by Maya del Mar I have just received three delightful books from Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari Press, York Beach, ME, all published in 2003.
The smallest one, and the humblest, is Family Blessings for Special Moments Great and Small by Gale Pryor, $12.95 paperback.
Gale is a busy mother, and she says, "What I need are prayers drawn up from the little things rather than prayers drawn down from the heavens."
The blessings in this book come from daily life, and the author hopes that they will help us all to open our eyes to the small graces in all our families, the moment-by-moment blessing. Indeed, the blessings are a path to grace. They are realistic and filled with love.
Gale divides her blessings book into chapters, each concerned with a different area of living. For instance, in the Luxury of Little Things, she says, "May every small child watch an ant, and let it live."
She has some great blessings for parents, e.g., "Bless the mother of a toddler who visits the bathroom without company," and "Bless the parent of a teenager who takes nothing personally."
Blessings for small pleasures include, "May each day grant you a still and silent moment," and "Bless the rain that falls on the day of the 8 a.m. soccer game."
Gale sometimes includes blessings from Native American and other traditions, e.g., this Inuit prayer:
I think again of my small adventures
My fears, those small ones that seemed so big,
For all the vital things
I had to get and reach.
And yet there is only one great thing,
The only thing,
To live to see the great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world.
Family Blessings will indeed add grace and pleasure to your daily life.
Goddess BlessDivine Affirmations, Prayers, and Blessings by Sirona Knight. $16.95 paperback.
Sirona Knight comes with credentials. She is a Third Degree Craftsman and High Priestess of the Celtic Gwyddonic Druid Tradition. She has written over 20 books, and Laurie Cabot calls her the Goddess of Words.
But is this a good and useful book? Indeed it is, and powerful and sacred as well. Laurie Cabot is right.
There is much in this book besides beautiful blessings for any occasion. For instance, Sirona tells us how to make our own blessings, prayers, and affirmations. She tells us of the origin of the word "bless." It comes from the old English words "bletsian" and "blod," meaning blood, which derives from the blood kinship humans hold with the Earththe Earth being the physical manifestation of the Goddess.
Sirona divides her book into nine chapters of affirmations, prayers, and blessings for different purposes. Each blessing is lovely, poetic, and truly invoking of the Goddess. At the end of the book Sirona lists many goddesses from a variety of traditions, along with their major functions.
Here is an example of a prayer for daily living. This prayer is to Voluspa, the most famous seer in Norse mythology:
Voluspa, Goddess of sight and wisdom,
Please let your powers flow through me
Grant me the knowledge to know what I need
Grant me the insight to know what I want
Grant me the wisdom and strength to make it happen.
Great Goddess, I pray you, make it so! Blessed be!
Affirmations, prayers, and blessings cover every aspect of daily life, which is the major concern of the Goddess. Some are short, some are long, some simple, others complex, all are in a poetic and invocatory tone, and inspiring to read. Indeed, Sirona has a magical way with words!
Here is a simple blessing for peace and harmony,
Last night, I sang a song of peace
So that the whole world might hear
Time to put away the guns
Time to learn to live as One.
Open this book anywhere, and love and goddess inspiration leaps out at the reader.
Sirenas book is for all who appreciate daily life, the Goddess, and words that make the soul sing.
A Witchs Guide to Psychic Healing by Gavin and Yvonne Frost. Paperback $18.95.
This is an absolutely delicious, meaty book for anyone interested in healing. Again, the authors have years of experience in the Wiccan world, have written many books, and know how to use words. They have lived an alternative, land-based lifestyle for many years, and are convinced that natural ways are best and that interference with natures way can only lead to disaster. In this book, they make a convincing case for these beliefs, and show us how we can heal through working with nature.
Gavin and Yvonne Frost are practical and eclectic. They connect their work to the real world, showing how to develop and use various techniques, and presenting experimental correlates. Their subtitle for this book is "Applying Traditional Therapies, Rituals, and Systems."
Essentially, this is a book of alternative healing methods, based on the ideas that we are holistic beings, and that we have a drive to self-heal (which sometimes needs help). The Frosts pay attention to traditional medical science as well, and often include informative work from that field. They do use modern pharmaceuticals and medical techniques as adjuncts to their healing, but only when they are
2) free of disastrous side effects, and
2) when they have identified the total problem, not just the surface symptoms.
However, this book differs in many ways from the usual healing books. Its not simply a listing and description of techniques and symptoms. The Frosts have a special way of encompassing the whole person, and the whole healing process, which may include a number of therapies. Also, in most instances they use case histories as their basis for teaching, so that treatment is instantly made alive. The reader responds with, "Oh I could do that!"
The Frosts normally start a healing session with an astrological layout of Tarot, which they demonstrate. They also use other methods of divination to get a fix on a diagnosis, and in all of them they work with the 12 astrological houses.
Therapies vary enormously. The Frosts try whatever works, and have much successful experience in combining therapiesfrom herbs to movement to sound, scent, color and touch, and a myriad of others. Most importantly, they have a rare UNDERSTANDING of the healing process. I have been interested in healing for years, and I am amazed at the insight which this couple shows.
The Frosts cover just about any therapeutic modality, from nutrition and exercise to mantras and meditation. Everything is connected to the flow of energy, and they make this connection naturally, while at the same time penetrating to the core principles and techniques of their subject. They also include drawings and tables to clarify understanding. They have the art of conveying the essence of something in a few simple words. Its wondrous to me how comprehensive this book is, and at the same time its fascinating reading. All of this comes in an economical 200 pages.
All healers, would-be healers, and those interested in the healing process should have A Witchs Guide to Psychic Healing on their shelf for ready reference, as well as for general illumination and inspiration.