BOOK REVIEW: DANCING WITH NEMETONA

by contemplativeinquiry

This is my Amazon book review for Joanna van der Hoeven’s latest book.

Highly recommended. With an ease and lightness of touch, this book reflects on the sacred in relation to physical and subtle space, relationships and boundaries, safety and risk, liminality and letting go. Sacred time too – I liked the author’s definition of ritual as “taking a moment, taking time out, to celebrate or honour a specific moment of time”.

A modern Druid, Joanna van der Hoeven uses her personal journey to illustrate her themes and suggests practices to explore them – within the home, within the forest and within the inner world. These practices, and the book as a whole, are accessible to beginners or non-aligned seekers as well as those already grounded in Druid and Pagan tradition. This is helped by the careful arrangement of the book in six chapters: Lady of Boundaries and Edges; Lady of Hearth and Home; Lady of the Sacred Grove; Lady of sanctuary; Lady of Ritual: Lady of Everything and Nothing.

The last chapter opens the way to reflections on personal identity and the no self/true self paradox of Zen and other non-dual traditions. To enter into “immersion into the entirety of being … to be at one with existence, to truly experience life”, there seems to be a necessary letting go of our customary self-sense and a finding of true self through being in the moment, returning to the core. In this way the book continues the journey of the author’s earlier and well-received Zen Druidry.

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