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Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women Paperback – April, 1981

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Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women + Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Descent To The Goddess is a highly original and provocative book about women's freedom and the need for an inner, female authority in a masculine-oriented society. Combining ancient texts and modern dreams, Sylvia Perera presents a way of feminine initiation. As Inanna-Ishtar (Sumerian Goddess of Heaven and Earth) journeys into the underworld to Ershkigal, her dark "sister". and returns. So modern women must descend from their old role-determined behavior into the depths of their instinct and image patterns. to find anew the Great Goddess and restore her values to modern culture. Male readers will also be interested in Descent To The Goddess, both for its revelations of women's essential nature and for its implications in terms of their own inner journey. Descent To The Goddess is a highly recommended addition to Goddess Worship reference collections, metaphysical studies reading lists, and an impressive contribution to feminine psychology reading lists. -- Midwest Book Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Inner City Books; First edition (April 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0919123058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0919123052
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Fenn on September 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
As an astrologer, Jungian and VisionCoach, I often recommend this book to my clients as a healing journey. It is probably necessary to have a little Jungian and mythological background to enjoy this particular approach to the universal truth of the female. The style is elevated and uses language familiar to Jungian analysts.
You cannot imagine what you will find in this book, though -- it is so different from Women's Lib and and the generalized Greek and Roman myths, for example.
Perera discusses the bi-polar nature of women and mythically describes their arrival to Power and The Deep Feminine.
If you are serious about your path of development on the female side, I can't think of a more worthwhile book.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Nadiya Shah on December 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you choose any book on Inanna, or even on the Goddess- and there are many- this is the one to get. Absolutely one of the best books I have ever read on the Goddess Inanna. Truly inspiring. What is truly great about this book is the way the author weaves the of Inanna's descent in a way that makes the relevance to women's lives and psyche's today clear and poetic. the author carefully and skillfully describes how aspects of the goddess Inanna have been relegated to the Shadow "other" and how reclaiming her lessons women can intergrate and reclaim themselves. But this book goes beyond simple Jungian analysis. Perera carefully describes Inanna's descent and interprets it's beauty and wisdom. I have read many books on Inanna and the Sumerian pantheon. This book remains one of my favorites. I can't rave about this book enough. highly recomended for the astrologer wishing to learn more about the roots of Venus, Sumerian buff, Inanna fan, or current explorer of earth based/ goddess based faiths. this book has been the foundation to which I have chosen to explore and learn about Jungian theories. A totally unique interpretation. For any woman on an exploration into herself.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Rhonda M. Griffin on October 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a therapist (16 yrs), I have been using the material in this book for reframing the experience of depression for my clients. The clients I have introduced this book to are now reframing their illness as an intiation into a greater understanding of their relation to self/soul. While at times dry for most laypeople, It has become a reference book for my practice.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By D. Griffith on September 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm glad I am familiar with the myth of Inanna and Dumuzi otherwise I would have been completely lost. This book was a facinating journey into the psychology found within the Descent of Inanna. I found it hard to put down. For a small book, it is packed with profound images of the misunderstood dark feminine.

It's language is sometimes hard to follow because of the long sentences containing words commmon only to psychologists.

The book itself gives one pause to think, but it is best used as a therapy tool in the hands of a qualified and trusted therapist.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Karen Buckley on August 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I miscarried my first child - half way through the pregnancy - I cried my eyes out for days. No one talked about miscarriages and anyone who did made them into "nothing". Well, it felt like the death of a beloved and threw me into a profound inner process of change.
As a professional woman full of "go get it drive" I did not have models or manuals for what to do when I felt this way. Deeper and deeper I spiraled into myself. Feeling lost and yet exhilarated it made no sense to my logical mind.
A dear friend put this book in my hands and urged me to retreat into the cozy cave of my bed for a couple of hours. As soon as I started reading I found that the journey of Inanna mirrored my own journey. I too shed layers of my old self at the "gates" of descent. I too felt like I was "hanging on a hook and rotting" - at least my old identity certainly felt squeamish, uncomfortable and profoundly challenged.
After I learned to love my journey I found the path back up and out into a new life informed by feminine wisdom and fueled by the fire in my belly from having descended and risen into a new life.
I recommend this book to my consulting and coaching clients who are in the midst of BIG changes on a regular basis so that they too can make sense of their Heroine's Journey. Out of this came my work on change - the stages of the transitions I see follow this kind of inward journey for profound results. You can learn more on my website at [...].
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Robert McDowell on March 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
It is rumored that this is the first book that Anne Darrow gave her lover, King Kong, because he didn't know what to make of her constant screaming.

Any man who believes, or thinks he believes, that he exists to serve and honor women should read this book. The descent into darkness is terrifying, painful, utter death. But the journey is necessary before a new dynamic can be achieved, one in which women and men are powerfully connected as equals. Ms. Perera, thank you!

--Robert McDowell, author of the forthcoming Poetry In Spiritual Practice
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By G. Arnold-Pinchin on February 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
The first time I read this story it took me on the journey itself. It took a week to read this slim book. Highly recommended to anyone seeking to integrate the feminine component in life, especialy for a man exploring his anima.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 1997
Format: Paperback
"Descent to the Goddess" gives both men and women a new perspective on the meaning of duality in gender and psychology. An excellent text for those who have been in therapy or have used "self-help" books, but feel the need to "go further." As an academic source, this book and its author equal the works of such authors as Foucault, Bakhtin, Durkheim and Victor Turner. "Descent to the Goddess" is a vital resource for psychologists, regardless of theoretical background or technique
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