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Partnering with Nature: The Wild Path to Reconnecting with the Earth Paperback – April 13, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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With each successive generation, those born in industrialized nations grow further removed from the natural world of their ancestors. Technology increasingly captures our time and commands our attention, until most personal interaction with the living world is reduced to a minimal level. The result, MacGregor posits, is a planet under siege with its human inhabitants spiritually, if not substantively, stretched to the breaking point. From the physical to the metaphysical, emotional to environmental, MacGregor chronicles the countless ways contemporary society has disconnected from nature and the resultant adverse effects on humankind and the biosphere. Displaying the insights of an anthropologist, MacGregor cites both ancient cultures and existent indigenous societies in demonstrating the historical foundations for and modern implications of nature-based spiritual practices as well as scientific investigations. In this contemplative yet vibrant treatise, she not only analyzes the myriad ways humanity can benefit from a greater awareness of the natural world, but also recommends specific exercises to increase such interaction. A leading proponent for global environmental protection and conservation, MacGregor offers powerful incentives for reestablishing natural connections. --Carol Haggas

Review

“I have been deeply impressed by Catriona MacGregor for many years. Her striking kinship with the animal world and her vision of the natural world are compelling and apparent when you are in her presence. Many people carefully copy native traditions, hoping for a shamanic experience. Catriona MacGregor is a shaman.

         "Catriona's book is a gentle yet somehow startling book, a work of unsuspected beauty, and generously far-ranging in its scope, considering how much it encompasses. It is written with the clarity of one who is consciously living in the web of life and empowered by a unique and enduring vision.”

Jim Gilkeson, author of A Pilgrim in Your Body and Energy Healing

“I love this book. It makes my spirit sing!  Partnering with Nature is a profound invitation to step into the sacred realm of the soul. Through carefully crafted exercises and thoughtful insights, Catriona MacGregor assists us make this revered journey into the hallowed spaces that only nature can provide. She gently allows us to step out of the quickened pace of modern life and though a shimmering portal into an inner landscape that is wild and free, so we can live in ways that are authentic and heartfelt.”
Denise Linn, international speaker and bestselling author of Sacred Space

“From the first paragraph, this masterpiece of a book weaves a magical spell. Into that spell it mixes baby robins, alpha brain waves, shamanic journeys, celtic myths, and water bears into a glorious tapestry of wholeness. And then it weaves you, the reader, into that spell, showing how you can gain access to the spiritual unity behind it all. Warm as a tropical sunset, fresh as a woodland glade, Catriona MacGregor's inviting prose lifts the veil between the material and spiritual worlds—and transports you to the heart of being found in nature.
            “As you read these compelling stories, you will feel all your cells tingle with the recognition that you are made of the stuff of the universe, and find inspiration and renewal in the natural world around you, wherever you live. I recommend this book highly.”
Dawson Church, PhD, author of The Genie in Your Genes

"Catriona MacGregor’s poignant Partnering with Nature is a beautifully wrought synthesis of poetic spirituality and well-grounded practical fact.  Catriona creates an intriguing tapestry of thoughts and images, weaving together history, geology, scientific research, and her own profound spiritual connection with the natural world. ... She speaks convincingly of Earth as teacher, habitat, and salvation, asserting that our connection with the natural environment provides both a portal to the divine and the tools that we will need to preserve our planet as a habitat for humankind. … She concludes by gathering together the many threads of wisdom offered up by her book and leads us gently but inexorably to her conclusion: We as a race will not thrive, evolve or even survive, unless we return to partnership with our earth. She urges us to reclaim the strength of our connection with nature on both a personal and a planetary level. “You are a different person if you are filled with the warm rays of the sun, the clarity of the blue sky, the soaring hawk.” Says Catriona in her final paragraphs.  You will also be a different person after you have read this book. The images of Catriona’s vision will flow through your mind and dance through your heart long after you have finished reading Partnering With Nature."

Amy Racina, author of Angels in the Wilderness

"Partnering with Nature studies show that when people come into contact with Nature, even with a simple potted plant, they become kinder, more generous, and more community minded than when they focus on artificial human-made surroundings. Catriona MacGregor gives us a mystical and practical manual for our times to reconnect with Nature’s sacred healing power for our own benefit and that of all life on Earth."

Penelope Smith, author of Animal Talk, When Animals Speak, and Animals in Spirit

Partnering with Nature helps awaken all of us to the transformative powers of nature.”
Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

"Insight, healing, and wisdom fill every page. Partnering with Nature a jewel of a book—a great field guide, if you will, for those who would more deeply and reverently enter the heart of the wild."
Susan Chernak McElroy, author of Animals as Teachers and Healers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words; 1 edition (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582702195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582702193
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #771,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom VINE VOICE on April 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am giving this book five stars for the excellent writing and wonderful nature stories -- even though the author and I are worlds apart on theology. Like many neo-pagan writers nowadays, she has a tendency to mis-blame human disconnectedness with other living beings on "monotheism." (In her case, mostly her childhood Catholicism. She says very little about Judaism. I am more inclined to blame the disconnect on the 17th-century French philosopher Rene Descartes, who thought of animals as nothing but unfeeling machines -- but that's a whole other blog.) She takes a polytheistic approach to the natural world that I, as a Jew, cannot embrace as such, athough I do share her deep love of animals and nature. But in a different way. So I need to be very clear that I am NOT recommending that my fellow Jews should worship fertility goddesses, pray to animal spirits, or set up pagan altars in their living rooms. Having said that, this book is still an excellent read if you approach it as a cross-cultural experience. Plus, there are many activities in the book -- such as map making, quiet meditation, dream journals, collages, etc. -- that are universal enough for anyone to try.

What impressed me the most about this book is Catriona MacGregor's amazing descriptions of nature. These passages read like pure poetry. She begins with her childhood when, at age four, she climbed to the top of a tree to put a baby bird back in the nest -- unable to understand why her mother and godmother were so panicked below. (She got down safely). From there she describes some incredible mystical experiences with trees and animals, including a vision of the "soul" of a huge old tree on the day before it was cut down.
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Format: Paperback
Catriona MacGregor's poignant "Partnering With Nature: The Wild Path to Reconnecting With the Earth" is a beautifully wrought synthesis of poetic spirituality and well-grounded practical fact.

Catriona creates an intriguing tapestry of thoughts and images, weaving together history, geology, scientific research, and her own profound spiritual connection with the natural world. She cites examples from an impressive panoply of resources, and adds a human touch by including many of her own experiences, both expansively global and heartbreakingly personal.

Each statement is supported by factual data and breathed into life by Catriona's own quest to share her relationship with nature with those around her. The place to start is your own back yard, suggests the author, though there is no doubt that she considers the entire planet and every plant, animal, and person upon it to be worthy of care and connection.

She combines an intimate knowledge of the invisible world of energy and spirit with concrete statistics to show our "fall from grace" and the dangerous downward spiral that we have created through our alienation with the natural world. She argues eloquently that we need nature as much as nature needs us. She speaks convincingly of Earth as teacher, habitat, and salvation, asserting that our connection with the natural environment provides both a portal to the divine and the tools that we will need to preserve our planet as a habitat for humankind.

The author entices the reader into reconsidering his or her own relationship with nature.
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Format: Paperback
I began to glance over Partnering with Nature with the intent to see what I would be reading the next few weeks. Before I knew it, I was turning the 70th page! The book is effective and is eloquently written. In this age of technology, stress, and commotion, Partnering with Nature makes you pause, take a deep breath, and transports you back to your roots. Catriona's personal accounts are written in such a manner that she leads you on a powerful journey. It is as if the reader is standing right next to MacGregor, experiencing the same sights, thoughts, and emotions. There is a great deal of uncertainly in these times, predominantly about our children's future. Catriona re-awakens the youthful imagination, and imparts a much-needed optimistic outlook for the future. Partnering with Nature offers invaluable avenues of healing; opportunities to restore ourselves and Planet Earth.
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Format: Paperback
Catriona MacGregor's book "Partnering With Nature: The Wild Path to Reconnecting With the Earth" is an enchanting gift imparted on behalf of our collective future.

Personal, poetic, and practical, the book is both an endearing window into the life of a fascinating woman and a guide to living in a more reverent and sustainable relationship with Mother Earth.

Unlike many books focused on environmental issues, you won't find an endless, human-hating rant within these pages. Instead, you'll discover the art of celebration and collective embrace. Catriona sees the world through love-tinted lenses and, in witnessing life through her eyes, the reader is given the opportunity to do the same. The author does not shame us into caring about the Earth. No. She is the midwife to our hearts, helping us find enough belonging in this world to want to protect our own.

Though wonderfully lyrical in narrative form, this book is also technically savvy. Catriona is well-grounded in her knowledge of natural history, science, and environmental policy. She supports her personal stories and beliefs with facts drawn from reputable sources.

In reading "Partnering with Nature," you can't help but be drawn into your own childhood memories of interactions with natural wonders - the feathered and furred inspirations and the heartbreaks that initiated you into adulthood. No doubt, you'll also find yourself looking forward as you read on - not just looking forward to the unfolding of the next chapter, but looking forward into the world that lies ahead of us, wondering.

Catriona doesn't dictate what your vision for the future should be.
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