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Journey Through Menopause: A Personal Rite of Passage

Overview

This intensely personal account of the little written-about sacred dimension of menopause combines religious studies with psychology to "understand menopause as soul-event . regarding its symptoms as symbols" and provides insight into what this transition can be like for those women who choose to embrace it as a meaningful part of their lives. Downing explores menopause as a rite of passage and reveals her own inner and outer journey through this process, using a trip she took to India when she turned 50 to mark ...
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Overview

This intensely personal account of the little written-about sacred dimension of menopause combines religious studies with psychology to "understand menopause as soul-event . regarding its symptoms as symbols" and provides insight into what this transition can be like for those women who choose to embrace it as a meaningful part of their lives. Downing explores menopause as a rite of passage and reveals her own inner and outer journey through this process, using a trip she took to India when she turned 50 to mark the occasion. She shares with her sisters the lessons learned on the journey: "the discovery that I was done with the heroic quest, the acceptance of weakness and vulnerability, the recognition of my dependence on other women, the revelation that I am loved enough."
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In a personal account of her own journey through menopause, Downing, past president of the American Academy of Religion, combines religious studies with psychology to ``understand menopause as soul-event . . . regarding its symptoms as symbols.'' Her ``hunger for a more symbolic connection to these mysteries of feminine life'' led her initially to explore her dreams. Finally, at the end of a low-budget journey around the world that served as a metaphor for her own rite of passage, she rediscovered Hestia, goddess of hearth and home, whom she describes as ``a soul-guide.'' Downing's experiences and reflections may illuminate the experience of menopause for other women, but the religious framework of the book will limit its appeal. For feminist collections. Cynthia Widmer, Williamstown, Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882670338
  • Publisher: Spring Journal
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Pages: 159
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

CHRISTINE DOWNING, Ph.D., currently teaches in the Mythological Studies Doctoral Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, after serving for almost twenty years as chair of the Religious Studies Department at San Diego State University. Her thirteen books include The Goddess: Mythological Images of the Feminine, and, mostly recently, The Luxury of Afterwards and Preludes.
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