"Anything becomes a ring of power if we end up being willing to sacrifice everything else in our lives and everyone else in our lives in order to obtain it," writes Jungian analyst Jean Shinoda Bolen, bestselling author of Goddesses in Everywoman and Gods in Everyman. In this illuminating work, she uses the incidents and characters in Wagner's Ring Circle (The Ring of the Nibelung) to open up an understanding of dysfunctional families.

With pinpoint accuracy Bolen describes the authoritarian father, the abandoned children, the disempowered mother, and the courageous truthtellers. In a very impressive concluding chapter, the author imagines what it would be like in a "post-patriarchal world" where feminine wisdom was honored as the standard of behavior.