Welcome to my books page! Here you’ll find more information about, and links to, each of my publications, together with reviews in the comments below.
A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World (2015)
‘A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World’ is Deborah Gregory’s first collection. The book follows the journey of a life through childhood, breakdown and estrangement to metamorphosis and transformation, where in mid-life a quest for Soul evolution begins.
Each poem moves swiftly between the contrasting lives and landscapes they record. Brutal and tender, desolate and loving. Poems of inspiration, solace and perspective that invite the reader into a rich complex world.
To mark her 50th year Deborah has chosen to put her poems into print for the first time. Alongside reflections and insights on her own life, she empowers us with an ever-lasting legacy of love and hope.
“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.” ~ Carl Jung
The Shepherd’s Daughter (2020)
‘The Shepherd’s Daughter’ is Deborah Gregory’s second poetry collection. Together with her major poems written over the past five years, she includes her divinatory ‘Poetry of the Tarot’ series, a dark and bright journey through the Major Arcana, alongside her mythopoetic, nature inspired ‘Poetry of the Year’.
This book has been written with love – love of the beauty and wonder of Mother Earth; love of her Jungian and mythological studies; love of the poets, artists and dreamers whose creative spirit fills her with hope and courage; love of her soulmate, family and friends and love of the magick and mystery of life.
“We meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.” ~ Carl Jung
Soror Mystica: Balancing the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine (2023)
‘Soror Mystica’ is Deborah Gregory’s third book. Weaving memoir, poetry and dreams together in a unique text, we follow her journey as she brings her inner feminine and masculine into balance and harmony. By sharing her ‘Animus Diet’, ‘Divine Hermaphrodite’ and ‘Becoming Sophian’ adventures she invites the reader, whether they are conscious of it or not, to seek a sense of union between these inner opposites.
Drawing on her rich experience as a psychotherapist of twenty five years and a lifelong poet, Deborah encourages us to reconnect to the deep magick and mystery of our inner selves. In the ancient language of symbol and metaphor she meets with the Divine Hermaphrodite and the Goddess Sophia, and in doing so encounters ‘Soror Mystica’, the mystical sister she has been searching for her whole life.
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ~ Carl Jung
24 thoughts on “Books”
Deborah’s poems are Blessings. Her writing is personal and direct. Like music, her words are evocative, sensual and rhythmic. I don’t remain an observer: I feel included in her world. She delights in the complexity and magnitude of Life, enabling me to see thru her eyes. The intensity with which she communicates, about Nature and Creation, is like a prayer.
Her poems are rich with empathy, awe and deep gratitude: joyful, hope-inducing and heart-opening, empowering and inspiring the reader with her words. Her books are a retreat from the detritus and despair of daily life and collective angst and uncertainty of this time on our little planet. She writes with Lightness and delight, which feels nurturing and nourishing to read.
The poems provoke a sensual awakening, with reverence, awe and deep love of Life. They provide a portal of receptivity that reframes reality and reconstructs my perception, and my world.
“At the still point of this turning world / what is rejected will be poured into us / not knowing its name we call it Destiny / as we tremble with choices, known and unknown / trusting the death life will bring to us / Earth, my love, we pray for your recovery / if we do not, this plague is fated to return / until we study the dark and learn its language.”
The title of Deborah Gregory’s third book, Soror Mystica, or Mystical Sister, comes from the ancient art of alchemy. Alchemy employed a rigorous series of complex experiments to transform the base metals of physical matter into gold, a universal elixir that would bestow eternal life. But the alchemical opus was also a metaphor for an inner psychological and spiritual transformation into individuation and enlightenment: a conscious union of opposites. For this the alchemist needed help. For just as physical life is created and sustained by the ongoing cooperation between day and night, sun and moon, so can our goal of wholeness only be achieved by a committed practice to integrate the archetypal feminine and masculine drives into our conscious awareness.
To attain his goal, (alchemists were usually male) the alchemist needed the balancing force of a woman, a Mystical Sister who was his opposite but equal feminine counterpart. Similarly, the Bible tells us that the goddess Sophia was God’s wisdom, his feminine side, who dwells in physical matter. Once again we see the theme of the union of opposites: masculine and feminine, spirit and matter.
This is classic ancient wisdom that Deborah Gregory knows well and artfully applies to her own life. Informed by her love and deep respect for dreams, myths, the psychology of C.G. Jung, and nature, Gregory has written an utterly original and honest account of her magnum opus to bring her inner masculine and feminine sides into a harmonious balance, both in her outer life as daughter, partner, poet, and therapist, and in her inner journey into wholeness.
For me, her fundamental message — one that was inspired by her numinous dream of the Triple Goddess – can be summarized in these few lines from my favorite poem in this remarkable collection of stories, essays, and poems. It’s titled, “Metamorphosis of the Crone” “Come jump inside the cauldron / of your own body, /. . . For inside each of you waits / the soul you are seeking, / to reach Her / you must transform inwardly, / read between the poet’s lines / to find a way in, not out.”
I have just finished reading Deborah Gregory’s third book ‘Soror Mystica, Balancing the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine’, and can honestly say that this is her best work yet. Comprising of essays, interspersed with poetry and prose, it follows her experiences and learning as she works on herself to balance her inner feminine and masculine, enabling them to work in harmony together.
In the first Essay, The Animus Diet, Deborah describes putting her overweight Animus on a diet and bringing forward and learning to love the feminine aspects until both were in balance. It follows her struggles and light-bulb moments, that take the reader on a rollercoaster ride as she endeavours to bring her powerful masculine into line, so that her underweight feminine can grow.
There are two further essays, each rounded off with a poem, the first drawing on Greek mythology to further explore the balancing of the masculine and feminine and the final essay focuses on Sophia, the Goddess who has perfectly balanced male and female aspects. Finally, we are treated to a divine chapter of poetry and prose written throughout this seven-year journey.
In the essays, Deborah’s humour and honesty in her storytelling shines through brightly, whilst her poetry is beautifully crafted, filled with myth, metaphor and symbolism, demonstrating her vast knowledge of Jungian archetypes and the myths. This collection is such a highly original way of presenting an exploration of the feminine and masculine, I really have not seen anything like it before. I found myself, many times, completely enthralled by the beautifully woven words in each of Deborah’s poems and know that I will return to them many times, dipping in and out for inspiration, as I look to bring my own overweight animus into line.
Deborah Gregory’s ‘Soror Mystica: Balancing the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine’ interweaves prose and poetry in a unique powerful style. As soon as I get comfortable reading her prose presentation about how to deal with my troublesome masculine or animus side, I’m presented with a heart-stirring poem such as “The Divine Hermaphrodite” that lifts me into a new soul perspective. I can’t remember another book that braids poems and prose with such agility. The weaving and ultimate balance between masculine and feminine stands out in Soror Mystica and keeps me engaged in my own soul journey.
I love the practical humor of her discussion of the animus. Rather than scolding myself for flaws, I learn a new way of seeing. Poems are found throughout the book but concentrated most heavily toward the end. Each poem is a teaching in itself, highlighting the depth and heart connection Gregory has with Jungian Psychology and her own soul journey. As I finish the book, I feel like I’ve attended a powerful Jungian seminar and know how to approach the psychological tasks that lie ahead. I plan to start over and read the book again. (I’m grateful my work with Monarch butterflies inspired one of her poems of nature, human love, and the Green Man.)
My favorite poem speaks of grief and forgiveness: “Goodbye Mother: Please Don’t Cry.” This unique book will help so many on their psychological and spiritual journey. Brava!
Soror Mystica is fabulous exploration of the inner journey, and it counts with the ingredient that most authors struggle with–a commitment to raw honesty about the state of things. This not only makes for compelling reading, but also serves as inspiration to do a little reflecting on our own inner world and what might be churning in there. Deborah Gregory’s stitching together of narrative storytelling and her wonderful poetry leaves you with the impression that you have entered another space and time, where things are not so easily pegged down but are forever spiraling into new territories. Beautifully done!
The Shepherd’s Daughter is a collection of deftly spun journeys. I love the way Deborah Gregory shares her explorations of the natural world through the prism of a human voice wakening into spiritual awareness. This is a beautiful read. As she says in ‘Temperance’: “With one foot stood in each world,/ in each word, the poet gains poise.”
The Shepherd’s Daughter
There’s Magick in these Verses
Poetry is the pinnacle of writing, its highest, most refined form. The climb is so rigorous, the sensibilities so refined, and the life experience required to attain them so onerous, that few reach the summit. Deborah Gregory is one who has accomplished this heroic feat.
As heroes are the stuff of myth, it’s no wonder Gregory draws much of her inspiration from the three muses of poetry and the other maidens, mothers, queens and crones of mythology. Here she writes of Persephone’s wisdom of the underworld, Demeter’s governing of the earth’s cycles, Athena’s queenly sovereignty over her own free and wild soul, and Aphrodite’s dazzling and sensuous femininity.
Her ability to touch us so meaningfully with her artfully chosen words comes from her psychological understanding of these goddesses. This poet is also a psychotherapist who has learned for herself that myths are stories about the archetypal truths of the human psyche. In The Shepherd’s Daughter she applies this deep well of knowledge to her poetry on the Tarot. She knows that the Fool, Magician, High Priestess, Empress and Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers and Hermit, as well as the mysteries of the Moon and Star and other cards, are all parts of us.
Another section of poems is dedicated to the months of the year. This is where we experience the wonders of nature through the self-reflective lens of a photographer, the aesthetic of an artist, the knowledge of a naturalist, the ears of a musician, and the passionate heart of a lover.
This is the place…
Where, with red cheeks radiant
against the ice-cold wind,
we become happy children again.
A place where we…
Behold the dancing daffodil,
wild soul in green and gold,
heavenly love-star of March
who brightens our heart
as her golden petals unfold.
From pregnant darkness
she must push up and out,
Into spring’s sudden softness.
Or where in July…
Dressed in golden rays of light,
with Father Sun stamped
firmly into the cloudless sky,
we enter the dust-covered,
burning cathedral of summer.
Then cycle back to winter, for…
As Persephone returns to Hades,
we too must revisit darkness,
sleep awhile before we rise again,
for fading daylight demands
more logs for the inner soul-fire.
I can’t resist two more passages, one near the end of the book about the poet’s numinous dream in the time of Corona, where she finds herself inside an ancient oak elder:
Inside this dream tree sanctuary,
life had shuffled indoors.
With her memories quarantined,
waiting to be reawakened,
she knew there was nowhere
left to hide from herself.
And this from the Poet and the Plague:
The old ways have broken down,
Her resurrection will come
But first, the gathering of bones.
There’s “magick” in these verses and the poet who wrote them. It comes from experiencing life with eyes and the senses wide open and a heart filled with love.
Review of The Shepherd’s Daughter
I have just finished reading Deborah Gregory’s “The Shepherd’s Daughter” for the first time, reading each poem in sequence to savour the full effect of the theme of each chapter. I have followed her work for many years, reading each piece when it was published online, yet I am still astounded at the beautiful way she crafts each poem in this collection – she is truly a very talented weaver of words.
From her own stories in Dear Poet, she takes us on a learning journey through the major arcana of the Tarot in Poetry of the Tarot. This particular section I found very insightful and has helped me to learn and read so much more into the symbolism and meaning of each card…I highly recommend the book to all tarot apprentices if just for that reason!
Yet there is so much more! In the next chapter “The Shepherds Daughter” the use of mythology, Jungian archetypes and, importantly for me in these torrid times, the influence of nature comes into their own. Here her love and knowledge of all three subjects shines brightly as her words flow exquisitely, verse by verse. She further expresses her love of nature in Poetry of the Year – a month by month journey through the year following every change as the seasons grow and fade. Here goddesses, paganism and mythology intertwines to paint poetic pictures
Her final chapter has an almost Odyssean theme, taking us from a time of calm and beauty in nature into the Belly of the Whale and the turbulent times of the pandemic, using mythology and dreams to inspire poems of turmoil, hope and wisdom…ultimately leading to Two Goddesses in the Greenwood and love.
I have loved sharing every moment of her journey through this collection and will, I know, be dipping into it regularly for my own inspiration and learning.
There is so much to love about Deborah’s second collection of poems that it’s difficult to summarize because the blurb on the back cover says it all:
“‘The Shepherd’s Daughter’ is Deborah Gregory’s second poetry collection. Together with her major poems written over the past five years, she includes her divinatory ‘Poetry of the Tarot’ series, a dark and bright journey through the Major Arcana, alongside her mythopoetic, nature inspired ‘Poetry of the Year’.
This book has been written with love – love of the beauty and wonder of Mother Earth; love of her Jungian and mythological studies; love of the poets, artists and dreamers whose creative spirit fills her with hope and courage; love of her soulmate, family and friends and love of the magick and mystery of life.”
‘The Shepherd’s Daughter’ is a superb collection and wonderful companion book to her first collection ‘A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World’ – both delight the senses, especially the ear.
Thank you Deborah for sharing your mythological, nature based, Jungian and tarot poems with the world. You deserve all the praise and admiration you receive for your dark and bright journeying. All the best, Anna
PS. I’ve ordered another copy for my daughter who is wanting to learn the tarot. I couldn’t think of a better introduction than Deborah’s ‘Poetry of the Tarot’ series.
Deborah Gregory: A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World
Every time I dip into this wonderful book I feel as if I am sipping from the nectar of the gods & goddesses, specifically the goddesses.
I am struck each time by her pen that acts as a sword cutting into my heart. Sometimes it is a gentle strike, other times not. When I sense an echo resonating from my depths, I know it to be true.
It is impossible for me to select an excerpt for this review. Each time I look to do so, I am immersed once again and distracted, wanting to leave the world alone and just sink into the beauty of her words. Some poems are long, some short and each encapsulates a feeling, a landscape, a perspective which for me is a widening of the lens, a deepening of my heart and soul.
Her artistry in capturing the soul in words is one for which I have the greatest admiration as I do for those who are able to move the reader in deeper parts of themselves, even those unknown parts. When music, or a landscape, or words effects a heightening of the depths, I feel captured and I like the feeling. I feel a part of it all, and not just apart and alienated.
Thank you Deborah for this truly beautiful book. You are an artist in the true sense of the world. I am the richer for having it, and am blessed to be a reader of your wordsmithery.
You are certainly living the dream! =)
A warm welcome to my poetry and Jungian thought website. As I wrote earlier Jason, it’s wonderful to meet another poet on the road! Warm winter blessings, Deborah.
Update 17th January 2020:
Thank you so much Jason for choosing my poem and creating this beautiful video. The images and music chosen work so well with my verses and your great narration! It’s only January but believe me when I say this has made my year so far! My readers will love it!
Your poems are a love letter to nature as they take us through the months. Thank you for sharing them Deborah.
‘A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World’ – Deborah has written her poems with bare boned honesty. I fell in to her footsteps and was moved by her words as she recounts her life journey. Deeply personal, incredibly brave. Her words touched me, I felt so much she was sat beside me as I turned the pages of her life. I am amazed this book has not been taken up by a major publisher.
Highly recommended! ‘A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World’ is a book I keep next to my bed. Deborah Gregory’s spiritual and sensual poems lead me through her unfolding life from girlhood to maturity and help me reflect on my own life path. She writes about childhood trauma with an unflinching, compassionate eye. She shares the joy and disappointments of motherhood and the challenges of love and loss. She writes about soul, spirit, trust, and betrayal. She writes about courage, forgiveness, redemption, love, and the passionate physical life. She makes me believe in second and third chances. As I soak in the rich symbolic imagery of these poems, Gregory’s search for inner meaning opens deeper layers of reflection and meaning in me.
Deborah Gregory: A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World
I read this cover to cover. Poetry at its finest – raw, passionate and full of truth. In a class all its own, Anna
your book arrived yesterday. i have not been able to put it down. for poetry lovers and for those on the edge of loving poetry this collection has something for everyone. raw incandescent and full of heart gregory is an old soul with neoteric vision. her poems are lighting up my days and darkening my nights. this is the most brave and honest book i have ever read.
i am greatly inspired by your blog post on self publishing. deborah this book needs to be on amazon where more people will find it. is there anywhere i can hear you reading your poetry? suzie x
This is not the kind of poetry book that anyone can read lightly or indeed quickly. It is in every real sense the journal of a soul. Gregory’s voice is unique. She does not fit into any writing tradition with any degree of comfort. Your heart will rise and your heart will fall. I urge the reader not to skip even one page. I stand in admiration at her courage and deep humanity. Patricia J Lockwood.
I stumbled across Deborah’s heart-pounding words when I needed them most. After many weeks of immersing myself in her poems, I decided to go ahead and purchase the book. A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World is something different compared to other books. It’s a must read for anyone on the inner journey home. Very well presented, brave and honest writing. A wonderful debut collection I can’t praise enough.
To be honest I don’t know what to say other than I’m utterly speechless!!! I’ve read a lot of poetry and this is definitely the best collection I’ve read in a long time. I value the chronological order of the poems. I’m buying this book again to take to a friend when I visit for Christmas. I think my dad would love this book with its classic 1960s childhood, dark imagery, violence and unexpected love. A modern-day mythic tale, refreshingly honest and perfectly clear.
Very moving. Usually I have difficulty with poetry but not with this collection. Extraordinary poems by a very brave lady. Brilliant and moving, though never self-pitying. Poetry that made me laugh, cry, pray, and hope yet incandescent with passion for life. Truth, acceptance and hope. An outstanding collection.
Dear Deborah, we’re in synchronicity as I’ve just finished reading your amaaaazing book of poetry “A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World”. I’ve so enjoyed and valued reading these poems. The first ever book of poetry I’ve bought in my life! And it was certainly well worth it.
Your book is “amazing” for many, many reasons, and here I’ll mention just a few. Firstly, on an extremely practical level, it’s a total privilege to be able to read the poetry you’ve written over the years from when you were an adolescent until now, especially as it describes a very personal and deeply challenging journey, which is where the second “amazing” comes in. I’m blown away by the strength you’ve found to come out of the black tunnel of your exceedingly difficult childhood – your poetry being a constant companion and one that took you by the hand through the worst of it, it seems. In the words of your poem Mother-Wound: “My poetry I am told – Comes out of this wound – This gaping hole – In the centre of my life.” You’re an inspiration to anybody who’s living through a difficult life situation (emotional or physical violence, abuse, neglect, etc.) You show us that change “is” possible – no matter how tight the chains or how deep the wounds.
Your early poems speak of such pain and turmoil that they touched me very deeply – some left me speechless, unable and unwilling to simply carry on my day, out of respect for the experiences I had witnessed through the magic of your poet’s pen. I also wished I could hug young Deborah and give her the warmth and love she deserved.
Using a wonderful array of imagery and reference points – including nature, goddesses and more abstract conceptualisations – your poems trace your path from this very dark beginning to a glorious rebirth – both in terms of your spirituality and the healing of the mother/child wound. “Free at last and at liberty to feast alfresco at the banquet of love” (Love in the Caves).
On the subject of love, many of your poems are hugely sensual and deeply romantic. I’ve consciously left romantic sentiment to the side in recent years, but I must admit that reading some of your poems caused the romantic in me to stir again.
My plan is to dip back into your book and read the poems in a more random fashion. On this first read, I wanted to follow the order systematically as I felt it was important for me to follow your journey and the evolution of your ideas and language.
Finally, I refer to the resonance I feel with many of your thoughts. For example, when you say: “..it is futile of me to pretend I know where I am going” (The Way of the Poet) and “Those who live close to the soul more willingly than to the tribe, touch the magick of their being, one foot is rested in each world for the mystic to find her way” (The Soul is My Mother).
Thank you for lighting the way and encouraging others to do the same.
Love & blessings, Sam
‘A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World’ – review
Hi Deborah, I just wanted to let you know that I treated myself to your poetry book and it arrived yesterday. I have to say it really is very professional looking and I’m amazed by the amount of your work that you’ve included. Reading your poetry and your life from 15 to 50 was quite incredible and definitely a page turner – I can see how your writing style has evolved over the years and how you yourself have grown with it. This is a wonderful, moving document of a life lived thus far…I would be so proud of being able to produce a book of this standard and depth. Congratulations – I love it! This is a book to be read and re-read many times.
Done with your unparalleled grace and style. I have a virtual bottle of (expensive) Champaign to launch this new voyage into poetic and uncommon seas. Bon Voyage, dear poet and away we go!