Books

I’m a bibliophile. No really. I’ve got a problem. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a 12 Step Program and frankly, I’m not looking to get cured. I’m always reading about 3-4 books at a time. I don’t recommend this.

I’m going to limit this page to books on the topic of spirituality. I’m linking to Amazon to make it easy for you to find out more about these titles although, as always, I encourage you to patronize your local libraries and independent bookstores.

The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho

I picked this book up dozens of times over the years and heard so many people praise it. Now I know why. A beautiful fable in a world where no one writes them anymore. By employing the techniques of the fable, it shoots like an arrow straight into your heart.

The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom
by Christine Valters Painters

I cannot say enough about this book. Each chapter is a reflection on wisdom earned from monastic wisdom, written by a Benedictine oblate (she lives the life of a nun but in the world, married, etc. — think Kathleen Norris). At the end of each chapter are suggestions for lectio divina as well as some creative practices, such as creating your own wisdom cards or altar, or writing haiku. I had been wanting to understand lectio better and Painters suggests wonderful passages from scripture that transcend dogma or denomination. And I had been looking for a way to make “arting” a spiritual practice. Painters write evocatively to boot. This book is a true treasure. Although it is set up as a 12-week program, I’m more on the 12-month plan, really savoring the wisdom and the hands-on exercises. Get this book!

The Book of English Magic
by Philip Carr-Gomm & Richard Heygate

Very much looking forward to reading this book by the Chief Druid of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids.

Book of Shadows: A Modern Women’s Journey into the Wisdom of Witchcraft and the Magic of the Goddess
by Phyllis Curott

This was a great introduction when I first joined a Women’s Sacred Circle and explore paganism. I didn’t end up a Wiccan, as Curott is, but Book of Shadows an engaging story of Curott’s own journey into Wicca, the slow unfolding of her true path.

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity
by David Lynch

Totally unexpected. Totally cool. Yes, that David Lynch. Twin Peaks. Blue Velvet. Lynch speaks like a yogi (he’s been practicing Transcendental Meditation for decades) and the crazy artist that he is. Here’s the chapter titled ‘Eraserhead’: “Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie. No one understands when I say that, but it is. Eraserhead was growing in a certain way, and I didn’t know what it meant. I was looking for a key to unlock what these sequences were saying. Of course, I understood some of it; but I didn’t know the thing that just pulled it all together. And it was a struggle. So I got out my Bible and I started reading. And one day, I read a sentence. And I closed the Bible, because that was it; that was it. And then I saw the thing as a whole. And it fulfilled this vision for me, 100 percent. I don’t think I’ll ever say what that sentence was.”

Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
by Cynthia Bourgeault

I tried reading this book once and it felt very beyond me. I came back to it again many years later and it was a different experience and I found myself devouring this book. For such a simple practice, Bourgeault dives deep. Although written by a Christian, pagans can totally use and benefit from the practice of centering prayer.

Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole
by Robert Moss

Druid Animal Oracle Deck
by Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm

A really helpful tool for learning animals important to druidic studies. Not my fave for divination.

Druidcast: the Podcast of the Order of Bards, Ovates, & Druids

Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience
by Sharon Salzburg

A Buddhist perspective on faith.

How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist
by Andrew Newberg

One of the first books I read right after a profound experience that brought me live a life embedded in Spirit. It helped ground me at a time I thought I was going slightly insane. Not too crazy with the science—even I could understand it.

The Kingdom of Ordinary Time
by Marie Howe

I don’t read a lot of poetry, but Howe is breathtaking. Her ability to capture the liminal in language is astonishing.

Listening with the Heart: A Guide for Compassionate Listening
by Carol Hwoschinsky at The Compassionate Listening Project

I got this book as a small group ministry facilitator. It’s a good beginning and helped me enormously as a facilitator.

Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
by Daniel Ladinsky

Oh how I love this book! I’ve recently discovered the power and beauty of lectio divina but, being a pagan, I don’t always want to be doing it with the Bible. This book provides inspiration, prayer, and much fruit for lectio. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Featured poets include: Rabia, St. Francis of Assisi, Rumi, Meister Eckhart, St. Thomas Aquinas, Hafiz, St. Catherine of Siena, Kabir, Mira, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and Tukaram.

The Path of Druidry: Walking the Ancient Green Way
by Penny Billington

Penny is the editor of Touchstone, the magazine of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m looking forward to reading this.

Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
by Thich Nhat Han

So beautiful. So peaceful. So powerful. So empowering.

Practical Spirituality: The Spiritual Basis of Nonviolent Communication (Nonviolent Communication Guides)
by Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD

A nice little intro to the connection between Non-Violent Communication and spirituality.

Practicing Resurrection: A Memoir of Work, Doubt, Discernment, and Moments of Grace
by Nora Gallagher

Read it for Gallagher’s staggering command of language—beautifully, beautifully written. Read it for her powerful journey of discernment as she tries to understand her call to ministry.

Speak Peace in a World of Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change Your World
by Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD

The book that started me down the path of Non-Violent Communication.

Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World’s Holy Dead
by Peter Manseau

Manseau is a great writer. The subject of relics is fascinating and not limited to Catholics, as I so naively presumed. Fascinating look at a particular aspect of religious culture and belief that has always perplexed me, written with respect and passion.

Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
Rainer Maria Rilke (Author), Anita Barrows (Translator), Joanna Macy (Translator)

I’m not a big poetry fan, though I’m coming to get that its not always about understanding but about a felt experience. I just keep this book on a table and sometimes, when I just need to touch some kind of experience of the Divine, I reach for it.

Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life
by Tom Cowan

I’m working through the ways I can integrate shamanic technologies into my already established Celtic-influenced spiritual path. I much prefer Cowan’s writing style to Harner’s, which I find more accessible and engaging.

The Way of the Shaman
by Michael Harner

Although this book feels a bit dated in it’s writing style and this doesn’t begin to touch on the things you will learn in the various workshops conducted by Harner’s Foundation of Shamanic Studies still, this is a great place to start if you are interested in understanding more about shamanic technologies.

Website for the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
by Pema Chödrön

I dipped into this when my father was diagnosed with melanoma. Although I haven’t read it cover to cover, the essays I read on fear, hopelessness, and death helped me to feel grounded again. Chödrön is so straight forward and sensible, it seems easier to get a grip on yourself after reading her.

The Wisdom of Your Dreams: Using Dreams to Tap Into Your Unconscious and Transform Your Life
by Jeremy Taylor

Taylor is one of the masters of dreamwork and this book is a great place to start. He covers tips for improving dream recall, considering your dream in the light of Jungian psychology and the collective unconscious, reflecting on dreams as an evolutionary tool for the culture at large, recurring dreams, childhood memory recovering using dreams, doing dreamwork in groups, etc. It’s not a light read, but it is fascinating and helpful.

The Witch’s Cauldron: The Craft, Lore, and Magick of Ritual Vessels
by Laura Tempest Zakroff

The Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation
by Frederick Frankck

Filled with powerful pen/ink drawings by the author, this is a lovely rumination on being in the moment and on drawing as a spiritual and meditative practice.