Author: Robin Heerens Lysne
Publisher: Conari Press
Publication date: March 1995
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I checked this delightful book out from my local library, and enjoyed it enough to inspire me to write a review on it. When I began to prepare for the review, I was disappointed to find that it is out of print. However, I believe Dancing Up the Moon is inspiring enough to make the hunt for a copy worthwhile.
The subtitle of the book is "A Woman's Guide to Creating Traditions that Bring Sacredness to Daily Life." That's pretty close to true. There is one section that talks about how the author created a coming of age ceremony for her nieces and nephews that has become a family tradition, and another earlier in the book that talks of finding a method of making life spiritual everyday. The rest of the book is about creating rituals to mark the events of our lives that don't happen everyday, and some that we hope never happen to us.
I've read other books on creating rituals for these happenings - things like birth, death, marriage, divorce, moontime, menopause, and many other occurrences - both positive and negative. The difference that separates Dancing Up the Moon and the other ritual books I've read is that you are not presented with a script. Instead, you are given a narrative describing a ritual that Lysne or others have created. Enough information is given to get an idea of what transpired in the ritual to make it a good example, and then you are given examples of other things you might consider doing in your own ritual. This format forces you to create your own personal ritual, one just for you, not follow some fully scripted checklist.
Too many people are afraid of creating ritual. They are afraid they will do it "wrong" or that they will look silly. Dancing Up the Moon encourages you to let go and let ritual happen.
Reviewed by Leigh