The Liminal Odyssey – The Alchemical Power of The Spaces In Between
by Sande Hart
Independently published (2022), 172 p. ISBN 979-8849575506
I first met Sande Hart face-to-face in Toronto, Canada, in 2018 at a Water Ceremony she and others had organised prior to the PWR/ Parliament of the World’s Religions. (We were both at PWR 2004, Barcelona, and 2015 Salt Lake City, but only consciously met up in 2018).
I was struck by her enormous enthusiasm and encouragement to engage in the circles to share our stories and the water offering. We had been asked to bring water from our own homeland. The water collected from many people from different countries was then offered to the Indigenous people of Canada as they opened the Parliament.
I later shared many more experiences with Sande and joined the organisation she founded in 2001, S.A.R.A.H. / The Spiritual and Religious Alliance for Hope.
I followed her working on her book ‘The Liminal Odyssey’, which in itself was a journey. She wrote, “I sat down several times over the past 15 years to tell a single story of a remarkable experience that happened to me in 1982 at a no-nukes rally and music festival involving 100,000 people at the Rose Bowl in Southern California. I have been urged by friends to tell this story but simply did not have enough of a story to fill a book.
In early 2021 I sat down again, only this time I started to employ some practices that I had learned over the years, such as reverent listening. As I wrote, the experience stretched in ways as to reveal much more than the wild experience I first remembered it to be. Suddenly, eleven more equally meaningful and interesting stories poured onto the page, each expanded to a new understanding and anchored in a different skill, science, philosophy, indigenous shared knowledge, and methodology I had picked up over the years, and in most every case, I learned these skills from the scientist, author, thought leader, shaman and indigenous elder or philosopher directly. Those first-hand experiences are part of my story as well. In this way, illustrating the skills in their practical application, as taught directly by the expert in their field, wrapped up in my personal (often vulnerable) stories is relatable. Some of the chapters and their lessons wrote me in real-time, so humility and humour were essential for this book to be in its integrity for you, my accountability partner on my Liminal Odyssey.”
The experience that happened in 1982 came to be known as ‘What about the dog?’ Today Sande has continued to ask this question, but it is now ‘What about Spirituality?’
As Sande reflects on more than 40 years of her spiritual quest I recognised many of her highlights.. and lowlights, as part of my own journey. This is the kind of book you go back to and re-read. I loved the way Sande includes us in her conversations and draws us in to the ‘Sacred Art of Listening’.
The Liminal Odyssey is also a wonderful ‘Interfaith’ journey of meetings and encounters with many other people, including Jean Shinoda Bolen, Dr Nina Meyerhof, who wrote the introduction, and Grandmother Flordemayo.
I was particularly struck by Sande’s meeting with Nina, who is part of the One Humanity Institute, an institute for peace education based in Auschwitz, Poland. Sande visited Auschwitz, and she recalls her experiences in the chapter called ‘Acorn Rain in Birkenau’.
She ends the book with ‘A Reference Guide’ describing the 12 skills outlined throughout the book. These include the ‘Sacred Art of Listening’, ‘Forgiveness, Sacrifice & Bliss’, ‘Intergenerational Healing Awareness, Our Ancestors, Allies & Angels’, and above all ‘Being the Sacred Gardener’.
For all those interested in interfaith & multifaith dialogue and spiritual philosophy, this book is highly recommended.
NB “Your Liminal Odyssey Guide, A Practical Guide Into Alchemizing the Spaces In-Between” is now published too, see: https://www.liminalodyssey.com/online-store
Designed to be an accompaniment to the book The Liminal Odyssey, The Alchemical Power of the Spaces In-Between this Guide deepens and expands your Odyssey as you traverse the stories, treasures in the shape of lessons, and inspirational moments for your own revelations.
See also FB: https://www.facebook.com/SARAH4Hope/