„KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: The Heart of Alchemy – Hieros Gamos and The Book of Love Transformation Through Sacred Union
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Kathleen McGowan will be discussing the power of Sacred Union and the ultimate power of transformation which comes from love, as portrayed and defined in her bestselling historical novel, The Book of Love. Based on twenty years of research, The Book of Love follows the ancient alchemical mystery traditions as preserved by early Christian mystics and carried on by the Cathars in France and Italy during the Middle Ages. Hundreds of thousands of Cathars and their sympathizers died to protect these teachings, including their most sacred text, The Book of Love.
Understanding the power of symbolism is an urgent reminder that we have perhaps lost our way to mysticism with too much focus on the cerebral processes in alchemy and not enough on love and the heart. This shift to linear thinking led to the eradication of the feminine aspects of spirituality, essentially the death of the goddess and therefore the loss of the truest alchemical process – balancing the male and female aspects of self through processes based in love.
Ironically, these ideas are still largely considered heresy in both traditional Christian and Alchemical practices! But it was this same heresy that sparked the Renaissance, as the great masters of Flanders and Florence studied alchemy and art simultaneously in order to restore the power of symbolism and recreate the mystical teachings of The Book of Love and other alchemical secrets through painting.
Kathleen McGowan’s presentation will close with an overview of some of the greatest alchemical art in history, featuring the work of Jan Van Eyck and Sandro Botticelli, based on her third and most recent book in her fiction series, The Poet Prince, and her years of study in Europe.”