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In Riding into Your Mythic Life, Patricia Broersma guides readers on their own transformational adventures with horses. Broersma speaks from wisdom in many areas. A riding instructor, Broersma understands the mechanical needs of horses. I was drawn to this book because I practice animal magick and because my close friend rides. I hope to learn more about animal behavior so that I can communicate with them better psychically. Broersma describes meditative and active practices. Whenever she suggests an exercise involving imagination, her perception of the astral familiar is closely rooted in her experience with live horses. I prefer animal magick that works with the true nature of the beast.

Overall, the book is about all things equine. Reflecting on life and psychology, Broersma, in some chapters, trespasses outside the realm of horses. The furthest I have seen Broersma sidetrack from the topic of horses is her chapter on sacred theater, which she concludes in mask making guidelines (p. 173). Horses become models for masks in sacred theater. I believe the book would be a more meaningful read if the intersections were smoother. There is something special about a book with a unique objective, whose author creatively maneuvers many territories with the theme at the forefront. Broersma’s horses blaze through emotional terrain as they adventure with their human companions.

Broersma speaks from years of experience with riders, people who have passionately connected with horses. Sometimes Broersma suggests exercises, which will help people mentally connect with horses. Other times she shares a story of people being touched by swift moving horses.

Riding into Your Mythic Life can accommodate any equine friend on a spiritual path. Because of Broersma’s wording, the book might be especially intriguing for a Goddess worshipper. Broersma compares the horseshoe to Isis’ moon tiara, which traditionally was the hieroglyph for throne (p. 108).

From Riding into Your Mythic Life, readers learn about horse and human psychology. Broersma shares stories of people who trained their horses to accommodate specific issues the riders faced. Riders learned about horse nature and also about their own setbacks as they experienced challenges with horses.

Broersma discusses a metaphysical space well known among artists and other creative people: “the zone.” In Chapter Nine, Broersma enters “the zone” with Emerald, her fond equine friend (p. 161). While in “the zone,” Broersma and Emerald move harmoniously. Broersma overcomes blocks in communication with Emerald. In many cases, harmony is the goal of this book.

Peace of mind is a goal, for many of Broersma’s clients either accept aspects of themselves that horseriding has made clear. Peace, in the sense of stillness, is less often invoked in this text. The characters, horses and riders, are active, constantly pushing themselves to higher limits.

In the concluding chapter, Broersma discusses partnership between horse and human (p. 176). The concept is in line with her stories and instructions throughout the book. I only wonder why Broersma did not mention partnership earlier. Partnership seems a fundamental model to how Broersma interprets relationships between humans and animals. Promoting therapeutic practices, Broersma encourages her readers to become meditative and mindful of their horses’ needs.    

 

~review by: Michelle Mueller

Author: Patricia Broersma

New World Library, 2007

pp. 213, $23.95

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