Women Who Run with the Wolves

May 30th, 2017 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Activation | Empowerment | Gather the Women | Inspiration

“Women Who Run with the Wolves” and those who try to keep up!
A dedicated group of GTW women are reading “Women Who Run with the Wolves”, the Clarissa Pinkola Estes classic. It’s not an easy read. The Albuquerque Tribune book reviewer wrote, “This isn’t some snappy self-help breeze-along packed with one-liners about mining the “inner you”. It’s 500 pages (and a 15-page Index) filled with fairy tales that offer “serious lessons for those who have lost touch with their instincts, and “Doing psychic-archeological digs can restore our vitality.”
Last Sunday, we met for a second session on Chapter 3 – “The Wild Woman”. Estes says that although we sometimes live our lives on auto-pilot, “the shadow of Wild Woman still lurks behind us during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed.”
The ancient fairy tales passed down from generation to generation can be gruesome. The Russian version of Vasalisa the Wise would give most children nightmares. Vasalisa is a little girl whose mother is dying. She gives her little daughter a tiny doll to keep in her pocket telling her, “Ask the doll what to do.” That little doll guides Vasalisa through the dense forest full of danger. The tiny doll in her pocket symbolizes a woman’s intuition. Estes writes, “Intuition is not disposable.”
There is a witch who flies around in a cauldron. There is a house on chicken legs (my favorite image so far). There’s a skull with a fire inside that floats around to remind us of perpetual reconnaissance. It’s not a fairy tale I would read to a child, but fairy tales are meant to teach lessons. For instance, “We may try to be nice when we ought to be knowing.” And, “Being good, being sweet, being nice will not cause life to sing.” Remember the movie “Thelma and Louise”? I thought of them when I read this: “To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves.”
When it’s quiet in the house and I’m alone, I read. This is a not a book that allows for distraction.

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