A review by Joey Madia
Eight years ago, in 2012 (a year that the Mayan calendar made many of us pay close attention to, as we did again with 2020), I read a book that I predicted would become a treasured friend that I would return to time and time again.
That book was Healing the Sacred Divide (subtitled “Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World”), also by this author.
That prediction proved to be true.
I am going to make the same prediction for this one.
With the same alchemical mix of stunning visuals by a variety of artists, inspirational quotes, a deep exploration of myths, inspirational biographies, and complex concepts made understandable through the deft use of language and a teacher’s touch for explanation, Raffa has given motivated readers an opportunity to work with four pairs of Archetypes at work in our souls, split into Lunar and Solar energies: Mother and Father, Queen and Warrior, Mediatrix and Sage, and Beloved and Lover.
Honestly, there is no time better time to engage with this important, essential work.
Akin to the exploratory work in religion, myth, folklore, the collective unconscious, and philosophy undertaken by such brilliant pioneers as Carl Jung, Caroline Myss, Robert Bly, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbell, Raffa takes us on a journey to integrate our masculine and feminine energies—engaging the sacred marriage (hieros gamos) in the cooperation of inner opposites and forsaking the tendency to suppress the undesirable energies, called quite aptly, The Shadow.
Further, Raffa explores and applies the Law of Three to help us undo the human tendency toward seeing only Pairs and Opposites without taking the necessary step of Integration, which she calls creating “Third-Force Archetypes.” When we learn to engage these solar/lunar energies in conversation with each other, seeming Contraries can work together to produce something new. This is true Alchemy. It is Synergy, Authenticity, and Grace. It is the sacred marriage of Logos and Mythos. It is the blessed work of Story.
I believe in this idea so deeply that it has been a core component of my work as an actor, director, teacher, writer, and storyteller for more than three decades. Raffa’s work has informed my own along the way and continues to do so now.
This is not a passive read. Not if you want to mine its purest gold. Chapter Two contains the “Partnership Profile,” comprising two parts: “Archetypes” (20 questions) and “Life Satisfaction” (12 questions). Collating the answers to the questions yields scores for each part that will illuminate the degree to which each of the lunar and solar archetypes are at work in your soul and in your life.
As a 52-year-old spiritual seeker communing with archetypes, meditation, journaling, spiritual storytelling, and investigation of the unknown each and every day, I’ve moved solidly into the Lunar cycle, where the feminine archetypes predominate. This was not always the case. In my 20s through my 40s I was very much a young Solar lion, on a serious social justice and spiritual warrior mission.
What the “Partnership Profile” taught me was just how much a few big setbacks in my mid-40s diminished my Solar aspects, which had retreated into defeat deep within the cave of my subconscious. I’d become less inclined to speak out and often talked with close comrades about how my “tail was squarely between my legs.”
Once our connections are made, Raffa takes us through each of the eight archetypes in detail, with both mythological and historical examples. I learned a great deal about gods and goddesses, artists, visionaries, politicians, religious figures, and others in addition to how they function in a soul-and-spirit context.
Each Archetype has sections on the Shadow, Manifestation, and its Story.
Raffa then returns to the Third-Force Archetypes mentioned earlier. Mother and Father become the Sovereign, the Queen and Warrior become the Innovator, and so on. But they must be conscious joinings. The Partnership Profile aids us in getting there.
Third-Force Archetypes also lead to the Couple, with Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas and Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee held up as shining examples. Having been fortunate to have spent 23 years with my twin flame and soulmate, Tonya, doing our work in partnership in our own unique ways, I deeply appreciate the value of this dimension of archetypal work.
As I watched the inauguration of President Biden today, I knew in my heart that he and Vice President Kamala Harris are a Couple that will work in tandem to bring considerable alchemical healing to the Wounded Child that is the United States of America.
The explorations undertaken while engaging with The Soul’s Twins have bred both a new Awareness and the ability to bring my Lunar and Solar aspects into better balance. This truly is a time of great promise and inevitable shifts in how we perceive our leaders, our communities, and ourselves and I am grateful to have Jean Raffa guiding me down the good red road.
Working with The Soul’s Twins and all it has to offer is an opportunity to be your very best and to contribute to this time of hopeful and necessary change.
TITLE: The Soul’s Twins: Emancipate Your Feminine and Masculine Archetypes
AUTHOR: Jean Benedict Raffa
PUBLISHER: Schiffer Publishing