I’m absolutely delighted to announce that It’s official! There will be a another book! Here’s the press release that Jill Swenson, my book developer, sent to Publisher’s Marketplace where it appeared this morning:
Congratulations to Jean Benedict Raffa who has signed a contract for a new book with Schiffer Publishing. The Soul’sTwins offers a self-guided journey to wholeness and enlightenment by transcending masculine-feminine oppositions. Drawing on archetypes rooted in wisdom traditions from world religions, Raffa offers a reference guide and spiritual road map to become your whole authentic self by integrating the full potential of your soul’s twins. Heal your conflicts, create more loving relationships, and grow into psychological and spiritual maturity.
Jean Benedict Raffa is the author of The Bridge to Wholeness: A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth,Dream Theatres of the Soul: Empowering the Feminine through Jungian Dreamwork, andHealing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World, which received the 2013 Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council for excellence in communicating religious faith and values in the public arena and for encouraging understanding among faith groups on a national level.
I couldn’t be more honored that to have Schiffer as my next publisher. They are an old and highly respected independent publisher with a large list of books and a wide, diverse audience. I’m especially impressed with the high quality of their books: the beautifully reproduced images, excellent paper, and coffee-table worthy formats and designs.
This book is far from finished and we have not established a publication date yet. Once I’ve completed the writing, there will still be much to be done. I’m afraid I’ll be obsessed with it for at least a year and a half, so although I’ll be visiting my sites from time to time, you’re not likely to see much of me on social media.
Just know that I am here and happy and well, and that I’ll be checking in with you from time to time. And if you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t forget to think psychologically and live spiritually.
Long ago when Earth was young and the collective ego in its infancy, the idea of uprooting oneself from the safety of home and hearth and taking a solitary journey into unknown territory had sacred significance. Even the most powerful rulers feared the unknown so much that they would not make any important move without first consulting divine guidance. Thus it was that in ancient Greece crossroads acquired sacred meaning, and divine help from Hecate, Goddess of the crossroads, was invoked at places where three roads met. Images of Hecate Trevia, (Hecate of the Three Ways) guarded three-way crossroads for many centuries.
Barbara Walker tells us that besides presiding at crossroads, Hecate was also the guardian of gates — especially the gate of birth. Under the name of Enodia, a name shared by Hecate, Artemis, and Persephone, the underworld Goddess also ruled the gates of death and was the original holder of the key to Hades. In the 8th century BCE in Italy, Vanth was the Etruscan winged goddess of the netherworld. With snakes wrapped around her arms, she carried keys and either a torch or a scroll inscribed with her name. In the Yoruba culture of Africa, Elegba the Divine Messenger is still consulted for divination. Luisah Teish says she is “the Master of the Crossroads, the Gatekeeper who stands between the Material and the Spiritual, the Visible and the Invisible, between Existence and Oblivion.”
These are all manifestations of the Wisewoman archetype, the aspect of the sacred feminine which enables us to explore the inner depths without losing our way. Her symbols describe her attributes. Keys represent access to secret realms, full power and authority within these realms, and the condition of being initiated. Her snakes protect sacred precincts, including the underworld. A torch is a common symbol of purification and enlightenment in rites of initiation. A scroll, as the original form of the book, is a symbol of learning, enlightenment, communication, and sacred writings. One other symbol associated with the Wisewoman is the veil, which suggests hidden or esoteric knowledge.
The “counselor at the crossroads” aspect of the Wisewoman represents our instinctive recognition of opportunities for choice at critical stages of life and the knack for making appropriate decisions based on love and the true processes of our souls. As “weaver at the gate” she represents our ability to stand between pairs of opposites, heeding the truths of both and holding the tension of indecision while weaving the separate and apparently incompatible threads of warp and woof into new patterns until they merge into an original, unified piece.
Some gates offer opportunities for choice — as when we learn we have a fatal illness and can choose how to treat it and how to approach our deaths — and some do not. For example, we do not get to choose when we are born or what family we are born into. But we can still reflect on the meaning of every passage, whether it is chosen or not, and we can choose how we will respond to what we cannot change. Will we accept it, choose to find meaning and guidance for our journey on Earth, take a new step in a new direction? Or will we fight it, ignore it, or blame it on someone else?
Two things protect us on the journey into the unconscious: the ability to trust our inner guidance when we reach a potentially dangerous crossroads, and the patience to wait at the gate until the healing solution comes. If we can do this, the Wisewoman, our inner priestess and healer, will direct our path to wholeness and spiritual growth. May you be fortunate enough to meet her at the crossroads and gates of your own journey.
Image Credits: Hecate, Google Images. Source Unknown.
The Wilbur Award is given by the Religion Communicators Council for excellence in communicating religious faith and values in the public arena and for encouraging understanding among faith groups on a national level.