New edition of Patricia Damery’s ‘Farming Soul’

Leaping Goat Press has issued a new edition of Patricia Damery’s Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation, a unique look at our relationship with our psyche and the natural world. I enjoyed the first edition of this mythic book when it appeared in 2010. Now, with a foreword by Robert Sardello, co-founder of the School of Spiritual Psychology, Farming Soul will transform the lives of more readers drawn to its wisdom.

From the Publisher

farmingsoul2014In the Foreword to the second edition, Robert Sardello states, “What differentiates this book from being an autobiography is the invitation to enter a unique form of initiation, one that seems so suitable to this age, this time, our given circumstances, now. This story is really a myth, a myth of the future.” A psychological and spiritual reckoning, ‘Farming Soul’ questions theories and assumptions that date back to the early 1900’s and the days of Freud, assumptions which have too often separated spirituality from psychology.

Suffering the trials of her own individuation process, Patricia Damery finds answers through a series of unconventional teachers and her relationship to the psyche and to the land—answers that are surprisingly deeply intertwined. One strand of ‘Farming Soul’ is about redeveloping a relationship to the land—Mother Earth—being rooted in a particular place and being guided by the tenets of Rudolf Steiner’s Biodynamic® Agriculture. Another strand is about Damery’s professional path of becoming a Jungian analyst, a path filled with review committees and unexpected and unorthodox teachers. It offers perspective on the complicated dynamic of therapist/patient bond and individuation, and a personal account of when one must step out on one’s own. Bringing together paths of spiritual, ecological, and psychological exploration, Farming Soul is a courageous offering that will help reconnect us to our deeper selves, the often untouched realities of soul, and at the same time ground us in our physical relationship to self and Mother Earth.

From my Review

Damery’s memories, dreams and reflections are woven from the warp and woof of her experiences arising out of analysis, meditation, shamanism and farming. “I understood,” she writes, “that the ‘garment of brightness’ from the Tewa song was being woven for me, and that, in time, perhaps I could ‘walk fittingly’ on this earth.”

Farmers, psychologists and other seekers on the path will find many correlations between their own journeys and the one that so beautifully unfolds in “Farming Soul.” Damery’s garment of brightness is kind lamp for eager eyes. Read the full review here.

Damery, a Jungian analyst and biodynamic farmer in the Napa Valley, is also the author of Goatsong and Snakes.

You May Also Like: New edition of ‘Snakes’ by Patricia Damery

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of heroes’ and heroines’ journey novels and paranormal short stories, including “Moonlight and Ghosts.” “Moonlight and Ghosts” was inspired, in part, by his experiences with meditation techniques and his work as a home manager at a center for individuals with developmental disabilities.

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite books become Christmas gifts

As an author, I’m guiltily thankful for the readers who consume books the way movie-goers consume popcorn. From a sales and marketing perspective, authors and publishers like seeing giant sacks of books going out the door of the neighborhood bookstores.

My perspective is quite different at Christmastime when I am selecting gifts for family and friends. I want to give gifts that matter. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, my most pleasurable and meaningful reading experiences come from books that impact me in a profound way.

Such books are not like popcorn or even a shopping cart of the latest in glittering electronic gadgets and toys people lined up to buy on Black Friday. Most of those Black Friday gifts will be forgotten by year’s end. When I know a person well enough to give him or her a book I greatly treasured, then my hope is that they will treasure it and remember it many years into the future–just as one remembers the best dinners they ever had at their favorite five-star restaurant.

Some of the joy of giving books has been lost because the economics of the business has forced us into a world of paperbacks and e-books that are mere ghosts of what books used to be. Books once were more than the words they contained. They were visual and tactile experiences from the selection of the type fonts to the choice of paper to the binding.

That said, when I begin Christmas shopping, my favorite books of the past year are my inspiration for many of the gifts I give. A shared book is, in a sense, a very personal moment, somewhat like a deep conversation next to a warm fireplace fire on a cold winter’s night. We come to know and understand those we love, in part, through the discoveries of the books we have in common.

This year, I will think of Smoky Trudeau’s Observations of an Earth Mage and Vanilla Heart Publishing’s Nature’s Gifts anthology of stories, poems and essays for those who love the out of doors whether they be casual travelers of avid back country hikers.

For those who ponder spirituality and the psychological and transcendent experiences of life’s journey, I’ll be wrapping up copies of Patricia Damery’s Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation.
(See my review.)

Those who enjoy good storytelling with a touch of backwoods wisdom and magical realism, might well find a copy of River Jordan’s The Miracle of Mercy Land. (See my review.) Others will unwrap Melinda Clayton’s powerful Appalachian Justice.

I want to share my favorite books of the year at Christmas because they are important to me, and I can think of no better gifts to give.

Malcolm

Book Review: ‘Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation’

Farming Soul: A Tale of InitiationFarming Soul: A Tale of Initiation by Patricia Damery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Author and Jungian analyst Patricia Damery and her husband Donald grow grapes and heather in California’s Napa Vally where their biodynamic farming practices and spiritual attention to the land have brought them a rich harvest. That harvest, as described in “Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation,” is simultaneously agricultural, psychological and transcendent.

“Storytelling opens us to aspects of ourselves that we override in every day life,” writers Damery in the book’s introduction. “It weaves both teller and listener into a larger fabric, suggesting correlations and increasing understanding.”

Damery’s story echoes John Muir’s words, “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” Going out and going in intertwine in Damery’s journey where the lessons learned en route to becoming a Jungian analyst complement lessons learned in the vineyard.

Rudolf Steiner, the father of biodynamic agriculture, wrote that “All of nature begins to whisper its secrets to us through its sounds. Sounds that were previously incomprehensible to our soul now become the meaningful language of nature.”

We discover through Damery’s holistic journey that Steiner’s words also apply to the process of discovering one’s true self. Damery quotes an old Tewa prayer to Mother Earth and Father Sky that includes the lines, “Weave for us a garment of brightness that we may walk fittingly where birds sing, that we may walk fittingly where grass is green.”

Damery’s memories, dreams and reflections are woven from the warp and woof of her experiences arising out of analysis, meditation, shamanism and farming. “I understood,” she writes, “that the ‘garment of brightness’ from the Tewa song was being woven for me, and that, in time, perhaps I could ‘walk fittingly’ on this earth.”

Farmers, psychologists and other seekers on the path will find many correlations between their own journeys and the one that so beautifully unfolds in “Farming Soul.” Damery’s garment of brightness is kind lamp for eager eyes.

View all my reviews