What is a summary of Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Merlin Stone's Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood is a complex work detailing goddess legends, ceremonies, and prayers from all over the world and spanning multiple time periods. The work is partially an anthology, partially an account of history, and partially a scientific account of the development of the legends, ceremonies, and prayers. The time periods the work spans include prehistory, ancient times, and even modern times.

The work is particularly useful in that it draws connections between goddess worship in different parts of the world. For example, legends of the Celts, Hellenic Greeks, Japanese, and Sumarians all teach that being a mother should be treated with reverence. Similarly, goddess legends from ancient Anatolia and Africa teach the sagacity of feeling reverence, showing courage, and having a lack of pride. Also, the goddess legends in China, Egypt, Scandinavia, and among aboriginal North Americans all teach the vital importance of caring for the earth.

The work further explains how goddess legends have changed as a result of peoples' interactions due to migration and also explores how men have censored and perversely altered goddess legends. The book strives to portray the legends in their original forms.

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