Emily Dickinson: A Medicine Woman for Our Times

A Powerful Vision of the Human Future!

A review by Douglas M. Gillette, MARS, M-Div

In his brilliant and urgently prophetic new book, Emily Dickinson: A Medicine Woman for Our Times, Steven Herrmann, using extraordinarily acute literary critical techniques along with powerfully insightful depth psychological tools, plumbs the depths and scales the heights of yet another great 19th Century American author. Herrmann’s deep dive into what can be recovered as well as surmised about the inner life of Emily Dickinson reveals a complex “volcanic” and at the same time perhaps painfully introverted “medicine woman,” or shaman, on a mission to reveal not only to her fellow-Americans but also to the entire world her vision of what authentic human wholeness entails. In Herrmann’s interpretation, that includes what he terms a “bi-erotic” and “spiritually democratic” embracing of one’s own post-religious, post-gender conflicted “cosmic” core, which ultimately and immediately both resonates with and finally is identical not only to the totality of humankind in its fullness, but also the entirely of what is. Herrmann’s optimism that a new era of bi-erotic spiritual democracy is on the verge of becoming abundantly manifest within all human societies throughout the world is contagious!

TITLE: Emily Dickinson: A Medicine Woman for Our Times
AUTHOR: Steven Herrmann
PUBLISHER: Fisher King Press
ISBN: 9781771690416

Spiritual Democracy

Review by Neil Richardson

Jungian psychotherapist and American literary history scholar Steven Herrmann combines both these expertise in his epic Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward (Sacred Activism). Herrmann has written a book that may be rooted in some of the leading thinkers in the United States from the 19th century but the implications from an environmental, ethno-cultural, democratic, scientific, sexual and psychological context is staggering and relevant today. Spiritual Democracy connects Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Emily Dickenson, C. G. Jung and Alexander von Humboldt and many other thinkers together in raising the basic question we all must confront one way or the other-How can we all live on this planet together and mindfully? Continue reading