Women Who Run With The Wolves
"A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving. Yet, separation from the wildest nature causes a woman's personality to become meager, then ghosty, spectral. We are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to chase, to birth, to create a life. When women's lives are in stasis, ennui, it is always time for the wildest woman to emerge; it is time for the creating function of the psyche to flood the delta.
How does Wild Woman affect women? With Wild Woman as ally, as leader, model, teacher, we see, not through two eyes, but through the eyes of intuition which is many-eyed. When we assert intuition, we are therefore like the starry night: we gaze at the world through a thousand eyes.
The Wild Woman carries the bundles for healing; she carries everything a woman needs to be and know. She carries the medicine for all things. She carries stories and dreams and words and songs and signs and symbols. She is both vehicle and destination.
To adjoin the instinctual nature does not mean to come undone, change everything from left to right, from black to white, to move the east to west, to act crazy or out of control. It does not mean to lose one's primary socializations, or to become less human. It means quite the opposite. The wild nature has a vast integrity to it.
It means to establish territory, to find one's pack, to be in one's body with certainty and pride regardless of the body's gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one's behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one's cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as we can.
The archetype of the Wild Woman and all that stands behind her is patroness to all painters, writers, sculptors, dancers, thinkers, prayer makers, seekers, finders - for they are all busy with the work of invention, and that is the Wild Woman's main occupation. As in all art, she resides in the guts, not in the head. She can track and run and summon and repel. She can sense, camouflage, and love deeply. She is intuitive, typical, normative. She is utterly essential to women's mental and soul health.
So what is the Wild Woman? From the viewpoint of archetypal psychology as well as from the storytelling tradition, she is the female soul. Yet she is more; she is the source of the feminine. She is all that is of instinct, of the worlds both seen and hidden - she is the basis. We each receive from her a glowing cell which contains all the instincts and knowings needed for our lives.
She is the Life/Death/Life force, she is the incubator. She is intuition, she is far-seer, she is deep listener, she is loyal heart. She encourages humans to remain multilingual; fluent in the languages of dreams, passion, and poetry. She whispers from night dreams, she leaves behind on the terrain of a woman's soul a coarse hair and muddy footprints. These fill women with longing to find her, free her, and love her.
She is ideas, feelings, urges, and memory. She has been lost and half forgotten for a long, long time. She is the source, the light, the night, the dark, and daybreak. She is the smell of good mud and the back leg of the fox. The birds which tell us secrets belong to her. She is the voice that says, "This way, this way."
She is the one who thunders after injustice. She is the one who turns like a great wheel. She is the maker of cycles. She is the one we leave home to look for. She is the one we come home to. She is the mucky root of all women. She is the things that keep us going when we think we are done for. She is the incubator of raw little ideas and deals. She is the mind which thinks us, we are the thoughts that she thinks.
Where is she present? Where can you feel her, where can you find her? She walks the deserts, woods, oceans, cities, in the barrios, and in castles. She lives among queens, among campesinos, in the boardroom, in the factory, in the prison, in the mountain of solitude. She lives in the ghetto, at the university, and in the streets. She leaves footprints for us to try for size. She leaves footprints wherever there is one woman who is fertile soil.
Where does Wild Woman live? At the bottom of the well, in the headwaters, in the ether before time. She lives in the tear and in the ocean. She lives in the cambria of trees, which pings as it grows. She is from the future and from the beginning of time. She lives in the past and is summoned by us. She is in the present and keeps a chair at our table, stands behind us in line, and drives ahead of us on the road. She is in the future and walks backward in time to find us now.
She lives in the green poking through snow, she lives in the rustling stalks of dying autumn corn, she lives where the dead come to be kissed and the living send their prayers. She lives in the place where language is made. She lives on poetry and percussion and singing. She lives on quarter notes and grace notes, and in a cantata, in a sestina, and in the blues. She is the moment just before inspiration bursts upon us. She lives in a faraway place that breaks through to our world.
People may ask for evidence, for proof of the Wild Woman's existence. They are essentially asking for proof of the psyche. Since we are the psyche, we are also the evidence. Each and every one of us is the evidence of not only Wild Woman's existence, but Wild Woman's condition in the collective. We are the proof of this ineffable female numen. Our existence parallels hers.
Our experiences of her within and without are the proofs. Our thousands and millions of encounters with her intra-psychically through our night dreams and our day thoughts, through our yearnings and inspirations, these are the verifications. The fact that we are bereft in her absence, that we long and yearn when we are separated from her; these are the manifestations that she has passed this way."
Excerpt from Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I am in awe of the way the author details the woman in which I know as Wisdom. This book is speaking heavily to my soul, so naturally, I want to share.