The Rose Labyrinth

The Rose Labyrinth

Author: Titania Hardie
Atria Books
ISBN #978-1-60751-391-9

“The Rose Labyrinth”, by Titania Hardy, contains some of the very best esoteric fiction that I have ever read. I love this book, and know that I will reread it many times over. The storyline centers around sixteenth century astrologer/mathematician/mystic John Dee, and how he hid much of his major writing before his death – convinced that the world was not ready for his truths. For seventeen generations his female descendents have carefully guarded his secrets, waiting for the right moment to make them public. That time is now.

This is the story of a mother’s love for her sons, and her legacy to them both. It is the story of two father’s love for their son’s, and the lengths that they go to protect them. It is the story of physical land, and how the use of it reflects our spiritual and mundane beliefs. It is the story of men who believe in a second coming, and the lengths they go to experience it. It is the story of pure evil, and it is the story of two lovers.

This is such an intricate, well done book that any research that needed to be done I am sure was of a secondary nature. The important segments – the esoteric work – was written by someone who walks in this world, who lives in this world, and understands this world well. (Hardie holds honors degrees in Psychology and English, and is currently completing her MA on Romantic Poets.)

The story is told through the life of Lucy King, a young documentary film maker living in London. She needs a heart transplant, which she gets – along with what may be memories belonging to the heart donor. With the help of her immunologist (who later becomes her lover), and a few close friends, she travels between London, France and New York in a race to decipher the puzzle before the bad guys do.

The timeline moves smoothly between the sixteenth century and current times, presenting each world as a real, working world. Woven through this well written story is a wonderful depth of esoterica – the white rose and the red rose, the gold and silver keys – both of which are needed to open the box that contains Dee’s mystery materials. The recurrence of the number 34, the Fibonacci Code, the Rapture Society, the labyrinth at Chartres, and a lovely knot garden.

Aside from reading this to die for book, you might just want to visit the website – . Here you can read a synopsis of the book, play with the riddle cards, key dates in the novel, and their meaning, a dictionary of the symbols used in this book, and a challenge – to decode the message contained in the thirty-four riddle cards. Those who pass the challenge will earn a place at the heart of the Rose Labyrinth, and will receive a certificate signed by Titania Hardie.

Enjoy the site, enjoy the book – and pray that Ms Hardie writes many more!

© August 2009


I just finished reading “Sepulchre”, by Kate Mosse. Yes, the book came out in 2007, and I had heard about it, but it just now made its way into my hands. 😉 It is impressive not just by size (over 500 pages), but by content. Mosse (author of “Labyrinth”) gifts us with a “Da Vinci Code” style story that we don’t want to put down.

There are two stories, running along a parallel timeline – one from the past, one in the present. The storyline from the past involves a French brother and sister, their young, widowed Aunt, and their deceased Uncle – who allegedly raised a demon from the old Visigoth sepulchre on his estate. The story from the present involves a young American graduate student, Meredith Martin, who is doing research in France on Claude Debussy, and attempting to reconcile her own tortured past.

The connection – one that is nicely woven into the story – is a Tarot deck. In fact, two Tarot decks, one fromt he past, and one frm the present. A chance meeting on the street leads Meredith Martin to a Tarot reader, where she discovers her own likeness on the deck that she chooses for her reading. It is the card entitled La Justice.

From Paris, Martin journeys to Rennes-les-Bains, to a picture, a piano, and a piece of music entitled “Sepulchre 1890”. All of these, including the Tarot deck that she carries, and the one that she will discover, as keys to bringing resolution to a figure from the past, and to her own family history.

Filled with fine detail, and sprinkled with French and Occitan phrases, this is a book well worth reading.

The Holy Fool

I just finished reading Laurie R. King’s “To Play The Fool”. This is a mystery, set in contemporary San Francisco. One of the major characters in this book is someone who is quite literally playing the Fool – I capitalize this because this is how the person thinks of themself, not because of any direct connection to the Fool in the Tarot.

This Fool speaks only in quotes (mainly from Shakespeare and biblical references), and has the people around him entranced. He is living his life on the street, for the most part, this Fool and his staff (which has a face at the top that strongly resembles his own). The first that we hear about him is when he is presiding over a funeral pyre for a small dog (not his, but the dog of another street person), in the middle of a park.

There will be another funeral pyre in this park – only this time the body involved is that of the small dog’s owner – a man not well-liked by many people. There are several questions to think about: Was the Fool involved in the murder of this man? If not, does he know who was? If he knows who did it, why won’t he say? And why does it take another innocent death to bring him out of the Fool mode and into reality?

What is a Holy Fool? A Holy Fool is the archetype of the trickster – he acts in “foolish” ways, he is the royal jester that dares to do and say what no one else will. He can be found in all religions. Jesus Christ and St. Francis of Assisi can be seen as Holy Fools. He deliberately leaves the mundane life to lead a life in which he deliberately flaunts religious and societal mores – playing the Devil’s advocate.

In King’s story, the character of the Fool was formerly an ordained minister and a professor of divinity, who underwent a life crisis of monumental proportions. In the end, he returns to the life of the Fool.

Certainly, this gives us something to think about when the Fool comes up in a reading. What are the depths of this archetype, and how is this manifesting in the life of the Seeker?

There is an interesting video here that shows the actions of a Holy Fool:

(c) January 2009 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.