58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Fanning the Faery Fire
, November 19, 2005
This review is from: The Dreamer's Book of the Dead: A Soul Traveler's Guide to Death, Dying, and the Other Side (Paperback)
I think our ancestors knew some things we've forgotten. I'm not sure WHY we forgot but it's definitely time to start remembering. This is the third or fourth book by Robert Moss I've read and he always stirs me in ways I can't fully express.
This book reminded me of one morning when I was ten and I got up and found my grandmother crying. I asked her why and she recounted a dream that she'd had thirty years earlier that had accurately predicted the death of her only son.
All of our lives are full of such anomalies, such little bits of magic, until we quickly sweep them under the carpet.
Conscensus reality is like a carefully constructed stage set we all agree to believe in--until we see some pipes or wiring sticking out where they shouldn't be. We quickly scissor those moments out of our awareness because they don't fit.
Those moments are what this book is about.
"The Dreamer's Book of the Dead" reminded me of another book I read called "Lincoln's unknown private life, an oral history by his black housekeeper." At one point in this book this very ancient black lady (who reminded me of rosa parks) reported discussing the after-life with Lincoln and concluded by saying, "When you get right down to it, the only thing Mr. Lincoln REALLY believed in was dreams."
Indeed. Interesting an iconic figure like Lincoln, at the center of our culture, should hold views like that--and yet nobody ever talks about it. It's swept under the carpet.
This is a book about bringing things OUT from under that cultural carpet, a book about remembering things our ancestors knew.
My point is this--Moss's book says that being visited by the dead in dreams is something our ancestors accepted. Then he takes you on a very entertaining spiritual tour of the various imaginal realms where the dead might reside (and into which we will all be moving before too long).
He weaves that together with several colorful threads: the mystical beliefs of that arch-romantic William Butler Yeats, and that fascinating gathering of geniuses, cranks and visionaries known as The Golden Dawn who revived western magic in the early twentieth century.
It's not all entertainment, though, he offers practical advice on how to deal with spirits or ghosts in various stages of stuckness in the after-life. (Advice I hope I never personally need).
As always he mentions, in passing, things that fascinate and tweak the imagination--for example, british magicians (golden dawn?) battling nazi occultists during world war two. (Ha! What could be more fun than that?)
But what I really enjoyed about this was the sense that you journey back into the ancestral mists to revisit the spiritual beliefs that sustained our celtic ancestors for uncounted centuries before the coming of Christianity. That's actually one of the things about this I resonated to most strongly.
And, as he makes clear, encounters with spirits (humans who are "dead"), faeries (non-human energies), and various magical beings isn't really uncommon.
If you think about your life, you've had such encounters. It's just that we live in an era when we are encouraged to screen such anomalies out of our awareness (that cultural rug again).
How sad and how boring.
It denies a large part of who and what we are. Wouldn't you really rather open the door to the wider reality? What if we spun that oppressive cultural rug into a flying carpet?
If you agree, Moss will give you flying lessons.
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