Monday, October 29, 2018

Book Review: The Holy Wild by Danielle Dulsky

Book Review: The Holy Wild by Danielle Dulsky

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
A couple of weeks ago Dulsky's publisher reached out asking if I would like to read and review a copy of her new book The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman. Of course I jumped on the chance to read a new book, and I am sure glad I did. First of all, I loved this book and it couldn't have arrived in my life at a better time. There have been a lot of transitions and heartache in my personal life over the past year, and this powerful book has given me the strength to continue forward, recognizing I am leaving an old garden to start a new one.

The Holy Wild is broken into five parts centered around the elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether (spirit). Within each section, Dulsky begins with stories (verses) using the Triple Goddess archetype to enhance the lessons, providing feminine archetypes many are familiar with within each section to teach the lesson. Many of her feminine archetypes are Christian-based, which didn't bother me, but may bother some. Dulksy's goal of using Judo-Christian feminine archetypes is to rewrite their stories as heroines who cast aside their patriarchal bonds to reach their higher selves, which resonated with me because I, like many other witches, was raised in a Christian household. I was able to connect to the stories of Lilith, Salome, Mother of Babylon, and Mary Magdalene on a very deep level, recognizing when I had experienced similar instances within my own life. This made Dulsky's words resonate loudly, encouraging me to seek out the Divine Feminine within my self, cast aside the patriarchal bonds that are still present in my own life, and work through some of the pain and hurt I have held onto.

Book Review: The Holy Wild by Danielle Dulsky

After the verses, Dulsky provides a series of rituals and magical spells centered around the lesson and element that the reader can perform to reach the same transformation. Each section has several rituals and spells that can be performed, and Dulsky makes sure to make the reader aware not all rituals need to be performed, and while some are for groups and others for solitaries, they can all be easily adapted to the needs of the reader or readers. One of my favorite rituals was in the water section where Dulsky suggests performing a Sadhana, a 13-day ritual of self-reflection. This is something every single witch should practice frequently throughout their life, especially as we enter periods of change. I thoroughly enjoyed the rituals, but this is not something you embark on during your first reading. I strongly encourage other feminine witches out there to read through the entire book first. Then, on the second read, begin working through the rituals and spells. This is my plan, as it can be daunting to try and tackle both the reading and rituals at the same time.

It is important to note this book is written for women, both cis- and transgendered. Dulsky attempts to say the book is for all pagans, but I can't imagine a man reading this and getting much out of it other than an understanding of the struggles women face on a daily basis and throughout history. I wish I could recommend this book to all witches, but I simply can't because the content is very specific in its intent to help women become their true, unbridled selves. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic, empowering read. If you are going through a rough patch or just feel stuck in your current garden, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Dulsky's The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman today. You won't regret it.

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