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                      ~ Reviews ~

 

Hearth and Field - A Heathen Prayer Book
by Hester Butler-Ehle


This is a very straightforward and very useful book. Hester Butler-Ehle briefly introduces herself on the back cover as a heathen of somewhat Vanic leanings, who believes in a healthy mix of faith and reason. She presents us with more than 90 texts which will serve both as personal prayers, and as typical invocations in a sumble or blót, many of them beginning with "Hail..".
The lenghth is practical - neither to short nor too long, often between 10 and 20 lines. The font is fairly big, enabling easy reciting from the book at arm´s lenght or round the campfire. The softcover is easy to leaf through, and has a good feel. Each prayer's title is the deity in question, and they are sorted by alphabet.

A broad span of Powers are included, some featured with more than one poem: Aegir, Balder, Bragi, Eir, Forseti, Frey, Freya, Frigga, her Handmaidens, Heimdall, Hella, Idunna, Jord, Nanna, Nerthus, Njord, Odin, Ostara, Ran, Sif, Skadhi, Sunna, Yule Morning & Yule Eve Prayer, Thor, Tyr, Ullr, and the Ancestors.

There is an extensive and fine use of alliteration throughout. Recital of the deity´s qualities, praise and thankfulness are prevalent, complemented with some reflections and new insights.
At first read, one may note the absence of an introduction into the subject and a table of contents, but given the book´s practical approach, this is not really an issue. Available at Lulu.com, and for an extremely fair price of ca. 8 $, this is a wonderful supplement to any heathen´s library.

© Michaela Macha
 

 

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