The Dangerous Old Woman Book Summary

The Dangerous Old Woman: Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype is an enthralling exploration into the depths of the Wise Woman archetype, written by psychologist and storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

In this book, Estés uses stories from her own life and around the world to delve into the power of this archetype and how it can help us spiritually and emotionally grow.

Let’s take a closer look at what The Dangerous Old Woman has to offer.

The Power of Storytelling

The first thing that stands out about The Dangerous Old Woman is its use of storytelling to explore its themes.

This book draws on folklore from all over the world—from Native American folktales to Jewish mystical tales—to help shed light on what Estés calls “the dangerous old woman” archetype.

This archetypal figure embodies wisdom and strength but also darkness, danger, and even death.

Through storytelling, Estés shows us how this archetype can be used for personal growth and understanding.

Exploring the Depths of Our Psyches

The second major theme in The Dangerous Old Woman is the exploration of our inner selves.

By delving into these ancient stories, Estés helps us understand ourselves better by exploring our inner depths.

She also helps us uncover powerful insights about human nature—for example, she examines why anger can be so potent and powerful when harnessed correctly.

Additionally, she encourages readers to embrace their shadow sides—those darker aspects of ourselves that we often try to deny or ignore—to gain greater self-awareness and insight into our own lives.

Unlocking Our Own Wisdom

Finally, The Dangerous Old Woman helps readers unlock their inner wisdom by examining traditional tales in a modern context.

Through this lens, we can see how these timeless stories still have relevance in today’s society—and how they can still teach us valuable lessons about life, love, grief, joy, anger, fear, courage, strength…the list goes on.

In other words: if you’re looking for a deeper understanding of yourself and your place in the world, Estés’s book is definitely worth checking out.


Overall, The Dangerous Old Woman is an incredibly insightful read that explores timeless themes through engaging storytelling techniques.

Whether you’re looking for spiritual guidance or want to gain greater self-awareness through exploring ancient tales in a modern context, this book has something for everyone.

If you’re ready to unlock your inner wisdom and learn more about yourself through engaging tales from around the world, then The Dangerous Old Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estés just might be exactly what you’re looking for.

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