Books · General · Women

Book Review: Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions by Starhawk, Diane Baker & Anne Hill


Circle Round: Raising Children in the Goddess Tradition by Starhawk, Diane Baker & Anne Hill * Illustrated by Sarah Ceres Boore * Format: Paperback Book * February 1, 2000

😸😸😸😸😸 Rated 5/5 happy lap cats

Circle Round was one of the books I reached for the most as I was raising my children, so much so, in fact, that I’ve worn out two copies. It’s a manual, of sorts, to help parents introduce their children to spiritual practices that are friendly to the earth and respectful of all people. Beyond that, it can be used in a variety of ways. If followed closely, it helps parents give their children a spiritual foundation based on goddess mythology, starting with a deep connection to nature. But it can also be used as an idea book by any family that wants to teach their children to respect the earth and its people, picking and choosing the stories, recipes or crafts that are appealing.

Circle Round is organized around the cycles of nature and human life. There are chapters for each solstice and equinox, and the halfway points in between each seasonal event. Other chapters include activities for moon cycles, rites of passage, life and family transitions, and celebrating the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water). Introductions to goddess spirituality and creating rituals are also included.

The materials in the book are so wide-ranging that no family will use them all. The authors describe a basic ritual structure, but also include suggestions for just being together as a family. For each celebration, the authors include a child-friendly explanation of the meaning of the celebration, its roots and connections to spirituality and the earth. They go on to give suggestions for creating an altar. Each celebration includes one or more stories. There are craft ideas, recipes, songs, guided meditations, games, family outings, and more.

The authors took care when writing to make the book inclusive, but to avoid appropriating from other cultures. All three are descended from northern European traditions, and write from that perspective. The language in the book is positive, warm and accepting. All ages are addressed, from small children to adolescents.

Though my kids are grown now, they still enjoy making their favorite Circle Round recipes every year. My daughter has begun her own exploration of goddess spirituality, and is working her way through Starhawk’s many books. She reads from Circle Round for comfort when she’s feeling down, like it’s an old friend. That’s the way I feel about the book as well.


You might also like: Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children by Cait Johnson and Maura D Shaw. This book isn’t as extensive as Circle Round, but it also has a lot of good ideas. 😸😸😸😸🌑 (4/5)


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