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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,
Handmaidens, Heimdall, Hella, Idunna, Jord, Nanna, Nerthus, Njord, Odin, Ostara,
Ran, Sif, Skadhi, Sunna, Yule Morning & Yule Eve Prayer, Thor, Tyr, Ullr, and the
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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