Among the thick books I have read, “Divining with Animal Guides: Answers from the World at Hand,” by Hearth Moon Rising, is on my top ten. I had to fight and use my willpower to keep reading many sections of it.
Despite the proposal and the level of research invested in the book, the style of Hearth Moon Rising gets heavy and thick more often than I could handle. Hence the long time it took me to finish it, almost three months.
I must admit that the first chapter, which explains a lot of the cat’s mythology and correspondences, along with diverse encounters the author had with this animal, was a delight and a great reading. I wouldn’t mind going through it again in. You don’t find such a juicy text that often.[ad name=”AdSense Responsive”]
However, the rest of Divining with Animal Guides is hard to follow, and there even entire sections that made no sense to me. I couldn’t follow the ideas no matter how hard I tried, and I had to let them be and remain with a vague, general understanding of the idea.
There were parts, mostly the encounters explained by the author, that caught my attention and made it an easier reading process to deal with, however, the dense and the large amount of details were still an issue for me.
The fact that the author used only feminine pronouns, assuming all of the animals and the myths described were intended for women, also bothered me at some point, making me feel excluded from the narrative. I acknowledge the feminine side of divinity and spirituality, but just as I dislike the feminine side being suppressed, I dislike it happening to the masculine side as well.
Despite the fact that it is perhaps the heaviest book I’ve read so far, at least on Pagan matters, the amount of research and information offered by Hearth Moon Rising on Divining with Animal Guides is invaluable, making it the right choice for those who want to deepen their knowledge on the matter.
One of the reasons for this is the inclusion of animals easy to be found, but also that of mor exotic, unusual species that add information usually not included due to the lack of knowledge or how popular said animals are. That’s information you will not find so easily if not in Moon Rising’s book.
One could say that including uncommon animals would be a bad idea, but I always celebrate those options that expand knowledge on any topic out of well-known limits. There’s a lot of information about cats and horses, but seems like no one has cared about bees or woodpeckers, for example, until now. Divining with Animal Guides breaks with this, offering an organized and interesting approach at these species.
You will also discover that each animal serves as a link to a specific topic that widens the information and signs to take into account when diving by animals, such as sounds, marks, direction, numbers, among others. Despite the intention is good, it could make this a more complicated reading.
I would only recommend that readers get the author’s previous work before getting this, her second book, in order to have a better idea of what they will find, get familiar with her style, have a first approach and understanding of the topic and get the most of this book.
Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Moon Books; Reprint edition (February 23, 2018)
Publication Date: February 23, 2018
About the author:
Hearth Moon Rising lives in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, where she practices a nature-based craft. Hearth’s first book, Invoking Animal Magic, was hailed for its innovative approach to connecting with animal spirits. She is an ordained priestess in two traditions, and has taught magic for over twenty-five years.
About the reviewer:
Bader Saab is a digital journalist and self-published writer; a solitary, eclectic wiccan interested in the darker side of magic and divination; a gothic guy that tries to educate whenever he cans. Hopefully, someday he will succeed in one of them.