Leaving The Castle, Finding the Confidence to Start Over

By Wendy Hammond

Leaving the Castle uses myth and fairy tales to explore what happens inside ourselves after the collapse of a marriage, as we search for the confidence to start over.

It is almost impossible to make a huge life change using only the conscious logical mind. Stories and fairy tales help us tap into stronger, faster, and more cunning unconscious parts of our psyches. They show us how to gain clarity about where we stand and how to draw strength for the challenges ahead.

Leaving the Castle book is a Women Who Run with the Wolves for women who are considering or going through a divorce.

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Leaving the Castle was written to ignite your imagination and courage, and to help you:

  • Recognize that there are worlds beyond what your mindset has allowed you to see
  • Reclaim powers that the mindset you’re leaving had cast into the shadows
  • Move forward with the wisdom and strength that comes from honoring and utilizing your whole self
  • Build a bridge from what has fallen to new meaning and purpose
  • Illuminate the frightening in-between space – where we’re ready to leave but haven’t yet gone, and where we’re emotionally and psychologically centering ourselves for the journey ahead
  • Bring your contribution to the marriage dynamic into consciousness so you don’t attract and build the same situation again
  • Rebuild and reconnect with your faith in yourself

This book is not only about leaving the castle you’ve known. It’s about claiming your own kingdom and building anew.

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A beautifully written, thought-provoking book.

Wendy Hammond has written a wonderful book analyzing the transformative journey of divorce through the use of archetypes, fairy tales and myths. Also included are thought-provoking exercises for the reader to examine both their depth of emotions and the practicalities of this momentous decision. A must read for women and men who are contemplating divorce.

ByDiane Peters Mayeron March 13, 2016

Finding the confidence to start over (again).

Early in the text, the author Wendy Hammond, states that though her intended audience might especially apply to women considering ending a relationship, she does not exclude other people using it with other issues. This seems especially applicable here, not least because she is using myth and stories which perhaps can have many layers. This is the joy of them, they can sometimes hold many layers of meaning and capture many apparently contradictory aspects of a human situation.

This is already a well established method for examples applied by Jungian authors like Robert A Johnson and Marie Louise von Franz acknowledged influences in the acknowledgements. Using myths and stories including Sleeping Beauty, The Judgement of Paris and the Bluebeard myth, Hammond elegantly retells the tales succinctly and then includes some discussion of the issues invoked. There are some acute discussions of the emotional issues, as well as some light asides including "Geek facts" about the stories. All of this makes for very pleasant as well as enlightening reading.

There are also some additional details and exercises drawn from the authors experience as a psychotherapist as how to approach the situations described. This draws on the authors experience as a counsellor and therapist herself. This short book will be of use to counsellors and therapist as well as people going through the end of a relationship that has run its course, become burnt out and possibly toxic. It it largely covers these from a largely feminine perspective, but there is much to learn from a masculine one also. This will also be of value to anyone who has reach the end of a tether and is looking to move on in many other situations.

ByGraham Mummeryon April 13, 2016

It feels like you captured my divorced journey right to the core...

You had me at "hello". I don't know what you put into your book, but I started tearing up after the first paragraph. It feels like you captured my divorced journey right to the core. Thank you for this beautiful book.

ByMai Vuon May 31, 2016

A Great Book!

A timeless story filled with the practical steps, vision, and self confidence booster needed to take those next steps with courage! A well-crafted, entertaining and educational walk through the toughest moments of life, led fearlessly by our literary heroes. It's a book you will always remember and often recommend.

By Amazon Customer on August 15, 2016

Leaving the Castle is a beautifully written guide to empowering ourselves while we are facing ...

Leaving the Castle is a beautifully written guide to empowering ourselves while we are facing life's uncertainties. Wendy Hammond is an masterful storyteller and teacher. Through the power of Greek mythology, visualizations and thought provoking exercises she offers her reader tools to discover personal insights and courage to become more than they ever imagined possible.

A must read for anyone considering divorce or going through the process.

By Amazon Customer on March 13, 2016

I enjoyed the stories and metaphors Wendy shares in Leaving the...

I enjoyed the stories and metaphors Wendy shares in Leaving the Castle. I especially liked how she tied everything together for the reader with journal prompts and visual and sensory prompts at the end of each chapter. A great resource for any woman considering divorce!

By JODI SCHUELKE, Relationship Coach & Author on March 14, 2016

A Journey to Self

I really loved this book. I was immediately drawn to the title, wondering what 'castle' she referenced. As she told her fairy tales and myths, it was very clear that we all have 'castles' that sometimes bind us. Wendy Hammond specifically addresses divorce, but her advice applies to any crossroads in life when we need some guideposts to help us identify a situation. Wendy is an excellent guide, asking serious questions and offering a great deal of encouragement. The writing is both lyrical and direct. I highly recommend this book as a tool for self discovery and empowerment. I've already recommended it to several people (not just women!) and feel many will benefit from it. There is not a lot of psychobabble that confuses and bogs down the reader; instead, you feel as if you have started an adventure with a fun friend who will stay by your side as you travel. Good read!

By MoorBooks on March 18, 2016

This book is so interesting and inventive. It pushes...

This book is so interesting and inventive. It pushes you out of your safe zone and to move forward in whatever you are holding yourself back from - whether it be marriage or job or endless other possibilities for the path of our lives.

By Heather on May 6, 2016

Thoughtful and Thought-Provoking - Excellent Guide when Considering Divorce

This is the book I wish I'd had when I was considering divorce. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, Wendy Hammond weaves her skills and knowledge from her therapist and coach background with three fairy tales, using the metaphor of the tales to bring the reader deeper insight into their own challenges. Hammond is authentic and open as she shares her own personal journey of navigating the difficult decision to divorce, providing the reader with the confidence that she not only has the professional chops to discuss this subject, she's also survived it herself.

ByEmily Downwardon March 12, 2016

"Leaving the Castle" is an exquisite gift of love. Wendy Hammond invites all of us to slow ...

"Leaving the Castle" is an exquisite gift of love. Wendy Hammond invites all of us to slow down and journey with her on the fairy tales we hold within us, with amazing analogies and meticulous metaphors. In this exploration of the central themes of fairy tale, Wendy transforms them, discovering a deeper meaning within all of us. She uncovers what lies within our strength of soul. This does not mean lack of feeling, however it is about rising above our suffering, bearing it bravely and allowing ourselves to be guided by our highest motives for living. She connects us to our most powerful and supernatural designs for our lives. This book has enabled me to look at my life from another perspective, rather than my narrow and ephemeral point of view, it has helped me to view life from a a "bird's eye view", whilst at the same time sensing/feeling in the depths of my soul. It was like reflecting on the story of my life and it is helpful to remember how far one has come but that the journey is never ending and there will always be new road blocks to overcome and new rooms to discover. The book has opened another door for me and the questions Wendy asks will probably open many others. It can be deceptively easy to fall back into old patterns and this book has strengthened my resolve and given me hope and determination to follow my path no matter how hard. Thank you Wendy!

ByJude Dawn Maleskion March 10, 2016

Leaving the Castle is a brilliantly written book for anyone at their wits end and ...

Leaving the Castle is a brilliantly written book for anyone at their wits end and deciding whether or not to to leave a relationship. Even if you're in another type of life transition or crossroads, this book can be so helpful. Wendy uses fairy tales to help the reader understand what may be happening in their lives through metaphors and archetypes, but she does it quite deeply. She breaks down what is happening in the story in such a way that the reader can see how it relates to their life and what they may be going through, The questions she asks the reader to ponder are both thought and heart provoking. You find out that you really can make the changes you need to make. You will be supported and your new path will become more clear as you take each step on it. Even if you start scared out of your mind, Wendy shares with you and shows you a way to create a new life based on faith and courage, even when everything is unknown. She shows you how to follow your own heart on this journey. And really, that is the only heart that needs to be followed.

BySGCon March 10, 2016

Straight up enjoyment plus practical tools no matter who you are...

Wendy Hammond's book starts with pure entertainment, luscious aesthetics, action, and that cozy feeling that comes with someone telling you a story. Periodically she adds comments and questions that are piercingly, provocatively insightful but have a kind of ease -- you can tell she is thoroughly prepared for this work by her experience as a therapist, coach, and scholar of myth. You feel safe -- you can tell you are in good hands here -- and not just because her skills and instincts are so well honed but because she is so warm and generous. How is this so? Her own life? I don't know, but it's a winning combination that leaves you feeling supported and never judged. Lastly she ends each chapter with super-helpful exercises (including artsy and non-linear ones). I found these to be the real gold.

I know this book is intended for women in the middle of or considering a break in a relationship, but I think any woman would enjoy reading it because who hasn't started over in some way, at some time? And I think it works for other kinds of new starts as well (changing jobs or locales...). It's a deceptively light read that stays with you and guides you for a long time.

By Betsy Kayon March 8, 2016

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