on 1 October 2011
This book from Susan Greenwood is an excellent read, that takes the reader on a virtual `how to' journey into the connectivity between the human mind and the natural world. Taking several examples from indigenous societies around the world, Greenwood reveals the connection between the animal spirit and that of human spirit in her description of the "Wild Hunt' where she highlights how, "Human being and animals are enmeshed in relationships of reciprocity," Greenwood, 2005: 137) an ontological approach that provides vivid examples to illustrate this relationship between the Rock Cree of Manitoba, Canada and the animals they hunt for sustenance. As a contrast, Greenwood draws upon the work of world class philosopher Gregory Bateson to inform the reader of the tragic disconnect of humanity from our natural ecology, which evolved out the `scientific' infancy of the 16th and 17th century that denied nature of it's independent life-force instead into an inanimate object devoid of any power, power which was reserved solely to mankind's interpretation of `God' as a reflection conceived in human terms (Greenwood, 2005:207).
Greenwood invites the reader to reflect upon `magic consciousness' as a state of mind that is a natural force, not a supernatural one. Susan Greenwood's book the "The Nature of Magic" is well-researched and extensively documented from her personal experience and multiple ethnographies. This accounts for her statements of inter-connectivity of the minds of humanity with the natural world since magic is not an unnatural state, but a perfectly human state of mind not confined to the annals of historical myths but potentially with all of us.
This highly readable book is a must, for those who wish to embark on a journey explore their own personal connection with the natural world. Greenwood's book "The Nature of Magic" provides the reader with a `road map' for that journey.
on 2 December 2012
An intelligent look at 'magical consciousness', which takes magic out of the field of superstition and fantasy, and shows it to be a valid way of relating to the world around us, and forging webs of meaning in a sometimes bewildering environment. Every would-be witch and magician should read this, and bin their crappy wicca-lite books.