Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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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 »


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 »

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 »

The Mother Ship: When A Good Mother Dies

In elegies/ obituaries, The Good Souls, Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 at 6:15 PM

I think sometimes this day, called Mother’s Day is all the more poignant for those of us who never had a mother or who had a good mother, a good-enough mother, who is no longer with us in the flesh, but certainly in spirit.

For those whose good mothers have died…

…for those who were lucky enough to have had what I call, “a beautiful, imperfectly-perfect mother,” but one who too early passed from this world, especially hard when she has been the ground note for her sons and daughters.

Some of us did not have a mother we can remember without fear, but even that doesn’t keep us from recognizing that special bond between many mothers and their children wherever we see it– and blessing that such bounty came to pass for them.

This is just meant to place a hand on the shoulders of those who might miss their mothers, just to take a moment to say, even though your mom is gone or leave-taking in some way, there was and is presence of her still. As long as you are here, she is here.

In some good way, she is here.

Not physically, and I know too, like you, how deeply we humans can be made completely undone by the loss of the physical person to embrace, hear, sit next to, smell, touch, laugh with, argue with, listen to, ask questions of, and love, just love.

Yet, in some way, if one looks and listens, the loved one is near. I tell my children about those they have lost, look for the signs. There will be signs. The souls will let you know. Love is not severed by death. Grow more astute to read the signs.

One of my dear friends just buried her mother, and another dear friend’s mother is ‘disappearing’ from Alzheimer’s— there are many other ways to lose one’s mother… including long-standing estrangement for good reasons, or sometimes foolish reasons, sometimes just a long mismatch or misunderstanding. Read the rest of this entry »

From Dr. E.: Blessing-Poem, “Hymn of Gratitude, For We Are Pleased by Dangerous Old Women and Their Wild and Wise Daughters”

In Blessing-Poems from Dangerous Old Woman fireside, The Good Souls on May 1, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Dear Souls: Here is an excerpt from a blessing poem with nine staves: this is the first stave in “Hymn of Gratitude, For We Are Pleased by Dangerous Old Women and Their Wild and Wise Daughters.”

I’d like you to just lean back in your chair, take a deep breath. It’s so nice to breath, isn’t it, speaking of el viento, the wind. Inspiratus finds a hard time getting into people who are breathing shallowly or tightly… you know those who go: huff, huff, huff, huff?

Have you ever noticed when you’re upset and suddenly breathing like a little locomotive, huff, huff, huff, huff? Take a deep breath now: Ahhhh! Place your hand on your heart, or leave your hands open in your lap, palms upward, and relax back. Just relax for a bit now…

“Hymn of Gratitude, For We Are Pleased by Dangerous Old Women and Their Wild and Wise Daughters.”

by CP Estés

For all the elders of the world,

each and every kind ever created,

those who have been carried gently by the waves,

and those who have been half-wrecked

by any number of storms and squalls,

those who have clung to the wreckage long enough

to make it halfway in,

and thence to have gained landfall.

For the elders,

who in all their variegations,

in all their sorrows and talents,

who now stand shy or certain,

semi-disheveled or pulled together,

but nonetheless hip-wide and proud.

Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Marsh, Carrier of Stories Across the World, Passes Away In Milan

In elegies/ obituaries, The Good Souls on July 8, 2009 at 11:19 PM


A letter to the dear souls who knew and loved Paul Marsh, even though I do not know all of you by name… I think of you very much now. cpe

Paul Marsh… dear father to his precious children, dear husband of the beautiful and feisty Susie Marsh, sweet friend to so many…. Paul was the foreign agent for my work through my U.S. agent, Ned Leavitt, who also treasured him.

Paul, and his wife Susie, and Marsh Agency colleagues, were also the carriers en masse of thousands of authors’ stories across the world… finding homes in publishing houses as far-flung as Iceland, Estonia, Korea, Turkey, Brazil, Germany, Japan and most any nation in the entire world with a printing press.

Just this, in between my bursts of tears hearing this devastating news of Paul’s sudden passing… Paul was the last of the gallant men of the world, a man who was quietly wise… incredibly so in a time when edginess has been vaunted as absurdly more valuable than depth.

To us United Statesians, Paul, having diplomas from Cambridge and University of Göttingen, also had a personal reserve, that seeming reticence that Brits are sometimes known for ‘across the pond’ here.

But I found over the years (he has been ours for over 15 years now) that under his quiet demeanor, I could say silly things to him, and he would giggle like a child.

Thus, at book expos,

Read the rest of this entry »