40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2005
Dr. Bolen is one of my favorite modern authors. She is a Jungian who teaches in SF. This is a book written by an intelligent and empowered woman, in an attempt to give other women insight on their own strengths & inner gifts. She weaves the stories of 7 goddess of classical Greece (Athena, Artemis, Hestia, Hera, Demeter, Persephone, and Aphrodite) with observations of emotional & behavioral patterns culled from her years of clinical work. The result are truly compelling portraits --- almost every women will find at least one "aha!" of recognition in this book, and all of us can find some kind of "aha!" for the women dear to us in our lives. By casting these behavioral patterns as *goddesses*, Dr. Bolen is ennobling the internal & external struggles of women and underscoring their inherent strength & wisdom. It is a book of tremendous optimism, courage, and hope. This is a book I have often given as a gift to women, especially young women.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2002
Bolen takes Jungian psychology one step further by positing that there is not just, but many, female archetypes, and that a well-balanced women should incorporate aspects from each into her personality. Bolen uses the Greek goddesses Artemis, Athena, Hestia, Persephone, Demeter, Hera and Aphrodite to illustrate aspects of feminity--including both strengths and weaknesses that come with certain characteristics. In the end, Bolen reminds women that choosing which archetype to draw from in any particular circumstance or learning to develop new aspects is critical. Absolutely fascinating!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2002
This book, and its companion GODS IN EVERYMAN, were given to me this spring by the love of my life, whom I hadn't seen in twenty years. The first time around, my life was reasonably under control; this time it was in utter turmoil. He gave me the books in the hope I'd find answers to some of life's puzzles within them.
And I did, I really did! Having only read this first book, to date, I was astonished to learn who I really am, and how and why I've done many of the things I've done in my life. Some of these things were pretty good, actually, and I'm very proud of them, while some of them have-unfortunately-been the opposite. I'm not sure if having this book at hand during the last twenty years would have made any difference in those actions or not. But, even belatedly, it's helpful to know the whys of some of my choices.
There is no way to know how or why I turned out to be a nearly prototypical Aphrodite, but I surely am! There is also just a tiny bit of Artemis and Athena, but not enough to wield any influence, I'm sorry to say. I would never have recognized myself as an Aphrodite until about the age of 25 or so, but after that-my life is a virtual roadmap for her. It's almost as though Dr. Bolen traveled alongside me every inch of the way, and observed all my triumphs and mistakes, the failures and messes and successes, too, and written them up as a guideline to Aphrodite! Even the discussion of the 'committee' and the way decisions are made, ring very true to life.
I found my mother in here, and knowing why she did some of the things she did, has been a revelation to me. I can only hope to employ the wisdom found in this book to avoid some of the same mistakes with my daughter, who is, of course, also to be found in these pages.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who wants to know more about herself, or, if you're a man, to discover some of the inner workings of the woman in your life. Age and sexual orientation are also given consideration, each within the archetype of the relevant goddess. Should you discover yourself (or your lady) in the very first description, I would still urge you to read the entire book. It's quite simply marvelous; well-written, humorous, and serious when necessary. Thank you, my love, and thank you, Dr Bolen!
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2002
From some reviews I have read here, it appears that some folks are looking for a self-help type of book. It is not that. It is an intelligently written and researched scholarly work on female archetypes (think Jungian psychology).
It is not, however, dense reading. On the contrary, the author has cleverly used the goddess characters in Greek mythology to make the archetypes more accessible and entertaining to study. I challenge anyone to read this book without trying to find themselves or their friends. Very interesting and fun to read.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2003
To begin, I must praise Ms. Bolen, for writing in such a way as to have laypersons (such as myself) never feel as we are being talked down to. Many psychology books use technical terms for everything, as if tring to prove they have their degrees, bringing to mind the student who uses a thesaurus to write the term paper to impress the professor. However, this book explains any necessary technical terms quickly and concisely, and then continues on to the rest of the topic.
I found this book quite insightful, both with myself and my relationships with other women. I now understand why my closest friend is always trying to get me involved with political protests and 'acting for the Cause.' I also understand why my relationship with my boyfriend is so effected by my relationship/friendship with my mother. Our's being a definitive Persephone/Demeter relationship.
The uses of the seven Goddess archetypes (Artemis/Athena/Hestia, Hera/Demeter/Persephone, and Aphrodite) as a mode to understanding why a woman acts in a particular way. This book will definately help women to define themselves, and why they seem attracted to a specific type of lover/mate.
I definately recommend this book to all, women and men.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2000
This book is absolutely wonderful. I have definitely found the goddesses in myself, and I will forever be trying to decide which goddess dominates the other women around me. I have even found a sense of understanding toward my mother and sister that I did not have before.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2003
This book is very uplifting and an enlightening read no matter what type of woman you are. One of the best qualities is the author's ability to present the strengths of each archetype and not build a hierarchy of goddesses. This approach allows the reader to understand different women, as well as conflicting emotions within herself, and see the positive qualities. I found myself completely taken by her discussion of the Hestia archetype. In fact, I did some further research on this archetype and now have a collection of notes to pull from. If a book inspires further investigation, it is definitely worth the read.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 1999
This book was very insightful. It talked about the 7 general types of women, each relating to one of the major goddesses from Greek Mythology, and the strengths and weeknesses of each. It led to better understanding of myself and of other women, some of whom I've always felt I had little in common with. I got this book as a gift from my mother, and I found it so interesting I had to give a copy to my mother-in-law who also loved it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2003
What an amazing book! Jean Shimoda Bolen is remarkable for putting together a set of archetypes for women to study and gain self-comprehension. The use of Greek goddesses- Artemis, Athena, Hestia, Hera, Demeter, Persephone, and Aphrodite- help women readily identify who they naturally are and whom they were conditioned to be. In addition, the archetypes enable women to look into activating whom they would like to be. I too noticed the presence of different goddesses in my life, in particular Artemis, Aphrodite, and Persephone. I was completely taken by these 3 archetypes, and plan to research them further. Truly an insightful read!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2000
I keep at least two copies of this book on hand at all times. One for myself (for safe-keeping) and the second one to loan out to friends who simply must read the book. (I've replaced the second copy several times after loaning it to friends who simply must "KEEP" the book.)
Goddesses in Everywoman is one of the clearest presentations of Jungian theory I've ever seen put into actions. I've loaned this book to people with PhDs, people with GEDs, and people with every educational level between. Male or female, each person has found something of themselves in this book--each person who reads it finds a bit of their mom, or sister, or girlfriend, too.
If I could give just one book to every woman in my life, it would be Goddesses in Everywoman, by Dr. Bolen.