In 1948 Robert Graves published The White Goddess. His study of poetic mysticism and goddess worship has since become a founding text of Western paganism. As Wicca emerged from what Graves called, a few hopeful young people in California, to over two million strong, The White Goddess has achieved near liturgical status. This rising appreciation brings all the problems of liturgical texts. Many pagans consider Graves’ work like the goddess herself; awe inspiring but impenetrable.
Stalking The Goddess is the first extensive examination of this enigmatic text to come from the pagan community and guides readers through bewildering forests of historical sources, poems, and Graves’ biography to reveal his unorthodox claims and entrancing creative process. Relentlessly perusing each path it explores the uncharted woods and reveals the hidden signposts Graves has posted. The hunt for the goddess spans battlefields, ancient manuscripts, the British museum, and Stonehenge. En route we encounter not only the goddess herself but her three sacred animals; dog, roebuck, and lapwing. Perhaps the muse cannot be captured on her own grounds, but now at least there is a map. Robert Graves is known to many for his books which were adapted for TV, I Claudius and Claudius the God.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
At over 340 pages this is a lot of work but it is well worth it. Fortunately, it is written in a conversational style, and should be accessible to all interested readers. The next time you want to demand that publishers support higher quality books, you can point to Stalking the Goddess as an example of what such books look like. ~ Brendan Myers, Witches and Pagans
Mark Carter has made a very good attempt to go back to the roots of Robert Graves' book The White Goddess to give a critical analysis from a Pagan perspective. It is a fascinating insight into putting right many of the mistakes made by Graves when he wrote The White Goddess in 1948.
A great deal of research and effort has gone into this book and as such Mr Carter should be congratulated. ~ , The Deosil Dance
Robert Graves’ The White Goddess might be considered the “bible” of paganism. While it remains important to a spiritual practice that now has an estimated two million followers, it is not a book that readily proffers its information and ideas to the reader. Mark Carter describes Graves’ masterwork as a “long hunt through his tangled woods”. He means no disrespect, however. To the contrary, he has invested much effort in making Graves’ ideas accessible to a broader audience. In many ways, this book is a “biography” of The White Goddess, although Carter also provides much insight into Graves as he dissects the book’s history. Carter puts it all into the context of post-WWII, explaining the metaphysical, mystical, and creative forces (many of which were influenced by The White Goddess) that took shape during that time.
The White Goddess was influential in forming many of our current ideas about ancient matriarchical societies and early paganism. A book like Stalking the Goddess is long overdue, and Mr. Carter deserves a big THANK YOU for finally bringing these insights into the roots of paganism, Wicca, and modern Goddess tradition into the real world.
~ Anna Jedrziewski, Innaworks.com
This is a fine book packed with information. There is a lot of it but then there is a lot to it so all balances. It answers a need for a contemporary analysis and deliberation and the provocative title says it all. ~ Barbara Ford-Hammond, author of The Psychic Way (6th Books)
I don’t know why anyone hasn’t thought of doing this before, because...The White Goddess cannot be ignored. And just like The White Goddess, I do think this book could well find its way onto the intelligent pagan’s bookshelf. ~ Harmonia Saille, author of Crusty Crones Get out and About(Moon Books)
Mark Carter's book provides an extensive examination and critique of The White Goddess and traces Graves' myriad sources and inspirations. ~ Mike Howard, The Cauldron
I found this a valuable book, which enabled me to understand Graves himself, and his use of sources, better than any has done before. ~ Professor Ronald Hutton, Bristol University UK
The influence of Robert Graves on Wicca cannot be ignored. In Stalking the Goddess, Mark Carter makes an important contribution in understanding the history of the modern pagan movement. This book is compulsory reading for anyone who wishes to understand this history. ~ Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone, authors of Progressive Witchcraft (New Page Books2004)