Archive for the ‘Spirituality of Robin Hood’ Category

Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Jamie Dornan, Eve Hewson, and Taron Egerton in Robin Hood (2018)

Marian: You call that a disguise?
Robin of Loxley: Well it fooled everybody else!

Ah great final line from Robin Hood (2018 trailer).  For long term readers and listeners you will know there is a soft spot for the legend of Robin Hood. It has shaped my outlook on life, justice, faith and humanity.


That all said, I must say the undertones I have been sharing for years have finally hit the forefront with the new 2018 film. From the opening sequence narration speaking of not tying us down with history that will bore, but getting to the heart of the story…to the draft notice for the Third Crusade. Get ready for a fun ride if that’s all you want from a movie…or if you want to actually engage and discuss (yes youth groups I am looking at you, as this would be a youth night or retreat movie).

Be ready to tackle real world issues. It is not simply a smash and grab thief issue.

Anyone up for a little wealth redistribution?

-Robin of Loxley

From the Holy Land where one is confronted with the atrocity of using the Lord’s Name in Vein. No we are not talking about lying, we are talking about masking the atrocities of war, land grabs, and war crimes behind the Gospel. As extremists seeking power and control, use the opiate of the masses to pacify, convert and create a banner to fight underneath.

Fear is the greatest weapon in God’s arsenal. It is why the church created Hell.

-The Cardinal

To the lies of the wealthy. Using power and wealth (the 1%) to keep the peasants/working classes subjugated. As a former Lord that was drafted and sided with the disenfranchised is reported dead and lands seized. As Xenophobia, heresy and hate are used to justify stripping what little the lowers classes have to prop up a war effort…but for which side? As espionage and collusion for a true power grab.

A power grab using the people’s faith as their greatest weapon. A weapon so that everyone will overlook what is being done to them because it is God ordained…sound like a familiar political gambit in Canada and United States of America to overlook ethical issues with leadership for the religious right states they are the Godly choice (that is using lightning bolt issues to confuse and fog the true issues of governance being for the betterment of the people, not power and control).


Taron Egerton in Robin Hood (2018)

In all my years of war I have never seen anything like you. -Little John

Why do legends such as the Robin Hood meta-narrative persist? Seen reincarnated, as my daughter noted, “Robin Hood is like Green Arrow”. Yes, my daughter, the creator of Green Arrow was inspired by Robin Hood, and the G.A. of my life by Mike Grell was centered on the urban hunter of social justice. It is because there is a war within us, between a Robin and a Sheriff. It is the challenge of being an authentic you that changes the world for the better, or the self that only cares about power and money.

It is the struggle of the True Self and the Shadow Self. It is seen inside a person, but also a community, a nation, and a species. It is the struggle to be better. To ensure corruption, lies, and oppression are not the rule of thumb and life, but rather the hiccups along the way. It is the struggle to put hate out of our species once and for all, and to understand that when horrible things happen whether through nature or humanity’s efforts no type of God ordains them. It is when the Sheriff is fed cosmological.

We are not powerless, we have one life. One choice.

“You’re only powerless if you believe you’re powerless”

A simple contemplation for this time in Lent, from Marian to Robin in the movie, trying to convince him to go big:

If not you, who ? If not now, when ? 


Want to read more of the Spirituality of Robin Hood?

Check out my new book, Soul Ripples, Coming 2019.


Русский: Феодоровская икона со сказанием Кострома

Русский: Феодоровская икона со сказанием Кострома (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a journey that began as an academic thesis and became a restoration of my soul. My third book was titled, Pilgrimage to the Heart of the Sacred, and the rediscovery of Mary of Nazareth‘s life lived and contemporary apparitions renewed this pilgrimage bringing me back into a healthy relationship within the Holy Mystery. The journey did not end as expected, but the ending was the beginning my soul needed.

I hope these words bless you in reading and soul work as much as they blessed my journey in bringing them together:

Free E-Book here.

The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most ven...

The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of the Virgin Mary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Virgin Mary and Jesus, old Persian miniature. ...

Virgin Mary and Jesus, old Persian miniature. In Islam, they are called Maryam and Isa. NOTE: See discussion page before using (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is intriguing, I have an affinity towards the Roman Catholic Church, the Mass, the Mysticism…unfortunately I do find them theologically trapped in the dark ages.  Yet as I re-enter back into seminary studies and look towards a thesis to complete my Master of Divinity, I was left wondering what topic of the plethora that intrigues me…and then it hit me.

This is a pilgrimage, part of one I have been on my entire life. A journey to discover the Cosmic Christ’s true expression. Through this it hit me, the moment of reflection, what is up with the Virgin Mary?

In Robin Hood lore pre-Protestant Reformation, it was not Maid Marian that Robin was devoted to, but Mary of Nazareth, who would appear to him and inspired his followers to rise up against the evil Prince John and aid the poor.

She is the Theotokos (God-Bearer, Mother of God).There is even an old Catholic tradition order based around this: Order of Mary Theokotos.

Why does she matter? Biblically there is scant information about her. Yet she is  the major thrust of showing the equality God expects of us in life. Why? Think about it, God went directly to Mary (not through her husband or father as the society deemed) to see if she wanted to be apart of this cosmic story.

Mary birthed a son, now some will say it was earthly conceived with Joseph, was the result of  a rape by a Roman Centurion or literally the Holy Spirit…whichever story you believe what is important is that the child of Mary’s womb was born into this world to be the Messiah.

So why Mary? That is a good question…for me it is looking to a woman that was a teenage mother, a peasant girl, someone whose betrothed was contemplating killing or just casting out of the city gates to become a sex trade worker for survival except that God intervened.

Mary is the woman that illuminated to Christ that his time had come in John 2 with the feast at Cana; she watched her child stumble while carrying the cross; and stood there as he died and went to the empty tomb. She was so well placed within the early church that Jesus’ younger brother rose to be the leader of it.

She supported the early church through prayer and good works. Today she is still appearing to people. Why? Surprisingly as a voice for the oppressed; calling the world into a new way of being, to focus upon her son, love embodied, to turn away from hatred, war, and injustice to love, peace and justice.

So why Mary?

Why not? When you cut through the crap, what you are left with is a woman who truly shows what it means to be a mother… quite a thing, and in the world of the disenfranchised Our Lady is still rising up to encourage believers (and non, as in Rwanda where she and Jesus appeared to a Pagan Boy and a Muslim Girl with messages against genocide).   For those without a voice, she becomes their voice to show full equality of God’s children.

Quite interesting journey and discovering new truths as I continue this journey…


Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood

Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Robin Shoots with Sir Guy

Robin Shoots with Sir Guy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is interesting as I read yet another novel of Robin Hood, this one by Angus Donald titled, Holy Warrior, I am once again reminded of what Christendom used to be like. And the question is whether or not we have changed much.

How does this arise? Well, this novel is being told from the perspective of Alan A. Dale. Robin Hood is a sceptic of the faith, distrustful of the institution that is used to oppress the people he has fought so hard to free. This novel is set post- Sherwood, once restored when Robin is living happily ever after with Marie-Anne and he is called back to be a Crusader, but without money needs to raise funds (imagine paying for the privilige to go and die in some godforsaken world).

One scene is when Robin and Alan go to the “Jews” who have control of the money. The corrupt lord of the town has spread lies that two missing lads (that he did away with) were kidnapped by them and are now leading a warring party to annihilate.

A scape goat if you will.

Why does this come up?

Simple. It comes up because when we lean on why people leave church we have to ask ourselves have we ever been like this? Austracized the skeptic. Make it feel like you must have to pay to be a member of Christendom.  Or simply put when situations arise who are those in the church that bear the brunt of the conflicts, are they the ones that actually cause the conflict, or are they the ones that because they are different or new or not part of the in crowd become the target to deflect the conflict and controversy to preserve the norm in the “sacred” community and if those who are different leave its no major loss.

So yes, we may be less bloody as a “churh family” since the Crusades but we are still practicing the same things: conversion by coercion, paying for privilige, scape goating, and ostracization.

So does your church play sacred roulette? Are we still living a Crusader mindset of conquer or eliminate?

What do you think?


The Infidel and Robin Hood

Posted: December 20, 2010 by Ty in Spirituality of Robin Hood

The Muslim character within the Robin Hood legacy comes from the tradition of placing the Robin Hood stories during the Christian Crusades to the Holy Land (a religious veil of genocide of Jews in the European Countryside and attempting to colonize by force).  Whether it is Jax (BBC 2008-2010), Azeem (Prince of Thieves 1992), or the saracen in Robin of Sherwood (BBC 1980’s), these characters are used as a counter culture balance, that actually spoke against the societal norms of the period.

For today’s world, where they exist we are caught in the tension of the Spectrum of Islam in the media, from Agnostic/Cultural Islam to Al-Qaeda Islam and every vignette in between.  These characters provide a culture busting for the Judeo-Christian West to open up their eyes to what we have gained from our Muslim brothers and sisters.

The best example of this, was in Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood Prince of Thieves where Azeem brings medicine to those living in community in Sherwood Forest, aids in turning Fanny’s baby inutero, brings technology to the front to crumble the Sheriff’s defenses in the form of black powder.

Jax, a woman (sultan’s daughter) posing as a man joins the band of outlaws, and falls in love with Will Scarlett and in the tragic love story within Robin and Marian (both dying to find eternal happiness together), Jax and William marry in the Holy Land and live happily ever after.  A mixed marriage across religion, culture and geographics brings a happy ending, an enduring symbol of what it means to live in the heart of God and the joy that can bring for all the children of the Holy Mystery.


So of all the Merry Men, the one that is hardest to tie to any historic figure in Friar Tuck.  Now does this mean that he is only an artful creation? Well no, again it is how we approach the legends.  For within these stories are deeper truths for us to reflect on.

Watch, read or listen to any version of the Robin Hood Mythos.  Friar Tuck is the representative of the cleric class.  At the moment of oppression, the clerics were part of the oppressive classes, Friar Tuck’s humble brown habit reveals his spiritual charism.

That charism is Franciscan, followers of St. Francis of Assisi, who lived a life that pointed back towards Christ and from Christ to God.  I myself am a former Franciscan, so here are some virtues that come out of Friar Tuck’s life.

A throwing off of the prestige and wealth factory that the institutionalized church had become, but rather had gone out to live and serve the poor as an itinerant preacher, or a “mendicant” the slur used to describe Franciscans, as the open handed. Beggars–whom were available to surrender that which they owned, to others in a deeper need because they truly owned nothing (vows of simplicity/poverty).

Their mistress was poverty, this meant that they were against the institutionalized structure of education that was used to create a socio-economic gap between classes, but rather were in favour of an internalized discipleship that saw each friar start with one gospel teaching, and once it was known and lived, then wood move on to the next.

So hear is Friar Tuck, one who has turned his back on the corrupt institution of the church, as Comrade Karl Marx would later call religion, “the opiate of the people” that is that which allows disempowerment and perpetuation of poverty, and power for a few.  He goes amongst those cast out, like Francis embraced the leper, stepping through his fears, so Tuck enters Sherwood Forest, the place of fear, and emerges with those in most need, standing alongside, living the Gospel of loving one another as Jesus loves him.

So in Friar Tuck, whether he is a historical figure or literary device, what we have is a character to reflect on the character of the Holy Mystery, and the way in which we live in and out of the love that permeates all.

Maid Marion (Marian, Marianne,)’s origin in the Robin Hood Mythos has many ins and outs dependent on your beliefs in and around the historicity of the stories.  Some historians stipulate that Marian, is actually the romanticization of the original legends Robert Hoode’s devotion to Mary of Nazareth (mother of Jesus, called the Christ).  These can be seen as originiating in the Nottinghamshire area.

Then you have the stories that eminate from the Yorkshire area, that stipulates Marian Fitzwater was a Norman, and as such the romance was of star crossed lovers (Normans and Saxons), with Marion’s family havng been apart of the French invasion.  It is also tied to the Fitzwaters (and other spellings of the name) that built York Church, and this writer has a bit more affinity towards this legend, as I have a historical blood tie to the Fitzwater family.

Then there are modern manifestations where Marian is everything from a joint woodsman, thief, errant knight, damsel in distress, fighter or warrior. What does this prove?

It proves that with any source of spirituality, each character within the grand play is more than the some of their parts, they are all and none, they live in the tension of being saint and sinner, as a viewer, hearer, reader and/or learner, we need to be open to the movement of the Holy Mystery speaking to us through these players.

What is the core of Marian in the legend of Robin Hood?

Marian is the feminine inner personality within each person, but also the twinned feminine in each love coupling, she is Robin’s Anima, simply as Robin is her Animus (Thank you Jung).