Reviewed by Jacqui Woodward-Smith
I was not aware of the new Earth Pathways diary until several people described it to me as the ‘British We’Moon’. I have been buying the We’Moon diaries for many years so I was intrigued to find out what Earth Pathways was all about. I will begin by saying that Earth Pathways is not the ‘British We’Moon’ and if you buy it thinking that it will be you may be very disappointed. Nevertheless Earth Pathways is both a beautiful idea and a beautiful diary and should be enjoyed on those grounds alone.
Earth Pathways: Inspiring Our Connection to the Land is published by Moonshare Co-operative and celebrates the work of both male and female UK artists and writers who ‘inspire our connection to the Earth’. Beginning in January 2009, it includes UK moon phases and signs, just enough astrological information, and writings about the eight Celtic festivals, permaculture, and environmental awareness. The artwork in it is beautiful, and I like the sunrise and sunset times given for ‘Marion’s House in Derbyshire’ (roughly in the middle of the UK) at the beginning of each week. I also like the little box for ‘gratitudes’ at the end of the page for each week and will look forward to filling them in. I especially like the cross-quarter festivals being marked as ‘lunar’, with the solar calendar dates of the festivals being given much less prominence. It’s about time that we got away from our patriarchal solar calendar and let the moon shine into our lives a bit. I will look forward to journeying with the Earth Pathways diary next year and learning more about the inspiring artists we have in the UK. I’m quite sure that the diary will go from strength to strength in the years to come.
Earth Pathways diary available to order at: http://www.glenniekindred.co.uk/earthpathways/index.html
We’Moon ’09: Gaia Rhythms for Women, both in diary and wall calendar form, is another beautiful offering from Mother Tongue Ink and I may spend the whole of next year gazing at Jeannine Chappell’s stunning owl painting, ‘Wonder’, on the front cover! We’Moon has, for the last 28 years, been written by women for women and that is what I need in a world where so much wounding to the Feminine, within and without, remains unhealed. I love We’Moon because it is political (in the best sense of the word), because it is feminist, because it challenges me, and because it soothes me to know that art such as the We’Moon diary is being created in the world. It is full of beauty but sometimes I turn a page and what I find there makes me weep. I love the Earth and her festivals, I love plants and trees, but I need to be reminded daily that there is a ‘real world’ where both women and men are suffering daily from the effects of the patriarchy that we, and those before us, have suffered for so long … and I want to know that, even in the midst of that, there is beauty and compassion and hope. And that is what, when I really think about it, We’Moon does for me.
Every year the list of ‘We’Moon Ancestors’ grows longer; the women who birthed and continue to birth We’Moon won’t be here forever. I am very much aware that, as a woman born in the mid 1960s, I know very little about the feminist movement of the 1970s onwards and I feel the loss of that. I need these women, even if I only have them on the written page. If we are not to keep ‘reinventing the wheel’, and going round in circles in the process, then we must take the magic within We’Moon to our hearts and take it forward with us. So, I will have my lovely Earth Pathways diary and be inspired, but I will also have my We’Moon diary and remember my fire.
Order the We’Moon diary at http://wemoon.ws/.
©September 2008, Jacqui Woodward-Smith