Welcome to my Inner World. I am a French self-taught artist, and these past twenty years I have made Norway my home. Moving to the Lofoten islands was the greatest present I ever made to myself and the Arctic landscapes are indeed a true treat for any artist’s eyes. I live with my British soulmate,… Continue Reading

My Digital Art

We Borrow the Earth by Patrick Jasper Lee

 

Amazon.co.uk Review for the first edition
The gypsies, or Romanies, have long been known for their esoteric spirituality, even if it’s only Gypsy Rose Lee reading tarot cards at seaside fairs. Patrick Jasper Lee trained himself from childhood to be a Chovihano, a Gypsy shaman or healer. This fascinating book is an account of how he followed that path, what he has learnt and how it is relevant to all of us today. The title comes from the gypsy belief that we cannot own the Earth or what it produces; we can only borrow it. According to Lee, “the words ‘own’ and ‘possession’ [have] no equivalent in the Romani Gypsy language”.

Shamanism involves journeys to the Other world, journeys of imagination and visualisation. The book contains many examples of these, which read like traditional fairy stories–which is significant because gypsies are fond of storytelling, and have always had a close link with nature, especially woodland and all that is associated with it. Lee writes unselfconsciously of his conversations with trees and his meetings with fairies–the Biti Foki or Small Folk.

This is a very personal story; Lee tells of his great-grandfather Jack Lee, also a Chovihano, who brought a curse on the family by moving into a house; and of his Puri Dai (old mother) or grandmother, who was a formidable force in his clan, and who taught him much of what he knows about the deeper side of gypsy beliefs. Now, as the old family ties have broken down, he believes he may be the only Chovihano left in Britain, possibly even in Western Europe. As he shares his story with gaujo, non-gypsies, we can only be saddened at the fading of this unique culture. —David V Barrett

A second edition is now available on Amazon:

Product Description for the new edition 2013

Originally published by Thorsons in 2000, We Borrow the Earth is an authentic and open account of the author’s Earth-based customs, depicting his curious life as probably the last indigenous Romani Chovihano or medicine man in Western Europe. This revised second edition includes a new chapter Encounters with Ancient Spirits Using Gypsy Magic and a candid Foreword by the author’s cousin and close friend Chilly (Charles) Lee.
borrow

The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula K. Le Guin

 

Often compared to Tolkien’s Middle-earth or Lewis’s Narnia, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea is a stunning fantasy world that grabs quickly at our hearts, pulling us deeply into its imaginary realms. Four books (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, and Tehanu) tell the whole Earthsea cycle–a tale about a reckless, awkward boy named Sparrowhawk who becomes a wizard’s apprentice after the wizard reveals Sparrowhawk’s true name. The boy comes to realize that his fate may be far more important than he ever dreamed possible. Le Guin challenges her readers to think about the power of language, how in the act of naming the world around us we actually create that world. Teens, especially, will be inspired by the way Le Guin allows her characters to evolve and grow into their own powers.

In this first book, A Wizard of Earthsea readers will witness Sparrowhawk’s moving rite of passage–when he discovers his true name and becomes a young man. Great challenges await Sparrowhawk, including an almost deadly battle with a sinister creature, a monster that may be his own shadow. –This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

In The Forest of Serre by Patricia A. McKillip

 

Book Description
In the tales of World Fantasy Award-winning author Patricia McKillip, nothing is ever as it seems. A mirror is never just a mirror; a forest is never just a forest. Here, it is a place where a witch can hide in her house of bones and a prince can bargain with his heart…where good and evil entwine and wear each others’ faces… and where a bird with feathers of fire can quench the fiercest longing…

The Buried Soul by Timothy Taylor

 

From Booklist
Taylor’s entertaining, if grisly, interpretative history turns the raw gleanings of two centuries of archaeology on their head. Referencing his own experience, as well as others’ documented discoveries, he expounds on the pervasiveness of such practices as funerary cannibalism, vampirism, and human sacrifice, and he poses the question, Which came first, the notion of the soul or the ceremonial burial of remains? His conclusions, as he acknowledges, may be somewhat unsettling. Caches of bones, pottery shards, and tools reveal only the most basic clues, and the majority of archaeologists, filtering those clues through their modern “visceral insulation” from things pertaining to death, are, by Taylor’s lights, unable to acknowledge how prevalent cannibalism and ritual sacrifice were and are. Furthermore, while widespread popular thought maintains that humans acquired belief in the soul first and then developed ritual burial, Taylor considers the reverse to be more accurate: the immortal soul was invented as a result of the first burial ceremonies. Taylor demonstrates, albeit in highly scholarly style, the value of postulating well-developed, opposing points of view. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review
‘I never would have thought that archaeology would be so interesting, so relevant to how we think today . . . and so disturbing. In The Buried Soul, Timothy Taylor tells a provocative and often grisly tale. This is a fascinating book, grippingly written, of considerable scope and ambition.’ -Paul Bloom, professor of psychology, Yale University