"This is a book about modern Goddess spirituality told through the prism of the personal experiences of one of the Goddess community's most active advocates: priestess, author, radio-show hostess, sacred-tour leader and filmmaker, the Reverend Tate Tate of Venice, California. Tate's purpose in writing Walking an Ancient Path was to help the earth begin to focus again on the Sacred Feminine (i.e., the Goddess). After a short introduction on spirit, Tate breaks her book down into four major parts: earth (the physical body, etc.), air (the mind, etc.), fire (transformation, etc.) and water (emotions, etc.). In the first part of the book Tate takes the reader on some of her more memorable trips to international Goddess sites in Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Italy and Jordan. I don't know how she does it, but Tate is a master at making me feel as if I'm right there at her side in, for example, the inner workings of an ancient Egyptian pyramid, experiencing what she's feeling inside this ancient piece of architecture -- and what she experienced is fairly surprising (but I won't spoil it for you -- buy the book and find out for yourself!). Once I started Walking an Ancient Path, I found myself reading all afternoon, carried along by Tate's writing, like a boat bobbing pleasantly down the River Nile on a breezy, balmy summer afternoon. In part two, "Water," Tate graces us with a series of chapters on the emotional aspects of Goddess worship, including chapters on "calling love into your life" and "attracting healthy relationships," which I have to admit I read first, skipping right over Part one to dive into these two provocative chapters. Tate also describes an elaborate and exciting seaside ritual developed with her Goddess community and based on ancient rites connected with the Goddess Isis. She also describes a guided meditation ritual; three tools designed to help us cope with "death, divorce, or disconnect"; and an ordination ritual. In part three (Fire ~ transformation) Tate describes her ordination as a priestess of Isis at the Clonegal Castle in Ireland. She also includes two interesting chapters on "The Power of Prayer" and "Trusting in Prophecy." There's a section on group dynamics, and how to participate in Goddess (or other) groups in healthy ways, both as leader and non-leader. Tate reminds us that we in the Goddess community have important work to do, and that sometimes looking at the big picture -- for example our aims for changing the world -- can help us move beyond our individual and sometimes not-so-important momentary personal frustrations. Tate also describes her founding of the Isis Ancient Cultures & Religion Society and her response to years of working in and with dysfunctional groups. The IACRS was built squarely on the Partnership Model outlined by Riane Eisler in her The Chalice and the Blade, in an attempt to move away from group dysfunctionality. In Part 4, Air, Tate describes a multitude of activities for your Goddess-centered group (if you should decide to start one). She also discusses following Goddess in a solitary way; the debate over whether or not we need more brick-and-mortar Goddess temples in the Western world; and the history of the Sacred Feminine (or Goddess). In my opinion the Goddess world is tremendously lucky to have Tate Tate as one of its leaders and leading priestesses. Her dedication to Goddess, and to bringing the world back to Goddess, is a tremendous inspiration. What's more, Tate is probably the world expert in ancient Goddess sites. She's not only visited, studied, and participated in ritual at most of the world's well-known Goddess temples and archaeological sites, she's also scouted out many lesser known sites around the world, and has lead tour groups to these more esoteric locations (see Tate's first book, Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations). If I were asked to choose the most powerful aspect of this book I would have to pinpoint the complete openness and emotional honesty Tate offers the reader throughout the entire text. Tate relates not only the good times but the bad, the times when she felt like quitting, when she felt alone, lost and abandoned: "While I dreamed of a supportive community valuing sisterhood and brotherhood, all embracing ideals of Goddess Spirituality, in reality I have at times felt lost like Dorothy and her cohorts from the film The Wizard of Oz, maneuvering through that forest of ghoulish trees and flying monkeys...." (p. 246). But Tate doesn't leave the reader dangling in the darkness. For every negative experience she also describes her journey up to level ground again. She offers us a wealth of positive responses to all the hurt, anger, frustration and trials she's experienced. Her book is limitlessly and refreshingly positive, uplifting, honest, and straightforward from start to finish. In sum, this is a soothing and healing book. Read it if you want to be soothed and healed -- and if you want to feel hopeful too about our world getting the soothing and healing it so desperately needs. NOTE: Every once in a while you'll notice in Walking an Ancient Path a few typographical and other errors -- a "to" where there should be a "too," or a "what" instead of a "which." The author confided in me that somehow the last round of text revisions did not get included before the book went to press. Although that's unfortunate, the book has so much to offer that I would hope readers would be able to ignore these errors, concentrating on all the loving and valuable information the book has to offer."
Jeri Studebaker Author of Switching to Goddess