Mother Night

Myths, Stories, and Teachings for Learning to See in the Dark

Mother Night

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Where is memory of who we really are, who sent us here, and what is our work here … and why are we often so unusual, so different, so eccentric, so belonging often to a tribe of one?

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, published in 34 languages and one of the most far-reaching artist-psychoanalysts of our time, teaches that in archetypal imagination, “Mother Night is the quintessential medial woman, the woman who can walk in two worlds … 'the one who knows' and who can reveal solid ways of living and unleashing creative life in both worlds.”

The program Mother Night presents a new series of audio teachings from the Jungian psychoanalyst and author of Women Who Run With the Wolves. This six-session learning event invites us to tap the generative power of the goodness of the core self—that is, all creativity and understanding that lies out of sight in darkness—often called the unconscious.

Throughout 11 hours of teaching stories, you'll hear 12 stories and myths told here for the first time along with Dr. Estés' commentary, Q&A sessions with her, and special prayers of blessing onto your hearts, bodies, minds, and souls.

According to Dr. Estés, “The most endangered species on earth is the human soul. Many try to stand in one world only, the world of the collective culture, thereby experiencing a sense of standing outside the true self, allowing too much waste into one's life—due in part to over-immersion in the daytime world only. A sense of being 'not in oneself entirely' comes from not returning to the soul's true home, often enough … a home that is not provisioned nor protected by the overculture. Thus, a critical susto (loss of soul nourishment) comes upon us. We are weakly linked or severed completely from the one-of-a-kind wild and wise self that emerges from the realm of mystery, dreams, and shadow.

“I would like to be your traveling companion as we see the way into and back toward home, that is, to return to el mundo doble, the double worldview, one that sees through the eyes of soul as well as through the eyes of the ego. This dual way of seeing, being, and acting is the most direct way to reclaim the gifts and well-being and healing apothecary set into each soul on earth at birth. The archetypal representations of Mother Night, as represented in stories, myths, and amplifications, can show us the way through.”


Session One: Walking in Two Worlds—The Archetype of the Medial Woman

In the first session of the series, Walking in Two Worlds: The Archetype of the Medial Woman, Dr. Estés introduces the Medial Woman, a dominant force in the psyche. She is a representation of the strong-sighted and deep-hearted self who lives simultaneously in the world of light (our conventional, daytime domain) and the world of dark (the hidden realm of potential; the depths of the Soul and its making of things to bear, balance, unleash in goodness in the topside world). The medial woman in mythos since time out of mind remains rooted in both worlds; and listening to her ways and means in stories, we can hear, see, and feel the guidance this vital and soulful sense grants: “to live so strong, so wide, and so very deeply … as we promised to do before we ever came to earth.”

Here, Dr. Estés helps us “learn to see in the dark,” as she brings to life four representations of this archetypal force of restoration and self-empowerment:

  • The Erl König
  • Cybele—the story of the “helper-healer” medial woman
  • Medea—the story of the “twisted” medial woman
  • Sophia-Ruach—the story of the “calm-fierce” medial woman

A Q&A with audience members follows Dr. Estés’ teachings, and we conclude with the blessing prayer “Prayer for The Outsider."

Session Two: Throwing Off Over-Acculturation—Reclaiming Gifts and Eccentricities from the Shadow

In Throwing off Over-Acculturation: Reclaiming Gifts and Eccentricities from the Shadow, Dr. Estés discusses how as members of a particular culture, we become habituated to seek that which is similar (“like-kind”). Yet in the process, we suffer the grotesqueries and consequences of relinquishing our individuality and the unique gifts that are our offering to the world. Through her one-of-a-kind telling of the classic Sufi tale “The Conference of the Birds,” a set of small stories wrapped within a larger story, Dr. Estés helps us “learn to be bi-culturate, to learn to live in two worlds, especially mining the gold of the shadow—the storehouse for acute insight, extraordinary strength, and inextinguishable love.”

Following the Q&A session with the audience, we bring Session Two to a close with Dr. Estés’ blessing story “They Tried to Stop Her at the Border.”

Session Three: Curanderismo—Allying with the Immaculate Heart for Guidance and Recovery

In Curanderismo: Allying with the Immaculate Heart for Guidance and Recovery, we explore curanderismo, the practice of the curandera, the traditional healer in native Latino culture. Dr. Estés tells the story of Los Zapatos ("Little Shoes"), and the story “The Bell Ringing Under the Ground,” along with related teachings about susto (the wandering soul), envidia (envy), and mal ojo (evil thoughts that entrap those who think them). “Knowledge of the ways the mainstream collective pollutes the true self and how to do the necessary limpias, cleansings of the mind and heart. These are the keys to creating a consciously strong allyship with the forces of goodness, as well as a code of honorable conduct for effectively helping and healing self and others.

Q&A session with the audience is followed by the blessing prayer “The Heart Pierced by Seven Swords.”

Session Four: Premonitions and Apparitions—Valuable Protection and Grounded Intelligence from “The Other World”

In Premonitions and Apparitions: Valuable Protection and Grounded Intelligence from “The Other World,” we learn that all of us receive visitations from “the other world” in the form of premonitions, dreams, synchronistic events, and more. Dr. Estés helps us first of all see these messages, “which are sometimes subtle and sometimes carry the cyclonic viento of Espirito Santo, the wind of the Holy Ghost, which can knock one off one’s feet in just the right way, or temporarily bewilder or blow one’s mind, and in some cases knock one back into one’s right mind again.”

To help delineate premonitions and apparitions, Dr. Estés will point to science “and indigenous archetypal psychology—the first archetypal psychology regarding all matters of earth, the unconscious, and conscious minds”—as well as stories of legendary seers:

  • Tiresias
  • The Sybil
  • Xilonen, the wife of Smoking Mirror

“The Littlest Lazarus,” a special blessing prayer, follows a Q&A session with the audience.

Session Five: Gold in the Darkest Dark—Understanding Repetitive Dreams, Nightmares, and Disembodied Voices

In Gold in the Darkest Dark: Understanding Repetitive Dreams, Nightmares, and Disembodied Voices, Dr. Estés explores the question, “How do we make sense of the sometimes subtle, sometimes harsh, distressing, sometimes extraordinarily loving, sometimes profoundly informative ideas, insights, and data—even summonses and commands given to us by the unconscious?”

Through her family stories of “The Fool and His Feather” and “The Four Rabbinum,” Dr. Estés illuminates four ways of understanding uncanny insights that often arise from the dark, that is, from the unknown side of the unconscious. “The hero and heroine’s darkest challenges are to ever pull away from scorn and under-valuation of one’s own—and others—psychic contents, as well as to not fall into the tar pit of over-valuation of same. But rather to be able to bear, to be able to unlock the mystery that gives the transformative instructions from soul to psyche. The messages of meaning for the dreamer are to be held with inquiry and respect, no matter how odd, misshapen, lumpy, bumpy, distasteful, beautifully fantasy-like they may be. Nightmares, sudden voice-only dreams, and the entire fantasia of dreams are like the map home to center, written in invisible ink until held over the fire built by the soul.”

A Q&A session with the audience concludes with a story regarding Our Lady who repulses and leaches away weakening influences, and then the blessing prayer “We Are the Atomic Children, and We Are Still Dancing.”

Session Six: Mining the Mother Lode—How to Bring Diamonds from the Darkness (for Artists and People Who Want to Create)

In Mining the Mother Lode: How to Bring Diamonds from the Darkness (for Artists and People Who Want to Create), Dr. Estés explains why “those who unleash their craft do not wait for the muse; the muse is like one’s breath, one’s arm, one’s hips, one’s eyes … the muse is always there, waiting to spring into action if only we lay out an empty space. Seed goes first to the places which are most empty.” So here, we will see about the places of psyche and soul and both worlds that seem most empty, unknown, and inaccessible. The stories “The Man Who Sought Treasure Afar,” “The Rebbe in Prison,” and “Coyote Learns to Dance” set out insights about how the psyche taps, nudges, shoves, trying to get its person to unfurl that idea, dare that new venture, complete that meaningful project, go wild and get rid of the "high court of apes" that criticize and condemn any and everything that comes from one’s hands, feet, body, or mind. Our work is not to criticize, condemn, or complain. Our work is to do. And then do again. And again, and know for once and for all, that seeking perfection is the abject enemy of "done."

Following a Q&A session with the audience, we close with the blessing prayer “Mary, Covered in Ashes; Mary, Covered in Diamonds.”


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Customer Reviews

Nothing New Here Review by Sandra Roth

Seem like these stories have all been told before and was not inspired by any of these.

(Posted on 9/25/2016)

Review for Mother Night Review by heath frost

Once I found out that it was a download, not a hard copy that I would be receiving in the mail, you were helpful in working with me to navigate the computer download process. VERY helpful! Thanks so much!

(Posted on 6/15/2014)

Review for Mother Night Review by Laura C

I am always deeply engaged by and inspired by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I felt like I was sitting by the fire with her in each of the six sessions and plan to spend many fireside hours with her in the future. You will enjoy every minute of Mother Night!

(Posted on 1/8/2013)

Review for Mother Night Review by Linda R

Very wonderful. I am a medial woman and my love is the SW part of the country, and I speak Spanish, so I felt right at home. Very worthwhile. I have a tribe.

(Posted on 9/8/2012)

Review for Mother Night Review by brother hope king

if you loved The Dangerous Old Woman, The Joyous Body, The Power of the Crone, and The Blessed Mother, you're going to love this, too!

(Posted on 11/1/2011)

Review for Mother Night Review by Bonnie Collins

Still listening to this in 'episodes'; am enjoying hearing Clarissa's tales and like the way she teaches.

(Posted on 10/5/2011)

Review for Mother Night Review by J.I. van der Loop

I like dr. Clarissa's storytelling very much. In very busy times, when I hear her words, she reminds me of my soft and female self. The story's are beautiful and full of wisdom.

(Posted on 4/22/2011)

Review for Mother Night Review by Maria benjamin


(Posted on 2/22/2011)

Review for Mother Night Review by Lee Rockwell

I am a Songwriter/ singer, extremely wild woman, physically very squashed. Had been psychically hidden from myself behind a veil of pain. Those "who know "can see me. I have been called a wounded healer. Sometimes the hardest part is to heal ourselves I feel. Women Who Run with the Wolves was given to me by one who does not yet know .It is the medicine for which I have longed with all my soul. Thank you Clarissa!!!

(Posted on 5/15/2010)

Review for Mother Night Review by Gwendolyn Bowles

The review of Mother Night seems to confirm, complement my Journey as a Contemplative with Christian Meditation in the practice of Centering Prayer according to the method of Fr. Thomas Keating.

I plan to purchase and experience the sessions.

(Posted on 4/6/2010)

Review for Mother Night Review by Lorraine Zippiroli

What can be said about CPE that has not been said a million times? But, a million times she will tap into your higher self and guide you to embrace who you really are. She invites you to relinquish cynicism and to understand the universal truths that one time or another we all will face. I have loved her since her first book, I have listened to her when her stories were on casettes and now I have been privileged to be part of the "tribe of the sacred heart"
and listen with her and others on Wednesday nights. All week, I looked forward to my own special room filled with her voice, her spirit and the spirit of all sentinenal beings and wished everyone love, enlightenment, joy and wisdom. Thank you, CEP and thank you Sounds True. More of this, PLEASE......

(Posted on 12/9/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Marie (from France)

Being a painter, living in a small village in the middle of France, I am definitely of the Scar-clan, and, for a couple of enchanted weeks, of the Mother-Night-download-clan!
I have just listened to the second session and I can't find words adequate enough to express my thanks to CPE (good idea there, Tami!).
She doen't know it, but she has become a one, true inner friend from the day I read WHRWW with feelings of such gratefulness to discover that I wasn't alone in the desert.
Once more, here you are, dear Clarissa, giving comfort, understanding and meaning to who we really are and, perhaps, best of all, courage and strength to continue growing our feathers, even if they are often wet with tears.
One day, in light or dark, but in love and beauty, we will fly!
Thankyou, dear Clarissa and thankyou to Sounds True.
Love to all, Marie

(Posted on 10/25/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Yolande

Highly recommend... the sound quality was fantastic and it felt like Clarissa was sitting on the couch across from me talking to me personally like an old friend would. Intimate, inspiring, and nourishing for the soul. Well done Sounds True and Dr. E.

(Posted on 10/14/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Jane V.

Well, the first session with Clarissa just ended, and I am thrilled to say that it exceeded my already-high expectations! I felt as if she was speaking to me as a dear, intimate friend and, at the same time, welcoming me to a rich feeling of FAMILY seated around a communal table. What a rich banquet we have to look forward to over the next weeks!

(Posted on 10/14/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Pauline McBeth

I am looking forward to the Mother Night series by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This will help me in my continued search for the purpose and meaning in the rest of my life. Somehow, I have always known that the path of intuition is the path of integrity...a path that I will continue to follow.

(Posted on 10/13/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by suryasol

I have been waiting for this moment for so long, I tell you. How did it happen that Clarissa became like one ofmy friends? After spending so many hours reading what she wrote listening what she said on CD'S... created the intimacy of having spend much, much high quality time with a very trustworthy, loyal, close, dear friend. How can you then stand years and decades not having any news at all from her. Not a sign that she still exist somewhere? I rejoice in her coming back with more inspiration . May you live long and in touch with your deepest inspiration for the good of all.

(Posted on 10/12/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Elizabeth K

Oh my dear, I wouldn't miss it for the world.

(Posted on 10/9/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Patricia Greenberg

When I saw Clarissa's name in my email my heart went Oh My God! (or Goddess!). I have her tapes, have been to several of her retreats years ago, and she has taught me so many, many things. She's an incredible touchstone for sanity, soul survival, and self acceptance. This series is a must have for me. Welcome back Clarissa.

(Posted on 10/9/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Geeta

Years ago when I read WWRWTW for the first time..I thought to myself..I want to be her daughter in my next lifetime. Her words through the years, since then, have always been able to nourish my soul when I needed it..made me recognise my beauty when I felt I alone...on seeing her name in my email this morning,it brought tears to my eyes..as yet again..she has touched me at a very crucial time in my life. It made me realise again...that God was watching over me. I will sit by my "MOTHER" NIGHT'S FIRE..and heal...a wish from long ago..to have her speak to me..the time has come..thank you from the deepest part of my soul...for coming to retrieve me..

(Posted on 10/9/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by shewhospiritdreamsanddances

Oh, my, when I saw Clarrisa's name on opening my e-mails, utter delight, then excitement about this forthcoming sacred event. WWRWTW has for me been a nourishing and supportive book since publication,it has during times of deep distress offered me a lifeline, nourished me, and given me courage to carry on, knowing that I am truly never alone. Would love Clarrrisa to come to Scotland.

(Posted on 10/9/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by eMmA

I'lle be very interested and happy to attend these courses.
Thank you for having let me know about this amazing event.
eMmA from Paris, France.

(Posted on 10/8/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Muriel Bonnet del Valle

it is increible ! yesterday I was thinking "I have to conect Clarissa" and today I receive this. Synchronicity. I am from France, but in Mexico now where I leave most of the year. I can't come to the session. Just coming from the "moon dance" in Teotihuacan. Is Clarissa thinks coming to mexico ? Has she a course in spanish ?
can I have the course by CD ? LOVE from my heart to all of you

(Posted on 10/8/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Donna

I wouldn't miss this for anything!! I'm in school and have an on-line seminar every Wednesday from 7-8:30 PM. I'll finish just in time to tune in to Dr. Estes. She is my favorite author. I listen to her stories with the delight and wonder of a little child!

(Posted on 10/7/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Agustina

I also love this wise woman and her story telling which brings so much healing. I would like to know, what time this event would take place to hear it online live, in central California???

(Posted on 10/6/2009)

Review for Mother Night Review by Aida Iris Rivie-Angley

Yesterday I turned 69, impressed w/the fact that I am still here at 69, not everybody makes it! One of my gifts from my husband; was a note book w/a red dragon on the front and the back. (1940 was a dragon year), I got a dragon tattoo for my 60th!. This morning; thoughts of putting my life's story in this "dragon" book are swirling around. Then I receive this email from Sounds True. This "Curandera" is my favorite wise woman. I own the Walking w/Wolves book, cassette of the Stone Child, 2 sets of the Myth CDs; and now this, how lucky can I get? Will not be able to go live, but will download the audio; when it is ready,,,Please let me knot when it is.......Life is full of birthdays gifts....

(Posted on 10/5/2009)


Self-Guided Course

Contents 6 Sessions (10 hours, 11 minutes)
Date Published October 14, 2009
ISBN-13 978000C01528N
Product Code WC01528N