Lauren Sleeman, a Jungian and Transpersonal Psychotherapist, is the author of two novels. In Behold her quest is to bring the goddess tales of Greek and Celtic mythology to life again, especially the goddesses associated with the power of the Great Mother, and to acknowledge these strong archetypes and the sacred wisdom they bring to women’s lives.
As a Jungian transpersonal psychotherapist, Jung’s symbols and archetypes inspired the mystical world of Sleeman’s novel, Behold. Alchemy also plays a significant role in this magical fantasy, a journey of personal and collective transformation. The many layers of archetypal consciousness in human experience are brought to light in a humorous yet “instructive” way.
Behold also resurrects ancient goddess wisdom and playfully rewrites myths and histories in which women are marginalized or silenced. Sleeman’s study of world religions and travels to ancient sites in Greece, Malta and the British Isles inform the sacred rituals in the story.
Emerging from “the Great Darkness” through a prism of light come two forsaken goddesses of antiquity—Lilith, the Great Mother and Crone of the Cosmos, and Hekate, Goddess of the Dark Moon and the Mysteries of Life, Death, and Rebirth. They stand at the crossroads between worlds as the Bringers of Transformation at a time of chaos. Hekate, the narrator of this tale, descends through the “aethers” under the watchful guidance of Lilith to portals of otherworldly realms, and incarnates on Earth to “guide the Souls of mortals…through the dark times ahead.”
Sleeman humorously rewrites classic tales of Greek and Celtic mythology to bring her delightful characters to life while resurrecting ancient goddess “knowing”—the Divine Femina. Conjuring magic spells and wielding their dark powers, Lilith and Hekate visit the Hellenic pantheon to witness Zeus in his demise, helping Hera and the goddesses beat the conquerors at their own game.
Descending to the Celtic Realm, Hekate befriends the Druids, who mourn their plight as the “black robes” threaten mortals with damnation, making them forsake their pagan beliefs. Hekate journeys with her lover Carnonos to festivals honoring Nature and the Otherworld. Descending to Earth through the time portals, Hekate incarnates alongside mortals. In ancient En-dor and medieval Ireland, she consoles women called “witches.” Hekate herself must go through the “Eye of Fire,” the alchemy of rebirth, to guide mortals to their Heart-Soul Wisdom. In the surprising finale, she guides her initiates (and the reader) through a powerful ceremony, ending her story with the promise of hope for the future.
Below are a few responses from Lauren about the content of the book.
1) We spoke earlier about the dark goddesses who are present in your book. Who are the dark goddesses and how does your work seek to reclaim them?
2) Your book has been presented as a feminine journey through consciousness. How does a feminine lens influence the perception of consciousness and the progression of a journey through it?
3) Witchcraft appears in your work, and have said that one intention of this book is to resurrect witchcraft from the pejorative. What would you say is the contemporary view of witchcraft and how does that differ from the vision of witchcraft in your work?