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Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype [Mass Market Paperback]

Clarissa Pinkola Estés
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 27 1996
UPDATED, WITH NEW MATERIAL BY THE AUTHOR"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 WalkerWithin 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. In WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES, Dr. Estés unfolds rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, and stories, many from her own family, 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."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"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

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Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype + Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother's Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul + The Creative Fire
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Folklore, fairy tales and dream symbols are called on to help restore women's neglected intuitive and instinctive abilities in this earthy first book by a Jungian analyst. According to Estes, wolves and women share a psychic bond in their fierceness, grace and devotion to mate and community. This comparison defines the archetype of the Wild Woman, a female in touch with her primitive side and able to rely on gut feelings to make choices. The tales here, from various cultures, are not necessarily about wolves; instead, they illuminate fresh perspectives on relationships, self-image, even addiction. An African tale of twins who baffle a man represents the dual nature of woman; from the Middle East, a story about a threadbare but secretly magic carpet shows society's failure to look beyond appearances. Three brief, ribald stories advocate a playful, open sexuality; other examples suggest ways to deal with anger and jealousy. At times, Estes's commentary--in which she urges readers to draw upon and enjoy their Wild Woman aspects--is hyperbolic, but overall her widely researched study offers usable advice for modern women.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A feminist counterpart to Iron John--or, how ``a healthy woman is much like a wolf.'' Est‚s, a Jungian analyst, believes that a woman's wholeness depends on her returning to the sources of her repressed instinctual nature. To illustrate the ways of the ``wild woman,'' the author draws on myths, legends, and fairy tales from a vast and eclectic range of traditions. This collection of stories may well be the most valuable element of the book, which otherwise reads like unedited transcripts of the workshops Est‚s leads to encourage women to return to their ``feral'' roots. Each story demonstrates a particular aspect of woman's experience--relationship, creativity, anger, spirituality, etc. Est‚s finds evidence in the most diverse tales of the necessity for women to reclaim their wildness. The precise nature of this wildness is difficult to fathom, but, at best, it seems to include a genuine capacity to access feelings and to accept one's contradictions, while, at worst, it appears to amount to the kind of self-indulgence that prevailed during the ``me'' generation. Est‚s claims that her book is for every woman, ``whether you be spicy or somber, regal or roughshod''; but her underlying assumption that every woman is free to abandon what holds her back seems ignorant of social and economic realities. The author provides few concrete examples that might help women understand what she expects them to do, and her prose abounds in generalizations and oddities (``the ambitious woman...who is heartfelt toward her accomplishments'') that further undermine her credibility and her considerable scholarship. Hortatory, ecstatic, and, ultimately, irritating. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resonates with my soul April 30 2003
By M C W
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book at a time in my life when I was open to looking at who I really am. Each chapter resonated with something deep within that I had been hungering and searching for. This was the pivitol book that began my personal healing inner work. I recommend this book to any woman who wants to find the parts of herself she has lost or disowned. It is much easier to read with the right side of the brain and it does require emotional work as you go along, but very well worth it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book several years ago during a two year period of going through a divorce. This book empowered me to get in touch with my inner female voice, listen to my instincts and trust them again (because they were always sending me warning signals I was told to ignore by my overbearing, controlling spouse at the time). This is a wonderful collection of tales from many cultures that remind us women that we are born with an instinctual knowledge of things to come. We, unfortunately, allow others (i.e. the men in our lives) to tell us we are too sensitive, overreacting, imagining things, jealous, distrusting, etc., only to discover that those instincts were right on the mark the entire time! This should be on every woman's bookshelf!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating! Nov. 19 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book truly makes you think! Each story made me delve deeper into my own psyche. I realized things about myself that I never thought possible. This book makes you stronger! It validates the importance and necessity to be a 'Wild Woman'! I recommend this book to all women who feel that something isn't quite right. It helps you understand what has been missing from your life and gives you permission to be yourself - to be your 'Wild Woman'! Take note: if you're looking for an easy read, this is not the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a gifted storyteller--one who does not just love stories, but also recognizes their ability to stir the soul. She sees each story she shares as a cure for a spiritual deprivation, and so retells each one in her rich, soulful style, adding Latino ethnic twists to increase the illumination. Then, sounding like a village wise woman, she explains the effects of each type of deprivation in the souls and bodies of women. For instance, she interprets "The Little Match Girl" as a story about the necessity of putting one's creativity (represented by the matches) to good use: the failure to do so makes one freeze to death.
Certainly, women need the sort of healing that stories can give them--but so does everyone in the world, male or female. Men just didn't happen to be part of Estes' "target audience" when she wrote "Women Who Run with the Wolves", I suppose. Yet it is precisely this book that encouraged me to read "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "The Selfish Giant" to my little brothers.
The wondrous thing about this book is that it is only one person's opinion about the power of certain myths. Anyone is free to agree or disagree with Estes . . . to take or reject her advice . . . to give her chosen stories different meanings . . . to apply her meanings to different stories. For example, Estes used "The Ugly Duckling" to lament how a rigid, uncompromising society can oppress mothers into abandoning "unconventional" children. To that I add that if the ducklings had had a father duck around, then the ugly duckling would have had proper protection from the pond bullies and a lot more backbone.
It is also delightful to recognize the archetypes playing hide-and-seek in the fairytales and myths of many cultures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of Powerful Insights Dec 29 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Women Who Run With the Wolves" is roughly 500 pages long and well worth reading. It is such astounding to see or rather to understand the concept of legends and myths to bring forth the psyche of the women. There are fifteen chapters in this book, and each of them revealed new stories and they are truly enlightening.

The one story that got me to read and re-read is the "Bluebeard" story, which is really mind-boggling and chilling.

This is very enlightening read and full of powerful insights. And, I do recommend this book to anyone, even men who want to understand their female aspects and the inner nature of women.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not unabridged Aug. 2 2010
Format:Audio CD
I was disappointed that this CD was not unabridged, as it says it it. It was very short, a little over 2hrs, and did not give nearly the depth of the book. Had I known it was unabridged, I would not have purchased it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all women. Nov. 20 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Whatever you do in life you must first read this book. It will give you invaluable insights into who you are as a person - you will be empowered.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic work Jan. 25 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
My sister Hannah gave me this book ages ago and it is one that I read and re-read a lot. Clarissa Pinkola Estes is so wonderful if for no other reason than she challenges women to be individulas and not worry about being a group. She speaks of the repressed instinctual elements of women and how we as women need to follow our own path whether it makes feminists or conservatives happy.
And in an age when some woman seems to be trying to put me in a box, Estes keeps reminding me to fight back. Cammile Paglia, Susie Bright, and others are examples of what Ms Estes writes about. Or better yet rent the movie Auntie Mame with Roz Russell and see what I mean. Retrieval of intuition and Joyous Body the Wild Flesh, and Self Preservation: Identifying Leg Traps, Cages and Poisoned Bait are good reads. Trap #7 Faking It, Trying to be Good, Normalizing the Abnormal is refreshing. And as an artist and writer I relished Clean Water: Nourishing The Creative Life. Heat: Retrieving A Sacred Sexuality (ok sex is big with me) is something I think every over age 40 woman should read !
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Woman Should Read This Book
I read this book at a critical age as I was becoming a young woman. It helped forge a self-confidence in me that has not shaken. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cindy Beverly
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great review of the book by the same title
This is a great review of the book by the same title. I always take Dr. Estes with me on a car trip and her story telling keeps me engaged. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ArtTherapist
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic book based on Jungian Psychology
for those who like to read a different point of view and love reading ...ladies ... this book will change your life...
Published 4 months ago by Dodi
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a good, but big read, however each chapter stands on its own so you can pick it up and put it down whenever you want and read what's relevant to you at the time.
Published 16 months ago by Jamie Green
5.0 out of 5 stars book
I am enjoying this book ever so much and think that all women should indulge themselves by reading it. it has shown me how to grow more into myself
Published 20 months ago by Dannica
5.0 out of 5 stars This book got me through so many pivotal moments in my life. I...
Dr. Estes has written an inspiring book for women who are at a crossroads in their lives, or just trying to understand themselves better. By examining myths and fairy tales Dr. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mary Reid
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for today's strong artistic woman
A must read for all strong women! This book will connect you to a side that you've probably become disconnected with... Give it a read!
Published 23 months ago by JanetRignall
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering what we have lost.
I loved this book. Until reading it, I never realized how much we women have lost due to the control imposed on us by patriarchy.
Published on July 25 2010 by female reader
1.0 out of 5 stars Women, Run Away!
I read this book hoping for a little insight and perspective from an educated women and found myself abysmally disappointed. Read more
Published on June 10 2004 by P Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for women
I just started reading Women Who Run With the Wolves yesterday and am enjoying it page by page.It is a deeply spiritual and empowering book that goes through the female psyche and... Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by Amarice
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