Woman Studies : Recommended Reading List

Jung suggested that the drive to wholeness, to individuation is inherent in the psyche. The feminine journey towards individuation involves a deepening of life’s journey, going down into the depths of the soul, of healing and reclaiming lost parts. Thus individuation involves an increasing awareness of your own unique psychological realities, including your personal strengths and limitations, of re-awaking your wisdom, of reigniting your imagination, of reclaiming your authentic voice, of living by your own inner light.

Explore the feminine journey through:

Addiction to Perfection : The Still Unravished Bride by Marion WoodmanA powerful study of the nature of the feminine in food rituals, dreams, mythology, body work, Christianity, sexuality, creativity and relationships.

Alcoholism and Woman: The Background and the Psychology by Jan Bauer – This book compares medical and psychological models, and examines the success of Alcoholics Anonymous in terms of archetypal patterns represented by the Greek gods Apollo, Dionysus, Athene and Asclepius (the wounded healer)

Animus and Anima in Fairytales by Marie-Louise von Franz – Dr. von Franz devoted much of her life to the difficult task of interpreting fairy tales, bringing clarity and earthy good humor to the work. Another treasure from this great author, in which she focuses on what fairy tales can tell us about the contrasexual complexes—animus and anima—that inform our fantasies and behavior concerning the opposite sex, both inner and outer.

Awakening Woman : Dreams and Individuation by Nancy-Qualla-CorbettIn this unique collaborative work by an analyst and her analysand, a woman in midlife learns to understand her dreams, visions and emotions, and especially the kinship between sexuality and spirituality, thus acquiring an authentic sense of self.

Coming to Age : The Croning Years and Late-Life Transformation by Jane R. Pretat – A comprehensive overview of inner events and creative possibilities during the years after middle age. Prétat explores the tasks and potential rewards of this period, including the relevance of the Demeter-Persephone myth.

Conscious Femininity by Marion Woodman – Marion Woodman’s books have sold well over 800,000 copies, with 20 editions in 10 languages. Those already familiar with her work will value the deep passion that animates these candid discussions. For those who haven’t yet discovered her, this is an excellent place to start.

Descent to the Goddess : A Way of Initiation for Women by Sylvia Brinton Perera – Pioneer study of the need for an inner female authority in a masculine- oriented society and a journey into the underworld of Inanna-Ishtar, Goddess of Heaven and Earth, to see Ereshkigal, her dark sister, as must, modern women descend into the depths of themselves.

Eros and Pathos by Aldo Carotenuto – Why do we fear love? How do we invite betrayal? What can we learn about ourselves from eroticism, abandonment, solitude? What unconscious drives are at work in seduction and jealousy? Are love, suffering and creativity connected?

Eros Naturally by Daryl SharpEros, Naturally is a romp with gravitas. It is another “Jungian romance” by the author who created the genre, starting with Chicken Little: The Inside Story (1993) and continuing through over a dozen more tomes. No other writer has so adroitly interwoven Logos and Eros, thinking and feeling. In this new book, Sharp’s approach to psychic well-being, his “Jungian romances,” will interest more people in self-discovery than any of the many academic tomes on the subject. 

The Cat : A Tale of Feminine Redemption by Marie-Louise von Franz “The Cat” is a Romanian fairy tale about a princess who at the age of seventeen is bewitched—turned into a cat. Von Franz unravels the symbolic threads in this story, from enchantment to beating, the ringing of bells, golden apples, somersaults, witches, etc. Throughout, she explores the great themes of redemption and the union of opposites. Grounded in experience.

The Mother : Archetypal Image in Fairy Tales by Sibylle Birkhauser-OeriA practical illustration of how the mother complex functions in the world as well as in the deeper regions of the psyche. The focus here is on positive and negative aspects of the maternal image in well known fairy tales, including Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Hansel and Gretel.

The Owl was a Bakers Daughter : Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa and the Repressed Feminine by Marion WoodmanEye-opening insights into the body as mirror of the psyche in eating disorders and weight disturbances. Case studies and practical procedures emphasize the integration of body and soul.

The Pregnant Virgin : A process of Psychological Transformation by Marion Woodman“The woman who is virgin, one in herself, does what she does not for power or out of the desire to please, but because what she does is true.” Here is writing with a thinking heart, blending art, literature, religion and case material. This book continues Woodman’s pioneering work on the nature of the feminine in both women and men.

The Ravaged Bridegroom : Masculinity in Women by Marion Woodman Focus on the ways in which a woman may be undermined by a crippling relationship with her inner man. Powerful images from poetry, myth, dreams, analysis and personal experience.

The Sacred Prostitute : Eternal Aspects of the Feminine by Nancy Qualls-Corbett – The disconnection between spirituality and passionate love leaves a broad sense of dissatisfaction and boredom in relationships. The author illustrates how our vitality and capacity for joy depend on restoring the soul of the sacred prostitute to its rightful place in consciousness.

World Weary Woman : Her Wound and Transformation by Cara Barker – A World Weary Woman is one whose characteristic response to stress is to struggle to achieve. However, she feels little joy in the process, suffering a disconnection from her feminine body wisdom and her creativity. Her task is to find a way of living authentically that allows her to express what awakens her heart. The provisional life exhausts her and she knows it. Thus she must detach from who she has been, in order to discover who she is meant to be.

Inner City Books