaimed from pulpits, and there are few signs pointing to her. We have to discover her ourselves."
"She is there within each and every one of us--male and female--whether we chose to embrace or deny her existence. She is the Holy Spirit. She is the breath we breathe. She is God-given, not something women dreamt up to make us feel better about being left out of the starring roles in the Bible. The truth is, we weren't left out. Sophia was there all along, beckoning to us--right along with Jesus. And it's not just women who were short-changed in the masculinization of God. Men, too, long to be able to experience God holistically, to acknowledge and rest in the feminine side of God."
As someone who worships God as female, I appreciated Chilson's approach to talking about God:
"I took the image of God (among the many blessedly presented to us through scripture and other sacred writings) that currently spoke most strongly to me--Sophia (Greek for Wisdom)--and ran with that. Sophia is a female name, so I will use "she" and "her" when I find it necessary to interject a pronoun...If you stumble across a "she" or a "her" that sounds odd to your ears, know that I am expressing the pronoun that resonates most strongly with me at this point in my life. Also, if you are having difficulty with it, remember for just a moment, how many millions of times people have been subjected to a one-dimensional view of God as expressed through just one acceptable pronoun--he--for many thousands of years."
As a Muslim, I particularly appreciated her inclusiveness of all the world religions and the care and grace she took to write about Islam. Even though this book comes from a Christian perspective, Chilson includes a wonderful list of "God's feminine faces" in the major faith traditions and the book is filled with antidotes from a variety of faiths.
As someone who grew up Christian, I also appreciated Chilson's fresh approach to Christianity.
"Let’s remember that Christianity is innately Eastern, not Western. We Westernized it to suit our own cultural needs."
As a champion for Mother Earth, I appreciated Chilson's passages on enoughness.
"There's the interesting etymological kinship of the words mother and matter, both derived from the Latin root mater. Without becoming consciously aware of this linguistic connection, we often try to fill the gaping mother holes in our spiritual lives with matter. That explains our consumption-induced clutter. While intellectually we know we can't buy back the Mother God that's been lost, our subconscious tries to fill those hungry places in our soul with whatever's available. And there's no shortage of stuff! Until we stop defining God as exclusively male and give ourselves free reign to explore a God that has no use for limiting gender stereotypes, we will find ourselves trying and failing to grasp a God who's our mother, our father, and so much more."
As someone who could never really get into yoga because of my need to always be "doing" something, I really appreciated this book. It wasn't until I found Kundalini yoga many years ago that I was interested in doing yoga at all. After reading Sophia Rising, I realized that I have been cheating myself of this important practice in exchange for all the other things on my to-do list. I have a renewed commitment to myself and my yoga practice thanks to this book.
I am not really a "book reviewer" per say, but I did enjoy this book immensely and I would highly recommend it. If you are reading this blog, purchasing Sophia Rising will be a no-brainer!
Purchase the book!