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Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children Paperback – June 1, 1995
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"Deeply satisfying to read--the real joy is making the celebration/renewal of life real in our own lives and with the children who will bring us a new world." (Brooke Medicine Eagle)
"The ideas, suggestions, and activities collected here bring children into rituals that celebrate seasonal cycles and help reclaim the spiritual roots of today's modern holidays." (Feminist Bookstore News)
"For those who have devoted themselves to reawakening Earth Goddess worship, this book will be like coming home, bringing together a multitude of ideas on living with honor, insight and great love. For those who've shied away from earth centered ritual and worship, this book is a map which provides a route of safety through unknown territory.Celebrating the Great Mother is a well-written book with hauntingly beautiful artwork and lovely illustrations throughout, which takes one on a journey of honoring the earth, our families, and our relations with all beings. A journey well worth taking." (Karin Kaplowitz, Talking Leaves)
"This is a handbook for those of us--regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs--who want to share our love of the earth with our children, who know how important this is for the future of our planet, and who use some ideas on how to do it." (The Wellspring Guide)
About the Author
Cait Johnson is an artist and writer who teaches workshops on the Tarot, dream work, and ritual-making. She is the author of Tarot for Every Day: Ideas and Activities for Bringing Tarot Wisdom into Your Daily Life. She lives in the Hudson Valley of New York. Maura D. Shaw, a writer and editor, teaches workshops on creative writing and the Tarot. She is the author of Owl's Journey: Four Centuries of an American County, and co-author (with Sydna A. Byrne) of Foods from Mother Earth: A Basic Cookbook for Young Vegetarians (and Anybody Else). She lives in Wappingers Falls, New York. Cait Johnson and Maura Shaw are also the co-authors of Tarot Games: 45 Playful Ways to Explore Tarot Cards Together, published by Harper San Francisco.
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The information is written in an easy to read, conversational style and can easily be applied in a non-spiritual way of celebrating nature and the earth or as part of an earth based or pagan spiritual tradition. There is very minimal use of words associated with Wicca or other religions so it is very unlikely to offend anyone who is uncomfortable with such beliefs or concepts. Although there is a small section related to Runes, Tarot and Divination (but it could easily be skipped over for those who are bothered by such things) the majority of the book focuses on easy, fun & realistic ways to incorporate seasonal/nature/earth based celebrations & traditions with associated activities and crafts for each.
For those who are on a Pagan path of any flavor, the book is full of wonderful suggestions, activities that are fun for both kids and adults, many resources & information about other books with further information on the various topics. Overall it's just a great resource for parents (or non-parents) who want to incorporate such things into their home or classroom setting.
This book would be great for kindergarten and grades teachers in Waldorf/Steiner schools and/or other nature based school programs.
Some of the topics covered include:
Celebrating the seasons
Nature's sacred world
Seasonal activities for children
Celebrating Fall and Spring equinox celebrations
Celebrating Day of the dead
Making a talking stick
String a native American corn necklace
Making a dream pillow
Bean Runes (later planting bean runes)
Carve a spirit guide
Making a smudge stick
Collecting special stones
Handmade ornaments for a yule tree
Build a sacred winter cave
Plant a light garden
Make special candles
Make a rainstick
Make scented oils
Make a magic wand
Make a sun child crown
Make a harvest figure
Making herbal ice
Plus an items list for the various projects and activities
This is an absolutely wonderful book for those who want to incorporate nature celebrations into their home or classroom.
I am so glad that I did.
This book doesn't stress particularly on any branch of Pagan faith, and I would dare almost call it more of a Shamanistic book with Wicca-based overtones. Even though the title leads you to think it is for parents and children, I absolutely believe that even a younger teen practitioner could get so much use out of this book. It does have some rituals with a more Native American feel to it, but the activities (which include tool making based on the sabbat being discussed) are what makes this book priceless. It's easy to read, easy to follow, and full of ideas to be used throughout the year including altar setups.
This is one book that won't be leaving my shelf; I find it too invaluable.
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