For women who have found identity in nonconventional spirituality, here is a new vision of a woman's lifetime that focuses on her most powerful middle years. In the triple goddess concept of Maiden, Mother, and Crone, there is no designation for what 20th-century women are experiencing as their most important years. Drawing from their work in women's health, spirituality, and psychology, the authors fill this void with a new wheel of archetypes to include a fourthMatriarch.
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A renowned expert on women's issues, Elizabeth Davis has been a midwife, women's health care specialist, educator, and consultant for more than twenty years. She holds a degree in Holistic Maternity Care from Antioch University and has served as president of the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council of the United States. Internationally active in women's rights, she travels and lectures widely on women's spirituality, sexuality, and the Blood Mysteries. Her books include: the classic Heart and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth; Energetic Pregnancy; Women's Intuition; and Women, Sex and Desire: Exploring Your Sexuality at Every Stage of Life. She lives in Windsor, California and is the mother of three children.
A foremother of the women's spirituality movement, Carol Leonard has been a practicing midwife for more than twenty years and was co-founder of the Midwives Alliance of North America, serving one term as president. Her work to improve maternity care in Moscow was featured on the news program 20/20 and written into the Congressional Record. She facilitates a summer camp for young women and does healing work for women with chronic and terminal illnesses. She travels extensively to present her workshops, Women's Ordinary Magic (which explores women's Blood Mysteries), and Witches, Midwives, and Other Healers. She raises medicinal herbs in New Hampshire and is the mother of two children.
Steeped in New Age rhetoric and references, this work targets the true believer. Authors Davis and Leonard have drawn inspiration from their experiences as midwives, as participants in "women's circles," and as students of tribal beliefs to devise a system that identifies 12 stages in a woman's life. These archetypes correspond to general goddess stereotypes and may be understood through instinct rather than reason. Women move from one phase to another using a 13th or transformer stage. The authors encourage those in this position to consult tarot cards, runes, or the I Ching to facilitate the transition. Throughout the book are testimonials given by individuals, identified solely by age, who share the same jargon and perspective. Only libraries desperate to fill gaps in their New Age or occult collections should consider this cultish manual.
Rose M. Cichy, Osterhout Free Lib., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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