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Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 6)
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Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women

(Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts #6)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  312 ratings  ·  18 reviews
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.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published January 1st 1989 by Inner City Books (first published 1983)
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Paige Ellen Stone
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Feb 11, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Death and rebirth, duality of wholeness.
Cath Van
Mar 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
May 31, 2013 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Faith Justice
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: research
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 ...more
Alicia K.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Letto in lingua originale.
Questo libro presenta linguaggi differenti e prospettive che si interconnettono con la psicologia Junghiana e con un approccio che richiede alla lettrice o al lettore di considerare una discesa nel passato, una discesa dolorsa nel passato, ma capace di liberare da catene mentali.
Dec 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
The myth is interesting. The rest of the book is not worth the read.
Yania Padilla
breaking down many notions I had of femininity and darkness
Jaina Bee
Sep 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jaina Bee by: Christine
Gets to the bottom of Ianna's descent mythology (!) and how that applies to contemporary human psychology.
Erica Rhinehart
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to K by: Dr. Wick re: women's journeys into darkness, feminine cycles of wholeness
Shelves: 1read_chunks_of
Esoteric and earthy.
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Read this years ago, and came across it today as I was weeding (!!!) my bookshelves.
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Non-pathologizing take on women's identity development and the pain therein.
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Sylvia Brinton Perera, M.A., is a Jungian analyst who lives, practices, teaches, and writes in New York and Vermont and lectures worldwide. Originally trained as an art historian, she earned her M.A. in psychology and graduated from the Jung Institute of New York. Her publications include Descent to the Goddess; The Scapegoat Complex; Dreams, A Portal to the Source (with E. Christopher Whitmont); ...more

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Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts (1 - 10 of 132 books)
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