Journey to the Imaginal Realm

Announcing…

As the curator of philosophies at Revelore, I am pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Journey to the Imaginal Realm: A Reader’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings by Dr. Becca S. Tarnas. Stay tuned for release date announcements in the near future!

Journey to the Imaginal Realm

This reader’s guide to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Ringsoffers a journey into the world of Middle-earth, exploring the grand themes and hidden nuances of Tolkien’s epic story, connecting The Lord of the Rings to the larger mythology of Middle-earth, and situating Tolkien’s process of writing within his own powerful experiences of the imaginal realm. The Lord of the Ringshas been a beloved story to several generations since its publication in the mid-1950s. The timeless story engages with a complex struggle between good and evil, death and immortality, power and freedom. The Lord of the Ringsis a book treated by many as a sacred text, one to be returned to year after year, or read aloud with loved ones. The Lord of the Ringshas become a myth for our time.

Journey to the Imaginal Realm guides the reader through each chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnum opus, drawing attention to the subtle details, recalling moments of foreshadowing, and illuminating underlying patterns and narrative threads throughout the story. Close reading of the text is paired with relevant biographical information from Tolkien’s life, including the loss of both his parents at a young age, the central role of friendship in his life, his participation in the First World War, and his exquisite romance with his wife Edith. Tolkien was a lover of language and a philologist by profession, and his invented languages form the heart of his tales. In some of his letters, Tolkien described his process of writing as one of discovery, in which he waited to find out “what really happened,” feeling as though he was “recording what was already ‘there,’ somewhere.” This reader’s guide seeks to understand the imaginal experiences Tolkien may have encountered that led to the writing of his stories. The guide explores Tolkien’s theory of sub-creation, the immersive experience of Faërian Dramas, and most importantly, his notion of the realm of Faërie. Journey to the Imaginal Realm is a celebration of Tolkien’s work, and an inquiry into the profound nature of imagination, which is capable of bringing forth a world as vast as Middle-earth.

Becca S. Tarnas, PhD, is a scholar, artist, and editor of Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology. She received her doctorate in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies, with her dissertation titledThe Back of Beyond: The Red Books of C.G. Jung and J.R.R. Tolkien. Becca received her BA from Mount Holyoke College in Environmental Studies and Theatre Arts, and MA in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at CIIS. Her research interests include depth psychology, literature, philosophy, and the ecological imagination. She is currently teaching as an adjunct professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Portrait by In Her Image Photography.

Journey to the Imaginal Realm is part of the Nuralogical series created in partnership with course offerings on Nura Learning.

Featured photograph by Constantine Co.

Jeremy Johnson

Jeremy Johnson

Jeremy Johnson, MA is the founder/director of Nura Learning and has worked in the online learning field for five years with companies such as Evolver and the Open Center in New York City. He is also a contributing editor at Reality Sandwich magazine. He has published on OMNI, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, Kosmos Journal, Evolve Magazine, and Evolve and Ascend. Jeremy is the current president of the International Jean Gebser Society.
Jeremy Johnson

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