May 25, 2011

Review: The Source by Ursula James

The Source
Author: Ursula James
Publisher: Tarcher
ISBN: 1585428787
Purchase Information:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

*Novel provided by the publisher for a honest review
Shot through with life-altering rituals, rites and spells, The Source guides readers to the place in their lives where true magic can finally begin

Ever since she was a little girl, Ursula James has heard a voice. For years she tried to ignore it, but a personal crisis at the age of forty forced her to finally listen. That, as well as the actual appearance of the speaker-also named Ursula-at her bedside one dark and cold night. The woman who revealed herself to James was Ursula Sontheil, known as Mother Shipton, a sixteenth-century prophetess, healer, and-some say- witch. Legend has it that Mother Shipton was burned by the king's men for her heresies, and her spirit became trapped in a cave in Yorkshire. This cave had an unusual characteristic: Anything taken there was turned to stone by the action of the lime-suffused waters from a nearby well. Mother Shipton used this water to create an image of herself on the wall, and then split the cave open to call the needy. Sick at heart or in body, people came to her in the cave to offer her objects in return for her healing powers.

In The Source, Ursula James describes how Mother Shipton appeared before her with urgent new prophecies for our troubled times- prophecies that include spells for, as Kabbalah says, Tikkun Olam-the healing of the world. Mother Shipton asked James to put these messages into writing to share with others-and record them she did, verbatim, in this book.

The Source by Ursula James was most definitely not what I was expecting. I’ll be honest - I had no clue at first that this was not from the fiction section (I was at the end of the second chapter before I caught on). This is a book with rites, rituals, trances and about creating your own magic. There is no wand waving but there is a bit of soul searching.

There are parts of two life stories told within these pages. You learn a bit of Mother Shipton’s (Ursula Sontheil) life and trials and how she became legendary. You also follow along with Ursula James as she decides she wants more from life and how Mother Shipton showed her the path to the Source.

The book reads easily and is almost reminiscent of a letter from an old friend filled with advice. With each step of the journey James shares with the reader how she succeeded and sometimes failed only to try again. After all, letting go (no matter what it is we are holding on to) is almost always difficult.

If you strip everything down to the basic messages and tasks, I think even skeptics can benefit from the lessons that James/Shipton imparts. To borrow a line from James “That is true magic, to take the clay of your life and model it in your hands.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Scars
Book review provided by Sarah


Anonymous said...


This reads like a five star review as you've made some very nice comments about the book. Did you mean to only give it 2.5 stars out of 5?

Wenj said...

The 2.5 rating is due in large part to the fact that this novel was a work of non-fiction, something that wasn't expected. However, because it was well written with a message that was nicely conveyed it was given a marginal star rating.

Mostly it just came down to this novel had little to do with other novels reviewed on this site and personal prefference. Honestly, if I had reviewed it instead of Sarah then it would have been a DNF.

But, if you like nonfiction and self-help novels with a spiritual twist, then this novel is for you!