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Women Who Run with the Wolves
Read in 15 min.
Listen in 19 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Women Who Run with the Wolves

Identify and break free from many of the rules that society places on women

Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with strong instincts, passionate creativity, and timeless wisdom. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women. Unfortunately, however, she is an endangered species. In Women Who Run With The Wolves, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés reveals rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, and stories, many from her own family, in order to help women understand how to reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of their instinctive nature. Through the stories and commentaries in this book, we retrieve, examine, understand and embrace the Wild Woman, and hold her dear and deep in our psyche as one who is both magic and medicinal.

Women Who Run with the Wolves
Read in 15 min.
Listen in 19 min.

To get in touch with your inner Wild Woman, follow the path of traditional stories

Most women live their lives with the burden of social obligation that never lets up: as mainstream culture changes, the type of burden imposed on her can change, but there is no society in which women are truly free. Meanwhile, inside each individual female there are two sides to her nature: the one we see, i.e. the facade that woman must maintain in order to be accepted, and another, more deep-rooted one. This is the woman the author refers to as the Wild Woman: the archetype of the woman, common to all females, simultaneously powerful and primaeval, who guides them on their discovery of an underground world full of power and revelations. The Wild Woman can be found within all women, and those who can connect with her c,an tap into her wisdom, freedom, and power. However, breaking free from the constraints and social rules that aim to control women can be a real struggle. What's more: it is a long and arduous journey that must be embarked upon and then followed through to the end, from innocence to enlightenment.

The more time passes, the less likely the Wild Woman is to reveal herself, and at times, it might even seem as though coaxing her out is no longer possible. The journey to find her is certainly a mysterious and complex one, but traces of it can still be found in the very ancient stories that have been handed down from generation to generation, since the dawn of time, and which we still tell our children today. We can recognise them because they are often common to many different cultures around the world, with tiny variations in each country. Most of us are likely to recognise these tales because their most recent version was told to us in childhood. Some of these tales can offer us fragments of the Wild Woman, and show us the way through to finding the powerful and wise archetype that every woman carries within herself.


The key ideas of "Women Who Run with the Wolves"

To get in touch with your inner Wild Woman, follow the path of traditional stories
The story of Bluebeard teaches us to recognise a predator
For it to be true and lasting, love must also acknowledge the negative side, as we learn from the story of the Skeleton Woman
The fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling” teaches us the importance of finding our tribe
Becoming aware of traps and addictions: The Red Shoes fairy tale
Every woman has to come home eventually: The Seal Skin Story
Take-home message
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