Seeking Tools to Revision the World: A Review of Jone Salomonsen's 'Enchanted Feminism'

Robyn A Cryderman


This review essay introduces readers to JoneSalomonsen’s important study Enchanted Feminism: TheReclaiming Witches of San Francisco (2002). This is thefirst academic work to focus on feminist spirituality asdescribed and practiced by Starhawk, one of the foundersof Reclaiming and the community’s foremost writer andteacher. Salomonsen studied Reclaiming over a period often years, 19841994. In her two part study, she describes“how actual women develop a spiritual alternative toJewish and Christian religions, how they understandthemselves as cultural agents and womanly subjects in themidst of this process, and [how they] analyze the meaningsof their sexed, bodily experience when interpreted in thecontext of ritual action and symbolism” (13), whileincorporating her own experiences in the community aspart of her methodology. Salomonsen traces howReclaiming, and particularly Starhawk, have developed apractical thealogy of the divine feminine, performing acomplex critique of hegemonic masculinity and powerrelations in the modern, capitalist society, an analysisfocused on revisioning and healing the self, community andworld. Through her discussion of both text andexperience, Salomonsen positions Reclaiming’s feminist spirituality as an important cultural, theological and academic critique.

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