I have traveled through many initiations consciously and unconsciously in the past decade and a half, under the light of many moons – reaching for the moon, moon time, honeymoon, babymoon – each corresponding to an archetype born within me. The initiation to motherhood and the emergence of the Creative Rainbow Mother archetype. The initiation to being an author and publisher getting my creative work out into the world. The journey of Burning Woman, the initiation of Fire, of finding my authentic voice, putting my power out into the world and being burnt. The initiation of the bodymind of illness and the discovery of my neurodivergence in Medicine Woman. The reconnection with the roots of my creative self through the Creatrix archetype. The initiation of Water through She of the Sea. And now, I find myself here. A double initiation, of Earth and Air, mushroom and crow. An integration of all I have learned, the embodiment of these knowings. An initiation into my wild woman self, the strangest and hardest yet: Crow Moon.
Everything that appears in the pages of this book is true. Either to my surface self…or my soul self. Often to both. It is, as I have learned to say, “magical and real: both”.
The experiences that I share in this book felt strange, inexplicable and momentous from the inside…and yet to the outside world what was to be seen? A two-year stretch of intense chronic migraines often half the days of each month; a flourishing of image-making, illustrating Crow Moon, The Kitchen Witch Companion, Soulful Pregnancy and the cover art for the new edition of Moon Time; an increased number of walks in the woods and a burgeoning new special interests in corvids and fungi. All of this collided and interwove within to make sense of symbols, images and experiences that had recurred throughout my life but had no obvious through thread.
First came the crows. Then the mushrooms, (as those who follow my social media accounts can attest, there were lots and lots of mushroom pictures!) Crow Moon was a long and tortuous initiation – through real world encounters with mushrooms, crows and the woods, as well as strange synchronicities, dreams, trance, therapeutic work and art making – in strange, fractured parts. Later came the insight through research. This has always been the way for me: reading and writing as a way of understanding what has just happened to me.
This book is an attempt to recreate the experience of initiation, a shift in consciousness, through word and image… with the desire to instigate it in the reader. I have never seen this done before. I don’t know if it can be. But that is my intention. I have been true to the process, to capturing it in simple words and striking images. In moving between poetry and process, breaking down paragraphs and allowing words to be freed from traditional structures. In doing so my intention is to free the potency of word as symbol. Taking the text from out of the mental sphere into the imaginative realm, making the reading of it experiential rather than intellectual.
I was fascinated to discover powerful symbolic images of initiation working on me in the midst of my own pretty average modern life of driving the kids to school, watching Netflix, cooking dinner and unblocking the sink. What always amazes me is that the images which emerge are often ones that have fascinated our species for millennia: in religions and spiritual practices, depth psychology, art… It would freak me out far less if I didn’t find the rich history of symbology backing up real world experiences that I had just had.
I must emphasise that is not my specialness I am trying to assert when I write of these experiences. In fact, just the opposite. It is the ubiquity of them. The ever-present mysteries of the depths which have revealed themselves to humans since the dawn of our cultures is still here. Rich and alive. The collective unconscious is available to all of us outside of the therapy room or high-priced initiatory retreats. They are democratic and ever-present, connecting all of us who allow space, time and courage for a deeper awareness of the life process within us. The reason we do not know this is that we are encouraged not to speak of such things for fear of others thinking we are crazy. And so, we keep them to ourselves, trying instead to see the world as we have always been told it was.
The messengers of the wild and sacred are imprinted on every layer of our beings and the world around us waiting, patiently, to be seen, to be recognised, to lead us back to ourselves, the earth, the sacred and each other.
It is time.”
From the Author Note to my newest book, Crow Moon.
|PRE-ORDER YOUR SIGNED COPY NOW – SHIPS MID FEB, LAUNCHES EVERYWHERE MARCH 1ST
All pre-order copies are signed by me and come with an exclusive bookmark.
If you pre-order you will also receive some special exclusive goodies:
All those who order before the Winter Solstice (midnight 21st Dec) will receive an extra bonus gift… A signed limited edition print on 300gsm art paper of one of the illustrations in the book. This will dispatch with your book. ………………………..
You will receive an invitation to join me and the contributors live in an exclusive online conversation on the 29th February, the eve of the book’s launch. I will talk through her writing process and give more insight into the illustrations. This launch event is for pre-order customers only. You will also receive the recording of the full event after.
Look out for the invitation in your pre-order shipping confirmation email in February. …………………………. As a pre-order customer you will automatically receive an invitation to Lucy’s Intimate Conversation Series beginning in March. This series inspired by the book will feature many inspirational speakers including several of the women quoted in the book. No need to sign up. You’ll be first to know!
ABOUT THE BOOK
“Suddenly the sky overhead is alive. From east and southeast, west and northwest, large black birds fly, travelling in their groups of hundreds, swirling, cawing, interweaving, dancing a greeting in the air. The sky is thick black feathered. We watch in awe as they combine and dissipate above our heads, as though we are lying on the bottom of the ocean, looking up at the surface world. Then, without signal or warning, they circle the heart of the wood and land in hidden roosts. Silence falls once more.”
After months of feeling lost and burned out, a chance encounter with crows begins an adventure in the dark woods – inner and outer – leading to a strange and powerful initiation.
Three-time Nautilus award-winning author Lucy H. Pearce’s previous best-selling book Burning Woman was an initiation of fire and She of the Sea an initiation of water, Crow Moon is an initiation of earth and air, a way back to the heart of ourselves through wild revelation.
Strikingly illustrated by the author, with contributions from over 30 women – artists, healers, authors – midlife women who have also been called by the strange magic of crows at decisive moments in their lives.
Enter the dark woods. Follow the crow, the moon and the mushroom on a journey of transformation and remembering.