Women Who Run with the Wolves

Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Women Who Run with the Wolves



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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.

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Analysis and key concepts


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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Many useful tips to:

  • Help you begin to recognise the wild woman within you.
  • Look at some of the most famous fairy tales from an entirely new perspective.
  • Read and get to know some of the most famous fables ever told.

Clarissa Pinkola Estés is an American psychoanalyst, poet, and author of Mexican and Native American descent. At the age of four, she was adopted by a Hungarian family, who raised her in the United States and allowed her to study for a PhD in ethno-clinical psychology, (a degree whose focus is on the social and psychological patterns of tribal groups and indigenous people). She is also a specialist in post-traumatic recovery, and among other assignments, has been involved in helping the community after the Columbine school shooting . Estés has written many books, but Women Who Run with Wolves is undoubtedly the most famous.

Publishing house:

Ballantine Books