Nicole Gruel

"Women Of The Wise Earth"

(Balboa Press)

By Margaret Evans

Women gathering in sacred circles to celebrate the Divine Feminine has been a source of liberating and empowering energy over eons. And what appealed to our ancestral mothers in prehistory still draws women to reconnect with themselves and Mother Earth today.

Women of the Wise Earth: Celebrating the Rainbow Symphony is the result of such a reconnection made all the more powerful by its link to the sacred numbers of 33 - the number of women who took part - and seven - their decision to meet in seven beautiful natural locations on Sydney's Northern Beaches. Each of the locations, from beach to hill to bushland, was chosen to honour one of the chakras - root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown. The result of this celebration of the sacred in the lives of 33 busy, stressed, time-poor Sydney women is something very gentle and beautiful.

The creative impulse behind Women of the Wise Earth is Nicole Gruel who describes herself as "a storyweaver with an insatiable enthusiasm for inner alchemy and the co creative process". She tells us the inspiration came to her one night of the full moon as she was taking her first steps towards a new chapter of her life.

Nicole's creative gifts and ability to inspire others to share her vision have resulted in a book that celebrates creativity in many different ways. We hear the strongly individual voice of each woman as she shares her thoughts and anecdotes, sometimes a poem and even deeply personal reflections on grief and loss. Such truths are rarely shared in today's increasingly disconnected world - and when they are they are that much more powerful.

I found the book a visual feast of colour, one for each of the chakras, together with some powerful illustrations by art therapist and participant Marjo Van Der Smagt and glorious outdoor photography of the group in each setting contributed by another who took part, Kristie Steers. Each chakra also has an invitation to "Let your wild child out to play" with a simple practical activity contributed by art therapist Marjo.

On reading the biogs of each woman at the back of the book, we discover what an impressive group of talents they are - most are involved in the holistic industry as teachers and practitioners, clairvoyants and healers, poets and artists. Reading from a distance I envied them their strong sense of spiritual connection and realisation they were taking part in a very special journey to wholeness in what must be one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Women of the Wise Earth is a journal to dip into at any time you want to honour or liberate your chakral energy or simply share the feelings of other women so very much like you. It is produced with love and it shows.

Margaret Evans

Margaret Evans has a background in teaching, journalism and publishing. She is the editor of NOVA Holistic Journal.