There is sadly a dearth of books that specifically deal with paganism as an expressly eco-spiritual path. Most texts either ignore the ecological implications, or give lip service to “honoring the Earth”. Gaia Eros is a lovely exception to this trend, and one that will have an important place on my bookshelf and research.
Hardin lives in the American southwest on a piece of land that he and others have reclaimed as a wilderness preserve. The dedication to this land, and the Earth overall, is clearly evident in the collection of essays in this book. Issues of sustainability are a common theme woven throughout, but he also touches on sacred and healthy sexuality and connection, peace and politics, active and living spirituality as opposed to dogmatic religion and lip service, and even an essay on the basics of how to obtain and preserve your own wild land for generations to come.
Most of the text is philosophical in nature rather than how-to and hands-on. What makes it so valuable, though, is that it gets the reader to really think about hir actions; this thinking leads to change in one’s behaviors, optimally towards a more sustainable, Earth-friendly life overall. This is a book for people who already have plenty of information on spells, rituals, and other basic techniques; it is a way to recalibrate how we use these things, as well as how we use more mundane tools and activities.
I think I personally would have liked the book better had it been organized more as a chapter-by-chapter text, with each chapter covering a specific topic, rather than a group of essays with little segue from one to the next. This is probably due to my having a fairly linear preference when reading, however, and some folks may prefer this book simply because it’s so easy to simply pick it up and start reading anywhere you open it. The material itself is excellent, regardless of organization, so I wouldn’t dock this book much for being essays rather than proper chapters.
Overall, it’s a great read and will be joining some of my favorite texts in influencing my path as it continues to develop in a more ecological direction.
~review by Lupa
Author: Jesse Wolf Hardin
New Page, 2004
pp. 220, $14.99