The divining wild women
July 1, 2006 | 0 comments
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The most influential book I've ever read on the psychology of women is Clarissa Pinkola Estes book, Women Who Run with the Wolves. It's the only book I've read twice, and still, after twelve years, pull it down from my bookcase and peruse through it when preparing for a lecture or workshop on women and divination practice. She has captured, in a breath taking, soulful story, the true nature of woman. Mind you, it takes her five hundred pages in which to do it! I have been teaching the tarot for almost 16 years, mostly to women. They come to my class from all walks of life and range in age from twenty-five to seventy-five. What they have in common is that they have felt the beat of what Estes' refers to as the “wild woman” in their breast. Many ask, “Do I have to be psychic to read the tarot?” And in apologetic tones they whisper, “Because I don't think I'm psychic.” I'm always surprised and dismayed. How is it possible that a woman signs up to learn divination, and not know that she is psychic? She has obviously felt the flutter of the wild woman in her breast, and intuits truths beyond the scope of logical linear perceiving, yet she adheres sadly to that doubting, critical and disparaging “outer” good-girl woman ruling and oppressing her true wild nature.
I look into her eyes, forging a bond with that wild woman who has carried her through the process of actually getting her to my class, and answer with absolute conviction, “Of course you are psychic. You wouldn't be here otherwise. And when you graduate from this class, you will know without a doubt that you are indeed very psychic!”She smiles back at me. Now the wild woman who is struggling for energy inside her, gulps in a deep, clean and relaxing breath. She knows she is home.”…when women connect with wild woman they are gifted with oracle.” (Estes, p. 8)The process of learning divination must centre around this very theme. To be good at divining, a woman must regularly give the wild woman, a place to call her own. Women throughout their study, continuously negotiate for a place in their life for the wild woman to be free. Even Virginia Wolf, early in the twentieth century declared that women must have a room of one's own! Setting boundaries around their time, privacy, and inner work, they learn to say, “NO!”, and establish a space to practice, read, meditate, dance, and find their way to centre. It is in the core of her being that a woman discovers a sense of the sacred. A space where linear time has no meaning. Obligations and unconditional responsiveness to others melts away, and numinous knowledge floods the now open gates. “..Asking the proper question is the central action of transformation-in fairy tales, in analysis, and in individuation.” (Estes, p.15) “The first question is this: “What do you want?” Almost everyone asks some version of this, just as a matter of course. But there is yet one more essential question, and that is: “What does your deeper self desire?” (Estes, p. 128)An initiate of divining practice must navigate her way through the gates and gauntlet that threaten to veer her off course all along the way. Leading the initiation and standing guard at each of these gates is the questioner. “What does your deeper self desire?” she is asked.
The answer reveals the gauntlet. Once we become aware of our deepest desire, choosing not to grant ourselves that wish, brings to consciousness all the ways in which we negate, deny, and withhold the bounty and nourishment our soul so craves. The reason, ultimately, why initiates of divining must face this gauntlet is because all throughout their practice they will read for women who are only beginning to hear the distant call of the wild woman in the depths of the forest, the sea, the sun and the air. What women will need more than anything from this diviner, is confirmation that the distant inner voice that are hearing in the distance is the call of her true love. The diviner's task is to bring this woman closer to her love, and stand as witness as this woman unites in matrimony with her own previously withering, now vibrant lover. The diviner is the Alchemist, the High Priestess, and light bringer who will preside at this rebirth of a woman's wild woman. At least fifty per cent of my clients decide they would like to study the tarot too. When a woman asks me about my next class after a reading, I know I have connected with her wild woman and she wants more of this fresh sacred air to breathe. She will find a way to get this woman to my class. I just know it.The new diviner will guide her woman clients to trust her inner wild woman, because she trusts her completely herself. She will divine a woman's authentic destiny because she is able to move into that space at will where the sacred pervades, where knowledge floats in a sea of abundance all around her, and past, present and future exist as one. She has asked herself that question all along the way, and answered truthfully and with action, always on the side of what she truly desires. The magical diviner knows the two women who comprise her nature. She knows the differences between her outer woman and her inner, wild woman. She hears, sees and feels the differences that pervade between the outer, adaptive woman on the outside the true wild woman struggling for energy on the inside, in all the women who come to her for guidance. One day she will be called to teach initiates of divination practice herself because her client's re-birthed wild women will desire it of her.
Kathleen Meadows, M.A.
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