Christin Lore Weber served in a convent for 15 years and earned a Master of Arts degree and a Doctor of Ministry degree in theology and pastoral ministry. Since then she has been a spiritual counselor educator, lecturer, and the author of several books that integrate spirituality with psychology in everyday life. Circle of Mysteries is an expanded version of a book that was originally released in 1995. It centers around Weber's lyrical and ecstatic meditations on the rosary, a devotional tool consisting of five groups of ten beads, separated by a single bead set off from the rest. Where the beads connect there is often a silver metal with an image of Mary on one side and Jesus on the other. From this connector are another five beads. The rosary is completed by the crucifix.
A traditional use of the rosary consists of fifteen meditations and a full rosary had fifteen sets of ten beads. These draw attention to the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries of the life of Jesus the Christ. Pope John Paul II, in 1992, added to the traditional prayer five new "Mysteries of Light," making twenty sets of ten beads in a complete rosary. Most people today, however, use a smaller rosary, called a chaplet, consisting of five decades of beads, and they pray one set of mysteries per day. Weber presents a short history of the rosary and its significance and states:
"For me the rosary is a holy object that connects me to my origin, and the origin of all creation. We spring from God's womb, the Mother-Womb of the Holy One. In art this divine womb is pictured as the cosmic rose. The rosary, in Western spirituality, is what has survived of our devotion to the motherhood of God. It is the mother-prayer. The feminine principle in God has been called by many names: Great Rose, Mother of All, Flower of Venus, Rose of Divine Love. The 'World Tree' of the East was a rose-tree. Barbara Walker tells us this was a female tree of life and immortality and that in Central Asia it was called Woman, the Wellspring. All these images found expression in architecture, especially in the mandala-like rose window of Gothic cathedrals."
Weber mines the many mysteries of Mary, the mother of Jesus but hits high stride with her poems on Mother Wisdom. Here is one example:
"I am the maiden of joy.
I am song in the wind and rain upon the rocks. I am fair love and holy hope and the flight of the dove. I am earth, betrothed. I am mystical rose.
"I am the mother of mystery.
I hold opposites together. I birth children and sever the cord with my teeth. Those I love I send away to their lives. I am the cauldron of fire and the cup of milk. I am the two edged knife.
"I am the old woman: I am the queen.
If you seek me you will find me everywhere. I am the womb of wise blood. I am the world's crown. I am diamond. I am pearl. I shine with the wisdom of God.
"I am the circle of being.
I am glory splendor of infinite life. I am the spiral, the fullness of being, fully becoming, forever, world without end."