How to Be an Elder

Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype
Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
5 out of 5 stars (192 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés Presents Volume Five of the Dangerous Old Woman Series

”What makes an elder, a heartfelt spirit, a clear mind, a talented heart, one who is young while old and old while young, an activist for the Soul? Is it formulae, schemas, lexicons? It could be. But also, and often more so, I think it is very like the flowering of the trees in the forest, as we gather more years: we straggle and stride onward in our better learned ways to give out even more seeds for new life, and to blossom wildly in so doing for self and others … The old ones are yet traveling underground and overland toward us as we meet one more time: La Vidente, the Seer; La Que Sabe, the Knowing Woman; La Levantadora, the Lifter of Curses—the Dangerous Old Woman in her many likenesses calls to you to 'get down to business.'” (Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD)

How to Be an Elder presents the culmination of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés' masterwork, inviting us to “come into our own as wiser and wild souls” through six sessions of teachings, stories, poetry, and blessings. In this fifth and final volume of Dr. Estés' landmark series, we will explore how it is that through the gathering of our years we become a beautiful refuge for ourselves, our Souls, and for those who come after us.

“Did I mention, dear brave souls,” reminds Dr. Estés, “that you came with all the seedlings needed to do your work, to take your venerable places in life? Now is the just-right time, like Sleeping Beauty, to break the enchantment, to truly awaken and awaken others, as either a rookie Dangerous Old Woman, or a mid-career Dangerous Old Woman, or as Crone with Crown complete!”

Stories, poems, and blessings Include:

  • A Simple Prayer for Remembering
  • El Arbol de la Vida: The Tree of Life
  • Blessing Prayer: “Tattoo Your Scars with Flowering Vines”
  • “Sleeping Beauty”
  • Blessing Prayer: “Do Not Fold Your Wings So Small”
  • “The Shoebox of Tangled Necklaces”
  • “Rumpelstiltskin”
  • Blessing Prayer: “May You See with Three Sets of Creator-Blessed Eyes”
  • “Rapunzel”
  • “The Loathly Bride”
  • Blessing Prayer: “You Shall Be Like a Volcano Heard From Afar”
  • “This Little Time Traveler”
  • “The Stolen Mother Moon”
  • Blessing Prayer: “The Hardening off of the Heartwood”
  • “Distilling Aunt Edna from the Bottle”
  • “The Rabbi's Advice to the Harried”
  • “A Handful of Mud”
  • “Baucis and Philemon”
  • Blessing Prayer: “The Mountain for Old Lovers”
©2012 Clarissa Pinkola Estés (P)2012 Clarissa Pinkola Estés

What listeners say about How to Be an Elder

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The Re - Awakening

Since reading Women who run with the Wolves so many years ago, which opened the first door for me, I never thought of checking if you wrote another book. In those days I was a bush pilot, and life ran away with me again, despite myself. Until I happened to find your audio books now. Today I am a therapist and I HEAR your message at such a deep level until I can FEEL them- they are going right to the core and I realise how the Art of story telling was THE tool in the old days to educate and to help people, and how, sadly, we have lost this tool where we are mostly living in our head and are told to ignore our heart.
The Indigenous People of Canada, the Cree, have guided me last year to reconnect with the heart and to seek connection with my inner wisdom, my intuition, and allow myself to be transported across to other dimensions hitherto unknown.
Your stories do the same, as they come from the same ancient wisdom which the modern world has lost, but is desperately seeking, not knowing how to find it.
My ardent wish is for anyone seeking to awaken heart, that they be guided to your books.
Thank you Dr Clarissa for sharing your stories, wisdom and insights. Yvonne Munshi

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Its like your Tia giving you advice

I loved this book. As a 34 year old woman I feel American society builds fear in us aging and not being considered beautiful, or abled to carry children, and makes us fear so uncomfortable to age. However this book prepares the reader to embrace their age as we are valuable and have a role to play at every age. Every age we are learning and have value. How do we want the younger generations to look up to us and how will we prepare them as they age? To be in fear or will we encourage them to innovate who they are and embrace the lessons and gifts they can share with others. As well as take care of themselves as they are growing.

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Wonderful, life changing series

Loved it. I will listen to this series again (and again). I wish every woman could listen to this and be soothed by Estes's stories.

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Touched my heart

I Loved it and I hung on every word. The stories in the recording are pure gold.

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Ancient Fire

Dr Estes has an old wisodom lost to so many of us. listening to her rekindels an old ancient fire . she blesses us with her words.

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Sage Advice Sprinkled and Slathered

Lovely, but untested, is no way to gain wisdom and be able to pull from the well filled by tears and struggles in order to water others, especially those younger than us. Dr. Estes continues to be one of the best storytellers as she shares tales that were shared orally with her by those with roots in the dirt.

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Just wonderful. Have loved her entire series.

Having listened to all of this series I can highly recommend it.

Love
Wisdom
Positivity
Knowledge
Reflection
Empowerment
Soothing voice
Nurturing
Ready to face the world

This is how I feel after listening to Dr Clarissa Pinkola-Estes audiobooks and CDs.

How lucky are we to be able to share in this?
This series is one of the longest and most rewarding things I’ve ever listened to.
After buying the first ones on CD I have enjoyed relistening to them. Each listen rewards you with the above gems.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of her work, from the amazing work “ Women who run with the wolves” in print to her many audiobooks.

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Thank you, Dr. E

If you could sum up How to Be an Elder in three words, what would they be?

Reassuring, classic, uplifting

What did you like best about this story?

This is classic Dr. E. The way she provides wisdom with personal anecdotes and stories makes it so easy and reassuring to apply the lessons to one's own life.

Which character – as performed by Clarissa Pinkola Estés – was your favorite?

Dr. E often brings forward Aunt Edna, from her youth - a truly inspiring elder.

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  • Elaine Desk Top
  • 09-05-14

Best book I ve listened to yet

What did you like most about How to Be an Elder?

Clarrisa is a top class story teller very entertaining to listen to and highly thought provoking

What did you like best about this story?

It helped me use my imagination in a powerful way

What does Clarissa Pinkola Estés bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Her voice and animation also the blessing would not have been effective for me reading it as it was to hear it

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Sit by the fire side with the wise woman and feel the love

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  • Mary
  • 01-08-15

A very wise storyteller

Clarissa Pinkola Estes ,the author and narrator ,is an enlightened storyteller and these stories contain so much gentle and humane wisdom .

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  • Joanna Royle
  • 07-15-17

Love it! have listened over and over...

And hear new wisdom ever time.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes is such a beautuful oral storyteller and her books are so much better listened to that read. Have bought all of her audio books and spend hours with them

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  • soozeekyoo
  • 01-11-20

Pure gold

So rich in feeling and meaning. I adore listening to Clarissa and hearing tales of Aunt Edna and the moon and many other characters who teach so much. I will listen to this again, many times over my lifetime. Thank you for making this available. My life is richer as a result.

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  • Anika Ruby
  • 08-24-19

Magnificent

I deeply and passionately love this book, and greatly recommend it with all the fullness of my heart.

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  • Deborah Harvey-Smith
  • 05-12-19

More wonderful words of wisdom from this fabulous.

Clarissa has the gift of the storyteller, the wisdom and insight of an elder and the generosity of a beautiful soul.

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  • Shona
  • 01-25-19

amazing author amazing book! enjoyed very much! 🌙

loved it! highly recommend it and a great author! Can't wait for more . 🌙

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  • Stella
  • 11-01-17

A treasure

This is a bright and brilliant Hearth for the heart and soul ... such rich and deep stories with heartfelt sharing reaches into our deepest deepest depths of knowing in our bones. Clarissa Pinkola Estes is the wise grandmother we wish we all had...

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  • mdvfunes
  • 01-10-20

Self indulgent repetitive material in a fake accent

I used to love this author. Not anymore. I could not keep listening to the repetitive self indulgence contained in this. Enough about me, what do you think about my ancestors? Making up Spanish sounding words and turning them into diminutives does not a storyteller make. Telling elders that they are special in cultures that no longer exist, does not make the burden of invisibility any less for them. Stories are boring, pop psychology for the old downright harmful.

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  • Sarah Roach
  • 07-03-18

Thank you Clarissa

Clarissa fills my heart with her truth and her love. She awakens a voice inside that screams out "YES YES YES!!!!'. You are a gift to our world Clarissa, thank you, thank you, thank you xxxx

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  • Girlfriend
  • 09-07-16

just when I needed the encouragement, perfect

every word was timely and timeless. read especially if you need some support and encouragement. wise words

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  • waterwench
  • 08-10-16

Amazing

Yet another brilliant and insightful reading. This is a voice I can listen to for hours on end. 🌟🙏🏻