For most of my life, even as a small boy, when I'm alone in the bush and always in the light of a small fire - I see the eyes of the 'wild' woman. She disappeared for a while, because my sessions of solitude stopped for many years. After a fairly significant spiritual experience and the start of a journey, she returned ...
Recently I started to write about her, because she has always been part of my life. Wherever I go, I always scan crowds of people to see if I can find her. This search for the 'wild' woman has stopped recently, because I've found her - in fact, there was no need to search for her ... she has always been with me.
A few days ago, a book 'landed' on my desk - maybe recommended by the 'wild' one herself. I started reading and I couldn't put the book down. The book: Women Who Run With The Wolves - Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés.
According to Dr. Clarissa Estés, the 'wild' woman:
"The word wild here is not used in its modern pejorative sense, meaning out of control, but in its original sense, which means to live a natural life, one in which the creature has innate integrity and healthy boundaries. These words, wild and woman, cause women to remember who they are and what they are about. They create a metaphor to describe the force which funds all females. They personify a force that women cannot live without.
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.
The archetype of the Wild Woman and all that stands behind her is patroness to all painters, writers, sculptors, dancers, thinkers, prayermakers, 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 and 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 knowing needed to our lives."
This strong female energy - where is it? We can search for it in women, but it is also an energy present in men. If this energy is so powerful, why was it never encouraged? Why is there a history of suppression of this energy in the majority of, if not all societies of the world?
According to Dr. Clarissa Estés, some of the "symptoms of a disrupted relationship with the wildish force in the psyche:"
"Feeling extraordinarily fatigued, frail, depressed, confused and unaroused. Feeling frightened, without inspiration, without animation, without soulfulness, without meaning, uncreative and compressed.
Feeling powerless, chronically doubtful, shaky, blocked, unable to follow through, giving one's creative life over to others and overprotective of self.
Not insistent on one's own tempo, to be away from one's God or Gods, drawn far into domesticity, intellectualism or work because it is the safest place for one who has lost her instincts.
To fear to venture by oneself or to reveal oneself, fear to seek mentor, fear to set out on a journey, fear of caring for another or others, loss of energy before creative projects, angst and anxiety.
Afraid to bite back when there is nothing else to do, afraid to try the new, fear to stand up, afraid to speak up or speak against.
Afraid to stop, afraid to act, repeatedly counting to three an not beginning, superiority complex, ambivalence and yet otherwise fully capable, fully functioning. These severances are a disease not of an era or century, but become an epidemic anywhere and anytime women are captured, anytime the wildish nature has become entrapped.
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 wildish nature causes a woman's personality to become meager, thin, ghostly and spectral. We are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to chase, to birth, to create life."
In think this 'energy' is rare because it is a bit 'wild' and it doesn't fit our over-domesticated societies anymore. The domesticated man fears the 'wild' woman and yet, all the farmers out there - that is in countries without cheap labour, seek this 'wild' woman because they're the only ones that 'cuts the cake.' She's a rare species and it is very hard to find her.
All my life in my own countries of Southern Africa, I searched for the 'wild' woman ... never saw one 'out there.' I saw many hidden under the layers of suppression and over-domestication, but never one that surfaced fully. In this case, I'm not only talking about females, but also female energy in males.
I have learned that even if I'm able to spot a 'wild' woman hidden under the layers of a person ... I can't set it free. Only the person that imprisoned the 'wild' woman can set her free. Sometimes you can 'walk a path' with a person who imprisoned a 'wild' woman and your own 'wildness' triggers something that cause the freeing of the 'wild' one. This happened to me a couple of times ... the 'wild' one is then set free and you can never capture them again - they then walk their own path, which is different from mine ... that is the way it should be.
How do you find a 'wild' woman that is going to walk a path with you? Do you really need that 'wildness' to walk with you, if you already have it in you? 'Wildness' recognizes each other, understands each other and do what is needed ... but there are no needs, only understanding and doing. Doing and understanding means to create ... to stick ... to do and to finish. There is no time for coldness and resentment. Creative force is warm and not cold - it stems from an abundance of energy and light. Doing what seems impossible for the over-domesticated soul.