Muddy Mysticism: The Sacred Tethers of Body, Earth, and Everyday
Muddy Mysticism is a spiritual memoir, a lyrical articulation of an emergent feminist mysticism and a heartfelt response to the lack of mystical literature by women who have chosen a life of family, love, work and the world. Like many women she found the faith of her childhood no longer fitted… yet still there is a longing for the sacred. Through poetry, reflection and experience she moves into the possibility of direct experience with the divine…beyond a belief system. Exploring the possibility of daily life in the modern world not as something to be transcended or escaped…but as a mystical path in its own right.
Muddy Mysticism offers consolation to those who feel the truth and bewilderment that the late German Jesuit priest, Karl Rahner, touched upon when he said that the only way a person would survive with an intact faith in this century is by being a mystic.
Natalie Bryant-Rizzieri is an award-winning poet. This is her first non-fiction title.
Release: May 2021
Paperback: ISBN 978-1-910559-65-9 | $15.99 | €13.99 | £10.99 | 8.5″x 5.5″ | 216x140mm |
eBook: ISBN: 978-1-910559-56-7
Categories: Body, Mind & Spirit > Mysticism
Natalie Bryant Rizzieri documents her struggles to find divinity in the world, in the body, in the overwhelming, repetitive tasks of motherhood, and in a marriage where she had subordinated many of her needs to those of her husband. This proves more difficult than she had imagined it would be, but in the end, she finds divinity in the muddy messiness of life.
Carol P. Christ, author of Rebirth of the Goddess and Goddess and God in the World and leader of the Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete
Muddy Mysticism is a blessing of a read that enables us to find our divine within the dirt of our lives. A permissive, loving and empowering read which will expand hearts and minds into finding the magic in the mystery of our own lives.
Alice Grist, author of Dirty & Divine: a transformative journey through tarot
More women’s stories need to be told. Particularly those that are magnificently honest and authentic, reflecting the resilience and creativity and generosity that’s desperately needed in our world and religions right now. That’s what Natalie’s book offers us. Muddy Mysticism is an invitation into the Sacred through the portal of the raw realities of motherhood and feminine ways of knowing. Her poetry and unapologetic prose reveal a tender heart…for her children, for the world, for God. Her story helped me to regard my own story with more tenderness. I will offer it to our Seminary of the Wild students as a resource of how to live as a feminine mystic in our modern, busy, overwhelming world.
Victoria Loorz, co-founder of Seminary of the Wild, convener of Wild Church Network, author of Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred
Muddy Mysticism is an evocative, powerful experience of a book, a profound soul’s journey that is clearly set down to paper with palpable devotion and vast experience. The true heart of an immense mystic shines through in every word.
What an incredibly beautiful and hearty love letter to life. Natalie Bryant Rizzieri has written with such grace and grit about the dark and often dirty places where the divine takes us through exile and in the search for belonging.
Muddy Mysticism embodies and satisfies the essential longing of readers to connect in with this very earthy journey to the broken open soul. It is a landmark of a book. Brave, raw, vibrant. I am grateful to have come across it.
Eila Carrico Kundrie, MA, MFA, author of The Other Side of the River
Do you too stand frozen at the crosshairs of idealism and skepticism? Are you, like me, a spiritual agnostic disguised as an atheist? Let this book be your companion. Muddy Mysticism isn’t muddy at all. Natalie Bryant Rizzieri shows us the way, clearing some much needed space for a mysticism rooted in the rawness of (all) women’s lives. This intimate and humorous account of a woman whose sanity had been rendered threadbare by the combined demands of motherhood and urban life becomes all the more surprising when one discovers the poems inlaid at the heart of each chapter. Reach for this book the way you’d reach for a mug of tea in the kitchen of a dear friend. Appreciate its offer of fortitude and sanity. I did and do.
Cate Marvin, author of Oracle
With breath-taking lyricism, Natalie Bryant Rizzieri captures a new definition of the divine – one that shows us darkness can be holy, the prosaic a place of Mystery, and that the sacred can bleed in through the cracks. This searing provocation to reclaim what is sacred in our daily lives is tenderly excavated from the ruins of patriarchy and indoctrination. It is a brilliant debut: exquisitely crafted and an indelible classic.
Katherine Larson, author of Radial Symmetry
If muddy water is allowed to stand, the water clears. In this remarkable book, Natalie Bryant Rizzieri, insists on hope in the clearing. Gifted poet who is also wife, mother of three sons and activist, Natalie is an apostle of sacred immanence. Gifting the reader with her poetic vision of the everyday as a sacred altar, she insists that if God is anywhere, God is right here and now.
Vivienne Joyce, Sister of Charity of New York
Muddy Mysticism is a treasure–trove of wisdom for those who yearn for the mystic, but not by way of the cloister. It reveals a path that seeks spiritual presence amidst the ruckus and noise of everyday life, the struggles with children and partners, work and disappointment, loss and sorrow, through Natalie Bryant Rizzieri’s blazingly honest telling of her own messy, holy process.
It’s not easy to be a poet and a mystic, with very young children, one still nursing at the book’s beginning. For Rizzieri this difficulty is an opening into the healing mud of embodiment. Muddy Mysticism overturns conventional religious ideas that demonize desire, appetite, women’s bodies, and the dark. Full of visionary gems, it offers a radical reorientation to the relationship between Body and Soul. In Rizzieri’s company we are moved and inspired by the Mystery as it “leaks into” her own
embodied experience with crying babies, spilt milk and the small miracles of amazement our children bring us every day.
Accompany her on this profound path. She’ll open the door leading out of the Patriarchy; she’ll show you the Way to know the Real as Gift and Blessing.
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky, author of The Motherline, The Sister from Below, and The Faust Woman Poems