In All Ways-a tale of Spiritual Eroticism- is a contemporary parable of Transcendence and Sexual Alchemy. It is the story of a reluctant hero who gradually awakens from the dream in which he has been living; who leaves behind the world of face value and courageously descends into its deepest Mystery; into the very substance beneath its form into Death itself. He emerges from this Darkness bearing a Light that not only heals the wounds of his tribe, but illuminates his own personal Truth as well.
In All Ways is a metaphorical account of an individual’s response to the call of the Divine Feminine whose insistent voice summons him in his dreams toward the fulfillment of his destiny. Jim Malachi has written a compelling novel, and many of its readers will find the courage to initiate their own hero's journey, leaving behind the world of face value while courageously descending into its deepest mysteries.
- Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., Co-author, Personal Mythology
The story flows well, is very interesting and engaging, and the path of the initiation is excellent and accurate. Aside from personal accounts, this is the best telling of an initiation experience I have ever read.
Sometimes, I have to admit, I'm a bit sceptical of the hype about sacred sexuality as the ultimate way to spiritually bring together the masculine and feminine so that all live happily ever after … it doesn't seem so easy in a patriarchal society where gender inequality is inherent in all structures and makes itself felt in the workplace and in the family, in the media and in relationships. Apart from doubting the apparently "easy" solution, I also sometimes worry about the role of the woman in sacred sexuality – and I mean today, not in times when Priestesses held a sacred and revered role for the whole of society.
So why do books such as In All Ways that is self-confidently subtitled "A Tale of Spiritual Eroticism" keep turning up and seem to be waiting to be read – and this one to be reviewed – by me? Maybe because In All Ways is an intriguing account of an initiation of a young man by the divine feminine that, once the reader gets used to the fantastical language and the outlandish names, is hard to put down. Perhaps because I love science fiction and fantasy for its potential to present us with alternative perspectives of human community, a lived spirituality, and different gender roles. This book does indeed offer a glimpse into a different world, one that is rooted in a deep connection between human beings and the whole of the cosmos, and a society gaining its wisdom by shamanic techniques and an interaction with plants and animals, which is sensitive to all kinds of energies and listens to the wisdom of dreams as important inner guidance. One the one hand, the novel is an individual account of a response to the call of the unfathomable divine feminine, and on the other hand, the book makes it clear that by surrendering to feminine divine power and experiencing its mystery, a whole tribe can be healed. Thus, the hero's self-healing brings healing to the community as a whole. How much this rings true for our patriarchal society! With every woman who remembers her divine origins and goddess-given power and particularly with every man who is courageous enough to open to the divine feminine and find ways to define his masculinity in a loving relation to the feminine, our world changes. And even if I'm just too impatient at times, a book such as this points in the right direction to heal this separation.
However, this doesn't mean that the novel is easy to read. Since in the given society, dreams are as important as in any shamanic society – directing one's vision and subsequent life choices – the book remains in a dreamlike language that is sometimes very confusing. After disturbing visions following the loss of his wife, the protagonist Akiim sets out on a journey to the sacred mountain lake, which is guarded by "The Dark Mistress Mbura, The Lady of the Lake." What begins as a fool's journey, which leads him into the mysteries of nature along something reminding of the song lines, culminates in a merging with the Goddess where the recurring motif – "I become You become Me" – and its mantric power really struck a chord with me. Finally, the initiation he undergoes is a spiritual and a sexual one where he experiences "love in all ways" by merging with a cosmic oneness. His vision quest also connects him to his son and his father; it becomes clear that by his initiation into the mystery of the divine feminine he heals a whole masculine line.
When the readers are presented with the figure of the Lady of the Lake and when they meet priestesses on the way who say "We are the Nine", this evocation of the Lady of Avalon and the Nine Morgens as the spirits of Avalon is no coincidence. For in the prologue the author describes part of his own journey to the Goddess which culminates in his experience of her presence at the Glastonbury Goddess Conference celebrating the divine feminine as the Lover. The "shift of consciousness" during the Lammas ceremony in the Goddess Temple and his contact to the Goddess in the following days, Jim Malachi claims, has inspired him to write In All Ways – and of course to dedicate it to Rhiannon.
The initiatory journey into these mysteries for a male hero reminded me of two books with a similar topic which I've just recently (re-)read: one is Lindsay Clarke's The Chymical Wedding; as the title indicates, the novel deals with a symbolic and sexual quest for an alchemical merging of the feminine and the masculine, which I found mesmerizing. The other book, Tim Ward's Savage Breast, presents a real-life journey to reconnect with the lost Goddesses of the author's European ancestors which makes him face his personal fear of women and the traumas associated with it, finally leading him on a healing journey where he discovers female as well as male power. Books such as these illustrate very clearly that if men are cut off from the divine feminine, as they presently are and have been for thousands of years, it is no wonder that their relationships with women are difficult, to say the least, and that patriarchy as a system which destroys nature and the lives of women, children, and many men, continues to exist. Read in this context, In All Ways offers an enticing new vision.
Miriam Raven is a Priestess of Avalon and a Priestess of Brighde. She loves writing and has written her PhD on British feminist authors. She is currently teaching at university with a focus on literature and gender and is working on a study of occult women authors. She also writes inspired Goddess poetry. She is the co-funder of the women's spirituality project (www.polythea.com). Apart from serving in the Glastonbury Goddess Temple and Conference as ceremonialist and workshop facilitator, she teaches regular Goddess workshops in Germany and practises as an Esoteric Soul Healer (http://www.die-heilende-insel.de). For more information she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Dr. DANIEL GARY BUSBY
Malachi states in the opening pages that. "this book almost wrote itself" well... It reads with that same, easy fluidity. This modern parable resembles Paolo Coehlo's "the Alchemist" in that it deals with rich imagery and core human experience. It is a very gratifying read. Malachi's sense of rhythm and meter are as effortless as the ebb and flow of the tide at the shore. He paints beautiful pictures with words: sensual, colorful, flavorful, rich-smelling, tactile moments and scenes that quickly envelope the reader into the story.
This is a beautiful book for ANYONE who wants to delve into the deeper mysteries of the humanity/divinity connection; likewise anyone who has an intuition about the "still, quiet voice" that does not really abate. It is simultaneously a "coming of age" story, a story of loss and redemption, a story of self gnosis. It is a history of a time when our species was actually still enough to commune with the magical elements of nature, moon, stars... And yet it is clearly a teaching by use of parable to get us to see how we can heal the tribes of our planet.
Buy the book. Give it to friends, especially seekers, seers, holy men and women, young men and women (who might actually find their twin spirit early in life).
Therapists and anthropologists need to read this book.
Teachers and mentors need to read this book. The shamanic "container" is present from first to last word.
Malachi reminds us to "love" IN ALL WAYS. Like a fine meal or a great conversation with a cherished friend, this book will stay with you... Working its healing magic long after you have finished the final page.
It’s not often we see a man write beautifully and passionately about the Goddess and the mythical beings and longings that surround her. Jim Malachi has done that in his new novel. It’s a quick read, 132 pages of what Stanley Krippner, in a cover blurb, calls a metaphorical response to the call of the Divine Feminine to fulfill one’s dreams – a hero’s journey into the deepest mysteries.
It seems to take place in tribal Europe but reads more truly as happening in the personal archetypal world, as each of us struggles to find meaning and reality under our “overwhelming collective nightmare” (as he put it, in an interview) and open the way for the heart to know the world as a whole.
The novel helps us understand, says Malachi, that “this consensual madness of civilization is unraveling – and it’s a good thing.” As the world of Akiim, the protagonist, unravels with the death of his partner, alienation from his son and tribes breaking apart, the natural world, very much alive and conscious, makes him the serpent bearer (symbol of eternal regeneration). Nature waits to save him – and us.
-- John Darling, Ashland OR
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Reading “In All Ways” by Jim Malachi during the ascent, bloom and descent of a full moon provides a wonderful light for sinking into this atavistic, adult and masculine tale of awakening. Moon, after all, plays an important role in the story. If you cannot read by moonlight, at least find moments of uninterrupted privacy to experience this novel. It’s worth it.
The story is whimsical and thought provoking, exciting and soothing. It will transport you to another place yet a place that has always been, another time that still is, and an exotic humanity that yet lives within our breasts.
“In All Ways” follows the journey of the hero Akiim to set to rights an imbalance that is disrupting his own peace and that of his village. He travels through a wondrous, warm, forested and primeval landscape that the reader will recognize, as evidenced in this passage: “The calm was finally broken by the irregular patter of raindrops erupting softly in the shadows. They fizzed as they pierced tufts of dry grass and spat craters into the powdered surfaces of indifferent stones. The rain’s pungent aroma saturated the night air. Akiim’s concerns about the potential dangers of a sudden downpour were lost in the moment's rapture. He lifted his eyes to the sky in a gesture of gratitude as the cool, wet spray washed the dust and tension from his face and aching body.” I have seen such raindrops myself, and felt such thanks.
In the story, Akiim communes with familiar figures such as son and father, but also unearthly and fantastic beings. For a literal reader, this is a good yarn that transports you to a place which you cannot book on Travelocity but which is nonetheless there; and for the more sensitive, it is a reflection into one’s own soul.
Much of the language is lyrical, all of it is clean. Some very powerful passages are best read in private. This is a work of “spiritual eroticism,” a term that appears on the title page. It takes a full reading to really understand what that means. After following the hero on his trek through time, place and dimension, after observing his adventures and ecstasies, it’s clear that “spiritual eroticism” is exactly the right descriptor. Read it, and you will see.
One closes this story with a bit of melancholy, wishing that the everyday world was a little more like the Great Island and that there were places like Mbura. Perhaps there are. But one also leaves with a sense of hope. The author is a man of our own time who is able to reach wondrous places and take us there through this telling. That’s as precious as a drop of rain.
- Elizabeth Whittemore, Freelance writer Pacific Northwest
About the Author
A graduate of Southern Oregon University with a degree in Fine and Performing Arts, Jim Malachi resides in the Pacific Northwest where he earns his living as an artist, writer, and musician. His writing has appeared in FragLit Magazine, an online publication devoted to fragmentary writing.