Review: Garbology – Our Dirty Love Affair With Trash

GARBOLOGY: 
        OUR DIRTY LOVE AFFAIR WITH TRASH

By Edward Humes

Reviewed by Autumn Rose

Autumn Rose

Autumn Rose

And now for something completely different.

This may seem an odd choice of book to review in a publication about Druidry, but there's a rationale for the choice. As pagans, we are by definition committed to tending and healing the earth. Some of us have been doing this for so long that we do it more out of habit than out of the passion that motivated us in the beginning. This book provides new fuel for that passion. Call it a booster shot.

The art and science of waste management is as old as humanity itself. Needless to say, it has undergone many permutations, from the simple middens of cave dwellers and nomads to the towering garbage mountains and waste-to-energy plants of the present day. Humes's book deals with the present day and the United States in particular. Its major thesis is that waste management in the 21' Century is - to understate the case — problematic. Much of the book is devoted to describing the problems, of which two stand out: first, that we generate far too much trash; and second, that discarded plastics are unmanageable and everywhere. Hume presents absolutely mind-boggling facts about the situation, a few of which are listed here.

Garbology Book Cover

  • The amount of space needed to accommodate one American's lifetime output of trash is equivalent to the space occupied by 1100 graves.
  • While many people know about the collections of trash that have accumulated in the world's several oceanic gyres, many more are not aware that the top few feet of the seas everywhere are filled with plastic confetti.
  • At least 25% of the American food supply is thrown away — by some estimates, as much as 40%.
  • Every year we throw out enough aluminum to replace the entire commercial air fleet four times over, and enough steel to duplicate Manhattan. Repeat, every year.

Having presented an updated picture of the problem, Hume next turns to possible solutions. The first, and sadly the most difficult, is to change our attitude towards trash. He makes the rather startling observation that the "hoarders" currently starring in several TV reality shows have only reacted in a pathological way to what used to be a nearly universal human impulse: an aversion to waste. Hume suggests that we need to cultivate this aversion anew while applying it with more forethought and practicality than hoarders are able to manage. He quotes a statement by the Berkeley Ecology Center: "If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production." That's advice for legislators, designers and manufacturers, but it can be adapted for indivduals and households by replacing the words after "then" with 'don't buy it."

Hume tells the story of one family who were able to collect an entire year's accumulation of non-recyclable waste in a quart Mason jar. (To learn how they did it, read the book.) The planning and discipline required by their program would be too onerous for most of us, but there is no question that we could all reduce the amount of trash we produce with a bit of thought and care.

The author also reviews waste management efforts by various levels of government, with special attention to ease or difficulty of execution, and to what has worked and what hasn't. Readers can mine these chapters for ideas as to what trash regulations and disposal methods they would like to promote to their representatives.

Read the book. It will benefit you at both ends, opening your eyes and delivering a kick in the pants.

Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair With TrashGarbology Book Cover
Paperback: 336 pages
Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
Publisher: Avery Trade; Reprint edition (March 5, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1583335239

[This reveiw was originally printed in Henge Happenings #100 - Samhain 2013 - ed]

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Review: Invoking the Scribes of Ancient Egypt

Invoking the Scribes of Ancient Egypt:
The Initiatory Path of Spiritual Journaling

by Normandi Ellis and Gloria Taylor Brown

Review by Aauriane Veleda

Book Cover: Invoking the Scribes of Ancient EgyptTo be honest I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I volunteered to be a book reviewer. I wanted to get more involved in Keltria and this was a chance to help redirect my life to where I thought it should head. Much to my delight I got this book in the mail and at the same time I was a bit lost as to how to relate a book on the Egyptian Scribes to my personal Celtic journey contemplating the Druid path. I undertook the reading; what follows are my interpretations of this text.

This book, as it will tell you, was actually the start of a trip to Egypt for a group of writers wanting to expand upon their own abilities and challenges; each was drawn to Egypt for their own special reasons. Some knew they had been there before and others felt called, but none of the characters in the book knew each other previously. They represented a mix of cultures and it was interesting to read they always sought the blessings of the directions in their own ways before undertaking any journey. In this instance it was offered by Kathyrn Ravenwood and who shared her mix of Native American, Egyptian and Christian belief.

Each participant in this journey shared of themselves and their writings as they traveled. A selection of some of the special ones are included  in each segment. Responses to each piece of writing from the other travelers are also included.

Some of the exercises included the Personal Universe Exercise, Meditation on a Journey Down the Nile, Writing About Your Hero’s Journey, Writing the Stepping Stones, and Writing the Becoming Poem. These are focused on the Egyptian theme of the trip and the interest these authors have in the Egyptian way. This book offers an opportunity to look at the Egyptian spiritual and religious life in a different way. It encourages the reader to take the Hero’s Journey, Make the Salmon leap and find the dark inner part and bringing it to light so you may know yourself and your path better.

Can it be applied to Druidry? Absolutely!  The authors’ personal feelings, thoughts and experiences can be applied to a metaphorical spiritual journalling while traveling in the Celtic lands if you take the exercises and apply them to the sites you wish to experience. And with planning and forethought one could potentially set up an entire “Druidic or Irish” journey and plan writing activities at each site, imbuing the energy and mystery of the places into your own writing and self journey.

I will use the ideas in this book as part of my own process to learn more of myself and my path. A few of the exercises, even in their Egyptian context, led to some interesting insights.

I recommend this book for anyone who would like to see Egypt through a writer’s passionate gaze or as a guide for looking into the journey of spiritual writing regardless of your path. This book is an excellent guide for basic layouts for writing and as such I will continue to work with. The writers share some deep and truly beautiful insights into the land of the Scribes of Egypt. Come join them, take a beautiful journey and then embark upon your own Spiritual Initiatory Journaling experience.

Invoking the Scribes of Ancient Egypt: The Initiatory Path of Spiritual Journaling
Paperback: 336 pages
Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
Publisher: Bear & Company; Original edition (October 28, 2011)
ISBN-10: 159143128X
ISBN-13: 978-1591431282
List: $18.00 - Amazon: $11.53 - Kindle $9.90

[amazon_image id="159143128X" target="_blank" size="Medium" link="true" container="" container_class="" ]Invoking the Scribes of Ancient Egypt: The Initiatory Path of Spiritual Journaling[/amazon_image]

Review: Ensouling Language

Ensouling Language: 
    On the Art of Nonfiction and the Writer’s Life

by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Review by Karl Schlotterbeck

TEnsouling Language Book Coverhis is a marvelous that is remarkable in a number of ways. I was excited by the title when I first heard about it. When it arrived, I was dismayed at its heft (463 pages); amused at the irony of its cover illustration of a quill; and sorry when I came to the end of it. In the first pages, I was captured by the little story he told so well to demonstrate the affection and meaningfulness of words, books, and experience. My expectation had been of a formulaic how-to book of which we see so many, but it was itself a journey into the place of perception and creativity where words are as alive as we are, and reveal their sacredness as containers of soul and of meaning – and how to get to that place. Buhner pulled me deeper and deeper into the subject – stacking up meaning behind the words like water behind a dam, as he would say.

In fact, Ensouling Language called me back into myself, a reminder to write for what might be communicated about the interiority of my subject in its meaningfulness, and in the fact writer and readers’ communication occur well beyond (or deeply within) black text on white page, deeper than the dictionary definition of words. Rather, it occurs in the heart of the matter – where creation and some spirit of the nature of things seek to express themselves through the human heart and tongue and hand, and to result in something larger than either.

I struggle to find a descriptor for what he does. He nudges us out of a little ego’s perspective with its petty needs for common currency and approval, out of our humanocentric viewpoint, and out of any illusions of being objective. Perhaps it is this very difficulty in trying to “reduce” his effort to an easy few words that affirms the beauty and depth of his work.

I found him sometimes speaking as a shaman, sometimes as an analytical psychologist, sometimes as a prophet or Druid – and this is the work’s most direct relevance for us. For Buhner, words are not just things to be used to fill the space around us, nor are they something we use to avoid our fears by yakking about superficial things. Nor are they a tool to try to bridge our loneliness as human beings; but they have the capacity to take us to a place of discovery, where our fears are created, where our loneliness is rewarded and relationship is intimate – whether that be with a tree, a dolphin, another person’s experience or our own. As he says:

These moments of touch with the nonhuman world are what the ancient Greeks – the Athenians – called aisthesis. The get to aisthesis, those moments when we are touched in return, our nonphysical touching must go deeper than merely feeling the world. It must go to the place where touching travels both ways. And this, very definitely extends awareness a great deal further than our society wants it to go. It involves a living exchange between the human and the nonhuman world, eventually, with the world itself. By engaging in that exchange, we break a very powerful cultural injunction that is present in many Western cultures. We abandon the view of life that does not allow us to extend interiority to dolphins or trees or stones. (p. 143)

His writing was, in many ways, watching a deft psychoanalyst pay attention to a person’s utterances and what they reveal about the speaker, how they may fall short of their purpose and thereby shows the hidden baggage of the writer. He notes how one’s unresolved and unreflected upon personal issues become revealed and how hiding those issues flatten the work. Facing then directly gives depth and richness. It’s like my own work as a psychologist: not just listening to what people say, but how they say it in terms of the words they use, the tone of voice, facial expression, body language and context.

Something in me found a home in this book or, perhaps I should say, several aspects of me found a common heart through his writing: Druid, shaman, psychologist, writer, poet.

This is an easy book to recommend for its meaningfulness, its intelligence, depth, and genuineness in practicing what it is prescribing. He challenges the readers’ ways of perceiving and relating to the world, meanings put into words, framing of propositions and need to beware of the inevitable hidden baggage. But it’s not directly about a philosophy of genuineness, depth and presence: it’s a how-to manual (as he reminds us). He addresses the tension between “proper” grammar and writing for impact, dealing with editors, publishers and contracts; getting help and the whole business of delivering one’s words to the readers who hunger for them.

This is a book I can highly recommend, not only for aspiring writers, but for anyone who wants to engage the world deeply and recognizes the value of words in the exchange.

Ensouling Language: On the Art of Nonfiction and the Writer's Life
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Inner Traditions

Kindle Edition available!
File Size: 754 KB
ASIN: B00462RVFK

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Review: The Gaian Tarot

The Gaian Tarot

by Joanna Powell Colbert

Review by Jenne Micale

Buy the Gaian TarotMany years ago, Joanna Powell Colbert’s detailed and intricate drawings caught my eye when I was perusing a Pagan-themed book. When I learned several years ago that she was working on a Tarot deck, I was excited and delighted. The Gaian Tarot – published by Llewellyn – is the long-awaited result.

Every card in the deck features Colbert’s incredibly detailed artwork and is replete with natural imagery, from the field of lavender in the Nine of Earth (in which the central figure is Colbert herself), to the turtle and fish in the Guardian of Water, the warring eagles in Five of Air, and the shining water and rotting bird in Death. The suits are divided according to element and the court cards according to age: Child, Explorer, Guardian, Elder. The humans depicted in the cards exemplify the range of human diversity and offer, in their way, a utopian vision of what our society could be.

The cards are loosely based on Rider-Waite, although they have their own take on traditional images. The Seven of Water, for example, displays not a woman lost in dreams (contained by chalices), but a man who chooses a chalice and drinks it to the full. While the Six of Pentacles is traditionally the alms-giver, the Six of Earth shows money being exchanged at a farmers’ market. The Eight of Earth – one of my favorite cards – shows a father teaching his daughter how to play djembe rather than a child carving a pentacle, although the Rider-Waite and Gaian tarot both express the dedication required in mastering a skill. The Fool is now the Seeker, the Empress the Gardener and the Devil, Bindweed – to name a few of the changes in the Major Arcana.

To a novice tarot reader, the departure from Rider-Waite may make learning this deck a little problematic. The relative dearth of negative cards may complicate readings for more mundane purposes; the Ten of Air – geese flying during the fall migration – espouses a theme of endings, but not in the dramatic and traumatic manner of the Ten of Swords. But overall, the Gaian Tarot is excellent in giving guidance in spiritual matters – wise and gentle – and for meditation. Highly recommended.

[amazon_link id="0738718912" target="_blank" ]Gaian Tarot[/amazon_link] by Joanna Powell Colbert
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; Crds edition (September 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0738718912
ISBN-13: 978-0738718910

Commentary on Reading Buhner’s Ensouling Language

Review by Karl Schlotterbeck, MA, CAS, LP - Archdruid

Photo of Karl Schlotterveck

Karl Schlotterbeck

I first heard of Buhner’s writings when a shamanic teacher recommended one of his earlier books, [amazon_link id="B004WLCSC6" target="_blank" ]The Lost Language of Plants [/amazon_link]  (2002 by Chelsea Green Publishing). In that book he wrote about the deep relationship between humanity and the natural world and how much of our human world is not only losing its ability to communicate with the natural world, but also altering it through our use of pharmaceuticals, most of which pass through the body unchanged into the environment.

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Buhner advocates knowing things so deeply that there is a response from them. It is an active and interactive perception that does not just see, but is also aware of being seen by what, to the blind, is a lifeless object.

Thus, he advocates more than a writing style, but a deep way of being that has escaped many of the schools of psychology that purport to help us, and most of the religious movements that want to tell us how to live. He asks for nothing less than an awareness and integration of the imaginal, feeling and thinking realms – not just having emotions and thoughts, but developing the capacity to feel into a subject, to be able to touch something from a distance – a form on non-physical touch. He calls for integrity and being aware where one’s baggage interferes with one’s intent, and the kind of choice one has to make about reality.

Writers in our time are caught up in a great conflict between two competing worldviews. It is in many ways the great problem our species now faces: whether the world is alive, filled with intelligence and soul, or whether it is just a ball of resources hurtling around the sun, there for our use in any way we see fit. (p. 370)

This, of course, has implications regarding what rights and responsibilities we grant corporations, social movements, governments, trees, stones and soil. Our treatment of the vulnerable will reveal who we are; and we begin to see a link among women, children, the elderly, ill, homeless, poor, mentally ill – and the environment. Do we recognize value and worth only when something (or someone) is of use to us? Only for what can be mined from it? Or do we walk through the world with respect and honor, recognizing that we are part of a community – not only of people, but of spirits, creatures, stars and the earth itself? Thus, the act of writing, when done well, reflects a deep awareness (both objective and subjective), and deals honestly with suppositions about the nature of life that must be examined, decisions about the distribution of power (in all its forms) that will be healthy for a community, and how we place value on people and things, and whether one can actually tolerate truth.

In America there is debate about whether corporations have the same privacy rights as actual human beings, or whether real people have a right to know the truth about how the power of wealth is used to influence their lives; there is debate about the role of government in business, economic and sexual worlds, and about who has what responsibility for the vulnerable, and whether we as a community care at all about who owns our natural resources and who can profit from them.

Unfortunately much of the debate is framed in sound-bite-sized thoughts passed around with shrill commentaries, avoiding any deep thinking or examination of principles beyond surface allegiances. Instead, we have packaged opinions manufactured by both sides of the debate, poured into our media outlets with a force dependent not on their truth but on the wealth of their backers – as if the more times it is said the more true it must be.

This debate is healthy and necessary; its execution, however, has been dishonest. The Cup of Truth will have been shattered many times over; the Goddess of the Land will have withdrawn her favor at the lack of honor in too many leaders; tribal lords in the form of corporate bosses and religious tyrants run amuck like warlords who justify their predatory nature with religious, political or anarchic clichés under cover of some self-appointed “divine” mandate. This is not so different from Middle Eastern countries with their hunger to free control from an autocratic power only to be faced with tribal warlords who will fill the vacuum. The ordinary people who want to live, want to raise their families and protect their children, to do some honest work and to enjoy what this world’s beauty has to offer are used for fodder in military, political and economic warfare. It seems little different from what is happening here in America: we can see the dissatisfaction in things as they’ve been here.

In Western culture, it may well be the poets, writers and other artists who have been carrying the mantle of Druidry, seeking obedience to their gods, celebrating the life found in all of nature, and reminding us of the truths lost in media onslaught, the race for the next dollar and the manufactured propaganda of our politicians, corporate behemoths, separatist militias and religious movements.

Any piece of Nature, broken off, immediately begins to degrade. Everything here in this place is meant to be biodegradable (including ourselves). (p. 368)

What might all this mean for Druids? I propose that we should expect honest, evidence-based and respectful debate. There’s hardly one answer here, but some application of the principles of Truth, of Honor, and of Courage should carry some weight – perhaps to inspire us to hold our leaders (both governmental and business) accountable to community values, to the ancestors, and to the Natural world that we share and hope to pass down to our children. This is not an easy road. If we honor truth, we must honor it not only in our own positions, but also where it might be found in the position of our “enemies.” In America, it seems we have two great forces: one shaped by its fear, hatred and drive for conformity; and one by its guilt, lack of commitment and spinelessness.

It’s not the assertions of the right or the left that is my first allegiance, but what keeps us in healthy relationship with Nature, what honors our ancestors and what brings me alive. Is what I profess consistent with reverence for the Nature Spirits that, from the beginning of time, have given us the means to live? Does it honor our ancestors, which includes our elders who are soon to become ancestors, and the children for whom we will one day be an ancestor? Are my philosophies worthy of the gods I say I worship? If we approach this with honor, with truth, with awareness and integrity, it would be of great service to ourselves, our families, our communities, our world, our relationship with the Otherworld, and our Druidism.

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Review: Forbidden Science

Edited by J. Douglas Kenyon

Reviewed by C. Leigh McGinley

This book is a collection of articles from “Atlantis Rising,” a bi-monthly journal by the editor. The articles cover everything from aliens to ESP to physics to paranormal phenomena. Alternative medicine and astronomy are also included. These are theories and postulations that are not accepted by mainstream science, and in some instances even challenge the status quo.

For instance, in the article entitled, “Is the Big Bang Dead? A Maverick Astronomer Challenges Reigning Theory on the Origins of the Universe,” the author, Amy Acheson, asserts that an astronomer in the 1960s, Halton Arp, made a discovery about galaxies concerning how they are born and how they progress. Instead of being celebrated because of his discoveries, he was systematically drummed out of astronomy. They denied him telescope time and they censured him until he finally gave up and retired. The problem was that the direction of Halton Arp’s discoveries revealed a major flaw in the currently accepted theories of the origins of the universe.

In the section entitled “The ET Factor,” there are two articles that discuss alien technology making its way into our lives. The first article proclaims that the government participated in a cover-up and gave alien technology to certain companies to figure out how it worked -- companies that consequently sold the technology as their own inventions, thus making billions of dollars. For instance, the author alleges that Bell Laboratories did not invent the transistor, as it has been portrayed in history, but that Bell was actually given part of the downed alien spacecraft from the Roswell, NM site. It is assumed that all the technology discovered at Roswell has not been released yet, and the second article explores a small computer company’s claim that the government is blocking them from exploiting the technology from Roswell.

There is an interesting section called “Medicine of Another Kind,” wherein the article “The Malady in Heart Medicine: a Doctor Shatters the Myths Behind Popular Treatments for Heart Disease” by Cynthia Logan discusses Dr. Charles McGee, who wrote a book called Heart Frauds: Uncovering the Biggest Health Scams in History. Dr. McGee alleges that many Americans undergo unwarranted heart procedures under pressure that amounts to scare tactics from their attending physicians -- in other words, “Have this procedure or you will die.”  He asserts that the tests we use for detecting heart disease are highly inaccurate and the interpretation of the results varies radically, depending on the doctor. For instance, he claims that cholesterol isn’t the number one factor causing heart disease, nor is it an indicator of subsequent heart disease.

There is also an article about one of my favorite people, Dr. Masaru Emoto, and his pioneering work with water crystals. Dr. Emoto has done extensive testing of the emotional reaction of water crystals to words, music, phrases, and concentrated energy such as prayer from humans.

Overall, I found the book to be an interesting read. They broke the biggest technical aspects down into layperson's terms rather well and made it fairly understandable for those of us who aren’t scientists. Many of the theories presented are very plausible and the articles seem very well-researched. There are even websites given for further research. This book has something for everyone, including conspiracy theorists! Recommended for those with an inquisitive nature.

    • [amazon_link id="1591430828" target="_blank" ]Forbidden Science: From Ancient Technologies to Free Energy[/amazon_link]
    • Paperback: 336 pages
    • Publisher: Bear & Company (February 22, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 1591430828
    • ISBN-13: 978-1591430827

Review: Deep Ancestors

Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans

By Ceisiwr Serith

Review by Searles O'Dubhain

I recently read a book by Ceisiwr Serith, a member of ADF, that is a treasure of information concerning ancient Pagan and Indo-European practices. It is titled Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. Serith shows us a way to discover, derive and learn about the practices of this very ancient Pagan culture in ways that allow us to bring those practices forward into our modern lives. Since it is about Indo-Europeans, it contains references to ancient Celtic, Irish and Welsh practices as well.

Deep Ancestors is a great read about our Proto-Indo-European ancestors. It uses the best available information from linguistics, archaeology and cultural cross comparisons to determine not only the “what”, the possible and the known about these people, it also gives one example of how they probably conducted rituals as well as the why. One would expect such a fact filled book to be a difficult read since it is based on current scholarly works and references, but this is not the case at all. Ceisiwr Serith has expressed the concepts and details about these cultures in a very readable and easily understood manner. Many useful and ready to use illustrations and examples are provided. The book is a treasure of knowledge about the foundations of modern day practices in the Pagan world that come to us from the past. It explains the roles of the deities as well as the cosmogony and cosmologies of the universe. For those whose religions and practices are rooted in the original tree of the Common (or Proto) Indo-Europeans, it is almost a Rosetta Stone of cultural awareness. It covers the structures and values of our deepest, ancient Pagan philosophies. Using this book one can easily construct personal, family or group rituals that have meaning from the past through the present.

I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand and flesh out their current Pagan practices with the traditions and outlooks of our far ancestors. They are the beginnings of our religion and we have the responsibility to honor them by carrying forward their knowledge. Here we can learn the ways to get into touch with their spiritual awareness as well as the structure of being itself. Deep Ancestors explains to a great extent why and how the Celtic branch of the Great Tree is like it is. It also gives us an opportunity to form our own branches and families of that tree. It also branches across the board into comparative analysis of all the major, known Indo-European cultures and their philosophies. For those who follow Continental Pagan practices, it is a key to understanding their roots and branches as well.

[amazon_link id="0976568136" target="_blank" ]Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans [/amazon_link]
Author: Ceisiwr Serith
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: ADF Publishing (October 19, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0976568136
ISBN-13: 978-0976568131
Price: $24.95.

Review: Reiki for the Heart and Soul

Reiki for the Heart and Soul: The Reiki Principles as Spiritual Pathwork by Amy Rowland.

Review by Rovena Windsor

I approached this book with no prior knowledge of the subject but with a curiosity about the topic.

One of the first things I do when I get a new book is check out the footnotes or

Reiki for the Heart and Soul

bibliography and the suggested reading list.  This tells me quite a bit about the scholarship.  I prefer books that act as a guidepost pointing me in the direction of further study and Ms. Rowland does this.

What is her goal for this book?  The title says it all:  Reiki principles as a spiritual pathwork or, in other words, to show the reader how to use the Reiki principles for personal development and spiritual growth - - not a bad goal.  She makes her case that this aspect of the training is not being adequately addressed in most Western Reiki training.

What are the Ms. Rowland’s qualifications to write such a book?  She is a certified Usui Reiki Master for over 20 years and a Reiki teacher since 1994.  She is also a certified hypnotherapist as well as a clinical therapist.

I am first struck by the description of the first Reiki technique and how similar it sounds to grounding techniques that we have all be taught.  This similarity between the things I have been taught and what she is advocating runs throughout the book.

She presents the goals of Reiki as a spiritual path, an expansion of our awareness of our personal potential and healing of the mind, body, and spiritual both of the client and the practitioner.  Ms. Rowland says to start where you are -- very practical advice for anything.  She does not show any physical representation of the three Reiki symbols so as not to violate her oaths.  The purpose of the first symbol is power and protection; the second is mental-emotion healing and intuitive insight; and the third is distant healing and connection to spirit.

The Reiki principles are more of a creed that has many similar versions of it as with anything that was originally an oral tradition:  Don’t be angry today.  Don’t worry today.  Be grateful today.  Work hard today.  Be kind to others today.  The five principles are universal principles.  The majority of the book is spent discussing how to develop a working relationship with each of the five principles.  There is a chapter on each principle.  There are exercises at the end of each chapter.

I would recommend this book for a variety of reasons.  It is written in a clear, easy to understand style.  Anyone with a curiosity regarding Reiki should come away from this book with a basic understanding and should know if Reiki is something they wish to pursue further or not.  The suggested reading list is divided up according to the chapters in the book.  This should help the reader target the books they need more easily.  Even a reader that is not interested in learning Reiki could learn a great deal about how to incorporate these principles into his own spiritual practice.

Reiki for the Heart and Soul: The Reiki Principles as Spiritual Pathwork (Paperback); 256 pages; Healing Arts Press; ISBN: 1594772525; ISBN-13: 978-1594772528 - Recommended.

Review: Weather Samanism

REVIEW: Weather Shamanism:

Harmonizing Our Connection with the Elements

By Nan Moss, with David Corbin

Review by Karl Schlotterbeck

Book Cover Weather Shamanism

In our Celtic mythology, weather working was one of the “magical” activities of the Druids. As Moss and Corbin note, humankind has had an interest in influencing weather well into history and they give many examples of weather workers into modern times. The format of their book is a description of their discovery through their shamanic work of what the spirits expect of us. “Weather dancing” is how they describe their method and, for them, “the path of weather dancing is necessarily about your unfolding relationship with yourself and your soul, in partnership with compassionate helping spirits.” Thus, weather shamanism is not about the wish to command or dominate nature but, rather, about the development of relationship with the spirits behind the forces of nature. They note the cross-cultural recognition that “the forces of weather are spiritually alive and sentient,” and have their own lives, personalities and purposes in the world.

They build upon the idea of interaction between our psyches and emotions, and the natural world. Moss and Corbin give considerable time to addressing the issue of our conditioned view of the world and how that view shapes the way we perceive, what we think of the world, and what we believe we might do. They present messages of their own spirit teachers as well as many participants in their workshops over the years.

Weather Shamanism is much less about formulaic technique than about the quality of our relationships with the natural world. Ritual is a support to this relationship, but it is not a defining element. Rather, ritual is a means of reciprocity and honoring those who work with us. Those looking for quick pointers of ritual magic will be disappointed at the call for the development of one’s perceptual habits, preconceptions, and capacity for relationship with the spirits of the natural world.

I found this a mature, valuable, and enjoyable rendition of what it means to be in relationship with the spirits of nature – and how we’re all in this together.

Highly recommended.

Weather Shamanism: Harmonizing Our Connection with the Elements, Published by Bear & Company, 2008, ISBN 978-159143074-2, $16.00

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