Essentially, it describes a series of rites, rituals and trance workings to be done at different phases of the moon over several months to connect with this source of transformational power.
The book teaches that magic is real and that it works. It can be used to help us make big changes in our lives and to gain our hearts desires such as love, happiness, personal achievement and self-respect.
The Source was written by hypnotherapist Ursula James, A Visiting Teaching Fellow at Oxford University Medical School who has appeared on TV and is also the author of You can be Amazing: Transform your life with hypnosis,Clinical Hypnosis Textbook: A Guide for Practical Interventionand You Can Think Yourself Thin: Transform Your Shape with Hypnosis.
I said earlier that The Source was difficult to describe. That is because it isn't just a straightforward instruction manual for working magic. It also weaves together stories of the lives of two women - one from history and one from the present day - who share the same first name. The women are Ursula Sontheil, the 16th-century Yorkshire prophetess known as Mother Shipton, and Ursula James herself.
These tales are written with the beauty of a fairy tale, yet author Ursula James says they are both real. She describes Mother Shipton as a witch and healer who was burnt at the stake, but claims her spirit survived as a captive in a cave in North Yorkshire. She would have been trapped forever but for the cave's extraordinary power: objects left in the cave are turned to stone by the action of the lime suffused waters from a nearby well.
Ursula James says that Mother Shipton used the powers of the waters to live again through the needs of those who came to the cave and called on her for healing: "Each gift turned to stone by the waters lit another spark of life within her. Through the centuries many came for her help, enough for their needs to free her spirit to leave the cave and live again."
Ursula James' own story is one that will resonate with many women living in the modern age; of living through the breakdown of marriage, suffering loneliness and finding that a career and a nice house were not sufficient to make her truly happy
These two stories are intertwined because Mother Shipton became a teacher and role model for Ursula James. The modern-day woman claims she was visited by the spirit of the historic healer in her childhood and again when she was an adult, to instruct her in the means to make magic happen, by connecting with the phases of the moon to bring about inner spiritual development.
Using this system, Ursula James transformed her own life and found the happiness she wanted.
Publisher Preface says on its website: "The Source is a book that comes out of time and is of this time. It is only now, after the world of commerce has been in freefall, that we are ready to listen and respond to Sister Moon and to heal Mother Earth. Each chapter has a ritual, rite or journey, to guide the reader on their path to the source of their own power. Part fable, part spell-book, The Source has true magic woven through it for those who read it well."
Of course, sceptics will be asking whether the story is true. Did the spirit of Mother Shipton really visit Ursula James to pass on ancient wisdom for the modern age? To me, it doesn't actually matter if the story is real or just a literary device. It has the power of myth about it, which can be inspiring even if it is more fable than fact.
What I love about this book is the simplicity, elegance and effectiveness of the system of magic it describes. I genuinely believe that anyone following the various rituals and spells through from start to finish at the correct phases of the moon would grow and develop both spiritually and psychologically, and would gain the power to transform their lives.
The Source came out about a month ago, and was a couple of weeks later enthusiastically recommended to me by a friend who had just read it. I’m very glad she did, too. I'm now recommending it to anyone who wants to learn to do magic.
The Source: A Manual of Everyday Magicis published by Preface and is available from Amazon.
Mother Shipton: Witch and Prophetess
You can be Amazing: Transform your life with hypnosis,
Clinical Hypnosis Textbook: A Guide for Practical Intervention
You Can Think Yourself Thin: Transform Your Shape with Hypnosis.