Descent & Rising

“The heroine’s journey is an erotic, mystical initiation that revivifies our place in the shape of things…The fodder of our descents provides the compost from which the richest fruits of our lives can grow. If only we can turn towards our pain and let it work in us.”

Descent & Rising

When our lives fall apart we often feel broken, ashamed and deeply alone. But what if you knew, as you experienced this descent, that it was mapped out in a myth thousands of years old? What if, despite the uniqueness of your own life and experiences, each stage of the process was universal? The journey of descent and rising is the core initiation of the feminine – the heroine’s journey – one travelled by billions of women before you.
Descent & Rising explores real stories of women’s descents into the underworld of the psyche – journeys of dissolution, grief and breakdown precipitated by trauma, fertility issues, loss of loved ones, mental health struggles, FGM, sexual abuse, birthing experiences, illness, war, burnout…

This is territory that Carly Mountain, psychotherapist and women’s initiatory guide, knows intimately, and guides us through with exquisite care and insight, using the ancient Sumerian myth of the goddess Inanna as a blueprint. She maps not only the descent but the rising, and familiarises us with a process of female psycho-spiritual growth overlooked in patriarchal culture.

Available to pre-order from Womancraft Publishing now and get your special pre-order bonuses a Compendium of Practices and a special Inanna Yoga Nidra.

About the Author

Carly Mountain

Carly Mountain is a women’s initiatory guide, a psychotherapist, a psychosexual somatic therapist, yoga teacher, breathworker and writer. For the last twenty years she has worked with sacred embodied practices. Carly stumbled across the Inanna story during her own descent to the underworld and was astonished by the symmetry it held with her own lived experience. Since then she has devoted to working with the myth and specialises in beholding others as they traverse the depths of initiation; both in therapy, breathwork and within courses that support women’s awakening and unfolding.

In 2019 Carly self-published her first poetry pamphlet Jouissance: Poetry of the Deep Feminine. Descent & Rising: Women’s Stories and the Embodiment of the Inanna Myth is Carly’s debut non-fiction book. She lives in Sheffield, England with her husband and two daughters.

From the book…

“A descent is an initiation that challenges every notion we have of ourselves and our lives. Like an earthquake, it begins close in, at the epicentre of our sense of self and then ripples out, changing the landscape of our relationships, work, our spirituality and core beliefs, and our belonging and understanding of the world. It is an embodied feminine path of initiation, a process of death and rebirth. Similar to the physical birthing of a baby, the descent pulls us energetically downwards, drawing us out of our heads and back into the body and the Earth. It is a humbling rite of passage that delivers us, through to the depths of our embodied subconscious, to meet the seat of our own power and vulnerability. This powerful process often happens in the kitchen of our lives, uncelebrated, even unnoticed by others and sadly, as a result, is often undervalued. Our heroine’s journeys are the stuff of our humanness but are all too frequently shrouded in shame or passed off as a failure, rather than something to honour. This book is a call for that to change. One who descends is one who is called beyond the known structures of the society they live.The one who descends is foraging for another way.”

“The new wave of feminism is embodied. It is not just an ideology, it’s a physical reality. We want to feel safe when we walk down the street, we want to be heard when we say no, we want pleasure, we want to allow our rage, we want to open to all the feelings we have not admitted. We don’t just want change, we are changing. Not only in our thoughts, in our bodies. We are tearing down the old monuments and are discovering in the process that our own bodies hold the keys to the kingdom. But that’s not enough either. We don’t want to fill a man’s shoes. We want to step, with bare feet, into the wilderness and walk our own path…and we are doing it.”

“Just as the caterpillar enters the cocoon to dissolve, so too does the heroine experience a sort of dissolution of her known self, through which she enters the process of transformation. In this way, the heroine’s journey provides a map of human metamorphosis: a process of liquification, that takes us beyond what we think we can endure and delivers us into deeper intimacy with who we are, and have always been.”

“The descent starts with a moan, a call from deep inside, almost impossible to hear in the noise of daily life, but ever present. Under the polished surface of existence there is something dark knocking at the door.”

“This is woman initiated by her own dark material within the crucible of her life.” 


Carly sends out a newsletter once a month with updates, insights and info on courses and events interwoven with poetry.

Carly MountainDescent & Rising | Women’s stories & The Embodiment of The Inanna Myth