Soul Lessons: Dangerous Wild Woman Archetype

Dangerous Wild Woman Archetype

Singing Over the Bones

The Howl

Who is Wild Woman?

Be a Wild Woman

Stalking the Intruder

Nosing Out the Facts: Intuition

The Mate: Union with the Other

Skeleton Woman

Finding One's Pack

The Wild Flesh

Self Preservation: The Red Shoes

Homing: Returning to One's Self

Clear Water: Creativity

Heat: Retrieving a Sacred Sexuality
Rage and Forgiveness

Battle Scars; Membership in the Scar Clan

The Handless Maiden


Return to

Soul Lessons Main Page

    "Just because a woman is silent does not mean she agrees…" from The Dangerous Old Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, due October 2007

    It's been "due to come out" since 1999. One version of it did, a limited run, years ago. It has been since 1995, when Women Who Run With the Wolves brought the Wild Woman archetype front and center, that women have been running with the wolves ever since. The Wild Wolf Women of the Web began in 1995, as women from around the world were looking for places to discuss Estes book together. As we embraced the inner Wild Woman, we moved away from discussing the book to living the ideas. Now we are older, wilder, and have experience and wisdom to share about what the 2nd half of a wild woman’s life is like.

    Part of being a Dangerous Wild Woman is that we don’t wait for a guide to show up. We strike out on our own, trusting our instincts, relying on experience, and frankly, unafraid if the path gets a little overgrown, or creatures lurk in the underbrush. We’ve seen a good deal of life and there is precious little left to scare us!

    We look forward to Estes description of her Dangerous Old Woman archetype, but for now, we launch our own archetype, the Dangerous Wild Woman out onto an unsuspecting world!

    There will be more to come from us on this archetype. We believe she will strike a strong chord with aging Baby Boomers worldwide!

    “Think of it - the Dangerous Wild Woman - a woman who has found the wild nature, runs with the inner wolves, has a soul life, is creative, intuitive - all the aspects of the wild nature Estes wrote about in WWRWTW. What so many of us have lived ourselves for over a decade. As we pass the age of 50, life changes anyway. But now this movement into the second half of life carries a wild flavor to it.

    I believe it is a different archetype from the Wild Woman or the Crone. It carries that element of Danger that is reflected in cultural stories where old women are depicted as frightening because of their wisdom and power.

    The journey of the Wild Woman is about coming into our power. The Dangerous Wild Woman has held that power and now, in the second half of life, brings those skills to the new challenges of aging, menopause, retirement plans, feeling the urge to do it now while there is time, cultural reluctance about admitting age, making choices about where to put one's energy, giving up caring what others think, etc.

    What is the description of what that woman's path would be? What would her power be like? What are the challenges? How is she portrayed in our culture? What is the real truth about the aging wild woman? How would she be different from the Wild Woman archetype?

    What is our wisdom on the archetype of the Dangerous Wild Woman?

    I think one thing vital to any Dangerous Old Woman is her creative juices...she follows them, she uses them to create what she wants, they adorn her heart and mind with vitality and rejuvenation.....all women are intensely creative, even the ones who think they aren't....they key is to find and use that spark to energize, fulfill, sustain, create more sparks! As women age and move into the second half of life, they no longer have the mating/motherhood/career energy that drove their younger years....the shift in hormones creates an earthquake in the brain which seems to shake loose fruit that was stored for the winter time of life.....suddenly so much voluptuous sweet ripe fruit with which to create passion for life and living it, maybe eating the dripping fruit naked, the juices slowly flowing over her breasts, stomach, thighs.....making an afternoon of loving ripe sweet fruit in the nude...that sounds good to me ;)

    I'm still initiating into accepting my deepest power, my truest most authentic voice. I am learning to give it more of my attention, and give the old self less attention. Thanking it and releasing it. Stepping into new territory.

    " The Soul, goes everywhere, like an old woman in her right mind, going anywhere she wishes, saying whatever she wants, bending to mend whatever is within her reach. " from 'The Dangerous Old Woman'

    The creativity -- and the independence, and self-reliance that go with it -- are what make her "dangerous". Dangerous to the status quo and disempowerment that exist.

    She has learned how to carry the fiery skull of intuition and it is second nature. Now, as she ages, there are new bone songs to sing. Not of the past, or of reclaiming, but of facing those wrinkles, the gray hairs, energy that isn't what it used to be. Eyesight that after dusk seems to get worse. Illness and mortality begin manifesting more around us, in our families, and even in ourselves. In the 2nd half of life, we are closer to death than birth. Time begins to feel more precious. We won't always have another 20 years to do that thing we are putting off. There are real limits looming.

    Children are grown, grandchildren are born, our parents pass away. We become the older generation - matriarchs - whether we want it or not. < p> I see this woman as being pretty secure in who she is. Not worrying what others think of her, not seeking approval like she did in her youth. Accepting self and others. Doing what we want when we want, because time becomes more precious.

    One of the jobs of older women is to carry the threat of consequences to the young :-) Remember Estes story of her old aunts who, at a wedding, would take the groom out onto the dance floor and dance him into exhaustion? I've had times when looking my niece's boyfriend in the eyes with that "I can see right through your bullshit" look was definitely warranted!

    Florida Scott Maxwell once said that we become intense as we age, if we go about the aging "thing" properly. She also said that as we age, we must reclaim the events of our lives in order to become whole, that when we have embraced and owned everything we have ever been and done, we are fierce with reality.

    ... ah , that is the word I was trying to latch on to - fierce. To be a fierce and eagle eyed old woman with a quarterstaff (or blackthorn walking stick) would be marvellous stuph.

    I think this is one of the most intriguing and exciting topics that we've had for years ... let's discuss this archetype, write these thoughts ourselves. I have been waiting for over 5 years for this book to be published and I am now a dangerous, old woman myself ... so perhaps I can write this book myself. However, I know from my past, discussing it with my wild sisters will be even more enlightening.

    And what makes the old woman so dangerous ... Is it perhaps that she is not likely to play nice, she is not likely to say the words you want to hear just because you want to hear them. She is more likely to tell you what she fiercely believes, her truth, regardless of how that makes you feel about her.

    She now hears the voice of instinct more clearly and she is loathe to ignore it.

    Her body, which once had the capability to bring forth new life, has changed. It is now her soul that brings forth new life, new thoughts, new wisdoms.

    There are wrinkles in the oddest places, and they are caught in the side glance of her eyes. She sometimes thinks about the beauty that she used to be, and knows that beauty is still within her, even if not everyone sees it anymore, she remembers.

    She is not heartless, she is more caring than you can ever realize. You probably will not realize it, until you become a dangerous old woman as well.

    As I stand here almost a month into 60 I really feel the energy rise for being me, emrald green boa and all! Rarrely had the opportunity before although I have written poetry most of my life. I remember when I first joined the doctors' practice as manager I dressed perfectly, suits, shirts etc and then came the Christmas party and I wore a superb bmacl, short cowlnecked dress and huge ivory, turquise and silver earings, one of the docs hooted and said3 got yyou taped, you're a frustrated hippie" and of course was right. Gradually over the years I was able to show my self in my clothes, more and more flambouyant.

    Now I have none of the cares of the earlier years I have the time to be who I really want to be and Dangerous is in my heart but I yhink someone said still with great love and this is so.

    Getting married in the early 50's when woman were "taken care of"...didn't sit well with me as I was a Wild independent woman from the getgo! My husband tried to tie me down knowing me very well as we had gone together for 2 years before marriage. Well, let me tell you, he learned the hard way!! Don't ever tell me that I'm not allowed or I cant do something! aarroooo!!!! He finally learned to let me be was that or nothing...I was not going to have my spirit broken!!!!

    As you get into the Elderly part of life (50+) if you have been active all along and manage to keep relatively healthy, you can make a go of it. :-) Even though you WILL have down days of aches and pains and bits of just put one foot in front of the other and keep walking and my grandmother told me if you lived can Not possibly know everything! sooo, I try to learn something new reading or listening! It keeps your mind active, which helps.....

    Then there comes the time in your life that you have passed All of that!!! No one ever (hardly ever) talks about that stage of a womans life. The stage where you are just glad to wake up to another day (or not). Good conversation....But, one that younger Wolfies can not conceive…

    This is indeed ground that I have not walked yet, but I will. I sometimes think elders keep the worst of their experiences to themselves, thinking that perhaps the younger won't understand. Or worse, feel sorry for them, see them as frail and vulnerable. Yet the cycle of life moves inexorably on. Beyond this 50+ archetype we are fleshing out, will be another, as the Dangerous Wild Woman continues to age, and finds herself crossing into that new land you describe.