By Laura Larriva
In the dream I am an old woman with long grey hair and a soft cloak, sitting by the side of a stream-bed. My hands, wrinkled with age; every thought, every grief, every joy, every birth and death of me drawn and catalogued in creases and divots, fingernails curling yellow and dry. My hands hold a pair of heavy metal scissors. I rock back and forth to a soft tune on my lips as I cut away what no longer serves, cutting down to the bones so that there is nothing more in the way. Only clear intent. Only the kind of power the world needs right now. Midwifing not just the new, but the death of the old.
This dream came to me as a gift from the land where I slept. A little bend in the creek up high on the bank. I could hear the ripple of the water as she tumbled past me through the night, some seventy miles down toward the San Juan River, and then into the legendary Colorado. The Colorado River then carves its way through the desert southwest in an ancient dance with the land, lovemaking through canyon country, all the while mysteriously drawn toward her ultimate Beloved, the Gulf of California. This river, one of the principle rivers in the United States, no longer reaches its destination. Sucked dry, damned off, and plundered for its life-giving water by amassing human life.
The Colorado is a casualty of our time.
As Wild Woman we first must acknowledge the depth of our feeling. Emotion, though not celebrated, and often pushed into the recesses of our multi-dimensional self, is one of our primary gifts. This gift opens us up, from inside out. Existing long before human cognition and rational thought, our ancestors moved through the world as empaths — feeling bodies, at one with ‘what is’ without distinction. We knew (and still can know) at the level of our gut. Now too, we must feel the grief of what is being lost as a result of our playing small, both in our own lives, and (perhaps more painful) in the holy places we call home. The power of the flow of our grief, says Martin Prechtel, is a central part of becoming fully human. We cannot know joy, if we do not know grief.
What’s more, true appreciation for the fragility and blessing that is all life engenders right action. Our lives become more than our own in radically fulfilling ways when we realise we hold the power to enact change. Perhaps more poignant, we realise our actions — yes, yours — directly effect the intricate web of life in catalytic ways. As a species, we human beings occupy our niche in the greater Earth Community, for better or for worse. Our choices are no small thing.
Part of inviting in the archetype of the Wild Woman is returning to our place in this web, and, as David Whyte says, “putting down the weight of our aloneness and easing into the conversation.” You are not alone. This isn’t a rational, reductionist thought. This is a feeling sense. You belong to Earth first.
To orient ourselves to where we are, and what we belong to, is simultaneously to chart our course. We cannot possibly know where we’re going, if we don’t know where we are. We can’t possibly know where we are, if we can’t feel it, deeply and freely — if we can’t revel in both the joys and pains of intimate relationship right here in this moment.
Right now, the culture we are subsumed in, and often participate in — what Joanna Macy calls the Industrial Growth Society, is a flatland. Institutions of all kinds, governmental, civil, religious, economic and so on, are in the business of conformity, escapism and separation. Those of us who are called to gather here as Wild Woman, gather in rebellion of the flatland, and hold a dream – more like a remembrance — of a different way. During this time, also known as the The Great Turning, or The Great Unraveling, (depending on our orientation), we are called to step outside of our carefully crafted worlds that are designed to numb out our feeling sense.
We must step out, and feel deeply, to gain the resources we need to participate in the co-creation of our world for our children and for a thriving future Earth Community.
We will explore how to gain some of these resources in future articles.
For now, I invite you to feel in your wild heart for what most inspires you about the world we live in. What fills you to no end? What breaks you open? What Mysteries draw you near? That is what we awaken for. That is what we re-wild for. That. Feel it. Grieve it. And love it until you break.
Sisters, I leave you with this. Brian Swimme, evolutionary cosmologist and modern mystic says there is a timing of creativity. There was a time for building galaxies. A time for cooling rock. A time for filling oceans. These magnificent moments in our universal history are no longer. The Great Kosmos is up to something else entirely now. Becoming Wild happens when we lean in to the great creative project of our time. Then the question becomes, how can I participate in this unique, never-seen-before, and never-to-be-seen-again, moment? How is the earth dreaming through me? How can I remember that my actions matter?
I can assure you, those answers do not reveal themselves on Instagram.
Featured image: therhythmway.com
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Universe Is a Green Dragon: A Cosmic Creation Story.
Up & Coming With Laura:
Enter the wild | Call down the moon | Reclaim your instinct | Live in rhythm | Explore what’s hidden | Stop playing small | Unearth your wisdom | Stand in sovereignty | Embrace your passion | Reconnect to life | Call in the elements