Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance:
Awakening Spirituality Through Movement and Ritual
A Book by Iris J. Stewart

Reviewer: Hal Zina Bennett, Author,Writing Coach from Upper Lake, California, United States

This is an extraordinary book. Just picking the book up for the first time, we see that it is filled with illustrations, from the most ancient to the most contemporary, of the sacred dances of the world's greatest cultural traditions. We are struck immediately by the powerful, feminine nature of dance, ultimately the celebration of the mystery of the feminine. The text, at once scholarly, informed, personal and at times touching the ecstatic, takes us to the inner spirit of the dance as a uniquely feminine expression. Lines like the following from the book leap out at the reader: "The belly dance in the context of the birth ritual...was done not to project eroticism or to present the woman as a lure but to display a consciousness of the wonder of birth and the awesom power of motherhood." (p. 83)

This book definitely opens our eyes to the sacred nature of dance and to its importance down through the ages for celebrating and teaching the great mysteries that defy verbal expression or scientific scrutiny. If we dare take it seriously, and Iris Stewart gives us every reason that we should, then it may be one of the most effective ways open to us for healing our relationship to nature.

Because the book is so beautifully designed and illustrated, in an oversized format, it is a wonderful gift--but not your usual "gift book" or innocuous "coffee table" book. Its beauty extends deep into a brilliant text.

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