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Ex Libris – Spring 2007

April 13, 2007

Periodically, I make a list of what I am reading and what is on my nightstand and what needs to go back to the library bookshelves.

What’s on your nightstand?

Merriam-Webster Thesaurus
I find myself using the same words a lot. I guess they say a lot about my current process. So I decided to start using my dictionary and then that led me to go buy a thesaurus to try to expand my possibilities. So far, I am still using the same words – they just feel right in my mind.

Incipient, aspiring, emerging
I am (moved, touched, honored) by your sharing
Powerful work! Is there a better word than powerful when a woman wakes up to who she is?

Inanna – Wolkstein and Kramer
Do yourself a favor and read the REAL version of the story! The imagery is powerful, sexual, lyrical, inspiring. I see this as the grown ups tale and Persephone and Demeter as the tale they tell at the Children’s table. If you are wondering about the Great Mother, the Goddess who bore god, our origins and where we come from – read this!

Mysteries of the Dark Moon – The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess – Demetra George
I started this just after the winter solstice and I dip into and out of it. When I was looking into my natal chart and trying to learn a bit about astrology – it seemed more important than it does now that my interests are focusing on other things. I will come back to it one day. Hmmm…maybe it should go off the nightstand and onto the bookshelf?

Honoring the Medicine – The Essential Guide to Native American Healing – Kenneth Cohen
I didn’t take anything to read when I went to Kripalu! Yes this was deliberate. The last night I was there, I bought this in the bookstore and read a bit of it. It needs to go to the bookshelf. I will return to it in time. I read his earlier book The Way of Qigong many years ago. Cohen is a wise man, sage, teacher, healer and more. His blend of cross cultural practices feels authentic and reverent. This is a man who lives his work.

The Archetypal Imagination – James Hollis
I was just about to start this when his new book came out. Off to the bookshelf for this one.

Why Good People Do Bad Things – James Hollis
Preaching to the choir he is! This is the book that I am most actively reading right now. It sits on top of the pile and wanders downstairs during the day and back up at night.

Snowflower and the Secret Fan – Lisa See
I rarely read novels – fiction just doesn’t have the allure of real life – usually. This book is exceptional! It is a blend of fact and imagination. I learned the facts about foot binding in such a visceral way that I was nauseated and had to stop reading. Yet, this isn’t a book about foot binding – it is a book about women, friendships, and the power of the suppressed shadow. The shadow of the culture and the personal shadows of the women. I love books that can be read on many levels. This is a book I will re-read – slowly – watching as she carefully weaves the mystery. The first time through – I was so sure I knew the secret – that I missed some nuances. No spoilers here! Read it yourself and go slowly.

Guidelines for Understanding the Essentials of the Birth Chart – Stephen Arroyo
Acey recommended this one to me and she is Spot On! with her suggestion. Thank you Coyote Feathers <grin>

Women who run with the Wolves
I love to just randomly open this book and read a paragraph or two. Her words are unchanged – but each time – I get something more. Could it be that I am evolving?

A Little Book of the Human Shadow – Robert Bly
This one rides around in my purse. It lives on the perennial favorites list but since it is a “little book” I have been taking it with me for when I am stuck somewhere with nothing to read. If you have ever wondered about the origin of the phrase “the long bag we drag behind us” this will tell you what is in there and how to get it back out and into consciousness.

Double Goddess – Vicki Noble
This is where I read about the idea of Tend and Befriend in women that follows the Fight or Flight response. It is languishing on my night stand but I need to at least skim it because it is an interlibrary loan book

Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill
This is a book that I got from Interlibrary Loan. I would rank it in my top three for unlocking the mysteries of our night dreams. Jeremy Taylor is a sensitive writer and I always enjoy a good story. The way he takes his work out into the world inspired me to be of service and create an online group for women who want to do dreamwork – DivineDreaming. Recently I picked up my own copy at the Green Valley Book Fair – $4.00 – brand new with a remainder mark. This is must read for anyone curious about recurrent dreams or those dreams that wake you up and leave you trembling with fear.

The Salmon Mysteries – Kim Antieau
I have a fascination with mysteries. Not the “who dunnit” fiction mysteries – but the big questions – why are we here? what is my purpose? how will I be of service? now that I have returned from a Vision Quest what is next? The title alone would attract me. The subtitle is a Re-Imagining of the Demeter and Persephone myth. Imagine if instead of being raped and abducted, Persephone played a part in allowing herself to fall? If you are used to same old tired Greek interpretations, give this a try! Kim writes with the voice of a wise woman. She speaks our language. To learn more about Kim – visit Furious Spinner (her blog) or drop in the Church of the Old Mermaids for a cup of tea.

The Grandmother of Time – Zsuzsanna Budapest
A really fun book of holidays and rituals. Filled with lovely illustrations and wisdom tales that connect us to a time when communities were built on ritual and celebration instead of who has the most toys and the nicest car! Let your imagination roam and invite some celebration into your life. The world needs ritual and meaning and community building.

There are more… but I can’t spend anymore time here today so here they are:

  • Meeting the Shadow – Zweig and Abrams
  • The Spiral Dance – Starhawk
  • Circle Round – Starhawk
  • Lost Goddesses of Early Greece – Spretnak
  • Palestine – Peace not Apartheid – Jimmy Carter
  • The Year if Pleasure – Elizabeth Berg
  • Shamanism – Teresa Moorey (Nice integration of cross cultural four directions medicine wheels and sacred hoops
  • Ariadne’s Thread – Eric W. Cowan
  • Basic Freud – Michael Kahn


Recently Read
Shakti Woman – Vicki Noble
I am glad I got this Interlibrary Loan. It isn’t something I would read again and refer to.

The Moon in the Well Erica Meade Helm
I will eventually buy this. She is a gifted storyteller.

Close to the Bone – Jean Shinoda Bolen
I reread this because the first time through I had not read the original translation of Innana’s descent. For anyone who has ever had a life threatening illness or is supporting someone as he or she walks that lonely journey – this book is a guide. If you are looking for ways to bring the Inanna story to life – this is a great resource.

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place – Terry Tempest Williams
I love her writing – especially her book Red. I found this book comforting as I entered my fourth year after my father’s death.

The passion of Mary Magdalen – Elizabeth Cunnigham
Another Interlibrary loan book – and when it comes out in paperback soon – I will buy several copies. This is one of those books that makes Jesus and Judas come alive. For a real treat, you can hear Elizabeth sing! Many thanks to Edith for telling me about this book. Women of the Goddess – Elizabeth Cunningham is singing our song

Perennial Favorites

  • Soulcraft – Bill Plotkin
  • Descent to the Goddess
  • In the house of belonging – David Whyte
  • New and Selected Poems – Mary Oliver

(previous winners )

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One comment

  1. I must ask: Is your Merriam-Webster thesaurus yellow? I happen to love my yellow Merriam-Webster thesaurus that I bought at the book fair.



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