Thursday, May 28, 2009

On Being a Man in the 21st Century

Resurrecting the Unicorn—that's what Bud Harris and Fisher King Press have up their sleeves!

A few months ago, Bud Harris phoned and we visited about the possibility of bringing one of his out-of-print titles back into production. "What’s the title?" I asked. “Emasculation of the Unicorn: The loss and rebuilding of Masculinity in America,” Bud answered. My knees shuttered a bit before I crossed my legs. “We did quite well with this book and it has even been translated into Spanish,” Bud explained. “Well, why don’t you send a copy and we’ll have a look,” I answered, thinking, holy Moses, how the heck are we gonna sell a book titled Emasculation of anything?

The Emasculation of the Unicorn arrived a week or so later. After reading the first 15 to 20 pages I was thoroughly convinced that this book had been written and originally published before its time, in an era when men were reading Robert Bly’s Iron John and desperately gathering in vain on weekend retreats in hopes of reclaiming their lost masculinity, in an era when we were just beginning to understand that something wasn’t quite right—when we were just beginning to realize that things were out of balance. The men’s movement of the 90s withered and fell along the wayside, as so many fads do, but the issues at hand did not go away—instead, they faded back into shadowland. But as we know, sooner or later, these discarded images come back to haunt us, and that’s where Bud Harris, Fisher King Press, and a revised edition of the Unicorn, Resurrecting the Unicorn comes into play to pick up the scattered pieces that were left behind in the 20th century.

Unicorns, being strong and wild, are usually associated with the lion, the eagle, and the dragon. Ancient stories of the unicorn exist in almost every culture: in the world of the Old Testament, in Persia, India, China, as well as in the West. In one legend the unicorn was so strong and independent it refused to enter the ark and swam throughout the flood. It was also believed that the horn of the unicorn signified health, strength and happiness, and to drink from it cured or provided immunity to incurable diseases.

During the Middle Ages the unicorn symbolized the creative masculine spirit, so fierce and powerful that only a virgin could tame him and only then through deception. When we speak of the unicorn and the virgin, we are speaking of two great sets of psychological opposites, the masculine and feminine principles seeking balance and reconciliation. The unicorn represents male vitality, the rampant and penetrating force of the masculine spirit. The virgin represents his receptive feminine aspect.

Myth tells us that through the virgin's deception, the unicorn was delivered into the hands of human hunters who killed and allowed its red blood to flow. From this betrayal the uni-corn was transformed and resurrected; he became the powerful energy contained in the virgin's holy garden next to the Tree of Life. So, reviving a healthy masculine spirit does not entail denying our feminine natures—quite the contrary. Honoring both of these inter-dependent aspects of our psyches is vital to living a balanced life.

In the present day, our culture's evolving masculine spirit seems to be sputtering out. We began with that powerful, creative spirit, and somewhere along our path, phallus has been rendered impotent. The unicorn, that wondrous masculine symbol, has been reduced to a limp-horned stuffed animal found in novelty stores—or worse yet, discarded to a dusty old shelf of a second-hand thrift shop.

Resurrecting the Unicorn addresses the impoverished state of masculinity in the 21st century. Without a strong masculine image, our souls become fragmented and we lose our way. In fact, this is how many men feel today—and women, too—as we all have these inner components. When we are in such a state of psychological confusion and imbalance, we must begin again to search for the "Holy Grail." The Grail is the symbolic container of the psycho-spiritual contents that can nourish, balance, and renew our lives.

All the compensatory posturing, chest-pounding or drum-beating in the world won't revive this great masculine spirit! This can only be accomplished by developing a deeper relationship to soul. The mental landscape of metaphors—dreams, stories, myths, fairy tales—deal with the eternal truths of human nature and are the language of soul. In Resurrecting the Unicorn, Bud Harris guides us deep into the realm of metaphors so we can examine the evolution and development of human consciousness and reclaim discarded, yet much needed, aspects of our humanity.

Bud Harris is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich, Switzerland. He and his wife, Massimilla Harris, are practicing Jungian analyst in Asheville, NC. Dr. Harris is the author of several publications including Sacred Selfishness: A Guide to Living a Life of Substance and The Fire and the Rose: The Wedding of Spirituality and Sexuality.

Now available!
Resurrecting the Unicorn:
Masculinity in the 21st Century

By Bud Harris, Ph.D.
ISBN 978-0-9810344-0-9
Available from your local bookstore,
from a host of online booksellers,
and directly from Fisher King Press 1-800-228-9316

Friday, May 15, 2009

News Release: The Sister From Below

The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her WayWith Great Pleasure Fisher King Press announced the publication of:

THE SISTER FROM BELOW:WHEN THE MUSE GETS HER WAYby Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
(Recent recipient of the for Obama Millennium first prize writing award.)

Who is this Sister from Below? She’s certainly not about the ordinary business of life: work, shopping, making dinner. She speaks from other realms. If you’ll allow, She’ll whisper in your ear, lead your thoughts astray, fill you with strange yearnings, get you hot and bothered, send you off on some wild goose chase of a daydream, eat up hours of your time. She’s a siren, a seductress, a shape-shifter . . . Why listen to such a troublemaker? Because She is essential to the creative process: She holds the keys to the doors of our imaginations and deeper life—the evolution of Soul.

The Sister emerges out of reverie, dream, a fleeting memory, a difficult emotion—she is the moment of inspiration—the muse. Naomi Ruth Lowinsky writes of nine manifestations in which the muse visits her, stirring up creative ferment, filling her with ghosts, mysteries, erotic teachings, the old religion—bringing forth her voice as a poet. Among these forms of the muse are the “Sister from Below,” the inner poet who has spoken for the soul since language began. The muse also appears as the ghost of a grandmother Naomi never met, who died in the Shoah—a grandmother with ‘unfinished business.’ She visits in the form of Old Mother India, whose culture Naomi visited as a young woman. She cracks open her Western mind, flooding her with many gods and goddesses. She appears as Sappho, the great lyric poet of the ancient world, who engages her in a lovely midlife fantasy. She comes as “Die Ür Naomi,” an old woman from the biblical story for which Naomi was named, who insists on telling Her version of the Book of Ruth. And in the end, surprisingly, the muse appears in the form of a man, a long dead poet whom Naomi loved in her youth.

The Sister from Below is a personal story, yet universal, of giving up a creative calling because of life’s obligations, and being called back to it in later life. This Fisher King Press publication describes the intricate patterns of a rich inner life; it is a traveler’s memoir, with outer journeys to Italy, India and a Neolithic cave in Bulgaria, and inward journeys to biblical Canaan and Sappho’s Greece; it is filled with mythic experience, a poet’s story told. The Sister conveys the lived experience of the creative life, a life in which active imagination—the Jungian technique of engaging with inner figures—is an essential practice.

The Sister speaks to all those who want to cultivate an unlived promise—those on a spiritual path, those interested in a Jungian approach to life, those who are filled with the urgency of poems that have to be written, paintings that must be painted, journeys that yearn to be taken…

Here's what others are saying about The Sister from Below:

“Naomi Lowinsky has given us a remarkable, fearless, and full autobiography. Speaking in poetic, psychologically sensitive, scholarly dialogues with her shape-shifting muse, she has created a new form . . . This is a beautiful book to treasure and spread among worthy friends.”
—Sylvia Perera, Author of Descent to the Goddess and Celtic Queen Maeve and Addiction.
“. . . Naomi Ruth Lowinsky offers us a superbly detailed investigation of the powerful, mythic forces of the world as they are revealed to the active creative self. Don’t miss this enlightening and fascinating book.”
—David St. John, Author of Study for the World’s Body: New and Selected Poems and Prism.

“Naomi’s poetry and prose is infused with the suffering and joys of humans everywhere. Insightful and deeply moving, she brings us the food and water of life.”
—Joan Chodorow, Author of Dance Therapy and Depth Psychology, Editor of C.G. Jung on Active Imagination.

“A passionate love letter to those who yearn to be heard. A must read for every woman who longs to write poetry.”
—Maureen Murdock, Author of The Heroine’s Journey and Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory.

“Naomi Ruth Lowinsky reinterprets mythic and historical reality in provocative versions of the stories of Eurydice, Helen, Ruth, Naomi, and Sappho. The voice of the Sister from Below argues, cajoles, prods, explains, and yes, loves her human counterpart, and becomes the inspiration for Lowinsky’s stunning poetry in this highly original book.”
—Betty de Shong Meador, Author of Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart and Princess, Priestess, Poet.


In addition to The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way and The Motherline: Every Woman’s Journey to Find Her Female Roots, Naomi Ruth Lowinsky is the author of numerous prose essays, many of which have been published in Psychological Perspectives and The Jung Journal. She has had poetry published in many literary magazines and anthologies, among them After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery, Weber Studies, Rattle, Atlanta Review, Tiferet and Runes. Her two poetry collections, red clay is talking (2000) and crimes of the dreamer (2005) were published by Scarlet Tanager Books. Naomi is a Jungian analyst in private practice and poetry and fiction editor of Psychological Perspectives.

Naomi Ruth Lowinsky has recently been awarded first prize in the Obama Millennium contest for her poem “Madelyn Dunham, Passing On” in which she imagines the spirit of of Obama’s deceased grandmother visiting him as he speaks to the crowds in Chicago after his election. The poem will be published in the literary magazine New Millennium Writings this fall.

The Sister from Below:
When the Muse Gets Her Way

—ISBN 978-0-9810344-2-3
Published by and available for purchase directly from Fisher King Press.
Also available from your local bookstore, and a host of on-line booksellers.
Publication Date: June 1st, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

News Release: The Motherline

The Motherline: Every Woman's Journey to Find Her Female RootsWith Great Pleasure Fisher King Press announced the publication of:

THE MOTHERLINE:EVERY WOMAN'S JOURNEY TO FIND HER FEMALE ROOTSby Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
(Recent recipient of the for Obama Millennium first prize writing award.)

Our mothers are the first world we know, the source of our lives and stories. Embodying the mysteries of origin, they tie us to the great web of kin and generation. Yet, the voice of their experience is seldom heard. The Motherline describes a woman’s journey to find her roots in the personal, cultural, and archetypal realms. It was written for women who have mothers, are mothers, or are considering motherhood, and for the men who love them. Telling the stories of women whose maturation has been experienced in the cycle of mothering, it urges a view of women that does not sever mother from daughter, feminism from “the feminine,” body from soul.

Here what a few reviewers have had to say about The Motherline:

“(In) this perceptive and penetrating study . . . (Naomi Ruth Lowinsky) imaginatively applies Jungian, feminist and literary approaches to popular attitudes about . . . mothers and daughters and movingly, to personal experience.”
—Publisher’s Weekly

“A combination of years of scholarship and recordings of personal journeys, this book belongs in every woman’s psychology/spirituality collection.”
—Library Journal

“In this accessible volume, Jungian psychologist Lowinsky explores the pain that women feel when their mother-love is undervalued or erased.”
—ALA Booklist

In addition to The Motherline: Every Woman’s Journey to Find Her Female Roots and The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way, Naomi Ruth Lowinsky is the author of numerous prose essays, many of which have been published in Psychological Perspectives and The Jung Journal. She has had poetry published in many literary magazines and anthologies, among them After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery, Weber Studies, Rattle, Atlanta Review, Tiferet and Runes. Her two poetry collections, red clay is talking (2000) and crimes of the dreamer (2005) were published by Scarlet Tanager Books. Naomi is a Jungian analyst in private practice and poetry and fiction editor of Psychological Perspectives.

Naomi Ruth Lowinsky has recently been awarded first prize in the Obama Millennium contest for her poem “Madelyn Dunham, Passing On” in which she imagines the spirit of of Obama’s deceased grandmother visiting him as he speaks to the crowds in Chicago after his election. The poem will be published in the literary magazine New Millennium Writings this fall. www.sisterfrombelow.com

The Motherline: Every Woman’s Journey to Find Her Female Roots
—ISBN 978-0-9810344-6-1
Published by and available for purchase directly from Fisher King Press.
Also available from your local bookstore, and a host of on-line booksellers.
Publication Date: June 1st, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fisher King Press Author wins Obama Millennium Award

The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her WayNaomi Ruth Lowinsky has won first prize in the Obama Millennium contest for her poem “Madelyn Dunham, Passing On” in which she imagines the spirit of of Obama’s deceased grandmother visiting him as he speaks to the crowds in Chicago after his election. The poem will be published in the literary magazine New Millennium Writings this fall.

The Motherline: Every Woman's Journey to Find Her Female RootsOn May 24th, 2009, Naomi will interviewed on-line on the Jane Crown show at 2 pm Pacific time, 4 pm Central time, 5 pm Eastern time. She will read the prize winning poem among others.


Naomi Lowinsky's newest book of poems, Adagio and Lamentation was published June, 2010. Other Naomi Lowinsky titles include The Sister From Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way (2009 Fisher King Press) and The Motherline: Every Woman's Journey to find Her Female Roots (2009 Fisher King Press). You can order books directly from Fisher King Press or purchase from your local bookstore or from a host of online booksellers, including amazon.com.