Janet Zibell approaches the oft-told Camelot and King Arthur tale from an unusual perspective: she believes that she was Guinevere in a previous lifetime. Culling her memories and combining them with the moving and often misunderstood love triangle comprised of Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere, she creates an interesting “biographical fiction” book. For many, this saga will be too large of a stretch of the imagination. However, for some, the search for self and the journey of the soul is an ongoing quest of fascination that will find enrichment in this short book.
There are some very profound perceptions in Zibell’s story. For instance, she makes the distinction between “romantic love” (Lancelot) and “true love” (Arthur). In doing so, she helps us realize that it is indeed possible to love more than one person at a time, and to be enriched and enhanced by each form that love takes. Whether or not we approach this book as fictional or spiritual in nature, we can appreciate the sensitivity that goes into seeking the path of Druid wisdom. Merlin himself takes the stage, as the tutor and sage of Guinevere, indoctrinating her in the history and meaning of her relationships, and her purpose in Camelot.
Unfortunately, some of the work seems contrived and even world-weary. In attempting to elaborate on her point of view and encourage the reader to take steps on their own path, Ms. Zibell stretches the story almost to the breaking point. Guinevere has asked Merlin’s help and instruction after Arthur’s death to delve in the fount of further understanding, to facilitate her grieving. Within those parameters, Zibell explores the darker, less attractive side of power and ambition, as well as the intricacies of the different types of love and the long-sought significance of the Holy Grail. That is a lot for Guinevere - and Zibell - to take on in one work. Including the bibliography, the book clocks in at 132 pages in trade paperback format.
Perhaps the more accurate story here is how one woman (Zibell) decided to be brave enough to explore a past life and to try to become one with her soul’s journey. It is a commendable effort, and the history and mythology explored are, as always, fascinating. So many perspectives and opinions have been broached about Arthur and Camelot (including whether it all even existed) that is it hard to read another work on the topic with any objectivity. I do recommend the book though for anyone who is interested in past lives, the mystic wonders of Druidism, or the exploration of the Grail and its legend. Janet Zibell believes in the story she tells, and her sincerity and her path shine for all to see.