Okay. There’s so much to tell you that I hardly know where to begin.
Do you remember me ever writing “I don’t think I have it in me to write another book?” after Healing the Sacred Divide was published in 2013? I don’t remember if I actually wrote it in a post, but I certainly said it. Often. To several people. And now I find myself saying it again.
But I’m very glad I didn’t say, “I’ll never write another book again,” because that would have been an inadvertent lie. Three years ago I suddenly felt motivated to revisit a deeply loved but impossibly challenging child. Birthed twenty-six years ago, it sprouted with promise until, like Peter Pan, it suddenly refused to keep growing. Then three years ago, with no warning, it changed its mind. Here’s what I’ve written about the time between then and now:
“Fortunately, the perfect nanny appeared at just the right moment. Jill Swenson is the Mary Poppins of frustrated authors and their difficult progeny. With help from her talented associates at Swenson Book Development, Mark Thyss and Audrey Arnold, she knew how to whip us into shape, where to stand firm, and when to offer a spoonful of sugar.”
Jill has my heartfelt gratitude. Because on November 17, The Soul’s Twins: Emancipate Your Feminine and Masculine Archetypes, will be released to the world. Except for its skeletal foundation, theme, the first three words of its name, and its psycho-spiritual core, all of which have remained essentially the same, it has morphed into a completely different creature. Maybe that’s because I have done a lot of learning and transforming myself since its inception.
Here’s what my publisher writes in their catalogue about The Soul’s Twins:
“Humanity today is plagued by a loss of meaning and alienation from self and others. Drawing on Jungian psychology and wisdom traditions from world religions, Dr. Raffa offers a self-guided journey to heightened self-awareness and compassion.
This guide for all who desire greater self-fulfillment and freedom to be themselves describes four masculine and four feminine archetypes in everyone. A self-assessment tool called the Partnership Profile helps readers overcome gender stereotypes and activate a new archetype of loving relationship with oneself and others.
This awareness, combined with suggested practices, empowers readers to address their imbalances and create the lives for which they yearn.”
And here’s the blurb my publisher, Red Feather Mind Body Spirit, an imprint of Schiffer Publishing Ltd., selected for the back cover:
“Here’s a bible to couple the nurture of feminine power with the heroic masculine journey, promulgating oneness with the divine. Jean Raffa has crafted a twenty-first-century road map for the soul.” ~ Randall B. Robertson, Founding Director of GladdeningLight, a nonprofit spiritual arts initiative.
Now I’m deeply immersed in preparations for the upcoming launch. Mostly that involves letting people know about it and asking for their help to spread the word. Here come more obstacles and pressures to stir into the smoldering mix of my shadow’s weaknesses and resistances. Some of you know me well enough to understand how difficult this is for me. Others might see my fairly well-activated Queen archetype who’s not about about to bring this baby into the world without doing everything she can to pave its way to success.
This inner journey to individuation and wholeness is such a complex business. Rife with conflicts and contradictions, it plagues us with self-criticism and self-doubt. It constantly presents us with new conflicts and challenges that incite our shadows to sink to their basest levels, and at the same time, inspire our souls to rise to their fullest potential. Perhaps the worst part of all is that you have to go it alone. No one else has the map or knows your answers. No one else can shoulder the responsibility of emancipating your true soul for you, let alone provide you with the motivation and courage to reveal your true self for the whole world to see and criticize.
Well that was a tough paragraph to write. But it’s true. And if you have ever questioned the standards of your childhood upbringing you know exactly what I mean. If who we were raised to be doesn’t work for us, then we need to work for changes that do work for us. I don’t believe any soul was born to conform to the previous generation’s expectations for us. We were born to become our true selves: beings of infinite potential and love. And we are the only ones who can make that happen.
I’ve written it before in this blog and I believe it to be true:
The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
Are you ready to meet your soul’s twins?
Credits: Google images. Salvador Dali Shop Sculpture
Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at Kobo, Barnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications.com. Watch for her new book, The Soul’s Twins, forthcoming from Schiffer Red Feather Mind Body Spirit on Nov. 17, 2020. For more information, subscribe to her newsletter at www.jeanbenedictraffa.com.
Thank you so much dearest Jean, just saying it; to read your words they calm my soul. And I will heartily like to meet my soul twins 😊 have a wonderful day 🤗❣🙏, sincerely, Aladin ❤❤
Thank you, Aladin. I admire your online efforts to transform the world into the kind and loving place you envision. With warmest wishes, Jeanie
Congratulations! As you know each “birth” for each “child” (however defined) of ours will be uniquely different. For my second book I decided to quietly turn away from the world and give birth alone … only to return when I was literally holding the “baby” in my hands.
Previous births in my life have happened differently, however, I think I knew from the start how I would be birthing my second book into the world. The labour was hard yet the joy of holding my own twin (my second book) today in my hands feels incredible and worthwhile!
I guess what I’m trying to say is this … enjoy your labour pains as difficult or easy as they come, for giving birth, however we do it, will be an unforgettable experience. It’s a time to remember past mistakes and learn from them. Jill and her fab team sound like experienced midwives!
Unlike others I won’t be meeting your new “baby” until Christmas morning and this feels right. I’m so excited yet the wait feels necessary! In the immortal words of J.M. Barrie, enjoy the journey, “Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.” Love and blessings, Deborah.
Thank you, Deborah. I thought it was very wise of you to spend your incubation time in solitude and retirement from the world. You knew what your soul needed and you respected it with your actions. I now hold your exquisite twin in my hands, and am delighted with its beauty.
Enjoy my labour pains. Now that’s wisdom, indeed. I am aware of that level of awareness much of the time, but I confess that my shadow has ‘overshadowed’ it more often than I like to admit in the past few years. Fortunately, it’s a practice I know I’ll have many more opportunities to refine in the years to come. Aging can teach us gratitude and grace if we open our hearts to it. 🙂
Such beautiful symbolism in your last paragraph. One of the greatest comforts in the second half of my life has been learning to live my mythic, symbolic life. It’s nice to know I’ll always have that star to steer by.
Oh, I’m delighted that my book has arrived and even more delighted now that I’ve just watched Susan interview you on YouTube! I was almost sad when your meeting ended as I could’ve listened to you both talk for hours! Yes, enjoy it all! Big love, Deborah. xx
We had such a lovely time talking. I wished it could have gone on too. This was only the second time in the eight or so years I’ve known her that I’ve even heard her voice. The first was on a preliminary Skype session last week. It was such a thrill to communicate about ideas that are so meaningful to both of us! xoxo
Excellent, Jean! I am looking forward to the middle of next month for The Soul’s Twins to complement my Jungian Depth Psychology work with the Sacred Feminine and the Temple in (Wo)Man along Psycho-Spiritual Architecture and the Kintsuroi of Self.
Thank you, Jordan. I hope you enjoy The Soul’s Twins. It is as you describe it, based on Jung’s depth psychology theories, with some updates based on my own explorations and some new connections I’ve discovered. As Jung said, “Thank God I’m Jung and not a Jungian.” He wanted others to use his theories as a launch pad from which to explore their own depths and discover the truths of their own souls, not as a strict orthodoxy which must never be changed.
This is what I’ve done in this work, which is based on 30 years of my own inner work, including the analysis of over 5,250 dreams. It’s been an exciting journey and I’m very excited to share what I’ve learned here.
I hope you find The Soul’s Twins to be rich with meaning for you.
My very best to you, Jeanie
You’re most welcome, Jean. I love that quote by Jung, “Thank God I’m Jung and not Jungian.” As if he would have to do work on top of his wonderful life opus.
I’m full-on looking forward to the release of “The Soul’s Twins.” The Red Feather Imprint is turning out for me to be a wonderful source. Glad to discover your work.
And I’m glad you’ve discovered it, and Red Feather.
Thanks. This was reminder about the 10-21 2020 meeting and to review the assessments from chapter 2 .
Rummaging through my stacks of books there was theater of the soul and healing the sacred divide. Although I only read a bit l remember their novel approach or perspective to the subjects .So dah!
Thanks, Mark. I’m glad you already have two of my books. I hope you enjoy this new one! See you later this afternoon. Jeanie
Jeanie, this is wonderful! I love how you have opened the door for your child to come dancing through!
Love to you, Dale
Thank you, Dale. And dancing s/he is, more and more these days! It’s not just my shadow that’s been overwhelming me, it’s also the outpouring of amazingly kind and affirming words and actions I’m receiving from so many people, some of whom I’ve never met.
One of the most important things I’ve learned on this journey so far is the importance of befriending the opposites. A fully lived life is not just about perfection, but also imperfection. Not just joy, but also sorrow. Without the darkness, we cannot comprehend the miracle of light. Without death, we cannot appreciate life.
Love to you too, Jeanie
Thank you Jeanie,I believe this to be so simple, yet so profound. “The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti”.
We have to do our own inner work and change ourselves and become who we actually are, free from bondage of the knots that keep us tied. It’s a hard ask and task but who else can do it, if not ourselves. And, as you say in a comment, befriend those opposites! Only then can we hope for change and a transformed world. Bravo on you for wrestling with it all Jeanie and for birthing your book. Labour pains for sure. May it be well received in the outer world 🙂
Thank you for your affirmation and blessing, Susan. May it be so. 🙂