Clarissa Pinkola Estés
American psychoanalyst and writer
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (born January 27, 1945) is a first-generation American writer and Jungian psychoanalyst. She is the author of Women Who Run with the Wolves (1992), which remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 145 weeks and has sold over two million copies.
- We need to see and understand that whatever stands behind nature is what is god. Nature itself, it is the manifestation.
- I have seen this sky every day of my life and I am still in awed by it. That is what the wild is — this intense medicinal beauty. To look at it makes you feel whole.
- I feel that men are as much of a mystery as women. Once we get past a certain amount of self-consciousness and protection of certain sacred cows by each gender, we could have a real conversation, maybe, for the first time ever in the universe, in this century.
- I understand mythology. I understand stories. I understand poetry. I understand that they cut close to the bone. I am a poet who became a psychoanalyst. That is my background. I am a cantadora. I am a storyteller. It comes from my feet, upward, not from my brain, downward.
- I interviewed Robert Bly in 1990. I can remember saying to him, “Now, what about the men’s movement?” And he said, “No, it’s not men’s movement.” And I said, “Well, what will you call it?” “Men’s work, just work with men, that’s all.” And, I really like that. I like that he called it work with men. Mythopoetic is too big a word. It is better to have simpler words.
- The way I understand my work is that it is like putting out food — a certain kind of food. People who have great hunger for that food will come. What I think for men and women is food, is healing food actually, is stories.
- It is said that the grand storytellers of your generation and my generation is the cinema. Teenagers and young adults aren’t going to grandmother and grandfather anymore to sit in the kitchen and listen to their stories. We go to the cinema to see the cliffhangers on Saturdays.
- We have means to extend the kitchen out into the world, or to extend the hearth place or the bonfire out into the world, and to gather together people who would ordinarily not be within our reach. So it is actually a very exciting time.
- The mother, if she commits herself to life and builds a vast storehouse of knowing inside of her, is her children’s bastion. She has a relationship with her children forever as mother. And she has the wisdom, hopefully, to know when to let go and let them lead their lives on their own. But she also is there when they come back and need something. There has to be a prototype for the mother who remains mother forever.
- I have to say that a man can never know who he is, or a woman cannot know who she is, until she has poured herself through the sieve that is her mother and poured herself through the sieve that is her father and come to understand through both.
- My theory, which is a blasphemous and heinous theory, is that as long as men elevate the maiden and the sexual woman, they will trash the mother and the daughter.
- Cynicism is the opposite of soulful. Cynicism means the conduit to the soul has a great kink in it, like a garden hose in which nothing flows in either direction. That’s what makes cynicism. If those conduits are open, you cannot be cynical.
Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype (1996)Edit
- We are all filled with a longing for the wild. There are few culturally sanctioned antidotes for this yearning. We were taught to feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the shadow of Wild Woman still lurks behind us during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed.
- The pathologizing of variation in women's bodies is a deep bias endorsed by many psychological theorists, most certainly by Freud.
- the Life/Death/Life forces are part of our own nature, an inner authority that knows the steps, knows the dance of Life and Death. It is composed of the parts of ourselves who know when something can, should, and must be born and when it must die. It is a deep teacher if we can only learn its tempo. Rosario Castellanos, the Mexican mystic and ecstatic poet, writes about surrender to the forces that govern life and death: “... dadme la muerte que me falta .../give me the death I need . . .” Poets understand that there is nothing of value without death
Quotes about Clarissa Pinkola EstésEdit
- a world-class psychologist and writer known for her themes on women...Since Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola-Éstes has become known for her empowerment of women through the use of the very mythology that has been long used to dismiss women in society.
- Ana Castillo Interview (2014)
- I think the best camp for women is the Wild Women’s Snowboard Camp, launched by women’s 1992 World Extreme Champ, Greta Gaines, and co-directed by Mary Seibert. It follows a philosophy by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run with the Wolves, in that women need to break free; that there is a need and obligation for each woman to reach this level and let go. Snowboarding’s a fluid sport that allows you to do just this. Like rock climbing, it’s more about balance and grace than strength and ego. Therefore, women excel.
- Kathleen Gasperini, in "The First Time: A Girls’ Guide" in Transworld Snowboarding (15 October 1999)