I picked up Rise Sister Rise: A Guide to Unleashing the Wise, Wild Woman Within by Rebecca Campbell at a Barnes and Noble about three months ago. I was looking for a book on women’s spirituality from a broader perspective. Something a bit more mulitfaith or from a non religious standpoint. I was attempting to get myself out of my spiritual comfort zone of standard Pagan, Wiccan, witchcraft and magic books and manuals.
What I found was a book that was so much more.
According to the back cover, “Rise Sister Rise is for the women who agreed at soul level to be here at this stage in history to lead this global shift that the mystics of all of the ages have predicted: the return of the mother and the rise of the feminine. It is essentially a call to arms for women to rise up, tell their truth, and lead.” Campbell writes this book as one part manual and one part memoir. The book encourages for women to shake off the stereotype of the “good girl” and to embrace her own power. She discusses finding a spiritual community as well as her many travels to holy places. She walks the reader through her spiritual journey and shares her tips and tricks for spiritual development along the way. Campbell provides her journey with a refreshing honesty and a little humor.
This book follows in a long tradition of women sharing their spiritual journey and personal recollections with other women. Part of what struck me about this particular recollection is how modern it feels. Campbell weaves rituals in sacred wells and caves around the world with complaints about being stressed with work and the author’s romantic life. For me, the book not being a straight up spiritual memoir feels fresher and more relatable. As a modern woman constantly bombarded by work, friends, family, and societal pressures, it is liberating to read about a woman who has worked so hard to create a spiritual life for herself while balancing a so-called normal life.
The book is also very well put together, weaving together poetry, prose, meditations, and cumulating with a call to an initiation ritual. It has a little something for everyone in terms of content. At the end of each chapter, there are questions for meditation or journaling. If you are looking for a daily devotional to compliment a daily spiritual practice, this is a good choice.
Now clearly this book is written for anyone identifying as a woman. I think it is appropriate for women of all ages who follow a wide variety of paths.
For my fellow Pagans, I understand that aspects of this book might seem a little Pagan-lite to a seasoned practitioner. I admit I approached the book with a little bit of cynicism at first. But when I reframed my thinking and considered the book as not just a spiritual manual but also a memoir and book of poetry, I found Campbell’s perspective refreshing. I encourage my fellow Pagans and Witches to give it a try.
I also want to caution my readers that Rebecca Campbell has her own spiritual coaching business, so she does advertise it a little at the end of the book and part of her memoir talks about her business. If you are not fond of combining capitalism and spirituality, then this might not be the book for you.
I wholeheartedly recommend Rise Sister Rise. I think for a modern woman seeking an example of a spiritual seeker, Campbell is a fine role model. She is a beautiful writer and transparent in her account of her spiritual life. I encourage my readers to consider the book as a potential devotional to augment their spiritual practice.
Note: I am not being paid or compensated in any way for reviewing this book.
© Ariadne Woods