Quick Review: Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Read Time:2 Minute

Women Who Run With The Wolves explores folk tales and myths through a Jungian lens with the intent to help women reconnect to the instinctual self, the Wild Woman archetype.

7 Takeaways from Women Who Run With the Wolves

1. Classic tale beginning:

““Once there was, and ones there was not…” This paradoxical phrase is meant to alert the soul of the listener that this story takes place in the world between worlds where nothing is as it first seems.”

2. Animus & Self-doubt

The animus can pollute your flow of creativity with self doubt. One with a polluted river will not be able to take compliments; “Beautiful? This old thing? Well, it nothing really, look at all the mistakes I made”.

3. Animus and Boundaries

A well-developed animus has excellent borders. An artist that puts up a sign outside her house: “I am working today and am not receiving visitors. I know you think this doesn’t mean you because you are my banker, agent, or best friend. But it does.” 💪🏻

4. Evolution of folktales

📝 Original stories where often morphed to fit religious beliefs. Pagan symbols became Christian symbols. Sexual parts where removed and animals became demons. 🦁 —> 👹

5. Ugly duckling syndrome

There is no more reliable sign that a person has spent time with Ugly Duckling status at some point or all her life than her inability to digest a sincere compliment. We have all know people like this… 🦆

6. Look Closer!

📝“Sometime educated guesses can be made about the wounds of childhood by closely inspecting what matters adults irrationally lose their tempers over”.

7. Go into the unknown from time to time.

📝 “If you don’t go out in the woods, nothing will ever happen and your life will never begin” 🌲

Video Review: 4 Key Lessons from Women Who Run With The Wolves

Video Review of Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes


For me the biggest takeaways are the stories themselves and their interpretation. I also found the chapter of creativity truly profound.


It’s beautifully written, very mystical in its tone, and I can sense the impact this book must have had on women throughout the years. As a male reader I can’t fully relate to all aspects of it – and it’s ok, it’s not written for me -but there is a lot of value in this book nevertheless.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ out of 5


Further reading:

If you enjoyed Women Who Runs With the Wolves then you might like these books:

King Warrior Magician Lover – Moore & Gillette
Maps of Meaning – Jordan B. Peterson
Man and His Symbols – Carl Jung
Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man – On Being a Man

Find more great book to read on my book reviews page and the Great Books List
Video Reviews every week on YouTube

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