There is a map toward healing and wholeness encoded in these ancient myths and stories, a map of the soul’s journey home.
— Marc Thomas Shaw



Ineffectiveness. Half-lived lives. Compulsory behavior. Self-limiting beliefs. Anxiety. Depression. Resentment.

For so many of us, this is how we go through life.

The great spiritual traditions teach of a way of wholeness and vitality. How come so many of our lives fall short of this vision?

What if there was a map pointing the way toward wholeness, toward freedom and vitality, a map of the soul's journey home?

Author and teacher Marc Thomas Shaw unravels the pattern encoded in the great myths and stories, from Homer's Odyssey to Dante's Inferno, a map of the soul's journey home.

This is a journey each of us is invited to take at key inflection points in our lives. When we step back and recognize: the way we're living isn't working anymore.

Something has to change.

This book of practical wisdom for a complete reorientation draws from the great myths and stories, and the teachings of the world mystics.

Take a journey of reflection and inner transformation with the great figures who've gone before serving as a guide.

In this book, you will explore the questions:

  •  What is my hell and how do I move through it?

  • What is my purgatory and what lessons do I need to take away?

  • What is my paradise? How do I get there and how do I stay there?

Begin your path to spark the imagination, stoke the fires of vitality in your life and step out on the path for the soul's journey home.

The journey begins here…



What is my Hell and how do I move through it? Part 1 of the journey invites us to examine the wounds in the world, in our families, and in ourselves toward inner awareness.


What is Purgatory in my own life and what lessons do I need to take away? Part 2 of the journey invites us to develop healthy patterns of sacred rest, sacred play, and sacred work.


What is my Paradise? How do I get there and how do I stay there? Part 3 of the journey invites us to turn to the wisdom of the great mystics and contemplatives like Meister Eckhart, John of the Cross, and Thomas Merton for guidance on this path.



  • Reflections from the Pop Music and the Arts

  • Audio Divina

  • Poetica Divina

  • Lectio Divina

  • Contemplative Practices



Vulnerable, lonely, and dark—these words describe all of us at times. It’s the human condition. I think Marc is right: we’re lost, and we have to go through some uncomfortable heat to find our way home. I loved this book.

Jon M. Sweeney, author of Inventing Hell; coauthor of Meister Eckhart's Book of the Heart


Marc Shaw's book invites you onto a rich journey of descent with wise guides and practices to help support the path. He offers lots of practical ways to explore the themes offered, through reflection and also meditation with various creative forms. It is a book to be worked through slowly, with lots of possibility for transformation and discovery.

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, author of twelve books on spirituality including The Soul's Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred

Marc Shaw invites us on an heroic adventure, one that asks us to embrace our woundedness, grief, and fallibility, as well as our inner and communal resources for experiencing divine healing. In the spirit of Psalm 23, this healing involves going through the valley, rather than around it, and there we will face the darkness as well as the light. This text provides practical guideposts for the spiritual adventure and an exciting pathway toward abundant life.

—Bruce G. Epperly, author of Become Fire! Guideposts for Interspiritual Pilgrims, The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-Filled World, and The Center is Everywhere: Celtic Spirituality in the Postmodern World 


Both practical and imaginative, Dante’s Road commissions the poet’s famous journey in order to offer a glimpse of the mystical path of life. With clear-eyed wisdom and an engaging style, Marc Thomas Shaw is our Beatrice, guiding the pilgrim through the often painful, mysterious, and beautiful journey of the soul, ever reminding us that we are all just “trying to get home.”

Christiana Peterson, PhD, author of Mystics And Misfits: Meeting God Through St. Francis & Other Unlikely Saints


We're lost. We're trying to get home. With those words Marc Thomas Shaw aptly summarizes the human predicament and then gathers a host of wise counselors—from mythology, pop culture, spiritual masters, and his own lived experiences—to accompany the reader on an inner journey toward the soul’s true home. The exercises in each chapter are thorough, demanding, and they promise great reward. If your soul yearns for healing and wholeness, I recommend embarking on Dante’s Road.

Kenneth McIntosh, author of Water from an Ancient Well: Celtic Spirituality for Modern Life