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Bernard Roger

Book Review – The Initiatory Path in Fairy Tales: The Alchemical Secrets of Mother Goose by Bernard Roger

August, 2019

Book Review
The Initiatory Path in Fairy Tales
The Alchemical Secrets of Mother Goose
by Bernard Roger
Translated by Jon E. Graham
Pages: 308

“Once
upon time” immediately places the reader in a mythical, magical
world. Like other often-used phrases, storytellers use it to
transition to a place where anything is possible.

Classic
as well as little-known fairy tales are ripe with hermetic teachings
of alchemy and Freemasonry. In this book, The
Initiatory Path in Fairy Tales: the Alchemical Secrets of Mother
Goose,
Bernard Roger, provides an
exhaustive analysis to prove his point and deliver what the title
promises.

Translated
by Jon E. Graham, Roger demonstrates how hermetic ideas can be found
in such popular fairy tales as Cinderella,
Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood
and Snow
White,
as well as the stories
attributed to The Tales of My Mother the
Goose.

These
and other tales from around the globe contain symbols and secrets,
concealed in “the language of the birds.”

The
goose, he claims, hears the primal call of nature and was considered
a messenger in multiple cultures.

Describing
a legend as “the story of a fabulous ‘fact’ attached to a place
– a nation, forest, lake, tree, spring, or stone – or historical
figure,” Roger defines a tale as a “free traveler” found almost
everywhere around the globe but having no clear date or place of
origin.

“The
Germanic Wotan corresponds exactly with he Scandinavian Odin, and he
can also be compared to the Irish Baldor, king of the Fomorians, he
of the dark powers who also saw with only one eye,” Roger wrote.

I
am moved to pair that with something later in the book: “The
woodcutter’s wife is a woodswoman, or wild woman, from the family
of ‘wild men,’ ‘green men,’ and ‘woodsmen’ who were
depicted in the Middle Ages as covered with hair and clad in leaves.
This is a close relative to our probably tree-dwelling ancestors,
whose instincts even today are probably responsible for the pleasure
children feel when they climb trees, where they can dream for hours
while sitting in the hollow formed by its branches – a secret world
that adults have totally forgotten.”

To
understand and appreciate this book, you must be very interested in
the teachings and practices of the Freemasonry society, induction and
alchemy, and have a basic knowledge of the concepts and practices. I
was not prepared. Also, many examples Roger sites are from fairy
tales I never heard of, and the pages are so thick with details, I
sometimes found myself skimming.

There
is still valuable knowledge for the beginner, such as how quests
generally have happy outcomes as the seeker learns it’s the
princess – and not the jewel, bird, key, flower or fruit – that
is meant to be found, and that these quests correspond to alchemy
practices

The
six chapters cover the tales, the initiation, the stages, the door to
the temple or V.I.T.R.I.O.L., the paths of V.I.T.R.I.O.L. and the
ultimate success. There are sections on the forest, the castle,
riddles, impossible tasks and fighting dragons. Readers will learn
the four essential factors of fate (the cause of the quest,
assistants offered to him along the way, the object of the quest, and
the place where it is found), the ritual for the 18th degree of
Scottish Freemasonry and much more in-between.

The
book gets a 3.8 out of 5 by 5 customer reviews on Amazon.

The Initiatory Path in Fairy Tales: The Alchemical Secrets of Mother Goose on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Lynn Woike

thewitchonwheels.com

All my life I have known
magic was real. As a child, I played with the fae, established
relationships with trees and “just knew things.” In my maiden
years I discovered witchcraft and dabbled in the
black-candles-cemeteries-at-midnight-on-a-fullmoon magick just enough
to realize I did not understand its power. I went on to explore many
practices including Zen, astrology, color therapy, native traditions,
tarot, herbs, gems, and as I moved into my mother years, Buddhism,
the Kabbalah and Reiki. The first man I dated after my divorce was a
witch who reintroduced me to the Craft, this time by way of the
Goddess. For 11 years I was in a coven, but with retirement, I have
returned to an eclectic solitary practice. I am transitioning to the
life of a crone on the road, living chunks of time in a 30-year-old
school bus converted into a living space that is also sacred space.
Follow me as I share the journey that is just beginning.
thewitchonwheels