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Alice O. Howell is known best as a unique writer, a Jungian therapist, an author of works on symbolism and The Beejum Book for children. She has also written poetry all her life. It was, in fact, her original vocation, practiced since the age of fifteen. Now eighty-seven, From the Archives of the Heart collects the author’s poems of more than seven decades. Organized chronologically, her poems tell the story of a deeply human life, one devoted to the spirit, continuous transformation, and both inner and outer development.
Through different forms, poetic and experiential, Alice Howell’s poems trace, in her own unique way, one woman’s path to the embodiment of Wisdom, whom she calls Sophia. As these poems map her life, they move from the visionary and philosophical to the mythological and the language of Jung. Because her life is always lived in relationship, these themes are also extraordinarily and constantly leavened by intimate, deeply moving poems of love:
Each star is a kiss
I would give you ―
Should others wake
to a starless night
you would be
lying in my arms
covered with light.
Understanding the very life of words themselves, Alice O. Howell’s language is fresh, often funny, and always incisive, cutting to the quick of her subjects. It is no wonder, then, that more than a few connoisseurs have long loved these poems, many never published before.
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Alice O. Howell was born in Cambridge, Mass., in 1922. From an early age, she lived abroad in hotels and boarding schools, never more than three months in one place. By eighteen, she had lived in or traveled to thirty-seven countries and undertaken a lifelong study of comparative religion and mythology. She graduated from the Buser Institut in Switzerland before returning with her parents to the U.S. During World War II, she studied under the astrologer Marc Edmund Jones as his youngest student. She got married, had four children, and taught English and history in private schools on Long Island for eighteen years, progressing to the university level. Howell continued to study Jungian depth psychology and astrology for thirty years. At the advice of the Jungian analyst Dr. Edward F. Edinger, she attempted to prove astrology a useful diagnostic aid in the practice of Jungian psychology and devoted her time to patients sent by psychiatrists and analysts. Howell taught at the Jung Foundation in New York City and later at the C.G. Jung institutes in Chicago and L.A. and became an international lecturer. She is the primary pioneer in linking psychology and astrology. Encouraged by her second husband, Walter Andersen, she has written seven books, including Jungian Symbolism in Astrology (1987); The Dove in the Stone (1988); and The Web in the Sea (1933); as well as three books for SteinerBooks and Lindisfarne Books: How Like an Angel Came I Down (1991); The Beejum Book (2002); Lara's First Christmas (2004); and From the Archives of the Heart (2010). Now widowed and a great-grandmother, Alice O. Howell lives in the Massachusetts Berkshires and continues her practice and moderates an online Jungian group.
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