Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture and Spring Journal Books
$ 22.95

Tragic Beauty
The Dark Side of Venus Aphrodite and the Loss and Regeneration of Soul

by Arlene Diane Landau

ISBN: 978-1-935528-18-0
118 pp.

"Aphrodite women always stand out. Go to any public venue and wait for the moment of recognition: There she is—the "it" girl. Tall and slim, or short and slim, blond or raven or red-haired, it matters not. Whether she dresses like a princess or a prostitute, she has the unmistakable spark that is the touch of Aphrodite.

Aphrodite is the golden goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology. Women who embody the Aphrodite archetype have much less choice in how they behave or react than they, or others, imagine. The myths tell us that Aphrodite qualities are essential for the joy of life, but the shadow side of Aphrodite manifests when a woman is completely identified with Aphrodite's powers, when other archetypal qualities of the feminine are unimportant to her. The tragedies that result from this are the subject of numerous well-known novels and films and exemplified in the lives of certain actresses and other celebrities, all considered here.

The dark side of the pursuit of beauty is especially apparent with aging, when the Aphrodite woman must become something other than a source of beauty or dwindle to a bitter and lonely end. Those whose lives have been wounded by the shadow side of Aphrodite—or those who do not have enough of Aphrodite's joy in their personal makeup—may find understanding and rebirth through the consciousness gained in this real-life exploration of an ideal that has ballooned into a distortion. In these times, when the idolization of Aphrodite—and the tragedy that ensues—are perhaps more widespread than ever, the crucial key for women is consciousness."

So begins Arlene Landau’s examination of the Aphrodite archetype, an intimate and personal look at both the light and dark sides of Aphrodite’s magic—youthful beauty and aged painfulness.


*****
Praise for Tragic Beauty
A stunning portrait of Aphrodite's Archetypal appearances, from Mt. Olympus to the Hollywood streets, from crisis to consulting room. Dr. Landau, Jungian Analyst and Mythologist, knows the territory. She is a superb guide to the paradoxical reach of the love goddess, in her dazzling allure and infernal darkness and beyond—to a larger vision of life and wisdom.
STANTON MARLAN, PH.D., AUTHOR OF THE BLACK SUN: THE ALCHEMY AND ART OF DARKNESS
Arlene Landau has lived this book, which makes it jump alive from the opening lines, lit from within. With Aphrodite, the great Goddess of love and beauty—and dangerous seduction and tragedy too—as her subject, Landau brings a profoundly insightful eye and a flowing conversational style to an understanding of this Goddess who has ruled our culture for centuries. There is so much packed into this volume, a unique and important contribution to the culture at large and to depth psychology. Reading this book is like listening to a wise, beautiful, compassionate, utterly real woman tell us how it is, how it's been, and how it could be to know Aphrodite—and why it is so terribly important that we do.
LYN COWAN, PH.D., AUTHOR OF PORTRAIT OF THE BLUE LADY: THE CHARACTER OF MELANCHOLY
Arlene Landau's beautifully written book on Aphrodite gives us stunning descriptions of the goddess as we see Her around us in our daily lives and experience Her in the depths of the Psyche. This volume is rich and unyieldingly engaging. In-depth and deftly written, it's meaningful for Jungian analysts, therapists, and laypeople alike. Landau's book is especially valuable for women who are caught in sparkles and five-inch heels in their endless pursuit of beauty, often far into old age. These women often do not know why their appearance is so all-important, and it is similarly a puzzle to those around them. Landau's honest and personal volume is also important for the men who gravitate toward Venus-type women. These men are often left devastated, disappointed, and lost when their love affairs with golden glittery beauties do not last.
LINDA SCHIERSE LEONARD, PH.D., AUTHOR OF THE WOUNDED WOMEN AND THE CALL TO CREATE
Women of all ages delight in the astonishing sense of power and desirability that the goddess Aphrodite can bring. However, women, especially in our current era, give little thought of the resulting downfall when identifying so closely with this archetypal energy. It is then that the dark side of Aphrodite enters their life. With poignant examples, author and psychoanalyst, Arlene Landau, explores the wounding of feminine nature when only sexual prowess and beauty are valued. She explores ways in which to redeem that which is lost in order to restore and realize the splendor of an all-encompassing feminine nature. This timely message brings to consciousness a special new image of all that women can be.
NANCY QUALLS-CORBETT, PH.D., AUTHOR OF THE SACRED PROSTITUTE: ETERNAL ASPECT OF THE FEMININE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Who Is Aphrodite?
Chapter 2: Aphrodite's Story: Films and Novels
Chapter 3: Aphrodite in the Spotlight—Actresses, Celebrities, and the Dark Side of Hollywood
Chapter 4: The Classical Aphrodite and Her Sisters
Chapter 5: Understanding Aphrodite with the Help of Jung
Chapter 6: Aphrodite in Analysis
Chapter 7: Aging, Sophia, and Aphrodite's Soul
Conclusion: Aphrodite's Gift
About the Author:
Arlene Diane Landau, Ph.D., is a Diplomate Senior Jungian Analyst. She is a member of the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, and the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. As a mythology scholar she has provided an archetypal analysis of the novels of Thomas Hardy. Dr. Landau holds a B.A. in Fine Arts, Master's degrees in Psychology and Mythological Studies, and a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies. She has lectured in Berlin, Bucharest, Cape Town, London, Zürich, and in the United States. Dr. Landau has been active in the teaching, analysis, and evaluation of candidates in training to become Jungian analysts. Her interests include art, literature, theater, and film. She is in private practice in Pacific Palisades, California.