Gain Inspiration From the Wild Woman Archetype
When you see someone living their truth in a brave, exciting way, it illustrates a path of possibility. And there’s one archetype in particular who seems relevant today. As if rising up from the ashes of discontent, she serves to empower: The Wild Woman.
So who exactly is this untamed dame? Find her in stories of daring, brilliant, unusual misfits. In folklore, her image comes cloaked in myriad incarnations; hideous or lovely, she's the haggard old witch, sensual love goddess, or diabolical beauty. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés described the Wild Woman in her international bestselling book, “Women Who Run With the Wolves,” “she is both friend and mother to all those who have lost their way, all those who need a learning, all those who have a riddle to solve, all those out in the forest or the desert and wandering and searching.”
Traditionally, women are raised to behave. Careful not to shine too much or it will go to your head. Films and literature portray females as the fairer sex, weaker, in need of rescuing. Such stereotypes encourage disconnecting from one's inner self. In contrast, a Wild Woman unravels false notions of womanhood by offering up unconventional alternatives. She is wild in the same sense that nature is also wild. Natural. And in tune with the Earth. Partly, what makes the Wild Woman such a mesmerizing figure, is that she goes against the grain, and dances to the rhythm of her own heartbeat. And it's a captivating sound...
Was Mother Nature the first Wild Woman? The original artist, she crafted living breathing color, texture, sight and sound. Her spirit is powerful, passionate, and wise beyond measure. A deep satisfaction can be found when working with the earth. So it’s not at all surprising that researchers discovered soil holds special antidepressant properties, that can uplift your mood, while getting your hands dirty.
Green witch, Sabrina Rose Nelson, was handed down plant-based spells and potions from two Wild Women in her family, who practiced the tradition of nature magic. Sabrina says, “Both my grandmother and mother have always felt to me to be the epitome of magic. Watching my grandmother lovingly tend to her garden, with all of its exuberant sunflowers and ruby red tomatoes and enormous bushes of rosemary, is both my earliest and most important memory.” These feminine role models given to Sabrina at a young age helped shape her future self in a positive way. Sabrina says, “reverence for the earth taught me the interconnectedness of all things. It also taught me how simple, natural, and innate magic is. It's simply being human and acknowledging that you are a part of nature, just as much as the trees. I carry that with me every time I look at a tree, take an herbal tincture, or whisper a spell to the moon.”
Never prim and proper, a Wild Woman gets her hands, and possibly her feet dirty too; she forages for herbs, communicates with animals, and on occasion even flies. Physically, the Wild Woman can appear to look different ways (sometimes inhabiting multiple forms). You’ll notice her clothing is flexible, allowing for freedom of movement. Often her hair is mussed too, unruly, and twisting in all directions. And chances are good, she’s the one messing it up. To the woman with a wild heart, perfection is confining. She will not be tamed.
Unleash your own freeform beauty. Do you hide parts of your body, or act in ways that are counterintuitive? How might you reveal more of your realness? It could be something small, like wearing your hair a natural way, or big, like skinny dipping. Maybe you tell a friend a personal story you've never shared. Uncovering hidden parts of yourself may feel scary at first. So never judge. Instead, approach each action with self-love. And remember, it’s what makes you different, that’s truly lovely, and endears you to others.
Creativity & Focus
Lightening housed in a female body, the Wild Woman doesn't shy away from challenges. This woman boldly takes risks, moving forward until she brings her dreams to fruition. She embraces her gifts, passionately executes her talents. You may find her dancing barefoot under the sunset, molding animals out of clay, and when snowflakes fall on her lips, she closes her eyes and licks them off. Deeply in tune with her senses, creativity is her way. It manifests in her thoughts, actions, and visions.
To deny your own imagination is like submerging part of yourself under deep water. So instead of moving through time unaware, make space to focus. Is there music that makes you feel free, a song that propels you to get up and move? Make time each day to listen. And dance, with eyes closed. Feel your own inner beat. And awaken your artistic nature -- even if you feel you have no ability -- finger-paint, color with pencils or crayons, watercolor, make collages. And ask yourself, “what do I wish to create in my life?”
To further nurture imagination and focus, look to your positive tribe to uplift and nourish your spirit. Meet a fellow Wild Woman for coffee, share, and find out what makes her tick. Get curious. Ask questions. How does she overcome her fears? A true Wild Woman will welcome the chance to share wisdom and increase her admirers.
Intuition as Guidance
Like the wise woman healer, who uses herbs to revive the sick, instinct guides the Wild Woman's actions. She's grounded, able to become quiet enough to access a wellspring of internal wisdom.
To deepen your own intuition, plan time to visit a quiet space, such as a gallery or museum. As you walk the halls, allow the creative energy to take you within... Keep a small notebook handy, not a mechanical device. When ideas/thoughts strike, write them down. Don't reread, just record for later observation and move on. If there's something you feel conflicted about, or are curious about, ask yourself a question as you would a dear friend. Before answering, let the question float on the waves of your consciousness. Observe what surfaces. And beyond the thoughts, listen for another much quieter voice. Make a point to remember this feeling. Write down all messages you receive. Then, in the days that follow, mentally recreate how you felt when focusing on your inner voice. Additionally, throughout the day, make a habit of asking yourself questions. Let the words germinate, and your inner wisdom guide you.
The Wild Woman isn’t waiting to be saved. She carves her own unique path… Hers is the voice shouting and laughing a little too loud, singing off key, and whispering poetry in the wind. And since the Wild Woman is always evolving, here’s a terrific list of books to continue your exploration. As you’ve probably guessed, the Wild Woman is not an exotic creature at all, but reflected in parts of your own nature. Those times when you feel disconnected from her energy, look for her in stories, friends, nature, and ultimately in the mirror. Once you connect with her spirit, create a nurturing environment for her to thrive.