By Laura Larriva
Without a doubt we live in a potent time of transformation and change. Never before have women in the developed world have had as much freedom and autonomy as we do now. The shifting sands of masculine/feminine roles and social constructs are equally and simultaneously a relief, and a challenge it seems we are all willing to lean into.
The rise of the dynamic feminine as a collective force — where intuition, compassion, empathy, transparency and non-hierarchical leadership models (among other gifts) — is unfurling at great speed, propelled by a profound urgency and a deep longing for balance on a global scale. An evolving paradigm change beyond the tired game of blame and shame stands in the face of horrifying social and ecological violence, displacement of life (both human and that of many species forced out of withering habitats), and astounding consumerism. Admittedly, the experience of the aforementioned freedoms on the day-to-day is yet a luxury within fringe groups of the privileged world, and a far cry from a collective and collaborative paradigm-shift.
But together, with mystery, we are doing what we can.
Inside these activated, beautiful communities of reclaiming, of re-visioning, and of healthy cultural criticism — especially here on the west coast of the United States — a particular vernacular has emerged and the terms and titles that have previously been demonized, repressed, and misunderstood have become commonplace;
Goddess. Priestess. Witch. Wild Woman.
Empowering, paradigmatically dangerous, and soulful titles to be sure. They move off my palate like sweet spells, well cooked, and quench a thirst I didn’t even know I had.
But in our distracting world I fear we forget the power that lays behind the word and the action this kind of self-naming cries forward. In our desire to belong to something greater than ourselves I fear we all-to-often absorb the language, the fashion, and persona as a new, edgy identity, rather than as devotees and practitioners of the call. I have fallen prey myself to the insidious nature of our selfie-society that feeds on shallow “more-ness” and external approval.
We all so badly want to be unique… to be different.
So, perhaps mostly for my own sake, and hopefully for yours, I intend to take a close look at what it can (and for some does) mean to be a Wild Woman on our planet. It is my hope to provide both insight, and experiential practices for those who feel a stirring to return to the wild.
Let me be clear; our intent is everything. No longer are we creating a world that teeters between punishment and reward, good and evil. No longer do we seek to perpetuate the polarity of who is worthy and who is unworthy to name themselves. It is the opposite that I call for here, a deep, soul-level recognition that we are astoundingly powerful, and have within us exactly the kind of wild imagination that is needed now on our planet (and similarly carry within us the power to destroy).
It is this simple: if you are called to use the term Wild Woman, you are Her. Your being Her does not depend on how good you are at assuming the role, nor does it depend on you looking, acting, being, dressing, speaking, and dreaming like the other wildlings with you on the path.
She is you and you are Her in all your raw earthiness, reading these words now through your own unique, piercing, and ancient eyes. There is within a sovereign voice that is the voice of the Earth. Feel it.
Which is why, together, it is more important that ever to explore the power that lies behind the title. I ask; how we can align ourselves to our Wild Woman in a way that enables us to come home to ourselves, and our gifts? How does living the Wild Woman archetype call home tools and resources for our selves and for the planet that have long been in exile? What are some practices, ceremonies and rituals that keep us in the conversation? How can She elucidate within us, ways we can participate in a life-enhancing way during this tumultuous planetary crucible?
Sisters, I welcome you with a howl and a sniff. I welcome you as women have welcomed each other for thousands of years; with a nod, and a smile that reveals our shared secret. I see you.
I see you. It is time.
Featured photo: Laura Larriva by Megan Kathleen