The Bones and Breath: A Man’s Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine, and the Wild Soul (2018)


Nautilus Award winner!

THE BONES AND BREATH: A Man’s Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine, and the Wild Soul (2018), by L.R. Heartsong

ISBN: 978-0-692-04278-6 (paperback; 2nd edition, 2018)



2018 Nautilus Award winner, Personal Growth and Self-Help

The first book by L.R. Heartsong, originally published by White Cloud Press, now available from Hearthside Press:

A conscious man’s guide to a road less traveled, The Bones and Breath offers an eloquent exploration into the mysterious heart of soulfully initiated manhood. Gently subversive of modern society’s fractured paradigm, here is a uniquely lyrical roadmap and a heart-centered guide—not only for men, but also for women who support an evolving masculinity—that enquires:

How does Eros lead us to a life of passion, connection and meaning?
What is the archetype of the Sacred Masculine?
What does it mean to be a wild soul in the modern world?
How does shifting patterns in body and breath unlock one’s authenticity and power?
What is yours to bring to assist humanity’s shift towards a sustainable future?
How do we embrace a spiritual ecology?

Rear cover synopsis:

“In The Bones & Breath, Heartsong asserts that we each have a unique gift to bring to the world and through embodying the soul—primarily through our expanded, physical senses—we undertake a profound, transpersonal journey; one that serves humanity and the earth at a crucial phase of our collective evolution. Our life task is not to transcend the body but to descend into the bones and breath, to there discover the gift one’s soul has to offer to the ‘more-than-human’ world. Heartsong seeks to bring men out of their heads and down into the bodysoul, to claim their personal authenticity as a wild soul.

Eros is the key. Something much bigger than romantic love, Eros is the elemental force of allurement that plays a pivotal role in our evolution as conscious beings and pulls us towards our destiny. The Sacred Masculine is an important archetype now making a much needed return to assist humanity, as mankind shifts from being the single most destructive force on the planet to a life-sustaining and interconnected one. Interwoven with personal stories, 7 key Soul Skills and embodiment exercises, The Bones and Breath is part inspirational narrative, part ‘how to’ manual for a soul-centered life.”

Cover endorsement:

The Bones and Breath offers a persuasive revisioning of masculinity, one that supports both women and men in our search for a meaningful and passionate way to participate in our great transformative times.”—Bill Plotkin, author of Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche

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Further praise:

“Socrates stated that the unexamined life is not worth living. In The Bones and Breath, L.R. Heartsong leads us into the examination in a fresh and meaningful way. Asking what it means to be a wild soul in the modern world, Heartsong brings men out of their heads into the bodysoul and heart to find the answers. Yet this is much more than a men’s book. He skillfully shares his deep research and understanding of passion and creativity; sacred masculinity and spiritual ecology; myth and shadow; sensory communion with nature; sex and relationships; the sensual soul and wise heart. Weaving together the body, soul, and nature, here is a re-imagining of what it means to be fully human. This is a compelling read.” ~ Jay Harman, author of The Shark’s Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation

“River is a brilliant writer who shares deep and important life wisdom with his readers.” ~ Michael Stone, Conversations Radio (

“Every once in a while a book comes along that blows your socks off. And this is one that has just come into my life… a book about the Sacred Masculine that goes so deep and is written so beautifully, I’m truly in awe. I challenge all of my male friends who want to embrace their masculinity and sacredness in these interesting times of great change and burgeoning of the Divine Feminine to read this book. I challenge all men who seek to be conscious and in touch with their soul to find a copy and absorb it. Be guided and inspired by it, and more. How many of you will take this challenge? This book will take you deeper. This is a truly powerful work. And quite beneficial for us women too. Quite. L.R. Heartsong’s writing is so eloquent, it veritably dances off the page. If there is such thing as writer’s envy, I suspect I have it towards him but that’s okay. It is such a joy to read writing that takes your breath away. Deep joy.” ~ Mare Cromwell, author of The Great Mother Bible

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About the author:

L.R. Heartsong is “a healer who writes.” A bodyworker and counselor for more than twenty-five years, he fuses eco-depth psychology, soul-based coaching, shamanic work, and spiritual guidance. Award-winning author of The Bones and Breath: A Man’s Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine, and the Wild Soul, he is also a Paris-trained chef.

Interviews with him include the award-winning Conversations Radio with Michael Stone, who speaks with thought leaders and social visionaries in areas of environmental restoration, evolutionary cosmology, social justice, and spiritual fulfillment. He has also been a featured presenter in multiple, global online symposiums featuring change-making influencers (scientists, shamans, mystics, psychologists, healers, and more) offering their insight, guidance, and personal expertise, all stitching us to a deeper connection with self, healing, and the ‘more-than-human’ world.

Learn more at


Reader comments:

“What I do know is that my journey [with the book] is not only healing myself, but also the generations who have come before me and those who will come after. Thank you for helping me as a husband, son, friend, uncle and role model.”—Nick in Australia

“The prose is lush, a language embodiment of Eros…”—Hari in California

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing it. I cannot tell you how your book speaks to the very fiber of my being… how it has, this week, inspired a new depth of understanding of what I am doing.”—Richard in New Mexico

“I love it. It is serious, dense, light and elegant… You have the writer’s touch.”—Carolyn in California

“This book is a must read for every person looking to live an inspired, conscious and soulful life. I read this book in three days and couldn’t wait to pick it back up each time I put it down. I am considering starting at the beginning for a second read. I have been walking through my days inspired to embody my every moment. I have not found a book that inspires me as much as this one has in a long, long time. Thank you to the author for his great insight, poetic prose and authentic soulfulness. Can’t wait for the second book!”—Amazon customer review

“Reading your words is, for me, like coming to the spring and finding the mossy cup where the god left it…”—DG in St. Louis

“… Heartsong has elegantly opened doors of insight and invitation to both men and women here. I wondered if the fact that I am a woman would deter me from this book, but it absolutely did not, but rather it offered me a deliciousness for both my own inner masculine and feminine. I am deeply grateful for the page after page of beauty, remembering, and possibility that I found here.”—Amazon customer review

“Thank YOU! Every chapter is humming with resonance, synchronicity and poetry.”—Paul P.

“You are a strong writer and guide…”—Stephen P.

“With every breath as I read every word and every page, I was brought right home – straight to my self, my core, my being. My truth had been in my bones all along. Thank you for having led the way!”—Ioannis

“I read the first chapter on the plane, then had to stop as I needed to do the “Wandering Walk” exercise. This book resonates with me like nothing I have ever read. It feels like a guidebook to finding the “me” that is yearning to come out.”—Nathan D.