(Book Excerpt 1) The Mago Way: Re-discovering Mago, the Great Goddess from East Asia

cover front final rdcd[Author’s Note: This is the first of the two sequels of the forthcoming book.]


Salvation for the terrestrial community depends on our ability to keep patriarchy in check. We CAN keep patriarchy in check by telling the gynocentric truth. The gynocentric truth mirrors what patriarchy is; it is none other than a dangerously deranged force of destruction. Because it is deceitful and threatening, we tend to see it bigger than it actually is. It has no power of giving or nurturing Life. Patriarchy is NOT winning but ever-dwindling and ever-dying. This book, The Mago Way, re-presents the ancient way of telling the gynocentric truth: to Re-member collectively the ORIGIN STORY of the CREATRIX. The Way of Mago unleashes the power of the almost forgotten story of HER Beginning from Old Korea. It is the one and only story of WE that takes place Everywhere and All the time. It is cosmic/galactic/solar/terrestrial/individual/personal/atomic in scope. The Mago Way summons the gynocentric reality of WE/HERE/NOW to raise our minds/hearts.

A feminist self-searching journey is the doorway to an encounter with the Female Divine, the divine S/HE. In my case, the divine S/HE is Mago, the Great Goddess [read “Ma” as in “mama” and “Go” as in “to go”]. It has been more than fifteen years since I first learned the word “Mago” in the book entitled the Budoji (Epic of the Emblem City), the Gynocentric Book of the Mago Clan. It was given to me by an acquaintance unexpectedly, but it was timely. I was able to write my doctoral dissertation about Mago. Since then, Mago has become the focus of my life’s endeavor. The Mago Way is an answer to my life’s quest and task. I have researched, presented, written, lectured, and toured about Mago. Far from being exhausted, Mago data continue to grow monthly and yearly. So does my understanding of Magoism.

The Budoji (Epic of the Emblem City), the principal text of Magoism, provides the backbone structure of my work on Mago–the mytho-historical-thealogy of Magoism. It may be called an apocryphal text in the sense that the title is not verified elsewhere. That has caused skepticism among “mainstream academic” Koreanists. However, I treat the Budoji as the central text in my work. I hold that the Budoji presents an original narrative of the beginning of the Great Goddess and gives an overall picture of the ancient world’s cosmogonic stories. As I have shown in this book, it is a self-testifying text, primarily proven by its cosmogonic etiological account. It explains the very foundation of East Asian cultures and histories and worldwide ancient religious/spiritual traditions. Astonishingly, terms and notions employed in the Magoist Cosmogony stand as the archetypes of East Asian cultures and other counterparts elsewhere. Moreover, upon assessing pre- and proto-patriarchal histories in East Asia, which are truncated if not erased in Sinocentric texts—supposedly the oldest and proven texts of East Asia, I have used folklore, place-names, literature, archaeology, and art as well as apocryphal texts in assessing the mytho-history of Magoism.[i]

Previously, I attempted to publish my research on Mago under the tentative title of “The Mago Hypothesis: Reinstating Mago, the Great Goddess, and Magoism, a Trans-patriarchal Gynocentric Tradition of East Asia (Korea, China, and Japan)” with a standard publishing house. However, the idea did not materialize. I can see now why it was not meant to happen. For one thing, my research kept on developing and deepening. Speaking metaphorically, I was in the middle of the cave and did not know when and where I was going to come out of the cave to talk about what I saw inside and what that journey meant. As indicated in the above title, I could only call it a hypothesis at that time. Also I can see now that trying to put my research into one book would not have done justice in that it is too complex in content and immense in volume. It is indeed timely now that I call it The Mago Way and publish it as Volume 1 by Mago Books that I have recently founded. This teaches me to trust the unfolding of my Mago journey in its own timing.

(To be continued in Part 2)

For more info on The Mago Way: Re-discovering Mago, the Great Goddess from East Asia, see here.


[i] For more on this topic, see Chapter 4 and Chapter 8 in this book.

Read Meet Mago Contributor Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, Ph.D.

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