“Why do women keep trying to bend and fold themselves into shapes that are not theirs? I must say, from years of clinical observation of this problem, that most of the time it is not because of deep-seated masochism or a malignant dedication to self-destruction or anything of that nature. More often it is because the woman simply doesn’t know any better. She is unmothered.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
As it becomes increasingly apparent that along with the threads of new paradigm that are speedily plaiting themselves together and becoming rapidly distinctive in design, gender and the dissolving boundaries between our two perceived ones is also beginning to melt. The slow and inexorable tick of the clock is becoming more like a drumbeat and woman are increasingly waking up and saying No. This is not right.
We will no longer put up with this. Contrary to this feeling that a revolution on all inequality and discriminations is coming, women have probably always felt this disconnection with their true essence – the wild woman – and even those who have the freedom and incentive to try to step out and express her, like any student stepping into the unknown, will probably feel like the precarious path she attempts to walk is invisible and entirely dangerous.
‘Women don’t know any better. She is unmothered’ really strikes a chord. For not only do we condition young girls from an early age on how to hide their true being; that raw and unfettered essence that authentically expresses the human self, the path does not speak the language that we are familiar with. The path is not written or logical, it is not structured or plain to see but sensations in the body, an echo of something bigger and pure unadulterated intuition and instinct.
To say the wild woman is animalistic is accurate, but for many who misunderstand and fear that side of the self (in both men and women), seeing that the only acceptable way to be civilized is to conform and suppress.
The wild woman, in my experience is animalist in the right way… in a shamanistic and spiritual way that can lead to greater actions and high thinking. The wild woman is not reptilian and racked with greed, nor is she savage and irrational like a beast in a cage.
The wild woman is like a wolf; only bearing her teeth when her family or nature is questioned, but otherwise completely in touch with her natural rhythm and cycles. She is also unashamed, something which the patriarchal societies and Abrahamic religions fear beyond anything. That is why woman has been turned into a marketing pawn and pumped with fear, much more than men, because she is to be feared in her natural state.
The wild woman cannot be controlled by society. She is the original rebel, the original revolutionary. With the anger of the lion and the wisdom of the child she is everything the establishment are afraid of, and more. And that is why many are coming to understand that a rebalance of the feminine is the only way out of our current system.
The wild woman doesn’t discriminate, is not jealous, hysterical or dangerous as traditional mythology paints her. She doesn’t need to be lost in the mysteries of the night or the shallow waters of suicide (most likely caused by the denial of this aspect of her being) and post natal depression. We need to write new myths and bring the wild woman to the forefront of our minds because she stirs in all of us.
The oppression of the female, in the non-physical, psychological sense comes from the need to put her as consort rather than heroine. This is what all religions, even paganism, Buddhism and other esoteric religions that are supposedly progressive or free from restriction – even Native American ideology – paint her as. But actually, in our ancient memories, those that existed before even the ancient Egyptians ruled and have resurfaced from time to time before being plummeted back down by the system are that of her being free of the rib of Adam.
She was an individual, not for man’s enjoyment, not to assist him to rule, or counsel him, or mother him, or make any other part of his life easier… but actually be there on her own merit. This is why we are unschooled in her. We (men and women) feel we must keep our appreciation of woman on the quiet, hidden behind beauty magazines and love of our mothers.
The wild woman represents that unshaken and integral part of us that is a sacred true being. And it’s perhaps for this reason that for a woman to discover it is so much more of a powerful act than it would be if a man were to do so. We’ve already seen what happens when a man balances the genders within himself; look at any prophet and you will probably find something close. But for a woman to do so, without pretending in any way to be a man or adhere to the expectations of a leader who leads in a masculine and tyrannical way, then wow.
I think we’ve all sensed her. After a long time spent in natural surroundings, when our vibrations realign with the earths and become authentic again. Or perhaps when we practice yoga, a very gentle and self-loving exercise that often works on the hips. Then we are able to release those ancient fears of rejection and disconnection with our true ontology. After that, we may shine if only for five minutes before we remember to hide her again.
Wild woman is not just us reverting to our tribal way of functioning, where jealousy and gossip still reign, but using the release of this long buried archetype to use it for spiritual progression and move back in alignment with our higher selves. Wild woman is resurfacing and calling to you. If you only stop to listen.
Art by Gaia Orion