The Moon Diva's Guidebook is a gloriously creative collection of art, exercises, stories, rituals, and recipes dedicated to exploring the rich, painful liminal period of transition. How do you know if you are a woman in transition? Are you moving from one place to another -- physically, mentally, or spiritually? Are you having to 'adjust' to a change in your life?

The Guidebook is a collection of practices Vesta has found helpful for herself and the women she has coached over the years. I found her admonition to pay attention to your aversion, your fear and your anxiety particularly wise. Those negative emotions can often function as markers of challenge, places where you are being given an opportunity to grow beyond a limitation. The author recommends, above all, trusting your process while being gentle yet firm with yourself.

The Guidebook has no page numbers, and one is invited to dip in and out, reading and doing the exercises that call to you, rather than in any kind of chronological fashion. Some of us might choose to copy the pages onto watercolor paper and create pages of colored art. Others of us might choose to focus on the words and recipes a bit more.

I particularly enjoyed her 'Love your Body' section which begins with Breast Love for any day and everyday. This includes a lovely Oil and Tea or Bath. We then embrace the Belly, often a source of angst and unhappiness for us. The Heart and The Womb are then embraced and explored, and I must commend Vesta for being open to the Womb as a source of creation, even in non-bleeding women (or those with, as she says, spirit wombs).

As Vesta says, "Life is transition, and transitions are powerful times, true opportunities for absolute transformation. However, transitions may also be painful, chaotic, disorienting and isolating. American culture lacks the ritual solidity to bolster and fortify those in transitory life experiences." Her Guidebook is a gorgeous foundation and support for your transition time and I urge all women to buy a copy. (That said, she has released a .pdf of the book for free, so money is no barrier to your acquisition.)

"Believe and trust. Be gentle with yourself. Appreciate and love the absolute wonder that you are!"

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Written & Illustrated by Lara Vesta
Inkwater Press, 2012
pp. 174, $15.95
ISBN # 978-1592998302