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Wisdom of the Heart: Working with Women’s Dreams

Excerpts from Riane Eisler’s foreword to this nonfiction book:
We all have dreams, and when we wake up we wonder what they mean. The ancients, we are told, thought that dreams were portents of the future, laden with messages from goddesses and gods. At the other extreme is the view of some modern biologists who see dreams as mere neurological static, devoid of any real meaning. Most of us are somewhere in between: we believe that dreams can be messages from our unconscious minds but we usually do not know what to make of them.
Dr. Karen Signell has spent much of her professional life as a Jungian analyst helping patients listen to their dreams for perspective about their daily lives and aspirations. She wrote her book, Wisdom of the Heart: Working with Women’s Dreams for women who do not have access to Jungian analysis—to help readers tap their dreams as wellsprings of their deepest intuitions—their inner wisdom and strength. Not only does she feature dreams about women’s sources of power, but she also features those dreams that reveal the “softer” side of feminism—such as trusting one’s deepest feelings of empathy and perspective for reconciliation in one’s relationships with others.

“Into a marketplace filled with self-help books that peddle little more than common sense comes this excellent introduction to dream analysis for women interested in using their dreams for personal growth. Those with no previous experience in [dream analysis] receive foundational experience on how to capture dreams and understand Jungian vocabulary. But even experts in dream symbolism will gain from Signell’s provocative analyses of dreams that betoken the traumas of one’s life and help confront aggression, transform anger, and explore sexuality. Especially memorable are the dreams themselves, which, though briefly told, are resonant with symbolism: of the woman who, constantly needled by her siblings, dreamed of actually swallowing a sewing needle, or the woman who, in her dream of a Dolly Parton carnival ride, struggled to come to terms with her feminine fullness. Highly recommended for general collections.” Pat Monaghan
– Booklist starred review

A wise and practical book...shows how to work with dreams from a Jungian perspective. –Linda Leonard, author of The Wounded Woman

“Extraordinary.....useful and revealing.” –Buffie Johnson, author of Lady of the Beasts

“Wisdom of the Heart is a rich melange. It’s all there—the feminine buried so deep, for so long, waiting to burst forth; the anger, passion, rage; the erotic, the spiritual, the life force... A wise and compassionate teacher, Dr. Signell intelligently informs us how we can listen to the inner authenticity of our unconscious.” –Elinor W. Gadon, author of The Once and Future Goddess

This unusual book ... is also an excellent in-depth introduction to Jungian ideas...The book fills a void in the growing literature on Jungian psychology, which will be appreciated by women and also by men. –Reverend Mr. John A. Sanford, author of Dreams: God’s Forgotten Language.

Welcome to Florida: Ancient Egyptian Geese, by Annie Mack and Karen Signell

On the back cover of the Egyptian Geese novel, I tell how the story was first conceived:
“I was out on a stroll in Florida when I came upon two unusually elegant geese. Stock-still, I stared at them. The two looked right back at me.
“What in the world are YOU doing here?” I thought. I recognized them. I’d seen them painted on the interior of a tomb in Egypt.
“They’re called Egyptian Geese,” a neighbor told me. She had found them in her Audubon guide under Exotic Birds.
“That morning, Annie Mack and I hatched this story of what it’s like to discover yourself in a strange land. We all know how hard it is to leave a familiar place and adapt to a new one. But not all of us remember having once been a queen....”