Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Book club pick for Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf • “A deeply spiritual book [that] honors what is tough, smart and untamed in women.”—The Washington Post Book World

Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women. But she is an endangered species. For though the gifts of wildish nature belong to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls.

In Women Who Run with the Wolves, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés unfolds rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and stories, many from her own traditions, in order to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature. Through the stories and commentaries in this remarkable book, we retrieve, examine, love, and understand the Wild Woman, and hold her against our deep psyches as one who is both magic and medicine.

Dr. Estés has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and life-giving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul.

Praise for Women Who Run with the Wolves

Women Who Run with the Wolves isn’t just another book. It is a gift of profound insight, wisdom, and love. An oracle from one who knows.”—Alice Walker

“I am grateful to Women Who Run with the Wolves and to Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. The work shows the reader how glorious it is to be daring, to be caring, and to be women. Everyone who can read should read this book.”—Maya Angelou

“An inspiring book, the ‘vitamins for the soul’ [for] women who are cut off from their intuitive nature.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Stands out from the pack . . . a joy and sparkle in [the] prose . . . This book will become a bible for women interested in doing deep work. . . . It is a road map of all the pitfalls, those familiar and those horrifically unexpected, that a woman encounters on the way back to her instinctual self. Wolves . . . is a gift.”Los Angeles Times

“A mesmerizing voice . . . dramatic storytelling she learned at the knees of her [immigrant] aunts.”Newsweek

“The work of Clarissa Pinkola Estés, rooted in old and deep family rites and in archetypal psychology, recognizes that the soul is not lost, but has been put to sleep. This volume reminds us that we are nature for all our sophistication, that we are still wild, and the recovery of that vitality will itself set us right in the world.”—Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345409874
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/1996
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 6,559
Product dimensions: 6.82(w) x 10.94(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

Clarissa Pinkola Estés is an American poet, author, and spoken word artist.

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Women Who Run With the Wolves : Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What is it that makes a woman not like a man? The common answer, of course, has to do with genitalia and reproduction, a less common though still frequent distinction comes from the presence of two X chromosomes in every cell of the female body. Neither of this means of differentiation, as obvious as they seem, help answer the question. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, both a Jungian Analyst and professional story teller ('contradora') draws on a rich mix of background from both of her professions to lay the underpinnings from the collective unconscious and archetypes to provide a much more sophisticated if complex answer to the nature of a woman. If you are a woman, this may help you define yourself, uif you are a man, the book will both enhance your respect for as well as add a bit to your dim understanding of those marvellous aliens with two X chromosomes. Very Highly Recommended indeed!
LaBefana More than 1 year ago
This book was and still is a great read. It's definetly one of my favorites! It's inspirational, it makes you think, gives you an understanding, it's down to earth and it's real. Every woman should own this book! Honestly, I sometimes use this book as a guide. I open it randomly, as I do with most all my books and where I open it, I go to the beginning of that story and I read it. Ususally the story is pertaining to things that are happening around me at that time and it gives me a different outlook, a different view or opinion about my situation. Bottom line, it's a must for woman, and I feel if/when men buy her book they will get a better understanding of woman on a deeper level. In paperback, I have had my book, The Woman Who Run with Wolves since 1996. I wanted it as a gift and I got it. I actually didn't just want it, I had to have it. At that time the book was not as popular as it became. About 3 yrs ago I bought another book to have as back-up for this one. Although the book can now be purchased in hardcover I bought another paperback. Personally I like this book in paperback, it's easier to take with me eveywhere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book 5 times and each time I extract new insight. Absolutely fascinating psychological explanations of childhood fairytales. This book is a MUST for any woman who desires to live her life honestly and fully.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FancyFractals on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good book for young women to read.
SheilahVance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is fabulous! It has helped me understand and gotten me through many a life change at different stages of my life. This time, another failed romance. This time, deeper understanding. I highly recommend it to all women who are trying to understand themselves.
SusaninParis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At the time the book was published, it was probably considered groundbreaking. These ideas have been floating around the public consciousness since then so it doesn't seem as novel. At this stage, I would have preferred a little condensing. I think I'll need to read it again.
oke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Changed My Life. Deep reading and well worth it.
fraise on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While the author does give good insights onto women's issues, her use of fairy tales to do so is weak at best. She changes them to suit her own interpretation, often - and quite worrisomely, given the message she claims to want to give - placing more blame on the woman than the original fairy tale did. Compare, for instance, the original "Handless Maiden" and Marie Louise von Franz's interpretation of it, to Pinkola Estes' modified version.I had a very hard time taking the "interpretation" of modified fairy tales seriously, and wish that Pinkola Estes had given more weight to her own individual thoughts, rather than trying to validate them through fairy tales that often say something quite different from what she tries to say.
tcoulter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book that I have returned to many times over the last decade or more, Estes analyses of women in folklore and mythology resonate with me deeply. Women Who Run with the Wolves is a book that can be read over and over, and some new insight - about oneself or our relationship with our environment - will be gained. A beautiful marriage of psychology and feminist spirituality, this is one of my most cherished reads.
moonstormer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable use of myth and legend to explore elements of the female psyche. Some aspects were a bit overdone and I found the explanations to be a bit lengthy for my taste, but overall it was an interesting and very well written book. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who likes the use of myths, stories or fairy tales in gaining greater understanding.
pru_mitchell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very special book for our bookclub 'The Wolves' named after this our first book. It took us a year to read it - sometimes we only got through one story a month. Thanks to the amazing expertise and life experience of women in the group, especially leader of the pack and Wolf mother, Shirley Trippe, we extracted so much inspiration and discussion from the Jungian themes and rich stories. Wolves, both book and book club made a major contribution to my literary and spiritual growth.The Wolf Rules for Life1 Eat2 Rest3 Rove in between4 Render loyalty5 Love the children6 Cavil in moonlight7 Tune your ears8 Attend to the bones9 Make love10 Howl often
thewatch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An amazingly insightful and inspiring book, making you look at both fairy tales and women across society in a new and uplifting manner. It's a great book for discussion and to understand things about your life and relationship with the natural and wild world. Worth many rereadings!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sarahinfla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not your average self-help book. Estes relys on old stories from her heritege as well as practical advice from her practice as a Jungian analyst to provide women with a self-help book like no other. The legends she disperses throughout the chapters tie in neatly with the topic of each chapter. And chapters can be read as single units.
thairishgrl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to me by a fellow therapist after a discussion about the positive impact of stories on the psyche. Estes uses mythology from around the world to explore the universal struggles experienced by women. A great self help book without being preachy. Not light reading.
MiaAndPatrick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is really fascinating. It ties in women's psychology with story telling traditions in a really effective way.
capnk8 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Finding this book was the purest accident. I started reading the introduction while in the bookstore and started crying, right there in public. This is officially my favorite book. I simply had to have it in hardcover - I half-destroyed my paperback before I even finished it.
johnthefireman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent book. A bit long and slow at times, but very interesting and informative. I read it when I was studying spirituality in the USA. It has an important place in understanding the jigsaw which makes up human spirituality.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For anyone wanting a better understanding of the female psyche this is a must read whether they are male or female. This is actually my third copy of this book my first was so worn the pages were no longer readable. You develop a deeper understanding every time you pick it up. As an audio book it is a convenient way to continue getting things done when you don't have a free hand. I definitely recommend this and other books by Estes. It is a valuable learning tool and can have a great impact on the lives of many women.
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