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The Independent Critic

 Book Review: Her Rites by Christy Angelle Bauman 
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For a variety of reasons, including simply because I've been invited to do so, I often find myself reading titles that are being marketed specifically toward women.

Christy Angelle Bauman's "Her Rites: A Sacred Journey for the Mind, Body, and Soul" is the latest book that as I read it I found myself very aware that the book contains a culture I simply can't understand because for me it's not a lived culture.

I can express honest curiosity. I can accept. I can embrace. I can celebrate. I can seek to understand, but I will never fully understand the rites of passage for a woman including birth, initiation, exile, creation, intuition, and legacy.

I can, and did, find common ground. As an adult male who grew up with significant disabilities, I have long found myself identifying more with the culture of women than the culture of men. I have long found connections between what it means to be a woman and what it means to grow up disabled. I'm absolutely certain it's not the same for all people with disabilities, but in my world the connection is very tangible and very real. I don't identify as a woman, but I do very much feel a connection to the female experience and my life has been undeniably made richer and stronger by the strong women in my life from birth to this very moment.

"Her Rites" starts with the basic idea that every woman desires wholeness - to be at home in her body, her relationships, and her life. "Her Rites" also starts with the basic idea that women too often feel that they don't belong to themselves and the path to that wholeness is challenging, often even culturally challenged, and women often know it is not a path to be traveled alone.

Bauman, actually Dr. Christy Angelle Bauman, is an author, teacher, and therapist who has dedicated her professional life to guiding women on this path to meaning and joy.

In "Her Rites," Dr. Bauman invites us into her office and through six transformative exercises offering a deep dive into the most common rites of passage in a woman's life. These rites encourage and empower a woman to find wholeness and self-knowledge. Dr. Bauman includes ritual templates and exercises that she uses in her practice and has seen be successful in supporting women to come home to themselves and receive the gift of flourishing.

While I undeniably found areas of common ground in "Her Rites," there's also no doubt that this is a book that will be most embraced by its intended audience of women. While women of faith will likely most connect to "Her Rites," there's a universality to the rites contained within that gives the book considerable crossover appeal.

"Her Rites" is a sacred journey indeed, an invitation to wholeness and wellness and joy for the mind, body, and soul of women.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic