Photo: Caroline Forbes
The Secret Tradition of the Soul
Daimonic Reality: a Field Guide to the Otherworld
The Philosophers' Secret Fire: a history of the  Imagination
Mercurius: or, the Marriage of Heaven and Earth
Out of print: The Serpent's Circle,
The Rapture
Current work
The Stormy Petrel, a fictional biography of  Søren Kirkegaard. Read the first chapter...
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The Mythic Imagination
Email:  pat




The Stormy Petrel  by  Patrick Harpur

 Coming in October 2017

The Stormy Petrel is based on the life and work of the Danish thinker, Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855).

           In his time Kierkegaard cut a bizarre figure, walking about the town, engaging the populace in conversation and philosophical debate. But he was popular, known for his generosity, and welcome everywhere. But when a scurrilous newspaper caricatured him and vilified his writing, the people turned on him and he was ridiculed. He became the first 'celebrity' to be martyred by the 'tabloid press'; and the first to recognise the abstract power of a Public created by a mass media (he was the first to coin the term 'the Public' in the sense of 'the Public has a right to know...'). He retreated into obscurity, emerging only to launch a scathing attack on the Church, which caused another national furore. He died in hospital, aged 42, of an uncertain illness.
Beneath the surface of events, there was another story. When we read contemporary descriptions of Kierkegaard, the extraordinary thing is that we get no insight into his real nature, except one: the degree to which he concealed that nature. We know this from his Journals, which reveal that the face of the cheerful, witty idler he took pride in presenting to the world, masked a terrifying anguish and inner torment - which Kierkegaard called Melancholy. Caused by a tragic event in his strange life, this torment was also a catalyst for his authorship. Taking its cue from Kierkegaard himself, who asserted that when he died 'there will not be found one single word to indicate what my life was all about,' The Stormy Petrel is in part an investigation, like a detective story, of what his life was all about - and of the source of his melancholy. 

Patrick Harpur's non-fiction books have been published in the UK, the USA and the Hispanic world. They are Mercurius; or, the Marriage of Heaven and Earth, a study of alchemy; Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld which attempts to make sense of visions and apparitions by recourse to Platonic philosophy, Jungian psychology, and the Romantic notion of imagination; The Philosophers' Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination which outlines an esoteric Western way of seeing the world which has been largely forgotten; and the rather ambitiously titled A Complete Guide to the Soul. He has also published four novels: a 'theological thriller' called The Serpent's Circle; The Rapture, a study of an autistic child; a highly autobiographical black comedy called The Savoy Truffle; and a modern fairy tale, The Good People.

The Mythic Imagination
Talks, Trails and Mysteries

Weekend courses
with Patrick Harpur

Subjects include daimonic reality, the philosophers' secret fire, the mythic imagination, Soul-making, the Anima Mundi, the Golden Chain, Neoplatonic philosophy, the Eleusinian Mysteries and more...

Next course is scheduled for Autumn 2018...
 The Mythic Imagination  All info here