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Four Eternal Women: Toni Wolff Revisited - A Study in Opposites [Paperback]

Mary Dian Molton , Lucy Anne Sikes

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2011
Toni Wolff was at first the patient, and later the friend, mistress for a time, long-term colleague and personal analyst of Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung. In addition to her work as the founder, leader and teacher for the Psychological Society in Zürich which led to the establishment of the world-renowned C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich/Küsnacht, she published a seminal but little known work called "Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche" ("Der Psychologie," Berne, 1951). This treatise, certainly one of the first studies in Analytical Psychology, has been the subject of the authors' investigation, attention, research and study for the past twelve years. Toni Wolff's original outline of her four archetypes barely filled fifteen pages of the journal, and was written in the academic style of professional publications of that period, sans illustration or commentary. While Wolff's work has been mentioned in short form in the work of several writers, Four Eternal Women is the first full and serious archetypal delineation of her original thesis, and examines each of her four feminine archetypes from several perspectives: Wolff's Own Words; An Overview of History and Myth; Familiar Characteristics; Lesser-Known (Shadow) Possibilities; Career Inclinations; Relationships to Men; Relationships to Children; Relationships to Each of the Other Types; The tension of the opposites set up by Wolff's own diagrammatic representation of these archetypes provided an additional dynamic to this study. Those who have followed Jung's individuation path will recognize aspects of Jung's 'Transcendent Function.' All readers may well become personally sensitized to discover their own type preferences, and how some aspects of shadow may be present in their 'opposite' partner.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Fisher King Press (Feb. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1926715314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926715315
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 22.6 x 15 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #855,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting Tony Wolff June 26 2011
By Patricia Damery - Published on Amazon.com
Four Eternal Women: Tony Wolff revisited: A Study of Opposites, by Mary Dian Molton and Lucy Anne Sikes (Fisher King Press, 2011) amplifies Toni Wolff's paper, "Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche (1934)." The model uses Wolff's quaternity of archetypal patterns of women's development: the personally related modes of Mother (Mary, mother of Jesus), and its opposite, Hetaira (pattern Tony Wolff lived out with C. G. Jung); and the other pole of the impersonally related: Amazon Woman (Gloria Steinem) opposite Medial Woman (Hildegard von Bingen). Although some of these terms may be unfamiliar, the authors' full treatment of these patterns brings them to life and the reader will find soon enough that they have relevance today.

Using case examples, interviews, film studies, and well researched biographies and writings of famous women, the authors have grounded the book in history and culture, giving perspective and depth to feminine development and differentiating archetypal patterns often unconsciously lived out. Not only are the positive aspects and characteristics of each pattern fully explored, but the shadow sides as well.

As I read, I found myself considering the authors' amplifications of these patterns in myself and in women in my practice. How many times do we unconsciously retreat to familiar archetypal patterns rather than embrace what is unknown? The function opposite one's primary function is the most undeveloped and least likely to be lived out, but those either side offer important alternative paths of development. How often does a woman whose primary pattern focused on nurturing her children (Mother), upon their leaving home, place her identity in Grand-Mother? Wolff, and then Molton and Sikes, suggest that she might more fully develop Amazon interests of becoming independent and self-contained or, should psyche dictate, the non-rational ability of the Medial Woman to receive frequencies and material of the collective unconscious.

I was taken in by the fullness of the reading and the examples, gaining new perspective. Molton and Sikes' Four Eternal Women is a contribution to understanding women and our relationships in the world.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A self guide for everywoman Feb. 26 2011
By bookerone - Published on Amazon.com
Four Eternal Women is guide to self discovery. Written in a highly accessible style, this book offers women a way to identify those things which make them who they are and provides thought provoking pathways to other avenues of unexplored aspects of their personalities. The big four archetypes, Mother (Our Lady of Guadalupe), Hetaira (Marilyn Monroe), Amazon (Oprah Winfry), and Medial (Shirley MacLaine) and their respective shadows are explored as they relate to everyday life, men, children and careers. The authors, Molton and Sikes cleverly use numerous examples from film and literature to illustrate the multiple facets of these personality types and bring to life the sometimes complex writings and theories of Toni Wolff.

What makes this book so exciting is that you don't have to have a Jungian background to get what the authors are conveying. This book is for any woman who seeks self knowledge and for any man who would like to know the woman in his life better.

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