Andrew Mayes is an international teacher of spirituality who is currently spirituality advisor to the Anglican Diocese of Chichester, UK, where he has served as director of clergy training. He was the course director at St. George's College, Jerusalem and regularly leads courses in the Holy Land. He is the author of six previous books including Beyond the Edge: Spiritual Transitions for Adventurous Souls.

Mayes sees this sturdy resource as a primer for the spiritual journey, as a useful introduction to the art of reading the transitions that take place in people and, most importantly, as a lexicon of spiritual literacy which enables us to read and then interpret the experiences of our lives. Alphabets and metaphors help us to connect with our encounters with God through others.

In the first chapter, the author circles around our embrace of God as Father, Friend, and Lover. He moves on to an assessment of the inspirational language of poets and artists who map the seasons of the Spirit and our relationships with animals. Music has been called 'the language of the soul" and Mayes ponders its relevance, along with dancing, to the art of letting go and loosening up. Next, the author probes the energizing language of pilgrims and travelers who model for us the movements of the soul.

Other chapters present thought-provoking meditations on the creative language of builders and citizens, the sensuous language of the body, the archetypal language of the elements, the challenging language of struggle, the contemporary language of change and transformation, and the language of darkness and cloud which goes beyond words and images. The questions for reflection and discussion at the end of each chapter provides added value to this paperback.