Friday, July 2, 2010

Women Who Run With the Wolves

I picked up this book having heard good reviews from some girlfriends. One especially, being in an abusive marriage, found the chapter on the Handless Maiden, to be life changing. She filed for divorce.

The author, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph. D, uses myths and stories from ancient lore to teach and explain the wild woman.

Ok, this might sound weird, but its very well done. I found myself underlining, making notes in the margin, and rereading it several times.

The legends, myths, stories all have similar truths: a woman in a vulnerable stage of life, makes choices resulting in outcomes either good or bad. The wild woman, or woman who runs with the wolves, is the desired outcome. One who feels strong, secure, wise, free.

By analyzing the minute details of each story, she brings truths to light.

Sometimes it is quite intellectual, talking about "differential diagnosis", "psychoanalytic parameters", the "injured or disrupted wildish force in the psyche", but its a book well worth the effort of digesting.

She parallels the wolf and wild (independent) woman in convincing terms.

"A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving. Yet, separation from the wildish nature causes a woman's personality to become meager, thin, ghostly, spectral."

A substancial book of nearly 500 pages, it both encourages us women to live with an instinctive nature and warns of giving in to distructive forces, especially capture and fear.

"Protect your creative life", Clarissa writes. "If you would avoid habre del alma, the straved soul, name the problem for what it is-and fix it. Practice your work every day. Then, let no thought , no man, no woman, no mate, no friend, no religion, no job, and no crabbed voice force you into a famine. If necessary, show your incisors."

I recommend this book for women who are looking to build or reclaim their sence of self.
It is a serious book for the Wild Woman.
and enlightening for someone at a crossroads in life, sniffing out the correct path.

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