Many years ago I attempted to read Robert Graves’ White Goddess as I was under the impression that this was one of the “must read” books if you were a pagan and the book influenced by Welsh mythology I thought this was going to be a book I was going to really enjoy. However, I really struggled with the book and briefly wondered if I was on the “right path”. I’ve recently read Mark Carter’s Stalking the Goddess, which is an examination of the White Goddess, and now I have greater understand why I did not gel with the White Goddess. Stalking is well written and appeals to the academic in me as it is written as dissertation style, however this does not mean you need a degree to read it. This book explains that when you try and put something like a muse into words it is impossible and that is why Graves falls short. Using people that have rallied around Graves such as Gardner and Alder and those who do not such as Bonewits and Thorsson to create a complete picture of the White Goddess, a book full of Graves ideas and biases. Carter’s book get to the heart of White Goddess and whether or not it should be considered the great Wiccan book it is.
June 24, 2012