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Comment: Hardcover with dust jacket in very good cond. Slight edge wear to dust dust jacket. All pages intact. Strong binding. No pages have been folded or creased.
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Life's Daughter/Death's Bride Hardcover – September 8, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (September 8, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087773903X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877739036
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,729,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kathie Carlson is a writer and a psychotherapist in private practice in Connecticut. A teacher of feminine psychology in the ancient religion of the Goddess, she has led various workshops on women's issues and spiritual quest. Carlson brings to all of her work an extensive background in Jungian psychology as well as a particular interest in the feminine Self. She is the author of In Her Image: The Unhealed Daughter's Search for Her Mother.

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Customer Reviews

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Powell Colbert on March 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The myth of Demeter and Persephone is one of the most profound and important myths to all of us today who have an interest in Jungian psychology or the appearance of myths in contemporary lives. Not only it is one of the few surviving myths that celebrate the bonds between mother and daughter (instead of those between mother and son or father and son), it is also the sacred story that gives us hope for life after death, as it did for our ancestors who celebrated the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Kathie Carlson's book "Life's Daughter/Death's Bride" is a rich and complex work that deserves more than one careful reading. In the first chapter, she examines ways to approach the myth, most specifically the 'patriarchal accent' and the 'matriarchal accent'. I love the chart that lists the contrasts in these interpretations. For example, in the matriarchal view, Demeter is 'positive, benevolent, preserving, and reclaiming, becomes negative only when violated." In the patriarchal view, she is "negative, binding, possessive, overreacting, opposes the usurping Masculine." Which "accent" feels right to you?
Carlson places her own interpretation clearly in the feminist camp, but is very aware of the evidence for other views and presents those as well. I have not found such a detailed retelling of the Demeter/Persephone/Hades story in any other source. She includes every variation on the myth, including rich material on my own favortie, though minor, characters of Baubo, Triptolemus and Brimos the Divine Child. (I also love the obscure Greek folktale of Saint Demetra!). Until I read this book, I was unaware of the role of Triptolemus, the young man to whom Demeter gives the gift of teaching the people both the arts of agriculture and her Mysteries.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Boyer Sagert on December 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Kathie Carlson offers up a passionate plea for women to reconnect with and be revitalized by the power of the transpersonal Feminine; and, she uses the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone to demonstrate just how this might be done.
Carlson spends the first two chapters analyzing and interpreting the fullness of the myth in which Persephone, daughter of the grain goddess Demeter, is snatched away to the underworld by Hades, the Lord of Death. She suggests that we discard any notions of Greek gods and goddesses as one-dimensional and quarrelsome creatures. Instead, she invites us to enter the mindset of ancient Greeks, that of a fluid, paradoxical and cyclical bent. "Pagan spirituality, as we know it in the present and can reconstruct from the past," she writes, "was centered in a profound relationship with Nature . . . Nature was seen as infused with Spirit; Spirit was found in and through Nature rathern than being outside and above it."
Women, according to Carlson, respond and react to the powerful connection in the myth between mother and daughter, and Demeter's unadulterated rage over the treatment of Kore/Persephone resonates. "We all want someone to protect us with that passion," Carlson says. "Demeter is unambivalently on the side of her daughter, and she isn't a mother who would blame the victim or would put a man ahead of the child."
In Chapter 7, entitled Relational Dynamics, Carlson points how modern women must learn the myth backwards. In other words, coming from a patriarchal society, we must imagine a world where the feminine aspect is powerful and valued in a central way. "Even those of us with good mothers," Carlson says, "might resist being powerful.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By ARIEL R. ONEIL on January 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In "Life's Daughter, Death's Bride" the Myth of Persephone and Demeter is beautifully explained and applied to current life-situations. The depth of the myth's profound message about the nature of Mother/daughter relationships is clearly, concisely and thoughtfully interpreted in both Jungian and general terms. It is not necesssary to be trained in psychology to find this book both timely and useful in everyday life.
The book speaks from the feminine point of view, and offers an affirmation of women's worth and integration in the 'web of life'. It is not wordy or trite, but is beautifully phrased and inspiring. The complicated structure of the myth is carefully deconstructed, so that the intrinsic value of the age-old story is laid out for all to see. I found myself internalizing many of Ms.Carlson's concepts, and have only one very mild criticism: It might have been interesting to have had Ms. Carslon's comparison of the Classic Greek myth (which she used in this book) to the Persephone that Charlene Spretnak describes in "Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths" (Beacon Press, Boston. 1998). Ms. Spretnak's investigation and uncovering of the Myth BEFORE Homer, Hesiod and Herotodus re-wrote it, indicates a previous version of the myth that describes a very different motivation for Persephone's actions while in Hades and a NON-RAPE version of how she got there. The two books, in-concert, provide a balanced and homogenous telling of an archetypal cycle. To get a clear picture of this potent and profound myth, I recommend reading both of these books. You will never regret the time spent in doing so.
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