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The Flowering Wand

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  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2022-11-29
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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A deep exploration of the regenerative and magical secrets of sacred masculinity hidden in familiar myths both ancient and modern

• Reveals the restorative fungi archetype of Osiris, the Orphic mysteries as an underground mycelium linking forests and people, how Dionysus teaches us about invasive species and playful sexuality, and the ecology of Jesus as depicted in his nature-focused parables

• Liberates Tristan, Merlin, and the Grail legends from the bounds of Campbell’s hero’s journey and invites the masculine into more nuanced, complex ways of dealing with trauma, growth, and self-knowledge

Long before the sword-wielding heroes of legend readily cut down forests, slaughtered the old deities, and vanquished their enemies, there were playful gods, animal-headed kings, mischievous lovers, trickster harpists, and vegetal magicians with flowering wands. As eco-feminist scholar Sophie Strand discovered, these wilder, more magical modes of the masculine have always been hidden in plain sight.

Sharing the culmination of eight years of research into myth, folklore, and the history of religion, Strand leads us back into the forgotten landscapes and hidden secrets of familiar myths, revealing the beautiful range of the divine masculine, including expressions of male friendship, male intimacy, and male creative collaboration. In discussing Dionysus and Osiris, Strand encourages us to think like an ecosystem instead of like an individual. She connects dying, vegetal gods to the virtuous cycle of composting and decay, highlighting the ways in which mushrooms can restore soil and heal polluted landscapes. Exploring esoteric Christianity, the author celebrates the Gnostic Jesus of the Gospel of Thomas, imagining the ecology that the Rabbi Yeshua would have actually been referencing in his nature-focused parables. Strand frees Tristan, Merlin, and the Grail legends from the bounds of Campbell’s hero’s journey and invites the masculine into more nuanced, complex ways of dealing with trauma, growth, and self-knowledge.

Strand reseeds our minds with new visions of male identity and shows how each of us, regardless of gender, can develop a matured ecological empathy and witness a blossoming of sacred masculine powers that are soft, curious, connective, and celebratory.

Author Biography

Sophie Strand is a poet and writer with a focus on the history of religion and the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous projects and publications, including The Dark Mountain Project and poetry.org and the magazines Unearthed, Braided Way, Art PAPERS, and Entropy. She lives in the Hudson Valley of New York.

Table of Contents

The Sword or the Wand

Back to the Roots

1 Sky, Storm, and Spore
Where Do Gods Come From?

2 The Hanged Man Is the Rooted One
Thinking from the Feet

3 Between Naming and the Unknown
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

4 The Minotaur Dances the Masculine Back into the Milky Way
Myths Need to Move

5 The Moon Belongs to Everyone
Lunar Medicine for the Masculine

6 Becoming a Home
The Empress Card Embraces the Masculine

7 Dionysus
Girl-Faced God of the Swarm, the Hive, the Vine, and the Emergent Mind

8 Merlin Makes Kin to Make Kingdoms
A Multiplicity of Minds and Myths

9 Joseph, Secret Vegetalista of Genesis
Plants Use Men to Dream

10 Actaeon Is the King of the Beasts
From Curse to Crown

11 A New Myth for Narcissus
Seeing Ourselves in the Ecosystem

12 Everyone Is Orpheus
Singing for Other Species

13 Dionysus as Liber
The Vine Is the Tool of the Oppressed

14 Rewilding the Beloved
Dionysus Offers New Modes of Romance

15 Grow Back Your Horns
The Devil Card Is Dionysus

Healing the Wound

16 Let Your Wings Dry
Giving the Star Card to the Masculine

Tristan and Transformation
Escaping the Trauma of the Hero’s Journey

Boy David, Wild David, King David
The Land-Based Origin of Biblical Kingship

19 Coppice the Hero’s Journey
Creating Narrative Ecosystems

20 Merlin and Vortigern
Magical Boyhood Topples Patriarchy

21 Parzifal and the Fisher King
The Grail Overflows with Stories

22 Sleeping Beauty, Sleeping World
The Prince Offers the Masculine a New Quest

23 Melt the Sacred Masculine and the Divine Feminine into Divine Animacy
The Sacred Overflows the Human

24 Resurrect the Bridegroom
The Song of Songs and Ecology as Courtship

25 Osiris
The Original Green Man

26 What’s the Matter?
A Mycelial Interpretation of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene

27 Knock upon Yourself
The High Priestess Wakes Up the Masculine

28 The Kingdom of Astonishment
Gnostic Jesus and the Transformative Power of Awe

29 Healing the Healer
Dionysus Rewilds Jesus

30 Making Amends to Attis and Adonis
No Gods Were Killed in the Making of This Myth

31 The Joyful Rescue
Tolkien’s Eucatastrophe and the Anthropocene

32 Sharing the Meal
Tom Bombadil Offers the Masculine Safe Haven

33 The Gardeners and the Seeds
Healing the Easter Wound

A Cure for Narrative Dysbiosis





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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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