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Light Love Rituals: Bulgarian Myths, Legends, and Folklore Paperback – May 26, 2015
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An entertaining and informative novel on the Bulgaria ofyesteryear. Between the pages of this novel are recipes and knowledge tingedwith the mystery of a forgotten time still available to us today. Herbalbackgrounds and why the plants were chosen. You can refer back many times tocheck a fact or prime your memory. --Jordan
Thecollaborative work and research that went into Mystical Emona: Soul's Journeyis apparent from the very beginning. For me it was a journey through pages ofexcellent story telling and prose.... The wind wrapped itself around her in alover's caress' and 'When Stefan arrived back in emona, nature echoed hisfeelings.'...Love it! The joint effort of these authors magically andpoetically take the reader through a mystical world and they cleverlyintertwine different worlds as well as the past and present. --Shazzie
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I particularly liked the breakdown as to why the title for this book: Light, the sun, is one of the main characters in folklore; love is what’s important in human growth; and rituals connect the past to the present and help people embrace the future—“everyone incorporates them into their lives.” Together these three things describe traditions that are part of the soul’s journey. I also liked the breakdown of sections into seasons, my favorite being winter when burning incense to cleanse away bad spirits occurs. It was enjoyable to read that solstice is when the sun was reborn and Survaki is the party to bring in the New Year. It is a time when bachelors and boys travel house to house with Survachka, they tap family and friends on the back with a stick = a blessing. We could use some of that worldwide today. And then there’s the time around March, which is dedicated to pacifying Baba Marta, an angry old woman who personifies the unpredictable. And then there was St. George Day in May, a celebration of archangel Michael, aka Rangel, where I smiled while reading, “if a person dies smiling, St. Michael has given him a golden apple in exchange for his soul.” Lastly the food and recipes where I surprisingly learned that yogurt has over 100 varieties. The only down side to the book was the recipes were too small to read on my kindle.
There’s so much more but I don’t want to retell the stories here, just to bring out the impression they left with me. And it was an enjoyable one. A book can do to things, it can teach and it can entertain. This book shines in both aspects. For anyone who is a lover of Joseph Campbell and all things mythical, folklore, traditional, etc. this is the book for you.
Those who never fall into fits of crafting, will find a delightful well researched story of Bulgarian customs. Aveela traces the roots of folk rituals in Bulgaria back to their roots in Greek mythology and adds how they changed in meaning with the advent of Christianity. Her use of a fictional family living through their rituals helped me remember and keep track of what happens when. I found Nikki especially endearing with his enthusiasm for stories of the old days and customs.
Beyond the surface of learning about history, customs and crafts lies a deeper importance to this story. In a world shrunk by the internet, jet travel and global conflicts, it becomes increasingly important to understand the history and reasoning of people in different cultures. In the West we are not at all familiar with the Eastern Orthodox religion. Although the Patriarchies differ between branches of the Orthodox, much of the background is common. I learned a great deal about that background through this story.
This is a great book to read in the twenty minutes before falling asleep at night. It will bring you sweet but vivid dreams of strange places and customs.
Light Love Rituals, is a wealth of Knowledge of Bulgaria’s ancient customs and how they are celebrated today. Light Love Rituals is a well-crafted, highly informative and beautifully illustrated. There are wonderful recipes. There are quizzes. Well done. I highly recommend this book.
The first reason I enjoyed Ms. Aveela's book was the thoroughness of her research. Each subject of her book (a particular ritual, a recipe, a craft, or a historical fact) is interwoven with an competent confidence that can only come with an author who knows what she is writing about. Throughout the text, there is a convergence of ancient paganism, eastern Christian Orthodoxy, regional animism, and family traditions. From the early-on explanation of Christmas origins, I knew I was going to be happy.
The second reason I enjoyed Light Love Rituals was the way it was organized. For the most part, it progressed through the calender year, examining the traditions of major holidays and ceremonies. Each chapter began with an objective, historical explanation, which one half of my brain could grab onto. Next (and best of all!), was the ongoing narration of one family's experience while participating in the traditions. The other half of my brain really got into this track of the book because I got to know the family intimately. This is where Ms. Aveela's writing really shone for me. I would even encourage her to pursue other fiction ventures for this reason. Also, there were "Did you know?" boxes throughout the book, and I love little factoids to keep me interested.
Good book. A lot of effort went into this project, and it shows.