Essay on Journal Article Analysis - Essay Prowess

Essay on Journal Article Analysis


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Journal Article Analysis


Intercultural dimensions coupled with international complexities associated with the Age of Globalization have come to shed light that there is diversity in religious beliefs other than main stream denominations. This is especially the case relative to the American society where openness to philosophical inclinations allows people to subscribe to any desired religious inclination provided that it does not infringe on the established rights of other Americans. This paper presents an analysis of the journal article titled, “To Me, It Was Magic: Nature Mysticism and Feminist Power in a Woman’s Military Career” by Judy Harrow. This essay begins by presenting a summary of the article’s salient notions and arguments, ethical theories highlighted and a critical assessment of the author’s arguments.


At face value, the U.S. pledges openness to religious affiliation and diversity which has led to situations where there are numerous religious and spiritual groupings founded as well as run by women. However, there are quotas of American society which strongly admonish the presence of the female gender in traditionally male dominated roles. As Harrow (59)posits, one of the junior officers warned Drewry against the gender biased barriers she was bound to encounter, ‘look, they’re already gunning for you. The commander doesn’t like women. They’re going to set you up, and try to make you fail.’ Marci Drewry as discussed by Judy Harrow is one such woman. Drewry was presented with a unique opportunity to experience unblemished nature from a tender age before moving with her guardians to one of the numerous bustling cities in America. Unabated interactions with nature provided her with a special sense of solace in settings most people would associate with solitude. Drewry was able to relate with Christian teachings of the Almighty God and the Holy Spirit in her alone time with nature. She even related to gendered deities which is also the basis of Wicca beliefs.

Moving to New England just two years before her teenage hood in a community where children had already established strong bonds between themselves after years of schooling had an interesting impact on Drewry’s life. Rather than interact with other children of her age, she recoiled into her safe zone which involved an expeditious approach to relating with nature. Harrow provides that “these experiences established her sense of autonomy and deepened her nature orientation” (57). Against numerous odds, her family procured a horse which became a source for an intimate relationship that served as a basis for her spiritual life. As an adult and a married person, Drewry and her husband resided on a farm where they reared pets which included a number of horses. Her inclination to nature allowed her to study tertiary courses founded on better understanding of the natural world and coexistence with human society. Her time at Idaho State University allowed her to study other beliefs such as Buddhism, Native American spirituality, and Taoism. She joined the army and came face to face with male chauvinism. She worked under the leadership of a commander with a high disregard for ladies but was able to strongly weather the professional storms with great ease.

Drewry constantly received opinions from others bearing unconventional belief systems that she was a witch in line with the Wicca cult. As Harrow provides one of Drewry’s friends commented that, “you know, you’re a Witch (62)”. The US Army had at that time widely embraced religious and spiritual diversity. She had presented herself to the Army as a Wicca priestess and many sought communion with her. The article narrates how soldiers risked their lives driving through high intensity war zones in their free time to fellowship with her. She has had to work against numerous challenges in different Army postings first as an army officer and secondly and more demandingly, as a spiritual leader to all soldiers professing Pagan or Wiccan faith. Her significantly high position as chaplain of this minority religious group gave her the courage to excel despite gender biases leveled against her.

The Author’s Argument

Harrow provides that nature chooses that person it deems fit to serve as its priest or priestess. Drewry is presented as a person born to a family that did not subscribe much to Christian beliefs though identified with it as a young girl. To some extent, this was a perfect setting through which the protagonist was able to gain understanding of God and spirituality yet had the opportunity to mature in a unique and peculiar way. The author argues that nature carefully selected Drewry for her role as a priestess of the Wicca cult and propelled her to ecofeminism.  This is exemplified in Harrow’s position that, “she began to understand them as gendered by comparing them to her parents”. This is a philosophy which subverts power as well as accommodating contradictions and discontinuities occurring in life. Her spiritual maturity as a witch enabled her to withstand the rampant cases of discrimination and prejudice against women in her adopted career path.

Ethical Theories

Her spirituality allowed her to project as admirable degree of courage that easily overcome the barriers other women would have quickly bulked under. She was able to cultivate a strong spiritual connection with the natural world to the extent that the forces she prayed to cleared her path of tragedy that befell others. From Harrow’s narrative, it is clear that Drewry was able to understand, interpret, and listen to nature in a way that was predominantly different by that exhibited by men. Even in situations which were impossible to fathom, she felt at one with nature which accorded her peace to easily make it through regardless of the difficult life circumstances. Her philosophy to a difficult career in the military was one that exhibited a perception of love, a caring attitude and respectful nature when the patriarchal inclinations around her exuded domineering attitudes, arrogant perceptions and quest for unceasing conquest. As Harrow (69) points out she even received a treasured frog from a fellow servicemen who simply “wanted to show my appreciation that you were there for me.”

When Drwery joined the military, the degree of gender bias was palpable. On the same note, religious diversity was not as widely acknowledged as it is today. Some literature on unconventional religions was construed to imply sacrificing own children and partaking of their blood yet this was far from the truth. American society as a whole was terrified with the prospect of unconventional religions. Drewry as an individual exuded a virtue of courage and openness in associating with life matters. Given that it is the victors who dictate the manner with which history is reported; Drewry was presented with the opportunity to show the clear conscience and respectful notions of spirituality at the heart of the Wiccan practice.


Women have suffered significant prejudice as well as discrimination as portrayed in the American military in the early and 80’s and late 90’s. Drewry’s perception that deities in the Wicca belief systems aligned to gender roles allowed her to partake a motherly role in the military. Indeed, this was in contradiction to the patriarchal nature of the institution but soft power won her numerous followers. At the time of her retirement, she was in a position that not only appreciated the aspect of religious diversity in the military but also the position of women at the helm of respected offices in the institution.