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Full-Color Edition with Photographs by Matthew van der Giessen

Black-and-White Edition (no photographs)

  • Purchase from Amazon as a Softcover Book.
  • Order signed copies of the black-and-white or the color edition, or inquire about wholesale orders by contacting Susan Windle.



Through the Gates

First Published in 2012, Through the Gates is a series of evocative daily messages that guide the reader through the practice of counting the Omer. Weaving a spiritual memoir as well as offering guidance for the intricate discipline of the Omer, poet Susan Windle writes to a group of companions who share the same contemporary Jewish mystic for a teacher. She writes as a way of engaging in the spiritual discipline that marks the forty-nine days of the Omer, the seven weeks between the spring festival of Pesach (Passover) and the early summer festival of Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, which is the Hebrew foundation for the Christian celebration of Pentecost.

In the course of counting the days, Susan also tells the story of her “convergence” with Judaism. Methodist by heritage, with a long connection to Unitarian Universalism, she became Jewish by choice in 2008. A bridge builder in many ways, Susan Windle has been described as a multi-faith community within herself.

In these intricate writings—poems within letters, letters within larger letters—the poet explores the rhythms and textures of daily life, inviting the reader into intimate engagement with the mystery of life itself. Susan’s story, as it unfolds through the seven weeks of the Omer, is celebratory, sweetly challenging, and deeply satisfying.

There are two versions of Through the Gates, in a variety of formats. The black-and-white edition has a cover photograph by Matthew van der Giessen. The full-color version adds eight more of the photographer’s spectacular images, chosen to match Susan’s poetry.

To receive notice of annual Through the Gates workshops and/or web seminars, subscribe to Susan’s Musings/Events Blog.

Susan Windle has created a beautiful, personal poetic journey of the counting of the Omer. It is rich with awareness of the earth, filled with emotion, care and love as the harvest ripens our awareness of each unique day.
Her poetry is such a gentle and heart opening guide to this season.

Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg

Mindfulness Teacher, Author

The time of the Omer represents our journey through the gates of self awareness into the land of our deepest and truest potential. Susan Windle is a guide for us on that journey. She escorts us ‘Through the Gates,’ with the persistence of one who has traveled far and is guided by a sense of mystery and miracle. Here is a book that is both beautifully crafted and extraordinarily useful to seekers everywhere.

Rabbi Shefa Gold

Spiritual Leader & Author

Put a poet in place of a preacher and a seeker in place of an expert, and we get Susan Windle. This book is sacred art in the best sense: atonishing, playful, questioning, provocative, delightful, in short, profound….Here hard earned wisdom, inspired poetry and passionate living come together. Joining Susan Windle’s journey through the Omer is a wild, rewarding adventure.

Rabbi Mike Comins


This book was a huge surprise for me! I originally got it because one of the poems was quoted on a radio program I listen to, and all the poems in it are lovely!

Through a series of synchronicities, I ended up actually counting the Omer, although it is a traditionally Jewish practice performed in the spring season of Passover. Intending no disrespect at all to the author, I did it at a spiritually significant time for me … and the results were so profound, I hardly have words! I am so grateful for the depth, richness and beauty that were imparted to me by each of these amazing gates. I continue to pray and meditate daily with a few of the ones that were more profound for me – particularly the Gate of Malchut/Shechina ~ that one ended up being my favorite, Susan! 😉 Thank you so much for sharing this gift with the world!

I believe that counting the Omer is a valuable spiritual tool for ANYONE who feels stuck or in need of new, deeper perspective in their life. Be prepared to really engage with this practice and follow the path within ~ the answers are all there! Highly recommend!


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Who would have thought that poetry is not only practical, but exactly the right tool for Counting the Omer? Fortunately, Susan Windle had that thought, and boy is she right!

If you go to the trouble of doing this lovely practice every day for 49 days, and you want more than just going through the motions, then this book will take you not just to each of the 49 gates, the poems take you by the hand and guide you through the gates into the experience of each day’s lesson (or as Susan writes: “Where we want to go is wherever we are, only more ‘here’ than we’ve ever been before.”)

It would have been enough (dayanu) if she had just give us the 49 poems, or just the poems and the thought-provoking commentary; but the structure of the book takes us another layer deeper. The poems are framed within a conversation [in letters] with her “friends” the year this was first shared, so everyday we get to listen in on her conversation with this group of counters.

And then this conversation is encapsulated within a larger conversation which she is having with us, the readers of this ebook. So just like the Omer itself, which is seven daily qualities within the same seven weekly qualities, her poems are a conversation within a conversation. This Russian Doll construct takes you deeper and deeper into the practice, just the way you’d want.

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