“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