I love bookstores, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Give me a good book, a candle and some chocolate and I couldn’t be happier. My bookshelf holds 50+ books, my Kindle has another 20-something… And I keep going back to bookstores and browsing the e-books. I can’t help it.

One of my recent trips to our HalfPrice Books yielded something a little out of the usual though. I picked up the little box thinking it was a female-bases tarot deck, but when I looked closer I found something else. I had bought myself a box of Goddess cards—beautifully designed cards with a bit about different goddesses on the backs. I couldn’t help but be impressed as I inspected each card; they’re from all different cultures. Touching them, I get the same chill as when I read tarot.

There’s something mystical and magickal about discovering the goddesses of the world, and the inner goddess we have all been taught to repress. It’s transporting, enlightening, liberating. This discovering of self does the same thing for me that books do, except that the things we find about ourselves are very real.

White Shell (or White Bead) Woman, also called Turquoise Woman and Abalone Woman, is sometimes said to be a younger version of Changing Woman. White is the color of dawn and of the east. White Shell Woman, the creator and sustainer of life, created the Navajo people and sent them to their home. As gifts, she gave them shells, which became corn and other food-bearing plants; she gave them the animals; she gave them the gifts of rain and beautiful flowers. With the sun, she is the mother of Killer-of-Enemies and Child-of-the-Water, the dual protectors of the people from their enemies. A Navajo chant says “All things around me are restored in beauty.” It is because of White Shell Woman that this is so, and it is because of her teachings that we can experience the exquisite harmony that comes from being alive on this beautiful earth.