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Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother's Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Like warm bread from the oven, these words are mother's loving touch, they are her fierce cry to find every child lost in the wild storms, they are ancient grandmothers' fearless cloak for each vulnerable human. Read this marvelous book and let the Strong Woman ennoble, transport, protect, inspire, and embrace you and bring you home."
 —JACK KORNFIELD, author of A Path with Heart

About the Author

Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD, is an internationally recognized scholar, award-winning poet, diplomate senior Jungian psychoanalyst, and cantadora (keeper of the old stories in the Latina tradition). In addition to her international bestseller Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Estés is a managing editor and columnist writing on politics, spirituality, and culture at the newsblog TheModerateVoice.com, and she is a columnist at The National Catholic Reporter online.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Sounds True; 1st Printing edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604076356
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604076356
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This wonderful book defies any simple review. Its difficult to confine to any summary or set of words other than the author's own. It is broad, deep, elegantly simple at times and then profoundly complex all on the same page. A totally different experience, ever richer, unpacks on each encounter I've had so far. Its heart-breaking, heart-mending and heart-opening.

So...Instead it makes more sense to me to speak about what happens when one meets the book, encounters the author's voice, and through her enters the presence of the Strong Woman she so passionately introduces now to the rest of the world. Regardless of our faith or lack thereof, our gender, our culture, or our political creed.

I started to preorder this weeks ago out of curiousity, but largely skeptical. Discussion of the mother archetype and such religious themes carries echos of familiarity from either my upbringing or academic past. Some have been decidedly not pleasant. And for the most part I would say I'm not very comfortable "believing" in them -- particularly if I sense persuasive efforts to press me into cooperation with a view held by one particular organized or institutionalized version. My preferred entrance into the spiritual, sacred, or holy is more easily recognized in the nonverbal world of nature. Nonetheless, I have greatly enjoyed and benefited from several other works from Dr. Estes. These convinced me that her newest book, UnTie the Strong Woman, might be quite different than my expectations. Indeed, it is not like any other book I have ever encountered.

In brief, because there is so much for each person to individually discover on their own, and not wishing to spoil any secrets I will just say that I was awe-struck by the following:

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Format: Hardcover
CPE has done it again! This book, like her others, is a sacred talisman reminding us of what our souls so deeply long for; it is a quiet, contemplative, loving collection of experiences of how Immaculate Love is closer to us than we are to ourselves. At the same time it is raucous and laugh out loud exhilarating. (Just look at the chapter titles!) These true stories are real life, hard to the bone difficult at times, yet light radiates through. The book is easy to dip into and come up immersed in love whether I've read 5 minutes or 5 hours. Reading it is a holy experience, speaking to the deepest core of my heart and letting my discursive brain rest awhile. "Why?" "What?" "How?" moves into "Ahhhhhhh. . . . "
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. CPE has honed her skills and talents over the years since WWRTW, just like all of us. We are stronger, realistic, concise, we know about time, and mind out of time. Do not let the title, nor the Holy Mother deter you from this book. Open yourself to the simple, yet complex mentoring of the Strong Woman within all of us.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Untie the Strong Woman may be the most unusual book I've read in the last ten years. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, or perhaps we should say, Mother Clarissa, has offered those with ears and eyes to perceive meditations on the Holy Mother in her vast panorama of faces and names; a bridge of reflective wisdom between literati and rustic alike; and (for some who yearn for a bit of mothering themselves) a glimpse into at least one wild soul's devotion and discipline set toward new life and hope in a world in desperate need of both.

It is not an easy book to read, mind you, but that has less to do with the book (I suspect) and more to do with what the author might call "the overculture" in which we swim, the shaped expectations for immediate access or sound-bites imprinted into readers today. Untie the Strong Woman is an important text to receive, in the end. It is one that will take me years to read well, which I do commit to completing/receiving. I'll share here only a couple `two-cents' worth of what I mean, or why.

Untie the Strong Woman is classic Estés: story-formed teachings, poetry, blessings, all interwoven with decades of Jungian-flavored insights into the human condition in its beauty and difficulty. Devotees of her and her work will find nourishment they've hoped for, perhaps even come to expect, with a clear sense of the sound of her voice in their ears. I wonder if some will be surprised, however. The text shows a strongly steeped Catholic voice, though not in any staid-traditional sense.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I dwell alone in a falling apart hermitage in the now very cold and dry New Mexican desert, a few miles from the border. A woman's voice has not been heard within this cinderblock shack for several years, and rarely a man's as well, aside from the comforting familiar retelling of Ulysses, our beloved and Catholic myth.

Until now.

This review presents a very tiny part of my response to hearing Dra. Clarissa Pinkola Estes comforting voice within my solitary place. I cannot begin to express the totality of my response within this alphanumeric format, but my heart and soul and my mind, alone, cry out in response to converse with this great and wise heart, this courageous and wise Woman Who Runs with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.

That in fact has been reported to be one of her most helpful works by many people. Here, after such a long and pregnant pause, we find another, and thank God!

Dra. Pinkola Estes, frequent contributor to the National Catholic Reporter, serves us humans as a Jungian psycho-analyst, and we find this service very active in this monologue, raising moving archetypes for our consideration, from the evolving, healing "drunkard" to a close examination, a loving presentation, a spoken incarnation of --Our Lady, La Nuestra Señora, Holy Mother-or one of her thousands of other names, Thus she comes to us in billions of images, but at her center, she is the Great Immaculate Heart, so Dra. Estes reminds us lovingly, compassionately, mercifully, healingly.
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