I feel the call of the wild woman. She is whispering to me through the breeze as I write this laying out on the grass on a warm spring day. She is calling me back to an ancient time where women were revered and honoured as divine incarnations and wondrous, life giving creatures. A time that was focused on respect for wild woman as the community thrived because the wild woman thrived. This is the call whispering to me on the breeze, gently leading me back to the alignment of me with my source energy.
I love the writing and work of Clarissa Pinkola Estes “Women who run with the wolves” and as I think about her teaching of who the wild woman is, I can see how she is showing up in all aspects of my life in this season of growth and change that I am in, but in truth, she has been there all along.
How do you recognise your wild woman?
She establishes territory
She is in her body with pride
She is aware and alert
She is intuitive
She embraces her cycles
She rises with dignity
She retains as much consciousness as possible
(Clarissa Pinkola Estes – Women Who Run With The Wolves)
Long ago as we woman we lost our voice, our power and our spirit; as a result, our belly has started to lose its fire. Woman has snuffed the passion due to fear of rejection, fear of ridicule and fear of hostility against her.
Wild woman calls me to trust that it is safe to return to the source of my vibrancy again. When I was a child I was chastised for being loud, too playful, too showy, too sexy to the men looking on. I had no idea, but I started to think something was wrong with me for the way I looked and made others feel.
I was encouraged to sit with my legs crossed, or at least with knees together. I was admonished by my own kind – a female teacher – at the tender and impressionable age of 10, for wearing make up to school. My eyes were rimmed with black as coal lashes and my eyebrows were just as dark. My eye lids were blushed with shades of pink and brown. The palette my eyes had been painted with was not of a make-up kit but created by God and I was somehow made to feel self-conscious and “bad” as I tried really hard to wash it off at the request of the teacher. When the teacher threatened to send me to the principal I cried out “but there is nothing on my face. It is just my eyes.” The teacher let it rest, but she didn’t apologise or step back from her anger. I knew in that moment that something wasn’t quite right with me, and that I needed to not stand out. And I was determined to find out what it was that made me stand out. I was also resolute in deciding that I would be perfect from then on, so that I couldn’t get in trouble. Perfectionism became my way of controlling my world.
I realised that my natural beauty and bright energy that shone forth was scary to other women, especially to those who had long since turned their back on their own wild woman essence. It made them uncomfortable and competitive. Subconsciously it also made them ashamed.
I felt from the inside the pull of my wild woman from a very early age. I loved to admire myself in the mirror and was often touching myself because it felt pleasurable. I would take pride in my appearance and I would be proud of the reflection I saw. I was told “nice girls don’t do that” or “stop showing off”, so I was confused as a child – I could feel the inner energy of pride, self-love and self-acceptance pulling at me. But was I supposed to ignore it? Was it some evil force trying to deceive me? Was I naughty? Or, was I simply under the authority of a woman who had ignored her own wild woman when she came calling for her?
I’ve felt the energy of judgement slam against me from many females during my lifetime. From primary school to high school, to the early years navigating the young adult world of bars and clubs. I reached for and sought out romantic liaisons while at the same time learning how far to step into new social groups before I attracted the viciousness of the female members.
This reminded me of a pack of wolves (or dogs) that were fiercely protecting their own males and after reading Estes’ work, I realise that my wild woman was making the other woman compete and want to fight.
I’ve received hostile glares and rejection because I am a stranger, a beautiful one at that, a wild woman who embraces her sexual fire and isn’t afraid to be consumed by it. But I had to choose between female friends or romantic interludes. One couldn’t possibly have both in groups (or packs) where the other woman who were not yet on fire.
My wild woman taught me early on that I never need compete for a man’s attention (she shudders in horror at The Bachelor), instead I trusted in the divine law of attraction. Knowing that if a man wasn’t into me – and only me – then he wasn’t for me at all. I made young men angry in my early life, as I was ignorant of the power I held, as they mistook my affection and kindness for sexual interest. I was called names like “tease” and “slut” when their gestures were still received by me with legs firmly closed. This made me even more confused and yet more eager to please and be perfect – which in turn made them angrier, as I was then “the full package” – but still my legs wouldn’t open for them. What was I doing wrong? I wondered.
If I can’t be accepted by the women for fear of competition or rejection, and I can’t be accepted by the men for fear of them hating me for their unrequited love….then to whom did I actually belong and where did I fit in?
As so I began to be a lone wolf and run without a pack. A woman without her tribe who drifted in and out of groups and relationships knowing her heart fully belonged to one man – of whom she’d never met, but had felt him calling her to him since she was a little girl.
Consequently, as I grew older and my fire was all but snuffed out, the more ignorant of their own wild woman my “friends” became. Telling me to stay in relationships (like they were doing), living day in day out in relationships that poisoned their spirit and dulled the senses. Their reasoning “you have made a choice” “you are married” and words to that effect. Slowly my internal fire was gone and I was still alive but mostly dead in spirit. My physical body became sicker more often and the lustre in my hair and sparkle in my eyes faded. My wild woman called me and at times my ears pricked up, my skin bristled and my lustful (creative) energy returned and I felt more like “me” (a woman I didn’t know but firmly knew was there somewhere). But it was only for short glorious moments, and then my fire burned out again and I further shrunk into that pathetic small version of myself that I had once scoffed at when I recognised it in other women.
The call of the wild woman is an ancient phenomenon; however it was my modern computer – more specifically – my laptop – that is responsible for helping me to find my pack and re-enter the world of the living. I had never owned a laptop before, and so I was only ever at my computer when I was working. Having young children meant I couldn’t spend hours in my office scrolling the interweb, so I could only ever search for information in short, distracted bursts. Buying a laptop opened a world that I had no previous access to, and from the comfort of my lounge and near my cubs, I was able to step into another world of spiritual growth and community and connection by one google search. I lustily read every page I could let my eyes land on, from magick to mythology to energy healing. My mind was thirsty for information and I drank it in, night after night after night. My husband at the time mocked me asking “why do you want to read that for?” and I would dumb down my responses and not let on that I was doing my soul’s work and I was changing. My mind and spirit were being nourished and I was blossoming again into the woman of inspiration and power that I had once been before.
Forums and community groups were my favourite and I loved the interaction on Facebook with people I had once known and then lost contact with. I was chained to my kids, the house and work through the day light hours but at night when the kids were in bed and my husband was otherwise occupied watching banal tv shows, I would hunt for information of the mystical world of quantum physics and the effect of speaking words of love over water molecules!
I howled to the moon each night as I lay in bed next to a perfect stranger, a man who had thought he had tamed me, but had no idea that each day I was waiting to pounce on my prey, growing stronger and braver and more resolute. I took more chances creatively and allowed myself to dream again – for my future and for my children’s future. I practices being intentional in meditation and exercise and food choices and I watched as my physical and emotional body began to be equally as strong as my spiritual body.
No longer a lone wolf, I had become a part of a pack of women who were independent, yet dependent on each other for nurturing, care and protection. The unknowing leader of my pack was singer/entertainer Pink, the fiercest of the
wild women in our modern world. A woman who epitomises what it means to be a wild woman, who blazes the trail proudly and loudly and her energy ignites the spirit of others when their time has come to allow their essence to transition with the call. With her music as my personal sound track I left an unhappy marriage and took my cubs into a new home that valued expression; playfulness and creativity; which essentially breathed life and self-confidence into all of us again.
The wild woman doesn’t cry over spilled milk nor does she admonish her children for accidents. The wild woman soothes her child who is scared she has made a mess, and begins to make milk pictures with her fingers in the milk on the floor. The wild woman fully embraces her children who want to act like a cat, insisting on drinking milk from a bowl on the floor. The wild woman teaches her cubs to be comfortable in her own choices and encourages her to wear dress up clothes to bed or skip the bath and wear day clothes to bed “just this once”.
The older women watching on, who have ignored their wild woman, are horrified by non-conformity to rules. But this wild woman knows her duty to her own female children to keep fanning the fire that already burns brightly inside of them.
For a period I began dating again only to realise with every dinner or lunch or coffee the man I longed for and already knew in my heart, was yet to appear. My wild woman was ready to find her mate. But each time my heart was crushed or I laughed a heaty belly laugh at the ludicrousness of the dates I went on, I realised that something had to change. (I think this is where my Wise Woman began to appear – but she is a story for another time). I made a deal with God “you choose Him and bring Him to me – because I am crap at this”. And I cried and cried and cried as I surrendered my heart to the One who created me. I had to learn to live without wanting to force anything, but to trust that my beloved would show up in perfect timing. I wrote a letter to my beloved and I used rich romantic tones, I wrote words I had never uttered to another man in my life. Somehow it felt strange yet familiar, almost like I had spoken them to him in another lifetime. I folded the letter, held it to my heart and breathed in what I felt like it would feel to embrace him. This man I attracted to me could not be just any man. He must be emotionally strong, yet vulnerable. He must be incredibly masculine, but in tune with his softer side. He must be romantic and an expert lover, yet teachable and house trainable, and he must have an unwavering desire for me. That is all.
Then I placed the letter in my bedside table – what would be his bedside table- when we finally met.
He appeared in my life six months later, as handsome and chivalrous and lusty as I had imagined he would be. I had dared to dream to find a man who would ignite a spark in me that only my man could ignite, and a man who would be the guard and protector and example to my children as well.
And so that brings me to present age, where I feel the wild woman sitting peacefully in the back ground of my true essence now. She ebbs and flows as needed, guiding me, helping me to create, to lead, to explore and to be adventurous. She teaches me that life is worth fighting for and protecting. And mostly she paves the way for the Wise Woman who always follows the awakening.
With my Wild man by my side we have created a rich and exciting life that breathes on its own and fans its own flame. I have chosen wisely the partner who will run freely with me through highs and valleys, always running at the same pace, and always returning to our essence when life throws us off course.