The Wild Maiden’s Ritual of Rebirth:
A Ceremony for the Newly Untethered
Howl for me, Wolf-Woman!
I just ended a 5-year relationship. It was a mutual ending, and quite freeing. I’m back on the dating scene, but some of my old negative patterns have crept back up. I’m on a couple of dating sites and have been seeing several men. Some dates were OK, but I’ve recently been rejected by someone I felt into, and I find myself slipping into self-deprecating behavior and into this neurotic needy person I don’t want to be. It’s natural for me to be dramatic and over-emotional. I actually enjoy this aspect of my personality as these traits make me, me, but I don’t want to sit alone at night in fear of being alone forever. Can you help me?
Your story is one shared by many newly untethered wild ones who are coming face-to-face with their inner, wounded Maiden-self. First, let me fiercely affirm your right to feel deeply and be “dramatic.” Keep in mind that the inner Maiden, that aspect of the wild feminine that is emotionally cyclical, erotically innocent, and unapologetically sensual, is adamantly rejected in our society; she, like the Crone, is suppressed by our collective sociocultural starvation for the divine Mother. Humanity yearns for nurturing, soft-breasted comfort with such anguish that it has caged the otherwise holistic feminine within the role of Mother, and this is true for everyone regardless of gender.
The feminine extends so far below and above the “Mother” role that it is near-infinite, eminent within all things and the very, untamed, cosmic source of all. The Mother aspect of the feminine is generative. She is the Creatrix who is ever-birthing, nourishing, and casting long, sticky webs from her fingers into the community. Because the Mother is so productive, she is absolutely essential to socioeconomic function. Quite conversely, the Maiden is connected to nature and sensually awake. She is so youthfully present, vital, and emotional, no matter the linear age of the physical body within which she is housed, that she resists the predictable, ever-producing behavior of the Mother.
In my experience, when a woman leaves a long-term relationship, she is forced to address her Maiden’s wounds. We all have them, and the most common Maiden wound is fear of abandonment, or, in your words, fear of “being alone forever.” The most emotionally immature parts of ourselves will lash out given the right combination of sudden changes, words that echo past conflicts, and any number of forces that seem designed to keep us “alone forever.”
There is no one-size-fits-all remedy for Maiden wounds, as many of them are leftovers from childhood when we craved attention so badly that we threw tantrums, wailed, spit, clawed until our caregivers reacted, however positively or negatively. The threat of being left in the dark still prompts us to wail, spit, and claw, though our rational minds know these behaviors are less than desired by any partner we would care to have. What’s a wild creature to do?
I have a two-part ritual to offer you as medicine, my love, but feel free to make it your own in whatever way you see fit. Remember the best ceremonies and spells are written by you and no one else, so, should any part of this seem to lack authenticity, do away with it and fill in the gaps with medicine that tastes better to your tongue.
Gratitude Ceremony for the Wounded Maiden
Though we wild ones need to give ourselves some slack, allowing our bodies, psyches, and spirits to cycle as they will, we also need to take stock of our soulful progress every so often. You are not the same woman you were before you ended your relationship, and you need to acknowledge the immense strength you have now, the brave-hearted growth you’ve experienced since the sun rose after your soul’s dark night.
Find some sacred time and space to yourself, light some candles, then put your body into a “Maiden” shape if you are able; this can be reclined with bottoms of the feet together in the yogic baddha konasana using as many pillows as you like or simply seated with wide legs, pillows under the hips. When you feel ready, close your eyes and imagine your wounded Maiden-self is in front of you, her body in the same shape as yours. Begin to speak words of loving gratitude and immense support. Thank your younger self for experiencing the world as she did. Forgive her for anything she may feel guilty about, including her part in any dysfunctional relationship, and tell her you love her. Explain to her that you are no longer in a confining relationship, that she may feel afraid at times, but that she is unconditionally loved and appreciated, forever and always. Open your arms to her now and feel your bodies merging, repeating this affirmation for as long as you have: “I am whole. I am here. I am loved. I am safe.”
Ritual Bath for Rebirth
Ideally, move through this ritual bath on the same day as the gratitude ceremony. If you’re blessed to have a natural body of water where you could do this in peace, please do; if not, a bathtub or shower is absolutely sufficient. You need no magickal ingredients except water, but feel free to hand-craft the ritual to suit your senses. Know water as the sacral element, the ultimate healer of the inner Maiden. Strip away all that confines you, and take to the bath. Let the holy liquid cleanse away all that no longer serves, all that has kept you bound. When you emerge from the bath, you are a Maiden reborn. Seal your ritual by chanting “I am of the wild. I have the right to feel deeply. I am Maiden, Mother, Crone.”
As the Wheel of the Year turns toward Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, so too the feminine moves from Maiden time toward Mother time, feeling increasingly called toward relationship, hedonistic enjoyment, and creative work. Tend to the Maiden and the Crone during the Summer months when the Mother can easily take over; take time for yourself to dance wildly and be still in equal parts. Touch and taste things solely for the sake of engaging the senses, and let the natural world be your holy temple.
I am howling the Maiden’s hymns for you, my love!
➳ Danielle’s latest book, Woman Most Wild is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and IndieBound.
Sip a little more from Danielle’s magic: