The Old Woman’s Daughter offers men and women alike a way to make sense of their lives and find more healing alternatives than offered by our present culture.
In gentle, evocative imagery, Jungian analyst Claire Douglas invites readers to reconnect with the ancient tradition of the feminine, the “Old Woman,” symbolized by her own Celtic grandmother. After considering the dangers to individuals and the society of the masculine-focused dualities of our own culture, Douglas describes an alternative that incorporates the feminine self within each of us, man or woman.
Douglas draws on myth and story, her own experiences, poetry, the dreams of some of her patients, and images available from Tibetan Buddhism to find archetypes that help us recognize our inheritance from the Old Woman. She describes a form of therapy that emphasizes “cherishment” or bonding for the purpose of recovering our ties to the ancient feminine, and she deftly incorporates her search for her own voice in shaping the book into an organic whole.
Rising from Douglas’s lifelong interest in the psychology of the feminine, this book shows how healing is related naturally to a Motherline of attunement, connection, and cherishment.
CLAIRE DOUGLAS, a clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst, is in private practice in Malibu, California. She trained at the C. G. Jung Institute of New York and was a Bunting Fellow at Harvard University, where she carried out research on Jung. She has had a number of books published, along with many articles, essays, and book reviews.
What Readers Are Saying:
“Some writers have a love of ideas, some have a love of the soul; some are lucid, some are lyrical.’ Dr. Claire Douglas, former Bunting Fellow and seasoned psychoanalyst, is highly unusual in that she weaves with each one of these brilliant threads. Her work on the astonishing feminine carries insights that are delivered with grit, wit and elegance.”--Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, and The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About that Which Can Never Die.
“Claire Douglas is a woman of wisdom. Her Buddhist/Jungian way of engagement meets our violent worlds inner and outer through personal responsibility, meditation, the removal of projections, and right action. Her insightful teaching stories and powerful images of the female Buddhas are needed by both men and women today to fulfill the cherishment she speaks of as a means of leaning to better love the world, each other, and ourselves.”--Lama Surya Das
“The Old Woman’s Daughter: Transformative Wisdom for Men and Women is especially important in its personal connection to societal and cultural inflections, its implementation of feminine values, and its appreciation of the imagination as a necessary process in individual and collective consciousness. Claire Douglas has a gift for weaving personal, historical, and mytholigical images to illuminate levels of individual awareness that feed collective experience. Her broad gathering and crafting of sources provide a rich resource for hungry times. Even as her task is a reclamation of feminine wisdom, her inquiry combines both feminine and masculine traditions of scholarship in a common net. Douglas poignantly describes the difficulty of ego consciousness as it makes its return to a felt connection with Source and Ground of Being. The journey is life affirming and life renewing.”--PsycCritiques
" . . . a rich and diverse volume, ranging from biographical reflections, family recollections, a study of myths of the feminine in Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhism, and a useful clinical case study of a middle-aged man who is struggling to win back his lost feminine soul. Douglas writes with commitment, vigour and urgency, and for her the pathological consequences of the lost feminine are found everywhere, if we only had eyes to see . . . this book shows us how a return to the imaginal world of the grandmother can be a healing journey for a granddaughter who has lost something vital due to patriarchal conditioning."--Journal of Analytical Psychology