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Rebirth and Renewal - IAJS Conference 2014
The Trials of the Initiate: Transforming the Warrior Spirit by Robert Mitchell
Publication Date: March 15, 2012
Having encountered the mother goddess on the island of Crete, the young warrior is set upon a new adventure: the transformation of his warrior spirit. Psychologist James Hillman wrote, “A warrior is one who has learned, through serving the god of war, to embrace the beauty and fragility of life and the compassion of extreme comradeship. In learning to serve the goddess, the warrior is transformed into an instrument of justice and healing.” PART I: In the Spirit of Dionysus The first requirement of the warrior’s transformation is to isolate himself from the community, but he need not do so alone. First, he meets the ancient Greek “spirit of Dionysus.”
The young warrior then meets and marries a French woman. Together, the spirit of Dionysus lifts them above the mundane reality of civil society. Their adventure takes them to Tunisia, where their child is born; Mexico, where he meets the dark side of the goddess; and Morocco, where he learns the ancient ways that heal the fratricide of war. But the young warrior has made a vow, which he must keep: to return to the United States when the Vietnam War is over and reintegrate into society. The war ended in 1975. PART II: The Adventures of John Christian At his moment of transformation, the young warrior discovers the name and identity of his warrior, or tutelary spirit.

About the Author

Robert Mitchell was a decorated combat helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War during the crucial 1968 Tet Offensive. After completing his 12-year odyssey of healing, transformation and reintegration, he served the goddess of justice and healing in the capacity of a secondary school teacher for twenty-seven years. Now retired from classroom teaching, he currently resides in Maryland and continues to write and lecture on the important issues of individuation, spiritual democracy and curriculum reform in the American educational system.

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