From the author of the award-winning book A Delightful Little Book on Aging comes a new self-help memoir Creatrix Rising: Unlocking the Power of Midlife Women. In her new book, Stephanie Raffelock liberates mold-defying midlife women, tired of the oft-inaccurate characterization of the “old crone,” to amplify the resounding strength within.
Ever since Eve was banned from the garden, women have endured the oftentimes painful and inaccurate definitions foisted upon them by the patriarchy. Maiden, mother, and crone, representing the three stages assigned to a woman’s life cycle, have been the limiting categories of both ancient and modern (neo-pagan) mythology. And one label in particular rankles: crone. The word conjures a wizened hag—useless for the most part, marginalized by appearance and ability.
None of us has ever truly fit the old-crone image, and for today’s midlife women, a new archetype is being birthed: the Creatrix.
In Creatrix Rising, Raffelock lays out—through personal stories and essays—the highlights of the past fifty years, in which women have gone from a quiet strength to a resounding voice. She invites us along on her own transformational journey by providing probing questions for reflection so that we can flesh out and bring to life this new archetype within ourselves. If what the Dalai Lama has predicted—that women will save the world—proves true, then the Creatrix will for certain be out front, leading the pack.
PRAISE FOR CREATRIX RISING:
“The perfect topic at the perfect time, Stephanie Raffelock’s self-help memoir, Creatrix Rising, identifies a new archetype, the Creatrix, that transcends the old archetype of Crone. Her stories and insights about how far women have come is nothing short of inspirational. A must-read for any woman who wants to embrace the strength and creativity of midlife.” -Marci Shimoff, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Happy for No Reason and Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul
“Poetic and philosophical, Creatrix Rising will inspire readers to claim the courage and confidence that already lives inside of them. An intimate story of transformation, of journeying through life on your own terms without apology.”
–Richard Blanco, 2013 Presidential Inaugural Poet and author of How to Love a Country
“The new archetype Stephanie Raffelock assigns to midlife women underscores the assets and wisdom older women bring to our culture and to the greater good. Creatrix Rising is an affirmation and celebration of the feminine story taking place in leadership and creativity throughout our country.”
–Gabby Reese, volleyball legend, Nike’s first female spokeswoman, and New York Times best-selling author
Maiden, Mother, Crone. The three archetypal stages of a woman’s life. The Maiden is young and fair, blooming with life and potential. The Mother is nurturing and giving. And the Crone? Well, we all know what people think of her. Dried up, not much use anymore, withering away to the end of life.
In Creatrix Rising, Stephanie Raffelock is here to smash the Crone archetype to smithereens. In the Crone’s place, Raffelock proposes the Creatrix.
“Unlike the Crone, the Creatrix is no haggard old woman of the forest. She has the radiant beauty we all seek, that of wisdom, compassion, courage, and strength. She is the witness that holds the lamp to illuminate the path the younger women behind her will traverse. The Creatrix is the pinnacle of a woman’s life.”
I’m a middle-aged woman myself. I’m a bit of an oddball in that I’m still in the parenting years in my 50s. I have two boys, 19 and 12, so they’re not quite grown and flown – I’m the oldest mom in the 7th grade class. Even so, in middle age, the idea that my best years are behind me has never set well with me. Growing up, I knew many older women who were graceful and confident, living their best lives. So why does society expect women to shrink and dwindle? Are we useless once we’re no longer able to contribute to the continuation of the species? I think not.
Raffelock’s Creatrix, introduced to us through stories and personal anecdotes, is no shriveled hag. She is a woman full of vitality and creativity, life and grace. Raffelock walks us through some of her own experiences that led her to conclude that there was a need for a new archetype. Her insights and experiences help me think of my own life in a new light.
I like the way the book is divided, and I like that it looks at the Creatrix in different aspects: Teacher, Healer, Illuminator, Artist. We’re all different, and it makes sense that that continues into our later years. I also like the questions for reflection, activity, and journaling. I read through the book straight through the first time, but I’ll be going back and working through all those questions.
I love the message of the book, that life isn’t winding down just because we’re at or past the midpoint of our lives. I kept hearing Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar” as I was reading. I highly recommend this book for any woman who’s starting to feel less than because she isn’t a pretty young thing anymore. It’ll give you a much-needed new direction and new outlook on growing older and living with purpose.
Five stars from me!
Stephanie Raffelock is the author of Creatrix Rising, Unlocking the Power of Midlife Women, (She Writes Press – August, 2021). She also penned the award winning book, A Delightful Little Book on Aging.
A graduate of Naropa University’s program in Writing and Poetics, Stephanie was a contributor to The Rogue Valley Messenger in Oregon. She has blogged for Nexus Magazine, Omaha Lifestyles, Care2.com, as well as SixtyandMe.com.
A former i-Heart Radio host, she is now a popular guest on podcasts, where she inspires women to embrace the strength and passion of their personal story. Stephanie continues to build her speaker’s resume by giving presentations for groups like The Ashland Literary Arts Festival, Breaking the Glass, WINS at Charles Schwab and Southern Oregon University, Friends of the Hannon Library. Her commitment to uplift women extends to teaching personal development classes for incarcerated women and non-profits, including Dress for Success, Austin.
A recent transplant to Austin, Texas Stephanie enjoys an active life with her husband, Dean, and their Labrador retriever, Mickey Mantel Raffelock.