The Strength of the Female Psyche

Clarissa Pinkola Estés is the author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, a story in the form of essays and narratives that weave revelations about women and their nature.

The Woman Post | Nibeth Adriana Duarte Camacho

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Clarissa is Doctorate in ethnoclinical psychology, clinical psychology and ethnology focused on the psychology of groups and tribes and is an analytical psychologist who qualifies her as a Jungian psychoanalyst. Also, she is the executive director of the C.G. Jung Center for Education and Research in E.E.U.U

Fairy Tales, intercultural stories, and myths of the world constitute  726  pages of Clarissa's book where she leaves in evidence the most relevant aspects of the woman's psyche, that according to the author, traditional psychology has left out: Archetypal, intuitive, sexual and cyclical, the ages of women, their way of acting, their wisdom and creative fire

The first part: The Howl: Resurrection of the Wild Woman is about the archetype of the wild woman the woman who also was burned at stake, the woman who was seen as civilized through the constant efforts of society.

Based on a story of the woman who collects all the bones to rebuild the complete skeleton of the wolf makes a fire, and during the fire, meat begins to come out until it becomes the wolf that runs in the meadow that is a woman that runs and laughs 

This is a metaphor for the archetype of the wild woman that we all carry inside… some bones, all the aspects of the life and mind that have been left aside, repressed from the feminine psyche. This reconstruction brings to life the force of the feminine soul that the author calls Wild Woman. This first story explains concepts such as the psyche and the human soul and proposes the metaphor between the woman and the she-wolf. 

The author explains that wolves are sociable, curious, intuitive, strong, and resistant, the same as women. They care about their children and their peers, their pack. They are loyal and brave and both have been persecuted and accused of being greedy, aggressive, witches, worth less, the persecution of the retractors who do not understand them. 

She quotes: “We too make ourselves as we pour soul over the bones we have found. While we spill our longings and our sufferings on the bones of what we were in our youth, of what we knew many centuries ago and on the acceleration that we perceive in the future, we get on all fours, well seated” (page 57) 

Clarissa Pinkola recovery the power of the story for women to recover the strength, the instinct, and the essence of the wild woman


A second story is about a strange man with a blue beard who approaches three sisters to seduce them without success, until the youngest accepts. One day, Bluebeard says he is going on a trip and leaves her a bunch of keys, but not before warning her that he can use all but one, without giving her further explanations. She and the sisters take advantage of the absence and open all the doors finding riches, dresses, and jewels, and also finding the door that opens that little key that she couldn't use. 

There they find all the wives that Bluebeard has killed for disobeying him. She tries to hide all the evidence, she gets scared but the key begins to bleed, unable to clean it. Bluebeard returns and discovers it and tries to kill her. Finally, the brothers turned into birds save her on the roof of the castle.

This second story is a metaphor for abusive relationships

A predator is a being who always feels attracted to and isolates women, but this is an internal as well as an external character for women, the antagonistic figure that we all carry inside that does not allow us to advance, the voice that tells us that we are worthless, that we cannot, in this story the key is knowledge. The author, Clarissa, makes a psychic mapping with all the elements of the story where Bluebeard is the predator, The sisters, maturity, and of course, The young wife means immaturity.

That she has to face the murderer using her creativity, intuition, and instinct that makes her The wild woman aims to recover women's confidence and security, and intuition, a wild essence that has been displaced by culture, abuse, oppression, and patriarchy. 

The instinct, for this author, is pretty important that allows women to be like wolves, the ability to identify traps, and poisoned baits, realizing what is good or bad for us quickly is the best tool for making decisions. 

It is assuming immense power from wisdom, The difference between instinct and intuition is Instinct is an impulse that serves to carry out a complex action Intuition is the perception or understanding of tough action in the voice of Clarissa:

“Like wolverines, women need a similar initiation that teaches them that the inner and outer worlds are not always pleasant places. Many females haven't even received the basic lessons a mother wolf gives her pups about predators, such as: if she's menacing and bigger than you, she'll run away; if it's weaker decide what you want to do if it's sick leave it alone if it has spikes, poison, fangs or sharp claws then back off and walk in the opposite direction if it smells good but it's coiled around some jaws of metal, pass by”. 



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