Singing over the Bones – Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Reading Women Who Run With the Wolves is an incredible experience for me. I find myself at the edge of my thought zone, reaching just beyond what is familiar. i can both feel myself understanding and not-understanding simultaneously. it’s bizarre… if i look carefully, i can feel its truth, abstract as it is… i can also step back and see how it doesn’t make any sense (what does it all mean??? wild – like you want to go run naked in the forest and forage for berries?? what is it that you want to do that’s so “wild”??) it’s curious that this word creates so much within us… what does this word evoke in you?

i like holding this apparent contradiction in my mind. it feels important. when we arrive at a conclusion, too often it feels like we forgot the journey we traversed to get there, and almost assume that everyone should arrive at the same time as us, to the exact same spot, neglecting to remember the others who are farther along than us, on their own journey, and our own digging / excavation process.

it feels like coming back home… (which, in itself, can be an equally odd idea if one is not in this place…)

Sharing some here, pulled from the Introduction chapter:

“Like a trail through a forest which becomes more and more faint and finally seems to diminish to a nothing, traditional psychological theory too soon runs out for the creative, the gifted, the deep woman. Traditional psychology is often spare or entirely silent about deeper issues important to women: the archetypal, the intuitive, the sexual and cyclical, the ages of women, a woman’s way, a woman’s knowing, her creative fire.

A woman’s issue of soul cannot be treated by carving her into a more acceptable form as defined by an unconscious culture, nor can she be bent into a more intellectually acceptable shape by those who claim to be the sole bearers of consciousness. No, that is what has already caused millions of women who began as strong and natural powers to become outsiders in their own cultures. Instead, the goal must be the retrieval and succor of women’s beauteous and natural psychic form.

Fairy tales, myths, and stories provide understandings which sharpen our sight so that we can pick out and pick up the path left by the wildish nature. The instruction found in story reassures us that the path has not run out, but still leads women deeper, and more deeply still, into their own knowing. The tracks which we are all following are those of the Wild Woman archetype, the innate instinctual Self.

I call her Wild Woman, for those very words, wild and woman, create llamar o tocar a la puerta, the fairy-tale knock at the door of the deep female psyche. Llamar o tocar a la puerta means literally to play upon the instrument of the name in order to open a door. It means using words that summon up the opening of a passageway. No matter why which culture a woman is influenced, she understands the words wild and woman, intuitively.

When women hear those words, an old, old memory is stirred and brought back to life. The memory is of our absolute, undeniable, and irrevocable kinship with the wild feminine, a relationship which may have become ghosty from neglect, buried by overdomestication, outlawed by the surrounding culture, or no longer understood anymore. We may have forgotten her names, we may not answer when she calls ours, but in our bones we know her, we yearn toward her; we know she belongs to us and we to her.

It is into this fundamental, elemental, and essential relationship that we were born and that in our essence we are also derived from.

She comes to us through sound as well; through music which vibrates the sternum, excites the heart; it comes through the drum, the whistle, the call, and the cry. It comes through the written and the spoken word; sometimes a word, a sentence or a poem or a story, is so resonant, so right, it causes us to remember, at least for an instant, what substance we are really made from, and where is our true home. ”

A quick definition of what she means by “wild”, before we get people all up in arms about women getting too empowered by their inner nature and doing all sorts of destructive things:
“So, 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 criatura, creature, has innate integrity and healthy boundaries.”
– a “knowing of the soul”

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