Fields Book 
Store - Soulful and scholarly books from the world's spiritual traditions

Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal (New)

by McDaniel, June

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Binding: Paperback

Book ID: 9780195167917, 0195167910

$27.50

Please inquire for availability

Description

The Indian state of West Bengal is home to one of the world's most vibrant traditions of goddess worship. The year's biggest holidays are devoted to the goddesses Durga and Kali, with lavish rituals, decorated statues, fireworks, and parades. In Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls, June McDaniel provides a broad, accessibly written overview of Bengali goddess worship.

McDaniel identifies three major forms of goddess worship, and examines each through its myths, folklore, songs, rituals, sacred texts, and practitioners. In the folk/tribal strand, which is found in rural areas, local tribal goddesses are worshipped alongside Hindu goddesses, with an emphasis on possession, healing, and animism. The tantric/yogic strand focuses on ritual, meditation, and visualization as ways of experiencing the power of the goddess directly. The devotional or bhakti strand, which is the most popular form, involves the intense love and worship of a particular form of the goddess.

McDaniel traces these strands through Bengali culture and explores how they are interwoven with each other as well as with other forms of Hinduism. She also discusses how these practices have been reinterpreted in the West, where goddess worship has gained the values of sexual freedom and psychological healing, but lost its emphases on devotion and asceticism.

Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls takes the reader inside the lives of practicing Shaktas, including holy women, hymn singers, philosophers, visionaries, gurus, ascetics, healers, musicians, and businessmen, and offers vivid descriptions of their rituals, practices, and daily lives. Drawing on years of fieldwork and extensive research, McDaniel paints a rich, expansive portrait of this fascinating religious tradition.

Gnosis 19: The Trickster. A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions Gnosis 19: The Trickster. A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions
Gnosis
Gnosis



"As long as we lie to ourselves, the Trickster will be with us. He'll show up just when we least want him, to embarrass us on a first date, to prove us fools in front of the learned company we're trying to impress, to make us miss a power breakfast with that all-important business contact."
- Richard Smoley, from the introduction

Contents -- Spring 1991

...
More

Price: $9.00

The Complete Mystical Records of Dr. John Dee: Transcribed from the 16th-Century Manuscripts Documen The Complete Mystical Records of Dr. John Dee: Transcribed from the 16th-Century Manuscripts Documen
Klein, Kevin
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

A lavishly packaged, two-volume box set containing the most faithful and accurate versions of John Dee's journals ever published. This is a must-have treasure for Dee aficionados and esoteric scholars who absolutely need the most meticulously detailed version of these highly influential works. A labor of love twenty years in the making, these volumes include transcripts of four manuscripts from the British Library and one from the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Two of these manuscripts have never b...
More

Price: $225.00

Deconstructing Gurdjieff: Biography of a Spiritual Magician Deconstructing Gurdjieff: Biography of a Spiritual Magician
Churton, Tobias
Inner Traditions / Bear & Company

In November 1949, architect Frank Lloyd Wright announced the death of "the greatest man in the world," yet few knew who he was talking about. Enigmatic, misunderstood, declared a charlatan, and recently dubbed "the Rasputin who inspired Mary Poppins," Gurdjieff's life has become a legend. But who really was George Ivanovich Gurdjieff?

Employing the latest research and discoveries, including previously unpublished reminiscences of the real man, Tobias Churton investigates the truth beneath th...
More

Price: $29.95

Grimoire of the Baron Citadel: The Book of the Four Ways. Grimoire of the Baron Citadel: The Book of the Four Ways.
Hamilton-Giles, Peter
Three Hands Press

As the governor of the Dead and the burial ground, the Baron Samedi is one of the most distinctive and potent loa of Haitian Vodou. An imposing figure in black raiment, he is most often pictured as a corpse. His other magical domains, less discussed in esoteric literature, include disruption, obscenity and -- importantly for the practicing sorcerer -- not only the arts of Magic but the very fabric of which it is made.

Emergent from the spiritual crossroads of traditional Vodou and English w...
More

Price: $27.50