A `Knowing Woman` Nurturing the Feminine Soul, Jo Garceau ~ WOMEN in RECOVERY

A Celebration of Women

urges You as a Woman, to Follow Your Heart know Your Purpose in Life.

Psychology of Women

Depth psychology, introduced by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, pioneered the idea of unconscious aspects of human consciousness. In this model, much of human thought and action is culturally and/or personally repressed because it is deemed unacceptable. Since the culture historically placed women in a secondary role to men, who women were in their natural state was buried deep in the psyche, in the unconscious.

The psychology of women recognizes this cultural inhibition and encourages women to express their personal truth. In the latter decades of the twentieth century, women psychologists, often trained by Carl Jung, began to posit an authentic feminine psychology, different from the psychological makeup of men.

Levels of Self/Ego

The persona, one’s way of meeting the world, is separate from the little self or ego, the collection of traits, desires, and beliefs forming the entirety of the personality. The soul/higher self is the essence of an individual, that part of the individual that was before birth and remains after the body dies. When a person becomes self-realized (i.e., spiritually enlightened), the soul self expands into the entirety of creation, becomes the entirety, known as the greater Self/God. Thus, coming to know one’s spiritual self (in Hindi, the `atman`) ultimately can bring one to realization that who one is is one with the entirety of all creation. Paramahansa Yogananda, author of The Autobiography of a Yogi, sang,I am a bubble, make me the sea.”

In other words,

“I am the little self, make me the big Self, one with God.”


Jo`s Personal Experience …

“From as early as I can remember, I lived a façade. As a girl and later a woman, I pretended to be what I perceived other people expected me to be. Yet, at eight, when my soul-my spiritual self-first made itself known, an inner voice insisted I would be different from any woman I had ever heard of. This both mystified and challenged me, for it was in direct conflict with convention.

In the 1930s world I grew up in, women were subsidiary to men. Church, family, and society taught only one way for a girl to grow up-the way her mother, grandmother, and every woman who lived before her had. Dependent on men for status and economic support, we were expected to be beautiful and compliant, never independent in thought or manner. When our beauty faded, our worth dissipated. Taught this way for millennia, women were objects of scorn and derision, barely second-class citizens. Why, in the United States, only a decade before my birth, women were finally allowed to vote!

For six decades, even though my natal astrological chart indicates an independent woman, strong and courageous with a keen interest in politics, psychology, and spirituality, chronic depression was my constant companion. Until I realized the life purpose I had heard as a child emanated from my feminine soul, my heart was hollow at the center. I ached with emptiness. Awareness came slowly and incrementally-a spiral journey toward self-understanding, driven by an inner mandate, punctuated by tiny, seemingly insignificant but ultimately life-changing decisions.

From that secret soul announcement of my life mission at eight years of age, to the full blossoming of a life centered in the Self-slowly the Divine Feminine became a fountain of harmony, peace, and tranquility.

Thirty-five years ago, Jungian analyst Irene Claremont de Castillejo, in her popular book of the time, Knowing Woman, A Feminine Psychology, asked her readers to join in the effort to bring the souls of women from the dark underground cavern where they had hidden for centuries up into the light of consciousness. I was immensely struck with her description of the ways women develop and her call for an authentic feminine psychology.

Reading and rereading her words, I formed the desire to help uncover the feminine soul and dreamed of joining with many other women in this important psychological work. I wanted every woman to become aware of her higher self**, her soul, to be inspired to make her personal journey. I decided to try to find my inner self so that I could share what I found.

By the time I read Irene de Castillejo, I had married, borne four children, become a feminist politician and a Catholic Charismatic. As my search for the feminine soul accelerated and became the focus of my life, I became an ecumenical campus minister. Later, I joined a Hindu-Christian ashram, went on pilgrimage to Israel and India, and on a Vision Quest. Eventually, I came to the awareness that my soul relates to Great Mystery without religious structures. That story is reflected in the narrative, the first and major part of this book.

From the vantage point of seventy-five years lived, I view the seemingly inexhaustible ways that the soul operates. I came into this life with a soul agenda-all of us do. For most of my years, my conscious mind thought it was fully in charge. Around the time of my fiftieth birthday, I began to question that. Today, my ego still makes day-to-day decisions, but I believe the soul intervenes when I lose the direction it intends.

My soul has guided me in countless ways. First, there was a voice; later, a telegraphed message and countless synchronous events. My soul often expressed itself to me through nature-shooting stars, a small local earthquake, animal signs, a limpet shell, a magnificent sunset, and a feminine, double terminated healing crystal. Each played an important role in my life.

There were visions, meditations, glossolalia, and kundalini. Messages- some encouraging, others devastatingly challenging-came through others; the challenging illness of my youngest child has taught me more than almost any other life experience. Inspired by my soul, I followed my intuitions and learned astrology. Dreams guided me. Spiritual light permeated my being, and joy held me spellbound. At times, I failed miserably; at other times, doors opened effortlessly.

Contrary to the popular belief that soul experiences are irrational, unexplainable, and therefore unreal, I believe soul messages, in whatever form, are the heart and truth of who we are. I am convinced that everyone experiences the soul/Self, not necessarily as I experience it, but in manifold ways. We are first and foremost souls with bodies and minds, not the other way around. As souls-as tiny aspects of the Great Mystery, we have a great task before us: instead of marching to the drummer of societal music, we must discover our soul purpose and live inspired by the Divine Feminine and our individual Soul Consciousness. Only then will we live our authentic truth. Only then are we able to make our contribution to society.

A few final thoughts. This book is about my soul journey and moves chronologically from childhood forward. It was never meant to be a complete life story, covering all aspects of my life. I always intended to protect the privacy of those who shared their lives with me, especially my former husband, my children, and close and intimate friends. You will find stories about them in every chapter, but the emphasis is on my spiritual journey.

This book is divided into three parts: Part 1 is the narrative of my spiritual journey. For easy and quick reference, many of the spiritual and metaphysical concepts I have worked with throughout my journey are highlighted in part 2 of the book, Metaphysics 101 for the Knowing Woman.

In the glossary at the end of the book, you will find brief explanations of the main people, concepts, and places that informed my journey-again, for easy and quick reference. These materials are far from complete; they only touch the surface of a vast body of knowledge available to the seeker. My hope is to whet your appetite, to encourage you to set out on your own soul journey. To assist you on that journey, in part 3 of the book (Workbook for the Soul), I have included questions that can be used for personal reflection or group discussions.

Finally, as a shamanic astrologer, I read the charts of events and individuals for in-depth understanding. As I look back on my life, figuring out the planetary influences that helped or hindered me on my journey has been an exciting and rewarding adventure, which I share with you throughout the pages of this book. I believe you will find them helpful, and they will perhaps open a new area for you to explore. ”


Find Jo Here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Jo-Garceau/1572259311

LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jo-garceau/13/128/305

UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/italy_15634.html

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 971 645-8099


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