From Publishers Weekly
Primal sources and connections sometimes run so deep that they become invisible. Here, Johnson (Cooking Like a Goddess) probes the common roots and bonds that lie at the heart of the world's great spiritual traditions. Combining history, opinion, and literature, she invites readers of all stripes to inhale shared values and exhale divisive concerns. In four chapters, each devoted to an element, she explores unifying sub-themes. For example, "The Nurturing Earth," "The Underworld," "The Sacred Stone," and "The Holy Garden Grove" all excavate the shared mysticism of Earth, our common ground. Water pours forth as "The Great Maternal Sea," "The Universal Solvent," "The Compassionate Healer," and "The Deep Creative." Fire and air chapters lack the heft of earth's and water's, but nonetheless maintain a richness of substance. Johnson also offers simple rituals (e.g. washing away fears), meditations (e.g. mentally "burning" off discomfort), and prayers for solo or community worship that can be utilized by anyone of any faith tradition. Much more than a pagan worldview treatise, her effort can be enjoyed by students of comparative religion and anyone who feels a primary connection to these vital elements. Johnson draws primarily from Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and earth-based religions, but the book is also laced with Shinto and Jain ideas. Johnson's easy style, which sometimes reaches too far toward simplification, makes the well-paced content accessible. A rich "Further Reading" list with 85 entries opens the door to worlds beyond this tantalizing primer.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"This is a beautifully written book that weaves together the wisdom of many traditions with unique and creative practices to deepen our connections with the elements. Cait Johnson is a marvelous guide through the elements that make up our world, our bodies and our souls."
―Tom Cowan, author of Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit and The Shaman's Quest: Journeys in an Ancient Spiritual Practice
"Drawing from the diverse and yet profoundly similar teachings of the world's faith traditions, this is a must-have book for both the beginning spiritual journeyer and the seasoned traveler. Through guided meditations, simple activities and thoughtful questions, one is gently led to understand the basic elements of all human existence."
―Carole Ann Camp, coauthor of Labyrinths from the Outside In: Walking to Spiritual Insight―A Beginner’s Guide
"Opens up the deep, rich possibility to transform your relationship to these basic elements with fascinating facts and stories and simple, yet profound visualizations, meditations and exercises. It is a book to savor."
―Kay Lindahl, author of The Sacred Art of Listening: Forty Reflections for Cultivating a Spiritual Practice