Cakes for the Queen of Heaven, by Shirley Ranck, provides in book format the powerful lessons of the life-transforming curriculum by the same author. The book version, first published in the 90s, makes this material accessible for women today. It can be used by individuals or small groups to explore key issues women still struggle with today.
Cakes for the Queen of Heaven explores the relationship between women's religious history and the personal issues that arise in women living in this patriarchal society. Women struggle with issues of body image, troubled mother-daughter relationships, sexual freedom and access to power. We need to know that there was a time when the female body was sacred; that there once was a long-lasting religion in which the chief divine actors were a mother and her daughter; that in very ancient times women had significant power in their societies; that although patriarchal societies have oppressed women for centuries, there have always been strong and talented women. Our female history has been erased and trivialized for too long. In this book we meet ancient goddesses and their stories from around the world, real women in ancient Sumer, in Greece, in Judaism and in Christianity. In Cakes for the Queen of Heaven the past is before us, the women are there, and they help us change our lives.
Review from Helen Popenoe, past convener of UU Women & Religion:
To read this taste of the Goddess days, especially in discussion with others, can elicit an inner spiritual journey toward value and meaning as a pro-active adult. That exposure to Goddess power can lead to an increased sense of personal power, sense of dignity and self-worth, improved self-image, self-confidence and feeling valued. This book provides a grounding in seeing oneself as sacred.