Review: Deep Ancestors

Once a year, always in the spring, I read Ceisiwr Serith‘s Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. It is the Dawn that calls to me, and the primordial sacrifice, both intricately linked to the coming of the spring and new life in the world.

What is it about these practices, these deities, that sing to me, each and every year? Is it the solemnity of the sacrificial practice? Is it connecting with our ancestors so remote that they are nameless, faceless? Or am I facing a desire to do what is right, even if it is more unusual than my every day? I am always led back here.

It is early, 5:30AM, and this is when I like to rise. I am a lark who does my best work in the morning, and my friends look at me askance as they have lain abed until the sun in all her glory shines mid-sky. I have tended to my hearth kitchen and lit the flame of the hearth goddess whose blessings we feel every day. I await the coming Dawn to sing my words of praise to her, beautiful and unrestrained, who brings every day a new day full of possibility. I am blessed, and this is why.

This year I have the courage to bring some of these practices Serith writes about out of the page and into my life, through the Hearthkeeper’s Way. I had a vision some time ago — that’s the closest word I have, at least — of the Goddess of the Hearth and what She expects of me; truly, what I’ve known for a long time, but often haven’t had the courage to do. But now, at thirty-five, I am settled into what I have and what I want and what I see for myself, and there is no better time to live it.

This post is hardly a book review, other than to say that it is instrumental in how I see my practice and the world. Read the book, my lovelies, and may you be moved to depth in your practice, whatever it may be.

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