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Extra resources for Women's rites of passage. A menopause initiation ritual based on the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone: Quantification of self-actualization and self-esteem attributes (PhD Institute of Transpersonal Psychology Palo Alto, Galifornia)

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In contrast, ritual offers its participants momentary senses of these advanced trance states through overstimulation of the left side of the brain, and the individual may enter these states even though she or he may not have practiced meditation at all (d 1 Aquili, 1986). , (1979) explained that overstimulating the left side of the brain can be accomplished through the process of ritual. Lex (cited in d'Aquili, 1975, p. 144) concluded, "Rituals . • promote a feeling of well-being and relief • • .

Dur"! 9' this time Demeter, carrying two lit torches, refused food or drink. On the lOth day she met Hekate who took Demeter to the sun god, Helios, who then revealed the location of Persephone. Demeter, angry and grieving, left the home of the gods and returned to earth at Eleusias. There she sat in mourning Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. 29 dressed in the disguise of an old woman by the Well of the Virgin. The daughters of Metaneira came to the well for water.

18 there was a sense of communion with unifying, empowering images and ~ols was stripped. as in a menopause ritual, the personality Consequently, new information entered cognitively and resulted in affective states of union with the other participants and/or a higher power. Opposites such as death/birth, victim/perpetrator, love/hate, powerI helplessness, goddess/woman, and collective destiny/ individual destiny reconciled themselves. Depending on the manipulation of the symbols and myth used in the ritual, the resulting attitude change could be negative or positive.

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