The Chosen Shell novel coverCelie O’Rourke, sensing a calling from God, enters a California convent during the 1960’s, a turbulent era of change in the Catholic Church. Four years later, she is teaching Latino children with great success. But the cult-like practices of her monastic Order threaten her fragile self-confidence, as she grapples with sexual feelings she can no longer suppress.

Celie’s charismatic Superior offers her guidance and friendship plus the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream… but these gifts come with a high price. Confused, she takes refuge at a retreat house where she meets an accomplished New York businessman, Tony DeStephano. Though from different worlds, the bond they feel is electric… but forbidden.

A former nun, author Katherine Sartori has created a fictional story, inspired by her own experiences as well as those of the Sisters she met. Her novel seeks to contrast idealism with the realities of convent living. Read reviews at Goodreads.com.

The Chosen Shell is now available on amazon.com and at createspace.com (a division of amazon) Purchase your copy today!

5-Star Rating on AMAZON!!! Read reviews now.


Katherine Sartori head shot

Katherine (Kas) Sartori recreated her life when she left the convent, teaching children and college students, as well as writing for several corporations. Now she enjoys being a mom and a grandma in California, and loves traveling the world with her husband Joe. Calling herself a Dream Traveler on her blog, she writes about the adventure of continually re-inventing ourselves.

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The Mystery of Dreams

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Photo by Idea go @freedigitalphotos.net

Have you ever had a dream you can’t forget? That startles you? That seems so odd or scary it’s hard to decipher?

I’m a Dream Traveler. I not only like to dream up my next story, adventure, trip or project but I love to keep learning! So, I said to myself, why not learn about DREAMS?

Recently, a friend talked me into going to what to me was a very unusual workshop:  “Dream Tending,” led by Stephen Aizenstat. I spent an unforgettable 4-day weekend at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. It was an amazing experience!

So what exactly is dream tending, you ask? I wasn’t sure myself, but I soon found out it was a practical approach to deciphering the meaning of our dreams. Using Carl Jung’s foundational principles and his 40+ years of psychological study and counseling, Stephen Aizenstat led us all in a step-by-step approach to try to uncover the mysteries of our unconscious.

We’ve all had dreams we can’t forget. We spend days trying to figure them out. We ask ourselves: What is our unconscious trying to say? Stephen Aizenstat says the unconscious is the voice of our soul, trying to penetrate our conscious mind through the dream figures and images we experience. Uncovering their important actions, colors, and moods is also part of solving this mysterious puzzle. “These are real inhabitants of our psychic reality,” he told us. Then he advised us to select one special dream, write it down and then freely draw pictures of it.

From there we began to “work the dream” by watching Stephen unravel the dreams of five different attendees throughout the weekend. In front of an audience of @120 people, they revealed their dream aloud and tried to relate it to details, incidents or people in their lives, prompted by Stephan’s sensitive questions. Some dreamt of white whales or flowers that turned into monsters. Others were on a journey, climbing a mountain or traversing the sea. Others wandered through a forgotten factory or witnessed a strange, enigmatic parade. By the end of Stephen’s session though, each dreamer was enlightened, relieved and even elated by their discoveries.

The dream I chose “to tend” was very odd and, because I dreamt it the first night of that weekend and it actually woke me up, I felt it was a special message from that “Other World” of my mysterious psyche. So, when we first broke into groups, I threw worry to the winds and decided to reveal it to the three other wonderful ladies in my Kiva, (the name Stephen gave to our small groups). Working together, we were told to seek out associations in the dream and in our lives, plus look for ancient story figures (archetypes) as well as animated dream figures who often visit our dreams.


photo by KasSartori

My unusual dream:   I was in a New York subway car alone. Suddenly the car swerved from the underground to a carnival place much like the county fair, and it stopped. Through the windows I could see crowds having fun. Vendors were selling cotton candy and hawking their prizes and teddy bears, asking people to try their hand at different games. I sat inside the subway car though, suddenly realizing I’d sat there for two whole days. Then I leaned over and noticed a hole in the bottom of the subway car’s floor. For some inexplicable reason, I reached down into the hole, which turned out to be a heavy black pipe full of yucky slime. I had to yank my hand to get it out, but then when I looked down at it, the diamonds in my engagement ring as well as the small one in my wedding ring were gone! I was shocked and wished I’d never done it! Continue reading

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