The Fifth Wound by Aurora Mattia, Book Review by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Dreams are a confluence of lifefragments, swelling and dissolving in waves, perpetually on the verge of meanings. What in Physics is called ‘potential energy,’ I refer to as ‘potential meaning,’ the maximum of which is dreaming.

The Fifth Wound, pg 34

There is so much to like about this book even as it is painful to witness Mattia’s journey. It is also confusing at times which might be by design because life, itself, is so confusing. The prepublication material describes this book as a love story between Aurora and Ezekiel. Both Ezekiel and Aurora begin by describing themselves as “fairies.” Ezekiel remains so, Aurora transitions. She calls herself a tgirl or a transgirl.

Mattia leads a life that refuses to be boxed into any “norm.” The vulnerable wounds that she collects as she navigates this challenging path are both internal and external. Ezekiel and Aurora know and love each other both before and after Mattia’s gender confirmation surgery. It takes some work to understand the hardships of those who don’t fit into societies’ norms; these are norms that too often float through our consciousness often without our even being aware. I believe that wrestling with such issues expands our humanity and for this (but not this alone), The Fifth Wound is an important book.


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Finding that Feeling and Standing to Heal the Earth by Caryn MacGrandle

Something happened to me while listening to a song yesterday Mycelia by Yaima Music about the Mycelium Network: the largest living organism in the world underneath our feet, connected by synapses, communicating and assisting life. I found that feeling. 

The one where you know you are on Path.

Laney Goodman who just passed, I remembered her singing and drumming.  I remembered being at ALisa Starkweather’s Daughter of the Earth events, meeting the hundreds of Priestesses that ALisa has brought together and trained over the years. Being in awe. Wishing I was a person who could do that.

I remembered that I Am.

“Starting to Hear the Earth
Standing to Heal the Earth”

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Authenticity by Beth Bartlett

The leaves have finally begun to turn. I’ve been longing for the trees to reveal their true beauty in all their colorful array, and am glad for this beginning. Soon the woods will be filled with the golden, amber, scarlet, and orange glow of the maples, aspen, birch, and oaks of the northern forest.

Hawk Ridge

It is the time of year I would take my Women and Spirituality students to a sacred spot on a ridge high above Lake Superior to explore their spiritual connections with the earth. They would share a particular way they felt a connection to the natural world – often a lake, or a place from their childhood, a tree they loved to climb, their dog, or a stone they carried.   We would circle the large pine and invoke Starhawk’s “Open-Eyed Grounding” practice.[i] They would read and comment on their favorite passages from the readings – selections from Susan Griffin’s Woman and Nature and Carol Christ’s “Rethinking Theology and Nature.”[ii] Then they would disperse across the ridge for their solo encounters with nature, before gathering together again, each returning with something they had discovered during that time.  Then we would talk about the changing colors of the leaves surrounding us and talk about how these were the true colors of the leaves, finally emerging now that the chlorophyll that had disguised them in green was beginning to wane. Taking our cue from the leaves, we would talk about authenticity – about their coming into their own true colors. For that is the work of spiritual growth and transformation — to emerge as our own true selves. Yet, how often our unique and precious beings are taught to mask our true color, blend in — be “green” like everyone else.  What a vivid and beautiful world when we come into our own and share our unique gifts and being with the world.

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