by Christine Downing
This intensely personal account of the little written-about sacred dimension of menopause combines religious studies with psychology to "understand menopause as a 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 rather than denying it. 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."
About the author:Christine Downing 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. She has also taught at Rutgers and Temple Universities and at the Jung Institute in Zurich. Her books include The Goddess, Women’s Mysteries, Gods in our Midst, Psyche’s Sisters, The Luxury of Afterwards, Myths and Mysteries of Same-Sex Love, Mirrors of the Self, and The Long Journey Home.