I regard The Odyssey as a book of initiations, and the first initiation is that of Odysseus himself into a proper relationship to the female power, which was put down at the time the Judgment of Paris when the male principle was dominant in an excessive way. Now the female power must be recognized to make possible a proper relationship—what I call an androgynous relationship—in which the male and female meet as co-equals. They are equals, but not the same, because when you lose the tension of polarities you lose the tension of life.
I regard The Odyssey as a book of initiations
-- Joseph Campbell
Goddesses (p. 160-161)
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Joseph Campbell brought mythology to a mass audience. His bestselling books, including The Power of Myth and The Hero with a Thousand Faces, are the rare blockbusters that are also scholarly classics. While Campbell’s work reached wide and deep as he covered the world’s great mythological traditions, he never wrote a book on goddesses in world mythology. He did, however, have much to say on the subject. Between 1972 and 1986 he gave over twenty lectures and workshops on goddesses, exploring the figures, functions, symbols, and themes of the feminine divine, following them through their transformations across cultures and epochs. Editor Safron Rossi, a goddess studies scholar and professor of mythology, collected these lectures to create Goddesses. In this evocative volume, Campbell traces the evolution of the feminine divine from one Great Goddess to many, from Neolithic Old Europe to the Renaissance. He sheds new light on classical motifs and reveals how the feminine divine symbolizes the archetypal energies of transformation, initiation, and inspiration.