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Goddesses In Everywoman [Paperback]

Jean Bolen
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Goddesses In Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women's Lives Goddesses In Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women's Lives 4.7 out of 5 stars (21)
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Book Description

Sept. 11 1985
Just as women used to be unconscious of the powerful effects that cultural stereotypes had on them, they may also be unconscious of powerful forces within them that influence what they do and how they feel, and which account for major differences among women. Psychoanalyst Jean Bolen believes that an understanding of these inner patterns and their interrelationships offers reassuring, true-to-life alternatives that take women far beyond such restrictive dichotomies as masculine/feminine, mother/lover, careerist/housewife. And she demonstrates how understanding them can provide the key to self-knowledge and wholeness. Dr. Bolen introduces these patterns in the guise of seven archetypal goddesses, or personality types, with whom all women will identify. Goddesses in Everywoman shows readers how to identify their ruling goddesses (from the autonomous Artemis and the cool Athena to the nurturing Demeter and the creative Aphrodite), how to decide which to cultivate and which to overcome, and how to tap the power of these enduring archetypes to become better "heroines" in their own life stories.

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From the Author

I wrote Goddesses in Everywoman as a psychology of women, that has over the past fifteen years since I wrote it, become something of a classic. I've been told how useful it has been to facilitate discussions between mothers and daughters, sisters, and friends about their differences and similarities. It's helped men understand the significant women in their lives (something women who have given the book to husbands and lovers, with chapters or passages marked, hoped would happen). It's a book that has become a text in a very wide variety of courses from high school to graduate school, in mythology, psychology, women's studies, literature, creative writing, drama, and counseling, and had a major influence in women's spirituality. Its perspective and mine is Jungian, feminist, spiritual, clinical, right brain and left.

I wish that women readers would also read Gods in Everyman, for a complete understanding of themselves. I think that just about every woman who does so, will find an aspect of herself in a god-archetype, which completes her internal pantheon. For example, Hermes (Mercury) the messenger god, is a very significant archetype in me. I have the exploratory energy of Artemis, but it is Hermes that puts what I learn in words and makes the intuitive connections.

Besides Gods in Everyman, two of my other books are related. Ring of Power (a new edition will be published February 1999) based on Richard Wagner's operatic Ring Cycle, focuses on dysfunctional family relationships between these same archetypes (with different names). In Crossing to Avalon, I wrote about my pilgrimage to sacred sites and what I experienced of goddess spirituality. A "sequel" to Goddesses in Everywoman is in the works -- I am now writing Goddesses in Older Women. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst. A Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California Medical Center, Dr. Bolen is an internationally known teacher who links archetypal and spiritual realms with social, political, and ecological concerns. She has two children and lives in Mill Valley, California.


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Everywoman has the leading role in her own unfolding life story. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear and Insightfull.... March 7 2003
Format:Paperback
To begin, I must praise Ms. Bolen, for writing in such a way as to have laypersons (such as myself) never feel as we are being talked down to. Many psychology books use technical terms for everything, as if tring to prove they have their degrees, bringing to mind the student who uses a thesaurus to write the term paper to impress the professor. However, this book explains any necessary technical terms quickly and concisely, and then continues on to the rest of the topic.
I found this book quite insightful, both with myself and my relationships with other women. I now understand why my closest friend is always trying to get me involved with political protests and 'acting for the Cause.' I also understand why my relationship with my boyfriend is so effected by my relationship/friendship with my mother. Our's being a definitive Persephone/Demeter relationship.
The uses of the seven Goddess archetypes (Artemis/Athena/Hestia, Hera/Demeter/Persephone, and Aphrodite) as a mode to understanding why a woman acts in a particular way. This book will definately help women to define themselves, and why they seem attracted to a specific type of lover/mate.
I definately recommend this book to all, women and men.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discover You're a Goddess! Jan. 20 2003
By Alex B.
Format:Paperback
What an amazing book! Jean Shimoda Bolen is remarkable for putting together a set of archetypes for women to study and gain self-comprehension. The use of Greek goddesses- Artemis, Athena, Hestia, Hera, Demeter, Persephone, and Aphrodite- help women readily identify who they naturally are and whom they were conditioned to be. In addition, the archetypes enable women to look into activating whom they would like to be. I too noticed the presence of different goddesses in my life, in particular Artemis, Aphrodite, and Persephone. I was completely taken by these 3 archetypes, and plan to research them further. Truly an insightful read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book for Women Jan. 7 2003
By Stacy
Format:Paperback
This book is very uplifting and an enlightening read no matter what type of woman you are. One of the best qualities is the author's ability to present the strengths of each archetype and not build a hierarchy of goddesses. This approach allows the reader to understand different women, as well as conflicting emotions within herself, and see the positive qualities. I found myself completely taken by her discussion of the Hestia archetype. In fact, I did some further research on this archetype and now have a collection of notes to pull from. If a book inspires further investigation, it is definitely worth the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars May not be what you expect! Sept. 20 2002
Format:Paperback
From some reviews I have read here, it appears that some folks are looking for a self-help type of book. It is not that. It is an intelligently written and researched scholarly work on female archetypes (think Jungian psychology).
It is not, however, dense reading. On the contrary, the author has cleverly used the goddess characters in Greek mythology to make the archetypes more accessible and entertaining to study. I challenge anyone to read this book without trying to find themselves or their friends. Very interesting and fun to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have had a non-professional interest in Jungian psychology for years and this book, along with 'Gods in Everyman', was a refreshing breath of air and an expansion of Jungian themes from a modern gender perspective.
I can say that I am an INFJ in Jungian terms, but it means even more to use her goddess types and say that I am Artemis, with a healthy does of Aphrodite, a bit of Hestia, and a smattering of Hera. And no, this isn't some kind of flaky new-age thing, as I feared initially from the title, Bolen knows her stuff.
I recommend that those who read this book also read 'Gods in Everyman' as the personality types often cross genders. My husband and I read both and it has sparked much lively conversation and helped our understanding of each other.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing revelations! July 15 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book, and its companion GODS IN EVERYMAN, were given to me this spring by the love of my life, whom I hadn't seen in twenty years. The first time around, my life was reasonably under control; this time it was in utter turmoil. He gave me the books in the hope I'd find answers to some of life's puzzles within them.
And I did, I really did! Having only read this first book, to date, I was astonished to learn who I really am, and how and why I've done many of the things I've done in my life. Some of these things were pretty good, actually, and I'm very proud of them, while some of them have-unfortunately-been the opposite. I'm not sure if having this book at hand during the last twenty years would have made any difference in those actions or not. But, even belatedly, it's helpful to know the whys of some of my choices.
There is no way to know how or why I turned out to be a nearly prototypical Aphrodite, but I surely am! There is also just a tiny bit of Artemis and Athena, but not enough to wield any influence, I'm sorry to say. I would never have recognized myself as an Aphrodite until about the age of 25 or so, but after that-my life is a virtual roadmap for her. It's almost as though Dr. Bolen traveled alongside me every inch of the way, and observed all my triumphs and mistakes, the failures and messes and successes, too, and written them up as a guideline to Aphrodite! Even the discussion of the 'committee' and the way decisions are made, ring very true to life.
I found my mother in here, and knowing why she did some of the things she did, has been a revelation to me. I can only hope to employ the wisdom found in this book to avoid some of the same mistakes with my daughter, who is, of course, also to be found in these pages.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Discovery
Goddesses in Everywoman is a wonderful introduction to the patterns that we can create in our lives. Read more
Published on Dec 14 2009 by Mrs. Violet M. Coburn
1.0 out of 5 stars SAVE YOUR MONEY
I HAD HAD A COUPLE DIFFERENT PEOPLE RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ME AND COULDN'T WAIT TO START IT. I WAS SO DISSAPPOINTED. I COULD NOT EVEN READ IT. I READ 70 PAGES AND GAVE UP. Read more
Published on July 23 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A new perspective (or at least it was when 1st published)
Bolen takes Jungian psychology one step further by positing that there is not just, but many, female archetypes, and that a well-balanced women should incorporate aspects from each... Read more
Published on May 6 2002 by K. Bourn
5.0 out of 5 stars When Psychology Tests Don't Fit....
Everyone who has taken a psychology exam finds it difficult to answer questions in the moment. Stepping outside the constraints of current personality type definitions, this book... Read more
Published on July 30 2001 by "balikris"
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my Top Five All-Time Favorites
I keep at least two copies of this book on hand at all times. One for myself (for safe-keeping) and the second one to loan out to friends who simply must read the book. Read more
Published on Dec 18 2000 by Roz at BookCrazy Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate, profound, and insightful
I am a Male and Australian but regardless, this book, together with its companion volume "Gods in Every Man" have been foundational in my understanding of my... Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2000 by M. Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight to yourself
This book is absolutely wonderful. I have definitely found the goddesses in myself, and I will forever be trying to decide which goddess dominates the other women around me. Read more
Published on April 17 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Goddesses in every woman
This book provides knowledge and effective instruments that help understand, solve and be prepared for the next adventure in life.
Published on Jan. 1 2000 by Cecilia Fasciati
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