If Joan of Arc Had Cancer: Courage, Faith and Healing from History’s Most Inspired Woman Warrior, Author, Janet Lynn Roseman, Ph.D., Publisher New World Library
Cultivating Courage with Joan of Arc
When someone travels the journey of cancer, resilience, integrity and courage are required on that healing path. Your journey will be different than someone else’s because we all possess our unique signature. I choose Joan of Arc as the symbol for my book because her achievements were extraordinary not only for her time, but for any time. She defied convention and was committed to her quest to restore the deposed King of France no matter what and was successful in convincing him that she, the Maid of Orleans as she liked to call herself, would lead his army into victory to defeat the Burgundian armies and she did. Her story is extraordinary.
When you consider that Joan of Arc, was only a teenager when she commanded thousands of men in battle during the fourteenth century, faced the Inquisition and died proudly refusing to to alter one word of story, even when it would have saved her life- you really can’t believe that she existed but she did. She is the quintessential icon of feminine courage and faith. These are the attributes most needed by women facing a diagnosis of cancer or any life-threatening disease. Drawing directly from the words Joan spoke at her trial, I chose thirty-one Flames of Courage and thirty-one Gateways of Courage to be used over the course of a month or a year to resurrect inner fortitude and create an environment for women’s healing. The root of the word, Heal, is haelen and it means to be whole without regard for where someone may be on their experience with cancer. Finding one’s wholeness in the midst of a serious health crisis is formidable however I believe that when you utilize the triad of healing-mind, body and spirit, that it can help women access and reclaim their personal power to find your own brand of healing and peace.
Emblematic of Joan of Arc’s extraordinary journey is the fact that she was chosen as the symbol for the women’s suffragette movement and the image that was used during that time was of Joan riding her horse with the words; “Forward into Light” beneath her. That imagery speaks to me personally because not only do I work with light healing, but light has always symbolized connection with the Divine and who better than Joan to illustrate that connection. Her ‘voices’ that served for her divine guides were legendary as well as her insistence on dressing in men’s clothing and both factors were the root of her problem during her trial. It made sense that she would want to dress in men’s clothing particularly because she was surrounded by men and a long, flowing gown when she was leading an army would have been ridiculous. What I love so much about Joan is that she refused to back down on anything-and fiercely defended herself with dignity, nobility and often humor. During the trial, when asked in her visions which she also had, if they had clothes on, she replied; “don’t you think that God would have the wherewithall to clothe them?” This was a young woman afraid of nothing.
I have always hated the accepted mythology that people with cancer are to be pitied and are weak because I never saw that. My mother had a ten year battle with cancer and she had enviable courage, and I am sure I would not have had the courage to go through the countless surgeries, treatments and hospital stays across the country that she did. This book was written to honor her first and foremost and I would give anything not to have this book and to have her back in my life. She was my teacher, my best friend, and I loved and love her dearly.
I chose various attributes from Joan’s trial that seemed to be lit up in neon when I read them—attributes such as valor, and surrendering, and courage—and that is why the book is a combination of Joan’s actual words spoken at her trial, as well as a message from Joan that I received in alignment with her. The reader also has the chance to experience a meditation as well that reflects that particular theme. The second part of the book asks the reader to delve deeper into their own internal landscape to explore these Flames of Courage in an effort to recapture, restore and re-frame their experiences in empowerment. Every woman will have their own story and experience and I hope that this book can rekindle their hope when then are in most need of it. Joan is a companion that one can count on and it’s ok not to have enough courage, or faith or hope—that is why she is there as friend and ally.
Book available at www.amazon.com or www.newworldlibrary.com.
Watch for Part II next month where NOU has a Q/A session with the author!