Marion Woodman, a psychoanalyst, best-selling author, and popular explorer of the varied stages of female identity and growth, died on July 9 in London, Ontario. She was 89.
In the early 1970s, after a career as a high school English and drama teacher, Woodman changed directions by attending the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. She ended her training in 1979 and set up her own practice in London, Ontario.
She discovered many uses and applications for Jung's mythical archetypes as she worked with clients squaring off with patriarchal thinking, addiction, depression, eating disorders, and perfectionism.
In a series of books and audio tapes (Leaving My Father's House: A Journey to Conscious Femininity, Sitting by The Well) Woodman excelled in her learned and liberating teachings on wholeness and the depths of feminine identity.
In 1998, she and Robert Bly put together a book titled The Maiden King: The Reunion of Masculine and Feminine which challenges us to seek a rebalancing of the energies of male and female within us. Two of her most incisive works were released late in her life. Bone: Dying Into Life contains her journal entries during a two-year battle with cancer. The Crown of Age: The Rewards of Conscious Aging gives us a thought-provoking overview the spiraling process of life as elders. Despite the pain and the limitations of the body, this is a time when our spiritual capacities deepen.
A Spiritual Practice to Try in Honor of Marion Woodman
In Bone, Woodman writes:
"I am remembering, gathering together the prodigal parts of myself and welcoming them home."
To Practice This Thought: Accept a part of yourself that you have previously sent into exile.