Crafting the Boundaries 
                           Goddess Narrative as Incantation
                                                                             by  Wendy Griffin

        Wendy Griffin’s training is in the interdisciplinary social sciences, with an emphasis in the sociology of sex and gender.  She  is an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at California State University, in Long Beach, California. In 1988, she and Tanice Foltz began to do team research in Goddess Spirituality and were among the first to publish scholarly field research in this area.  Their publications can be found below.  Griffin's article, "The Embodied Goddess," is used in university classes in at least 3 countries and has just been reprinted in A Sociology of Religion, edited by Monahan, Mirola and Emerson.  Her most recent publication is "Returning to the Mother of Us All: Goddess Spirituality in the West," a chapter in Through Her Eyes: Women's Perspectives on World Religions," edited by Arvind Sharma and Katherine Young.   In addition to her traditional academic work, she is also a published  novelist,  a  long time community activist, a drummer, koi keeper, and  founding member of a  women’s performance group.

        Griffin uses an interdisciplinary approach to show how women in Goddess Spirituality are crafting a new narrative about what it means to be a woman.  By subverting traditional representations of the female body to transgress traditional cultural boundaries and presenting these images in a spiritual or religious context, practitioners create “truth messages” about the nature of women, the nature of social relations in the modern world, and about the nature of our relationship with the universe. This form of “writing the body” constructs a new cultural narrative that teaches a different way of experiencing and understanding the world.  Through Goddess imagery and ritual, practitioners are attempting to create new integrated interpretations of female identity that are liberating in their wholeness. In the process, ideas from Goddess Spirituality have already begun to spread and take root in mainstream America.

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