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Seemed like a total accident, given I had never heard of it and wasn't planning to buy it. But having read it, I acknowledge this as an example of the belief "there are no accidents. While the underlying message of this book is exploring the answer to the question "What is Picked up this book at SFO before boarding my plane to Hawaii. While the underlying message of this book is exploring the answer to the question "What is Love?

The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

We have all heard stories of women in particular who possess "abilities. But why can't we accept these things as natural and beautiful? And why can't we encourage girls and women to strenghten their abilities to serve mankind? And why does dogma seek to destroy the credibility of these gifts? I have always had a very strong spiritual sense, rooted in the Catholic teachings, as this is how I was raised.

I genuinely find comfort in the rituals of the religion, but find myself very at odds with the "Church" and it's doctrine as defined by mortal men over the centuries. These rigid and exclusionary "rules" were written by men, many of whom were imperfect, fearful, vengeful, ruthless, dishonest, power-hungry, etc. I find so many of the "rules" to be in direct conflict with Jesus' teachings, with passages from the Bible which we also must remember was a written by mortal men to the best of their recollection and b was assembled by a group of men later on who cherry-picked gospels to support the doctrine they personally crafted.

But in general, we know Jesus was an amazing man who lived his life to include all people, not to exclude them. He generally traveled in the lowest of circles, reaching out to the poorest, sickest, most deranged souls in need of a lift up. Most of all, he never judged others. And I have found the Catholic Church and it's devoted followers to be some of the most judgemental people. The Catholic Church has let me down, really let me down on several important ocassions.

Basically, they were afraid for their own personal position within the Church. Here was a chance for the Church to do something really beautiful for my whole family, most especially my Mother, and they shut us out. This is not a Church of love or compassion. It is a Church of fear, judgement, and exclusion. We chose to marry in a Unitarian Church, one with a strong Gay following. Our priest was a memeber of the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict, a wonderful group of priests, many former Roman Catholic priests, who have decided to continue their ministry of the Old Dutch Cathlolic practices, while being able to marry and have families.

Theirs is a ministry of inclusion. They do not discrimiate against anyone. They include everyone, as Jesus would.

The Witch Of Portobello

They offer Communion to all people, regardless of religion or status e. Our wedding could not have been truer to who we are. We crafted a ceremony with traditional Cathlolic rituals and prayers, but were also sure to include all of our friends of varying religions, backgrounds, and lifestyles. And I was thankful we didn't go down the typical path of lying about who we are e. Why would I want to be part of a Church who would judge me like that? Seems pretty hypocrtical to me. And while I am the first to admit I am a flawed and imperfect person, I have always been honest.

About everything, and perhaps to a fault. But I don't lie. I struggle with the disappointment and hurt I have felt at the hands of the Church. I don't know if I will ever be able to understand it and fully embrace the Church again. Yet I want my children baptized Catholic. I suppose I feel that eventually the Church will see the error of their ways. Paulo Coelho has a similar perspective and that perspective is woven throughout his writing. I can't wait to read his other books. There is a lot of room for growth thinking about these things. I look forward to my evolution.

This novel made me sad for Paulo Coelho because I was disappointed, the only good in this novel is a novel way and style in the narration is to talk about the protagonist of the novel but the perspective of those who were in her life, we can say such as investigative journalist but a very deep language and philosophical The concentration and joking needs a very high understanding. The novel in this novel is the portrayal of the internal conflict of the female and what she suffers in her life from kaleidoscope and pressures and how to face it.

True, it is a difficult and profound method, but it is not simple to understand. Of course, a novel does not advise those who are beginners in reading in general and in particular Paulo Coelho wrote an enjoyable reading. Oct 02, Andrea rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Those who are looking for the inner flower. This book was a little "much. I loved The Alchemist. It's clear the author is a "spiritualist" and takes pleasure in teaching lessons through simplicity and beauty.

I found the Alchemist inspiring and well-written. The Witch of Portobello I found cultish and flowery. There was nothing natural about it - rather - almost something "forced" in trying to convey the story of a young woman finding her "center" through "the This book was a little "much. There was nothing natural about it - rather - almost something "forced" in trying to convey the story of a young woman finding her "center" through "the Mother" and essentially becoming a Witch; possessed bodies and cultish meetings included.

True - I didn't agree with any sort of life philosophy this novel conveyed - the female face of God being freedom from the bondage of a distant omnicient male God. It promoted chaos vs organization and attacked the idea of organized religion at all its core idealogy. The Catholic religion being particularly referenced. He represented essentially "witchcraft" as the ever repressed female belief held under the "male" religious repression what with it's "laws" and precepts regulating our inner passions and natural desires. Not my kind of book - though there were a few good lessons to learn - overall I wasn't impressed.

What kept me going is trying to figure out who murdered Athena.

Witch of Portobello

Don't worry - I didn't ruin anything. You know she's been murdered in the first pages and it's merely a "look back" at her life prior to that through the eyes of her closest friends and collegues. And I don't know if I'll venture to read another. I should stick with The Alchemist. Oct 31, Saddam Bouchaib rated it did not like it.

I'm not really sure how to review this book. It's so completely different to anything I've ever read. I'm therefore not going to try to analyse it, because there are some fantastic reviews for this book, and I know mine will not be of the same standard. So I'm basically just going to write down my thoughts, and how the book made me feel. The main character, Athena, discovers that there could be more to life after going to her neighbour's flat to complain about the loud music. What she sees when s I'm not really sure how to review this book. What she sees when she arrives is a group of people dancing around to music - eyes closed, unaware of anything around them.

She questions this with her neighbour who advises that he'd found some writing from his father, that spoke about dancing being a way to connect the participants to their inner self, and in turn to the light and The Mother. Athena then embarks on her own spiritual journey. This book is more of a spiritual life lesson than a real novel. There is no real plotline - Athena travels around and learns lessons, but thats the extent of the storyline. This doesn't matter though, as it's the meaning behind the plot that makes this book so wonderful.

I think that the fact that it is told from multiple narrators really enhances the story. It is interesting to hear the different opinions on Athena and her teachings. I've encountered multiple narration in other books and hated it, but in this book it works very well. My only criticism is that because the characters are never really explored in depth, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the different narrators, however this is a minimal issue. I found this book very empowering. It has definitely opened up my eyes to spirituality as a whole.

I think I am generally a spiritual person, but I haven't really read too much around this particular subject. I have always been interested in the paranormal and mediums and such like, however I've never been very religious. I like the notion put forward by the book that there is a female divinity, and this is something that I would like to investigate further. The book addresses the issues of religion, and the church's attitude to anything other than its own views.

Whilst I appreciate that the church is generally more relaxed now than it was them, it still throws forward the argument that unless you agree with their teachings and ways of life, you are seen as the enemy. After reading the book, somehow I felt more in touch with myself, although I haven't attempted to practice any of the methods Athena uses. I think it's because the book teaches us that we each carve our own way in the world. We can be guided by people, but ultimately it is the individual that possesses the power to really make a difference in their own lives.

It teaches us that whilst we may think we're happy, if we take a step back and really look, there is so much more left to discover. Believe it or not, this is my first Paulo Coelho book and it was given to me by a dear friend. From an early age she had a strong religious vocation and knew all the gospels by hea Believe it or not, this is my first Paulo Coelho book and it was given to me by a dear friend. Dec 15, Brandon rated it it was ok.

I bought this book in Cabo for a few pesos and later found it was being given away FREE, so my expectations were somewhat tempered and let me just say Coelho does not disappoint. In the beginning we are told that she was murdered. We don't know why or by whom.


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Each chapter is a narrative told by her friends, family, and acquaintances. They describe their relationships with her and how they were impacted by having known her. Born in Transylvania to a Romany gypsy mother and a "foreign" father after a brief affair, our heroine is given up for adoption immediately after birth. She is adopted by a Lebanese couple, the Kahlils, and they bring her to their home when Beirut had a reputation for being a glittering, vibrant city.

They name her Shirine and raise her in their Roman Catholic faith. When war breaks out in Beirut they immigrate to London and become well established.

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Shirine grows up and marries and has a son. The marriage ends in divorce. When she is denied communion she leaves the Catholic Church, and this is the beginning of her journey to becoming Athena, the Witch of Portobello. Through various relationships she develops her own philosophy and belief system which is a mix of gypsy superstition, mid-eastern dervish, and wiccan beliefs.

She becomes well known for her teachings and develops a cult following which leads to her downfall. The story does reach a surprising and satisfying conclusion.

If your tastes tend toward the esoteric and arcane then by all means help yourself. For my taste it is less of a straight forward story and more of a philosophical treatise. I am a fan of Coelho's novels. I have read Veronica decides to die, Adultery, and Eleven minutes. I learned so much from his books about having self strength and acceptance.

The witch of portobello is different and harder to grasp. I do not recommend you to read this one if you've never read for Coelho. Unless you are a fan of a unique sort of witches! I didn't enjoy it or learn much from it. It took so much effort to read it, but I couldn't give up half way cuz it's not what I do. This book is very interesting and different. The choice of words used and significance reference are over powering. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful.

I'm torn between I like it and I love it. I'd give it a 4. Lots of concepts that have helped me to think about experiences in my life and lots of experiences that mirror my life; so of course, I'm thrilled someone has the ability and gift to figure a way to piece together a story that describes real life phenomena that is not often experienced or understood in the western world. The experiences of the main character, however, are a bit too over the top for me. Maybe bc I've not witnessed or experienced this kind of thing before easy wealth, easy child rearing, easy fame, easy ability to access mana; all too easy?

Idk, I didn't totally buy it and was frustrated. Something didn't sit right with me. I guess I feel mysticism is mystical enough not to have to be overly mystified w exaggeration. Another way to say it: I wanted more demystification of the world of mysticism. I think it's time.

I really liked the book. It's thought provoking and had some nuggets that really rang true for me. My favorite quote is "Love Is". Paulo Coelho weaves a beautiful story of mysticism which digs deep and creates thought provoking discussions. I found this book to be a great question. What is your interpretation. And I feel that we will all have a different answer according to where we are in the moment of our lives that we read this.

The Witch of Portobello: A Novel (P.S.): Paulo Coelho: afeditamyb.tk: Books

For me it caused me to look at my beliefs. To what serves me and what doesn't. I feel that Athena was free of any beliefs and therefore could live her life completely free from suffering and inner conflicts. For me, this feels like an impossible goal. One in which i will continue to contemplate. One person found this helpful. Paulo Coelho touches on the sacred feminine, love, family, persecution and betrayal in this novel.

Set in the form of a series of interviews by the author, with a plot twist at the end, the book is a lively if disjointed read. Sherine is the adopted daughter of a Marionte Christian family from Lebanon. Forseeing the war that ravaged that country for decades, the family relocates to London, and Sherine becomes Athena - the goddess of wisdom - as she begins to find herself and the roots of the world around her - culminating in her presecution and eventual death. The work also expounds a selection of philosophies, which bear a certain degree of similarity to Coelho's teachings from previous novels and carry the characteristic imprint of his own ideas, as well as a citation regarding the ephemeral nature of desires, which appears in most of Coelho's novels.

The writer elucidates the opinion that the Church has deviated by its stringent rules to the point where it no longer serves Jesus Christ , or as put in his words in one of the interviews: As the book begins, Athena is dead. How she ended up that way creates the intrigue sustaining the book. As a child, she shows a strong religious vocation and reports seeing angels and saints , which both impresses and worries her parents.

She goes into a London University to pursue Engineering at the age of 19 but it's not what her heart wanted. One day she just decides that she wanted to drop out of college, get married and have a baby. Here, the author mentions that this might be due to the fact that she was abandoned herself and wants to give all that love she could to her child which she didn't receive from her birth mother. Two years later, her marriage falls apart because they are facing too many problems due to their young age and lack of money or mostly because he felt that she loved only the child and used him to get what she wanted.