Have you heard her stories, myths, and tales?
Or have you heard the re-written versions, the ones where wild equals bad? Clarissa Pinkola Estes brought her up from these downtrodden and hidden places, and into the hands of everyday woman back in 1992, in “Women Who Run with the Wolves – Myths and Stories of the Wild Women Archetype”.
**A note on Archetypes: Some time ago, I don’t remember when or where or even who, it was told to me that when he was close to dying, the psychoanalyst Carl Jung (who is the KING of archetypal studies) said that he wished, that if he could change just one thing about his life’s work, it would be this: that he’d used the word ‘Spirit’ instead of ‘archetype’ to describe the essential character of an energy type. Spirit.
Back to the Feminine…
Since Women Who Run with the Wolves, She has been running. …But how far? And how fast must we keep on running to meet her? My FAVOURITE Myth of the Wild Woman is the story of Fox Woman. I’m going to link it below, so you can go listen to it for yourself. Please do. You can thank me later ☺️
Fox woman left.
As soon as her pure, female wildness was in danger of being tamed, she left. She returned to the wild. And the gaping emptiness she left has not been filled, yet still, it gapes. Humanity feels it. And so does the Earth.
…And I’m guessing you feel her coming back to fill that emptiness. Maybe once a month, or so?
During the Moon cycle – each woman’s personal cycle that occurs inside the female body and the lunar cycle overhead – many distinct and powerful female archetypes take their turns to emerge. When the creative, magnetic, expansive and sustaining phases of these cycles are coming to their natural close, a transition happens. In order for the whole cycle to keep on turning, introspection and increased focus on the self must be embraced.
This latter part of the cycle is the dwelling place of the Wild Woman.
Maybe not forever. Maybe it wasn’t this way for the ancestors. But in the here and now, She is emerging in women in this phase of themselves. She emerges just after the Full Moon, after ovulation and so coincides with the pre-menstrual part of the menstrual cycle. Of course, many women dread this part of their cycle – it can be physically painful, emotional, and often bring out the darker, destructive sides of our psyches. The shadow.
IS Your Wild Woman Talking to You Through PMS?
PMS/T (pre-menstrual syndrome/tension) is a widely accepted ‘condition’ that so many women feel they must endure each month. but isn’t this an absurd way to live, if you take a step back and consider what it really means? On average, one week in every four of a woman’s life is filled with dread, denial, and shame? Really? What if the emotional sensitivities, the anxiety, the self-sabotage, and the dark, destructive behaviours are all actually the call of the wild woman archetype? And what if the unease, discomfort, and yes, the physical pain are actually resistance to her? Isn’t it about time we listened? And realized what a powerful force she is?
But Who IS the Wild Woman?
The Wild Woman is the healer. She’s the medicine woman, the untamed one, the awakening soul who will not rest.
This archetype is ‘wild’ because she needs to be.
She needs to run, headfirst and arrow-straight into the heart of every experience. And she needs her wildness to be able to traverse the worlds. She senses, intuits and feels the spectrum of feels, without censoring herself. BUT… For millennia now, most women (scratch that.. all women) have been censored, limited, stifled, subdued, and yes…. tamed. She went back into the wild, yet most of us stayed. Yet in these waning spaces, these betwixt and between places, the wildness of her archetype IS returning. But not over there, not somewhere else… in YOU. And she emerges differently through each of us – there’s no rhyme or reason to her instinctual nature (she’s wild, remember?) SO next time you feel the Moon waning, from within and without, hear her awaken and listen to what she has to tell you. Here’s how:
Spend time alone in contemplation.
This doesn’t mean retreating to the sofa and watching TV! It means creating the time, space and quietude to feel your emotions without attaching meaning to them, or needing to act on them. This gives your emotions value and is an important step towards understanding their root.
Create a zone in your home, which is just for you, where you can go and re-center. This could be an altar in the corner of your bedroom with incense and fresh flowers, that you can go to and sit with when you need to find peace. Or maybe you can only manage to light a candle on the kitchen table when everyone else in the house is occupied. Let this be your signal to find a moment of presence.
Cut down on stimulation
This could be limiting screen time (checking Facebook every half an hour is a sure-fire way to avoid entering into a meaningful relationship with yourself). Or it may mean resisting filling every moment of your day with tasks, and sitting still for 20 minutes instead.
Set clear boundaries
If somebody needs your time or attention, schedule them in for later on, or tomorrow – don’t simply jump to the demands of others.
Ask for support
If you have dependents like children or elderly relatives, ask for support so that you can have a break from their normal demands on you. It will make an enormous difference! If you feel fragile or over-sensitive (which is common when you’re are doing a bunch of internal processing) ask for support. This may mean help at work or home, or you may need a friend’s shoulder to cry on. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. But you will need to gauge whether leaning on others for advice and support is actually a tactic you’re using to avoid dealing with your own difficult truths.
Eat properly and consider supplementing your diet to ensure your delicate hormonal balance isn’t exacerbating any emotional swinging. So eat foods high in the B vitamins to stabilise your moods, and make sure you are getting enough fibre. This is important, as it gives all those excess hormones that your body is trying to release (like a build-up of oestrogen) something to bind onto, so they can be flushed out of your system efficiently. And go easy on the soya products – this is a well-known source of plant oestrogen, so you don’t want to be overloading your body with a hormone it is trying to get rid of!
Shadow work is an art of integration. It’s a huge part of the re-emergence of the wild woman archetype into our society, because she needs to be re-integrated.
Strengthen your fifth chakra
This is the energy center located at the throat, and associated with surrender. In order to truly embrace the wild woman archetype in our own lives, we need to give up our resistance to the difficulties we have faced in life, which means accepting responsibility for our own choices. Only when this is done, are we able to truly own and speak our truth.
Nurture your physical body
Just as this is a time of emotional processing and clearing, it’s also a phase of physical cleansing. So consider booking in for a regular massage, healing or reiki treatment, for example, at this phase of the cycle. Or mix up a gorgeous natural face-mask at home and run yourself a steaming hot bath. Feel the sense of love and care that you are showing yourself.
Spend time in the wilds of nature.
Its’ where she belongs. To develop a practice of supporting the emergence of this wild archetype during the waning Moon phases, and/or during your own pre-menstrual phase, is to honor and nurture your own needs. Notice how every practice or action here is about self-nurturing, and creating the conditions (i.e. YOU) for the wild woman archetype to emerge. It’s NOT about “going wild” or doing crazy shit…we’re not reacting against anything. And it’s definitely not about expecting her to be a certain way, or shoe-horning her (and therefore you) into a particular shaped box. Enough of that already.
The WIld Woman in you will emerge exactly how you need her to.
If you let her. So let self-awareness be your container, and her medicine will flow.