This book was reviewed for the San Francisco Book Review
Stover’s Book of SHE was an amazing journey of self-discovery. I had not intended to get as drawn into it as I did. I felt compelled to stop and carry out the appropriate tasks, which slowed my reading.
Stover details an alchemic working focusing on the heroine’s journey, which is rather different than the hero’s journey made popular by Joseph Campbell. The heroine’s journey is just as prevalent in myth, legend, and modern culture, though it oft tends to be overlooked. It is a subtle journey spiraling within. Stover pays homage to both Campbell, and his hero’s journey, as well as Maureen Murdock’s heroine’s journey, as laid out in The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness. Oh, and let’s not forget Carl Jung and archetypes, which play such a vital role in either journey.
This book will teach you to embrace your divine female energies, which men and women both have, and to learn acceptance for the cyclical things in your life. These lessons were especially important to me. My natural feminine cycles and I do not get along. I am working on correcting that now, and already I can sense greater creativity in my life. I found the meditations useful, though mine went in quite unexpected directions.
Other tasks prompt you to work with inner archetypes, such as the Inner Critic, Wounded Child, Patriarch, and others. All are Shadow reflections that hold valuable lessons. They developed as they did to protect you. It is your job to meet them, thank them, and work together to find better life strategies from there on out. It is long work that requires dedication, but the payoff at the end is wonderful. My own archetype work, within the context of the exercises in this book, manifested in wildly different ways than I expected.
The Book of SHE is a must read for any, be they female or male, to get in touch with the anima and feminine energies that we all hold within. If you follow the exercises and tasks laid out in the book, you will find yourself growing and blossoming in unexpected ways, as you release and waken energies long dormant.