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Pagan Portals - Dancing with Nemetona: A Druid's exploration of sanctuary and sacred space Kindle Edition
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Joanna’s language is delight-full, it lights up the heart with joy, enchanting you to dance with the goddess. She is an enchantress, a sacred singer.
Joanna connects with Elen, the deer goddess; she says, “I’ve always thought of Nemetona as a relation to the ever elusive goddess, Elen.” Later, when talking about the woods and forests, she says “meet with Nemetona, and indeed her wilder sister, Elen.” This again speaks to me.
Dancing with Nemetona will go onto the bookshelf by my bed and likely become dog-eared as I’ll be dipping into it often to be refreshed and enchanted. It will go on my Kindle so that when I’m out camping in the woods I can lie in my hammock of an evening and read while the owls sing in the trees around me.
A modern Druid, Joanna van der Hoeven uses her personal journey to illustrate her themes and suggests practices to explore them – within the home, within the forest and within the inner world. These practices, and the book as a whole, are accessible to beginners or non-aligned seekers as well as those already grounded in Druid and Pagan tradition. This is helped by the careful arrangement of the book in six chapters: Lady of Boundaries and Edges; Lady of Hearth and Home; Lady of the Sacred Grove; Lady of sanctuary; Lady of Ritual: Lady of Everything and Nothing.
The last chapter opens the way to reflections on personal identity and the no self/true self paradox of Zen and other non-dual traditions. To enter into “immersion into the entirety of being … to be at one with existence, to truly experience life”, there seems to be a necessary letting go of our customary self-sense and a finding of true self through being in the moment, returning to the core. In this way the book continues the journey of the author’s earlier and well-received Zen Druidry.
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