Hal Zina Bennett

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Spirit Circle

A novel of adventure & shamanic revelation

By Hal Zina Bennett, published by Tenacity Press 1998

340 pages, ISBN 9656056-3-9

Areas of Interest

Reviews

"Takes us face to face with the invisible dimensions of our humanity. A marvelous story, with all the twists and turns deserving of the deeper spiritual mysteries it unfolds. As enchanting as it is deepening and enlightening." ~ Lynn  V. Andrews, bestselling author of Medicine Woman

"Based on actual prophecies and historical events, this dramatic tale is also a guidebook for spiritual seekers, and an excellent introduction to Earth-based spiritual traditions. A thoroughly enjoyable and compelling offering" ~NAPRA ReView

Engaging right from the start . . . like a Tony Hillerman mystery shapeshifted to spiritual odyssey . . . with appeal for readers exploring Earth-based spiritual traditions. ~ Angela Werneke, artist & award-winning illustrator of Medicine Cards

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Excerpts from the Book

Ten minutes out of Phoenix, flying toward Albuquerque, Tara peered out the tiny square window on her right and watched a huge rain cloud hovering over the desert. From her seat on Southwest flight 617, the cloud looked for all the world like a huge, mythological bird. She gazed at it for as long as it stayed in sight, spellbound as the rain cascaded from its wings, pouring heavy showers down over the arid landscape. 

It was easy to understand how ancient peoples, unaware of the illusions of nature, mistook images such as this for sacred deities and made up myths about them. Skies like this could have birthed legends of Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec's feathered serpent god. Tara remembered a line from the Codex Vidobonensis, a rare pre-Columbian document that escaped the fires of the Inquisition: "...his mask resplendent in precious stones, on his back he carries a woman, just as a bridegroom would carry a bride." Images like this inflamed the early missionaries, steeped in their legends of virgin birth. And if Tara's own experiences were any indication, they still outraged some people.

Tara smiled as she remembered the first conversation she had with Viveka, when she tried to describe the passion she felt for her own work at the university. Viveka sat at the kitchen table staring over the breakfast dishes, a look of quiet consternation on her face, not yet comfortable with the rhythms of the house.  

"And what do you hope to be learning from these savages?" Viveka had asked.

 Disarmed by her housekeeper's naivete, Tara's answer had been wry. "Oh, nothing much. The secrets of the universe."  

Tara had watched Viveka's brow furrow, as she asked, "Why would you trouble with all that sort of thing?"

"I don't know when it began," Tara had said, deciding to take the question seriously. "But when I was a very small child somebody told me about these special people, this society of shamans. I don't even rememer who it was. Mother knew so many famous people, who stayed at our house when they came to town. I learned that on every continent there have been fortune-tellers, people like priests, highly spiritual people, who saw into the future. They studied the stars, the earth, the courses of history, and this was their purpose in life. We don't know all the ways they came up with their knowledge. But their advice was sought by every leader of every great civilization. And whenever it was not followed that great civilization fell. The oracles knew. They were infallible. 

"What was the source of their wisdom? How did they know so much? And why was there never such a group found on this continent? You know what? I think that we've been afraid to look! But we need to look. And the secret is going to be found in our earliest cultures, in the societies that were here for thousands of years before the Europeans came. They were our oracles. They knew. And if I'm right, they left behind a record about the past but also about the future. They will speak out of the past with a message for our future." 

By the end of the speech, Tara was standing, pacing the kitchen floor in a high state of excitement.  

Viveka had appeared stunned, and Tara had been afraid that maybe she'd scared her off.

"That's Black Magic," Viveka had said, fearfully.  

Tara had felt the older woman drawing away from her. "No," she had tried to assure her. "I'm certain this society of shamans had absolutely the highest motives. They had access to wisdom unparalleled in history, surpassing even the most famous seers of all, the Oracle at Delphi, in ancient Greece. 

"I don't know, Ms. Fairfield," Viveka had said. "I think you'd better watch out for yourself."  

Tara smiled as she remembered the conversation. She wondered how far she'd get with that same topic if she tried to present it to anyone on this plane.  

Lightening shot across the sky, way too close for comfort, flashing through the interior of the plane in a blinding glare, setting off a collective gasp that rippled through the passengers' compartment. The gasp turned into guarded laughter as people expressed their sense of relief, realizing the danger had passed. For a brief moment the plane groaned, sent out a metallic shudder of respite, and finally moved smoothly through the sky...  

(Continued on page 18 of the book)  

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