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Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women's Lives Paperback – March 2, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I wrote Goddesses in Everywoman as a psychology of women, that has over the past fifteen years since I wrote it, become something of a classic. I've been told how useful it has been to facilitate discussions between mothers and daughters, sisters, and friends about their differences and similarities. It's helped men understand the significant women in their lives (something women who have given the book to husbands and lovers, with chapters or passages marked, hoped would happen). It's a book that has become a text in a very wide variety of courses from high school to graduate school, in mythology, psychology, women's studies, literature, creative writing, drama, and counseling, and had a major influence in women's spirituality. Its perspective and mine is Jungian, feminist, spiritual, clinical, right brain and left.

I wish that women readers would also read Gods in Everyman, for a complete understanding of themselves. I think that just about every woman who does so, will find an aspect of herself in a god-archetype, which completes her internal pantheon. For example, Hermes (Mercury) the messenger god, is a very significant archetype in me. I have the exploratory energy of Artemis, but it is Hermes that puts what I learn in words and makes the intuitive connections.

Besides Gods in Everyman, two of my other books are related. Ring of Power (a new edition will be published February 1999) based on Richard Wagner's operatic Ring Cycle, focuses on dysfunctional family relationships between these same archetypes (with different names). In Crossing to Avalon, I wrote about my pilgrimage to sacred sites and what I experienced of goddess spirituality. A "sequel" to Goddesses in Everywoman is in the works -- I am now writing Goddesses in Older Women. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Myths are fascinating stories that become even more intriguing when we realize that they can reveal intimate truths about ourselves and others. Jean Shinoda Bolen brings the Greek pantheon to life as our inner archetypes and applies the power of myth to our personal lives. Once we understand the natural progression from myth to archetype to personal psychology, and realize that positive gifts and negative tendencies are qualities associated with a particular goddess within, we gain powerful insights.

Depending on which goddess is more active within, one woman might be more committed to achieving professional success, while another more fulfilled as a wife and mother. Bolen teaches women how to decide which qualities to cultivate and which to overcome, and how to tap the power of these enduring archetypes to become a better heroine in their own life stories.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; 20 Anv edition (March 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060572841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060572846
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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.
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Format: Paperback
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!
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By A Customer on July 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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By A Customer on March 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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