5.0 out of 5 stars – This is a masterpiece!
Dr. Joanna Kujawa has written one of the most important books of our time. The Other Goddess stands alone as a book that is both a powerful teaching and an alchemical tool, opening the door for the willing reader to accept the healing transformation available within its pages. Written from the lens of a brilliant scholar, Dr. Kujawa does the research for us, presenting the material with ease and accessibility. It is simultaneously down to earth and transcendent. I couldn’t put this book down and while I drank it in, I felt myself remembering the wisdom she brings forth as it lives in me personally. Indeed, Dr. Kujawa emerges as one of the greatest teachers of goddess consciousness today. This is a must-read for anyone longing to reclaim the deepest truths of the Divine Feminine.
Seana Zelazo, LICSW
5.0 out of 5 stars – Falling in Love with Mary Magdalene All Over Again
Many people have claimed that Mary Magdalene was a priestess who practiced sacred sexuality. If there is any truth to this conjecture, Dr. Joanna has found it and made a compelling case for it! Often, the Mary Magdalene priestess theory focuses on the romantic nature of Mary Magdalene and Christ. But this theory often misses the profound spiritual teachings that underly sacred approaches to sexuality. To my delight, Dr. Joanna, a self-proclaimed “spiritual detective,” offers a nuanced and in-depth approach to sacred sexuality and Mary Magdalene where many others have missed the mark. In order to present a fresh take on Mary Magdalene, she draws on a mixture of historical evidence; mythological inspirations from erotic goddesses, such as the Hindu Sundari; and her personal experience with esoteric Hindu philosophies (i.e. Shaiva tantra), including a delicious retelling of her Kundalini awakening experience during a sexual encounter. For the first time, I can see Mary Magdalene not only as a highly learned woman and spiritual adept, but also as bearer of a secret knowledge—i.e., the mastery of erotic energy and rituals for the purpose of enlightenment!
Though an academic, Dr. Joanna presents her well researched spiritual investigation in a digestible format including a beautiful weaving of her personal narrative. Her journey to own and embody her inner erotic-spiritual side through the archetype of Sundari encouraged me to see what is possible in my journey to embrace my sensuality and sexuality.
All-in-all, I finished her book having found a new version of Mary Magdalene to fall in love with.
5.0 out of 5 stars – Brilliant and Fresh Look at the Goddess
This well-researched book is written with the elegance of classic story-telling. It is time to see the goddess from another side of the prism. The goddesses are fascinating and sometimes complex mirrors to explore. With books like this, it is impossible to see the goddesses from only one angle and place them in a box that was created with a biased lens. I loved the fresh look at Mary Magdalene without stereotyping or assuming her role was a part of a lineage of special offspring. Dr. Joanna offers us a look into something more profound than that. This book is about the goddess who lives in all of us as a profoundly spiritual and radically evolutionary aspect of our Essence. Connection with the goddess is therefore a way to come home to Self. I highly recommend her book.
learning & inspired
5.0 out of 5 stars – A treasure trove of wisdom
Thank you for your vulnerability, grace and wisdom, Joanna! This book is a treasure trove for all intrigued by and drawn to Mary Magdalene – highly recommended!
5.0 out of 5 stars – Integrating the Goddess into Christianity
Joanna Kujawa brings to us a conundrum. How is it that Christianity, a religion ostensibly about love, seems to have lost touch with her own feminine side? Ancient traditions and knowledge of the divine feminine have been subverted and brutally stripped leaving only a gaping wound that no amount of pontification can fill. What is the spiritual role of today’s woman? What was that role in the time of Jesus? And how did he fill that role? These are the questions that Dr Kujawa pursues, and they are vitally important for spiritual men and women to consider today.
5.0 out of 5 stars – An Initiatory Journey
Almost finished the book and I must say that I found the mix of well-referenced and based on hard evidence claims and the hypotheses based on alternative (eg channelled) and personal material revolutionary. The source of a hypothesis is always clearly stated so the reader is free to accept or reject it. We really need that – some aspects of life have to be looked at from both objective and subjective stance or we lose on knowledge and understanding. I think gnosis is a mix of intellectual understanding/ knowledge and intuitive knowing. Intuitive knowing on its own would perhaps be too hard to grasp, too undifferentiated, we need facts and their interpretation, too. Besides, the future initiates studied and practised a long time before the final initiatory rites, didn’t they. Thanks to this happy combination (and for other more esoteric reasons) The Other Goddess is not just a source of cool info but an initiatory journey not for the faint hearted ;-). I experienced hyperventilating, highly wired awe and need for several attempts to read certain parts because I got too overwhelmed (in a welcome way). Thanks very much. I hope there will be a continuation, it cannot end there!
5.0 out of 5 stars – Reading This Book Will Bring Forth More Of Your Higher Self
Having a background and training in the Tantric arts, Dr. Joanna Kujawa shares her experiences and investigations into the Divine Feminine in her book, The Other Goddess. One has a greater appreciation and affinity for this work since although coming from an academic approach, Joanna discloses being a practitioner as well. To engage the reader, she is willing to be vulnerable by presenting personal parts of her own story and journey of encumbrances and elations – this shows both courage and strength.
Conducted through sensuous archetypes (e.g., Sundari, Kali), who also provide us with wisdom, the book touches on several historical divine feminine influences from both religion and mythology. Encounters with genuine blissful erotica, however rare they may be, are presented in relationship to such cosmic influencers as Mary Magdalene and Sophia, the emanation of God venerated by those following a Gnostic path. Much is also presented of Eros’ effect on our psyche – I hope Anteros can be discussed in a future edition or publication.
There were perspectives and theories that I found difficult to agree with, but nevertheless, they presented alternate viewpoints worth considering. It seems too much feminine energy or too much masculine energy is damaging – the extremes erode rather than compliment. The goddess can emasculate and the god can be misogynistic. Balance needs to be obtained through love rather than craving the dangerous and destructive power that comes with dwelling too far towards either pole.
For anyone searching into or trying to improve their healthy sexual alchemy, The Other Goddess is a worthwhile addition which provides insights, accounts and methods for doing so. I recommend adding it to your reading collection.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I absolutely loved this book. I have been on a divine feminine journey for a while now and this book is amazing. I love how there is a book list at the end to continue your journey.
5.0 out of 5 stars Seek and ye shall find…. the Other Goddess
If you are seeking new spiritual insights and a greater connection to the full human experience, or if you just enjoy unraveling a good historical mystery, this book is for you.
Have you ever wondered, as I did as a child, why Christians revere a heavenly father, but no heavenly mother? This struck me as odd even as a 5-year-old. Sure there was Mary, Jesus’s mother, but she wasn’t a divine mother who participated in creating us all and in ruling the universe alongside the heavenly father. “The Other Goddess” addresses this question and many others.
Dr. Kujawa uses decades of academic research combined with a very personal recounting of her own experience to create an alternative spiritual vision. The focal point of her thesis is the role of Mary Magdalene in the life of Jesus. Dr. Kujawa’s research shows that much of the story of Mary Magdalene has been left out of the canonical bible. Far from being a repentant prostitute, Mary Magdalene, according to Kujawa’s research and that of many others, was Jesus’s most valued disciple and companion, who came not from a humble but from a noble background. A second focal point is the idea of resurrection, and that the concept of resurrection has a basis not just in Christianity, but in ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, and Hindu traditions. A third, very important idea that Dr. Kujawa explores is the unification of spirituality and sexuality, and that it is the unification of the divine feminine and masculine that can open a gateway to higher consciousness and spiritual awareness. This third focal point plays a vital role in the first two.
In reading “The Other Goddess,” I came away with the hopeful realization that there is an underlying thread which unites not just many faith traditions today, but many faith traditions across human history, going back to our earliest roots, and that this thread can bring us closer if we explore it.
Another benefit of reading the book is that it can serve as a primer for the study of so many alternative spiritual ideas and viewpoints, including Gnosticism, Esoteric Hinduism, Sufism, and ancient Egyptian and Sumerian religions. Dr. Kujawa is careful to mention her sources in the text as well as in her bibliography, and she does a good job of giving her impressions of each source, sometimes commenting on how credible she thinks a specific researcher’s ideas are. She is also very good about stating when something is her own opinion versus something that is actually known in fact. Her inclusion of her own experience adds a personal, relatable element to the research, and causes the text to read like a detective story, which is what she intended.
I highly recommend “The Other Goddess” to anyone seeking a greater understanding of what unifies us spiritually and as people.
5.0 out of 5 stars – Called to Read It
The Other Goddess beckoned me until I ordered a copy and found the knowledge I was seeking. When a book mysteriously finds you and calls you, can imagine the power it holds?! I received, and continue to receive, secret knowledge and sensual wisdom that informs me and directs my path.
Reading this book has been like drinking milk and honey, quenching my thirst with a refreshing, “Ah! Finally!” as I relax and rejoice in the cascading waterfall of Goddess wisdom. As a teacher of belly dance, I have long been on a personal quest to recover these secret truths. Dr. Kujawa’s well-researched, well-traveled, deeply enriched path to recovering this knowledge for us may be the holy grail.
While the topic is vast, here are some parallels I drew from Dr. Kujawa’s information and my own in the connection between Goddess knowledge and belly dance: Awakening the divine feminine, Illuminating the seven major Chakras, Providing a road map on our journey of womanhood, Invoking the elixir of sensuality and kundalini, Journeying inward, Finding our inner eroticism, Embodying the Goddess, Practicing devotion with body prayers (belly dance), Transcending through time, Connecting to our female lineage, Getting out of our heads and reconnecting to our bodies, Integrating our opposites, Healing our collective feminine soul wounds, Becoming empowered and confident, Dissolving the patriarchy, Reconnecting to our sense of self, Recovering the lost art of consummation in several ways including with men, masculine energies, music, the elements and the divine.
While I drew these parallels from my own perspective, I am fascinated by Dr. Kujawa’s personal journey of discovering the Goddesses and her interpretations. She delivers this wealth of knowledge in such an easy-to-read and powerful way, I consider myself the recipient of wisdom from a higher initiate. Oh yeah!
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Primer for a New Tantra of the West.
Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2022
I love this book. Dr. Joanna Kujawa delivers a beautifully thoughtful meditation on the divine feminine, the ancient teachings of tantra and sexual alchemy, and the spiritual necessity of Eros. The western world has diminished the power of Eros to the detriment of human sexuality and spiritual wholeness. The author draws sensible connections between the ancient practices of the east with the feminine iconography of the west, offering us ways to use wisdom in our own lives. This book is no mere erudition, but a primer for a practical Tantra for the western world.
To quote the author: Human beings were always meant to touch and be touched. Human beings were always meant to experience transfiguration through sexual ecstasy and soulful connection…I am convinced there is no boundary between the body and the soul. If this boundary appears to exist, it’s an artificial creation of the mind. (Kujawa, p.172).
This book has convinced me now as well. You hold in your hands a guide to a tremendous healing power; a way to unite flesh and spirit into a wonderfully, beautiful wholeness.
5.0 out of 5 stars – Wonderful and necessary book for these times
The combination of telling a personal story and then delving into academic discovery is truly marvelous. It gives the reader an emotional connection with not only the material, but the author as well. The entirety of the content is very well connected, and of course, unique. I love the approach Dr Joanna Kujawa used, giving us just enough information to draw our own conclusions on how we feel about the topic of Mary Magdalene and the relevant topics, whilst still informing us of her own. This allows for deeper exploration of the Mysteries, giving space for us to connect with anything that surfaces from our own points of interest. There are many aspects in the book that I annotated, and quite frankly devoured, hungry for more on the topics of Goddesses and the feminine mysteries. I loved learning, and this is truly a book for those who do: every page dripped with some juicy knowledge or tidbit of information unbeknownst before which makes you eager to read on. There are a vast series of texts and sources presented, that are begging for further investigation… and I have been left inspired for reading, researching and speaking about this book! I recommend it to everyone on the Goddess and/or gnostic path.
5.0 out of 5 stars – Finally!
Thank Goddess! Finally a book that honors the full experience of the feminine! Thank you Dr. Kujawa for brilliantly dispelling the myths and misconceptions of female sexuality and proving through the history of the goddess how spirituality and sexuality are linked.
5.0 out of 5 stars – Insightful and very entertaining
It was a pleasure to read such an insightful and entertaining book reading, not only about Dr Joanna’s research, but also her personal experience regarding sexuality/spirituality. The story about Mary Magdalene has been mis-told from her beginnings. Dr. Joanna’s book researches Gnostic sources how they were discovered and what they said about Mary Magdalene. The most appealing part was her research into the mythology of ancient goddesses such as Inanna and Isis and how she connects them with the tantric goddesses and rituals. I am interested in ancient Egypt so my favourite part was about Mary Magdalene’s life in Egypt as an alchemist. That was definitely something worth reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars – Important read for all feminine wisdom seekers
The author combines scientific research with personal story and myth allowing for horizon opening yet pleasurable read.
I love the synthesis and structuring in the book of many information that I have read and learnt from several sources. The book is well researched and referenced yet does not overwhelm with specialized vocabulary but rather points out towards the source of more information is needed.
Moreover, the book is yet another sign of feminine wisdom coming back to its place.
I feel how our mothers, grandmothers, and grand-grand-grandmothers celebrate that we can be free in pursuing feminine wisdom for them. Indigenous people say that when we heal we heal seven generations before and after us.
Highly recommended read for seekers of lost feminine knowledge independent of gender.