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Book Review – Primal Awareness: Reconnecting with the Spirits of Nature By Rob Wildwood

June 1st, 2019

Book Review
Primal Awareness
Reconnecting with the Spirits of Nature
By Rob Wildwood

Rob
Wildwood gives us a perspective on the evolution of First World
cultures in this thought-provoking book. The “primal awareness”
of the title is humankind’s awareness of the immanence of spirit,
consciousness and generative life force alive in every aspect of
creation on Earth. Wildwood gives us an overview of how humanity in
First World cultures has lost its sense of connection to the natural
world and as a result, is now destroying it. The book takes us
through the impact of cultural development from the evolution of
language into cultural belief and identity, then maturation of
religious structures which separate individuals from their own
connection to divinity. Wildwood delineates shifts in civilizations
as people moved into permanent settlements and homes, began to value
possessions over social connection and started wars over territories
and resources with colonization of all that was “primitive” as
the end result. He describes the effects of mechanistic thinking –
only humans have souls – with the rest of the universe broken into
component parts for analysis, categorization and ultimately,
domination for economic profit. Each incremental step took humans
farther away from an understanding that they are part of the natural
world. Now we think of “Nature” as something we go somewhere to
“be in;” it is something separate from who we are. Wildwood
would like us to understand how this happened and help us find our
way to a different perception of humanity’s role on Earth.

I
found the Wildwood’s selection of the milestones of cultural
evolution interesting and thoughtful. Each milestone is a chapter
heading; the ensuing discussions are brief but enlightening and
certainly timely. The very recent Global Assessment from The
Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,
prepared by scientists from 130 countries, confirmed Wildwood’s
assertions that humankind’s activities, especially large scale
“industrial” farming and fishing will result in the extinction of
over one million plant and animal species unless radical changes in
humanity’s approach to use of natural resources are made now.

The
thread of redemption that runs through the book is the narrative
voice of the “shaman.” Wildwood asks the shaman to provide a
remedy to help reverse the loss of connection to the natural world
that individuals experience as a result of each of the culture
changes described. The practices provided are simple and effective;
they can be used anywhere to return us to mindful awareness that we
are a part of the web of life.

I
agree with Wildwood that we humans have to find a post-growth
economics that is loyal to life instead of to profits. However, I
take issue with his premise that all cultural development is
necessarily problematic. Primal Awareness idealizes humanity
in its “natural” state, and tends to demonize all social
institutions and development. Certainly, we must find a way to stop
being the human “cancer” on the natural world that Wildwood
describes, and we must do it by finding our place in the order of the
cosmos, rather than dominating it at the expense of all other life
forms. But humanity has a genius and beauty of its own and a part in
that cosmic order that Wildwood does not acknowledge.

I
recommended Primal Awareness: Reconnecting with the Spirits of
Nature for the overview of the steps of First World cultural
evolution; although quite general, it is, again, a thought-provoking
analysis. And the shaman’s remedies are excellent prescriptions
for returning us to awareness and appreciation of the beauty and life
force in all of the beings with whom we share Earth.

Primal Awareness: Reconnecting With The Spirits Of Nature on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Susan
Rossi

is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time
explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body,
spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies
streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an
astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of
us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients
to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration of the
birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic
healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of
her practice.

Susan
trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax.
She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern
under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying
to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

Open
Channel Astrology: openchannelastrology.com

Book Review:

The Book of Ceremony

Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life

by Sandra Ingerman

Although I do not follow a Shamanic path, I have long been a fan of Sandra Ingerman’s work and fold much of her teachings into the practice and teachings I offer to my coven mates and students. I particularly enjoyed this book as a reader friendly and generic template for incorporating ceremony into any practice.

The Book of Ceremony by Sandra Ingerman reminds us that our focus is often distracted as we attempt to recreate or analyze ancient teachings and wisdom and that the most important piece in ceremony is our intention and desire to affect change. The approach to ceremony that Sandra uses guides the reader towards healthy expressions of emotions that could otherwise become more negative energy feeding situations in which we feel helpless.

The book is divided into four parts beginning with the basics of what is considered a “ceremony”; moving to specific types of ceremony; work to create balance within ourselves and the energy that moves through us and concluding with practical application of ceremony and creating your own definition of what these actions enable within your practice.

One of the key points brought to light early in the book is the difference between the terms of “Ritual” and “Ceremony”. The author uses her perspective of ritual being more repetitive in nature, whereas a ceremony is designed for specific outcome and at a specific time. I don’t fully agree with this definition as I believe that the two overlap in a myriad of ways, however, I believe this to be a good starting point for those exploring the use of “sacred action” filled with intention and hoping to create something new from what is acted upon.

The sections throughout the book, cover all of the information anyone would need to begin crafting ceremony and weaving it into their specific practice. Altars, tools, music, preparation of yourself, seeking Spirit guides, ancestors and more are presented in a useable way and offer both background and reasoning behind the selection offered.

I especially liked reading the section, “Turning Points and Rites of Passage”. It is richly illustrated with actual ceremonies that have been created and executed that were powerful examples of what can be accomplished in sharing the gifts of ceremony as a working tool.

All in all, this is an excellent book to begin the process of aligning yourself more deeply with your inner wisdom and intention-filled practice in honoring the sacred in the work you undertake. To quote Sandra…

In shamanic teachings, every spiritual and sacred act we perform is a ceremony. When we recognize the sacredness of each moment, miracles happen.”

The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Book Review

The Giggles and Joy Children’s Series

 

The Giggles and Joy Children’s books are a series of three books that focus on spiritual life lessons for kids. Each book consists of 8 poems that cover a variety of different topics. The books are written by Ariane de Bonvoisin with Carlie Sutcliffe. They are beautifully and creatively illustrated by Ellie Cross.

These books are amazing and now a personal favorite in my home. They teach kids that positivity, joy and happiness are something to experience every day.

 

 

Giggles and Joy

Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the first book in the Giggles and Joy series. It features 8 poems on topics of “kindness, gratitude, having a bad day, home, prayer, planet Earth, self-belief and the physical body”.

One of my favorite features is that even though Giggles and Joy talks about prayer, it is in a universal way, that does not align prayer with a certain religion. For a home like mine, where I’m Pagan, my mother is Christian, and my son is undecided, this is a perfect fit.

Planet Earth is one of my son’s favorites. He loves saying “thank you” to our planet Earth. He also enjoys the illustrations that accompany not only planet Earth but all of the poems in Giggles and Joy.

 

You Are Loved

You are Loved: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the second book in the Giggles and Joy series. It also features 8 poems. These poems cover “love, navigating change, this beautiful life, courage, grown-ups, self-confidence, and adventure”.

Picking a favorite from this series is difficult. The poems are beautifully written in terms that are easy for children of all ages to understand. I will say that “The Moon Loves You” and “Change” are two of our most read poems. My son has always had a special attachment to the moon so this one gets read almost nightly.

Change quickly became one of our other most read poems when we had a situation shake up the home. It was nice to have a poem that could be read to my son to help him. It taught him that change can be scary, but change can also be fun and exciting.

 

Being You

Being You: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the final book in the Giggles and Joy series. The topics for these last 8 poems are “what many kids are facing in the world today, what is true self-worth and how to nurture it, the importance of telling the truth, how to feel safe inside oneself, the magical effect of deep breathing and the adventure of being free to really be yourself”.

Take a Deep Breath” is one of my son’s favorite poems from Being You. It incorporated the deep breathing technique that he learned in school. It also has illustrations of dragons, which is his favorite beast.

 

All in all, I give the Giggles and Joy series a double thumbs up. By far, one of my favorite poem series for children. If you are looking for a positive series full of lessons, look no further. These poems are fun to read and listen to no matter the age.

 

Amazon Links to Books:

The Giggles and Joy Gift Set on Amazon

Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

You are Loved: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

Being You: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

 

 

 

Musings on Ordinary Magic and Daily Conjurings

 

 

Maria’s book is described as a collection of ‘micro-meditations and celebratory reflections on living life as a wild woman’. How could I not be intrigued? Though far from a true wild woman myself thanks to my urban-slash-suburban setting, I’m always drawn to the idea of being freer, away from the hubbub and city grind. This book holds chapter after chapter of golden, glowing moments from just such a life, and is as compelling as it is calming.

Each chapter is short and sweet in the best possible meaning of that phrase. One chapter focuses on the magic of chamomile, from the point of view of taking the tiny, dried buds and bringing them to life in a soothing cup of tea. Another reflects on the divine powers of the onion. This is true ‘everyday’ magic. Rituals we may go through every day without perhaps realising the power inherent within our actions. Maria encourages us to pause, drink in what we are doing and absorb every moment’s magical potential.

I love the meditative nature of the chapters. Most are written in the second person, a style I normally find a bit jarring. In this book it works really well. This is because it is written in the same way a guided meditation is spoken to you. As you read you can almost hear a gentle voice whispering the words directly into your brain and allowing you to completely visualise and lose yourself in each moment.

I have found this book immensely useful for reminding me to stop and take stock. It helps me enjoy each moment more fully, not by trying to recapture the moments in the book but by following the example of living fully in each minute and being grateful for the enchantment that flows through every second. A thoroughly wonderful book. Recommended for all.

Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic & Daily Conjurings on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

 

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

 

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Book
Review

The
Witchcraft Handbook:

Unleash
Your Magical Powers to Create the Life You Want

By
Midia Star

This
is a beginner’s book, someone who has some experience may use the
spells in this book just as a jumping off point to create some new
spells. At the very beginning of the book, the first thing the
author writes is “Witchcraft is the practical side of the Wiccan
religion.” I have to say that I disagree with that statement
because not all witches are Wiccan.

I
had a hard time on telling what demographic the writer was going
after with this book. There are spells for home, sex, work, and love.
While at the back of the book there is a section on Dreamboards. In
this section, the writer states that the Dreamboard should be for
your dreams and not those of your friends or parents.

While
the author’s writing is well done, I do have to wonder about the
information this book contains. As far as information on herbs,
crystals, oils, and Moon phases the author is spot on. But there are
other little small things that I feel are misinformation.

Page
79 of the book the author writes in the Did You Know? box:
“Christians once used the pentagram as a religious symbol. Each
point represented the five wounds of Christ. To pagans and to
witches it represents Morrigan, the war goddess who fights for peace
in good fortune for others. If you see the pentagram drawn with the
top point of the star pointing to the bottom of the circle, this
represents dark and sinister magic, so always draw your pentagram
with the top point of the star pointing upwards.” The part about
the Christian’s is correct. I honestly don’t know about the
Morrigan part. But the inverted Pentacle I do know something about.
This is misinformation because on specific paths the pentacle with
the star pointing down is a sign of protection or even a sign of
attaining another degree within that path.

On
page 97 the author writes when talking about A Garden Space: that in
the William Shakespeare’s witches’ famous incantation’ eye of
newt and toe of frog’ actually refers to mustard seeds and a type
of buttercup plant. I had never heard that myself, I would like to
know what research the author used to arrive at that conclusion.

On
page 123 Midia Star writes in the Did You Know? box: “The Druids
where the first to believe and the power of the four-leaf clover.”
Now whether this is true or not I don’t know, again I would like to
know other resources the author used to arrive at that conclusion.

The
book contains no bibliography, or other sources were the author may
have gotten their information. The author does state that they have
tried the spells and they have worked for them. Again, as I said at
the beginning, the information on herbs, oils, candles, and the Moon
phase are all spot on. But, I do take exception to the things I have
listed, due to the lack of the bibliography.

The Witchcraft Handbook: Unleash Your Magical Powers to Create the Life You Want on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Dawn
Borries
 loves
reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org.
Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past
25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are
interested in a reading you can reach her at: Readings
by Dawn
on Facebook at

Jennifer Noel Taylor: Spiritual and Broke – How to Stop Struggling with Money and Live Your Purpose

I was really intrigued by the title of Jennifer’s latest book. I generally consider myself to be a spiritual person, and I’ve definitely been broke from time to time! Sometimes it certainly seems like a spiritual life is not one that lends itself towards wealth or riches, but maybe it can be? Is there a way to keep on the path that enriches your soul, without neglecting your bank balance? I was lucky enough to be granted a sneak peek at Jennifer’s upcoming book and discovered that she has a real insight into how to balance money, spirituality and living for your passion, not just your pocketbook. Jennifer was kind enough to answer a few questions for Pagan Pages about the book and her inspiration.

Mabh Savage: What inspired you to write about money and the connection to spirituality?

Jennifer Noel Taylor: During my 16 years of running a business in the field of energy medicine, I noticed that a lot of people in the healing arts as well other people with a genuine desire to help others, seem to be struggling with money. In my case, I was also struggling with money and had $135,000 of business and personal debt and no savings. As you can see, I was in financial trouble! Furthermore, I tried everything to get myself out of debt and nothing seemed to work. For example, when I forced myself to stick to a budget, I felt like I was on a starvation diet and hence my budget didn’t last very long! If I managed to increase my income, I would then have some unexpected expense that would match my new level of income. It seemed like no matter what I did, I couldn’t get ahead! I finally realized that I needed to shift my relationship with money –my thoughts, my emotions, the energy I was putting out into the world, and the stories I was telling myself. Once I made this deeper shift, then things started to turn around. I got out of debt, saved money and started investing in the stock market! I hope to help others do the same.

MS: Who would you say your book is primarily aimed at?

JNT: Spiritual and Broke is primarily aimed at people who are living their purpose and have a heartfelt desire to serve the world yet are having a hard time with money! Although I also feel like the issues I address in the book can be used by anyone who has an open mind and wants to turn their finances around.

MS: Do you think that generally, people are living outside their means more these days?

JNT: Yes, I read a statistic that over 75% of Americans are living pay check to pay check.

MS: Do you think it’s possible to become addicted to spending, just like a drug?

JNT: Absolutely! In my personal journey, I realized that I was doing a lot of “retail therapy.” As the old song goes, I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I was trying to buy love rather that buying things that I love.

MS: Was it difficult to open up about your own financial and spiritual difficulties before your epiphany?

JNT: Yes, I felt like a hypocrite. In Quantum-Touch, our work is based on the Law of Attraction – that we create our reality. In other worlds, our external world is a reflection of the world within. Yet I couldn’t use this same philosophy to attract money or balance my finances! I berated myself my predicament and I refer to this in my book as my “secret shame.”

MS: What was the most challenging thing about writing this book?

JNT: I share a very personal story about an Aha! moment that I had in a back of a police car. It was during this epiphany that I realized the fundamental mistake that I was making around money and how my fundamental approach to life wasn’t serving me. This story is near and dear to my heart, very vulnerable, and initially I found it difficult to write about.

MS: In contrast, what did you enjoy most about the creative process?

JNT: I love receiving feedback from people who have listened to my shows or read excerpts from my book – saying how it really helped them. I also love crafting the perfect paragraph or sentence, like creating a work of art with words.

MS: I love that you focus on avoiding deprivation and achieving emotional abundance. Do you think there’s a tendency for some people to believe you have to suffer for spirituality?

JNT: Yes! I believe that the martyr complex is alive and well in the spiritual communities! I think we have been taught that it’s somehow more pure or more generous when we suffer to help others. However, I have found the opposite to be true. When we have more money, more support, more means, we are in a much better position to truly enact change in the world. When we are happy, that energy is very healing!

MS: Tell us a bit about Quantum-Touch.

JNT: Quantum-Touch is a form of energy healing that uses life force energy to accelerate the healing process. We believe that the body has an amazing capacity to heal itself and Quantum-Touch is very effective at amplifying our own healing power.

MS: When did you first discover energy healing?

JNT: I discovered energy healing in massage school. One day, I was doing massage and I felt the life force energy coming from my hands and my client. It was pretty trippy as well as it made me realize that we are much more than just physical bodies. I understood at that moment that we are primarily energetic beings.

MS: What’s the most intense spiritual experience you’ve ever had (that you can share)?

JNT: I have to admit that my Aha! moment in the back of the police car was my most intense experience with life-changing implications. Although it wasn’t the most pleasant experience, it changed my perspective on what it means to be a spiritual being in a human body.

MS: When can people expect to see ‘Spiritual and Broke’ in bookstores?

JNT: I just signed a publishing contact and we should see Spiritual and Broke on Amazon early next year and in bookstores soon after that!

MS: And are you working on any new projects? Any more books on the horizon?

JNT: I’m working on a few projects – one is an online system like Doctors on Demand where you can see a Quantum-Touch practitioner 24/7. Another project we are working on is a Quantum-Touch workshop for kids. Finally, after I launch the book, I am intending to turn it into a workshop!

MS: Finally, how do you relax and unwind away from writing and healing?

JNT: My favourite way to unwind is to snuggle with my boyfriend and watch a movie or go to the gym and do some cardio. Occasionally I like to fly through the air on the flying trapeze! (Yes, I have actually performed on the flying trapeze! ?)

Find out more about Jennifer and Quantum-Touch at http://jennifernoeltaylor.com/ and look out for Spiritual and Broke in the coming months!

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors

 

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways

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