The Rose and the Sword: How to Balance Your Feminine & Masculine Energies
by Judy Bach, Ph.D. & Nanette Hucknall
MSI Press

"The underlying message of this book is that the integration of the positive masculine and feminine must begin first in each of us as individuals and then spread outward into our relationships and social structures."

The Rose and the Sword takes the unique approach of using fantasy tales as parables in the production of a self-help guide. Bach and Hucknall present four archetypal characters: Sophia and William (positive feminine and masculine energies) and Lillith and Ruel (their opposites), placing them in a series of stories designed to emphasize how our dual natures can be used to our benefit, or detriment. Lillith and Ruel are insensitive, urging others to avoid pain and seek pleasure, while William and Sophia embody calm wisdom and the ability to defer gratification in favor of peace-making and rational choices. The stories become more complicated and didactic as the book progresses. Combining psychoanalytic techniques with mythic figures and symbolic storytelling, the duo present scenarios designed to demonstrate to the reader/seeker/patient that gaining awareness of and control over our psychological energies—attaining balance between our masculine and feminine selves—can lead to more harmonious relationships and satisfying life choices.

Psychotherapist, artist and writer Judith Bach joins forces with Nanette Hucknall, fellow psychotherapist and cofounder and president of The Center for Peace through Culture to promote, in an organized text, an essential therapeutic message: better understanding of how our energies operate and intermingle can change negative behaviors, resulting in fewer conflicts of motive and intent. A commentary section is included at the end of each parable, for context and elucidation. The authors allow the reader to gauge their own perceptions and reactions to the stories provided, by providing exercises appearing at the end of each chapter.

The Rose and the Sword provides a window to a better understanding of our nature and ourselves. It could be useful in group settings among those interested in psychology linked to archetypes, myth and symbolism.

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