The Seven Sacred Rites of Menopause by Kristi Meisenbach Boylan

“Do not judge a book by its cover,” it is said. This

would have been good advice for me. From the cover, I

had expected this to be a book of croning rituals. But

it really wasn’t.

So what was it? The author identified seven stages

of transition that a woman goes through as part of the

menopausal process, and suggests ways for women to

move most easily through those transitions. She

doesn’t create formal rituals for these milestones,

but she draws parallels to various scenes in Marion

Zimmer Bradley’s “Mists of Avalon” to illustrate the

menopausal transitions with them.

For instance, the first rite of menopause is

“summoning the barge.” Our biological clocks indicate

that the time has come, and our inner timekeepers

summon the vessel to take us to the next step. She

sees this stage as a deliberate act by the life force,

not a haphazard occurence. While women may be

surprised by the appearance of the barge, the author

believes most women welcome it. The vessel takes them

from an outward life self-denial, career, family, and

self-discipline into a life that is more focused

inward. Their souls called for the barge, needing the

emotional and spiritual nourishment of developing

their own selves.

There are no scripted rituals for each rite. What

the author points out are the things that will come up

for each woman at that stage in the journey, and makes

suggestions as to how to handle or approach each one.

The last rite of the seven, the crowning of the crone,

does have a suggested ritual to be done with a

community of adults and children. It’s not scripted,

but it has a clear outline to follow if you were to

write one for yourself or someone else.

The appendix has a good glossary of hormones and

remedies, and affirmations for each of the seven rites

of menopause. I appreciated the affirmation section of

the glossary, as I do think they are very powerful

tools for personal transformation, and I think the

author did a nice job in creating these particular


In summary, this book was a short but valuable

addition to a woman’s library on menopausal resources.

I have not yet gone through menopause, but I am sure

that when I summon my barge, I will give this book

another reading.

Leave a Reply