Living and Learning To Love


After writing two posts a week for years, then one post a week, and now even less, the time has come to give more time to other needs and interests. For those of you who’ve wondered about the title of this blog, “Matrignosis”, it means “Mother Knowing.” You won’t find it in any dictionary.  I made it up to describe my theme. From my first post in 2010, my motivation has been twofold:  to learn more about myself  and the feminine principle that lives in every psyche;  and second, to share what I’ve learned with others—all from the perspective of Jungian psychology.

I was passionate about my mission and still am. An unexpected benefit of committing myself to this was that I found and still communicate with a likeminded group of equally inspired and motivated friends. You know who you are. I think of you, and everyone who reads my posts, as my tribe.

But for a few years now, my enthusiasm and motivation to write and share my thoughts on social media has been waning. At first I worried about this, but now I realize it’s natural. As long as I live I will always change and so will the world. And there’s nothing any of us can do about that. We are meant to evolve. Looking within, listening to our souls, and adapting to the challenges and changes that life brings is how we do it. So, as long as I stay open and on the path my inner guide—the Self—prompts me to take, there will be nothing wrong with me. I’ll still be following my own sacred light on my own holy journey.

Don’t worry. I’m perfectly healthy. I’m just tired of pushing myself so hard. And I’m not closing the door on this blog. I’m just opening my heart to make more room for living and learning to love.

In closing, I offer two poems. The first, “The Guest House” is one of Rumi’s classics.  The second, “Step Into Echo” is from actor and writer, Hunt Scarritt, who sent it to me a few years ago. I’m deeply honored to share it publicly for the first time. I hope you’ll find something in these poems that will be of help as you take the next step on your own holy journey.

I’m so glad our paths have crossed here.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Rumi


Step into Echo

By Hunt Scarritt

(for Jean Raffa)




Above you

Below you yawns



Each step

A string plucked

Step into Echo


Where all secrets

               Are kept


You are the

Keeper of All Things

Queen beneath

Sorceress of Sand



careful where you step

Shadowfire burns

at your turning


Step into the

Center of the Center

at great risk


The price of


Is great


stride a path

terrible with truth


Demands you


onto Bridge

Toes black with soul

Eyes blind with sight

Feet bare



Do not believe the




Are Universes


are Blessed

Lady of the West

So Step,

O Lady,


Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Jean’s new Nautilus Award-winning The Soul’s Twins, is at Amazon and Schiffer’s Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit. Subscribe to her newsletter at

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20 Responses

  1. Dear Jeanie,

    Oh, I still remember that first time I discovered your wonderful ‘Mother Knowing’ blog around twelve years ago, it was like wandering in from a barren desert where my soul could regenerate itself in this beautiful, opulent oasis. Knowing ‘Matrignosis’ still exists means I can always return here when my thirst or curiosity about something psychological, often mythological, croneological even, returns.

    What you’re going through sounds entirely natural as you shift from (Connie Zweig’s) role to soul. Believe me at sixty, I’m making copious notes! Interestingly, ‘Croneology’, the title of my next book is also a made up name. Not one I made up myself, one I found online and fell in love with last week. I too feel blessed to have a small group of like-minded souls who support my work. Really, I couldn’t do it without you all!

    My own soul mission has been taking me back to my childhood this month as I’ve been exploring my ‘Inner Child’. At first I thought, well this is strange I’m writing an essay about getting older and the first thing I do is start exploring myself as a baby, toddler, child and teenager! But of course I will need to return to the beginning, in the words of T. S. Eliot, in order to know it for the first time!

    Two wonderful poems, thank you for sharing them both with us.

    Love and light,


    1. Dear Deborah,

      It’s so exciting to hear you’re working on another book. I love your title, “Croneology”. It’s absolutely perfect. We desperately need more understanding and acceptance of this sadly neglected, and often disparaged, phase of life. To think of you approaching it from your artistic, poetic perspective gladdens my heart. I can’t wait to plumb the rich depths of imagination and feeling that you always bring to every work of art.

      I also remember your first visits to Matrignosis. Your contributions to my “oasis” brought pure joy to me and still do. Especially the poem you wrote for me. When you posted it on Facebook I shared it, but I’ve never quite known whether to post it here. I had the same problem with Hunt’s poem: concern that some would see it as “tooting my own horn”, or me “getting a big head”, as my mother used to say. I chose to use his poem because it directly addresses the struggles and suffering involved in opening oneself to explore the depths and take the next step you have to take, even if it leads to suffering and isolation. Whereas your brilliantly original and humbling haiku verses celebrate me and my accomplishments! Oh my soul! What a gift that is to me. But my mother’s voice still haunts me: Am I worthy of this? Will it be seen that way by others? I think these are questions every writer ultimately struggles with. Whatever I decide to do with your poem, please know it has been a major highlight of my life.

      And once again, we share another amazing synchronicity: In mid-January, right around the time I had a dream of a barren desert with a vast numinous bowl carved out of firm sand in the middle of it, I began another writing project. This one is a series of letters to and observations about my inner child! Can you believe it? Surely we knew each other well in another life. 😉

      Again, thank you,

      Love, Jeanie

      1. Thank you so much Jeanie for your generous and kind-hearted feedback regarding my own soul work. Wow! That’s amazing we’re both working with our Inner Child at this moment. And finally, in answer to your last question, yes of course, how could it be any other way! x

  2. Thank you for your words and your life. You have been a huge blessing. This post was just what I needed to read today. Love you! Shannon

    1. You’re so very welcome, Shannon. I’m thrilled to know that something I wrote has served you well. Sending blessings to you on the very next step you take. Love you too! Jeanie

  3. Rumi’s poem is a beautiful reminder not to resist our thoughts and emotions but to approach them with courage, warmth, and respect.
    I wish I could write the second poem myself and present it to you: Please step in, my lady! Both are intriguing gifts; thank you!💖
    That was just my enthusiasm for these beautiful poems. 🙏
    As you know, I am very connected to your feelings about the waning interest in sharing thoughts on social media. But I’m delighted that you’re healthy and that’s the most important thing in everything. As I answered your comment on my article, I believe your teachings are vast enough for lifelong learning, and I am thrilled to be on that very path which crossed yours.
    PS: I will keep the word “Matrignosis” in my mind.🤗🌹

    1. Thank you for your always kind and encouraging words, Aladdin. And a special thank you for your recent post, “The Child Inside Us!” that inspired me to write this post. Finally, thank you for being you: a deeply sincere, kind-hearted and generous-spirited man with so much to offer the world. Your honesty, perseverance, loyalty to your friends, and commitment to sharing what you feel and love has always inspired me. Whatever the next step you take brings, may it include increasing self-knowledge and love. Jeanie

  4. Jeannie,
    You have always been so inspirational and brought so much to the table; we all change as we age and just need to be grateful for each day and continue to learn with an open mind and heart. Thank you for all that you have given me.

    1. You’re welcome, Fern. And your interest in, and kind comments about my work have always been a comfort to me. Thank you. Jeanie

    1. Wow, Natasha! You’re one of my blog’s earliest readers. Thank you so much for hanging in there with me for so long and for letting me know you’re still here! Love and blessings, Jeanie

  5. God Speed Jean,
    It is so interesting, beautiful, and challenging how the circle of life takes us to new places, new challenges, and new awakenings. Thanks for sharing yours, as you traveled along the way.

    1. Hi Sally, it’s so nice to hear from you. I live for the new, beautiful, challenging, awakening things the circle brings. Unless they hurt. In which case, my first instinct is to run!!! 🙂 Either way, they keep my love for life alive. Love to you, Jeanie

  6. Just lovely Jeanie. I love rumi inviting us to invite life and death joy and sorrow into our homes as treasured guests. Like dreams, or the shadow, waiting in the wings, to be invited in, so we expand more and come to know ourselves better.
    The 2nd poem is also very powerful-
    You’ve been a wonderful guide over the years dear Jeannie. I am truly grateful.
    Love, Susan

  7. Thank you, Susan. Yes, dreams are my favorite guests of all as they show me other guests I haven’t been introduced to yet. What an adventure it all is! I’m very grateful for your friendship too. How fortunate we’ve been to be able to touch each others’ lives over all the physical distance between us. The internet has made it feel like you’re right next door. Love, Jeanie

  8. Thank you, Jeanie. I honor your honesty and your decision–and the flexibility to change your decision. I find it interesting that so many I know are stepping away from rhythmic blog posting. Is it our age? Is it these times? Is it in my case my struggling health which can’t seem to shake a virus that would have been nothing much when I was younger?

    “The Guest House” was a major support when Vic was ill for both of us–and it still supports me when it feels like everything is torn into pieces and I can’t count on anything. Life feels that way now. The second poem you shared is powerful and such an honor to you. The Queen can and must step away from old patterns when life demands change. I so admire the hard disciplined work you’ve given through blogs and books and the knowledge you’ve shared. Your books are still here and I trust your heart will find a new way to share your knowledge. Rest well, my queenly friend. You deserve it.

  9. What a beautiful and benevolent response this is, Elaine. Thank you. I especially like your take on the Queen archetype’s role — to “step away from old patterns when life demands change.” It’s obvious to me from your writings that your Queen has likewise taken on that role during this phase of your life, and you express it beautifully in your blog posts. For those who don’t know you, I’d like to recommend your blog here: Rest well, my friend and sister Queen. I think we both deserve it!

  10. Jeanie I am grateful for everything you have offered in your blog, and how you present your writings and your sharing of life experience. I always read the comments and your responses. Thank you.

  11. Thank you, Steven. It’s lovely to know you’re still reading my posts and enjoying the comments and responses. I’m still reading and enjoying your beautiful poetic and artistic posts too. Sometimes I try to make comments but get blocked and can’t figure out how to get through. Please know that your creativity continues to amaze me. All my best, Jeanie

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