Facing The Darkness

A review by Les Prince of Facing The Darkness by Cat Treadwell ~ Moon Books ~ ISBN 978 1 78099 900 5 ~
On first inspection this book seemed a wonderful idea; like many people I know, clinical depression has been a constant presence in my life since childhood, and I applaud any and every attempt to offer help to those similarly burdened.
As I began to read the book, I further warmed to it.  Cat Treadwell approaches the ‘topic’ from a decidedly pagan and druidic point of departure, but that doesn’t  preclude its quiet wisdom from being available to non-Pagans and non-Druids. This is not a work of psychotherapy or clinical psychology (I can hear the murmurs of appreciation as I type), but a book written from the heart by someone who clearly knows the ‘dark  place’ well.  It is structured around the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water). Its primary message, came across loudly as a compassionate but nonetheless urgent appeal to those languishing in the ‘dark place’ to understand that the way out of it lies in their own hands.  To this end there is a succession of ideas, some quite  challenging, aimed at understanding what the ‘dark  place’ is and what role it might have in someone’s life. To accompany these is a series of personal testimonies, and these underline another theme of the book: ‘You (we) are not alone in this; others have been there as well,’ a seriously important point to make because the dark well can be a desperately lonely place.
Some of the suggested activities will undoubtedly work for some but not others, and probably then only some of the time. But it doesn’t matter. This is a warm, brave and compassionate hand held out to those of us who may, at times, feel that everyone and everything is either against us, or simply utterly irrelevant, pointless and empty; in short for those of us who at times are  overwhelmed by anomie, alienation and ennui (I promised myself that I’d sneak those three words into this review by hook or by crook, and I  did, hurrah!). If you find yourself slipping at times into the dark place, or spend time helping others who do, then I can warmly commend this book to you. It  deserves a wide and appreciative audience.


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