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THE SUN GODDESS - Myth, Legend and History

By Sheena McGrath, published by Blandford at £16.99. 192pp. HBk. ISBN: 0-7137-2662-8

With most of modern paganism (and wicca in particular) in thrall to the Feminine = Lunar paradigm, it's always good to see a book which dares to argue the contrary and make a case for the female possessing her own strength and light instead of borrowing them from a "generous" male.

McGrath concentrates on an examination and analysis of sun myths from across the Indo-European cultural range, i.e., India, Armenia, the Slavonic and Baltic cultures, Greece, the Romans, Celts and Germanic peoples, as well as the now lost Hittites and reveals a vast amount of Indo-European mythology which speaks of a Goddess of the Sun or Dawn and her brother the Moon God.

Throughout, she searches for examples of Goddesses which she claims were originally Sun or Dawn Goddesses but which have been tamed and down-graded into less powerful images, such as Helen and Aphrodite of the Greeks, Macha and Graínne of the Irish and Lucy or Lucina of the Romans and seeks to identify where their earlier solar attributes have been transferred to in the taming process or simply how their myths have been subtly changed to conceal their natures.

Also includes chapters on the role of the labyrinth in solar myth and on suggested rituals for approaching and worshipping the Sun Goddess, plus considerable analysis of the connections between the Sun, horses and twins in Indo European myth.

Overall, very well researched and written, though occasionally a little lacking in the development of her ideas, and extremely readable. Highly recommended for the open minded.