Journeying with the Amazonian Arts is like following spiral patterns of learning and rediscovery. One core principle I have repeatedly felt into with my whole being and examined with a curious mind is the reclaiming of the Fierce Feminine. My first impression was that it simply felt right. An instinctive knowing that there is a part in me that feels the call to wake up—a part that feels even urged to do so. So what is it, this part in me, slumbering in a kind of drug-induced sleep? I call it my Wild Woman. I can feel her when I am connecting and communing with nature and spirit. When the time is right the protective barriers and armouring will make way for the reconciliation with the sacred masculine—and she will awaken. But why is she asleep in the first place?
My soul has chosen to be born into a family reenacting all the shadow sides of transgenerational traumas. In the absence of whole and balanced female or male role models, I have done my fair share of reenacting and being stuck in unhealthy survival strategies. This only resulted in more wounding and thick layers of emotional armouring. I had lost trust in myself and in my discernment of knowing what was right for me. The physical em-body-ment of patriarchal beliefs expressed itself in dis-ease. In the darkest moments I have come close to losing hope of healing. This seems to be a common sickness of our society, and I am sure many women and men can relate to this experience. So where does this festering wound in our human collective come from?
6000 years of patriarchy... during which adherence of a linear masculine mindset has been favoured over the unpredictability of nature and the cycles and needs of our bodies. Productivity has been elevated to such importance that it led to the exploitation of natural and human resources. However, patriarchy in and of itself is not evil. Neither are the traditional male stereotypes of being strong, emotionally stable, competitive and not being ruled by one's body. It all started when these male qualities were favoured over the female. In their extreme expression these turn into dominance, violence, emotional repression, misogyny and outright fear of failure—often termed Toxic Masculinity. I believe the many forms of trauma I witnessed and experienced, which have been equally caused by men, women and by myself, have been due to this imbalance of values in our society. How to forgive and heal millennia of sexual trauma, histories of domination–submission, and the disregard of the wisdom of our bodies?
Healing the Wild Woman
I do share the belief that our souls choose to incarnate in order to learn and evolve. This believe has often given me the strength to persist in the face of overwhelming pain and despair. It is also helping me to find compassion and understanding for others, including parents, grandparents, ancestors, ex-partners, and also for myself. We all have been victims and perpetrators many times over. Patriarchy could be similarly seen as an evolutionary step for the human collective—we must forgive ourselves for all that we have done as a result of living through it1. This is one of the ingredients of Medicine Woman's healing balm. Courageous inner work with the archetypes and deep immersion in nature connection are adding potency to the mix. Thus my Medicine Bowl is filling with the antidote to awaken Wild Woman.
1 Adapted from Lilith—Healing the Wild by Tom Jacobs. His explanations of patriarchy, collective wounding and archetypal work have really resonated with me, gave me new insights and confirmed many of my beliefs and experiences.
Artwork by EveOak