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She: Understanding Feminine Psychology Paperback – October 6, Robert A. Johnson's groundbreaking, brilliant, and insightful work on how women transition into being mature and developing their own identity—newly reissued. Robert A. Johnson, a noted lecturer and Jungian analyst.
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Wielding a sickle, Cronus, the youngest and craftiest son of Uranus, the god of the sky, severed his father's genitals, and flung them into the sea thus fertilizing the water and Aphrodite was born. Aphrodite's birth was immortalized by Botticelli in his magnificent painting, the Birth of Venus: she, in all her feminine majesty, is being born upon a wave, standing on a shell. This is the divine origin of the feminine principle in its archetypal form, which may be vividly contrasted with the human birth of Psyche who was said to have been conceived by dewdrops that fell from the sky.

What curious language! But this language is rich in psychological insight if you can hear its archaic, timeless message.


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The difference between these two births, if properly understood, reveals the different natures of the two feminine principles. Aphrodite is a goddess born of the sea: she is primeval, oceanic in her feminine power. She is from the beginning of time and holds court at the bottom of the sea. In psychological terms, she reigns in the unconscious, symbolized by the waters of the sea.

She is scarcely approachable on ordinary conscious terms; one might as well confront a tidal wave. One can admire, worship, or be crushed by such archetypal femininity but it is extremely difficult to relate to it. It is Psyche's task, from her human vantage point, to do just that-to relate and soften the great oceanic, archetypal feminine. This is our myth. Every woman has an Aphrodite in her.


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  • She is recognized by her overwhelming femininity and vast, impersonal, unrelatable majesty. There are marvelous stories about Aphrodite and her court. She has a servant who carries a mirror before her so that she may constantly see herself. Someone continually makes perfume for her. She is jealous and will stand no competition whatsoever. She is constantly arranging marriages and is never satisfied until everyone is busily serving her fertility. Aphrodite is the principle of mirroring every experience back into our own consciousness.

    As man is occupied with expansion and exploration and finding that which is new, Aphrodite is reflecting and mirroring and assimilating.

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    Aphrodite's mirror is symbolic of a most profound quality of the goddess of love. She frequently offers one a mirror by which one can see one's self, a self hopelessly stuck in projection without the help of the mirror. Asking what is being mirrored back can begin the process of understanding, which may prevent getting stuck in an insoluble emotional tangle. This is not to say there are not outer events.

    But it is important to realize and understand that many things of our own interior nature masquerade as outer events when they should be mirrored back into our subjective world from which they sprang.

    Aphrodite provides this mirror more often than we would like to admit. When ever one falls in love, sees the god or goddess-like qualities in another, it is Aphrodite mirroring our immortality and divine-like qualities. We are as reluctant to see our virtues as our faults and a long period of suffering generally lies between the mirroring and the accomplishment.

    She: Understanding Feminine Psychology

    Psyche takes just such a long journey between her falling in love with Eros and the discovery of her own immortality. This Aphrodite is the great mother goddess as seen through the eyes of her future daughter-in-law. When a woman mediates beauty and grace to the world, often it is the Aphrodite or Venus energy at work.

    But when Aphrodite is confronting her daughter-in-law she is jealous, competitive and determined to set out hurdles for Psyche at every turn.

    She Understanding Feminine Psychology

    This drama of mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is acted out in every culture and is one of the psychic irritants which can contribute so much to a young woman's growth. For a young woman to cope with her mother-in-law's power system is to attain feminine maturity. She is no longer that dewdrop which came so naively into the world and into her marriage. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly.

    Overview Robert A. More important than ever before, She offers a compelling study of women. About the Author Robert A. She Understanding Feminine Psychology. Copyright c by Robert A. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Show More. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches.


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