This is a bit of a different review, because I have know the author, Rebecca Kane, through her Facebook groups for about two and a half years. I joined her moon group at the end of 2015 (I know this because I did my big moon exploration over 2016, and I had joined her group right before starting that adventure!), and I have joined and participated in several of her groups over the years.
She provides a lot of wonderful resources and I have really enjoyed being a part of her groups, and when I saw she had published a new book, The SHEro Archetypes, I knew I had to have a copy. I have had glimpses of these archetypes, through her groups, and I adore the images she has for them (she has an oracle deck for them that I absolutely have to get my hands on sometime, they are so cute!) And, she had shared the lovely map from the book, that shows the different archetypes on their spots around the wheel.
I love archetypes, and the hero's journey, and it is always fascinating to me, to read people's experiences with this type of journey. One of the points that I feel was made very clear early in the book, is that this journey not linear, but a spiral, working along a circle, but ending up in a new place from where you started. And that the archetypes she outlines in this book are all a part of us, within us and ready to lend their guidance, at any time.
While the names of some of the archetypes Rebecca uses in her book may be new, the essence of many of the archetypes will be familiar to many readers. These are stages that we go through, as we grow and learn and develop, and this book does a wonderful job of making these different archetypes easy to comprehend and relate to.
The book starts with an explanation of what archetypes are and why they are important. And not just in being able to understand what is going on inside of us, but in developing tools to handle different situations in different ways! It then goes on to elaborate on what the SHEro's journey is all about: how we experience, traverse and resolve the many challenges we will face throughout our lives. I really appreciated how the differences between a traditional hero's journey and the more internal and feminine oriented SHEro's journey are explained.
Then, you get into the meat of the book: each of the nine SHEro archetypes has not one section but two devoted to it. I thought this division worked very well, separating out the 'who they are' from the 'what they do'. I felt that I had a much better concept of the archetypes, both as individuals and as a group, by the time I got to the part that explained how they might show up in my life, which made that area very easy to understand.
When we meet each of the SHEros, we get some really great correspondence type information about each of them, from affirmations, to types of energy they represent, to symbols they are represented by. Not only are these given in an easy to quickly reference list, they are explained further, which I very much appreciate. For me, knowing why something is connected makes it a stronger connection for me.
Another thing I found really great was that each SHEro had a real world example given, of a woman who embodied the qualities of that archetype. I loved reading about these women, and seeing how they represented the SHEro they were chosen for.
Also in this section are examples of what might be going on in your life if this particular SHEro is active or suppressed for you. I think these kinds of lists are very useful for checking in and seeing where you stand in relation to a specific archetype.
More than just giving information, each SHEro also has suggestions for things you can do to connect deeper with that archetype, and journal prompts relating to her. I love the inclusion of both of these! Sometimes it can be hard to figure out where to go next, when you are learning new information, and I felt that these suggestions are great ways to start the process of becoming personally familiar with the SHEros.
After you have met all the SHEros, the final part of the book has a section for each of the SHEros again, but this time, it details how each one follows the SHEro's journey, from the call, to the challenge, through the transformation and into the return.
This was a really great way of showing how the different archetypes approached the same journey. I really felt like I understood how they viewed and reacted to the different parts of the journey, and how I might apply those lessons to my own life.
Also in this section is a personal anecdote, for each of the SHEro's, from Rebecca's life. I adored this! I love reading people's stories, and I feel that sometimes I learn better by hearing actual stories than the more generalized examples.
Overall, the book was very easy and enjoyable to read, but packed a whole lot of information in between it's covers. There is a lot that I can go back to, and much like the SHEro's journey, where you go through the cycle and end up a little bit ahead, I feel like the more times I go back to this book, the more I will get from it, because I will be a little wiser each time.
I definitely enjoyed this one, and would recommend it to anyone who is looking to connect deeper with the feminine archetypes inside themselves. I sometimes struggle with the more traditional feminine archetypes, but I found the SHEros to be very approachable (and not tied to purely biological or procreative natures). No matter where you find yourself, on your journey to connect deeper with your inner female archetypes, this book will help you explore the SHEros within.