Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve, Retrieving the Healing Gift of the Sacred Feminine by Heather Mendel: a Book Review

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Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve, Retrieving the Healing Gift of the Sacred Feminine for the Human Family through Myth and Mysticism, by Heather Mendel

All rights reserved

Published by O Books, Winchester, UK and Washington, USA

ISBN: 978 1 84694 246 4

Text and Cover Art Copyright by Heather Mendel 2008

Distributed around the world by O Books in collaboration with Orca Book Services (UK and Europe), Stephan Phillips Ltd. (South Africa), Brumby Books (Australia and New Zealand) and Pansing Distribution (Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan).

Word artist, rebbetzin, egalitarian and author Heather Mendel, in her latest five-star book, Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve , finds herself following in the lendary footsteps of Joseph Campbell and Thomas Moore.

Mendel, in love with her Jewish heritage and Reform Judaism faith, equally embraces Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, First People, Theosophy, Islam, Hinduism, Feminism, Mythology and Wicca in her writing.

Mendel asks non-threatening yet provocative questions from the feminist perspective of a sincere Truth-Seeker without disrespect to any belief system.

“This is a beautifully written book about the return of a sense of divinity. But the real contribution of this book is to offer an intelligent, intimate, and relevant idea of God in a time of confusion and forgetting.” --Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

Poetic, open-minded and with loving compassion, Mendel asks direct unapologetic questions about current interpretations of the Bible, Torah and Talmud (and other sacred texts) most specifically regarding the story in Genesis about Adam and Eve.

Mendel is undaunted in asking:

“What if we have parts (or all) of it wrong?"

"What if there was more to the original story?"

"What if the mandate in the Garden of Eden was ' Do not eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge until you are ready?"

"What if Eve wasn't really a villain, but a heroin in evolutionary terms?”

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I believe the Bible . . .

  • is a literal word-for-word interpretation of God's message;
  • was God-inspired but may have been innocently altered slightly in numerous translations;
  • came from good intentions but was influenced by the customs of the times over millennia;
  • tells stories in terms people of the time could understand;
  • in other terms not listed above but added below in Comments . . .
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Mendel, a devout feminist, is lovingly inclusive of men in Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve. Far from disparaging her male counterparts, it is a patriarchal system of inequality she calls into question.

For thousands of years women were revered for their nurturing healing ways, powers to give birth, abilities to interpret intuition, dreams and connect with the Divine, dispense justice and keep social order, balance inequities, commune with Mother Nature, educate themselves and their children through curiosity, call forth the harvest, dance with the moon, celebrate rites of passage and live in harmony side-by-side with men. How and when did it all change?

Mendel, not out to change anyone's mind regarding their respective belief system, is able to ponder openly how differently women might be treated today if the Biblical story of Adam and Eve did not portray Eve as the downfall of mankind. Eve, in most versions of Genesis, is held fully responsible for expulsion from the Garden of Eden for disobedience to Him.

Does that story make sense with what we know today? Could it be there is more to the tale?

Or less? Could it be that a literal translation is unrealistic given how long ago it may (or may not) have occurred and how many rulers have seen fit to rewrite the Bible to fit their own views?

We know women are finely tuned to the Divine and to following Sacred Wisdom. At what point in human history, in our evolution, at what impetus, by what motivation, and by whose authority did matriarchs become relegated to second class citizens?

"Center Peace" by Heather Mendel
"Center Peace" by Heather Mendel | Source


"We must let go of the life we planned to accept the one that is waiting for us." -- Joseph Campbell


Rabbi Norman and Rebbetzin Heather Mendel at Congregation Beth David Celebrating Miracles
Rabbi Norman and Rebbetzin Heather Mendel at Congregation Beth David Celebrating Miracles | Source
Mendel Presentation to The Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara, California
Mendel Presentation to The Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara, California | Source

Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve, 5-Stars, from Amazon.com

Towards Freedom: a feminist haggadah for men and women in the new millennium
Towards Freedom: a feminist haggadah for men and women in the new millennium

Haggada(h) A kabbalistic and feminist interpretation of the hero's journey and evolution from enslavement to liberation.

 

Books by Riane Eisler (Author of The Chalice and The Blade)

I believe Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve would resonate with male and female readers of all beliefs. Jewish by heritage and religion, Mendel's writing is enhanced by her faith, not limited by it. Mendel has been a featured speaker at such diverse groups as the Circle of Grace Annual Women's Symposium with Barbara Marx Hubbard in San Luis Obispo, the Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara and recently taught a two-day retreat at The Sisters of Mercy Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

Heather Mendel will be featured in a free webinar to discuss Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve this Wednesday June 29 at 9.00 a.m. California time.

www.alignyourenergy.com/

Morning Eve's
Morning Eve's | Source

"Once we experience joy, we recognize it as our birthright."
-- Heather Mendel, Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve


More by this Author


Comments 60 comments

thertastore profile image

thertastore 4 years ago from Oakland, NJ 07436

I must say this is truly professional work from you..


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

well intentioned dogma is the Bible's worst enemy


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Merry Christmas Earth Angel. Best wishes to you and yours.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 4 years ago Author

Dearest Dayzeebee! Thanks for the lovely comment! Yes, long ago, there was a time when women were held in the highest regard! Women could perform the miracle of all miracles in giving birth/life! Unfortunately, men began to "assert their equality" by taking it away! Hence we have death and destruction and war and abuse! (Not every one is like that, and certainly we all know some very gentle men and some very violent women!) The good news is the tides are turning and people are becoming more conscious of the value of peace/love/life over war/death! Thank you again for your great comment! Blessings always, Earth Angel!


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Indeed women during our country's pre-colonial times were held high to serve as the instrument for which the gods could communicate with mankind. Makes me reflect. Thank you for telling us what to expect from the book. Blessings:)


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 4 years ago Author

Dearest Thertastore! Thank you so much for the lovely compliment! I may not write as much as so many gifted Hubbers, but I try to make the little I write of interest! Thank you so much! Blessings Always, Earth Angel!


thertastore profile image

thertastore 4 years ago from Oakland, NJ 07436

Hats off for your every post..that's why you get quality response from every one..


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest Nell, the book will not disappoint! It ponders and questions the Eve and Garden story from ALL major world belief systems (without making a single one wrong) and how it has evolved over the centuries! Unfortunately, with each new interpretation, women have been portrayed in a lesser light! It's an amazing, informative, upbeat, insightful read! Enjoy! Blessings to you and yours this Season of Thanks~Living!! Earth Angel!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, this book sounds exactly my type of reading, I am always questioning the Adam and Eve story, and to me I believe it was just mans excuse for putting women in their place, in exactly the same way that Mary Magdalene was completely wronged, it was only after 1947 when they found the Lost Gospels and realised that Mary was in fact the leader after Jesus did the Pope actually formally apologise. I saw a TV program recently where the Bible was being questioned about Eve, and it seems that Eden was really a real garden, and adam and eve real people in the sense of being high class normal people living there and eve being blamed for something that made, if I remember right, the town lose its wealth, or cause a fire or something like that, the bible has just taken a normal story and twisted it into its own belief system, but who knows? so, getting back to the main point, I want to read the book! lol!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Happy Season of Thanks~Living to you as well Mckbirdbks! What a lovely compliment coming from you! The author will be thrilled! Blessings of joy and abundance to you and yours! Earth Angel!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Earth Angel I am so happy Green Lotus commented tonight which gave me a reminder that this title would make an excellent supplemental give for one of my reader friends.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Thank you Green Lotus! Yes, it is an amazing read by an amazing woman author! The book asks intelligent questions without making any belief system feel badly; we all have "myths" and this is just about examining them with full awareness and adult eyes! I know you will enjoy it! Blessings to you and yours, Earth Angel!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

What a great Hub and a great read of comments! I must check out this book. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm pleased that you made reference to the fact that the Biblical story of Adam and Eve did not portray Eve as the downfall of mankind. Shades of Dan Brown's pro-feminist "revelation". Although "what ifs" have no real meaning, one cannot help but ponder the possibilities. Better to focus on future possibilities of goddess-power.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest Rebecca E., It really is a stunning read! Brilliant in all facets! The author, Heather Mendel, is on FaceBook with daily inspirational updates! All the best to you and yours! Blessings from Earth Angel and the Six Graces!!


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada

wow, I am so gald I am back reading hubs like this one, teh book sounds wonderfully interesting I am sorry I didn't read this sooner!


Earth Angel 5 years ago

Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve is a magnificent book! It really gives a fair look at ALL major religious and spiritual traditions and their telling of the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden! Written by Rebbetzin Mendel, from a Reform Judaism perspective, it celebrates the Golden Thread of Truth that weaves through all belief systems! Thank you so much Deborah for taking the time to comment! The author will be pleased! Blessings Always, Earth Angel!


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 5 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

This sounds like a beautiful work. I believe the bible, like many other divinely inspired texts, spoke primarily to the people during the time, and in the location which it was written. There are many different texts of perennial wisdom, which intend to enlighten us for the journey.

Namaste.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest Heather,

You are so correct! And we really do need to step up and honor each other as Divine women who can make a positive difference in the world right now when it is needed most!

I am so glad you dropped by! It's an amazing book! Every single page literally gave me an "aha" moment!

Plus, with your name being "Heather" as well, it is bound to connect you and author on profound levels!

Blessings to you as well! Earth Angel!


Heather McMillan profile image

Heather McMillan 5 years ago from Hampton, VA

Great hub, found it very interesting and insightful. As a Christian we are often led to not look at the role of the woman as the beautiful inspiring powerful beings we are. I look forward to reading this book.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest Anne,

I am so glad that Marie did so! She is just the BEST! And so is the book, Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve!

I have now read it at least six times! It really is one of my all time favorites! Which is saying a lot since I devour at least 60 books a year and have for decades!

Please let me know what you think when done!

Blessings to you and yours always, Earth Angel!


Anne 5 years ago

Thanks to my friend Marie for passing this along. It looks very interesting and insightful. Wonderful review.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

"Always our wars have been our confessions of weakness." --Muriel Rukeyser

I have been following the author, Jan Phillips, for years! In her eNewsletter today she was reminding us of some amazing insights by Rukeyser in Life of Poetry!

The strength in choosing non-violence is echoed throughout Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

I have been asked several times the meaning of "rebbetzin!?" Heather Mendel, author of the award-winning book Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve, is a rebbetzin; she is married to a Rabbi! Thanks for asking! Blessings, Earth Angel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest CelebratingEve!

Great reminder, on Indendence Day, and every day!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!


celebratingeve 5 years ago

On this day of celebration of US independence, it is a good time to consider what the word 'freedom' means to us. Freedom from and freedom towards. In the book under discussion the Eve archetype, as heroine rather than villain, is the god-given human curiosity that lead the journey, both physical and spiritual toward freedom


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest CelebratingEve! (Love the name!)

Thank you soooooooooooo much for adding a comment regarding Creation and the Torah! (I actually have a few more "capsules" written/illustrated inside this Hub that I wasn't quite satisfied with and haven't published yet for public viewing! This subject is one!)

Yes, yes, yes, please more! I am very interested ~ That's why I read and reviewed Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve! It sounds like a book you would be interested in reading as well!

I have long considered Genesis as a story ~ not a literal historic event! There are just too many translations, too many missing pieces, a time line that doesn't add up, and a definite male bias!

Our First Nation People tell stories of Creation, Sun Gods, Moon Gods and fascinating accounts to explain their/our environment within the world! With great poetry and reverence they honor all sentient beings! With great verbal history their stories continue - thank goodness!

The First Nation stories are no less valid than Genesis ~ or any other sacred text of Creation! The stories have survived the ages because of their value in understanding ourselves!

Joseph Campbell explains beautifully how mythology is critical to the evolution of mankind! So does Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve! It's not about dismissing Creation stories ~ it's about embracing them on many levels!

After my Kriya Yoga lesson this morning I had lunch with a dear elderly friend, a retired New Thought minister! In the course of our meal I brought up the Bible and the Creation stories of Adam and Eve! I really should be more careful about who I debate these issues with! ("Eve literally was/is the downfall of all mankind ~ You made up the name Lilith, there is no such mention anywhere in any Bible of any kind of that name!") So much for New Thought!

Thank you CelebratingEve for your insightful and timely comment! It is much appreciated! And yes, please share more! I am always up for a good debate with intelligent, civil, compassionate writers!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!

P.S. Happy 4th to you and yours!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest Patty,

I had not heard about some physicians in the OB-Pediatric field feeling like they have to make that male/female decision ~ nor of the parents having no choice! And it all happening to a baby!? How awful!

Am I wrong to think it might be wiser and more compassionate to let the child mature a bit before such drastic irreversible measures are taken? Are we as a society so stuck in "either/or" that we cannot allow a child with "both/and" to develop naturally?

This just hit me wrong! That a stranger, shortly after birth, would make a sexual "assignment" decision based upon "what is easier" at the moment! Craziness!

And what does that say about the deeply held belief systems now imprinted inside our social DNA about the value of being a woman or being a man!?

I think if the world were run by more "Patty's" we would all be a lot better off! I know you put on "no airs" of that nature but I really have come to admire and profoundly respect your opinions! Your brain is one of the best kept secrets in the Country!

Happy 4th Patty! Blessings to you and yours always, Earth Angel!

P.S. Yes, interesting comments, ideas, spelling, etc. from SomeoneWhoKnows!?


celebratingeve 5 years ago

Hi Patty

I love your thoughtful comments— and your inference that to really get a feel of Torah (Old Testament) one needs to go back to the original Hebrew rather than any translation - particularly when the translation is fundamental to a different faith tradition. In the Torah text there are are two versions of the creation of men and women— the first one stating that God creates human beings - from the Hebrew, ha-adam —"earthlings" probably comes close to a good translation. Women and men —equals. The next chapter of Genesis introduces the idea of Adam and Eve and if read carefully, is a very different story. She is described as coming from his side - his other half.

Much more to share if anyone is interested:-) Thank so much for this interesting discussion chain.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

All very interesting thoughts and comments!

I was dismayed to learn a few months ago that physicians and surgeons - at least in Ohio and Midwest - when confronted with an infant with male and female genitalia always remove the male parts, because that's easier. Sometimes the parents are given no choice. My heart goes out to these infants.

SOMEONEWHOKNOWS - I enjoyed reading your comments.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Blessings to you SomeoneWhoKnows!

That is quite a title and beautiful avatar! Quite a lot to live up too! Thank you for being here on HubPages, for commenting and for sharing your perspective!

"I am aware that some individuals are born with the sex organs of both males and females who like Cher's daughter decide which sex they are later in life." Do you really think people "decide" or do they discover? Are they finally able to throw off social conditioning to know their true divine selves!?

What does that mean: "From my point of view creation came before Evolution." ?? Does that mean you believe we were put on this earth fully formed and then have evolved from there? (Since none of us really know, I respect your thoughts!)

"I have wondered about the passages concerning slavery and thought it meant to cause the slaveholder's to feel empathetic toward their slaves and to the slave who has faith to shame those who have enslaved them." I'm a little lost on this one? I am the descendent of BOTH slave holders and slaves! My "white" family would love to believe the times then were so "gentile" but they were not - they were brutal! (No one, ever, has the right to control another sentient being! Protect, maybe!)

"I have also wondered where the origin of the word "DEVEL" came from. Notice the three letters in the middle "EVE" and the D in front and the L on the end." On this one OneWhoKnows I am going to have to point out the misspelling! Devil! Eve is not involved in that one, at all!

I do like, however, your reference to each of us having the capacity to chose between doing good (known as light) and doing wrong (known as dark)!

Thank you OneWhoKnows! I appreciate you "dropping by!"

Blessings and Happy Independence to you and yours, Earth Angel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

" An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it " --Mohandas Gandi

Dearest Patty,

I am once again humbled by the depth and breadth of your knowledge! I am also most grateful for your insightful comment above and for adding to the story of how women became second class citizens all around the world! Thank you so very much!

I too, was taught, like so many from the KJV! In my youth I taught Bible school with the best intentions in my heart! Anyone with a deep sense of longing for Truth will continue to study, learn, absorb, inquire and share! Upon learning of all the good things each version held, I also learned the origin from which it came!

"Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived." -- Oscar Wilde

At an early age, like so many, I too accepted "Eve as the sole culprit in disobedience to HIM as the cause of humankind's downfall and eons of daily struggles!"

"When I became an adult I put away childish things . . ."

I for one, (of many), am tired of being controlled both overtly and covertly by assumed male superiority! I know so many of our younger sisters still in their child-bearing years count on their male counterparts in kind of a socially-conditioned Cinderella fashion! With the divorce rate now hovering at 63% in the U.S., and the number one cause of death among pregnant women being "murder, usually by the unborn child's father" we see how successful that system is working!

I am heartened, however by the rise in awareness among the more evolved males I have had the privilege to meet along the way! (See above for some great Hubber examples!) Rabbi Mendel is a stellar example of doing everything in his power to honor, support, encourage, listen to and recognize the divine feminine genius in his wife! These evolved men, quite secure in their own value, they see that it is time for a bit more Goddess to resume her rightful place in the world today!

Patty, I bow to your great powers of intuition, creativity and generosity! Your mind is like a artist's palette holding a kaleidoscope of sacred color! Thank you so very much for this treasured comment! Patty, you are the rainbow among the many clouds; you are the bright star on a dark night!

Blessings of Feminine Independence this 4th of July Holiday weekend! Earth Angel!


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

"We know women are finely tuned to the Divine and to following Sacred Wisdom. At what point in human history, in our evolution, at what impetus, by what motivation, and by whose authority did matriarchs become relegated to second class citizens?"

From my point of view creation came before Evolution.

I am aware that some individuals are born with the sex organs of both males and females who like Cher's daughter decide which sex they are later in life.

I agree with the Idea that men can be controlled by women through the relationship between the two from birth up through manhood.Indeed civilization depends on woman for the most part to impart attitudes such as kindness and empathy for others.I haven't read the newer versions of the bible and so can't comment on it.

I have the New English version printed in 1961.I have wondered about the passages concerning slavery and thought it ment to cause the slaveholders to feel empathetic toward their slaves and to the slave who has faith to shame those who have enslaved them.

I have also wondered where the origin of the word "DEVEL" came from.Notice the three letters in the middle "EVE" and the D in front and the L on the end.

In my opinion the D could stand for Darkness and the L could stand for Light.To,me the story of Adam and Eve may have something to do with Eve choosing between Darkness and Light.If,she chose Darkness then it makes sense that her children would learn Darkness as well.Just as if,she chose light her children would be taught the way of light.For she bears both male and female children.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

Despite the opinions of addicts to the KJV, it is still an incorrect translation overall. Even the PBS special lauding King James of Scotland & England (unfortunately I'm related there somewhere)for his preciseness and double-double-checks on the translation in the same breath tell how he used this project to put down the nonsensical artifacts of both the Bishops and the Puritans to combine them under his control. Yet, the PBS-ers do not see that it was more a tool for control than for a true translation. An over controlled language says nothing of any use!

What do the original Hebrew alphabet word pictures say of Eve? She and any wife today give Adam/husband the same word "help" that only Jehovah God can send. She is not an assistant; she is the waymaker through that which would obstruct the family and their lives and mission. She is a warrior in firey armor that carries a Sword of the Lord. How does that compare with Lilith?? I like this Eve, the true Eve.

In English, the word Helpmeet changed at the very time of the KJV work from this powerful meaning down into the lower "servant/slave." A man gets much further in life with a partner and warrior than a slave - and a woman too, for that matter.

By the way - the original Korean foundation myth was 3 female spirits creating the country. This was changed later to a man hatched from an egg through the facilitation of a bear.No women anywhere about.

I could go on about the inequities on both sides of man and woman placed there by dark powers. This book you tell us about, Earth Angel, may go a step toward fixing that.

Thanks for listing a couple of my humble links, I might add.

Rated Up and Awesome.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest Prasetio30!

How nice to see/read you! Thank you so very much for your encouraging comment!

You have been quite busy this morning! What a valuable member of the HubPages community you are! I am honored to know you!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest Bard,

Thank you so much for adding to this Hub in such a solid and constructive way! I was unfamiliar with the Kogi and "Younger Brother!" Thank you for sharing something completely new to me! (And maybe a lot of readers!?) It's one of the reasons I enjoy following your work so much!

Younger Brother being sent West across the ocean and creating dangerous weapons is something I unfortunately resonate with! On a micro-level I saw it in my own family! On a macro-level I see the U.S.!

As you so beautifully pointed out, the stories you bring to light were echoed all over the world as feminine worship was stamped out by patriarchy!

But why? (My deep seated "curious-Eve-self" ponders!) Joseph Campbell points out so many examples taking place at about the same time in unrelated societies around 2,500 BCE! (Give or take a few millennia!)

Mendel eloquently discusses in Dancing a few theories! One, about aggressive invaders from the north looking for better grazing for their herds! Two, the collective feminine desiring a more equal relationship with the masculine! (And it back-fired!) Three, about the natural evolution of left-brain development which came long after right-brain development*!

Personally I think some major earth changes (climate, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods) played a significant roll as well!

One of the things I like so much about Mendel's work is her Socratic questioning of everything! Mendel is quite comfortable in holding the literal and the mythological, the scientific and the mysterious all at one time! Brilliant piece of writing! (You are in good company!)

Thank you again Bard of Ely for contributing to this Hub and discussion in such an inspiring way! You only prove my good fortune in having connected with you here on HubPages!

Have a wonderful weekend my friend! Blessing to you always! Earth Angel!

*My apologies! Mendel is good to credit the source of this theory and my morning brain is unable to locate it!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice review and I love this book. Thanks for writing and share this with us. Well done, my friend. Rated up!

Prasetio


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

An excellent hub about what looks as if it is an excellent book! I have voted up! With relation to what William is talking about concerning a time when people lived in a paradise of peace and harmony this is echoed by the Kogi who say that was how it was in Columbia until the "Younger Brother" invaded where they lived, killing them and turning dogs on their people so that they only survived by retreating to the high mountains. The Kogi, although their leaders are men known as Mamos/Mamas, their belief is in a Mother Goddess and the sacred mountain the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta they live on is seen as a mother too. The dominator invading Western world that brought violence and patriarchal religion they call the "Younger Brother" who they say was sent away across the ocean and given tools. Unfortunately he has made his tools into very dangerous weapons and machines that are destroying the world by mining and creating dams. Younger Brother also invaded peaceful tribes like the Kogi bringing death and destruction. Where I live in Tenerife this was what happened here too - the Spanish invaded the Canary Islands brining Catholicism and killing and enslaving the Guanche people.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest Mr. GK and Ms. SilverGenes,

It is sooooooo nice to meet Joseph Campbell fans!(You'll LOVE Mendel's work!)There are at least a million of us I am sure! I think sooooooo many of our lives were changed for the better because of JC!

Can you believe the Joseph Campbell series aired over 20 years ago?? 1988!! A year after JC died! And yes, MckBirdBks I can believe tapes!

The Joseph Campbell book I am now reading, which echo's Mendel's Dancing Eve, is called "Myths to Live By" It was published in 1972!!(I was still in high school, the U.S. was still fighting in Viet Nam, and most of the Hubbers here hadn't even been born!!)

Long out of print, I was able to purchase a copy off of eBay from a wonderful seller named Lorrie!

(Who spends here life caring for cancer patients!)

The pages are yellowed but the book is in great condition! It's the thoughts/ideas/lessons/sentiments of Joseph Campbell that have never yellowed!

I think Mendel understands that concept! It's not about each of us becoming popular; it's about each of us making a lasting contribution long after we are gone!

Mr. GK you studied many of the same people I did! And probably SilverGenes did as well!

Thank you so much for adding your comment! My appreciation for you and your unique philosophy grows!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest SilverGenes!

What a beautiful poem! You are quite the POET Ms. Writer/Photographer/Legal Scholar! I should have known there were many more skills hidden under that feather-plumed hat!

In addition, your POEM catches the essence of Mendel's book completely! If she is watching from somewhere she will be thrilled! Thank you so much for sharing!

I believe you are a Lilith! I believe there are so many of us Lilith's in a system that would really prefer we were all Eve's! Although I love the way Mendel asks, and supports, the premise that Eve was really following in the footsteps of the Divine!

In Mendel's book, Dancing, I LOVE the way she asks the question, "what if we got it wrong?" Instead of Eve being the downfall of mankind, what if she were the heroine!? How differently, as women, would we all be treated today!

Thank you gentle lady for sharing such a personal and profound poem! I LOVE it!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I spent a good deal of time trying to find answers while growing up. When that failed, I tried to find philosophy. Worked my way through Cayce, Kahlil Gibran, Rand. Of Campbell, I listened (are your ready) to cassettes going back and forth to work. The Power of Myth series. Books I’ve had my nose in ‘The Mythic Image”. I was engrossed with the PBS series. Campbell gave me some perspective. And Moyers his life long friend is great also.

I recently reviewed some Robert S. Johnson’s treatments of psychology of ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘we’, using mythology as a basis. Since mythology crystallizes the human condition, it can be an anchor in surroundings that can be so uncertain.

I wish you and your extended family a safe and happy holiday.


SilverGenes 5 years ago

For years I have been mesmerized by the words and ideas of Joseph Campbell. It began when I first watched the PBS series, The Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers. I was inspired to buy The Hero with a Thousand Faces and subsequently studied The Golden Bough. If one looks into the history, the present is understandable and the future no longer mysterious. Lilith and Eve... I wrote a short poem about the differences many years ago and it might be fun to share here:

O Lilith

they banned you from the Bible

because your power of sexuality

frightened men who hid from reality

in learned cloisters under robes of rank.

Evil Lilith replaced with Lady Eve...

slow-witted female, easy to deceive.

Created from the body of her mate,

she is the origin of human sin.

Seduced by a serpent, she let him in

to sacred, holy ground...to God's own heart.

And so began the deadly fall of man

while somewhere wept the mother of us all.

O Lilith, they banned you from the Bible.

I love this hub! Can you tell? I can hardly wait to read Heather Mendel's book. Thank you!

p.s. I see we watched the same series. No worries about dating ourselves LOL


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Ahhhhhhh, MckBirdBks! (Mr. GK!!) ;-)

I knew we were just two sides of the same coin! Kindred spirits are we!!

Do you have a favorite JC book/DVD??

Over the years I have found Joseph Campbell's work to be so inspiring! For my life AND for my writing!

For my life: at a really low point in the late 1980's (I'm not dating myself am I?) the Joseph Campbell by Bill Moyers Specials were airing on PBS for the first time! I paid over $800 for those original VHS tapes! I had never been interested in mythology! Until then! And I have been a devoted fan since! Millions of us have been!

For my writing: Campbell, like Mendel, writes in a very intelligent yet accessible style! Full of love and appreciation and awe and facts, both with their own unique way of delivering hard-hitting controversial provocative original ideas in a velvet glove!

Thank you Mr. GK!! Your second comment here means the world to me! (So did the first one!)

Blessings to you and yours this 4th of July weekend! May writing, articles, books, reviews and simple letters that make the world a better place be our path to Independence!

You warm my heart! Earth Angel!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Any fans of Joseph Campbell out there? Earth Angel!

Yes, I've read some of Cambell's work.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Thank you so much TheBlueAratus!

Thank you for your dear comment, compliment AND for sharing Dancing Eve with friends!

Yes, as a writer myself, I wish I had written such an excellent book! Or as a publisher, had had the opportunity to publish it!

There is just so much trash out there, including books written by famous people that just rehash old ideas!

Little known authors have such a hard time getting traction on the Internet! It literally takes a village just to make a little ripple in the large pond!

Had the author been better known, this would be on top of the New York Times Best Seller List for the next year!

Dancing Eve is FULL of new, fresh perspectives! The voice is loving, inclusive and bold at the same time!

I am bound and determined in my little part of the Universe to bring quality things to the attention of quality people!

Thank you so much TheBlueAratus! Blessings to you and yours always, Earth Angel!

(Isn't BLUE just the most delicious color!?)


thebluearatus 5 years ago

its a good read with ideal details, i am going to share it with my friends for sure. keep up the great work.

Looking forward to your exclusive works

Thanks


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest K9!

I am delighted that you are delighted! You are just the BEST for taking a look at this and commenting! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I so appreciate YOUR wisdom!

And your support! ;-)

I read about 60 books a year and have for decades! Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve will be in my top 10 all time favorites for the rest of my life!

It really IS that good!

Thank you so much K9 for the wonderful and deeply appreciated comments!

Blessings to you and yours this 4th of July weekend! Earth Angel!

P.S. Rabbi Norman and Rebbetzin Heather Mendel ADORE dogs as well! They speak the language!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California

I am so pleased to have been directed to read your hub EA! The book, "Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve" you place in review sounds like an awakening I refuse to miss. The Adam and Eve model (as told by most christian interpretations) has been challenged in books before, but this one by a stellar respectable rebbetzin such as Heather Mendel has me in a dither of anticipation to discover what her open loving heart has to offer. What a joy to have the chance to read her work! Thank you for writing such a clear review on the titled book. I can hardly wait to grasp its wisdom! UP and awesome!!

Big Hub Hugs EA!

K9


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Happy Anniversary Again Vocalcoach Audrey!

You are profoundly loved by this HubPages community!

Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve really IS an amazing read!

I read it last year and thought it was excellent! For some reason I picked it up again a few months ago and it really touched me deeply; every page offered a brilliant "light bulb" moment!

The old saying, "When you are ready the teacher will appear" really holds true for me and this book!

But then again you are quite familiar with "appearing when your students need you!"

Thanks VC Audrey! Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend celebration!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

What a privilege - to read your magnificent hub. I enjoyed it so very much. You are a dream of a writer. And now that I have read the quote by Joseph Campbell, I am a fan and eager to read more. Thank you for introducing him to me. And thank you, Earth Angel, for bringing me joy through "Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve"...


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Any fans of Joseph Campbell out there? Earth Angel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest Celebrating Eve,

Thank you so much for your insightful and well-written comment! I agree wholeheartedly! And as you can see in the poll above, most others do as well!

I am pleased to meet another Hubber with the ability to look at the Bible (and other sacred texts) with an open mind! There is much to be gained by reading/studying such work with a sensitivity to the many layers!

Blessings to you and yours always, Earth Angel!


celebratingeve 5 years ago

From my perspective, the Bible was created with divine inspiration and human perspiration. I see it as a magical, mysterious and multi-layered anthology of sacred Mythology (with a capital M) poetry, prose and proverbs that describes, in many voices, one pathway in the cultural and spiritual history of the human family.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Blessings to you and yours Jeff!

Yes, a better world for our children would be a magnificent start! (It's one of the reasons I never had kids; just didn't like the state of violence against women or each other!)

Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve is a wonderful "spiritual" tribute from a feminist perspective! Taking into account ALL major traditions (including agnostic and atheist), Mendel gives dozens of neutral Socratic questions to ask ourselves!

I guess that is one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much! Completely transparent, the author is NOT "invested" in the outcome of an particular individual's decisions, only that they make them with integrity, reasoning and awareness!

Blessings again Jeff! So good to see/read you here on HubPages always! Earth Angel!


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis

Thanks Earth Angel, I will download a sample for my Kindle. While I am not religious in any sense, I support feminist causes and want a better world for my daughter (and my son).


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Good Morning Dearest Wabond,

Thank you so very much for the insightful comment above! I agree with you fully! (And I'm a Lilith!) ;-)

Thank you also William for standing up for love, nurturing, fairness, women and being a sound voice in advocating shifting to a new paradigm for peace in the world!

Mendel, in her book reviewed above, highlights many of the same historical events as you mention! Her reason for including so many scientific discoveries is NOT to dismiss the stories in Genesis, but to embrace them for what they are!

Like Joseph Campbell before her, she realizes the importance of myth in the evolution of humankind! Mendel celebrates and honors all sacred texts with the kind of Socratic inquiry, intuition and mystery that is inclusive and not at all divisive!

What happened and when, what part is fact and what part is fiction, who rewrote what Bible/Sacred Text and for what purpose may give us some intellectual comfort ~ but at the heart of the matter, we live in an age horribly out of balance!

The short version is, women were once revered for their ability and power to create life! Somewhere along the line, men discovered their ability and power to take it away!

In our current world situation, strong and unnecessary violence had permeated the DNA and brain cells of most in charge! We need the pendulum to swing back from conquer to compassion and from lust to loving!

Thank you again for your wonderful comments always! You are a pleasure and a joy to read and get to know! Even from this side of the pond!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!

For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of meeting William (wabond) from England here on HubPages, please take some time to read his Hubs linked above! William also writes eloquently on these very issues at http://gospelofthegoddess.blogspot.com/


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Thank you mckbirdbks!

Coming from you that means A LOT!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!


wabond profile image

wabond 5 years ago from England

I haven't read this book and so cannot comment on it. But I have no doubts that the story of Adam and Eve came from a much older version, perhaps from a oral tradition that got written down. I have read about a older version from the Jewish text, and in this version the oldest woman was Lilith. (She was orginally a Babylonian Goddess). In this verson it seems that Adam complained to God about Lilith because she was too bossy, so Lilith was banished from the Garden and God created Eve instead who was a lot more compliant.

What I think grabs the imagination of people, about the Garden of Eden story, it that it talks about people living in a paradise and somehow ruining it for themselves. This is very similar to the Greek myths about Pandora's box or Jar, and the many Golden Age myths in various cultures.

The Golden age myths are a time when we lived in harmony with each other and there was no conflict or wars. This suprisingly is confirmed in archeaology, in the first Neolithic civilizations like Catal Huyuk, The Indus Valley civilization, as well as ancient Crete and Malta archeaologists couldn't find any evidience of violence in these ancient civilations. Weopons, fortifications and images of violence only came into being at the begining of the Bronze age.

So why did we have this change? The archeaologist Marija Gimbutas claimed that the peaceful Neolithic civilizations were invaded and conquered by violent patriarchal tribes for the North. Bringing to the end the Golden Age, but this doesn't answer why these Northern tribes suddenly became patriarchal and violent.

We can perhaps get a answer from stone age tribes that have survived up until the 20th century and were studied by Western Scientists. It seems in many of these tribes women done all the work. They built the huts, done the farming or gathering of food, looked after the children and the men hardly done anything at all. Then because they were bored, these men then had tribal wars with other men from other tribes. Not only did these men kill each other in tribal wars, they also had headhunting and canibalism. The problem is that these men learnt how to be violent in these tribal wars and would use violence to dominate women.

This didn't happen in all tribes, in tribes where the women were respected or had authority over men, the women were then able to stop the men from getting involved in tribal wars and being so violent. So whether a society becomes violent and brutal does depend on the status of women in that society.

So in tribes where there you had Lilith type of women, they had the power and authority to stop their men from starting tribal wars. But where you had tribes where you had Eve type on women, then the men were free to start wars and other destructive behaviour.

So the temptation of Eve could be that she allowed Adam to do as he liked, which led to warfare and violence and the ending of the Golden Age.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Excellent book review, full of positive energy, on what sounds like an interesting read.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dearest Bishop Olivia,

How lovely of you to comment! Thank you so very much! I know the author will be delighted as well!

Blessings to you always, Earth Angel!


Olivia Doko 5 years ago

Thank you for this beautiful site and for featuring Heather Mendel's book.

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