Spiritual tourism does have some positive byproducts. The genuinely seeking tourists see for themselves the sites of ancient legend and bring to their homes new perspectives and shared visions for connecting to those foreign worlds. Invoking the Scribes of Ancient Egypt is a book about these very people. This is not a self-indulgent torture session with vacation slides. This is a tour, a travel journal, and a book of ritual.

This travelogue-cum-anthology-cum-spiritual exercise book blends narrative and ritual practice into an envy inducing package that can make a writer or reader wish to take the trip, too. Gloria Taylor Brown and Normandi Ellis traveled, they coached a group of women with writing exercises, guided them with meditations and led them in ritual. The women share the results of this work as well as their own experiences on the trip. From grief to celebration to awareness of age, these personal narratives blend together into their own teaching package.

The authors balance well between the personal and the spiritual. While the women on the tour happened to have the means to tour Egypt for themselves, a reader at home who might not visit Egypt can still use the writing exercises, rituals and techniques shared at much lower cost than the airfare to Cairo.


~ review by Diana Rajchel

Authors: Normandi Ellis and Gloria Taylor Brown
Bear & Company Books, 2011
pp. 307, $18.00