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This blog is all about all the things that make me up. I am a Mother, I am a Pagan Witch, I am a Wife, I am a homemaker, I am a student, I am Spiritual, I am a Teacher, I am Liberal Hippie, I am a Voter, and I am extremely opinionated! Plan to see it all! If you don't like what you see, feel free to leave! However, chances are, if you stick around, you'll find more to love than hate!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Connecting to the Power of Nature

The first book I'm reviewing as a part of the Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge is "Connecting to the Power of Nature" by Joe H. Slate Ph.D.

I bought this book around a year ago, as a way to fill up my $25 requirement for free shipping on Amazon. It was one that I had thought looked interesting, but wasn't on my priority list of what to read. So it got shoved on a shelf, and then in a box, and forgotten about. Until, that is, my daughter climbed in the closet and started tossing books all over my room. I had been looking for something to stick in the bathroom that wouldn't be TOO in-depth and wouldn't bother my husband (who is uncomfortable with Paganism & Witches).  I thought this book would fit those needs perfectly - and it did.

Now usually, it takes me ages to read through a book - especially one that I stick in the bathroom. I'm dyslexic and have three young children, a husband, a home, a blog, and a budding business... All of which take make it difficult to really get through a book quickly. Add to that the fact that books in the bathroom aren't really read the way a normal book would be. So imagine my surprise when I read this entire book in less than a month! Yeah, it was that good, I actually found myself hiding in the bathroom reading through this!

It's not a very large book, only about 170 pages. But it's packed full of great exercises, easy to read explanations and examples and better than that - it's full of real life experiences! I've read so many "Self Help" books, and felt like I was being talked AT, rather than talked TO. This book, however, was different. I felt as if it were written in a manner that not only made me feel secure in what I was reading, but in a way that made me feel as if the author was the kind of person who would sit down and chat with you if you needed help. Obviously, I don't know the author, but I feel like if I did meet him, he would happily guide me where I needed it.

I was a little leery when I noticed that the author had a Ph.D. in Psychology, sine I don't have a very good track record with Psychologists and my faith. - In fact I had one tell me that my "insistence in practicing witchcraft was simply more proof that I was not ready to handle the real world." At which point he wrote me a prescription and sent me on my way.  But the book was published by Llewellyn, so I thought it may be different.

Thankfully, I was wrong in my initial assessment! The book was clearly written by a man who had both a clear understanding of people and their needs, but also of the energies which surround us all. Many of the step-by-step meditations and activities were coupled with examples of how they have helped his students, co-workers and clients.

Whether you feel a connection to nature, or you are simply trying to get in touch, this book will take you by the hand and walk you through how to attune yourself with plants, trees, water, sand, clouds and more! Plus you'll learn how to use crystals, leaves and even a garden to better achieve your goals, let go of grief and fine purpose in life.

While the book may not ever use the term "Witchcraft" it is, in essence, teaching that most basic form of it. As a Witch - As a Pagan - I strive to create a world where I am happy, fulfilled and in touch with both myself and the world around me. The activities in this book provide the most basic tools for anyone to fulfill those goals.  Personally, I think this is a book that should be on EVERY young or newbie witch's bookshelf. And although it will be less of a "must read" for more advanced Witches, it is without a doubt something I would say everyone with children should read. These activities are PERFECTLY adaptable for kids, and would be great for helping them learn to connect with nature as a way to help them through issues or to achieve their goals.  But it's not just one that I would recommend for Witches, or even Pagans. I have a Christian aunt who is very interested in Holistics and Metaphysics that I would like to get a copy of this book for. It's concepts and activities are universal, and powerful!

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