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

July, 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

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About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Going Shamanic Radio

July, 2018

 

Going Shamanic” is hosted by Jennifer Engracio on P.A.G.E.  Media Project’s blogtalk radio each month. The show focuses on how to integrate shamanism into every day life. Instead of relegating the spiritual aspect of ourselves to Sundays at church or weekend workshops, this show will support listeners in weaving ritual, prayer, magic, alignment with the Spiritworld and the Earth into their lives to enrich their experience of living.

This Month’s Topic: Sister & Brotherhood Circles with Lori’ and Phil Nelson

On this episode, Jen welcomes Lori’ Black Cave Dreamer and Phil Eagle Song, both certified shamanic practitioners.

There is a need in our society for women and men to gather with others of their same sex to share and to learn more about what it means to be a whole man or a whole woman. This show talks about what the differences are between women and men and why Sisterhood and Brotherhood Circles are such an important support for communities on the planet.

Going Shamanic is hosted by Jennifer Engrácio, about how to integrate shamanism into everyday life.

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About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic practitioner, Reiki Master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Book Review: Confessions of a Bone Woman – Realizing Authentic Wildness in a Civilized World By Lucinda Bakken White

May, 2018

Book Review

Confessions of a Bone Woman – Realizing Authentic Wildness in a Civilized World By Lucinda Bakken White

This is a “coming of age” tale, the story of one woman’s rediscovery of freedom, joy and ultimately, herself. Lucinda Bakken White excavates her soul from underneath a lifetime of meeting expectations and fulfilling the demands of parents, peers, career, marriage and children and life as a “powerful socialite.” How does she do that? By excavating the bones and feathers of “roadkill” and creating art from them. She finds her life in the death and resurrection of the wilderness animals she roamed among as child.

Bakken White tells her tale of innocence lost and reborn using animal archetypes to describe herself at different points in her life. She moves from being a wolf, secure with her place in the pack, to a wolf among lions, changing her “skin” to meet the expectations of society and family. Her description of how she gave herself up, piece by piece and bone and bone, is worth reading. From the perspectives of both parent and child, it is an accurate description of how we are trained to conform, to be other than who we are and to take off the “skins” of our true natures to wear designer clothes. We become disconnected from the rhythms and cycles of the natural world and we fall out of balance with ourselves.

(Bone Altar)

Bakken White hears the call back to herself in dreams of Wolf and feels the pull to work with bones when she finds a buffalo skull that appears to her as a portal to other realms. She becomes “ravenous for bone” and finds that animals, dead and alive, communicate with her like her dreams do. Encounters with animals become an invitation to communicate with forces greater than herself and force her to stay aware and connected, pulling her back to herself and out of her superficial preoccupations. She finds herself working with carcasses of animals, preserving them, honoring the lives of the spirits that had once inhabited them and ultimately making sacred their presence here on Earth. Bakken White writes about digging into decaying carcasses with her fingers to get through what is dead to the bones, the structure of a life; she realizes that by digging through decay and going inside, with persistence and without horror, she can pull out and restore that which gives her life meaning.

Now as a woman coming of age and fully inhabiting her Elderhood, Bakken White works with other women to examine the masks they wear. She writes that in “looking back, I realized that bone by bone the animals I found were a metaphor for my personal process of discovering, unmasking and reconnecting the scattered parts of my true self.” But rather ending the book by identifying with the archetype of La Loba, the wolf woman who sings over the bones, Bakken White’s last chapter is called “Skunk.” Skunk is confident with herself and owns respect!!

Click Image for Amazon Information

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About the Author:

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.

Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

Going Shamanic Radio

April, 2018

 

Going Shamanic” is hosted by Jennifer Engracio on P.A.G.E.  Media Project’s blogtalk radio each month. The show focuses on how to integrate shamanism into every day life. Instead of relegating the spiritual aspect of ourselves to Sundays at church or weekend workshops, this show will support listeners in weaving ritual, prayer, magic, alignment with the Spiritworld and the Earth into their lives to enrich their experience of living.

This month features Honouring Elder Wisdom…

We live in a time where elders are seen as a burden on our health system and as expendable by society at large.  This is not how we used to perceive elders in our community.  Today’s show explores the value of elders.  

Our guest today is Grandmother Ann Dickie.  She is a grandmother, mother, and fabric artist.  Ever since she was a child, she has known she was a spiritual being connected to all things.  Over thirteen years ago, she began studying shamanism.  During that time, she has done ceremonies with children aged five to twelve as well as participating in many personal ceremonies herself.  She co-authored the book “The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”.  

Join us for a conversation that explores questions around the value of elders in our society and what we can do to bring them to the fore.

 

 

Going Shamanic is hosted by Jennifer Engracio, about how to integrate shamanism into everyday life. 

Instead of relegating the spiritual aspect of ourselves to Sundays at church or weekend workshops, this show will support listeners in weaving ritual, prayer, magic, alignment with the Spiritworld and the Earth into their lives to enrich their experience of living. Jen is also the founder of Spiral Dance Shamanics.  

To contact Jen and find out more about services offered go to: www.jenniferengracio.wordpress.com

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About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic practitioner, Reiki Master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing”

Click Image for Amazon Information

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Pagan as Free-Thinkers

June, 2006

What happens so often in any community is the need to conform to the social and societal norms of the community at large. Pagans and Wiccans are no different and continue to fall into this very trap time and time again.


So often we attempt to take what is so wonderful about paganism and squish it into a box that was really meant for the book religions of the world. Now, in all fairness, there are many reasons to try and do that. Some include the legalities of what is considered a “religion” under the law. But I am not talking about that specifically. I am really focusing on the thoughts of Pagans and Wiccans everywhere and how many of us are still stuck in the box created by the religions we were raised with.


Paganism is not meant to follow the structures of a dogmatic society. We are spiritual warriors that pride ourselves in free-thinking and spirituality versus religion, so why do we get stuck thinking there is a right and wrong way to the divine spirit? So often people feel the need to have set guidelines or structures to exist in because it is safer than relying on self.


So what happens is we give our power away to others, traditions, High Priests and Priestesses, rules and many other things, instead of diving into ourselves and giving ourselves permission to keep our own power. Why is it so hard for individuals to take responsibility for their own thoughts and their own spirituality? Why do we as a society feel that we have to follow the thoughts of others when it comes to our spiritual path?


We as a society are so use to having others who are “more qualified” lead us in our spiritual path and we become conditioned to follow. Walking a spiritual path can be that awakening that we as individuals hold the power and the keys to a spiritual existence. Others are here to help guide and assist but they are the same as we are, they are only individuals walking towards their own path as well. No one person is closer to deity than the next; it might just be that their paths are different.


Now, this is in no way disrespect to the elders of our religion. It is just a reminder that those elders may or may not have found some of the wisdoms of life on their journey but that does not discredit the journeys of others.


So what this really points out is that being a free thinker takes lots of work and responsibility. It is much easier to follow than to do the work and lead.


Another wonderful aspect of paganism is the diversity within the traditions and beliefs. We get the opportunity to learn from so many different systems on the road to deity and the only thing required is an open mind and respect. Again, unfortunately, many carry over the thoughts that one thought system is better or closer to the gods than another. And we help to create the great divide within the pagan community that has plagued the religious community at large for years. In addition, many run from the book religions only to come here and find the same scenario with people who claim to be different.


People are in the habit of imposing beliefs, ideals and judgments on others instead of allowing others the personal freedom and responsibility to think for themselves. The minute that someone thinks differently or doesn’t subscribe to the same method of training that we did, we automatically discredit them.


So the challenge this month is to push ourselves to try and be understanding, open minded and accepting Pagans. Let’s stop pretending that is the way that the Pagan community as a whole is and start being that. Let’s start by trying to make an effort not to force others to live within our restrictions and thoughts.


Let’s remember that the path to the divine is an individual journey for each person. Some will walk, some will crawl, some will fly but all will get there in their own time and their own way. Let’s respect each other’s intelligence to make the best decisions for spiritual growth and let’s not judge others for doing it differently. And I am not talking specifically about Christians, Muslims or any other religion. I am also talking about within our own Pagan community.


Don’t dismiss it. Just sit with it.


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author bio:


Rev. Cyrstal


amethystsage@sbcglobal.net


I am a 29-year-old Pagan mother, been married for seven years. I am very close to my family and my parents. I work full-time in the drug and alcohol treatment field. I have been a practicing Pagan for about four years. I consider myself to be an eclectic Wiccan/Pagan. I try not to limit or label myself. My passions in life are my family, enjoying a good book, learning what life has to offer, connecting with my spiritual self, giving back to my community and spending time with good friends.