This book is the compelling story of how the author’s disfiguring scars guided her search for a connection to the mother who died at her birth, and ultimately led to her own psychological development. In this process, the scars became the sacred jewels that illuminated the pathway of self-understanding. Movingly told from a Jungian point of view and in the intimate context of analysis, it is not only the autobiography of a person with a life-long dedication to understanding the psyche, but also a portrayal of the unconscious as it reveals itself throughout the course of that person’s life. As a journey of the soul, the book includes dreams, art work, and active imagination-all ways of accessing the archetypal dimension underlying body symptoms.
Through focused work, Rothenberg explains, body symptoms and physical illness can help us to discover our personal myth. In her case, the journey led her to Africa to study the art of scarification. There she interviewed shamans who helped her unveil the symbolic and spiritual meaning behind her own physical and psychological scars. This book explores wounding in order to open us to healing. It is the tale of a life lived consciously and with great integrity. Included are a rich variety of color photographs of art work, of cultural artifacts and of her visits with West African shamans.