Author: Rosalyn L. Bruyere
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publication date: 1989
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Because of the similarity in titles, this book is often confused with Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith, reviewed elsewhere on this site. Both books treat the subject of the chakras, energy centers in the auric body that can be mapped onto the human spine. Both books include some more traditional information as well as the authors' further interpretations and ideas. However, Wheels of Light makes some truly astonishing leaps that I find problematic.
The chakra system comes to us through the writings on and practice of Tantric Yoga. It is certainly possible that it is even older than its earliest verifiable source (approx 500-600 AD, with some suggestive references in older Vedic texts), and even from another culture entirely. However, Ms. Bruyere's assertions that the system can be verified as part of Southwestern Native American cultures 15,000 years ago, or of Egyptian culture some 50,000 years ago, require far more evidence than she presents. Tales of kundalini initiations as part of the Eleusinian Mysteries in Ancient Greece and pyramid initiations in Ancient Egypt can only be described as incredible leaps made in which the only "source" for these suppositions given is the author's observations and experience at the modern fields of Eleusis.
There are other problems, as well, from basic translational issues to the Worldwide Mother Goddess Cult fallacy. With that said, the suppositions above which are presented as historical fact as well as other interesting hypotheses, actually do make intriguing points of comparison and speculation. Therefore, I cannot simply recommend avoiding Wheels of Light. However, if you do choose to read this book as part of exploring ideas about the chakra system, I highly recommend Wheels of Light be neither the first nor the only book you read.
Reviewed by Diane Verrochi