“Holistic” is a word that has really caught on these days in many different fields, and while it used to mainly in the domain of metaphysical, “new age” and natural approach books, it’s not uncommon to hear it around the office, too.  In her book The Great Work, Tiffany Lazic epitomizes holistic by providing a really neat, integrated system for all-around healing that is based on the Wheel of the Year.

As many of you may know, the Wheel of the Year, very simply, is the idea that as the seasons change we celebrate changes in our own lives. Those who follow nature-based religions should be extremely familiar with it already.  But Lazic makes it clear that even if the Wheel of the Year is a new concept for you, you don’t need to wait for a particular part of the year to start healing yourself.

The chart at the beginning of the book is an invaluable asset and is a great quick reference, but if you’re not sure where to start, there is a self-assessment survey that can be done before you start working with the book so you know what parts of you need the most healing.

A concept specific to this book that was new to me was the “Hynni” (pronounced “honey”). Lazic uses this system “for facilitating healing through achieving holistic balance.” The Welsh word for “energy”, the practice is “to achieve inner and outer balance through the work of shifting limiting self-perspectives and illuminating Essence.” In other words, it helps you find the places in your life where things aren’t working and gives you suggestions on how to remove blockages.

One of the facets of the system that I found the most interesting was that while there are eight parts of the Wheel, the author actually follows every two sessions with a “process” that focuses on a particular moon phase: waxing, full, waning, and dark. These can be used separately as well, so if you are feeling cynical or overwhelmed, or lack joy for life, you would focus on the Waxing Moon, which Lazic entitles, “Innocence and Openings”. So if you open this book expecting only eight approaches to healing, don’t be disappointed; you’re actually getting twelve.
 Lazic is a spiritual psychotherapist, and her experience really shows in each chapter as she discusses some of the psychological aspects of each part of the year. But what I truly found valuable was the fact that both a psychological and a spiritual approach are not only evident in the book but totally integrated. In other words, what people are feeling psychologically is married to the activities and reflection suggestions that are given for each phase.

If you need suggestions on different gods or goddesses to work with, or different activities to enhance your personal healing work, you need to look no further; there is a wide variety of suggestions, combining different spiritual traditions and modalities. The chakras, for example, are referenced throughout the book, and other metaphysical and spiritual practices such as yoga, tarot, dancing and chanting, and runes are made available to you.

If you’re looking to jump-start your healing and you’re not afraid to take a good hard look at yourself, I highly recommend The Great Work.

~review by John Marani

Author: Tiffany Lazic
Llewellyn Worldwide, 2015
pp.399, $24.99