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

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9780062502728: Crossing to Avalon: A Woman's Midlife Quest for the Sacred Feminine

A MIDLIFE QUEST FOR THE GRAIL AND THE GODDESS

Dr Jean Shinoda Bolen's extraordinary memoir celebrates the pilgrimage that heralded her spiritual awakening and leads readers down the path of self-discovery. In this account of her journey to Europe in search of the sacred feminine, she unveils the mythological significance of the midlife search for meaning and renewal.

"[Bolen] charts a path that will lead many readers to the heart of their own emotional and spiritual pilgrimages."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW

"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."'
ALICE WALKER, author of 'The Color Purple'

"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."
CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTES, Ph.D., author of 'Women Who Run with the Wolves'

Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., is a Jungian analyst and clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the author of 'Goddesses in Everywoman, Gods in Everyman,' and 'The Tao of Psychology.'

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From the Inside Flap:

Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen's magnificent spiritual autobiography is the story of a call to adventure, the mystery of the feminine, and the extraordinary pilgrimage that marked her mid-life passage. Bolen frames the search for meaning at mid-life as a quest for the mysterious lost Grail of the Arthurian legend. For Bolen, the Grail represents the elusive object of a lifelong search for what is missing from our lives as well as from our culture. Bolen's pursuit takes her on an incredible journey to Europe that leads her to discover the importance of her own history, the changes and challenges at mid-life, and the meaning of the goddess in the lives of women. During a particularly difficult time in her life, Jean Bolen quite unexpectedly received a package in the mail from England. Inside was a beautiful gold pendant in the shape of an ancient archetypal image along with an invitation to make a pilgrimage to Chartres, Glastonbury, Iona and other sacred sites in Europe. It was sent by a total stranger, a woman who had come across one of the first copies of Goddesses in Everywoman, Bolen's ground-breaking work on women and archetypal myth. The synchronicity of the invitation was astonishing to Bolen, and she knew instinctively that she had been invited to embark on a quest that would change her life. So began the extraordinary pilgrimage that heralded Bolen's mid-life passage. Inspired by The Mists of Avalon, this tale of her European adventure is interwoven with penetrating psychological and spiritual insights as well as lore from Europe's sacred sites. While on her pilgrimage, Bolen reflects on the mystical experience that brought her into medicine, her awakening to the archetypal feminine through the experience of childbirth, the personal transformations that occurred after her divorce, the sources and significance of mid-life depression, and the importance of female friendship. This multilayered account journeys through and beyond the personal to reflect the mythological significance of the mid-life search for meaning and renewal.

About the Author:

Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, is a psychiatrist, a Jungian analyst, and an internationally known author and speaker. Her books include Goddesses in Everywoman, Gods in Everyman, and many others. She is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and was a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. She lives in Marin County, California.

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