Jean Shinoda Bolen is a practicing Jungian analyst and psychiatrist, an author and an activist. Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman (Conari Press, September 1, 2014) is her 13th book. The 30th-anniversary edition of Goddesses in Everywoman and the 25th-anniversary edition of Gods in Everyman were published by Harper in July 2014. Bolen lives and writes in a hillside retreat home in Mill Valley, Calif., where her introverted Cancerian sun sign returns after she ventures out to change the world (Leo rising) as an advocate for a 5th U.N. World Conference on Women; moon in Scorpio opposite her sun sign is said to account for the way she brings people back from the underworld through her writing and analytic work.
On your nightstand now:
When Women Were Birds. Author Terry Tempest Williams was raised in a culture in which it was a sin for a woman to speak out. Williams promised she would not open her mother's journals until after her death. When Williams opened them, they were all blank, and this book grew out of her reflections. I have just begun Waking the Buddha by Clark Strand, which I received after giving the Soka Gakkai International USA Culture of Peace lecture and learning that this is a branch of Buddhism that actively takes a stand for equality, diversity, the planet and peace.
Favorite book when you were a child:
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder influenced my acceptance of C.G. Jung's concept of meaningful coincidences, for which he coined the word "synchronicity." Books my kids read in elementary school introduced me to Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time and The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. My inner child loved them and read more of these authors.
Your top four authors:
T.S. Eliot (for Four Quartets), Mary Oliver (for Dream Work), C.G. Jung (for The Collected Works) and Philip Mayerson (for Classical Mythology in Literature, Art, and Music). These are books I go back to and--with the exception of Jung--have worn out, dog-eared, battered or replaced my copies.
Book you've faked reading:
When people assume that I have read all of C.G. Jung's Collected Works, I let this pass and don't set this misperception straight. Faking by omission.
Book you're an evangelist for:
From time to time, I recommend a book that I feel will help someone know more about themselves, [though I'm] not evangelical: Alice Miller's The Drama of the Gifted Child and David E. Schoen's The War of the Gods in Addiction. I also suggest reading about specific archetypes in [my books] Goddesses in Everywoman or Gods in Everyman.
Book you've bought for the cover:
When browsing at an airport bookstore, I bought a book for its subtitle: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink. The cover is bright orange and caught my eye.
Book that changed your life:
The I Ching or Book of Changes, Wilhelm edition. The oracular use of it works for me: reflecting back the situation, recommended attitude, action or non-action, under the circumstances. It's not logical that it would work, but it does; much as dreams do, it helps to think metaphorically.
Favorite line from a book:
"Time past and time future/ What might have been and what has been/ Point to one end, which is always present."
"But to apprehend/ the point of intersection of the timeless/ With time...."
"...The life of significant soil." --All from T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets
Which character you most relate to:
I recall relating to Morgaine in Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon a couple of decades ago. Actually, I indiscriminately drop into the psyches of the protagonists in books that I get absorbed reading, be they children, Hobbits, dragons, animals, men, women, even an occasional alien.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
It would be delightful to begin reading a new series of "airplane reading"--science-fiction, fantasy or mysteries. Thank goodness [so many authors are] prolific and imaginative: I entered Mercedes Lackey's world of Valdemar with the trilogy that began with Arrows for the Queen; 30-plus books later, I'm waiting for her next trilogy. I read all of Agatha Christie's mysteries, and then she died and there were no more. Nevada Barr has taken me to many national parks as well as Alaska, where her mysteries take place, and J.A. Jance has taken me to Bisbee, Ariz. Introductions that stick are great!
Book you would like to have written:
Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea.