Reconnecting to the Magic and Spirit of Nature
by Jesse Wolf Hardin
New Page Books, 2004
The day I received my review copy of Gaia Eros, my husband and I went to bed and took turns reading Jesse Wolf Hardin’s luminous essays aloud long into the night. At one point the sound of wolves howling came in through our cabin’s open windows. Their voices wove in and out of my husband’s voice as he read about sacred self-indulgence and the power of longing, heightening the meaning of Hardin’s words.
How to Catch Fairies
by Gilly Sergiev
Fair Winds Press
This book induced a roiling case of indigestion.
I have studied fairy lore my entire life. Real fairy lore, mind you, not this demented claptrap. The author, who calls herself a “white witch, healer and spiritualist who has a passion for Craft lore,” did not bother to learn anything about the subject of the Good Folk, the Gentry or the Good Neighbors before she wrote this ridiculous little book.
by Rosita Arvigo and Nadine Epstein
Celestial Arts, 2003
We’ve come along way from Mr. Bubble and rubber duckies!
In Spiritual Bathing, one finds a beautiful tribute to the spiritual significance of the humble bath. Along with other “luxuries” — such as aroma-therapies, spa services, and massage — the healing properties of baths, showers, and saunas are greater than we ever believed, and these practices are now considered necessities rather than luxuries. As the stress and hectic busyness of modern life spirals out of control, there has to be a compensation, a move towards simplicity, relaxation, and nurturance that repairs the damage done to our minds and bodies.
by Victoria Hunt
Have you ever seen an animal and felt there was something more to the sighting than just a critter going about its daily (or nightly) business? Did you learn a lesson from an interaction with an animal? That’s the premise of Animal Omens. While most of our encounters are everyday occurrences, occasionally one stands out as something special. This book is a guide to interpreting these occurrences.
A Guide to Pagan Camping:
Festival Tips, Tricks and Trappings
Lori Drake, Rotco Media, 2011
When festival time rolls around, this new Guide makes a great addition to your hoard. Though rough in spots, and occasionally in need of an editor, Ms. Drake’s compendium of practical advice provides a welcome addition to your festival fun.
Longtime vets of the festival circuit, Lori and her husband manage the indie music label Rotting Corpse Records. After seven years of blogging about their experiences, she realized that it was her posts about camping and festivals that attracted the most attention. Compiling and refining her observations into book form, Drake released A Guide to Pagan Camping just in time for festival season. Her effort is our gain.
The Moral Lives of Animals
DALE PETERSON, BLOOMSBURY, 2011
Apes, Rules, and Natural Law
Presenting academic knowledge to a not-necessarily-academic audience can be difficult for even the best writers. Zoology is not as obscure as, let’s say, quantum physics, but still presents challenges. Dale Peterson is a fine writer for such a job.
He understands the science very well, partly through his own research as well as through his personal friendship with Jane Goodall. He also has a doctorate in English, which means he understands storytelling, narrative, and words. Indeed the very first chapter in the text is about words: especially words which describe moral ideas, and assign moral standing to one thing and not to another. But the same opening chapter is also about stories. He opens with a personal story about being chased by an angry elephant through a thicket in western Africa. He also explores his thesis through other, better-known stories. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, probably the finest love story about a man and a whale ever written, features prominently here. Melville’s story is about human characters with radically different attitudes about what that whale might be thinking, or even whether it is thinking at all. It’s a very good choice for a story through which to explore Peterson’s topic. So if you don’t have much of a background in biology or anthropology, have no fear.