Grove meeting – Thursday 12th July 2018. Subject: The White Goddess by Robert Graves

 A meeting hosted by Vyvyan and Taleteller.

We all met on a warm summers evening to enjoy the hospitality at Vyvyan and Taletellers lovely home. Vyvyan had chosen the subject and has been studying the book for the last six months

In attendance: Vyvyan, Taleteller, Locksley, Danceswithweasels and Greenfingers.

As Locksley was late to arrive it was decided to have a bite to eat before the meeting started. After handfuls of popcorn, some tasty cheese and bread complimented with a variety of drinks we began the serious stuff, the meeting.

Serious stuff it was. Some of us had not read the book and kept an open mind as to what Vyvyan had discovered during her time with the study group over a six month period.

Her initial statement was “Fortunately I have read this book so you don’t have to” was that a warning? Oh dear I thought sounds ominous.

I have copied a review of the book as seen below and this does provide an outline description of what the reader should expect.

“The White Goddess is a key book for modern Pagans and Wiccans. Subtitled ‘A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth’, Robert Graves investigates the links between poetry, mythology and the worship of the Goddess. The White Goddess had a profound influence on Gerald Gardner, the modern reinventor of Paganism.

“The White Goddess was one of the first widely available books which uncompromisingly advocated a Goddess-centered spirituality. It builds on Frazier’s Golden Bough, but written from the point of view of a working poet struggling to reconcile the ancient crafts of poetry and mythology with the brutality of the twentieth century. Although it is a ‘difficult book’ it will also prove very rewarding. It does not provide details of ancient rituals or try to reinvent them for a modern context; rather it gives details on the profound links between ancient runic alphabets, mysterious (and previously unexplained) Druidic and Bardic poetry and the Celtic lunar year. It bears the same relation to more practical books about Wicca as a theoretical physics textbook does to a users’ manual for a computer. Reading the White Goddess will enhance your understanding of Wicca by giving you deep background on the craft.” by anonymous.

With Vyvyans input we discussed the various aspects and ideas, and if the concept was too difficult to understand or believe.

Was this a work of pure fantasy or are there hidden truths in the text. Are there codes embedded in this text and did the poets of old communicate by a secret language hidden in the verse? Are there answers hidden in this book? Many questions left looking for solutions. So does this book have hidden depths and complexities that could be rewarding to those that seek and find those answers. It certainly raises many ideas and theories for future debate.

Apparently this book has turned people’s lives around and possibly was the foundation of a lot of Pagan literature we now read today.

We discussed other matters before calling the meeting to an end and made our way back home and  it is with heartfelt thanks to Vyvan for sharing her personal views and results of her study.

In conclusion then this was not a book I was interested in before the meeting but my curious nature had been woken. My copy has been ordered and I am now eagerly waiting its arrival.

I do believe the other members are now also inspired.

So complex Yes it is, out of reach No.

Why not add it to your reading list if you have not already done so, you never know what you might find.

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