This book has been bouncing around my review circle for a little while, mostly because I think most of us feel a little burned out on 'shamanism' right now. And that's a shame, because Web of Life isn't actually about shamanism except in the loosest of ways. Ryves puts it best:

"The web of life is a complex structure and we travel without a map or GPS system to help us navigate our path through it. . . Without a framework of some kind to guide and support us we may suffer a loss of connection to our spiritual self, whereas with one, we can develop a sense of direction and a conscious connection to who and where we are." (Introduction)

While the circle or wheel is common to many cultures, each has variations -- some subtle, some gross -- which can make the symbol very different. Moreover, since the imagery and attributes are likely not from our own cultural background, or since many of us have several cultures in our history, attributes can be confusing or even contradictory.

In Web of Life, Ryves offers ways for the reader to create her own web. She uses symbols already in use (like circles) and the creation of sacred space, which will be familiar to many of us in the alternative spirituality community. However, she does so without structure and a minimum of direction, allowing the reader the ultimate freedom to create her own methodology and path.

This is a little book, but packed with ideas and power. Highly recommended.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Yvonne Ryves
Moon Books, 2013
pp. 82, $9.95

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