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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Book Review
Chasing the Minoan Sun Goddess: two book reviews

Modern Pagans are used to pantheons that have a Sun god and a Moon goddess. But it hasn't always been that way. Some of the oldest and earliest religions in the world have a Sun goddess. When we went looking for the Minoan deity who was associated with the Sun, we found not a god but a goddess. We call her Therasia.

How did we find her? Two books were very helpful, as was the author of one of them. Until I read The Ancient and Martial Dances by Arlechina Verdigris, I had no idea that dance ethnography could be such a powerful tool for teasing out bits of mythos. Ms. Verdigris's study of Mediterranean folk dance shows clearly that it still holds layers that go back at least to late Minoan times, and probably much earlier, giving glimpses of not only a Sun goddess but also a grain goddess and the Mountain Mother who rules over the crafts that use her substance to create beautiful objects: pottery and metal-smithing.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Avi—Dude—You're Gay; Figure It Out

 Reading Avi Steinberg's The Lost Book of Mormon: A Journey Through the Mythic Lands of Nephi, Zarahemla, and Kansas City, Missouri

(In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Proposes Marriage—Well, Kind Of—to a Man He's Never Met)

 

Avi Steinberg is on a quest. He's in search of his identity.

Well, there's nothing more American than that. Jewish, born in Israel, grew up in Cleveland...oh, an intellectual, and a writer. Of course he's in search of an identity.

Where better than to look than among the Mormons, right?

Avi's marriage (to a woman) isn't working, and he's running away from it by going on his quest. The good news: in the end Avi actually does manage to find his identity. The bad: I'm not quite sure that he realizes that he's found it.

I love Avi (me, I'd marry him any day), I love his writing, and I love his book. The book's central (really rather belabored) metaphor: writer as prophet, book as scripture. Who better to act as Dantean guide than that all-American prophet/shyster-cum-novelist Joseph Smith himself, with his fake Bible of gold plates, the Book of Mormon?

It's a quest, it's a romp, it's a meditation on the re-enchantment of landscape. Avi signs up with a Mormon tour group to see the “original” locations of the Book of Mormon events in Central America and Mexico. Then he travels to Palmyra, New York for an abortive appearance in the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant. Last of all he ends up in the Mormon Eden of Kansas City, Missouri.

I started to wonder during his account of the casting of the pageant, with its breathless descriptions of beefcake.

I kept wondering through his description about stripping down to his briefs along with his fellow actors.

But I was sure when I got to the epilogue.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Book Review: Aspecting the Goddess

I hadn't intended to review Jane Meredith's book Aspecting the Goddess on this blog. But then I read her tale of Ariadne, and I just had to.

The book is both a how-to manual of methods for connecting with the divine and a recounting of her own experiences using those methods. Her writing is poetic, touching, and inspiring - and just to be clear, the methods can be used to develop relationships with gods, goddesses, land spirits, and other non-human beings.

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Book Review:  The Akashic Records by Ernesto Ortiz

Published by New Page Books, 2015

The Akashic Records: Sacred Exploration of Your Soul's Journey Within the Wisdom of the Collective Consciousness, by Ernesto Ortiz

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Book Review: Crystal Healing for the Heart: Gemstone Therapy for Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being by Nicholas Pearson

The subject of crystal healing is actually quite simple in practice but has a tendency to get complex in theory. Through his book Crystal Healing for the Heart, Nicholas Pearson makes this subject approachable and easily accessible, keeping it simple in theory as well as practice. The chapters are laid out as modules tailored to different aspects of healing our hearts and each chapter builds on the work done in the chapter preceding. This is a book to be worked with and through rather than one just to read.

Working from the outside in, Crystal Healing for the Heart is a colorful book with a rainbow of gemstones on the cover. It draws you in to the promise of the heart of this book (pun intended) which is about working with various gemstones for healing the heart. Visually, the layout is easy to follow, the subject is well-described, the gemstone "requirements" are fluid and interchangeable and the meditations are well laid out. A full color interior, the book has a pleasing visual layout with color-coded headings and photographs which are simple and clear. There is a photographic example of each of the suggested gemstones and a photograph of the author depicting the final step in each meditation exercise. An appendix for crystal basics makes a handy reference for novices.

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“All Hands on Pet!” By Susan Davis, PT.

From time to time, I will be doing book reviews of various books concerning animals, not just books about "finding your totem animal."

One way to foster human-animal relations is by caring for pets. As pet “owners,” people want the best for their animals. Physical Therapist Susan Davis tells people how in “All Hands on Pet!,”(a companion to her “Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Animals: A Guide for the Consumer.”) Her philosophy in writing this book is to help pets enjoy their lives as much as possible. Her aim is to offer practical insights for the pet owner on how to do that.

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I had other plans... meaning, that I had other plans for the start of this blog, or should I say, the re-start of this blog. As I'm sliding into the end of Saturn in my sun sign (gather round, fellow Sagittarians!), I've been obsessed with streamlining, simplifying, being more efficient, not wasting time (hahaha), but, here I am. In short: Broomstix is still available as an archive on Blogger.

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