Goddesses in Everywoman: A New Psychology of Women

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9780060912918: Goddesses in Everywoman: A New Psychology of Women

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.

From the Back Cover:

Myths are fascinating stories that become even more intriguing when we realize that they can reveal intimate truths about ourselves and others. Jean Shinoda Bolen brings the Greek pantheon to life as our inner archetypes and applies the power of myth to our personal lives. Once we understand the natural progression from myth to archetype to personal psychology, and realize that positive gifts and negative tendencies are qualities associated with a particular goddess within, we gain powerful insights.

Depending on which goddess is more active within, one woman might be more committed to achieving professional success, while another more fulfilled as a wife and mother. Bolen teaches women how to decide which qualities to cultivate and which to overcome, and how to tap the power of these enduring archetypes to become a better heroine in their own life stories.

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Jean Shinoda Bolen
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