Ritual Tools

How appropriate that this book came to me at this time of the year – the time of the Crone (and Sage), the ending of the year. Moreover, this is a wonderful book written in the spirit (and pattern) of folktales while retaining its relevance to modern life. Author Vila SpiderHawk's writing is clear and lucid without losing a rich sense of passion.


Much like Pinkolas’ Women Who Run with the Wolves, Hidden Passages uses storytelling to explore deeper patterns, honoring women of all ages. These are not tales of drifting away from life, as anyone who knows a crone will recognize, but juicy stories of transformation, of loss and of life, of somber reflection and joyful discovery. Lessons are provided for those who look a little deeper, but these are not morality plays, bluntly shoving the point into the readers’ face.


Eight short stories tell the tales of eight wonderfully ordinary women. Full of beauty, and strength, the women take us with them on part of their journey through life. I found the tales to be incredibly evocative, at times coming eerily close to personal experiences (not literally, but in resonance, certainly – and isn’t that a mark of good fiction?).


Entertaining, well-written, and just plain good, Hidden Passages is a wonderful book for women of all ages. Highly recommended. (Note: excerpts from Hidden Passages are available at Ms. Spiderhawk’s website, link below.)


~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Villa SpiderHawk
Vanilla Heart Books, 2006
pp. 292, $14.95