Thursday, October 10, 2019

Review: When God Had a Wife: The Fall and Rise of the Sacred Feminine in the Judeo-Christian Tradition by Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince

Title: When God Had a Wife: The Fall and Rise of the Sacred Feminine in the Judeo-Christian Tradition
Author: Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince
Publication: December 3rd 2019 by Bear & Company
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Religion, Spirituality
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

Reveals the tradition of goddess worship in early Judaism and how Jesus attempted to restore the feminine side of the faith

• Provides historical and archaeological evidence for an earlier form of Hebrew worship with both male and female gods, including a 20th-century discovery of a Hebrew temple dedicated to both Yahweh and the warrior goddess Anat

• Explores the Hebrew pantheon of goddesses, including Yahweh’s wife, Asherah, goddess of fertility and childbirth

• Shows how both Jesus and his great rival Simon Magus were attempting to restore the ancient, goddess-worshipping religion of the Israelites

Despite what Jews and Christians--and indeed most people--believe, the ancient Israelites venerated several deities besides the Old Testament god Yahweh, including the goddess Asherah, Yahweh’s wife, who was worshipped openly in the Jerusalem Temple. After the reforms of King Josiah and Prophet Jeremiah, the religion recognized Yahweh alone, and history was rewritten to make it appear that it had always been that way. The worship of Asherah and other goddesses was now heresy, and so the status of women was downgraded and they were blamed for God’s wrath.

However, as Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince reveal, the spiritual legacy of the Jewish goddesses and the Sacred Feminine lives on. Drawing on historical research, they examine how goddess worship thrived in early Judaism and included a pantheon of goddesses. They share new evidence for an earlier form of Hebrew worship that prayed to both male and female gods, including a 20th-century archaeological discovery of a Hebrew temple dedicated to both Yahweh and the goddess Anat. Uncovering the Sacred Feminine in early Christianity, the authors show how, in the first century AD, both Jesus and his great rival, Simon Magus, were attempting to restore the goddess-worshipping religion of the Israelites. The authors reveal how both men accorded great honor to the women they adored and who traveled with them as priestesses, Jesus’s Mary Magdalene and Simon’s Helen. But, as had happened centuries before, the Church rewrote history to erase the feminine side of the faith, deliberately ignoring Jesus’s real message and again condemning women to marginalization and worse.

Providing all the necessary evidence to restore the goddess to both Judaism and Christianity, Picknett and Prince expose the disastrous consequences of the suppression of the feminine from these two great religions and reveal how we have been collectively and instinctively craving the return of the Sacred Feminine for millennia.

I'm gonna jump right in and say that When God Had a Wife: The Fall and Rise of the Sacred Feminine in the Judeo-Christian Tradition has been one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. I randomly requested it on NetGalley because I liked the title and I wanted to read a nonfiction. I'm obviously very glad I did because I highly enjoyed this book and I consider it a 2019 favorite of mine now. 

I am a history lover and I've always been intrigued by anything biblical ever since I was a child but I wouldn't say this book is something I'd pick up easily. I just don't read a lot of books that deal with religion or spirituality even though I do find these interesting topics. So now I feel I definitely need to read more books that are similar to this one, or at least look into the authors' other books. I'm sure they will be equally intriguing.

A big chunk of this book, which was mostly the first part, dived into the early days of Judaism and where Asherah (Yahweh's wife) fit in it. This part was the most fascinating to me. I could hardly stop reading this particular section of the book. It was not only something interesting to read about but also very thought-provoking. 

Another thing I feel I just gotta mention is that this was a very well-researched book and that the authors definitely know what they're talking about. This is another reason why I can't wait to read more books written by them, actually. I know this book will probably not be everyone's cup of tea. I must admit that even for me all the information of the Sacred Feminine and everything it entails made my head spin but it was well worth the read. I'm so glad I stumbled upon it!

About the authors: Before their serendipitous first encounter in 1989 on a doorstep in Swiss Cottage, north London, Lynn, originally from the city of York, was a journalist, editor of books and several major partworks (she was deputy editor of the seminal 1980s publication The Unexplained), broadcaster and television presenter. Clive, a Londoner, had worked for several years as a systems analyst for a major national charity.

However, after meeting they abandoned their 'proper' jobs to concentrate full-time on research into religious and historical mysteries, which became a successful and enduring joint career in authorship. This took them on an amazing journey, often frustrating and sometimes even dangerous, but never less than fascinating, through subjects such as the Shroud of Turin (Turin Shroud: How Leonardo da Vinci Fooled History) and the origins of Christianity (The Templar Revelation), the hijacking of the myths of ancient Egypt by intelligence agencies (The Stargate Conspiracy), and the political skulduggery of the Priory of Sion (The Sion Revelation).

Lynn and Clive met the charismatic researcher Stephen Prior who, together with his Edinburgh-based friend and colleague Robert Brydon, had a fascination for the wartime mysteries of Rudolf Hess' flight to Scotland in 1941 and the death of the King’s brother, George, Duke of Kent, in a plane crash there a year later - which they had come to believe were intimately connected. When Stephen and Bob suggested they collaborate with Lynn and Clive on a book, they jumped at the chance - and so the foursome's three-book career began with Double Standards: The Rudolf Hess Cover-up, followed by War of the Windsors and Friendly Fire.

However, in 2003 tragedy struck. Stephen died, aged 56, and Lynn and Clive returned to their more usual topics, with The Sion Revelation, revised and updated editions of Turin Shroud and The Templar Revelation, and The Masks of Christ.
Despite a tendency to attract surreal and dramatic happenings, their work has taken them to many exciting and mysterious places, from Egypt to the 'heartland of heresy', the south-west of France, from the USA to Ireland, and all over the British Isles, sometimes with film crews, sometimes alone.

Over the years they have appeared on many television and radio programmes - their Shroud/da Vinci research being a particular hit with the Leonardo-loving Japanese - including the James Whale Show, This Morning, Ireland's Big Bite, Sky News, and Good Morning America.

They are also professional speakers, appearing regularly for the Saunière Society, the Questing Conference and the Fortean Times UnConvention, besides enjoying a host of one-off speaking dates, from all over the UK, Holland and Germany to the USA.

Lynn and Clive's most recent book is The Forbidden Universe: The Occult Origins of Science and the Search for the Mind of God, published in the UK and USA in March 2011.

Lynn and Clive both live in London.


  1. You find the most fascinating titles, Stephanie. I wouldn't necessarily choose these titles for reading for pleasure, but I like reading about them through your eyes. You;'re so passionate about it and it comes through wonderfully.

  2. That's such a nice thing to say! It definitely was a more heavy topic, even for me but I enjoyed myself so much with reading it. :D

  3. I love this type of book as well, but would definitely need to be in the right mood to read it. Great review though <3

    Chanzie @ Free To Be Me

  4. Interesting... as much as I have my beliefs I don't really read much nonfiction on religion at all! I personally prefer to discover religions through fiction.

  5. I really should try to read more non-fiction. I'm glad you enjoyed it and it has become one of your favourite reads this year!


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