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Melina Costello

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Seeking the God of Ecstasy: A Spiritual Journey of Sexual Awakening
by Melina Costello  Foreword by Robert A. Johnson 

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Publisher:  O Books ISBN-10:  1846943736 Type: 


Copyright:  October 29, 2010 ISBN-13:  9781846943737

Seeking the God of Ecstasy by Melina Costello O Books Publishing

A breathtaking journey into the sacred and profane tensions of the soul that culminate in ecstatic union with the Divine.

In this modern vision quest, Melina Costello gives a gripping firsthand account of the ecstatic flights and dark impulses that accompany a woman's inner journey of self-awakening. Progressing through dreamscape encounters with Dionysus, the Greek god of ecstasy, Costello boldly addresses sexual repressions and spiritual assumptions as she seeks to liberate her inner and secular life. Half-mortal and half-god, Dionysus personifies humanity's instinctual sense of unity with the natural world. To receive the ecstatic light of divine truth which is granted to those who enter his realm, she must also embrace the deity's shadowy impulses of erotic desire. Her seduction by Dionysus compels her to re-imagine sexual love as a creative participation in the soul's boundless fertility, not as a demoralization of spiritual values.

"Melina Costello has entered the winepress and produced from her own alchemy of soul a rare wine to savor. Through bridging the sacred and commonplace, she candidly and intimately fleshes out her dramatic initiation into the paradoxical realm of 'ek-stasis'--the fall into the breathable dance of opposites that is the fragmenting fate of soul--which merges us with the divine madness that is Dionysus. The archetypes, as Melina makes clear, are the openers of mysterious doors, leading to terror, wonder, wisdom and transformation. Creative dialogue with them requires a shamanic kind of inner strength, shrewdness, imaginal power and moral courage. When approached with the author's brand of creative fire, reverence and vulnerability, this can be a perilous yet exuberant dance at the rim of the Abyss: too much or too little control and we risk being overwhelmed. Melina discerningly avoids either extreme. She both gives herself fully to a raw merging with the rending joy of Dionysus and at the same time wisely distances herself in order to reflect. This is a god we cannot, dare not face till we have ourselves become many faces, many masks, all of them forged through successive deaths and rebirths that render us as fluid as nature's elements and changing forms. Melina makes all this viscerally real and alive in this uniquely exuberant, timely and deeply personal work."
--Maureen B. Roberts, Ph.D, Soul-centered Psychiatric and Shamanic Therapist, Co-founder: Mental Health ReEducation and Human Rights Network Australia, Inc. 
I reflect on my session with Dionysus for the rest of the day and find myself mesmerized by the dialogue about the body and its desires. I feel as though I’m walking a very precarious edge in myself, an edge where virtue and vice blurs, beckoning me into a vast gray world ever more perilous for its ambiguity. I wonder, just for a moment, if this could be the “hell” I used to think about as a child—not a fiery abyss inhabited by pitchfork-wielding goblins, but a pastoral landscape filled with large restful trees and a seductive Greek god who whispers in my ear, “Forget it all and go for the apple.”

— Chapter 7: Falling and Flying, p. 217

Professional Reviews

Review by Arnold Mindell, Ph.D, author of Processmind, Dreaming While Awake
"A remarkable journey. The author’s search for ecstatic union is an inspiring testament to the awareness process of inner life as it rumbles and dreams, revolts and awakens us."

Review by Robert A. Johnson, best-selling author of He, She, We, Inner Gold
“You are about to read a book that will enthrall and terrify you, a book that will carry you to dizzying heights of ecstasy and cast you into forbidding realms of shadow, woundedness and insatiable longing. The place to which you are going is the place of the soul, and I am honored to have my name associated with this marvelous book.”

Review by Sandra Lee Dennis, author of Embrace of the Daimon
“Boldly venturing into the soul's inner domains, Melina Costello brings to consciousness the reunion of opposites at the heart of the feminine mysteries: the taboo marriage of sensuality, corporality, lust, the drives of the body—with sacredness. By sharing her discoveries in Seeking the God of Ecstasy, she has done us a great service.”

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