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Walking with the Seasons, by Alice Peck

Walking with the Seasons: The Wonder of Being in Step with Nature, by Alice Peck
CICO Books, 9781800652958, 128 pages, February 2024

Now that spring is here, I was really interested in learning more about how to get in tune with the cycles of nature. In her book Walking with the Seasons, Alice Peck provides lots of activities and suggestions for getting out in nature. As I flipped through the book and saw the beautiful photographs and different practices that she shares, I was excited to learn more!

Peck is a writer and editor, having written more than six books on herbs, trees, and meditation, including Tree Wisdom.  She has also edited numerous books on various metaphysical and meditation topics. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York, and photos of New York City figure prominently in this work. You may follow her on Instagram @BeMoreTree.

What I love most about Walking with the Seasons is the structure, which makes it easy to navigate. It’s like a calendar to a year of walking. She starts the book in the Spring, which is the beginning of the astrological New Year and devotes a chapter to each season. The Table of Contents shares the nuggets in each chapter, making it easy to retrace your steps and find the practices or activities that you might want to enjoy later.

I decided to jump right into the chapter on Spring–both the verbiage and the photos had me craving more of the green in nature that is starting to bud and bloom in my area. Peck reminds us that we don’t have to find anything special in nature to benefit from a walk:

“A green space doesn’t have to be a forest or a hiking trail. Seek out the unexpected–even in cities you can find “secret” green spaces like church yards, botanic gardens, or areas near train stations.”1

Did you know that walking in nature for about an hour and a half can lessen depression, stress, and anxiety, as well as quieting negative mind chatter? She goes on to share that a research team from Stanford University confirmed this, as well as stating that spending the same amount of time in areas with concrete and traffic had no impact on depression.2

For one of the exercises in this chapter, Peck invites the reader to walk outdoors for at least 15 minutes a day “in the greenest place you have access to.”3 Do this every day for a week and monitor the changes in your mood.

She also includes what she calls a “Joyful Walking Meditation” and the value of walking with your dog. I particularly enjoyed how she shared the “5 ways of liberation” from the Buddhist path and how dogs embody these qualities: perfect faith, energy or persistence, mindfulness or memory, stillness or concentration, and wisdom. She invites us to “walk with your dog, just as you walk with the seasons.”4

Peck weaves beautiful quotes from thought leaders, athletes, and other dignitaries into the prose and photos, such as this one on trees:

“Trees are literally greater than ourselves … trees connect us directly to the life of more than human nature. -Rupert Sheldrake, Science and Spiritual Practices”5 

Eager to learn more about walking in nature, I turned to the next chapter on Summer. Here I was treated to beautiful photos of beaches, rivers, lakes and ponds, in addition to hiking trails and mountain vistas. The practice that caught my eye utilized the concept of “nowscape.”

“Everything then unfolds, unfolds now and so might be said to unfold in the nowscape. Psychologist Jon Kabat-Zinn incorporates the nowscape into a practice he teaches called choiceless awareness or the state of unpremeditated, complete presence without preference, judgment, effort, or compulsion. We can apply this understanding of the nowscape to walking with the seasons. As you wander do not just be with the place you are walking –be the walk itself…. Abide fully in the nowscape.”6

In the chapter on Autumn, I found what may be my favorite story or passage, which was one on grief.  A woman had lost her lover and best friend of 18 years. She was encouraged to go on a hike in the Catskills with a group of people and a grief doula. She shared this about her experience:

“The biggest tragedy of my life had led me to one of the most beautiful days I’d ever experienced. It felt healing, it felt like something positive. Gave me the strength to go on. The forest and the mountains welcome you; they hear you and if you let them in, they can help to heal you, too. – Danielle Davis”7

I was so encouraged by this story and the healing power of nature that I plan to add the suggestion of this practice to my grief work with clients. In fact, this book contains many helpful and healing exercises that I plan to incorporate in my coaching practice.

I love great bibliographies and Peck does not disappoint! She includes four full pages of her reference material for everything from “How much sunshine do I need for enough Vitamin D?” to “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know.”8 She follows the bibliography with a two-page index, which further helps the reader to find information, such as a passage on calorie burning, forest bathing or wishing stones.

She also includes photo credits for all of the beautiful images in the book. I love the flaps she included in this paperback version. The flaps make it easy to mark your place, as you read the prose or peruse the beautiful photos. The book is a nice size to tuck into a handbag or backpack and I can see myself keeping it in the car to re-read while waiting for my granddaughter to get out of school.  Here’s another one of my favorite passages, where she talks about the meaning of walking a labyrinth:

“The labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey of life… a path of self-discovery, a journey into the center of our own hearts. – John Mitchell, Sacred England”

Walking with the Seasons would be enjoyed by just about everyone. I can see someone who is new to meditation benefiting from the practices and tips, as well as a more seasoned meditator.  I can also envision someone who is a gardener or hiker or birdwatcher picking up this book. By utilizing the tips and practices, this person may add another layer to their enjoyment of the great outdoors.

The Five-Minute Druid, by Sarah-Beth Watkins

The Five-Minute Druid: Connection Made Easy, by Sarah-Beth Watkins
Collective Ink, 1803413808, 96 pages, February 2024

Ever since the birth of my son, it has been a struggle to revamp my magical practice. Whereas I used to have what felt like all the time in the world for spiritual pursuits, I am now lucky if I can get five minutes a day to myself in between chasing an active toddler and the never-ending list of household chores to get done. Luckily, author Sarah-Beth Watkins’s The Five-Minute Druid: Connection Made Easy is filled with ideas for those short moments I have to spare to dedicate to my craft.

The book itself isn’t too long, only 96 pages, so I was able to read it through pretty quickly. But what I like most about the length is how each chapter is short, so when I feel in need of spiritual revitalization, I can go and read one for reminders of how to revamp my connection in just a few minutes. 

The topics that Watkins covers are the fundamentals of a Druidry practice. She begins with an introduction to Druidry, in which she writes, “Druidry is a spiritual practice based on the love of nature and all it encompasses – the earth, sea, sky, trees, plants, animals – and us.”1 I appreciate how Watkins honored the ancient path of Druidry, but realistically see it in a modern context too, making it feel relevant to today and accessible.

Watkins covers quick daily practices, working with ancestors and deities, the wheel of the year, the sky/stars, the elements, trees, divination (ogham, runes, cards, etc), Druid reads and podcasts, social media outlets, writing, and creative projects. Depending on what you’re in the mode to explore, you can flip to that chapter for some ideas. As a whole, the book provides tons of resources for readers to branch off from based on their personal goals. There’s even an extensive list at the end of Druid book recommendations.

For those who are deep in their practice, this book might come across as beginner level. But by no means do I feel it is shallow or lacking. It is perfect for what it’s meant to be:  a guide for quick connection when you’re in a space of limited time.

Sometimes the suggestions Watkins makes can seem SO obvious, but from firsthand experience, when I am in on the go mode I often forget to slow down. One of the first suggestions she makes is to simply notice what’s going on in the moment. This can include pausing to notice the types of trees around you, the subtle aspects of your current season, the direction you’re facing, or the moon phase. I think being more observational and reflective has been my greatest take away from this book thus far, as I more often remember that I can attune myself to nature’s energies and simply take note of what’s going on around me.

Another takeaway the book provided for me was more awareness of how I am working with the elements day to day. I now say a little prayer of thanks to the fire as I heat my food and another to the water when I need to steam things. Simply getting outside for fresh air has made all the difference to my mental health, which goes hand in hand with feeling more energy to get back into more elaborate work like spells and rituals. I also noticed that I was often facing a certain direction when I was outside, but simply reoriented my patio set up, which put me in alignment with a different elemental direction that feels better.

I also really appreciated the details Watkins provided in the chapter on social media and apps. It feels like once you have a certain algorithm going, other things that might be relevant for you no longer appear if they’re outside your perceived online interests. Thanks to Waktin’s guidance, I downloaded new apps to learn more about the trees in my neighborhood, constellations, and improve my ogham divination. I also liked being able to have the names to look up Druid groups on social media for up to date information about their organizations and current happenings.

It’s amazing how the simplicity The Five-Minute Druid has actually be more beneficial to me than more elaborate magical books I’ve read. Though I am a seasoned practitioner and always have every intention of doing the elaborate ritual, or crafting something huge, or doing a week long devotional, my current reality doesn’t actually give me that space for that. So these magical things I want to do keep falling to the back burner, making me feel like I’m always running behind and lacking in my practice. This book completely cut through that energy for me and brought me back to the power of the here and now, reminding me it’s all the little things I do daily that add up to mean the most. And everything Watkins shares can easily be done as you go about your daily life. I have been humbly reminded that a little dedication to my craft every day makes me feel wonderful as opposed to ignoring it for weeks, even months, just to try to do something grand to get back in the spirit of things.

Overall, The Five-Minute Druid is the perfectly short and sweet guide needed to inspire a Druidry practice. Already my practice, which I had greatly slacked off with, feels refreshed and energized. By increasing my awareness and thinking through the lens Watkins provides readers with, I have been able to make little changes that lead to major energy shifts. I love how easy Watkins has made it to have a daily Druid practice, as I no longer feel out of sync, falling behind, or frazzled. I recommend this book for those seeking simple ways to establish a daily Druid practice with ease. Watkins suggestions are sure to bring about a renewal of your craft.

Living Wands of the Druids, by Jon G. Hughes

Living Wands of the Druids: Harvesting, Crafting, and Casting with Magical Tools, by Jon G. Hughes
Destiny Books, 1644118033, 232 pages, January 2024

I bought my first wand from Neil the Wandmaker, a well-known wand artisan in California. It took me nearly half an hour to select the right wand, picking them up and putting them down as I tried to sense which one was calling to me the most for that moment. While I’ve gotten plenty of use out of my artisan wand, recently, my exploration into the spirituality of Druidism has made me think differently about nature and the tools I use in my craft.

Living Wands of the Druids: Harvesting, Crafting, and Casting with Magical Tools by Jon G. Hughes has completely shifted my perspective into the purpose of a wand and how one might go about crafting their own. Hughes teaches readers how a fundamental principle of the Druid tradition is that the wood from which a wand or staff is crafted must be living. He explains:

“By living we mean that the wood must still contain the vital living sap of the tree from which it has been harvested so that this vital sap may impart the virtues and attributes of the chosen tree to the channeled energy of the adept, enhancing and elevating the adept’s energy and intention as they pass through the heart of the wand.”1

While the focus is on living wands, Hughes takes plenty of time explaining aspects of Druid foundational principles and lore. There’s an entire chapter dedicated to the lore of trees. He describes how Druids believe all living things, including trees obviously, have “three essential components: their physical manifestation, their portion of the communal or world energy (sometimes referred to a world spirit), and their personal energy.”2

All three components must be used when crafting a living wand, making it important to select the right donor tree, which Hughes luckily teaches readers how to do. There are plenty of things to consider, ranging from location of the tree to the season, and once the appropriate tree is selected, Hughes provides a harvesting rite to “maintain the harvested branch’s integrity and potency.”3

Hughes emphasizes how crucial it is to understand the attributes of different tree species when selecting a wand. While this topic could easily comprise an entire book and there are many more tree species than the ones covers, he covers the Druidic lore, wood qualities, and spiritual attributes of ten common trees (and even includes a handy reference chart): apple, birch (silver), elm (wych), hawthorn, hazel, holly, oak, pine (scots), rowan, and yew.

“Eventually, an intimate understanding of each tree and its place in its forest home will develop, and each tree will become a trusted friend. It is then that a connection with the ancient ways will enter the adept’s own spiritual being; a connection with the ancient pagan beliefs and the lore of the Druids will mature within the adept and with this connection and understanding she will grow and fulfill her role in nature’s partnership.”4

Now that readers have activated their connection with the trees, Hughes moves onto wand types. The main wands he covers are rudimentary, entire, compound wands, rods, and staffs. For each wand type, there is a picture provided, and Hughes shares the appropriate use for the wand and how to craft it. Occasionally included further background information to provide a well-rounded understanding for readers, such as the importance of a protective circle and how to cast one.

For more complex wand types, he also includes additional information, such as how to select “entwining botanical”5 (entwined wands) and “wood combinations”6 (compound wands) and adorn a staff. There’s also guidance on creating hooked wands, forked wands, protective bundles, and flying staffs, plus how to use feathers as wands. Lots of really great wand ideas in this section, and readers will feel fully equipped in choosing which one is best based on their intention and crafting it appropriately.

Once the natural materials for the wand have been selected, Hughes leads readers through finding and/or creating an auspicious workspace to craft their wand and then preparing the wand for use through cleansing and potentializing. In regard to finding the right location, Hughes includes diagrams to help readers orient themselves and ensure they are aligning properly with their chosen orientation.

For the preparation section and the following one on using the wand, Hughes writes out exactly what one can say for cleansing the wand, activating its potential, and then using it in bold lettering. I love how what to do, when to do it, and what to say while doing it are all clearly laid out for the reader. I find this incredibly helpful since I often get tongue-tied in ritual, and I appreciate having the structure to follow.

Topics covered for using the wand range from casting with one’s hand as a wand to making one’s own flying ointment to use with their flying staff. There’s so many ways to use the wands, and as readers experiment on their own, they’ll start gaining more confidence in their practice. From attraction to protection, curse-casting to inner contemplation, there’s so many possibilities for the intentions one can set with their wants.

One of the things I didn’t know prior to reading this book was that the original casting device should be kept “If the adept considers that there is even a remote possibility that the intention he has cast will need to be annulled, undone, or reversed…”7 Hughes notes that it’s common to see wands “labeled and stored in their protective wrappings just in case they might be needed to amend the intentions they originally cast.”8 This was helpful to know, and if one does need to do any of the aforementioned magical workings, Hughes has once again provided the ritual wording to do so.

When one feels assured that their work with the wand is complete, the Druidic way is to return the wand to the earth. Hughes writes:

“The protocol of returning all harvested material to its source location is born from the tenant that the balance of nature must be retained at all ties, and that only when botanical material is allowed to decay and reunite with its base matter and spiritual energies, as part of the world reservoir of elemental substance and spirit, may the cosmic balance resin intact, allowing all these precious resources to be used over and over again without depleting or diluting the world’s vital reserves.”9

This feels really resonant for me that the circle comes to completion by giving the wand back to nature. What an absolutely beautiful principle to live by! This sentiment is very different From the dominant materialistic culture focused on consumerism, where the purchased wands created often can never go back to their original source. And yes, there’s a ritual clearly laid out by Hughes for one to return their wand.

Overall, Living Wands of the Druids, is the perfect beginner’s guide to crafting one’s own magical wand. Whether or not one considers themselves a Druid, Hughes makes the material accessible for everyone. He shares a lot about the belief system of lore of Druidism, but there’s never an assertion that one must take any sort of oath or vow to create these living wands. A simple respect for nature and desire to be in harmony with fellow life on the earth is all readers need to draw upon the natural wisdom of the Druids for this practice of crafting living wands.

I gained a deeper reverence for the earth while reading it, as well as a better appreciation and understanding of Druidism in general. I highly recommend this book for those looking to be sustainable in their craft. The art of making living wands is also a reminder we have all we need for our magical practice within nature, emphasizing the importance of maintaining balance and reciprocity with the earth.

Trees are Our Letters, by Carol Day

Trees Are Our Letters: A Creative Appointment with Nature’s Communicators, by Carol Day
Moon Books, 1780993862, 136 pages, March 2023

Trees Are Our Letters: A Creative Appointment with Nature’s Communicators by Carol Day is a beautifully written and informative book that explores the remarkable ways in which we are all – humans, nature, and spirit – connected by stories. In particular, she highlights the ways trees communicate with each other, the world around them, and to the creative, spiritual centers of our being. Day offers readers a glimpse into the narrative, consciousness, and mystical history of each tree she has included before taking us on a creative journey with the tree as our guide and mentor. This fascinating approach to writing and introspection succeeds in helping the committed reader unlock their creative potential while making discoveries about the self, personal motivations, and some of the intricate ways each of us is uniquely connected to our environment and ancestry.

In the first chapter, “Sycamore,” and at the beginning of every subsequent chapter, Day introduces the creative structure that she works with throughout the book. The structure is the same regardless of the type of tree being visited. Beginning with the roots, readers are given the history and lore of the tree. Then, moving into the trunk and outward through the branches, readers are guided into a sensorial practice and then a spiritual practice of journeying either into self and tree or outward through “realms behind this one.” When readers reach the Leaves, they are given healing exercises that align with each specific tree and whatever intention the reader brings. Finally, Day helps readers access and spread the seeds of their own creativity through written and spoken word.

In total, there are ten trees visited throughout the book: Sycamore, Beech, Cedar, Poplar, Magnolia, Cherry, Elm, Horse Chestnut, Hornbeam, and Sequoia. Day highlights the different, mystical energy of each tree while being mindful of keeping readers grounded in the deep similarities shared within nature and between the natural world and humans. While most of the exercises and pathways in the book are designed to be easily accessible, there are some specialized tools suggested by Day, as well as a requirement to work directly with each tree.

In the introduction, Day informs readers that the most effective way to go through the exercises in the book is to first attune ourselves with trees by “[taking] some time to be with the trees for the days approaching when you will begin the material.”1 Readers in urban environments might have a difficult time locating and accessing natural places in which to do this. As each individual tree is introduced, readers are instructed to go through the structured exercises in the presence of that specific tree.

Undoubtedly, several readers will have difficulty locating each tree in order to engage in a fully immersive practice. Day acknowledges that and suggests that readers might take a leaf, seed, or branch (after asking permission from the tree) to use throughout the chapter. However, even locating those items can be impossible for someone living in an urban environment or in a part of the world where such trees simply do not grow. Being unable to locate several of the trees, or parts of the trees, I felt as though I missed out on a lot of the benefits of each experience. For example, it was impossible for me to sit underneath a specific tree or to sniff it and listen to its leaves as part of the healing exercises.

The general idea in each chapter is to draw on the history and magic of each tree, allowing the tree to speak to and reveal your creative, storytelling power. Even without the ability to smell or touch some of the trees, I felt genuinely connected to them through Day’s careful guidance and her gentle words of encouragement and support. She takes the reader out into the world and space of the tree and then, using the senses, brings everything home to the individual writer, in their own bodies that are sharing space and love with the trees.

In one writing exercise, Day asks readers to explore two parts of their personality that might not always seem to be in alignment, or to consider another person with whom they might share a challenging relationship with. Then, using the tree imagery and the internal work the reader has done through the chapter, she guides the participant into considering various aspects of themselves or the other person to create a healing story about “The World I Couldn’t See.” When I completed this healing activity, I found that I reached a place of forgiveness for my inner-adolescent and her not-too-great choices. Along with Day’s inspirational words, that errant teen and I made amends and storied a wonderful world together!

If you feel a connection to nature, or even if you’re just hoping to learn more about the natural world around you, and you want to take a creative journey to places inside and out, Trees Are Our Letters is the book for you. You’ll be doing yourself and your spirit a service to set aside some time each week to read, complete the exercises, and write all new stories of yourself, for yourself, and in honor of the earth that carries you. 

Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm, by Luke Lafitte

Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Spiritual Freedom and the Re-animation of Matter, by Luke Lafitte
Inner Tradition, 1644114062, 480 pages, February 2022

As the heft of its title might suggest, Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Spiritual Freedom and the Re-animation of Matter is a huge undertaking. Luke Lafitte’s great endeavor is to take the reader on a journey through the history and transformation of America’s unique archetypal mythology so that we, in the present day, may better grasp the nature of who we are as well as our relationship to the world in which we live. It is certainly a fascinating journey, but also one that requires a high degree of vigilance and attention from the reader as Lafitte’s argument unfolds.

The gist of the book’s overarching argument is that America’s “cowboy” archetype – the self-reliant, individualistic person who explores the frontier and overcomes the challenges posed by Nature – has gradually been replaced by the “mechanical-man” archetype. The mechanical-man is inextricably intertwined with technology: as such, the primary qualities of this archetype are centered around information, communication, and control. This is not only communication with other people and gaining information and control of the external environment–these activities are directed more toward humanity’s relationship and integration with technology itself.

What makes Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm truly unique is the detailed look at how American history and (science-)fiction are woven together, starting from the age of steam and progressing into the contemporary world. He has a great eye for picking up on the mythological motifs and patterns arising from fiction in several different scientific eras from the 19th through the early 21st century, and discusses them at length to show how societal attitudes toward technology change throughout these time periods. From the Wizard of Oz, to Tesla and Edison, to Azimov, Musk and Star Wars – both the scientific and fictive worlds are shown as playing off of and informing one another.

As someone interested in both science fiction and ethical issues, one of the many insightful points that really hit home for me, was Lafitte’s idea that science fiction not only allows us to explore new realms of possibility pertaining to technology, but that the genre shines a light on ourselves. Science fiction invites us to consider who and what we are in ways that weren’t really possible in the past. Moreover, he suggests that these considerations can’t even be captured in a straightforward, socio-political discussion, due to the increasing complexity of these issues.

“Because the trade-offs [between the beneficial and destructive potential of science] were becoming more complex, they could only–in terms of human-machine interactions–be understood in terms of myth and storytelling.”1

The idea that myth illuminates aspects of human experience which are consciously unavailable to the culture that produced the myth is a well-founded notion in mythological studies. However, Lafitte argues that the mechanical-man archetype takes us in a new direction, offering a new type of mirror with which we can examine ourselves. With the rapid development of technology throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, especially as “machines” began to be seen as possessing some form of vitality, this was the first time in human history that we had a kind of consciousness–similar enough to our own–which allowed us to probe our own nature in new ways.

While it’s easy to become swept up in the myths, biographical details, and historical trends Lafitte presents throughout the book, one must be careful not to lose sight of his broader argument. The quest, as Lafitte himself calls it, is aimed at not simply an informative discussion of these socio-cultural changes as America developed into a technological superpower. He is ultimately arguing that these developments are moving us toward a new paradigm of consciousness. Put in a way that might be familiar to those in spiritual circles: we are heading toward the point where human consciousness and Cosmic Consciousness merge.

This is a familiar idea that we might find in Vedanta, Buddhism, or gnostic traditions. But while these prior traditions and theories may leave the scientifically-inclined a little wary, Lafitte’s approach is couched in more recent historical and cultural trends. For certain, you aren’t likely to find the mechanical-man at the forefront of these other schools of thought, heralding the new paradigm. But as Lafitte suggests, as humanity appears to be moving into a new paradigm due to the increasing complexity of our world (due to the contributions of technology), we should expect to see the emergence of a cultural archetype which captures that spirit of complexity.

The earlier, more historically-focused, stages of the book are a fun and thought-provoking read, but upon entering the latter chapters, the reader will be more challenged by Lafitte’s main argument. Naturally, this part of the book builds upon the foundation laid throughout the earlier chapters, but the degree of conceptual discussion definitely ramps up to a whole other level. I’m not saying that this level of discussion detracts from the book–indeed, it’s the most important part!–but certainly demands more from the reader. Focused attention to the details of Lafitte’s discussion, as well as the broader perspective of the overarching quest of the book, are required to see how the ideas coalesce toward the author’s conclusion.

At the end of the day, I am deeply impressed with Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm. Admittedly, it was a little tough for me to get into the book at the beginning: I was eager to dive into the conceptual discussion that lay in the second half. But as I continued to read, I found Lafitte’s insights regarding the evolution of the mechanical-man extremely valuable. The quest that Lafitte takes us on is magnificent in both scope and precision. He seeks not only to present the development of the mechanical-man as the avatar of our technological culture, but also to reveal what that might mean for our trajectory into the future. As with many processes of depth psychology, Lafitte digs into the depths (our past) in order to rediscover our spirit so that it may rise into the potentially limitless freedom of a new paradigm.

Findhorn Spirit Oracle Cards, by Swan Treasure

Findhorn Spirit Oracle Cards, by Swan Treasure
Findhorn Press, 9781644113745, 44 cards, 159 pages, March 2022

I have used many oracle decks since I was first introduced to them three decades ago; some resonate with me and some don’t. However, the Findhorn Spirit Oracle Cards by Swan Treasure had an immediate energy to them that I had never before experienced when first introduced to a deck. I had a strong feeling that there were many nature spirits and energies present that seemed to spill out of the box as I held the deck. 

Findhorn is not new to me. I had read quite a few books on this magical place in Scotland and how the nature spirits worked with the ecovillage’s founders Eileen and Peter Caddy and Dorothy Maclean on a barren landscape. With the help and direction of nature spirits beautiful gardens were created which eventually developed into a “planetary village” and the Findhorn Foundation which has a “spiritual lineage of cooperation with the subtle realms.”1

“The land surrounding the Findhorn community is indeed a blessed place, tended by a host of powerful and benevolent spirit forces.”2

Treasure worked with the subtle realms to write and illustrate this deck. The author bio reads:  “Her life is dedicated to raising human consciousness through co-creative spirituality so that we can remember, experience, and awaken the beauty of being fully alive on this planet.”3

The deck was “born” in 2018 at the Co-Creative Spirituality conference at the Findhorn Foundation. The pictures on the deck came through using a “meditative technique called touch-drawing”4 using only the hands and fingernails on tissue paper placed on a board on top of colors.  Spirit beings were invited to participate in the co-creation of the deck.

“The messages that have been received in connection with each of the spirit beings depicted in the cards encourage us to reconnect with our essential nature, to expand our awareness to new realities, to activate our full vital energy, and to engage our power of co-creation with the divine, opening to the joy of partnership with the subtle realms.”5

Each card image represents a spirit made visible to us in an understandable way. 

The deck follows the shamanic medicine wheel and the cards within the wheel can be used as a “tool to access the support and assistance of the spiritual realms both as a path for self-actualization and for divination purposes.”6

Treasure emphasizes patience and time in getting to know the energy of the deck. She recommends at least eight weeks to connect with these subtle realms, to experience the practices of the cards, and to enter the gateways of these energy portals. She also recommends that one asks permission before entering these spaces, with words such as “Am I allowed?”7. Swan also provides  details on consecrating the deck, and how to initiate opening and closing ceremonies when using the deck, all centering on spending time with these energies, not rushing, and extending respect to these guides. 

The deck consists of six sets of seven cards, each set representing a gathering of spirit beings associated with the four directions of the medicine wheel plus the directions of above and below. Within each set of seven there are three “significant” cards: a guardian spirit, a turning point, and a spirit akin to an animal or flower. She offers card layouts and types of readings, including the Shapeshifter Reading, The Essence Reading, and The Chakra Alignment Reading. There is a description for each card that includes a communication from the spirit, a focus, and a practice. 

The card illustrations are subtle and beautifully colored in tones that match the message of the spirit attached to the card. The Blessings card holds the appearance of a figure cloaked in white with what could be branches or hair emanating from the being’s head flowing upward. The predominance of the color green in the card is highlighted with bits of purple, the message being “let your presence be a blessing.”8

This card represents the Angel of Findhorn, who reminds us that we are living miracles. The focus of the card is on laughter, homecoming, and miracles. The practice encourages making drawings of angels and writing on them, “you are loved, I bless you”9 and signing them as the Angel of Findhorn.

The Victory card kept appearing in my work with the deck. Victory comes from the Realm Above with the message that the “warrior within uses resistance to awaken.”10 The colors of the card are various shades of green flecked with yellows, blues, and spots of red. The face of a strong figure predominates.

Victory represents the spirit of inclusivity that encourages one to “quiet down, go within, drop the survival fears that keep you enslaved.”11 The focus is on respect, balance, and contribution. The practice encourages a reflective pause. 

I highly recommend Findhorn Spirit Oracle Cards. I’ve absolutely loved connecting with these cards. This deck has a very powerful elemental energy that results in accurate, heartfelt messages. It’s perfect for the springtime, as the nature spirits are in full bloom. If you do decide to get yourself a copy, I strongly suggest that you take the time to experience all that it offers as it introduces you to the unseen realms that have chosen to work with us.

Gaia Alchemy, by Stephan Harding

Gaia Alchemy: The Reuniting of Science, Psyche, and Soul, by Stephan Harding
Bear & Company, 1591434254, 320 pages, January 2022

The separation of mind and body that began during the scientific revolution has caused a rippling split between humanity and nature, which has been immensely detrimental to the natural interconnected systems on Earth. While the integration is slowly starting to happen in academic settings (I do hold a Master of Social Science in Environmental Humanities and Ecopsychology from Viridis Graduate Institute), it’s clear the current scientific paradigm needs greater supplementation to fully understand the interconnectedness of Earth. This arduous task of reconnection is what Stephan Harding sets out to in Gaia Alchemy: The Reuniting of Science, Psyche, and Soul.

Harding describes to readers how a dream in which he meets Old Woman, is the anima munda, or Gaia, who encouraged him to write this book. Meeting this archetypal imagery affirmed his path of writing a book on what he has termed “Gaia Alchemy”. Gaia Alchemy blends depth psychology, alchemy, and Gaia theory, creating a new paradigm aimed at bringing the soul back to science and culture.

“Gaia theory is a scientific understanding of the Earth as a great plantery organism, as a self-regulating complex system; alchemy is the ancient art of personal transformation and nature connection. My quest has been to discover whether we can experience a Gaia that is more vibrant, full of meaning, and alive by alchemizing science, thereby re-ensouling science and our culture and thus freeing both from their analytical dryness.”1

Harding sets off to take the readers through his own personal journey of developing this Gaia Alchemy worldview through psychological, historical, and scientific revelations, along with a good bit of creative imagination. And his method of engaging readers goes beyond just sharing interesting insight, there’s practices to do and exercises to try.

At the start of the book, Harding invites the reader to find their Gaia Place. He describes this as “a place where you can relax and connect deeply to nature, where your heart feels glad, where you’ll make important discoveries, both inner and outer.”2

I liked this concept because I’ve done something similar in the past, when I was training to be a nature-based coach, where I had my own “sit spot” to connect with nature everyday. I feel like developing this special place is key to facilitating one’s awareness of the natural world.

Harding provides plenty of ways to heighten one’s connection to their Gaia place throughout the book. For instance, there’s a really neat meditation to connect with ecological communities of the past, taking one through the evolution from small plants to mammals, through dinosaurs and meteorites, drawing on the alchemical power of calcification. From there, one is invited to experience the alchemical process of dissolution in their Gaia place. The mixture of ecology with alchemy in the meditations is very unique. There’s a special connection that develops between one and their Gaia Place as they move through these inner explorations.

Another really unique aspect of this book is that it’s filled with conversations with Jeffy Kiehl, a climate scientist and licensed Jungian analyst, which provides a multidimensional approach to the topic. Kiehl has written on related topics in his book Facing Climate Change: An Integrated Path to the Future. ​​Harding has done a wonderful job of including Kiehl’s perspective to give readers insight into the broad application of Gaia Alchemy through the thought-provoking dialogue. 

While his conversations with Kiehl did actually happen, Gaia Alchemy also features some imaginary conversations too written by Harding as he works to change the narrative of what happened in the split between science and alchemy, mind and body, to envision an alternative outcome. In the chapter “Descartes Meets Alchemy”, Descartes first has a conversation with an alchemist and then famed depth psychologist Marie-Louise von Franz. I feel like this creative revision of Descartes’ perspective really stuck with me as a reader, helping to shift my own view, similar to how a fictional story can ignite change.

I will note that Gaia Alchemy might be a lot for someone unfamiliar with alchemy or depth psychology to take on, but Harding fills the pages with charts, diagrams, and photographs to illuminate the content. As unfamiliar as these concepts may seem, especially to those steeped in a materialistic Western scientific culture, Harding’s work is rich with potential for re-visioning our future. Society needs to change in order to survive, and there’s no better place to start than within. The unification of rationality and intuition, science and soul, is the only way forward.

Alchemy is the perfect access point to the reunion of our material and spiritual world. Here’s an example of Harding’s perceptive writing on the alchemical process of conjunction:

“We experience conjunction in our psychological life when our solar sensing and rationality and our lunar feeling and intuition function well together, bringing a balanced outlook in which we see how causality and synchronicity are at work in the world at large, reinforcing our embeddedness within their immense yet deeply intimate networks of learning and meaning.

Alchemically, conjunction happens between Sol and Luna. It occurs when Sol – the divine transcendental source – fully conjoins with our existence as embodied beings here on Earth (Luna). We experience great clarity, purpose, and joy in those blessed moments when conjunction truly comes upon us, when its deepest meaning actualizes itself in us and we feel a blessed connection with Gaia.”3

This book was a real thrill to read as an ecopsychologist because it gives me hope there’s others out there working towards the integration of holistic sciences, deep ecology, and depth psychology. Harding himself lives in England, where he founded Schumacher College, which offers ecology-centered masters programs. At Schumacher College, Harding serves as Deep Ecology Research Fellow and senior lecturer on holistic science.

I can’t recommend Gaia Alchemy highly enough. For those interested in both the spiritual and natural world, this is an insightful guide to wholeness. Harding is doing and teaching what I believe is the most important work of our time, healing our connection with nature, promoting holistic science, and re-establishing our psychological ties with Gaia. Gaia Alchemy is a roadmap for an uncertain future and is well worth the read.

Pagan Portals – Baba Yaga, by Natalia Clarke

Pagan Portals – Baba Yaga, Slavic Earth Goddess, by Natalia Clarke
Moon Books, 1789048788, 104 pages, January 2022

I recently finished season two of the Witcher, which had a prominent focus on the Deathless Mother. The chant to call her goes, “Behold the mother of forests, the Deathless Mother, nesting in dreams. Turn your back to the forest, hut, hut. Turn your front to me, hut, hut.” As I watched, the Deathless Mother started to remind me of Baba Yaga.

I had first encountered (figuratively) at Philadelphia’s der Geischderschtrutz (Parade of Spirits) annually held in dark days of winter. The purpose of the Parade of Spirits is “observance of the shadow side of the self, of the murky times in shortest days of the year, and of shady entities and liminal deities.’1 My first year there, I was challenged to enter the hut of Baba Yaga, but unsure of whether she’d want to eat me alive or provide timeless wisdom, I kept my distance. Even if it was just a custom, the energy was potent and I felt a shiver of fear every time I looked in that direction.

It’s been years since that experience, and though I continued to respect Baba Yaga (my coven’s primary focus is the Sacred Hag, of which one might say Baba Yaga is a archetypal representation of), I had yet to muster the courage to embrace Her in personal life or magical practice. But Pagan Portals – Baba Yaga, Slavic Earth Goddess by Natalia Clarke has changed my perception a bit, and I feel like I now view Baba Yaga with a new lens.

Clarke invites the reader to get to know Baba Yaga that goes beyond folklore knowledge. The book is filled with Clarke’s journal entries through the years as she established a connection with Baba Yaga and incorporated this relationship into her own spiritual practice. This presentation style of wisdom is less of a “how-to”, though some suggestions are provided for working with Baba Yaga, and more of a journey into possibility filled with rich, descriptive writing that sets the scene for the magic of this book to unfold.

I appreciated how the book integrated Clarke’s revelations and creative writing with information about Baba Yaga, as it provided a bridge towards Baba Yaga, who otherwise can feel very intimidating to connect with. I am a big fan of Clarke’s intuitive approach to spirituality as described in her book Pagan Portals – Intuitive Magic Practice. In this book, it’s as though she translates her natural intuitions about Baba Yaga into a reference for those wishing to walk Her path.

One of the most unique features of Clarke’s approach to Baba Yaga is her intention to explore Baba Yaga in the context of Earth-based spirituality, rather than fitting Her into “literary, cultural, or societal concepts and beliefs.”2 I find this approach extremely valuable, as my spiritual practice is deeply connected to nature.

In this passage, Clarke illuminates how Baba Yaga feels to her:

“She doesn’t feel like a grandmother or an old Crone with terrifying features. She’s a master shapeshifter, and her essence is that of nature itself. She’s the changing seasons, the leaves in the forest in the autumn and a smell of the coming snow storm. She’s footsteps on the ice and a cold mountain brook. She is like the wind as she flies and in the whooshing sound of a breeze she’s gone. She’s the smoke in the dark and she can be found in animal bones. She is in the smallest insect and the highest tree, the snake hiding in the undergrowth. Illusive, unobtrusive, hardly ever visible and fiercely private. Her dwelling is her own and, on her terms, where everything is just so. It is for no else to make sense of.”3

These words make me feel a spiritually tangible and embodied connection to Baba Yaga, as my senses are opened through envisioning these words. Clarke is able to convey Her essence in this book, which is no easy feat considering Baba Yaga is a deity that prefers to not bother with human affairs, preferring solitude over interruption. I think this is one of the things that in the end draws me towards Baba Yaga, based on Clarke’s experience and description of Her though.

I like that Baba Yaga isn’t for everyone, doesn’t directly answer one’s pleas for answers, and can’t be summoned on-demand. Working with Baba Yaga seems to take determination, self-awareness, and a bit of grit. There’s a chapter called “Bones, Skulls, and Skin Magic” about how incorporating Animal Magic, using bones, skulls, and skins of animals, can strengthen one’s relationship with Baba Yaga. These items aren’t just your typical herbs or crystals, and I think it speaks to the nature of Baba Yaga as a deity.

My favorite chapter in the Book was “Baba Yaga’s Apprenticeship” where Clarke prompts the reader with the question: “How well do you know nature and how you relate to it from within?”4 I thought this was a profound question, and Clarke encourages taking one’s time to find the answer. Meanwhile, to connect with Baba Yaga, Clarke details the necessity of awareness of the elements, seasons, one’s psychology, and one’s spiritual self. Clarke provides prompts on how to work within these areas to become an apprentice of Baba Yaga, leaving the reader with hope that they too can eventually be initiated into Her wisdom.

Another really interesting chapter was “Baba Yaga and Motherhood” where Clarke suggests working with Baba Yaga for “integrating your birth mother or your own inner mother when birthing and mothering you own children.”5 Baba Yaga is not a deity I would have ever considered working with for this purpose, but Clarke’s reasoning that it’s important to accept both the good and bad aspects of ourselves as mother and our own mothers was interesting. For this particular reason, I am feeling more drawn to working with Baba Yaga.

And the last thing I’ll say is that I really think The Witcher is drawing from Baba Yaga’s folklore, and especially even more so after reading the chapter “The Three Horsemen and the Masculine”. In this chapter, Clarke describes how Baba Yaga has three horsemen (red, white, and black) that “represent an archetype of the sacred masculine , in service to the sacred feminine/the Earth.”6 She then describes how the color of The Three Horsemen correspond to different stages of the alchemical process and how working with the cyclical nature of their energy can help to strength one’s bond with Baba Yaga. But red, white, and black as the colors of them? For anyone who’s watched The Witcher Season 2, this is very significant and something I thought was totally cool.

While initiating a relationship with Baba Yaga requires patience and willingness to accept hard truths, Clarke showcases the value of working with Her over time. Pagan Portals – Baba Yaga, Slavic Earth Goddess is a wonderful book to learn more about Baba Yaga for anyone considering deity work with Her. And even if Baba Yaga doesn’t seem aligned for a personal deity relationship, there’s still a lot of value in learning more about Her in general, especially if one is interested in nature-based spirituality.

Seasons of a Magical Life, by H. Byron Ballard

Seasons of a Magical Life: A Pagan Path of Living, by H. Byron Ballard
Weiser Books, 987-1578637232, 197 pages, August 2021

Take a breath, pause, and gift yourself the time to delve into Seasons of a Magical Life: A Pagan Path of Living by H. Byron Ballard. In doing so, use the wisdom shared in this book to create a guide to a more connected way of living and co-existing. As Ballard writes, “this book is an invitation to modern Pagans to return to a simpler and quieter time, either literally or virtually, through letters from a small forest-farm in the southern highlands of the Appalachian Mountains.”3

The educationally credentialed author, H. Byron Ballard (BA, MFA), is a teacher and folklorist as well as a senior priestess. Her life and work are centered in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is a co-founder of Mother Grove Goddess Temple and the Coalition of Earth Religions. 

As I read, I felt as if I was accompanying Ballard around her farm. I could smell the air, feel the weather, and taste the food offerings. I was afforded the experience of spending time with her and the life force that surrounds her in her mountain setting and, by extension, the life force that surrounds me in my setting. 

As the cover indicates, the book focuses on the celebrations, festivals, and rituals for the Wheel of the Year. It is divided into three parts. Part One is a five-chapter section that offers background essays “Animism, Mutual Aid, and Permaculture”, “Tower Time and the Conceit of the Ever-Turning Wheel”, “A Different Means to Reckon Time”, “Re-enchantment and the Uses of Magic”, and “the Good Neighbors, the Land Spirits”.

Part Two is comprised of two chapters, focusing on the Wheel of the Agricultural Year: “Winter, The Waxing Year” and “Summer, the Waning Year”. Within those chapters are the equinoxes of spring and fall. “The chapters are broken into the four seasons, with the Quarter Days a highlight within each, and include simple skills that accompany each marker of the year.”4

Part Three wraps up with “Hearth”, a “chapter on the spiritual and physical immersion into these seasons”5 no matter where one lives, rural, urban, or suburban. 

The essays offered in Part One are intended to “not only give the reader a map of (the) journey but also to introduce some ideas to better inform the journey.”6 Some essays were written as if Ballard was talking to a friend as they climbed a hill, while others unfold in a more informational manner, such as the sections on Ember Days and Embertide and Rogation Days.

As one who communicates daily with the trees and rocks that surround my house, I loved the writings on animism and permaculture. Re-enchantment? Yes, please; I could use a healthy dose of that. However, I recommend taking time to sit with what is being offered in these essays as some are more “heady” than others.

I liked how Ballard did not write about these topics in a clinical, detached manner. She walks the reader around her property as she delves into these subjects; the reader is invited to sit at her kitchen table as she prepares meals. Living seasonally, living and working by the natural light, living with the rhythms of nature. 

Wanting to not only read the book but also practice the activities offered, when I finished the section on the essays and moved to Part Two, the “Wheel of the Year”, I began reading the final chapter first, Chapter 7, “Summer: The Waning Year,” as I received the book a few days before Lammas, the Season of the First Harvest.

As with all of the sections on the Wheel of the Year, Ballard offers a letter from her forest-farm, skills to use, chores to be completed, foods for the season, traditions and celebrations, activities to do with children and other friends, an icon of the season and a concluding paragraph on season’s end.

For Lammas, in her letter from her forest-farm, she writes about how hot and dry the farm now is and surveys what is happening in the garden – an abundance of squash and tomatoes, days of “sweat and effort.”7 She offers a lesson on bread-making including the “philosophy” of kneading and sour dough. Chores such as canning and pickling are covered. Traditions and celebrations such as the blessed loaf and the ceremony of cakes and ale are introduced.

The Lammas section continues with recommended activities for Children and Other Friends, including shaping a loaf person and making corn dollies. The icon written about is Wheat as Lammas is “the first in a series of three harvest festivals that is usually dominated by bread – making it, shaping it, and eating it.”8

It concludes with a paragraph on Season’s End that encapsulates the essence of the season, for Lammas, namely looking to the “symbol of the harvest and what that means about gratitude in your life – how you express it, how you use it.”9

She asks the reader to look at the intention that was planted in the Spring — both literally and symbolically and see if the reader tended to this intention — and if it’s ready to “feed you now, that thing that you imagined planting?”10

The book’s final section delves into the aspects of hearth and homely life. She praises homeliness – simplicity in one’s home, comfort, pleasant but ordinary. She invites the reader to view the kitchen as living space for nurturing physically and emotionally. Home altars both indoors and outdoors are discussed as spiritual anchors. Ironically, while I have a home altar, I hadn’t thought of creating an outdoor altar until reading this book. She writes of – are you ready? – laundry as a meditative practice, which after reading I now understand. 

I especially love the book’s concluding lines, offered as a friend waving as you depart their home and sending you off with love:

“There is so much to do, every day, to tuck in the ends of this weaving we are creating: to observe and really see, to listen and really hear, to integrate our intuition and our Ancestral memory into a practice so practiced it no longer feels artificial. It only feels like living a good life and a full one.”11

I highly recommend not only reading Seasons of a Magical Life – but living it. For those who are looking to deepen their connection to the natural cycles of the year, this is a great book to have in one’s library. It offers simple, practical ways to engage with the seasonal energy of the year as it makes its way around the wheel of time. Many of these small practices are certain to enchant one’s life and bring a deeper sense of purpose to the small actions we do daily, fostering an appreciation of the current moment in time that is grounded yet extraordinarily magical.

Answering the Call of the Elementals, by Thomas Mayer

Answering the Call of the Elementals: Practices for Connecting with Nature Spirits, by Thomas Mayer
Findhorn Press, 978- 16441122144, 160 pages, June 2021

Answering the Call of the Elementals: Practices for Connecting with Nature Spirits by Thomas Mayer is a timely book that incorporates the melding of environmental consciousness and the intuitive nature within humankind that desperately needs reawakening if we are to co-exist with those beings that inhabit the natural world.

It is no secret to those who live collaboratively with the ephemeral spirits, beings, and other sentient forces that we are at a crossroads. How we proceed, who (or what) we consider to be allies to form alliances with, will dramatically affect the outcome of this planet and all of the life that occupies it.

Mayer has brought this need to the foreground in a book filled with first hand experience and a prodding for the reader to seek out their own measure of experience that will give proof of the existence of nature spirits. 

Even if we are not consciously aware of it, we live in the realm of elemental beings. Everywhere, and all the time, they penetrate our souls and slip into our hearts. The whole world around us is ensouled with elemental beings. Elemental beings participate in everything that is happening in nature around us… 1

Answering the Call of the Elementals is separated into twenty chapters and is a narrative of the author’s recounting of his experiences in seeking those beings he identifies as elementals. One thing that struck me in reading this book was the lack of a definitive definition as to what “elementals” are. There is a movement between the semantics of “elementals” and “nature spirits” that is not always easy to follow in terms of whether they are interchangeable or something altogether different.

But, even in saying that, there is a purposeful wisdom in what appears to be lacking definition and by the end of the book the reader realizes that there is no generic definition of these beings. They are changeable. They move through many worlds and have many agendas to fulfill in both the physical and spiritual worlds. 

Beginning with the opening pages of “Chapter 1: The Plea”, the reader is immediately drawn into the experience of Mayer and his conversation and meeting with the four Elementals (beings) of nature. In simplistic form, these beings are the pure essence of their respective alchemical realms of earth, air, fire, or water, as they exist within the natural world. This meeting comes as a plea from their realms:

We are the beings of the nature elementals. We encompass and represent them. We come to you with a request. Humanity has forgotten the elemental beings. We live in your subconscious, we are a big part of your lives, but you know nothing of us…2

This plea is the driving force behind the authoring of this book. In Mayer’s writings, the reader can palpably and emotionally feel the imminent need to awaken and to rekindle the long forgotten relationships with those beings we still, albeit not acknowledged, live so intimately with. Mayer provides the reader with as much descriptive and ambient tone as possible to allow the information to wash over the reader at all levels of understanding and, perhaps, to also stimulate the urgency abiding in how far removed we have become from the natural world and these elemental beings. 

It is time. In this moment I decide. It is all perfectly clear in an instant. I will do their bidding. As a first step I will focus on teaching the meditation courses, and the following steps will develop from there…3

In Answering the Call of the Elementals, Mayer succeeds in providing a step-by-step plan of developing and awakening the sensorial tools necessary to “see”, feel and dialogue with nature spirits”.4 In particular, “Chapter 4: Experiencing Elemental Beings” provides some of the “how” to make contact and the “why” of its potential and necessary agenda. 

Experiencing elemental beings is generally prohibited by mental blocks. These mental blocks tend to come up particularly when you begin with practical exercises. You think your own perceptions are figments of the imagination, or fantasies, and you are so full of mistrust that nothing remains. So right away, you throw out the baby with the bathwater…5

As the reader moves deeper into this chapter, there is a slow building of confidence in abilities crafted by specific examples of the author’s experiences, interwoven with sound and practical contemplative endeavors that serve not only this purpose but many others relating to spiritual practice and growth. There is a lot of information in what appears to be not many pages, and the information is dense and rich.

Mayer is very methodical in the step-by-step approach of training the reader to be able to access the largely intuitive and feeling nature that aligns with that of the elemental beings. And, it is precisely this analytical methodology that allows the “mental blocks” that persist to be assuaged in their need to dominate and over analyze so that something more natural and organic can open in their place. This opening becomes the threshold of meeting and perceiving those inhabitants of the elemental worlds, and it is in this space of mutual recognition that the healing of the planet, self, and spirit may begin. 

There is a lot of information to ruminate over and to digest between the covers of Answering the Call of the Elementals. Mayer uses the teachings of Austrian philosopher and esotericist Rudolf Steiner as the underpinnings of this book giving a layer of Christian mysticism to a topic that is also part and parcel of pagan practices. This makes the content more globally based and underscores the intention of its writing; collaboration and co-creation between humanity and the realms of the more ephemeral beings.

It is important to note that Rudolf Steiner was the founder of a specific branch of philosophy known as anthroposophy, which supported the concepts of an objective and intellectually comprehensible spiritual world that could be accessed and experienced by humanity. This is a key understanding Mayer uses throughout the book as a given ability that all of humanity has.

Answering the Call of the Elementals is definitely a title I will return to for another read through. I have a sense that each reading will undoubtedly reveal another nuanced subtleties inherent in this re-connection to the spiritual world. The Epilogue of this title speaks to the author’s …vision for the future “includes elemental beings once again becoming a cultural public resource for our civilization”6

Mayer outlines a vision of the future that integrates elemental beings into the fabric of all of society’s daily workings. These include a school-level course of study focused on the elemental beings as part of the traditional educational studies, elemental research groups at universities, local governmental departments, and committees dedicated to the well-being and care of elementals, as well as farmers enlisting the strength and help of agricultural elementals and the direct connection of contractors and builders with those elementals of the mechanical and work equipment being used. These goals feel lofty in aspiration, but perhaps what is required is lofty ambitions and devotion to restoring our connections to the natural world. 

This vision is surely unfamiliar today and beyond the normal conceptual frame. To me, it is not only realistic, but necessary. The nature elementals are eagerly waiting for human beings to consciously grasp them, for their future existence is dependent upon it. We humans and the elemental beings have a common destiny – to rescue the elemental beings…7