A friend recommended that I read Women Who Run With The Wolves to me a few months ago. We have a two-person book club where we get together over wine and light snacks and talk about the book we are reading. She said that the book reminded her of me. Aww. Naturally, I agreed to read it. After all, what does it mean to run with the wolves? Written by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With The Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype focuses on helping us to claim or reclaim our primordial woman archetype. That version of us in our raw form where we don’t disregard our intuition, where we learn about the life, death, and rebirth cycles, and where we don’t let distractions in its many forms take power over us.
Dr. Clarissa introduces us to the La Que Sabe, The One Who Knows about women and also provides stories from different cultures to explain the depths of a woman. I can’t begin to tell you how many “aha omg thank you wow” moments I have had since reading this book. This is a timeless book that every woman should read and re-read starting from the age of 16. If you find yourself compelled to read this book, know that it’s your raw essence that is begging to emerge.
She is intuition, she is far-seer, she is deep listener, she is loyal heart. She encourages humans to remain multi-lingual; fluent in the language of dreams, passion, and poetry. She whispers from night dreams, she leaves behind on the terrain of a woman’s soul a cars hair and muddy footprints. These fill women with longing to find her, free her, and love her.
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., internationally recognized scholar, poet, and cantadora, keeper of the old stories in the Latina tradition, is a senior Jungian psychoanalyst who has practiced and taught for 25 years. She is the former executive director of the C.G. Jung Center for Education and Research and has a doctorate in intercultural studies and clinical psychology from the Union Institute. For her lifetime of writing and social activism, she is the recipient of the Las Primeras Award from MANA, the National Latina Foundation in Washington, D.C.
THE PRIMORDIAL WOMAN
She is ideas, feelings, urges, and memory. She has been lost and half forgotten for a long, long time.
We have heard of the divine feminine where we tap into our feminine energy and connect with the goddess. This book focuses on the primordial woman, that version of us before our minds became molded to what it is today. As Dr. Clarissa explains,
“By these methods, we are able to recover the ways of the natural instinctive psyche, and through its personification the Wild Woman archetype we are able to discern the ways and means of woman’s deepest nature. The modern woman is a blur of activity. She is pressured to be all things to all people. The old knowing is long overdue.”
I think of the primordial woman as us in our rawest form where we, our masters of our intuition, don’t give our power away, and fully understand life cycles. The primordial woman is within all of us. It’s a matter of unleashing that essence within. Not every woman unleashes the divine feminine, let alone the primordial woman. However, for those who have unleashed the primordial woman, it’s easy to spot.
These are the women who:
• Couldn’t care less about what people who don’t matter in their lives think.
• They focus fiercely on themselves, loving and growing.
• They love hard even though they have been wounded in the past.
• They are warriors, lovers, peacemakers, and supporters.
• They are constantly undergoing the process of life, death, and rebirth, such as removing the old and reemerging with a new sense of purpose and awareness.
• They don’t let others dictate their lives or comprise their intuition
• They are deeply in tune with their emotions and intuition.
There are many ways to unleash the primordial woman and Dr. Clarissa breaks it down for you in the book. One sure fire way to do so is to feed your intuition. In other words, listen to your gut, read about spirituality, and understand life cycles.
AHA MOMENT STORIES
There are several stories that gave me an AHA moment, but for the sake of this post, I’ll talk about two, hard decision. The two stories are the story of Bluebeard and Manawee. Don’t worry. I won’t give too much away as I want you to read the stories and have your own AHA moment. I want to provide examples of why is this is everything!
The story of Bluebeard has its roots in French, German, and Slavic folklore and is a tale of the fight for women’s intuition. I underlined so many passages in this section that you would think I didn’t have an appreciation for books! Here’s the thing, our intuition is always on point. Sometimes, it’s us who doubts that intuition. Other times, we give our power away, knowingly or unknowingly (Because something or someone seems good on paper). Nevertheless, we have to remain diligent and remember that we are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for most of the time. Even when we do achieve success and give ourselves credit, we have to maintain that with each new level we conquer. This is why it’s important for us to be surrounded by people who want us to succeed no matter what and will tell us the brutal truth, whether or not we want to hear it. Oh, and listen, take heed, to their recommendations.
The story of Manawee is an African-American story about staying the course. Not to be confused with staying in your lane regarding minding your business. This is a story about seemingly harmless distractions that can take you off your course. One of the examples I can give you is when I was addicted to playing video games. I wasn’t hurting anyone. Dominos and the other food restaurants I had on speed dial (Showing my age. Does anyone have a speed dial anymore?) made out like a bandit. However, I wasn’t getting anything accomplished! I needed to return to staying the course of what I truly wanted and needed to do.
WHAT IT UNLOCKED FOR ME
Interestingly enough, I began to read Women Who Run With The Wolves around the midnight hour. The deeper I got into the book, the more I found myself making tea or coffee, having Biscoff cookies by my side, and curling up in a blanket to read. I used to read the book while on the train. Now, it’s an at home and get cozy during the betwixt hour type of thing.
Women Who Run With The Wolves has caused me to look harder at myself as opposed to being hard on myself. I was reminded of many things. One thing that stuck out was that I have to love and understand each woman for who they are, not who I want them to be. A rough concept at times because I want all women to unlock their full potential; to begin the journey of doing so. I have to understand that some women don’t want to go all the way, some women do so in slow motion, and others don’t believe in the wild woman archetype. I have to respect their free will.
I gave myself permission to be me even more. At times, I battle with the whole being authentic and transparent self. I think, “Okay. What does that look like? Is posting or doing this too much? How much do I really care?” The more I grow and improve, the more I understand what I’m comfortable with regarding being authentic and transparent. Being authentic and transparent doesn’t mean you have to tell everything about yourself all the time or else you’re not keeping it real. It’s about rolling out yourself as you move along in life. Sharing as you deem appropriate. While understanding that we are multilayer and multidimensional wild women.
Sometimes, I like wearing my hair wild and multicolored. Other times, I like my hair to be one color, long, and wavy. Sometimes, I like to walk at night under the full moon. Sometimes, I feel like I need to be at home watching an old school movie at night. Sometimes, I cuss. I love tattoos and piercings. Sometimes, I’m quiet. Sometimes, I loud. The point is all of the above and more are part of my makeup. Some people will see all. Some people will see some. Some people will see none.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- • You can purchase the book from Amazon here. If you’re like me and write notes in the book, then you’ll want to purchase it. Otherwise, you can borrow it from your library and write your notes in a journal.
- • You will have a mindset shift. There is no way you will read this book without emerging as a new woman. You will also look at situations with a new perspective.
- • You may distance yourself from people and spend more time with others. There will be things and people that you will no longer tolerate, that will cause you to phrase them out of your life and focus on a high caliber of people.
- • You’ll shift gears in life. Reading this book will cut down on your learning curve with life. Expect to be in the fast lane from here on out!
- • You will want to help other women unleash their wild woman. It may or may not go well. As I stated earlier, some women don’t want to unleash their wild woman for various reasons. Assist those who want to be assisted and keep your fingers crossed that one day they’ll embrace their true essence.
Tell me in the comments below, have you read this book yet? What did you think?