Fiona Tinker writes a very personable book. Although this book has structure and order and is packed with information, it feels like having a good chat with a very knowledgable lady about interesting ideas. Rather than try to cast her net too wide she keeps the examples to a few poems focussed on a couple of specific characters. As she explores in the book the poems meaning in this world, and the characters interactions in other worlds, you start to get a sense of how much more there is to explore in a pathworking. Worlds, just as soon as you put down the book and open your mind.

The author doesn’t waste time describing what 1001 other pagan “how to…” guides are more than happy to dictate to you, the casting of circles and the like, that is taken as read and left to the reader to sort out what they are doing, what their tradition or practice suggests. This book is all about the journey of exploration and learning that can be found on a good focussed pathworking and having quality poetry as the gateway into that journey.

Fiona’s knowledge of both poems and celtic mythology is strong (and this comes from someone who lives with a professional storyteller who has spent over 20 years studying mythologies of norther europe). I loved the way she is able to heap information about the mythologies, the characters and back stories into the text. This is delivered elegantly and smoothly, without it once departing from the sense of a relaxed conversation. At no point was there any sense of her showing this off or overloading, it was all palatably presented in the way to best stimulate your own knowledge and ideas.

This is not a text book nor an instructional, it is not a poetry book, or a book of literary criticism – what it is is something greater than all of these, and yet essentially combining elements of all, smoothly and with a clear purpose. An enjoyable read, filled with useful stimulating ideas and passages, built around a wonderfully sound concept, which seems so obviously of great value I wonder the book wasn’t already in existance. It seems like poetry as a basis for pathworking, and pathworking to better understand and engage with poetry should be a normal practice, a traditional one we have been at for years, something referred to in school even as one of the most powerful ways to interpret poetry; and yet I would bet that this will be a new concept to many, even those who already practice one part or the other.

As well as a lovely addition to your own shelves it would make a great gift for anyone who has an interest in either poetry, pathworkings (narrative based meditations) or paganism.

Basically – Buy it – you won’t be dissappointed.
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