Mara Freeman has been deeply immersed in the study and teaching of sacred traditions for over thirty years. Her first book, Kindling the Celtic Spirit (HarperCollins, 2001), has been hailed as the finest modern introduction to Celtic spirituality and its relevance to us today. This was followed by Grail Alchemy (Inner Traditions, 2014), which has been called 'a literary temenos of our time, a sacred space, in which to further explore one's own inner journey'. Now she has released her long-awaited third book, Sacred Rose , which once again delivers timeless inspiration for the modern soul.
While living in California for many years, Mara taught at universities and led workshops throughout the United States. This led to a nineteen-year adventure taking groups on transformational tours, pilgrimages and retreats to ancient and sacred sites of Britain, Ireland and France. Mara also directs the Avalon Mystery School, a three-year training programme in the Arts of Sacred Magic, which has students from all over the world. A qualified psychologist, astrologer, and psychic, she offers personal consultations in the Irish tradition of Anamcara, or Soul Guidance.
Mara now divides her time between the hallowed bournes of Glastonbury and West Wales and delights in walking over the moors and by the sea, as well as working in her woodland garden, aided and abetted by her two Maine Coon cats. To find out more about Mara's work, visit her website: www.chalicecentre.net
Through an illuminating exploration of the symbol of the Rose throughout the West's inner and poetic traditions, Mara Freeman skilfully offers us byways to an enchanted garden where deep knowledge and spiritual realisation await. The accompanying meditations and practices allow the essence of the rose, in all its natural and metaphorical glory, a chance to permeate our minds and senses, and to bring forth our innate wisdom. Siobhan Houston, EdD, author of Invoking Mary Magdalene and Priests, Gnostics, and Magicians .
Through an illuminating exploration of the symbol of the rose throughout the West's inner and poetic traditions, Mara Freeman skilfully offers us byways to an enchanted garden where deep knowledge and spiritual realisation await. The accompanying meditations and practices allow the essence of the rose, in all its natural and metaphorical glory, a chance to permeate our minds and senses, and to bring forth our innate wisdom.
Siobhán Houston, EdD, author of Invoking Mary Magdalene and Priests, Gnostics, and Magicians.
This is a magical little book like a Tardis; once inside you are taken on a journey of astounding breadth and depth "from limited self to infinite consciousness": Ms Freeman follows the rose as a magical and spiritual symbol throughout the breadth and depth of history, mythology and many different cultures and religions. As the lotus in Eastern traditions is a symbol of enlightenment, so the rose in the Western tradition which has its roots in the ancient Middle East and Persia, is widely seen as "a path to spiritual realisation and also its attainment". And in the Western tradition the rose resonates with the Grail as a symbol of the soul: Both these symbols suggest the receptive vessel of the soul, opening to receive divine Grace.
Although it includes a wealth of detail, and impeccable scholarship, the design of the book makes for easy reading with beautiful illustrations. Given that it contains so many treasures, this is quite a remarkable feat.
Sacred Rose has become my new companion: easy to carry with me, to have by my side during the meditations which follow each section, and simply to enjoy again and again.
Patricia Murphy, past editor, De Numine Journal, Lampeter, Wales
In this beautiful, informative journey through the symbolism and meaning of one of nature's loveliest flowers, Mara Freeman explores the lore of the rose and its perennial blossoming as a motif of beauty, joy, love, and secrecy in religion, myth, and the arts. Above all, it offers a deep dive into its archetypal relationship to both the Divine Feminine and the human soul.
Margie McArthur, author of Wisdom of the Elements, Faery Healing, and Lady of the Sea.
In this wonderful book Mara takes the reader on a journey to many traditions and cultures that have understood this queen of flowers as sacred. Each chapter contains well researched historical and sacred scripts, poetry and legend, then invites the reader to take a personal journey of discovery through rose-centred meditations, to which I return again and again. This book is beyond a knowledge of the rose to become personal experience. Highly recommended.
Janine Hartley, Melbourne, Aus.
I have travelled over a long time down many different roads to heal myself from the wounds I have suffered. However, Mara, it is your meditations that have been so fruitful for me. The Fire of Roses meditation feels as if on a deep level I have found and own myself with clarity and light.
Elise Bernheim, LMFCC, San Jose, CA, USA.
I have always had a deep love for the Roses. Mara's new book Sacred Rose: The Soul's Path to Beauty and Wisdom is exactly that! It is a beautiful tome filled with history, poetry, and knowledge. This beautiful book provides the reader with a way to spiritually connect with the Rose! Mara takes you on a Rose-filled journey from the beginning of time to the modern day revealing the esoteric nature of the Rose. She unfurls the magic and mystery of the Rose in an elegant and concise way. Rose lovers and those interested in the mysteries of the divine feminine will not be disappointed! I highly recommend this enjoyable read to anyone who loves the Rose! Annwyn Avalon, Glastonbury, UK
I loved reading this book and no doubt will return to it many timesÂ¦I could feel the beauty of the sacred rose through the poetry, artwork and narrative.
It is heart-warming in its appreciation of the rose in all its many guises, and it is soul-opening in its potential to help the reader along their spiritual path.
The artwork is beautiful, as are the meditations, which will help anyone with an interest in the spiritual side of life to experience the transformational quality of the rose.
As a rose-fan, I have never come across such a clear and full teaching on how the soul can walk the path of the rose, and I appreciated learning about it from the perspectives of many different traditions.
For me, this book pulled together so many aspects of the sacred rose, and helped me understand the wisdom that is held within its beauty.
It has been a great help to me and also a really enjoyable and compelling read.
Amanda Glynn, Glastonbury, UK
Mara Freeman is already known in Druidic and Western Magical circles as the founder and director of the Avalon Mystery School, and her lifeâs work has been to offer seekers on the path a profound route into their personal quest. Her earlier books, Kindling the Celtic Spirit and Grail Alchemy, are two of my go-to resources for finding the depths of mystery in this world and in others. I was keen to read her latest book, Sacred Rose: The Soulâs Path to Beauty and Wisdom. Filled with magnificent colour illustrations, and with rose-centred meditations which can be undertaken to fully illuminate the deeper messages and learning within the book, this book will delight any person on a spiritual quest.
I knew, as I began to read Sacred Rose that it would be a work of scholarship. Freemanâs careful research is combined with an attractive writing style that is never difficult to read, and she offers the sacred rose to us on two amazing levels, carefully covering both the outward and inward story of the rose. Throughout the book, we journey through historical fact, literature, sacred religious thought, legend and myth to find roses at the very heart of humankindâs longing to experience the mysteries. But at intervals, we are asked to stop, to meditate, following a visualised inner journey to take us into an aspect of sacred rose.
Freeman begins with the connection between roses and goddesses, especially Isis, Aphrodite and Venus. She then examines the relationship the medieval church had with the rose, especially though Mary, the Mother of Christ, who is often portrayed in a rose garden. She offers refreshing insights into the Rosary and the amazing rose windows in cathedrals across Christendom.
Looking across the ancient world, Freeman compares the rose to the many-petaled lotus, explores its hermetic connections, and its honouring in the Arabic world, both Islamic and Zoroastrian.
The story of the ârosy crossâ and the Rosicrucian movement takes us forward to the special links between roses and alchemy, the Order of the Golden Dawn, the Tarot, and the more recent resurgence of interest in the sacred world.
Freeman uses poetry to illustrate this. From Roman writers to DantÃ©âs âcelestial roseâ, to the 13th century Sufi poet, Rumi, to Yeats and Elliot, she demonstrates how the rose is a portal leading us closer to the mysteries of life.
The core message of the book is how the reader can enter the âlanguage of the roseââ how the Mystic Roseâ¦also blooms within the individual soul. This is not achieved by the physical act of reading the book, thoughtful commentary though it is, but through the work the reader will do around the text, including using that combination of concentration of will and the creative imagery of the mind to walk into the world of the meditations that accompany the text. These allow a personal journey that certainly connected me to my deepest inner parts, and from there, to moments where I felt able to reach the spirit of the rose. My intention is to return to each meditation time after time, reaching deeper into the magic.
Freeman sets out methods of attaining this beauty and peace, including the use of rose essences and by creating a sacred space which would include the perfection of a plucked rose.
This book clarified my thoughts as I read. It's not hard to love roses "they abound in my garden" but through these pages I was beginning to understand and know the rose as if it ware a friend. Sometime I think there are closed doors within our minds which need a key to enable us to perceive more clearly. As I read Sacred Rose, I felt a door swing open. Often, this involved no words, not even introspective thought, especially when doing the meditations. Which is why the experience of bringing an inner journey into full consciousness cannot be properly described; it is too profound for our lexicon.
Each of Freeman's books help the reader open up something that is inside them. As one becomes engrossed in this book and its powerful symbol of the rose, the experience can be likened to how a tight rose bud allows its many petals to spread open into a perfect sacred geometry which beckons one's spirit inwards. Nina Milton, Author, Ffostrasol, Wales