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From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s…

From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend

by Valerie Estelle Frankel

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413405,891 (3.93)6



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This book is an excellent read for anyone interested in mythology and fairytales. Not only does this book focus on stories of the heroine, it focuses on the heroine from a wide variety of cultures across the globe. Each story is first told in its entirety and then examined. Instead of being organized by country, the stories are separated into the types of journeys the hero, or in this case heroine, takes. There is also a section on archetypes, giving stories that exemplify the different types of female archetypes in fairytales. This book is perfect for anyone looking for a new view on fairytales. ( )
  lewisbookreviews | Apr 28, 2013 |
This was a fascinating book. The author uses Joseph Cambell, Jungian psychology, and other sources to dissect folklore, fairytales, and myths about heroines. She reveals to the reader the hidden truths about life in each story. The beginning of each chapter is a story that relates to the theme she is discussing. Frankel gives the title of the story and the country it originated in. As she discusses the theme, she brings in similar stories from other cultures. It is amazing how the same tale is told by different peoples thoughout the world. This is where Jung's idea of archetypes comes to play. We are all human beings with universal thoughts and emotions that appear in the stories we tell.

The book is divided into the three phases of a womans life; maiden, mother and crone. The maiden stories are about the journey from adolescence to adulthood. Some of these are the standard tales we hear as a child; Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. In these tales the girl is fearful of what she will soon become, a wife and mother. She is tormented by an evil stepmother or witch and either sleeps through adolescence and wakens to a husband or goes through a trial to prove she is worthy of marriage. Maiden stories also include tales about women coming to terms with the shadow self or the darker more sexual side of there personality. These stories usually involve trips to the underworld where sacrifices are made and something is gained. Other maiden fables envolve finding the animus or male side of the personality that will complete them. The next stories are about motherhood. The author shows that mother's can be very different. Some are loving and sad when there child leaves as in the story of Demeter and Persephone. Other mothers can be jealous of the new woman in there son's life as shown in the tale of Cupid and Psyche. Some mothers can be vengeful as in the myth of Jason and Medea. The last stories are about the end years in the woman's life. In the crone stage the woman becomes the wise-woman and eventually initiates the cycle of death and rebirth.

In this review I have just scratched the surface of the knowledge that is conveyed by the author. Once you have read this book you will look at novels and movies in a whole different way. Eventhough this a book about the heroine's journey, some of the themes relate to the hero's journey as well. The most interesting themes are that of facing your shadow self and finding your animus or anima I read this book because of my interest in myths and fables. I recommend it to feminists and those interested in psychology, as well as readers who enjoy a good story. ( )
  craso | Aug 5, 2012 |
Who knew those familiar fairy tales we all grew up with as children could be so relevant, enlightening teens and adults to the workings of our modern world? Laced with familiar and not so familiar ancient myths and tales with variations on the same themes, Ms. Frankel's book. "From Girl to Goddess" explores the meanings behind the stories and the lessons they hold that still ring true today concerning relationships, abuse, greed, life cycles, life styles, the powerful and powerless and much more.

Valerie knows her subject, having carefully researched how these myths and stories embedded in every culture, explain both our natural world order and manmade laws. "From Girl to Goddess" includes a wide collection of myths and stories belonging to tiny villages, ancient religions and modern countries throughout the world. These tales have been handed down by elders to successive younger generations over many centuries to explain natural events such as the seasons, birth and death or leaving ones home of origin and the familiar to seek the truth.

Many of these quests come full circle as the seeker finds answers within themselves as they explore an assortment of attributes such as patience, real love, commitment, strength, trust, intelligence, faith and often, out of the box thinking, to solve problems often not of their own making. In a gentle way, this descriptive text helps the reader face their own weaknesses, building self esteem while becoming less helpless in dealing with their own problems, from reading how heroes, victims, seekers of truth, etc. become their own wise mentors and journey from child to adult or girl to goddess. Valerie Estelle Frankel's newest book, "From Girl to Goddess" is a must on every feminist reading list and library bookshelf, and for men who want to better understand the women in their lives. ( )
1 vote DonnaKanter | Feb 17, 2011 |
Showing 3 of 3
Ever since I used Christopher Vogler's The Hero's Journey to plot my first novel, I have wanted this book. I sensed that my heroine's journey didn't quite fit the outline, and now Valerie Frankel shows why. In the Introduction, Ms. Frankel says, "The heroine's true role is to be neither hero nor his prize." Rather than conquering through war and battle, the heroine wins through patience, fortitude, and wit. Her goal is not to rescue the princess but--of interest to Romance writers--to re(gain) family.
added by valeriefrankel | editMonterey Bay RWA News, Christie Maurer
The questing heroine, whether a Samoan mermaid or Mayan moon goddess, seeks enlightenment and strength through a quest of ordeals leading to symbolic death. Rather than a sword, she wields magic slippers, a mirror, a chalice. Only after she has defeated her dark side, the wicked witch, can the young woman grow into a bestower of wisdom, the protecting queen and arch-crone, in this universal journey.
added by valeriefrankel | editBeacon News
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To my mom, who sews clothes, crochets baby blankets, grows corn and persimmons, makes soap, cures olives, cans jam, teaches dance, leads international tours, writes gossip columns, records our family lore, collects songs of the old country, tells stories, sings lullabies, listens to the spirit world.  And to all the other wonderful women who do likewise.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786448318, Paperback)

Many are familiar with Joseph Campbell's theory of the hero's journey, the idea that every man from Moses to Hercules grows to adulthood while battling his alter-ego. This book explores the universal heroine's journey as she quests through world myth. Numerous stories from cultures as varied as Chile and Vietnam reveal heroines who battle for safety and identity, thereby upsetting popular notions of the passive, gentle heroine. Only after she has defeated her dark side and reintegrated can the heroine become the bestower of wisdom, the protecting queen and arch-crone.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:16 -0400)

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An edition of this book was published by McFarland.

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