In this updated edition, I have included information about the importance and power of initiations. While the focus of the book is on childbirth (the one initiation we can choose whether to participate in), it is just one of seven key steps we take on the path toward personal growth. Men have their own essential initiation processes, of course, but because this book highlights the uniquely female endeavor of giving birth, I have spoken only to the initiations of girls and women.
It is through the discussion of the seven initiations of birth, puberty, menses, first sexual encounter, childbirth, menopause, and death that I hope to shed light on the life-altering effects that initiatory experiences can have on us. Like rungs on a ladder, each initiation can serve as a sturdy step upon which we feel supported as we climb upward toward greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.
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