"Studying the language of nature can be a dangerous undertaking, for to become literate in nature's idiom, we must challenge our ordinary perceptions and change our consciousness" writes Starhawk, the author of nine books including Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising. She is a veteran of progressive movements and deeply committed to bringing the techniques and creative power of spirituality to political activism. Starhawk travels internationally teaching magic, the tools of ritual and the skills of activism. You can visit her online at www.starhawk.org

In this very practical paperback, the author challenges us to pick up the ball of earth-cherishing spirituality that has been developed over the ages by many indigenous cultures. It is time to give up our domineering attitude toward the natural world and the mechanistic model of the universe. Starhawk shares her philosophy of magic, her belief in permaculture (the principles, practices, and ethics that enable us to design sustainable environments that function like natural systems), and her conviction that science and spirit must be reconciled. But by far the most helpful parts of this excellent resource are the spiritual practices and exercises she presents as ways of grounding our spirits in the rhythms of nature.

Starhawk's favorite is three linked exercises: open-eyed grounding, earth walking, and wide awareness. You can practice these daily. Chapters on air, water, fire, and earth also include meditations and blessings that can bring us to a deeper connection and appreciation of these elements. Other practices which you might want to check out include listening to the birds (see the excerpt), home energy inventory, honoring the waters of the world, and a compost blessing.