Sandra Schumm, PhD
What if the goddess Athena, who sprang fully-grown from Zeus’s head and denied she had a mother, became aware of the compelling existence of her other parent? What if she discovered that her mother, Metis, first wife of Zeus and wiser than all gods and mortal men, according to Hesiod, was swallowed by her father and continued to impart her wisdom to him from inside his belly? Both Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell stress how stories connect us with the archetypal. Through stories, fairytales, and myths we connect with the unconscious and become more whole. My study of Spanish novels by women has confirmed that the feminine in Spanish culture and in ours is undervalued and ignored. Without valorization of the maternal in our patriarchal society, we deny and swallow the universal feminine in all of us—both males and females. Loneliness, addictions, depression, and other emotional problems reflect that we are fragmented, but narratives and writing can alter our society and transform our personal lives. We will explore ways to modify our stories and re-cultivate the feminine facets of our nature to restore unity to ourselves.