The Heroine's Journey: Woman's Quest for Wholeness

The Heroine's Journey: Woman's Quest for Wholeness

The Heroine's Journey: Woman's Quest for Wholeness

The Heroine's Journey: Woman's Quest for Wholeness


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The Heroine’s Journey describes contemporary woman’s search for wholeness in a society where she has been defined according to masculine values. Drawing on cultural myths and fairy tales, ancient symbols and goddesses, and the dreams of contemporary women, Murdock illustrates the need for—and the reality of—feminine values in Western culture. This special anniversary edition, with a new foreword by Christine Downing and preface by the author, illuminates that this need is just as relevant today as it was when the book was originally published thirty years ago.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611808308
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 08/18/2020
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 131,031
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Maureen Murdock is a licensed family therapist in private practice in Venice, California, and teaches in the UCLA Extension Writer's Program. She is also the internationally published author of The Heroine's Journey, Spinning Inward, and Fathers' Daughters. The Heroine's Journey Workbook grew out of her work with women in therapy and workshops conducted throughout North America over the past twenty years.

Table of Contents

Foreword Christine Downing xi

Preface to the Thirtieth Anniversary Edition xv

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction 1

1 Separation from the Feminine 15

Rejection of the Feminine 17

The Journey Begins: Separation from the Mother 19

The Terrible Mother and the Negative Feminine 21

Abandoning the Mother 23

Separating from the Good Mother 25

Rejection of the Female Body 26

Rejected by Mother 29

2 Identification with the Masculine 31

Daughters of the Father 31

Father as Ally 34

Daddy's Girl: Absorption of the Feminine 36

The Father Quest: Gathering Allies 39

Lack of a Positive Masculine Ally 40

Addiction to Perfection 44

Learning the Rules of the Game with Dad 45

Putting the Patriarchy on Notice 47

3 The Road of Trials 49

Confronting Ogres and Dragons 49

The Myth of Dependency 51

The Two-Headed Dragon 54

The Myth of Female Inferiority 57

Slaying the Ogre Tyrant 58

The Myth of Romantic Love 60

Psyche and Eros 61

4 The Illusory Boon of Success 64

The Superwoman Mystique 64

Reaction to the Feminine Mystique 66

The Great Pretender 68

The Myth of Never Being Enough 71

5 Strong Women Can Say No 74

A Sense of Betrayal 76

Spiritual Aridity 78

Betrayal by the Father: Iphigenia 79

Betrayal by God 82

Spiritual Daughters of the Patriarchy 84

What Happens When Women Say No? 86

Saying No: The King Must Die 88

6 The Initiation and Descent to the Goddess 91

Woman's Initiation 92

Looking for the Lost Pieces of Myself 96

Mother/Daughter Mysteries 98

The Grain Goddess 103

The Descent of Inanna 106

Meeting the Dark Mother 110

Mindful Suffering and Return 112

7 Urgent Yearning to Reconnect with the Feminine 115

The Worm Baby 115

Body/Spirit Split 116

Female Sexuality 118

Family Messages about the Female Body 121

This Is My Body 124

A Cap on My Heart 125

Grieving the Separation from the Feminine 127

Grandmother Spider 128

The Feminine as Preserver 130

The Feminine as Creator: Oshun and Changing Woman 131

Refining the Vessel 134

8 Healing the Mother/Daughter Split 136

Daughters Unmothered 138

Mother as Fate 140

The Search for the Personal Mother 142

Divine Ordinariness 145

Healing in Nature and Community 146

Grandmother as Guide 147

Woman as Mythmaker 149

The Origin of Images of the Goddess 151

The Dark Dream Woman 152

Woman's Words 154

Taking Back the Dark: Reclaiming the Madwoman 155

Reclaiming the Power of the Feminine 159

9 Finding the Inner Man with Heart 162

Healing the Wounded Masculine 162

The Unrelated Masculine 164

Releasing Machisma 166

The Sacred Marriage 167

A Woman of Wisdom and a Man with Heart 168

Healing Powers of the Feminine: Hildegard 172

Dreaming of the Sacred Union 173

10 Beyond Duality 177

Healing the Split between Feminine and Masculine 179

A Circular Perspective 182

Dual Nature of the Divine 184

Celtic Christianity 186

The Circle as a Model for Living 188

Conclusion 193

Notes 196

Bibliography 206

Credits 211

Index 213

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