Illuminata by Marianne Williamson: Review

By L. J.

Sometimes I feel as if I have forgotten how to pray! Coming from a strong Catholic background, there are many prayers I can say by rote. However,these prayers no longer seem to serve my needs. I have developed a much deeper desire to communicate with God on a more personal level. For the past few years I have been studying the Course in Miracles and have become familiar with the writings of Marianne Williamson.

I actually had the pleasure of hearing Marianne speak while vacationing in California and have purchased several of her works. Yet I had never had an opportunity to read Illuminata, nor had I ever come across the book until I saw it at our local library sale. Under the title are the words “Thoughts, Prayers, Rites of Passage”. This definitely caught my eye!

The book is divided into three main sections. The first section is entitled “Thoughts”. It is here that Marianne Williamson summarizes the spiritual Renaissance she believes is taking place in the world. She discusses how we, as a world, have been focusing on external factors to heal the Earth, but that has shown not to be the path. She believes ” We are perched on the brink of a miraculous transition from the ways of fear to the ways of love. Having seen enough darkness, we are attracted to the light.” She describes this as the “luminous mind”  that is being achieved through spirituality of individuals, groups, and nations. People are searching for new ways and new paths to achieve a new world – one filled with light and love! Our only choice, according to Williamson, is whether to awaken now or later. She describes prayer as the prodigal son, as it will return our minds to the light from which it came.


The second section of the book is entitled “Prayers”. Though each section is profoundly enlightening, it is this section that has touched me most deeply. This collection of prayers is further broken into seven subsections, which makes it easy to focus on a particular topic or concern. All of the prayers are much more personal than organized religion proffers. The words Williamson uses are simple yet effective. They ring true to my heart and I am filled with a sense of peace when reciting them. That is not to say they are all “happy” prayers.

There are prayers for the loss of a loved one through death or divorce. There are prayers for addiction, betrayal, sexual violation, and other topics of despair.,there are daily prayers to begin and end each day. There are prayers for the soul, prayers for the body, prayers for relationships, prayers for work and creativity, and prayers for the world.

This book also contains some wonderful prayers focused on forgiveness which is central in nearly all beliefs. One does not need to be a student of A Course In Miracles to benefit from this book, but for those who are, it is a Godsend. No matter what religion one chooses to follow, prayer remains essential for our well being and our peace of mind. Marianne Williamson’s use of words and the images they evoke are for anyone who feels a need, a want, or a desire!

The third section of Illuminata is devoted to rites of passage. Williamson points out that today, people have little or no experience of the the positive value of rituals. She describes these rites as words beyond words. There are seven different ceremonies cited in the text ranging from the blessing of newborns, marriage, divorce, and memorial services. Though meant only as a guide post, Williamson suggests that each ritual should be personalized as much as possible.

This book is a wonderful addition for anyone searching for inner peace. It is a great reference book because of the nature of its composition. It is well worth reading…… again,and again, and again!

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