Like Carol, all of the women whose stories I share here were undergoing transitions which brought up powerful feelings; and the rituals they constructed and created played a powerful part in their process of working through those feelings and experiences. People have always developed rituals to help in the process of negotiating change and transition, and the classic ritual theory developed by Arnold van Gennep and Victor Turner in relation to rites of passage has given a theoretical framework for explaining the role of ritual. But for women, the nature of transition and the ways in which it has been marked are different; a feminist critique of the nature of change and the ways in which women experience and negotiate it, gives a gendered perspective on the process.