1st Edition

Masculine Shame From Succubus to the Eternal Feminine

By Mary Y. Ayers Copyright 2011
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    How does the image of the succubus relate to psychoanalytic thought?

    Masculine Shame: From Succubus to the Eternal Feminine explores the idea that the image of the succubus, a demonic female creature said to emasculate men and murder mothers and infants, has been created out of the masculine projection of shame and looks at how the transformation of this image can be traced through Western history, mythology, and Judeo-Christian literature.

    Divided into three parts areas of discussion include:

    • the birth of civilization and the evolution of the succubus
    • the image of the succubus in the writings of Freud and Jung
    • the succubus as child killing mother to the restoration of the eternal feminine.

    Through a process of detailed cultural and social analysis, the author places the image of the succubus at the very heart of psychoanalytic thought, highlighting its presence in both Freud’s Medusa and Jung’s visions of Salome. As such, this book will be of great interest to all those in the fields of analytical psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

    Preface. Part I: The Birth of Civilization and the Evolution of the Succubus. The Succubus, the Evil Eye and Shame. The Historic Unfolding of the Image of the Succubus. Part II: The Image of the Succubus in the Writings Freud and Jung. The Split Between Freud and Jung. Sigmund Freud’s Medusa. Siegfried to Salome: Jung’s Heroic Journey. The Blinded Eternal Feminine. Part III: From the Succubus as Child Killing Mother to the Restoration of the Eternal Feminine. The Succubus of Early Infancy. The Evil Female Demon. Epilogue: Envisioning a Return of the Eternal Feminine.


    Mary Y. Ayers, Ph.D. is the author of Mother-Infant Attachment and Psychoanalysis: The Eyes of Shame, (Routledge, 2003), winner of the NAAP Gradiva Award (2004). She currently works in private practice in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. where she specializes in analytic work with children and adults.

    "This book is worth reading for chapter 7 alone, which is perhaps the most beautifully written and most psychologically-minded account that I have yet read of how an infant develops a sense of self and identity through processes of early attachment, recognition, empathic mirroring and individuation... I would highly recommend this book, as I have said, for the brilliance of chapter 7 and also because the succubus is a neglected aspect of our study of gender issues that Ayers passionately and articulately brings to life." - Martin Seager, International Journal of Jungian Studies, March 2012

    "This book is part of the movement to save humanity from a warrior code of masculinity that belongs in a former era. I highly recommend it to all students of gender, religion, the arts, myth, ecology, and depth psychology." - Susan Rowland, Journal of Jungian Scholarly Studies, Vol. 7, No. 5, 2012