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Goddesses in Everywoman

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  4,677 ratings  ·  289 reviews
A classic work of female psychology that uses seven archetypcal goddesses as a way of describing behavior patterns and personality traits is being introduced to the next generation of readers with a new introduction by the author.

Psychoanalyst Jean Bolen's career soared in the early 1980s when Goddesses in Everywoman was published. Thousands of women readers became fascin
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Harper Paperbacks (first published January 1984)
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Otilia There are two books, my recommendation is both men and women reading the two of them. We are talking here about masculine and feminine aspects on both…moreThere are two books, my recommendation is both men and women reading the two of them. We are talking here about masculine and feminine aspects on both men and women in order to have an integrated view of us. I read Goddesses and I am reading Gods now, and finding the masculine parts of me there. Very rich!(less)

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 ·  4,677 ratings  ·  289 reviews

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Nov 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle, owns, book-club
The moment this book finally jumped the shark for me: "[ESP] can be developed by [Persephone women] when they...learn to be receptive to images that arise spontaneously in their minds."

As a feminist and a mythology nerd, this book is right up my alley. I was hoping it would be an interesting look into the female experience using the well-known stories of Greek goddesses as a framing device. What I got instead was a bunch of new age drivel based on an out-dated and discredited psychological theor
Jan 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All women (and men who REALLY want to understand women)
I read this book at a point where I was clueless about my life, and Dr. Bolen helped me get back on track. This book may be one of the first of its kind ever written- blending Greek mythology with modern psychoanalysis.

According to Bolen, the stories behind these goddesses(which she recaps in the book) have seeped into the collective unconscious and mold women's personalities from birth. She's separated them into three groups- 'virgin goddesses' (representing the independent, self-sufficient qu
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
If someone will ask me about the shifts that happened in my life; I'll definitely mention the archetypes and discovering this book in that regard.

This is a very well written book. The writer impressed me to the extent that I downloaded the rest of her books too.

There are seven Goddesses that are mentioned in this book. Each of these Goddesses is present in every woman to a varying extent. The problem arises when one of these archetypes is predominantly present in a single woman and persists for
Jul 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: women educators
My students may not be surprised but educators probably would be to see this book on my education shelf. I've used this book when guiding women (younger and older) as they've struggled with their personal, social, and cultural identities. Archetypes of the goddess are helpful as guides to defining ourselves, our paths, and our place within our communities. ...more
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: girly-grrrrrl
Every woman on planet Earth needs to drop what they are doing right now and go get this book and then read it. I seriously wish this sort of stuff was required reading before graduating high school. Archetypes exist in all forms for us as people: from comic books, movies, astrology profiles, numerology profiles, religious texts, tarot, oral traditions, ect. These stories shape us as people from when we are children into our adult lives. They give us a blueprint to aspire towards and they help us ...more
Mar 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book, as much as I read, read like a combination of a Cosmo quiz and a self-help book for women 30 years ago. Admittedly, I have not kept up with theories on Carl Jung's archetypes, and this book made me glad about that. As I began the preface, my mind continued to leap forward thing.. am I artsy Athena, homemaker Hestia, or, like most of my results for those awful quizzes, the dreadful middle of the road?? Essentially, Bolen's aim is meant to be supportive, I think. Unfortunately her theor ...more
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I read this book as a senior in college, and more than twenty years later I still come back to its wisdom and insights.

Bolen, a Jungian psychologist, uses seven Greek goddesses as archetypal templates to help women -- and men -- understand some of the powerful psychological patterns that operate in women's lives. She divides them into three categories: the vulnerable (Hera, Demeter, Persephone) who are defined by their relationships; the virgin (Hestia, Athena, Artemis) who are not defined by th
V Mignon
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be my dad's daughter. He worked long hours and when he came home, he usually shut down. I wanted him to be my daddy so bad, but whenever I clung onto him, he would look at me like I was some strange creature who had wandered into his house. My mother told me once that I asked her if I even had a dad, he was gone so much. But one day, my sister got an erector kit for Christmas and she didn't want it.

My poor dad, trying to keep us girls interested in engineeri
Pamela Wells
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Archetypes are a powerful tool for self-knowledge because they tap into the universal collective language we all share. Learning to become more aware of your own archetypes can help you see yourself, the bigger picture and is a good place to start creating solutions for yourself and others. Finding out which Goddess sits at the head of your table is also a very good way to balance your own personality so you are able to find a voice for lesser known parts (Goddesses) of your inner self. I high r ...more
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Epiphanic !!! ...One word to sum up this book .. recommended to be read by any woman irrespective of her age and role...Powerful n subtle shifts in perspectives to be expected ! Sudden solution appears to perplexing life situations...and greater awareness of one's self...and ones own and others' motivations.... awesomely empowering and liberating !!! The Best Book I ever read.... Life Defining... I cant thank the author enough in ways that she helped me in understanding myself .... ...more
Olivia Church
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Last night I finished reading Jean Shinoda Bolen’s, ‘Goddesses in Everywoman: A New Psychology of Women’ and I wanted to share that it has had a deep effect on me. A lot of changes have occurred in my life over the last 6 months, prompting me to call into question my motives, desires and patterns. Since picking up this book in January I have had numerous ‘aha’ moments, nodding along to the words written, and enthusiastically sharing new insights with my friend who has also read this work. I (obv ...more
Less about goddesses in every woman and more a potpourri of 80s female stereotypes with the names of a few Greek goddesses slapped on them.

Jean Bolen’s feminist take Jungian psychology attempts to bunch address the layers of sexism in the original school of psychology, while giving the modern woman (circa 1984) complex feminine figures to embody and embrace. Each goddess is given extensive analysis, their prescribed roles ranging from familial duties to workplace relationships and potential acti
A friend recommended this to me. I’m a psychology graduate, so I approach most books in psychology with a mixture of excitement at possibly discovering something new, and skepticism with how the author might present his or her ideas. I have to say, this book was so compelling that within the first few pages, the skeptic in me fell quiet, and stayed like that for the rest of the book.

In this book, Bolen makes the case that we can understand ourselves and the situations we’re in - our psychologic
Dec 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
This one did not work for me.
Will try it on a later date again, but for now, - NO!
Kirsten Elizabeth
Honestly, I went into this book knowing I'd love it. It's written by a renowned psychiatrist who's both a Jungian analyst and an ardent feminist. Her approach to mythology and discussion of archetypes bridges these two backgrounds. I came into this book after having been mildly disappointed by Joseph Campbell's Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine. While I love Papa Campbell, his often ecumenical approach tends to favour breadth over depth. This resulted in only a brief discussion of the ...more
May 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in Greek mythology and are inclined to psychological analysis
Recommended to Olga by: a cover jumped at me in the store
This book's subject is the intersection of ancient Greek polytheistic mythology and Jungian psychology. I don't mind Jungian psychology too much, even though I disagree with some of the major postulates. However, over the years I found a way for it to still work for me, as I see some importance even in the concepts I don't take on (i.e., collective unconscious). And as someone who grew up with Greek gods and goddesses being as much of childhood friends as fairy tales heroes, I was delighted to d ...more
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Every woman who has ever had any interest in psychology or mythology must read this book. It is excellent! Bolen unlocks the secrets behind the Greek myths and shows us that those goddesses are alive within each of us. And she does it in a way that is useful and insightful.[return][return]The foundation of the book is that mythology, in all its manifestations, is a representation of universal truth. Commonalities across cultures that had no interaction show that they come from a place that is co ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pagans, Beginner Pagans
Well, I am so happy I impulse bought this at the used book store! It was sitting sideways on the "New Age Religion" shelf, like someone had almost picked it up, and then though better of it. Boy am I glad they did.

This book enabled me to develop a more personal relationship with the Gods, learning how to recognize them working within me, as well as in the other people around me. Mind you, this is not a book written from a Pagan perspective, but from a Psychological one. Whether or not you are P
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was great. I hope to read the other book, "Gods in Every Man."
Basically it explains how there are certain narratives we can fall into because these ideas/mythos/narratives have existed in our society for so long, that we can fall into patterns of unconscious behaviors rather than making conscious individual decisions.
It's not saying we have no control over our lives and feelings, but it is saying that as we exist in a society with certain rules and expectations for women (focused heavily o
Mafer Ro
A life-changing book, I am amazed with Jean Shinoda’s wisdom and ability to look within. I would heartily recommend this to any woman who is searching to understand herself better and to look into the deep and ugly and beautiful. It’s the kind of book I want to give to my dear friends, my sister, my mom.
Also, when reading, remember the time this was written (1984). Some examples may be outdated, and it’s a feminism that doesn’t take intersectionality into account. However, the essence and lesso
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Starts very strong and convincing, ended up almost pop psychology, anyway I don't regret reading it. it has for the most part created a good frame of reference in my mind. unfortunately it's a bit vague even for the updated more modern version of Jungian psychology, Bolen seems to struggled wrapping up her ideas here and there toward the end of her book. ...more
Vrinda Pendred
Absolutely amazing - and spooky. Naturally, I mentally categorised every woman I have ever known - which helped put quite a lot into context and explain just why I mesh or clash with certain people. Beautifully inspiring ending, as well - and really hard to put down, right from page 1. I loved every moment.

Carla Villar
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is an insightful read about one's self and the women you know. The author's tools and imagery help to make tendencies and drives easier to understand. I recommend this book for anyone looking to better understand themselves and the women in their lives. ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really liked reading this book and identifying not only aspects of my personality, but also my sisters and friends. The use of Greek mythology as a reference is very helpful to visualize and understand each archetype. I also really liked the chapter of the heroine path.

This book unfortunately is very narrow on the view of women as a cis gender experience, and I would love to see an extended more contemporary version that is more inclusive. That said, highly recommend it for both men and women.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People interested in archetypal/mythological psychology -- but only barely
Shelves: mythology, psychology
I liked Boden's "Gods In Everyman" so much, I grabbed this one as soon as I saw it in the local used bookstore. However, after just a partial reading, I found myself disappointed. It's not bad, it's just not that good, and somehow doesn't live up to the solid mythological archetypes of its predecessor. The analogies seem forced and lacking insight, the archetypes are more shallow than the ones with the gods and leave many empty spaces, many personality types uncovered. I suppose this could be co ...more
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Very interesting. Qualities from most of the goddesses resonated with me, but Artemis was definitely the highlight. Had to copy pages instead of type out words for her.

Other lines of note:

83: In the competitive world, the Athena archetype has a decided advantage over Artemis. Artemis aims for goals and competes, but she is unarmored, as was the goddess Artemis, who wore a short tunic. If a woman's archetype is Artemis rather than Athena, she takes personally any unexpected hostility or dec
Abha Thapliyal
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
What an enlightening experience. This book combines two of my interests : Psychology and Greek Mythology. Bolen's theory is very well-researched, analytical and emotionally satisfying. I discovered so much about myself and about the other kinds of women. I could appreciate why every woman is so unique. Bolen's voice is redolent of a psychology professor, Mythology expert and Counselor rolled into one. I felt her book answered many of my questions, helped me understand myself and develop empathy ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
This book is amazing! Through the Greek mythology Bolen discusses feminine's archetypes under every aspect; positive and negative traits and behavior patterns. I learned a lot reading this book, I recommend it to every Goddesses. ...more
Jun 17, 2007 rated it liked it
If, like me, you're interested in myth and archetypes, this book is in its twentieth anniversary edition and well worth a look. ...more
C.J. Prince
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
I have benefited from every book by Jean Shinoda Bolen. Put her on your list if you haven't already discovered her!!! ...more
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Book Witches: * ***FEBRUARY 2019*** Book: Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda 26 17 Mar 27, 2019 03:37PM  

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Jean Shinoda Bolen, M. D. is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of the Institute for Health and Healing’s "Pioneers in Art, Science, and the Soul of Healing Award". She is a former board member of the Ms. Foundation for Women. ...more

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