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Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women

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Pioneer study of the need for an inner female authority in a masculine-oriented society. Interprets the journey into the underworld of Inanna-Ishtar, Goddess of Heaven and Earth, to see Ereshkigal, her dark sister. So must modern women descend into the depths of themselves. Rich in insights.


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Pioneer study of the need for an inner female authority in a masculine-oriented society. Interprets the journey into the underworld of Inanna-Ishtar, Goddess of Heaven and Earth, to see Ereshkigal, her dark sister. So must modern women descend into the depths of themselves. Rich in insights.

30 review for Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paige Ellen Stone

    This is one of the most important books written about the meaning of the Feminine and the importance of making the inner journey of descent in order to mature in individuate as a human being. Perera utilizes the myth of Innana/Ishtar's descent to visit her dark sister, Ereshkigal, to situate her discussion of the need for women (and I would hold, men) to be initiated into the Mystery of the Feminine, which in Jungian terms is the unconscious. There are many other such discussions, such as in the This is one of the most important books written about the meaning of the Feminine and the importance of making the inner journey of descent in order to mature in individuate as a human being. Perera utilizes the myth of Innana/Ishtar's descent to visit her dark sister, Ereshkigal, to situate her discussion of the need for women (and I would hold, men) to be initiated into the Mystery of the Feminine, which in Jungian terms is the unconscious. There are many other such discussions, such as in the works of Marie-Louise von Franz, Marion Woodman, June Singer, Esther Harding and Helen M. Luke and others, this volume is brief and very much to the point. Perera writes with a compact clarity of style and holds the reader fascinated in her discussion of one of the most necessary steps in one's Individuation process. It is in the deepest, darkest depths of our unconscious where we find the purest gold, the hidden treasure of the essence of whom we are meant to be. I recommend this book very highly, especially for those who are involved in women's studies, the study of the Feminine, or are in therapy themselves. It is not for self-help counseling, it is for serious students/explorers of the Soul.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    This book was my introduction to "The Descent of Inanna" -- and while I now would have a somewhat different perspective than Perera takes, it's still an excellent tool for opening up an ancient text for modern relevance. This book was my introduction to "The Descent of Inanna" -- and while I now would have a somewhat different perspective than Perera takes, it's still an excellent tool for opening up an ancient text for modern relevance.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lina

    Extremely thick text. No unnecessary word used; and those chosen to be written - every one of them carries the weight and falls in place. I would say this book is not for a random lay person to read. One has to have some experience or previous exposure to the Jungian analysis of the fairy tales or myths. Otherwise, most likely the reading will end up in disappointment as a result of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge to follow the concept.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    One of the classic Jungian texts, using the Sumerian myth of Inanna’s descent to the underworld to the dark goddess, Ereshkigal to talk about a woman’s rejection of patriarchy and initiation into the feminine. Complex and rich.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dearwassily

    Death and rebirth, duality of wholeness.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melati

    I found this book extremely insightful and relatable in terms of uncovering my femininity, esp in a world where I’m subconsciously acting in favour of the patriarchy. Def would recommend to people who are familiar with Jungian analysis/comfortable with mythology if they want to find this relatable

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cath Van

    What I like about the books in the series 'Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts' is also what I find makes them not an easy read. They are filled to the brim with the symbolic, with imagery, one has to read each word with care and then all over again to grasp the meaning. Being interested in Jungian Psychology also helps as it has a language of it's own. Descent to the Goddess is no exception to this rule. With the myth of the descent of the goddess Inanna to the underworld as vehic What I like about the books in the series 'Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts' is also what I find makes them not an easy read. They are filled to the brim with the symbolic, with imagery, one has to read each word with care and then all over again to grasp the meaning. Being interested in Jungian Psychology also helps as it has a language of it's own. Descent to the Goddess is no exception to this rule. With the myth of the descent of the goddess Inanna to the underworld as vehicle Sylvia Brinton Perera analyses woman's need for an inner female authority in a masculine oriented society. Having finished reading it doesn't mean I've finished with it I expect. There's more to come.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Interesting interpretation and deep analysis of Inanna's myth by a Jungian Analyst. I can't say I was particularly captivated by the author's interpretation of the Goddess descent in general, but she does raise some fascinating points in regards to a woman's journey into the underworld (unconscious) when she has lived under patriarchal values all her life, its relation to depression and anxiety, and how it can transform us from a psychological point of view. I also found the author's analogy bet Interesting interpretation and deep analysis of Inanna's myth by a Jungian Analyst. I can't say I was particularly captivated by the author's interpretation of the Goddess descent in general, but she does raise some fascinating points in regards to a woman's journey into the underworld (unconscious) when she has lived under patriarchal values all her life, its relation to depression and anxiety, and how it can transform us from a psychological point of view. I also found the author's analogy between certain aspects of the myth and the role of the psychotherapist extremely valuable for me as a therapist.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Faith Justice

    This book is an interesting artifact of the 1980's feminist period. I lived through that time as an activist, so I had a nostalgic response. The author leads women in repressed relationships with men to their own agency using the myth of Innana/Ishtar in a Jungian framework of analysis. It still works as a metaphor, but the psychological framework seems dated in light of the strides made in brain science and the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy. This book is not for the casual reade This book is an interesting artifact of the 1980's feminist period. I lived through that time as an activist, so I had a nostalgic response. The author leads women in repressed relationships with men to their own agency using the myth of Innana/Ishtar in a Jungian framework of analysis. It still works as a metaphor, but the psychological framework seems dated in light of the strides made in brain science and the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy. This book is not for the casual reader.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Anderson

    I got some new material out of it, but I felt like the writer was really hammering her points home in the final few chapters. The same myth is covered in the Heroine's Journey (In fact, I still want to go check to see if this was a resource for Murdock's chapter about descent). It felt very much like it was written for a Jungian psychotherapist by a Jungian psychotherapist, and not for a layperson. I got some new material out of it, but I felt like the writer was really hammering her points home in the final few chapters. The same myth is covered in the Heroine's Journey (In fact, I still want to go check to see if this was a resource for Murdock's chapter about descent). It felt very much like it was written for a Jungian psychotherapist by a Jungian psychotherapist, and not for a layperson.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katja

    This was horrible. It is indeed a Jungian book, not only by Jungian Analysts, but I suspect mostly FOR Jungian analysts. It is in no way useful for a layman with even an enthusiastic interest in archetypes. And I cannot for the life of me find the way of initiation in there. At least not on any practical, concrete level. No steps to take etc. It's "just" an indepth analysis of a myth. This was horrible. It is indeed a Jungian book, not only by Jungian Analysts, but I suspect mostly FOR Jungian analysts. It is in no way useful for a layman with even an enthusiastic interest in archetypes. And I cannot for the life of me find the way of initiation in there. At least not on any practical, concrete level. No steps to take etc. It's "just" an indepth analysis of a myth.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    The myth is interesting. The rest of the book is not worth the read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Yania Padilla

    breaking down many notions I had of femininity and darkness

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jaina Bee

    Gets to the bottom of Ianna's descent mythology (!) and how that applies to contemporary human psychology. Gets to the bottom of Ianna's descent mythology (!) and how that applies to contemporary human psychology.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Tom

    I wanted something terrible, Kali-like. This book was too hopeful for me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erica Rhinehart

    Mythic reflections of the deep feminine psyche...a must read for women who have been called by their inner-wilderness to explore the forgotten essence of their dark feminine power.

  17. 4 out of 5

    K

    Esoteric and earthy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Read this years ago, and came across it today as I was weeding (!!!) my bookshelves.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Claudine

    Non-pathologizing take on women's identity development and the pain therein. Non-pathologizing take on women's identity development and the pain therein.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rjyan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Wini

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel A.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Judith Chimowitz

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steve Morrison

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bess

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jen Novis

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alisa Alig

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marek

  29. 5 out of 5

    Poutchouli

  30. 4 out of 5

    Renee the Bookworm

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