I struggled with this book from the start, being very unsure for what readership it is intended.

The cover notes state that ‘incredibly’ the book is semi-autobiographical, but the format left me confused.  It is written in the first person, but I wasn’t clear as to whether it is the author’s personal experience; or a work of fiction on which to hang his own ideas.  For me, as half one, half the other, it doesn’t work.

I was completely put off by “the hero”, who is a ‘chosen one’ selected by “The Goddess” alone to receive her teachings at sacred sites over 13 moons, and then to put them in a book (presumably this one) for the enlightenment of everyone else. From the writing style the ‘hero’ comes across as a nerdy youth trying to be ‘cool’ with humour which made me cringe.  The thought that it might be a nerdy 40-year old (or possibly the author) trying to be ‘cool’ was almost terrifying.

The voice he gives “The Goddess” is too self-conscious, preachy and wordy.  She refers to ‘Man’ and ‘Mankind’ throughout and comes out with terminology such as “tummy” which no self-respecting goddess would ever use!  He seems to interchange concepts of ‘Goddess’ with ‘God’ as though they are aspects of the same thing with just gender and name changed which I feel really misses a fundamental understanding of ‘goddess’.

Many of us have an epiphany; a sudden and startling first awareness of the one-ness of everything and of ourselves as part of that, which may alter our lives for ever.  These experiences can bring a heady ecstasy which we feel we have to share with everyone, and I love reading other people’s personal experiences.  But this sets itself up as a ‘special’ experience, which then must be conveyed as teachings to others by ‘the hero’.  One of the first lessons ‘the goddess’ taught me was that we each have to experience and find these things for ourselves, and they come not from verbose sermons, but from letting the mind cease its torrential flow of words and, in the fresh silence that follows, to have the pure experience of all that is.

Is this easier for women? Is it more difficult for men to let go of the endless stream of words and logic?  Will this book help?

The book is well-intended and does have good descriptive information about sacred sites, landscapes and other places, but I don’t think it will ‘save the planet’ as it claims, especially as the Hero seems to fly and drive everywhere to have his goddess encounters.  It is humanity that needs saving; the planet will no doubt survive in some form or other, whatever we do to it.

I have been reading all the ideas in this book for at least the last 25 years; and much more inspirationally written – and written by women.  It’s all been said before and better.  Sorry.

©Jill Smith

This review first appeared in Northern Earth Magazine.

Thirteen Moons is published by Stone Seeker Publishing and can be obtain from www.stoneseeker.net.