There’ve been a few firsts for me these last few weeks that have brightened my mood. One adventure was going out on a whale watching boat. O those big wide seas! I swear I could see the curve of the planet on the horizon. We saw seals frolicking in the waves against sheer rocky hills, a few sharks gliding by and then much further out, the spotting of whales!

On another day, I went collecting river stones that have been dumped into an area fairly close by. I’m using them in the creation of my cactus patch. Further along we could see the entrance to Sky Villa, a boutique hotel set high up on the lower hills. So, after picking some up, we went for tea. Beautiful place. Windy, overcast, cool. Magnificent views of Plettenberg Bay. What I did NOT expect to see, on the other side of the glass window was –

I’ve started attending art meetings on Saturday afternoons. Already I feel less stale, less cramped in my withering creativity.

But the real purpose of my blog today is to notify you of a post I’ll be putting up next week. I’ll be interviewing Dr. Jean Benedict Raffa. This is definitely a first for me and one I’m looking forward to, with some trepidation if truth be told. Jean is the author of several books and has one coming out very soon, called ‘The Soul’s Twins – Emancipate Your Masculine & Feminine Archetypes’. I really hope you’ll do us the honour of tuning in – her book is beautiful and the wisdom she imparts is invaluable.

Below, are Jean’s bio and weblinks.

Dr. Jean Raffa is an author, speaker, and leader of workshops and dream groups. Formerly a television producer and college professor, Jean changed directions in mid-life to write about her passions:  Jungian psychology, empowering the feminine in all of us, and psychological and spiritual growth.  Her books—The Bridge to Wholeness: A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth, and Dream Theatres of the Soul: Empowering the Feminine Through Jungian Dreamwork—have been used in university classes and dreamwork courses throughout the country. Her book, Healing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World, received the 2013 Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council. Her newest book, The Soul’s Twins, is about how to create partnership between femininity and masculinity within yourself and in your relationships. It will be launched in November of 2020.

You can find more information about Jean at her website and blog,, on her Facebook author page: She can be contacted at

One of many early reviews of ‘The Soul’s Twins: Emancipate Your Masculine & Feminine Archetypes’.

‘The author gifts us with practical knowledge acquired from 30 years of inner work and her impressive wisdom and research into Jungian psychology. Readers will find enlightening recognition of themselves and others in artfully told stories that describe the complexity of the male and female archetypes and the vital roles they play in our lives today. Each of us has both within us. By becoming aware of them and their different shades and levels of activity, including the shadow side of each, we can consciously embrace a marriage of the two. This is an important message for modern times. The Soul’s Twin is highly recommended for anyone keen to deepen the dictum “Know Thyself”. It has been a joy to read’.

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you safe and well. I hope also that you’ll view the Skype or Zoom video with Dr. Jean Raffa that I put up next week. May The Force be with you.

49 Comments on A Few Firsts

  1. Hi Susan – no adders in SA – me thinks. Equally, me thinks, that’s a wonderful rock python – right colourings etc …

    Brilliant to be able to see whales in SA – I never saw any when I went out … but did manage some off Vancouver Island before I left.

    I’ll be back to listen to your interview … connectivity isn’t great at the moment. Hope you had a lovely time in CT – maybe you’re still there … take care – Hilary

    • I just had a quick squizz on google to do some more identifying but I was a bit freaked out by the pics. There are adders in SA 🙁 Am still in CT, down with a dratted cold. Will be lying low for next few days 🙁 Hope this finds you well Hilary, take care and thank you for coming by.

      • Hi Susan – sorry about the cold … yes frot and grotty…. just get better and take care. All well here thankfully …
        I wiki’ed adders – and no reference to them in SA … but I’m quite certain you’re right – my reptile book on SA has gone!
        That python looks like the one they found in the undergrowth here – it was too cold for it and needed to be caught (understandably) and re-housed …
        All the best – and look after yourself … Hilary

        • Frot (vrot) and grotty describes it exactly. Thank you for your sympathy 🌼Eish re finding python in undergrowth –

  2. Hi Susan, Wonderful whale watching trip along with the other creatures of the sea. I find it is a privilege when the whales share part of their lives with us. I can also hear the excitement in the voices of the onlookers. Egad, the snake! I just finished visiting your more recent post, introducing Dr. Jean Raffa. I look forward to learning more.🙂 Erica

    • It is the most wonderful thing in my view to see whales, those leviathans of the deep. I drove to Cape Town (about 600km) on Wednesday and plan to be here for several more days. I hope to spot some whales in different parts of the sea. (Not really my purpose of travel). Begum and gadzooks re the snake, I agree … Have a lovely weekend Erica and thank you for coming by.

  3. Hi Susan, its always a pleasure to read your post; I am enriched and happy as I go through the experiences you share. Loved the video of the blue sea… its so nice, I love waters and swimming is fun…. nice to hear about the book by Jean Raffa, hoping to read her book some time. Thanks for sharing

  4. Hi Susan, that must have been quite an adventure going deep into the sea. Looks like you had a great time spotting the whales.

  5. Susan, what kind of a snake is that? I read in the comments that it’s poisonous. Wow! A new totem? I love the video of the whales and the deep blue of the sea contrasted with the luminous blue sky–and imagining the curving horizon. I last saw whales in California, but I don’t know when I’ll get to an ocean again. It’s great that you’re doing an interview with Jeanie. How can you go wrong with a great book and someone who has lots of experience presenting material she loves and has mastered? It will be a wonderful adventure.

    • I wish I could remember what kind of snake it was Elaine. It was either an adder or a cobra, I think an adder. A young ‘un … recently fed and thankfully sleeping. Yes, a totem.
      Thank you for your encouragement re the interview which we’ll hold tomorrow, Monday, via Skype with Mike on hand to ensure things don’t go wrong from my side. You’re right, it’ll be Jeanie doing the talking in her lovely way. Thereafter I’ll schedule it go up on my blog on Wednesday, which is when I’ll be travelling to Cape Town.

  6. Hi, Susan – What an uplifting post. On Thanksgiving Day (Oct 12) I went whale-watching as well. The humpbacks most have sensed that we were watching as they really put on a show, including one of them breaching as a finale.
    Congratulations on your upcoming interview. I greatly look forward to viewing it!

    • Thanks so much Donna for coming by! It really is a spectacle seeing that great leviathans of the deep surfacing, breaching and flapping! I’m glad you got to see this spectacle. My little video did not do justice to what we saw.

      I’m also looking forward to the interview … next week, eek! Have a great weekend 🙂

  7. Wow, envy your whale watching boat trip. Must be so refreshing! How is your cactus path going? That snake looks serious. I hope it was okay, and that everyone was, too! Looking forward to the interview!

    • Thanks for coming by Markus & Micah. The cactus patch is coming along, still quite a bit to do, on the final stretch! Yes, it was a dangerous snake, thankfully sleeping –

  8. Oh all these things are exciting, Susan! Can’t wait to read the interview 🙂 Thanks for sharing all this. Today on my walk, a snake slithered right in front of me on the road and quickly went into the grass. Really took me by surprise!

    • Goodness Barbara, I can imagine the surprise – reading about my experience and then your seeing one!For me, having written about Lilith (first wife of Adam, then serpent in disguise in the Garden of Eden) this has particular relevance to me. Have a lovely weekend and thank you for coming by 🙂

  9. Ooooooo, very exciting, Susan! From whales to snakes to art meetings, and oh how sad the flat earthers would be to know you’ve seen the curve of the horizon! Looking forward to your interview with Dr. Raffa! Have a great day. xo

  10. I need to copy your example, and get out more. Surely I will feel less cramped and stale.

    By the way, I have gotten acquainted with Jean Raffa on Elaine Mansfield’s blog, where she muses on mythology, archetypes and more. I look forward to the interview next week, Susan.

    No snakes for me! :-0

    • I know you go walking in your beautiful area Marian. We are fortunate that we can. Sometimes though doing and being somewhere different is lifting! Right now I’m about to set off to meet a friend for a beach walk.

      Thanks for coming by – you’re sure to enjoy what Jean has to say 🙂

  11. Nice, Susan. I love the photos — even the adder, from a distance! — and video of your firsts. Love the photo that Mike took of you, too. And, of course, I am looking forward to your interview with Jean next week. –Carol

    • Thanks Carol …distance in both instances is important! I’m sure you’ll enjoy what Jean has to say. Look forward to seeing you next week 🙂

  12. Wide open seas, whale watching. Blue, blue and more blue, wonderful, as is the Sky Villa’s view of a vast horizon, tempered by a snuggled-up snake I would not wish to step on, but would happily observe with fascination, as you fearlessly did. ☼

    Jean Raffa must be pleased to have you as an interviewer.
    I’m looking forward to it. Best success.

  13. I’m afraid my entertainment these days has been my walks in Poulsbo and reading. Sadly, somehow all the crafts I use to enjoy doing have evaporated out of my life. I enjoyed your pictures and was startled by your snake. I pray it isn’t poisonous! The snakes we periodically saw in California that looked like your snake WERE poisonous. Fortunately, snakes here just simply startle us when we accidentally almost step on them as we walk down the stairs.

    Have fun interviewing Jean. I’ll look forward to seeing it. In the meantime stay safe and well!

    • Gwynn, I’m trembling when you say you accidentally almost step on them when walking down the stairs. Lordy lordy me … you have courage. This one was a young one, who’d recently fed as the snake handler told us. And yes, very poisonous …

      Your entertainment sounds lovely to me. What could be better than walks in a lovey area and reading! I’m sure you still make choc chip cookies … You too stay safe and well 🙂 And I’m pleased you’re looking forward to the interview!

  14. Susan, as a longtime fan who has read and loved your books and followed your blog from its inception, I want you to know that I am deeply honored that you have chosen to feature my newest book, The Soul’s Twins, as the subject of your first ever video interview here. I have often wished our conversations in your welcoming garden could take place in the same physical space, but I’ve learned that though we are separated by thousands of miles, we’re connected at the level of soul. Thank you for brightening my mood more times than I can count. I’m so looking forward to our chat!

    • I’ve also felt that soul connection for many years Jeanie. I remember Susanne van Doorn interviewing you many years ago and I was utterly charmed. And your books and blogs that I’ve read, saying yes, yes, in my mind, how beautifully that’s been described or expounded and expanded upon …

      I’m looking forward to this too! Thankfully with Mike on hand there’ll be no interrupting cheeps from incoming things on my laptop. So, onwards!

  15. “I swear I could see the curve of the planet …” How wonderful to hear of your bright sea journeys Susan with the congregation of those stunning seals, sharks and whales! Then, to witness through glass, a coiled up serpent, which brings Hermes to mind and how kundalini slumbers away curled up at the base of the spine … such a powerful sign of transformation and resurrection if ever there was one!

    Oh, I’ve sent an early letter to Mrs Christmas in Lapland and told her that I’ve been good(-ish!) this year and asked for a copy of Jeanie’s new book … so it won’t be arriving here until Christmas Day. I can’t wait! In the meantime I shall look forward to reading your interview with her next week, and watching the video too! Be lovely to see photos of your cactus path in due course. Love and light, Deborah.

    • I sent my sister a photo of the serpent Deborah, her comment was ‘I thought it quite apt for you to come face to face with the cobra’. (actually now I can’t remember whether it was an adder or a cobra … but she made the point). And in my reflections on this incident, Hermes definitely came to mind … and I’m thrilled to have had that experience!

      The cactus patch is coming along nicely. Some serious weeding yesterday. Heaven help me if a serpent takes up residence there …

      I’m gearing up for the interview with Jeanie and looking forward to it. Luckily, son Mike will assist in this … otherwise … 🙂 Love & Light to you too and thank you for stopping by.

    • What fun, refreshing, re-energizing experiences Susan! I’ve been thinking lots about whales lately, and imagine a “sighting” tour would be wonderful. I’m looking forward to your interview – the book sounds like it will be a welcome addition to my reading list.

      • I’ve seen the whales from my balcony a few times Deborah. I scan often and have been rewarded a few times! Glad you’re looking forward to the interview – Jean’s book is lovely and just up your street 🙂

  16. I like your phrase about feeling less stale. I need to find a way for that to happen in my life. As for the snake, that is something that I do not need to happen in my life, thank you very much! The book you mention sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing it here.

    • Believe me Ally Bean, I nearly died on the spot when I saw the snake. An adder no less. I did NOT take the first photo of it. I watched from behind the glass as the snake handler came and wiggled it into a container where he would’ve released it into the wild somewhere … where o where I wonder?

      • I couldn’t comment below, Susan, so I’m going to pop in here and tell you that I’m pleased your creativity is starting to stir again, and that I look forward to the interview. Enjoy!

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