Dear Our Shared Shelf,
When WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES was first published in 1993, it created a furore about the idea of the Wild Woman archetype and how women had lost our connection to our natural, instinctual selves. Jungian psychoanalyst, poet, and keeper of old stories Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book went to sell over 2 million copies, but today her fascinating book is rarely discussed. Estes’ ideas are both ancient and completely new. She points to storytelling, our ancient narratives, as a way for women to reconnect to the Wild Woman all women have within themselves, but have lost.
As a young girl growing up in northern Michigan, Estes felt most at home in the woods where she often heard wolves howling. Instead of scaring her, the animals’ cries comforted her in a way she was later able to express in this book. Wolves and women share many qualities: playfulness, strength, curiosity, bravery, they are adaptive, and each care deeply for their young. But both wolves and women have suffered a similar fate of being hounded, harassed, exhausted, marginalized, accused of being devious and of little value. How does one reconnect with our deepest, most true selves when today’s world demands us to conform to ridiculous expectations? Estes retells ancient myths and fairy tales from around the world and in doing so shines a light on a path which leads us back to our natural state --- and help us restore the power we carry within us.