Woodman: I have a crush on Mary Hamilton

Woodman: I have a crush on Mary Hamilton

I'm almost halfway through Marion Woodman's Leaving My Father's HouseLeaving My Father's Houseand while I began it almost two months ago, I re-started it with my trusty pencil to make sure I didn't miss anything. My practice is to highlight with underlining, stars, and brackets anything that catches my eye. Every so often I will make little notes in the margins if something 'tweaks' me.

It is such a change for me, I used to read books and be proud that when I had finished it was impossible to tell I had even opened it. Jim Rohn finally helped me get over that. In one of his lectures he mentioned that one of the greatest gifts we will leave behind is our library, well-read, well-noted and underlined. It occurred to me that I was depriving not just myself, but any who follow of the opportunity to know what inspired me while I was reading. As I have learned to respect myself, I have gotten over the need to be invisible.

Woodman uses the fairy tale Allerleirauh to unite three stories of women exploring their own relationship to themselves and to patriarchy. Allerleirauh is a princess whose father, the King, decides he will marry her. She flees to the forest and ends up in the castle of another King. Through months of 'kitchen-work' she comes into her own power, both masculine and feminine, and emerges to claim her place at this King's side. The tale takes about 4 pages to tell but the symbolism and archetypal riches take much longer to explore.

The first memoir, The Golden Dress, was written by Kate Danson and explores her changing relationship with her inner and outer world as she comes to terms with the sexual abuse she experienced as a young girl. Using Jungian dream analysis she journals her way through her awakening. It is very powerful.

Next is The Silver Dress, Mary Hamilton's memoir. As you may know, I am competing in the Next Top Spiritual Author competition (plug! plug! Please vote for me! Ask your friends to vote for me!) and my book is called Sacred Physicality. Well! When I began to read Mary's chapter, almost every line ended up with a bracket, star or underline – or a combination of the three! – for what she described was Sacred Physicality to a tee!

Through 'active imagination' and a strong meditation practice, as well as dream analysis, she brought herself through the intense grief over the loss of her unborn son, and overcame a lifetime of conditioning that caused her to see her body as something to be 'used' instead of cherished. I am so excited that I get to meet her next week at the course I am taking.

I tell you, if she had been anywhere near me this morning while I was reading she would definitely have received a big ol' hug. Her writing is chaotic and passionate and has moved me deeply.

I am loving this book. Hopefully I'll finish it today and move on to the other books I'm supposed to have read before Monday.

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