Women-who-run-with-wolves has become a well-known analogy for tapping one's feminine creativity and living as a freed spirit.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes ground-breaking work, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetypehas become a classic of female empowerment since its publication in 1992.
The power of this image -- women running with wolves, hair streaming behind them, alive with their power and wisdom -- demonstrates the power influence of archetypal characters in our personal and collective consciousness.
I define archetype as a template for a type of human character, a nexus of energies that is embodied in different ways by people and cultures.
The Mother, the Father, the Hero, the King, the Magician, the Fool, the Child/Orphan, the Damsel in Distress, and the Trickster are among dozens of archetypal characters that we see in stories throughout the ages. We also see these types in ourselves and others.
Some sources define archetype as a typical example or stereotype. An archetype is more than that because the power archetypal characters exert on us.
We may become psychologically trapped or liberated by the archetypal characters who occupy our minds.
We may find new potentials by tapping into the power of some of these archetypes or by refusing to play other archetypal roles that no longer suit who we are and want to be.
Estes uses folk and fairy tales to reveal the deep wellsprings of women's creative power.
These sources of inspiration, lessons, and motivation have always been there to teach us to be women who run with the wolves.
My creative wildness began clamoring for attention in 2004.
I had locked it away tightly during graduate school training that emphasized disciplining the mind and body for long periods of reading and research.
Estes classic Women Who Run with the Wolves turned the key in the lock.
Estes provides a wholistic perspective that makes sense of folk wisdom about women, creativity, and reclaiming a sense of self in later life.
These ideas had been burbling since I'd started researching women, menopause, and aging in academic treatments.
I reported on some of the books that supported my creative journey in my personal blog.
Wolves uses Jungian interpretation to uncover the feminine wisdom of folk tales.
Estes uses Jungian techniques to draw out the lessons in the folk tales. These stories explain what happens to women when we cut off pieces of our creative spirit, and they show how we can reclaim our life force.
The stories provide heroic examples of feminine power to inspire and guide us.
The archetypal characters in these folk stories represent parts of every person's whole character.
If we define archetype as an energy pattern that exerts power over our imagination, we come to understand how these archetypal characters influence and define us.
I recommend this book as a starting place for rediscovering the joy of fashion as artful self-expression.
Here are some other books about Jungian archetypes, goddess lore, aging and creativity. They are flagstones on the path that lead me to launch Fashion After 50. To read my reviews, follow these links: