Published By: Moon Books
Publication Date: 26th January 2018
Focusing on the origins of Western culture and belief systems, from ancient agriculture to modern industry, from primitive religion to monotheism, Primal Awareness explains how we became separated from nature and how, throughout history, these belief systems and social models have imposed a life of servitude and hardship upon millions of people. It also illustrates how modern technology and the modern scientific world view are currently causing the destruction of our natural environment. How can we overcome this separation, and reconnect with nature and spirit once again?
I was rather disappointed, given the good reviews in the book and on the website.
The book is well-written, descriptive and with a nice fiction describing a spiritual experience with a shaman that could help people who would like to start meditating in a natural environment. He makes some valid points about the need to see all life as a part of the whole, rather than humans being separated from the rest of nature. Production values are excellent as always. Although the book is only just over 110 pages long it has a good weight to it and the paper is good quality.
Unfortunately these positives are let down by the content. The author’s writing is anti-science, historically and anthropologically illiterate, and full of indigenous-people-and-cultures fetishism. I generally dislike being down on people in my reviews but I’m sorry, he didn’t explain anything or in any way fulfil the promises of the blurb. It’s a shallow understanding that permeates much ‘New Age’ thought, and I’m sodding sick of it. There’s no law that says you have to be scientifically (historically/culturally etc.) illiterate to be spiritual. This is more worthy of Llewellyn than Moon Books; I’ve come to expect better from them. When I compare this book with say, ‘The Crane Bag‘, it makes the disappointment worse. It lacks the depth and insight I’ve found common in Moon Books. Even if one regards Primal Awareness simply as a ‘beginners’ book, it leaves the reader with little in the way of new insight, and with a load if baggage that’ll need removing.
[Before people start complaining, I’m an Aspie with a special interest in many branches of science, and history, was trained in the sciences, and read extensively in many areas. I am also a practising Heathen with animistic tendencies. I see no conflict in this. SO yes, if you start spouting ill-informed rubbish about modern science or history, you will get shot down. Modern paganism needs to let go of the New Age trappings it has picked up and embrace knowledge with depth and rigorous understanding.
And for the final time, there is no connection between Eostre and Easter eggs! It’s an 18th century invention. Even Jacob Grimm himself said he was only speculating on the whole Eostre – Ostara – Hare – Easter Egg connection, because he was confused where the whole thing came from. Eostremonath equates to approximately April, not March – the month of the Spring Equinox. There’s a strong possibility that the reason Germans use Ostern for Easter when everyone else, except English-speakers, uses a variation on Pascha – The Passion – is because the Continental Saxons were converted by English missionaries and took the English word for the festival of Christ’s death and resurrection. Grimm speculated that since there was an English goddess, attested by (and only by) Bede, called Eostre, then there might have been a continental equivalent, but he didn’t know and admitted he was only guessing. As for the eggs, chickens start laying again in early spring; if you’ve spent three months eating old apples and pottage, made from whatever you could dry, salt or pickle, a fresh egg would have been a treat and a half.]