Empowering the Goddesses
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Jean Shinoda Bolen – Empowering the Goddesses Within You (After 50)
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What You’ll Discover in These 7 Modules
In this 7-part transformational journey, Jean will guide you through the feminine archetypal forces, insights and patterns you’ll need to discover and embrace to successfully embody the powerful new energies and layers of wisdom that come into the psyche on the other side of 50.
Each contemplation and exploration session will build harmoniously upon the next, so that you’ll develop a complete, holistic understanding of the practices and insights you’ll need to arouse these archetypal energies and deepen your soul’s journey.
Module 1: Menopause as a Powerful Initiation & Time for Authentic Expression
Menopause is an involuntary initiation into uncharted territory, a threshold crossing into the third phase of life that comes all too swiftly. Many women reaching 50 don’t realize the significance of this phase — one in which you may become more true to yourself than ever before. It can be a time of personal wholeness and integration — when what you do is an expression of who you deeply are.
These can be the years when you may become more visible than ever before, or you may finally have time to develop your inner life, or your expressive self — through the interests and talents you previously had no time for.
The other side of 50 is when the archetype of the Greek Goddess Hecate immerges in a new way — not only as the Goddess of the Crossroads to help you through these transformative times, but also as the Goddess of the waning crescent moon, the Goddess whose time was twilight and whose potent energies arouse the wisewoman, midwife, healer, witness and witch within.
In this module, you’ll discover how to:
Embrace your menopausal and postmenopausal years as your most potent, authentic and expressive
Arouse the archetypal energies of Hecate, Goddess of Intuitive and Psychic Wisdom, within you to more fully awaken the intuitive wisdom that comes with maturing
Open to this third initiation of the “blood mysteries” of the Great Goddess, a time when the bleeding and birthing of earlier years is replaced by a gestation of wisdom for use in soulful expression
Become a “green and juicy crone,” a woman ripe with possibilities only available during the third act of life
Module 2: Discover the 4 Goddesses of Wisdom That Emerge in Your Later Years
In the world’s mythologies and the collective unconscious, which mirror each other, wisdom is female — a woman, crone, goddess and feminine archetype. She is minimally personified in Metis, Goddess of Practical and Intellectual Wisdom, Zeus’ first wife and a Titan. In the Greek bible, she was Sophia, who was with God on the first day of creation. In Greek mythology, she was Hestia, the first-born Olympian who has no persona and is represented in the sacred fire of the hearth in home or temple. In Greek mythology, Athena the daughter of Metis, was called the Goddess of Wisdom — her wisdom that of the strategist.
In this module, you’ll discover how to:
Arouse the wisdom of Metis, Goddess of Practical and Intellectual Wisdom, to aid you in the mastery of a practice or skill
Expand your Athena wisdom — that of the strategist — by opening to Metis’ wiser counsel, which applies to the experiential and tangible world
Tap into your soul knowledge, what you know through “gnosis,” by opening to the potent energies of Sophia, Goddess of Mystical and Spiritual Wisdom and archetype of spiritual leadership
Know the presence of Hestia, Goddess of Meditative Wisdom, as an energy that can ground you and inspire comfort in solitude and reflection
Feel into the power of Hecate, Goddess of Intuitive and Psychic Wisdom, as inner midwife aiding you in letting go of what no longer serves you and birthing new aspects of yourself
Module 3: The Goddesses of Transformative Wrath & the Enough Is Enough Archetype
Outrage is good, healthy anger directed at changing an unacceptable situation. It transforms despair into activism. When anger is expressed in this way in your third phase of life, it can replace the depression and anxiety suffered in earlier phases — from stuffing it, turning it inward or being afraid to express it.
Anger as outrage may also arise in you even if you weren’t depressed or oppressed in the past, as through older, wiser eyes, you see beyond your personal situation to become aware of injustice, stupidity, narcissism and cruelty and are moved to activism.
On the other side of 50, when the Goddesses of Transformative Wrath, Kali and Sekhmet, are aroused and the fiery passion of their anger is tempered with the wisdom and compassion of the other Goddesses within, its energy is delivered with a sense of proportion. And, instead of being impulsive and one-sided, angry energies are transformed into the right action of a skilled leader, an effective activist.
In this module, you’ll discover:
How the energies of Sekhmet, an ancient Egyptian Lioness-headed Goddess, can help you to bring a situation into divine order, while also providing strength and the ability to effectively “spring upon evildoers”
The stories of the Goddesses of Transformative Wrath, and how their powers must be handled skillfully so as not to be “taken over” as they were in the ancient myths from which they originated
Why women become “radical” as they get older and men less so
How Sekhmet became intoxicated with bloodlust and came back to herself through an intervention, and how this scenario is played out today in modern women
How Kali, the Hindu Destroyer Goddess, got her title and what she can teach you
Module 4: The Goddesses of Compassion & Mercy (Not Co-dependency) Kuan Yin, the Virgin Mary & Lady Liberty
Compassion is an empathic sympathy for the distress of others, coupled with the desire to alleviate suffering. It develops, like wisdom, through life experiences — through our maternal and caregiver roles, sharing confidences with women friends, and hearing men reveal themselves to us. As we’ve matured, we’ve learned a lot about the vulnerabilities and suffering of others. And, if we’re thoughtful and responsive, our compassion will deepen.
We’ll explore the Goddesses of Compassion that stir within at this stage in your life, to help you temper your compassionate side, so it’s aligned with healthy caring and true altruism and not tilting into the realm of co-dependency.
In this module, you’ll explore:
A woman’s innate tendency to react to stress with “tend and befriend” rather than “flight or fight,” how this leads to caring about others, and how this compassion grows in the “third act” of life
How the Goddesses of Compassion, Kuan Yin, the Virgin Mary and Lady Liberty, can help you “grow” a healthy compassionate side — one that will serve you and others through healthy caring and healing forgiveness
How to spot the shadow side of the Compassion Goddesses, also known as the vulnerable goddess archetypes, to redirect their energies that can lead to codependent relationships
Module 5: The Goddesses of Healing Laughter & Mirth
Baubo & Uzume
The woman with a contagious laugh lives in her body and delights in movement and dance — until patriarchal judgment or hostile humor closes off this expression. Older women who are comfortable being themselves, laugh a lot together. Humor helps us traverse difficult times, and when our bodies change, humor brings an earthy spontaneity to our lives.
Healing laughter is a relief from tension and is an expression of joy and hilarity. Bawdy humor is juicy humor and sexual commentary about human nature, appetites and foibles.
You’ll discover Bawdy Baubo, a little-known pre-Greek Goddess who had a minor role in the myth of Demeter and Persephone, and Uzume, the Japanese Goddess of Mirth and Dance, a major figure in a parallel myth. Jean refers to them as the goddess archetypes of Healing Laughter, as through their stories you’ll have the opportunity to awaken to a lightness of being you may not have enjoyed for years. Yet, you’ll also discover a new zest and vitality — one that may inspire you to dance a dance fueled by sexual energy and joyful abandon.
In this module, you’ll discover:
That sensuality and sexuality are expressions of your juiciness at any age
There is self-acceptance in your ability to laugh with your friends about menstruation, sexuality, pregnancy and menopause
There is healing in sharing a wry sort of humor, compounded of irony, compassion and truth among women, evoking tears of laughter and sometimes, tears of grief
The meaning of the ana-suromai gesture of lifting one’s skirt, which seems so instinctual that little girls have to be trained out of doing it
There is a world of difference between humor that is disguised hostility, and the healing humor of Baub
Module 6: She Is a Circle
A Circle of Wisewomen is an archetype in itself. Each circle helps us remember a time when women elders were looked to for wisdom and authority. The circle has both a sacred dimension and embodies the collective wisdom of its members. It’s the archetype that has the potential to channel women’s wisdom into the culture. And, when older women meet together in a Wisewomen Circle, they are reenacting what was lost when indigenous and goddess-worshipping cultures were conquered — yet each is a new creation with unique possibilities.
In this module, you’ll discover:
The power — and comfort — in creating a women’s circle, whether it be comprised of grandmothers, activists, artists, corporate women or cancer survivors
How women’s circles have served their participants and the world from the Circle of Grandmothers of the Seneca Nations to global women’s movements, such as the Millionth Circle
How to form a women’s circle where honesty, trust, healing laughter and compassion create a sanctuary for authenticity as well as a spiritual homebase
How to create a circle with a spiritual center in which silent prayer and meditation allows the sacred feminine to enter
Module 7: The Crone Phase
Act 3 of a Woman’s Life
The third phase of our lives holds the promise and possibility of coming into our wisdom and seeing the purpose and meaning of our lives. For some women, the fifth and sixth decades are a culmination of achievements, a time when position and influence are at their height. Paradoxically, just as a woman’s competitiveness and striving for excellence, success and achievement bear fruit or are within sight, the Crone Archetypes begin to stir.
The Crone Archetypes also stir in women whose achievement is reflected in her adult children and in her grandchildren raising questions about their importance and how important her own life is to her. This is when the waning moon moves toward the dark of the moon, when the closeness of death, and what may lie on “the other side” come into conscious thought.
In this module, you’ll:
Explore the Crone Archetypes awakening within, asking you to examine your life and reflect upon how you’re spending your time, assets and energy
Tap into your inner compass, which gauges when you’re in harmony with yourself and if who you are and what you do is coherent and consistent with your values
Address the question: “What shall I do with the good years I have left?”
Tap into Hecate’s twilight consciousness to open to the mystery and mysticism the last stage of life presents and find comfort in being open to whatever will happen next…
Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst and an internationally known author and speaker. She is the author of thirteen influential books including The Tao of Psychology, Goddesses in Everywoman and Urgent Message from Mother, with over eighty foreign translations. She is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco, a past board member of the Ms. Foundation for Women and the International Transpersonal Association. She was a recipient of the Institute for Health and Healing’s “Pioneers in Art, Science, and the Soul of Healing Award,” and the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology’s Demeter Award for her lifetime achievement in women’s spirituality. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She was in two acclaimed documentaries, the Academy-Award winning anti-nuclear proliferation film Women — For America, For the World, and the Canadian Film Board’s Goddess Remembered. The Millionth Circle Initiative was inspired by her book and led to her involvement at the UN. She is an advocate for a UN 5th World Conference on Women, which was supported by the Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly in 2012.
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