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Best Book of the Year!

Today I want to tell you about a book that touched me more powerfully than anything I’ve read so far this year. But first, let me set up the situation. I was about to fly to Oklahoma to spend a week with my daughter Jessie. Three days before the trip, while walking the dogs with my beloved, we looked up to see vultures lining the trees right beside us. Each tree had a huge, beautiful turkey vulture (Cathartes Aura, which means “Golden Purifier”) looming above us. They took flight, soared right over our heads. Now this is no small thing to me. Vultures and I have a long history. The last time one came this close to me was three days prior to attack on the Twin Towers. They are messengers to me. They represent the pathways between this world and the next, between life and death, and the transformation that takes place on that path. They also carry the energy of purification. A vulture can eat enough botulism to kill an entire human village, and when it passes through them, emerging as excrement, it has become so pure it’s antiseptic. Vultures are one of the totems of my spiritual tradition, Ravenmyst Circle, standing at the Gates of the Great Below, the Underworld, the abode of the ancestors. They are also one of my personal totems. So to have vultures swooping so near, repeatedly, was clearly a message.