The power of running with the wolves and the wild woman archetype by Anna Rova
Note - This is a direct copy of Anna's original post on her website girlskill.com on 13th June 2019. The concepts she puts forward answered unknown questions and yearnings I had so thought I would share it here for other women who are looking for another option to always 'on', or stuck in their masculine.
We live in a time where most women feel more and more anxiety, stress, overwhelm and confusion in their lives.
There are too many things on our fancy get-shit-done to-do lists, too many people to take care of and too many social media channels to follow. We find ourselves trapped in our own lives and the need to control everyone else’s schedules, including our own, overtakes us and makes us demanding and harsh.
Throw in some post-modern feminism #wecandoitall, #youshouldrunforpresident, #overthrowthepatriarchy, and #hustleisthenewblack and at some point, the modern woman is ready to give it all up, get some chips and a glass of classy wine and watch Netflix.
An epidemic of #burnout is here.
Years of frozen, un-liberated tension piles up in our bodies. Stores up in our psyches. Because we are taught to be strong. To never give up. To push no matter what.
Gender is a social construct.
Thus, we gotta push like men. Work like men. Dress like men. Run our lives like men. Manage schedules and companies like men.
Nevermind your monthly cycles. Nevermind the fact that you crank up and are ready to crawl into a little hole and the last thing you need to do today is run that board meeting. Nevermind that your hormones are running high. Nevermind that you feel everything every day and it seems like you can’t handle it all at times. Nevermind that your baby is screaming. Nevermind that your body is screaming. Nevermind that you need to recover at least 40 days after birth.
This accumulated tension in our bodies and psyches poisons our spirit, blurs our vision, rottens our souls and messes with our minds. We become bitter and resentful. We reject our own womanhood and we stop listening to ourselves. We become constantly agitated and annoyed. We start seeing the world as our enemy and question our own existence…
Why am I here?
The way out
The doorway out of this misery is through rediscovering and reclaiming our wild feminine nature. Reconnecting with our wild woman.
The archetype of the wild woman is a powerful force to be explored and understood by any woman. In Jungian theory, archetypes are collective unconscious representations that stem from primitive mental images inherited from our ancestors and passed down through generations. They carry stories and lived experiences. They represent something each and every one of us can relate and get close to.
The wild woman has been beautifully compared with a pack of wolves in order to understand and further explore the wilderness that lies within each and every one of us.
“A healthy woman is much like a wolf — strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, intuitive and loyal. Yet separation from her wildish nature causes a woman to become meager, anxious, and fearful. With the wild nature as ally and teacher, we see not through two eyes only, but through the many eyes of intuition. With intuition we are like the starry night, we gaze at the world through a thousand eyes. The wild nature carries the medicine for all things. She carries stories, dreams, words and songs. She carries everything a woman needs to be and know. She is the essence of the female soul. It does not mean to lose one’s primary socializations. 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, to speak and act in one’s behalf, to be alert, and to find what one belongs to. It means to rise with dignity, to proceed as a powerful being who is friendly but never tame.”
~ “Women Who Run with The Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
That’s why the wild woman is so relatable. Each one of us remotely has an idea of what this archetype would represent in her own life. On a practical, day-to-day life it can stand for a crazy sexy adventure on the back of a motorcycle. Or a romantic night somewhere in the Mexican jungle with Tarzan. Or a bright red lipstick on rainy days. Or a simple guilty pleasure of dark hot chocolate. It’s that naughty girl inside that simply wants to play and roam free. It’s that side of us that’s always been there before everyone else told us who we need to be to achieve and be successful in life.
While connecting to these wild moments in life is fun, diving deep into the actual wild woman archetype is essential for every woman who wants to live a life of purpose and fulfillment.
But it doesn’t happen right away.
So here are 12 ways to step into your wild woman and connect to her wolf-like nature in your own life:
1. Embrace your life-giving nature
Just like the wolf, the wild woman is life force itself. There is great power in her ability to move, to influence and to get what she wants. She might not be achieving it using common well-known ways. Lifeforce is what pushes boundaries, creates new, and constantly expands. Lifeforce gives energy and provides healing and is a tremendous resource of personal power for those who know how to use it.
Her body is designed to create life and she gives life to all things. She flourishes in natural environments and makes everything flourish. There is an intense sense of aliveness around a wild woman. Suddenly you feel energetic, inspired and ready to go. She gives without expecting anything in return. She creates life from the heart and from the womb. She can’t rationalize her giving or her life creation; she does it because there is no other way.
2. Know your healing powers
Her deep intuitive nature knows. This knowing gives her power and insight. She is a healer for hearts and wombs. She can heal herself and others without effort. Just being around her is healing and rejuvenating.
She has natural abilities that go beyond what the mind can comprehend. She licks her own wounds and moves on. She teaches others and shares her wisdom freely from her scars, not her wounds. She carries medicine on her fur and nails. She doesn’t ask for revenge, apprehension or justice. She makes justice. She cares for her tribe and knows how to take care of the sick and forgotten. She is compassionate and fearless.
3. Establish territory and become territorially aware
The wild woman knows where she is at all times and doesn’t put herself in unnecessary danger. She takes calculated risks. She takes the time to explore and nourish the land she lives on.
She is aware of where her territory begins and ends and she respects the territory of others. She acts from a place of abundance rather than a place of scarcity. She is aware of the consequences of over-stepping these boundaries. She can hold on if the time is not right to expand the territory and conquer new lands. She establishes allies to conquer new lands. She uses masculine power (within herself but mostly within others) to her own advantage. She doesn’t like to use unnecessary effort to get what she wants. She knows and lives by her internal map and compass and is guided by her intuition.
She establishes her own territory in a way that others know where the boundaries are and that trespassing is not allowed. She is welcoming and knows who, how and when to let in. She never steps over herself to please a trespasser just so she would feel wanted. She is not interested in pleasing her ego.
4. Be alert
Her five senses are sharp and developed. She works with her own body to cultivate awareness and sensuality. She listens through her body and her senses. She trusts her body to lead her to where she needs to go. She knows the right time to fight, fly or freeze. She is always alert but not paranoid. She is always feeling into the situation, into the people, and into the land. She reads the signs. She listens to them. She trusts her internal instincts.
5. Find your pack
She doesn’t stop searching until she finds her tribe. When she finds her people, deep down she knows she has arrived. She knows the power of true sisterhood and is uplifted by it. She can rely on her pack as her support system. She knows she is free to come and go as she pleases and that she is always welcomed to be free in her own expression.
She is respected, valued and free. Love, freedom, and self-reliance are the values of her pack. Within the pack, she can thrive.
She values her friendships, especially with other wild women. She knows these relationships are seeds for growth and her foundation.
6. Develop intuition and far-sight
She trusts her intuition and constantly works to drop deeper. Her gut and her body know before she knows. Her decisions are governed by the mind-heart-womb connection. She listens to her womb and knows its power. She thrives on the close relationship with her womb - the source of life force.
She sees far. She knows life is a journey. She knows that the purpose of life is to feel alive.
7. Listen deeply
She listens deeply with her whole body, mind, and soul. She has developed a powerful relationship with herself and always tunes in to her internal voice. She listens to herself. If she can’t hear herself she knows she needs to turn the volume down on the noise.
She knows the difference between her own voice and noise.
She listens to others. She listens to nature. She listens to universal wisdom. She is aware of the signs. She is constantly growing and ever-expanding. She listens deeply and doesn’t feel the need to constantly be the talker, the leader, the organizer. She doesn’t need to be right all the time. She seeks help and advice from those whom she respects and trusts but always makes her own decisions. She knows she is her own best authority.
She appreciates the silence of listening.
8. Cultivate loyalty and surrender
She is loyal to herself, to her partner and to her community. She doesn’t betray her own instincts following a new shiny thing. She understands sacrifice, patience and the dual nature of life. She doesn’t run away when things get hard. She sticks by her principles and values.
She sees long-term wins and focuses on them. She understands the ebbs and flows and the ups and downs of life. She knows the cyclical nature of things and flows with them. She goes where the current takes her.
She is loyal to her craft and to her work. She doesn’t give up on her time and material investments if she loses. She picks it up where she left off and tries again.
She knows when to let go and surrender.
9. Speak and act on your behalf
She never forgets herself or puts herself second. She is on top of her priorities. She makes sure her voice is strong and powerful. She doesn’t let others make her decisions and live her life. She has strong boundaries and respects them. Everyone else respects them too. She knows her worth and value and acts out of healthy self-confidence and self-esteem.
She thrives on self-responsibility and self-sufficiency and knows that everything is in her power. She knows that only she can give the power to an oppressor to oppress her. She is not interested in making herself a victim. She knows how to stand up for herself and ask for what she wants. She knows that everything starts within her. She is the one who creates her own world.
10. Thunder in the face of injustice with dignity
She has a strong sense of justice and knows what’s right and wrong. She doesn’t fight someone else’s wars and doesn’t get recruited into random causes. She fights for injustice according to her own principles and learns when to let go.
She will not be silenced. She protects, cares for and nourishes the young. She fights for what is right. She is authentic and rises with dignity even when she’s being belittled. She knows how not to take criticism personally.
11. Never surrender to domestication
You can’t tame a wild woman. The wilderness in her contradicts domestication. If she feels trapped or constricted, she will fight or flee. She will find her way to liberate herself from the cage even if she has built it up herself.
Freedom and love are her highest values. If she is not free she is not happy. If she is not loved and doesn’t love, she will die.
12. Share your creativity
She is highly creative and uses her creativity for growth, healing, and self-expression. A wild woman cannot live without her creativity. Her art is her creation. She can’t live a dull, gray life. In order to live she needs to create.
Her inner world is full of stories and dreams, words and songs. She dances and sings by the fire, dreams of unconquered faraway lands and tells stories. She understands the power of moving her body freely and fully inhabits the playfulness that is so inherently hers.
13. Develop a relationship with your body
She loves her body and accepts it as it is. She takes care of her body, its longevity, and health. She uses her body as her vehicle for living and creating life, expressing and nurturing herself. She values pleasure and claims her sexuality. She is certain of herself and proud to be in a female body.
14. Appreciates the masculine
She knows the value of partnership, union, and marriage with her beloved. She uses her powers to nourish, fuel and ignite her relationship. She respects and knows the value of the masculine in her life and thrives on its attention, help, and care. She knows she doesn’t have to work hard to get what she wants. She opens herself fully and is not afraid to fall into his arms. She surrenders to the masculine and trusts him fully to carry her into love, prosperity and freedom.
The Wild Woman is the one who thunders in the face of injustice. She is the one who keeps a woman going when she thinks she’s done for. She is intuition, far-seer, deep listener, and she is loyal heart. She thrives on fresh site, and self-integrity. Where can you find her? She walks in the deserts, cities, woods, oceans, and in the mountain of solitude. She lives in women everywhere; in castles with queens, in the boardrooms, in the penthouse, and on the night bus to Brownsville. Whether you are possessed of a simple heart or the ambitious, whether you are trying to make it to the top or just make it through tomorrow, the wild nature belongs to you. She lives in a faraway place that breaks through to our world. She lives in the past and is summoned by us. She is in the present. She is in the future and walks backward in time to find us now. Without us, Wild Woman dies. Without Wild Woman, we die. Para Vida, for true life, both must live. ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D