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In Memoriam - Marion Woodman

Marion Woodman was a Canadian mythopoetic author, poet, analytical psychologist, and leader of the women’s movement.  She was born in London, Ontario, and taught high school English for more than twenty years. Suffering from anorexia, she took a sabbatical and traveled to India and England, finally ending up at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich where she trained to be an analyst.

Marion Woodman spent decades shaking up the psychoanalytic world with her contentious call to heed the impulses of the soul locked within the body.  She became one of the biggest names in human potential circles, and her books have sold more than 320,000 copies. To many Woodman is best known for her videotaped workshop with Robert Bly, the pioneer of the men’s movement. Called Bly & Woodman: On Men & Women, the series has been hailed for spanning the chasm between the sexes.

Woodman’s influence is all the more significant considering that her message has never been easy. Nudging individuals towards self-realization, she exhorted them to stay tuned to the signals from the spiritual realm that Jung called the Unconscious. But while Jung believed those signals appear in dreams through the images he termed archetypes—the symbols common to myths and folktales around the world—she has gone one step further. Pointing out that psychic promptings can also be felt in the flesh, she warned that, if ignored, they emerge as illness and addictions. “If we don’t release the energies of the body,” she says, “we end up in the hospital.”

In 2012 Woodman was listed in Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit Magazine as one of the 100 most spiritually influential living people.