An inspiring journey of spiritual transformation rooted in pagan mythology, Gnosticism and the wisdom of the Black Goddess Sophia

An allegorical novel, The Serpent’s Tale explores my search for meaning in response to my daughter Sophia’s suffering. Through a matryoshka set of storytellers, three interwoven tales lead the reader on an inspiring journey of spiritual transformation rooted in pagan mythology, Gnosticism and the wisdom of the Black Goddess Sophia.

The Mother’s Tale
Following my autobiographical account of my daughter’s birth, I am sitting beside her incubator, wondering why she has to endure such suffering.

The Nurse’s Tale
In response, an Italian nurse tells me a story that was told to her ancestors by a travelling storyteller in 1645.

The Storyteller’s Tale
It is 1583 and Italy is at the mercy of the Roman Inquisition. Driven by his desire for revenge, the storyteller Alessandro arrives in Santa Sofia and conspires with the villagers to overthrow the Bishop. During the ensuing seven days, their lives are changed forever as they fight to protect their wisewoman from the fires of the Inquisition.


At least 60,000 wisewomen were tortured and killed during the European Witch Trials (1450-1750), although some estimates are far higher. The Roman Inquisition was a system of tribunals developed by the Roman Catholic Church (or Roman Church as it was then known) during the second half of the 16th century, responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of heresy, including sorcery and witchcraft, mainly in Italy and Malta.

Although The Serpent’s Tale is set in the 16th century, the social issues it explores, such as the subjugation of women by patriarchal religious doctrines; violence against women, including abuse, rape and torture; and maternal mortality, remain endemic in our global society as the following statistics from (2009) reveal.

  • Domestic violence causes more deaths worldwide in women aged 15-44 than war, cancer or malaria
  • 1 in 3 women worldwide are beaten, abused or raped
  • 1 in 4 women worldwide are beaten while pregnant
  • 1 in 7 women worldwide are raped by their spouse
  • 1 woman dies every minute from pregnancy related causes, most of which are preventable
  • 5,000 women worldwide are killed in honour killings each year for ‘crimes’ such as trying to leave an abusive marriage
  • 2 million girls worldwide are forced into marriage each year
  • 6,000 girls worldwide are forced to undergo female circumcision each day
  • A truly magical book! The Serpent's Tale is one of those books that lingers long after you've finished it. It was very easy to read and very gripping (I couldn't put it down!). The story is both very personal and very universal at the same time, telling the story of women and men of the old (Goddess) tradition in their struggle to survive in a patriarchal world with so many prejudices and fears to fight against. It's the story of truly believing and, even more, sticking to what you believe to be good and worthy for yourself and the community. A very inspiring book and absolutely recommended!M Van Eupen, Amazon
  • This is a story which sticks to your fingers, I found it un-put-down-able. A beautifully woven tale, full of description which pulls you right into the pages and illustrates the setting. Ever since reading the book, I have found my mind returning to the location depicted and can see it so clearly, such a rare find in a story today. Characters who become friends during the reading, the tale of old and new, light and dark, reflections from our shared past and visions of a future are all held within these precious pages. Highly recommended.Shoshana, Amazon


The Serpent’s Tale explores the wisdom of the Gnostic Goddess Sophia, which I call Philosophia. This is at the core of all my work so reading my book is a great introduction to working with me.

The Gnostic’s passionate adoration of Sophia was known as Philosophia – the love of Sophia – a mystical communication with divine feminine wisdom, having little to do with the strictly intellectual, most often masculine, pursuit currently labeled ‘philosophy’.
Zeena Schreck


Create some MeTime at home to explore your spirituality. Discover the mysteries of the Grail and reclaim the ancient wisdom of the Rose Lineage. Follow the cycles of the sun, stars, moon and myth. Heal and empower yourself to be the change you seek in the world.
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