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Articles & Reviews

The Clue of the Red Thread: Discovering Fearlessness and
Compassion in Uncertain Times

written by Julie Tallard Johnson

wisdom from Parker J. Palmer
poetry by Rebecca Cecchini

Print (softcover) $21.95  


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In Greek mythology, Ariadne held authority over the mazes and labyrinths located beneath the palace of Knossos on Crete, including the labyrinth that housed the deadly Minotaur. When Theseus came to attempt to free the people from the Minotaur, Ariadne gave Theseus a ball of red thread to mark his passage in and out of the labyrinth. The thread was the key to successfully navigating the labyrinth’s many twists and turns, and Theseus ultimately confronted the Minotaur.

In her teaching, Julie Tallard Johnson notes that metaphorically, we all spend our lives in a labyrinth, regularly having to face forked paths, contradictory twists and turns, and dead ends. Red thread is a rich analogy for the wisdom passed on to us from generations of spiritual teachers, and this wisdom guides us through our labyrinths. In The Clue of the Red Thread, Johnson, longtime student of author, teacher, and activist Parker J. Palmer, offers numerous practices and strategies for navigating what she calls the greatest adventure of our lifetime: going inward to discover who we truly are, then returning outward to blossom into a fearless and compassionate citizen, living with integrity while both keeping hold of the red thread in our own lives and moving forward to pass it on to others.


ISBN: 978-1-951651-65-7 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
ISBN: 978-1-951651-66-4 (ebook)

LCCN: 2021930114

202 pages


Julie Tallard Johnson’s writing and teaching explore the timeless relationship of human beings to their natural and inner worlds, and to others. With her nearly forty years of counseling others and leading transformational circles, Julie shares her experience and wisdom in her books, blogs, and retreats, which invite us to meet our circumstances with equanimity, curiosity, and fearlessness. She has written eleven books, which include The Zero Point Agreement, The Wheel of Initiation, and Spiritual Journaling. She holds a master’s degree in social work and is a licensed clinical social worker. Julie collaborates closely with her business partner, yoga instructor Molly Chanson, to offer inspiring retreats for all levels of yogis and writersJulie resides in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin with her two dogs. For Julie’s retreats, online courses (her popular one: Be the Cause of Your Life), blogs, and updates,visit her website.



Rebecca Cecchini is a poet and writer from Wisconsin. A longtime itinerant on winding roads and side paths and a Dominican Associate of Sinsinawa, her writing flows from a desire to recognize and honor the life of the Spirit, through which we all have our being, our connection, and our belonging. She lives in her home town of Madison, Wisconsin, with her spouse Honora, and their two bright-eyed, four-legged boys.





Parker J. Palmer is an American author, educator, and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change. He has published ten books and numerous essays and poems, and is founder and Senior Partner Emeritus of the Center for Courage and Renewal.



“In The Clue of the Red Thread, Julie Tallard Johnson reminds us that we can best navigate uncertain times by joining our inner truth with our words and actions. In ways both poetic and practical, she invites us to make time and space for inward discernment, returning to the visible world better able to help advance the work of love, truth, and justice. I had the privilege of being in dialogue with Julie at several points during the writing of this book, and I can assure you that it is a faithful reflection of Julie’s life-work, all of it proven in practice. I urge you not only to read but to follow by finding your own red thread and tracking it into the fullness of life.”
Parker J. Palmer, teacher and activist, author of On the Brink of Everything, Healing the Heart of Democracy, Let Your Life Speak, and A Hidden Wholeness

Articles and Reviews


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