- “A healthy woman is much like a wolf – strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, intuitive and loyal. Yet separation from her wildish nature causes a woman to become meager, anxious, and fearful.
With the wild nature as ally and teacher, we see not through two eyes only, but through the many eyes of intuition. With intuition we are like the starry night, we gaze at the world through a thousand eyes. The wild nature carries the medicine for all things.
She carries stories, dreams, words and songs. She carries everything a woman needs to be and know. She is the essence of the female soul.
It does not mean to lose one’s primary socializations. It means quite the opposite. The wild nature has a vast integrity to it. It means to establish territory, to find one’s pack, to be in one’s body with certainty and pride, to speak and act in one’s behalf, to be alert, and to find what one belongs to. It means to rise with dignity, to proceed as a powerful being who is friendly but never tame.
The Wild Woman is the one who thunders in the face of injustice. She is the one who keeps a woman going when she thinks she’s done for.
She is intuition, far-seer, deep listener, and she is loyal heart. She thrives on fresh site, and self-integrity.
Where can you find her? She walks in the deserts, cities, woods, oceans, and in the mountain of solitude. She lives in women everywhere; in castles with queens, in the boardrooms, in the penthouse, and on the night bus to Brownsville.
Whether you are possessed of a simple heart or the ambitious, whether you are trying to make it to the top or just make it through tomorrow, the wild nature belongs to you.
She lives in a faraway place that breaks through to our world. She lives in the past and is summoned by us. She is in the present. She is in the future and walks backward in time to find us now.
Without us, Wild Woman dies. Without Wild Woman, we die. Para Vida, for true life, both must live.”
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D
“Women who run with the wolves” is a classic book for any wildish woman looking for new stories and myths of femininity. Having my own connection to wolves, this was one of the first books I grabbed when I begun my embodiment quest. I was still at university and lapped up the dense-poetic prose as a wonderful contrast to the scientific papers (not to mention bullet point self-help books).
Clarissa’s book holds a dear place in my heart, I remember reading it with a sense of wonder – to find someone who recognised and validated the sense of inner-wolf-creature I’d had my whole life. It was the first time the link between inner wildness and mental health had ever been suggested to me. It was also the first book to introduce to me the idea of healing myths, archtypes and the wisdom held in stories. Reading this book was like a remembering : of a time long ago before the written word, let alone the internet. The way to pass down key information on how to live was to encode it stories, and then through an oral tradition of tale-telling, keep that information alive across generations.
In the book, Clarrissa shares specific stories for women to help them understand more about their natures, relationships, and life. She takes a traditional tale, then goes into it in depth, explaining the symbolisms and meaning. But it is more than a collection of stories, it is a story-account in it’s own right, with Clarissa guiding you into the territory of your inner wild-poetic soul.
- I remember getting completely engrossed, reading it avidly almost as if I was a wolf following a scent trail. But I also remember the forest-book getting denser and denser and eventually giving up somewhere towards the end. Everybody I’ve met who has read this book shares a similar story – if you’ve read the whole thing, I’d love to hear from you!
“Wild Women who Run with the Wolves” is definitely on my return-to list, but it is a book to be given time and space to really take in and consider. I am very grateful to have found this book at a relatively young age, it shaped my twenties by giving me permission to be wild, free and trust my instincts.