Thoughts on: Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Women Who Run With The Wolves explores folk tales and myths through a jungian lens with the intent to help women reconnect to the instinctual self, the Wild Woman archetype.


📝 Classic tale beginning:

““Once there was, and ones there was not…” This paradoxical phrase is meant to alert the soul of the listener that this story takes place in the world between worlds where nothing is as it first seems.”

📝 The animus can pollute your flow of creativity with self doubt. One with a polluted river will not be able to take compliments; “Beautiful? This old thing? Well, it nothing really, look at all the mistakes I made”.

A well-developed animus has excellent borders. An artist that puts up a sign outside her house: “I am working today and am not receiving visitors. I know you think this doesn’t mean you because you are my banker, agent, or best friend. But it does.” 💪🏻

📝 Original stories where often morphed to fit religious beliefs. Pagan symbols became Christian symbols. Sexual parts where removed and animals became demons. 🦁 —> 👹

📝 There is no more reliable sign that a person has spent time with Ugly Duckling status at some point or all her life than her inability to digest a sincere compliment. We have all know people like this… 🦆 🦢

📝“Sometime educated guesses can be made about the wounds of childhood by closely inspecting what matters adults irrationally lose their tempers over”.

📝 “If you don’t go out in the woods, nothing will ever happen and your life will never begin” 🌲


It’s beautifully written, very mystical in its tone, and I can sense the impact this book must have had on women throughout the years. As a male reader I can’t fully relate to all aspects of it – and it’s ok, it’s not written for me -but there is a lot of value in this book nevertheless.

For me the biggest takeaways are the stories themselves and their interpretation. I also found the chapter of creativity truly profound.

3/5


Get the book right here or find other amazing reads in my reading lists!

Threats to our Creativity and Women Who Run with the Wolves

One of my favorite parts of this book revolve around the topic of self-sabotaging our own creativity:

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📝 “Some of the malevolent complexes’ favorite thieveries and punishments of women’s creativity revolve around promising the soul-self “time to create” somewhere of in the foggy future. Or promising that when one has several days in a row free, then the rumpus will begin at last. It’s hogwash.”

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This is just a way to suffocate the creative impulse further.

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Another great way of suffocating creativity is Only-iffing; Only if I had a such and such degree then my work would be decent. Only if I receive such and such thing…

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Many put their talents in the back burner:

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📝 “I’ve seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write…. and you know it’s a funny thing about house cleaning… it never comes to an end. Perfect way to stop a woman.” 🧹

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How do you nourish and protect your creative life? And if you don’t; How do you procrastinate? 🤔

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(And yes! A Review of Women Who Runs With The Wolves is coming soon!) 🐺

The Laws of Human Nature: Discover Your Dark Side

Recall Britney’s 2008 breakdown, Clinton’s sex affair and the behavior Nixon’s behavior in the White House before his resignation?

“When we experience those moments when people reveal their dark side, we see something come over their face; their voice and body language of altered— almost as if another person is confronting us, the features of the upset child suddenly becoming visible” – Robert Greene

Carl Jung called it The Shadow.

The Shadow consists of all the qualities we try to deny about ourselves and repress. You can try really hard to cover up these aspects but they will pop back up sooner of later. You can see glimpses of it showing from people in moments of stress.

“You can throw out Nature with a pitchfork, but she’ll always come back.”

Hiding The Shadow side of yourself takes energy. You must be adept to see when The Shadow is appearing in yourself and others.

The Shadow also tends to show more with age. “Later in life we tire of the masks we have been wearing, and the leakage is greater.”

I’ve started to study Jung but I haven’t read up on the concept of The Shadow yet. What I’ve got from The Laws of Human Nature is an introduction that left me wanting to know more – What reading do you recommend on the Shadow and Shadow work? Let’s confront our dark sides! 🤔

Favorite Books of the Year 2018: “Demian” – Hermann Hesse

A short and moody novel that revolves around young Sinclair and the difficult task of finding oneself. Growing up in a protected and pious middle class home he eventually has to face the real world. Sinclair gets a new mysterious classmates, Demian, who guides him to detach and revolt from the superficial world of form and awaken to his true self.

📝 “All I really wanted was to try and live the life that was spontaneously welling up within me. Why was that so very difficult?”

This is most memorable fictional book I’ve read this year. A coming of age story with strong connections to Jungian psychology and symbolism. It came to me at a perfect time; Since I, much like Hesse did when writing the book, just “began to explore the writings of Freud and Jung on dreams and archetypes”. Something that really influenced Hesses writings.

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

Thoughts on: “Demian” by Hermann Hesse

The story revolves around young Sinclair and the difficult task of finding ones self. Growing up in a protected and pious middle class home he eventually has to face the real world. Sinclair gets a new mysterious classmates, Demian, who guides him to detach and revolt from the superficial world of form and awaken to his true self.

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📝 Abraxas: A deity combining the godlike and the devilish.

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📝 “All I really wanted was to try and live the life that was spontaneously welling up within me. Why was that so very difficult?”

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📝 “When we hate a person, what we hate in his image is something inside ourselves. Whatever isn’t inside us can’t excite us.”

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⭐️ Takeaway:

About the previous quote: If that’s the case – and by observing this phenomenon for a while I believe there is some truth to it – then even when someone irritates us, we can use that as an opportunity to learn more I out ourselves. I kinda like that quote for that reason.

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📊 My Amateur Jungian Analysis: Sinclair is the “Ego”, Kromer his “Shadow” and Demian the “Self”. Lady Eve is the “Anima” (the unconscious feminine side of a man). One of Jungs anima levels is even named “Eve”. By opening up to Lady Eve, Sinclair becomes complete. He and Damien become one.

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⚖️ Verdict:

This a mysterious and short (100 pages!) coming of age story for philosophically minded reader. Pauses for contemplation are needed between each chapters. The best 3$ spent this year!

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For those who read already: What do you think Demian did to get Kromer of Sinclair’s back?

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What short book blew your mind recently?

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4/5

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