Women Who Run with the Wolves Book Summary - Women Who Run with the Wolves Book explained in key points
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Women Who Run with the Wolves summary

Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

4.6 (23 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Women Who Run with the Wolves is a powerful exploration of the wild feminine spirit, filled with stories and myths that guide women on a transformative journey to reclaim their innate wisdom and strength.

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    Women Who Run with the Wolves
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    Meet the Wild Woman

    She is a familiar figure from old songs and stories: the witch, the healer, the shape-shifter, the forest-dweller, the woman who runs with the wolves. 

    In Hungarian, she is called Roszomak, the Wolverine; in Guatemalan, Humana del Niebla, the Mist Being; in Japanese, Amateratsu Omikami, the Bringer of Light. Every culture, at every time in history, has told stories about this fierce, powerful woman.

    When women read about her, they may feel a primal echo. That is because the Wild Woman of the stories lies latent in their psyche. All women are in sisterhood with the wild feminine, even though society and patriarchy conspire to sever this connection. 

    Sometimes, women can taste fleeting glimpses of this wildness – during pregnancy, the primal, animal experience of birth and nursing; through passionate romance; through being in nature; through music and dance. Once a woman reconnects with the Wild Woman archetype, she becomes unstoppable. Her creativity, inspiration, sexuality, and intuition all blossom and thrive.

    What are the telltale signs that the connection with this wildest part of the psyche has frayed? Women who aren’t in touch with the Wild Woman often report feeling fatigued, unfocused, doubtful, and out of step with their own inner tempo. A woman who has lost her connection to wildness is unhealthy. A healthy woman, meanwhile, is like a wolf: fierce, loyal, roving, attentive, territorial, following her gut. 

    In Jungian psychoanalysis, the Wild Woman is both the female soul and the source of the raw feminine. Jungians see stories as medicine; the way they play with archetypes, symbols, and patterns offers a framework for healing and learning. In that sense, the stories of the Wild Woman are far more than a string of words – if you let them be, they can also be maps that guide you back to your own wild inner power.

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    What is Women Who Run with the Wolves about?

    Women Who Run with the Wolves (1989) is a profoundly influential work of Jungian psychology that has shown countless women how to connect with the wise, abiding, and untameable presence of the Wild Woman archetype in their own psyches.

    Who should read Women Who Run with the Wolves?

    • Women who want to awaken their innate connection to wildness and instinct
    • Women who crave deeper experiences and relationships 
    • Women who yearn to rekindle their intuition

    About the Author

    Clarissa Pinkola Estés is an American writer, psychoanalyst, and post-trauma specialist. Her classic text, Women Who Run with the Wolves, has sold over two million copies worldwide.

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