Book: The Earth Path Grounding Your Spirit In The Rhythms Of Nature by StarhawkFans and followers of Starhawk (The Spiral Dance; etc.), a founding member of the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft, will welcome her latest offering. Well organized, each chapter contains reminiscences of personal and group experiences, exercises and suggestions for prayer and ritual. Many of her tenets apply not only to those interested in the practice of Wicca but to readers seeking a better understanding of the world around them: "Once we have learned to hear, then we can begin to understand. And only after we understand do we begin to speak, to intervene." Yet she astutely cautions: "To change a drum rhythm in a group of drummers, you first have to match it and join with it. But when you are within a system, part of the whole, that system is also changing you. It is difficult to maintain your own rhythm and not simply become part of what you are trying to change." Starhawk presents an array of exercises and practices for sharpening observation and listening skills. She engages readers' spirits and minds through her illustrative storytelling, offering ways to communicate more fully with the world and suggesting ways to act. While those unfamiliar with her passion for protest may find themselves distracted by the all-too-frequent appearance of her political soapbox, they will appreciate her tools for connecting with nature.
This book represents Starhawk's return to that idea, resurrecting the feeling of living in harmony with the Earth and respecting Our Mother as we should. With this book, Starhawk wants to show us that we need to be more than just "aware".
The book looks at our connection with magic, the four elements we work with and how it relates to our beliefs and to the earth and its ecology. The book is filled with stories of her recent workings. It discusses how we connect with each of the elements in nature and provides meditations on the earth, the elements and finding our own place of balance in this world. And all of this is deeply rooted in Goddess Spirituality.
This is a book on personal responsibility to protecting the earth's delicate ecology. This is a book on earth based spirituality. This book is about magic. This is a book about Starhawk and how she has been dealing with all these issues. This is a book about finding where you fit into this whole equation.
As I read through this book, I found myself agreeing with some of the material that Starhawk was discussing. I also found myself disagreeing on some points. This books intention is to raise personal response. As you read the material that Starhawk provides for the mediations and then work through the meditations, the idea is to reflect on your own connections to these ideas, and the workings are meant to provoke personal response. Each person's response will be different, though the material provided for meditation is meant to focus you on specific ideas.
There are many personal stories told by Starhawk about her recent involvement in political actions. Each of these stories, be it the fire protection ritual she is involved with in the opening of the book, or her research about genetically engineered seeds and the World Trade Organization, we see Starhawk's view on personal responsibility carried to many different levels. While there is much here that should be reviewed and her resources for the information provided is extensive (her Select Bibliography is impressive as well) it is up to the individual as to how this affects each of us and how involved we want to be with the processes that Starhawk discusses.
This is a book that combines Starhawk's personal path of spirituality with her own personal path of ecological responsibility. Those who are not familiar with these issues will find that this book can be used as a handbook for personal exploration. It is a book of awareness of the kinds of issues that many of us should at least be familiar. There are many issues addressed here that makes this a good book of information, even though it may seem a bit extreme at times. If you remember how passionate Starhawk is about her chosen path, you can then understand the extremities. This book does allow for you to find your own small part in how all this plays out; you need not be as involved as Starhawk, but you may also find yourself provoked to action by the information provided.
This book is one that should be carefully read, openly discussed, and as you meditate upon the information provided, you will need to know the scope of your own abilities and how deeply your personal responsibility for the issues flows. This book may help you find this.
This is a very good look at Starhawk's recent path of earth based spirituality and responsibility for the earth, and one that every follower of Starhawk's path will want to read.
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