Published by
  • www.ChironPublications.com
  • The book can be ordered from the publisher's website and Amazon.
    It is also available at the University Bookstore in Reykjavik
    and in Penninn Eymundsson.




    "What sparked this work was silence. The silence I was faced with when I turned to my heritage to see how menstruation had been dealt with in the past. To my utter amazement, I discovered that in the six volumes of Icelandic folk and fairy tales there was but one tale, The Witch's Ride, that dealt with menstrual blood in plain terms. In that moment of truth, it dawned on me how uncritically I had played my part in the secrecy that surrounded this issue. As menstruation is every woman's gift or curse, it had to be woven into the saga of my ancestresses. In search of an answer to the unspoken mystery, I dug into the deeper layers of the familiar material I had grown up with and discovered that the sacred menstrual flow of the goddess trickles through patriarchal myth in obscure poetic language. The motivating force behind my book, which contains my translation and interpretation of seven tales, was the search for a meaningful connection to this devaluated part of my nature." (My description, published in The Periodical, the online newsletter of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research-Winter 2015).



    On April 18th 2016, Rachel Pollack posted on her Facebook Page:

    "I am so glad this wonderful book has been published. I had the privilege of helping edit the final draft with Hallfridur J. Ragnheidardottir, and it's fascinating how she follows the thread and takes it to such deep places, meanwhile treating us all to great stories and some fascinating dreams. The book actually begins with a dream. It also can be said to begin with a perception that might be characterized in lowly American slang as "Hey. In all those fairy tales with girls and princesses none of them ever have their period. What's up with that?" And in fact, it's the same with myths of goddesses and heroines. Ever read of Athena having her "monthlies?" Hallfridur has written something that's important, but also just very enjoyable."



    Endorsements for Quest for the Mead of Poetry

    “Only Hallfridur J. Ragnheidardottir with her wisdom, intelligence, knowledge and poetic talents could create a readable and intriguing look at menstruation as related to Icelandic Fairy Tales. Quest for the Mead of Poetry: Menstrual Symbolism in Icelandic Folk and Fairy Tales is a remarkable accomplishment. It adeptly weaves personal dreams, tarot, Jungian psychology (archetypes, symbolism, dream interpretation), and mythology, as well as her grown-up intimate associations to her childhood memories of fairy tales and to the telling of the collective experience of menstruation. Ragnheidardottir shares her personal story of being drawn to the topic in a powerful dream, as well as the worldwide view of woman’s fertility as seen in Icelandic folk and fairy tales. This is a significant work that opens new ways of looking at women and their fertile roles in life while deepening our understanding of ourselves and of human nature in general.”

    -Justina Lasley, MA, founder and director of the Institute for Dream Studies, author of Wake Up to Your Dreams: Transform Your Relationships, Career, and Health While You Sleep


    “Quest for the Mead of Poetry: Menstrual Symbolism in Icelandic Folk and Fairy Tales joins the canon of works by writers such as the Brothers Grimm and Bruno Bettelheim in untangling the secret significance of folklore and fairy tales. Its focus on the central yet often overlooked element of menstrual meaning within the stories is particularly valuable. Every culture has its own unique way of interpreting the mysteries of the menstrual cycle, but few writers have taken up the task of decoding the nuances involved. Ragnheidardottir has done so with insight.”

    -David Linton, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Marymount Manhattan College, member of the Board of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (SMCR) and editor of its newsletter, “The Periodical”


    “With intelligence, insight, scholarship, and passion, Hallfridur J. Ragnheidardottir goes deeply into a subject that—amazingly—has never been explored. By focusing on her native Iceland’s particular tradition of fairy tales—many of which will be familiar through their counterparts in Grimms’ and elsewhere—she both sharpens her insights and allows her own life history to inform her arguments. Quest for The Mead of Poetry is a valuable, even important work of scholarship and thought. It is also a true delight to read.”

    –Rachel Pollack, author of The Child Eater


    “Hallfridur J. Ragnheidardottir employs a wide knowledge of Icelandic folk tales as well as deep psychological understanding to create an intimate, intelligent book about feminine wounding and healing. The author is able to plumb the depths of her own personal emotional experience and, at the same time, rise to a remarkable level of wisdom and insight.”

    -Laurie Layton Schapira, RN, MSN, LP, Jungian Analyst and filmmaker in New York City, author of The Cassandra Complex: Living with Disbelief. A Modern Perspective on Hysteria