Saturday, August 3, 2013

New Age and Armageddon: The Goddess or the Gurus?

1992, Women's Press edition from later that year
Monica Sjöö
New Age and Armageddon: The Goddess or the Gurus?  Towards a Feminist Vision of the Future
Original and purchase price unknown
Worn paperback

This isn't as good as the book Sjöö co-wrote with Barbara Mor, but I don't know if it's the subject matter or that she wrote it by herself.  It's not that it isn't a potentially fascinating subject-- a pagan feminist critique of the dominant strains in New Age religions, influenced in part by her son's loss of health at the hands of "Rebirthers-- but the book feels unfocused.  The Great Cosmic Mother has a more sweeping vision, but it hangs together better.  Also, there are a distracting number of typos and a few grammatical errors here.  (I know Sjöö was Swedish, but she'd been living in England for decades by then.)  She's at her best when she's connecting spirituality to politics.  She and the very unspiritual Jessica Mitford make similar observations about hospital vs. home births, although Sjöö believes that immediate maternal bonding makes a difference in a child's life, which Mitford dismisses.

Sjöö died in 2005, but her friends and family keep up a memorial site here:  The art gallery is particularly nice, and indeed that's another of the flaws of this book, that the only painting is that on the cover.

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