Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Archive for 2010|Yearly archive page


In "The Creative Fire" manuscript by cp estés on July 13, 2010 at 2:52 AM

Over these many decades, I find unequivocally that each person has a unique one-of-a-kind way to speak/write in their own voice, from their own experiences and fantasies.

“In this sense, each person decides to go whichever way they like, or feel called to, in whatever pattern… depending only on what they themselves wish to accomplish or feel most fulfilled by in speaking, performing or/and writing.

“There is a long tradition of original voice. For instance, like their written works or not, Bret Easton Ellis has his own voice, as does Stephen King, as does The Buke, as does DiPrima and Ginsberg, Sexton and Teasdale and Dickenson. One would not mistake one for the other.

“My friend, the late Kurt Vonnegut, had a charism of personal voice and imagination. Alighieri’s voice is different than Yeats or Blake. Rumi is distinct from Kabir (Persian poets) who is distinct from Mirabai (Northern Indian poet).

“Stafford is different than Bly, though both are prairie poets. Alegria is different than Paz, who is different than beautiful Opal Whitely, who is different from the masterful Koch or the rebellious Sor Juana. Jung is way different than Freud, and Toni Wolff is differently voiced than either.

“I give you only a tiny sample above to speak of those who strove for/ dared to speak and write in original voice… this coming about by their investment, immersion in their personal interests, by way of speaking/writing in wild ways that came to them naturally, by truthtelling, by not sequestering knowledge or imagination, by leaving the constraints of ego, by speaking/ writing from their own life experiences and quandries, and by following through a dark woods, something that is sure-footed.

I often see that one of the proofs of wild and natural voice seated well, is that though whatever we write or speak takes craft and is hard to do, even so, often also what we write or speak surprises us in some useful way each time we truly unleash.

“Then is when we think things, say things, write things we never could have thought of solely from ego… or when we were closed down, or trying too hard.

“I’d mention too one of the great secrets of writing and speaking… Read the rest of this entry »


Dr. E’s Forthcoming “A Book For/To Men”: Except from Intro

In Forthcoming Books, Men & Soul, The Good Souls on July 10, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Excerpt from The Introduction of the book I’m writing for/to men. This intro tells of the conflictual thoughts I had about my adequacy to, as a woman, write a book for men… and how with the help of angels, I came to resolve this by harvesting and cooking from memory, what I hope will be a feast to the best of my ablities within this book for/to men.

I put The Introduction here pre-publication for two reasons. 1) to allow others here a transparency so they can see into how one writer thinks/ weighs matters in creating, and why it often takes some cojones o ovarios and long considerations to coalesce a work, and to determine if we are not only called, but carry the required ‘keys’ to walk through the door and into the land of a new book….  and two, to place here the tone of my work on men for your knowings.

This is a draft, not a first draft, but a tenth (like sausaage making, one really might not want to see the actual outcome of wildly messy first-drafts… although someday too, I’ll probably put up a few of those just so other new/young weriters can see they are not alone) I’ve several titles for the book … For now, it is called “A Book For/To Men,” as opposed to ‘book about men…’ I explain more below…

INTRO to Dr. E’s Book For/To Men:

“Men began asking to have ‘a book of their own written by me, Dr.E.,’ almost the minute Women Who Run With the Wolves was published. The requests continued all these years, and I understood them deeply : a book of one’s own, written directly to a particular group was desired…  rather than having to reverse, as women have for years, as racial and cultural groups have had to do for years…  assuming that in the written word ‘men,’ women were implied too; that though a writer used the word ‘European,’ this also implicitly included Latinos, Asians, Blacks,  working class, et al, even though none were named explicitly, nor their differences noted closely.

“So, I took the requests from men to heart these many years now, literally 18 years, but I trembled and hesitated with my foot just before the threshold of the doorway in… to writing such a work. But then, I found the way in… Read the rest of this entry »

You Know How They Say Men Are…

In The Good Souls on June 20, 2010 at 11:27 AM


by Dr. C.P. Estés

you know how people say
all those guys really do is lean against the girders
and whistle at girls and plan the perfect beerfest
in the Stratro-lounger each night… all while pounding
a nail or two daytimes.

I met a man today
a young man
with muscles
lots of them…
a weightlifter/ bodybuilder…

People say, they’re so taken with themselves
you know,
“all about themselves.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Baptism, The Good Fathers

In The Good Souls, Uncategorized on June 20, 2010 at 10:56 AM


by Dr. C.P. Estés

…We lost first one oar and then the other; and we cried out…

Our bodies painted red by the dawn sky,
our hair stuck up in cockscombs from sleeping,
we two snuck down to the rowboats.

We wobbled across the lake toward the lily ponds
to gather blooms for our mothers. What a big boy!
What a big girl! they would exclaim upon our return.

We tugged up the white blush flowers with roots so long,
till the bottom of our boat was filled to the bow.
And as we turned toward home the rain began.
Then fog threw back its hood and roared; and we rowed.
The waves turned black, and we rowed.

We lost first one oar and then the other; and we cried out.
Read the rest of this entry »

Cowboy Civility In An Uncivil World

In The Good Souls on June 20, 2010 at 10:52 AM


By Dr. C.P. Estés

…suddenly some look-at-me guy at the bar cat-calls, “F- man, don’t you know more than one note, you loser?”

In ancient mythos, the rainmaker symbolizes a part of the psyche which detaches and leaves the mad world, going into the forest and down under the roots of the trees, seeing the world from there…

through a unique, set-apart zeitgeist, a spirit of our times that is not dedicated to apoplexy over cultural contretemps, but just calm observations, a remembering of honor… and unusual ways of dealing with the dishonorable.

Here are two odd rainmakers… Read the rest of this entry »

The Bad Fathers

In I Put The Culture on the Couch on June 20, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Internship: The Bad Fathers

by Dr. C.P. Estés

…I can hardly write on this page the words these two fathers said…

The first worst thing
I ever heard a man say,
came from a father who
had raped his little six year old son.
The father said the boy had
“…asked to be raped,”
because the child “…was acting
so seductive,
running around in his underwear,
showing his legs
and everything.”
This was the worst,
the very worst.
I have never come closer
to giving a death screech
and asking for the world
to be destroyed,
and for Creator
to seriously consider
never recreating the world,
or us,
ever again.

The second worst thing,
Read the rest of this entry »


In "The Creative Fire" manuscript by cp estés, elegies/ obituaries on June 20, 2010 at 3:49 AM


I’ve still a significant amount of 60 years’ work in journals.
But too, at different times of my life, I’ve lost some journals,
or accidentally left them on trains, and some have been stolen.

I’ve burned some for lack of space to store them,
and placed other pages of grief in fast moving water upstream.
I’ve torn out pages and made papier maché faces
with my handwritten words still visible
on the cheek under the eye,
or behind the ear.

I’ve shredded some journals to confetti
to make celebratory props for a child’s wedding play.
Some have been destroyed by angry people during my childhood
and by those maddened by love/hatred;
some were confiscated at school and never returned.
(You will write 100 times, “I will not write poetry during class.”)

Some are falling to pieces for I live in dry high country desert
these past many years, and the tree skins they are writ upon
are so, so old, the page corners can break like cracker
when I turn them.

Some are filed by year in a kitchen cupboard;
others have no years affixed and are stacked
with their blue and red and yellow spiral bindings
looking like metal serpents biting all the pages together.

Some are writ with reasoned straight lines of left-hand writing;
some are writ like a child writing cursive for the first time,
uphill, downhill, upside down… for these are my dream journals,
written in the middle of the night under only moon for lantern.

And some of my favorites are ‘my painted books’
with all my handwrought paintings, my invented fonts,
and wild illustrations marching across every open space within,
like some wild x-ray of a living human psyche.

And there are many notebooks with just a few pages writ,
for I loathed the slow feather of the ink on cheap pulp paper.
And there are more and different journals, square, rectangular
and all written in the language of quiet-personal/ present tense.

Many journals hold writings that seem like a conversation
held outdoors in winter,
wherein the words, the promises,
the secrets which will not remain secrets forever,
were suddenly frozen in the air as they were written
… and are thereby preserved in the meat locker,
for as long as long is long.

I’ve thought of willing my painted journals, my painted books,
and thousands of sheaves of handwrit pages:
There are the universities who would like my ‘papers.’
But I wonder at someone analyzing
these time-suspended beings,
and trying to thaw them out,
in order to write a paper
about ‘what she meant when she said x.”

No, these journals, for now, live as little catacombs,
and I go there sometimes, to visit the dead… and the living.
My journals are my clearest and cock-eyed witnesses
to my time spent on earth with the story hags, the poem potters.

Thus, my journals and painted books will stay with me a while yet…
But, in the end, at the end, I deeply sense now, am certain now
that  I am in sight of the last, far encampment…
all my papers
must return
to what they were once, long ago:  trees…

Thus, I’ve made my plan: I’ve left word
to consign my papers to the fire,
so they can become ash…
and thence be taken up in a soft woven bag…

and I’ve asked that whomsoever still lives…

to spread these ashes on the earth where those who love me…

want something hopefully beautiful to grow in my name…

something beautiful to grow from the humus of my agonistas, dreams and ideas…

something beautiful to grow from the ruthless counsel of angels in those pages,

the ones who bid me write:

“I hope you will go out
and let stories happen to you…
and that you will work them,
water them
with your blood,
your tears
and your laughter…
till they bloom…
till you yourself
burst into bloom.”

Thereby, may all find for us
the good evidence that this indeed
is what I,
and ever so many other dear brave souls,
earnestly endeavored to do
in this one precious and wild lifetime…
wherein from Mother Earth
came the ink, the pens,
the pencils, the pigments, and the papers
…but from the angels and the ancestors
came the stories.


(and a little woman)


“WHAT SHALL BE DONE WITH THESE PAINTED JOURNALS”, ©  2010, All rights reserved. Dr. C.P. Estés, poem from La Pasionaria: Collected Poems of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés:  A Manifesto on The Creative Fire.” This particular work may be used non-commercially as long as it is kept entirely intact, not added to nor taken from, and this complete notice including usage, author and copyright notice is clearly printed upon it. Other permissions ngandelman@aol.com

*las agonistas: the agonies

Topmost image: a cairn, which is a stacking of stones, each stone placed with a prayer, and the cairn being built at a special place marking the leave-taking of one world, and the entry into another world in mind, spirit, soul or body, or all.


In I Put The Culture on the Couch, The Good Souls on June 18, 2010 at 12:45 AM

In remembrance of the collective unconscious


If you would look into the last room of the starry night,
there are powers there with names:
Tannenbow, Valdar, Yaga, and others.
They are your ancestors,
they sneeze with all the  waiting for you.

They want to give you sword-making,
show you hidden ore amongst earth’s gasses.
They, like you, are a dust of glitter and light.
The names,  the names. . .
call them by name,
for they have gone shadowy
from lack of your remembering,
from lack of your love.

Your Deep Earth Drum still lives,
though more  more faint now.
Down there they have a theater waiting,
one that is lit by storms;
it takes only a name to start it.

Some firesides,  the good princes show up;
the blind one who steals earrings
during the night shows up; Read the rest of this entry »

One of Dr. E.’s Quick Tools for Researching Your Own Images in Dream Analysis

In Hot Topics for Soul: Psychoanalysis on June 14, 2010 at 7:59 PM


Here is a small but very able tool I created to teach my psychoanalytic candidates and dream group leaders, able dream analysis…

for although psychoanalysis is a wondrous endeavor in many ways, sometimes it is taught in formulaic ways that are thrilling intellectually, but miss the blood and bone of the living flesh of psyche entirely.

Thus, I built over the years some small but effective tools for doing a very personal research on images and ideas that come to you, or /and that matter to you.


A TIME-TESTED (by me and my students) USEFUL TOOL


…I developed what I call ‘a hint-question’ to help you see more, in your own way, about images dear to you… not out of a book, not projected or suggested by others… just you. Read the rest of this entry »

Granting Mercy to The Wounded Spirit: Learning is The Miracle Medicine for New Life

In The Good Souls on June 2, 2010 at 10:45 PM

…a badly burned little koala bear who was caught in a horrible flash forest fire and who tried to escape by running across the burning ash, thereby having badly injured burns to his feet. The firefighter found him cowering by a tree stump…

May peace be with you and with your heart.

There is free will. And also, often, there is a destiny component to poor choices we make. From some of the worst of the worst, can come deep learnings, deep meanings… thus ‘failed’ matters ought not be attributed just to our naivete or lack of foresight/ insight, or perhaps injured instincts.

Even when a partnering in work, home, or love, or business did not work out, there is something larger than grieving it, and that is, learning about it– the how, why, when, where, who, what lies underneath, out of sight, unconsidered, necessary–

Thus learning, not just for oneself… but in order, also, to teach others… to light the lanterns for others who are also treading a dark, dark forest.

To any and all who find need of these words…

When knocked sideways more than once in a seeming dead reckoning repetition of something negative… it is good that one sit with someone wiser and loving… a truthteller who tells hard truths with soft edges. Tell such a person what’s happened to you. Listen to and follow their wisdom for you. No excuses. No more. None. Rather, now, only listening and learning. Trying new ways. Speaking your story, but taking in new. Often the more listening, the more learning. The more observing, the more insight. The more learning, the more New Life.

You know the saying, ‘same actions create same outcomes?’ Read the rest of this entry »