In the words of Marion Woodman, we are "Crowned" twice in this lifetime. Much is written about the promise of the first crowning, at birth. But what of the second crowning, which comes only after a lifetime of experience? This is the "crown of age," she says, a symbol for the culmination of our inner and outer development as human beings. On The Crown of Age, Woodman examines what it means to pass through life's many "crossroads and thresholds," emerging as an elder, the embodiment of wisdom, wholeness, and truth. Mining the riches of her own life, including a battle with cancer that nearly ended it, Woodman illustrates the paradox of growing old: that while our physical strength wanes, our spiritual strength "blossoms, petal by petal." With poetic insight she describes the archetypal passage in a woman's life from mother to virgin to crone, and the spiraling union of masculine and feminine energies known as the "inner marriage." Ultimately, Woodman teaches, all life is reduced to one task: the surrender of ego. Thus we prepare our souls for the great crown we receive only when life ends.
Woodman is a practicing Jungian therapist. She also lives in Ontario.