Yaaaay! This Is the Big One!


If we are connected on social media, you probably know what the title of this post refers to.  Last week the Nautilus Book Awards winners for 2020 were announced. The Soul’s Twins received a silver medal! I’m over-the-moon excited. This is the big one, the one I’ve always admired and aspired to.

Former Nautilus Winners

Former Nautilus winners include: Deepak Chopra • Barbara Kingsolver • Thich Nhat Hanh • Marianne Williamson • Caroline Myss • Gregg Braden • Lynne Twist • Jeremy Rifkin • Lynne McTaggart • Matthew Fox * Daniel James Brown • Eckhart Tolle • Joan Borysenko • Hedrick Smith • Andrew Weil • Katherine Neville • And many more …

Wow! I never dreamed I’d rub shoulders with giants like these, many of whose books live on my bookshelves. What an amazing honor.

” ‘Wisdom consists in doing the next thing that you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.’ [Meister Eckhart] And this is the sense of the sacred.” – Helen Luke

When I realized there was something I had to do I began The Bridge to Wholeness: A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth. That was in 1989. My greatest hope was that it would find a publisher. The thought of awards never occurred to me. To my astonishment, not only did it find a publisher, it landed on the short list for the Benjamin Franklin Award. The award that year went to Helen Luke, a Jungian analyst and author of Tapestry. Just to be on the same list with her was the greatest honor I had ever received.

In 2013 I went to Indianapolis to accept the 2012 Wilbur Award from the Religious Communications Council for my third book,  Healing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World. Oprah Winfrey won an award from them  that year too. Pretty sure that would be my last book, I thought I had reached the pinnacle of my career.

Five years later, The Soul’s Twins insisted on being born and I had to obey. The others had flowed out of me;  this one was pulled out kicking and screaming. My mother always said I had a one-track mind. I guess that’s what saw me through. That, and Jill Swenson, who midwifed this book and helped me fulfill my mission. Thank you, Jill.

As a symbol, the chambered nautilus is a metaphor for one’s spiritual evolution. Here’s what Nautilus says about their mission:

Nautilus Mission

Our core mission is to celebrate and honor books that support conscious living & green values, high-level wellness, positive social change & social justice, and spiritual growth.

And this from the Nautilus website:

The Nautilus Awards Represent Better Books for a Better World

We are delightedly stunned by the outpouring of passion, commitment, and collaboration from all the entry submissions this year. The pulse of energy embodied in these books has indeed helped to spark the greater life of our world.

FURTHER, we are deeply humbled and honored to witness the Nautilus Mission ~ to spotlight Better Books for a Better World ~ continue to expand in both submissions and presence, globally. The spark is indeed propagating as we speak, creating powerful ripples that join and amplify the unitary pulse of our home planet.

I, too, am stunned, deeply humbled, honored, and grateful. My books are written with my whole heart, with help from my ego and unconscious. Throughout the entire process I feel the sense of the sacred. When I write a book I wake up slowly in the morning. While I’m still in that liminal, hypnagogic state between waking and sleeping, I often find my “mind” working out solutions to problems from the day before without my ego even realizing what’s happening. When I awaken fully I practically run to my desk to get the ideas down. The cooperation between my conscious and unconscious brings such joy that sometimes I sit at my desk with tears of awe running down my face. Then all I can think and say is, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

I believe we each create powerful ripples when we do the work we have to do with our whole hearts. It’s infinitely gratifying when someone takes the time to let me know by writing a review — a huge gift — or a note, saying they’ve been touched by a ripple. I love to imagine all our ripples merging with ripples from all over the world to “amplify the unitary pulse of our home planet.” This is why I keep writing.

I just realized that this ammonite fossil, the ancient ancestor of the modern nautilus shell, has been on my desk for about 30 years. Hmmm. Coincidence?

Many of you know The Soul’s Twins has also been nominated for a COVR Award. A sincere thank-you to those who took the time to vote for it. Each year COVR gives Visionary Awards to entries selected from among the best new products, electronic media, jewelry, music and books in the Mind*Body*Spirit marketplace. I should be finding out very soon if The Soul’s Twins wins. If it does, I’ll let you know here and on Facebook and twitter.

Meanwhile, I want to show you my gratitude for blessing me with your interest in my books by giving away a free signed copy of The Soul’s Twins with the Nautilus Silver Medal seal on the front! To enter, all you need to do is comment on this blog post with your answer to this question: “Which archetype is your strongest?” I’ll put all your addresses in a hat (or maybe a crystal bowl), randomly draw the winner next Monday, and announce it in Tuesday’s post.

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Her Wilbur Award-winning book, Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications.com. Her new Nautilus Award-winning book, The Soul’s Twins, is available at Schiffer, Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit and wherever books are sold. Subscribe to her newsletter at www.jeanbenedictraffa.com.



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21 Responses

    1. Thank you for commenting, Janet. You and a lot of other people here!! 🙂 I equate Hermes with the Hierophant, a third-force archetype that is a blend of Mediatrix and Sage. This is my strongest as well. Your name will be added to my hat. Love, Jeanie

  1. Congratulations, Jean.

    Your one-track mind has been steady for many years, with deep devotion and discipline for your projects.
    My discipline comes and goes. In-between instances of spirited action and small successes, I get lost in a mesmerizing jungle of phenomena.
    It’s my mystic, I suspect, feeding my irreverent streak, and leading me on many foolish errands.

    So I cheer you from my present jungle, impressed by your inspiring consistency. The Nautilus reward is an apt and well deserved recognition for your work.

    1. Thank you for your cheers from the jungle, Ashen. I know your Mystic serves you very well indeed, disciplined or not. I probably keep too tight a rein on Discipline, which unduly limits its partner, Spontaneity. Both have their rightful place in the psyche. I equate Mystic with the wisdom and guidance of the third-force archetype, Hierophant, whose twins are Mediatrix and Sage. This is my strongest archetype as well.

  2. Well deserved award for you and your wonderful book!
    My strongest archetype currently is the Mediatrix.

    1. Thank you, Shannon. Yes, I see the Mediatrix in you and know she is serving your spiritual growth well. Love and blessings, Jeanie

  3. Oh, Jeannie. CONGRATULATIONS!
    Your ammonite fossil reference intrigued me to learn more about it, as its resemblance to your prestigious award is so blatant. “….. and help to stimulate the life force (Chi). Ammonites are often used for activating Kundalini and life path energies.” (healingcrystals.com) No coincidence that the portrayal of your destiny was right in front of you all along. You are amazing. I’m so happy and proud to know you. 🤗

  4. Thank you, Sissy. The information you found about the properties of ammonites is fascinating. I didn’t know anything about them but one day when we were attending a “bead” show that had all kinds of rocks and fossils and crystals and antiquities, this one jumped out and grabbed me as I walked by! 🙂 It’s just so gorgeous and compelling.

    Yes. This was no coincidence. It certainly felt like there was a much deeper reason for my attraction than the aesthetic appeal. I’ve learned to notice and act on these strong inner resonances and I’ve never been sorry. Thank you for sharing that with me. And for the kind words. Love, Jeanie

  5. What an amazing honour indeed Jeanie! Huge congratulations! Oh, and I love the rich, spiralling symbolism behind the Nautilus shell. Hmm, silver, and the Divine Feminine comes to mind! Jill Swenson sounds like a wonderful, deeply experienced midwife and I love your apt description of how “The Soul’s Twins” came out, kicking and screaming.

    It’s obvious to all that you were born to write my dear friend and guide those powerful ripples through many hearts, bodies, minds and souls. Even your much shorter blog posts are micro examples of the rich, beautiful tapestry you weave as I get the impression you think, intuit and feel carefully, above and below, the message you send out to the world.

    Which archetype is my strongest? Well according to your wonderful, enlightening “Partnership Profile” found within “The Soul’s Twins” book, at the moment I have two that both scored 5, the archetypes of “Mother” and “Mediatrix”, which sounds about right! As both are needed in my life’s work as a psychotherapist and a poet. Love and light, Deborah.

    1. Thank you, Deborah. Your words warm my heart. You are so kind. Your comments always make me feel seen and heard.

      I do think and intuit carefully about the message I send. It means everything to me. I believe you and I are similar in that way.

      When I think of silver, I think of the divine feminine too, especially the silvery light of the moon and the silver arrows of Artemis, Queen of the wilderness.

      I also think of the silver metal Mercury, the planet Mercury, the Roman winged messenger god of the same name, and alchemy’s androgynous Mercurius who represented the spirit in matter which is a combination of feminine and masculine.

      So there you have it: silver represents the soul’s feminine and masculine twins! There are no coincidences! 🙂

      Blessings, Jeanie

  6. Dear Jeanie, this is so wonderful – I can feel your joy bubbling over! Such a well deserved award, many congratulations! You’re in excellent company or rather, the others are in excellent company – ie you. Thanks for expanding on ‘nautilus’ and the connection with the ammonite is breathtaking! Have a wonderful weekend ❤️

    1. Yes, it’s been a bubbly time! A welcome relief from the fizzled out times!! Yes, the connection with the ammonite took my breath away for a moment too. What an amazing mystery life can be. Thank you for your sweet and thoughtful note, Jeanie

  7. It’s just terrific to receive this honor, Jeanie. I sent you a private email but wanted to respond here–to silver, to the spiral of life, to the increase in understanding of the balance needed between masculine and feminine. If I had answered the partnership profile in the past, I’m sure Mother would have been dominant and I doubt the answers would have weighed as heavily on the feminine side. I answered the questions a year ago and again recently and came up with 4 for Queen, 4 for Beloved and 3 for Mother and Mediatrix. Queen feels appropriate for this time of my life as I make all the decisions alone after consulting knowledgeable helpers. I’m the ruler over my domain. And the Beloved is never in doubt now. I know each day how much I was and am loved–even if I sometimes forget to love myself. I know your workshops based on your book will be illuminating for those who can attend. Congratulations, again.

  8. Thank you so much, Elaine. It is wonderful to receive this honor. I feel very honored, indeed!!

    I still figure out new things about myself every time I take the Partnership Profile too. I’m also getting a better idea of certain aspects of my shadow I hadn’t quite seen before. What I’ve come to realize after working with others is that the most hidden parts of my shadow are often in the archetypes for which I have the fewest points. That makes sense to me, because I can see that the qualities I reject in those archetypes are things I don’t like about myself!!! But if an archetype isn’t active in me, the low score merely reflects the fact that an inactive archetype doesn’t cast a shadow! It’s taken me a long time to figure that out. So in my case, the fact that I have 5 points for Mediatrix and 0 for Sage, who I know without doubt is extremely active, especially when I’m thinking and writing, that means that I have a strong Sage shadow. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Thanks again for the congratulations.

    1. Many thanks, Aladin. I feel so fortunate to have been given this award and appreciate the generous thoughts of friends like you.

  9. Congratulations to you! One archetype that lives strongly in me is the Hermit.
    I have not heard of the Helen Luke book Tapestry. I’ve read lots of her work. Could it have another name?

    1. Oops! My bad! Here’s Luke’s actual title: Kaleidoscope: The Way of Woman and Other Essays: (June 1992) Originally Parabola Books now Morning Light Press. I should have looked it up before trusting my faulty memory. Yes, our books were up for the same award in 1992. It couldn’t have gone to a wiser Jungian scholar!!

      I have a lot of Hermit in me too! Some people see it as an aspect of the Sage (also calledMagician) archetype. It represents introverted reflection and a need for solitary seclusion to be able to think clearly and synthesize data into a coherent, connected pattern. Sorry you missed the drawing for my book giveaway. Maybe I’ll do it again one of these days. 🙂

      Thank you for your congratulations and for writing. Jeanie

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