Crossing to Avalon: A Woman's Midlife Quest for the Sacred Feminine

Crossing to Avalon: A Woman's Midlife Quest for the Sacred Feminine

by Jean Shinoda Bolen
     
 
Bolen's magnificent autobiographical tale, set against the backdrop of the sacred sites of Europe, tells the story of her quest at mid-life to discover the legacy of women's spirituality.

Author Biography: Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst. A Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and clinical professor of psychiatry at the

Overview

Bolen's magnificent autobiographical tale, set against the backdrop of the sacred sites of Europe, tells the story of her quest at mid-life to discover the legacy of women's spirituality.

Author Biography: Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst. A Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California Medical Center, Dr. Bolen is an internationally known teacher who links archetypal and spiritual realms with social, political, and ecological concerns. She has two children and lives in Mill Valley, California.

Editorial Reviews

Whitney Scott
This compilation of experiences, thoughts, scholarly research, and, above all, the feelings of a woman at midlife amounts to a revelation. On pilgrimage to sacred sites including Chartres, Glastonbury, and Iona, Bolen, a physician, Jungian analyst, and professor of clinical psychiatry, traces their histories and significance. She relates these places' earliest uses by societies with earth-based belief systems to the concept of key energy centers all about the globe, and she links her inner journey of the spirit to her physical travels and the primal knowledge of the sacred that women have experienced for thousands of years without naming it. This quest for the holy grail involves more than a personal transformation; it is, she says, everywoman's secret, potential pathway to the roots of her strength and wisdom. An essential addition for collections concerned with women's spirituality and goddess worship.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062501127
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/28/1994
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.11(w) x 11.11(h) x 1.11(d)

Read an Excerpt

Invitation: Pilgrimage

I opened the bulky envelope that had come in the day's mail and found an invitation that would change my life. A total stranger was inviting me on a pilgrimage. She intended that I might "experience my spiritual sources" and so was proposing a pilgrimage to the sacred sites in Europe. I recognized the names of some of the places she suggested I visit -- Chartres Cathedral in France; Glastonbury, England; and Iona, an island off the coast of northern Scotland. And she had timed the trip so that I could meet the Dalai Lama, who would be in the Netherlands when I arrived. The packet contained the letter of invitation, dated February 6, 1986, from Mrs. Elinore Detiger of the Tiger Trust, the Netherlands; a check ; and a beautiful handmade gold pendant in the shape of a vesica piscis. I would later find that this was the same design as on the wellhead of the Chalice Well at Glastonbury, the well in which the Grail was once supposedly hidden.

Glastonbury, England, was a place that had been alive in my imagination for years, ever since I had a dream through which I made a connection with this site. Here exist the ruins of what was once the greatest Christian abbey in Britain, which was reputed to be the site of the first humble church to be consecrated to Mary, the mother of Jesus, Glastonbury was also the fictional location where one could cross through the mists to Avalon, the realm of the Goddess.

This amazing gift of pilgrimage actually had its origins in Glastonbury, where through a series of coincidental events, my book Goddesses in Everywoman had reached Mrs. Detiger. A woman from Glastonbury had visited San Francisco several months before and had been given a copy of Goddesses in Everywoman by a friend who also knew me. She had then taken it back to Glastonbury and was in the midst of reading it when Mrs. Detiger paid her a visit, discovered the book, and decided to bring its author to Europe.

What People are saying about this

Alice Walker
This wise and challenging work, the most personal of Jean Shinoda Bolen's books, is an absorbing, often uncannily perceptive, and useful companion for the soul journeys of our time, which is The Time of the Goddess Returning.
Rollo May
"A fascinating, original, and significant contribution to psychology."
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
In Crossing to Avalon, Jean Shinoda Bolen turns her acute and brilliant eye toward the interconnectedness of women's mysteries, sacredness of the body, the effect of pilgrimage on soul, and deep feminine friendships.

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