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Spencer, J. (1991). Woodman, Marion. The Ravaged Bridegroom: Masculinity in Women. Toronto, Inner City Books, 1990. Pp. 223. $18.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(4):538-539.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(4):538-539

Woodman, Marion. The Ravaged Bridegroom: Masculinity in Women. Toronto, Inner City Books, 1990. Pp. 223. $18.

Review by:
Janet Spencer

In a passage which could almost have been intended as a statement of the central issue of Marion Woodman's latest book, Jung wrote (CW 10, p. 917): I believe that the spirit is a dangerous thing and I do not believe in its paramountcy. I believe only in the Word become flesh, in the spirit-filled body, where yang and yin are wedded into a living form. Woodman's book certainly endorses this statement, but, she asks, how are we to achieve this incarnation, this spirit-filled body, living as we do in a patriarchy which has as one of its core myths that of the dragon-slaying hero, a myth which renders spirit and body natural enemies?

If men and women are to be equal partners in the outer world, she says, the foundations for that partnership must first be laid within themselves. The problem seems to be that when we look within, we find an inner patriarchy, with male tyrants and overlords who are unable to value and respond to the feminine and who reduce potentially positive masculine elements of the psyche to cripples and criminal outcasts. It is these inner tyrants and victims that need to be depotentiated and redeemed in order that a new, more loving and fruitful relationship can come into being.

Among the many inner figures dealt with, I would mention especially that of the magician who presides in states of addiction, spellbinding his victim into believing that the addictive substance is really the milk of paradise. That Woodman is very good on the subject of addictions will surprise no one who is familiar with her previous work.

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