- Have you ever heard the terms Wild Woman archetype, rewilding, or embracing your wildness?
- Have you ever heard the terms Feminine rising, Divine union between the Feminine and the Masculine, or conscious relationship?
- Have you ever heard the terms witch wound, re-membering, or reclaiming our ancestral past?
What does it all mean? How does it all fit together? And how does all this esoteric talk fit in with science, psychology, and human history?
In the world of wildlife and biology, rewilding has the following definition:
To protect an environment and return it to its natural state.Cambridge Dictionary
In science, rewilding describes the process of protecting an environment and returning it to its natural state. It therefore runs directly counter to human attempts to control and cultivate nature. It is often also connected with reintroducing wild animals to an area of land that they previously inhabited, but were made distinct from due to cultivation reasons.
In psychology, rewilding does not have a strict definition or explanation. But it can be roughly stated, that psychological rewilding is most commonly only connected to “communion with nature” (as summarized by WeREWILD). However, it is much more than that:
I have realized that wildness, although a native state, often times requires an act of rebellion against the societal, cultural, religious, and familial structures in which one has been raised and confined to.Micha, WeREWILD
Psychological science, and especially the field of clinical psychology, has not always been open to this multi-leveled concept. The skepticism of the idea stems back to a difference of opinion between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung on the subject of human personality. While the former viewed our personality to be made up of two layers – the Ego and the Personal Unconscious – the latter found a third level relevant in explaining human personality: the Collective Unconscious. The Collective Unconscious is something “common to all humankind and contains the inherited accumulation of primitive human experiences in the form of ideas and images called archetypes and manifested in myths as well as other cultural phenomena (e.g., religion) and in dreams” (APA Dictionary of Psychology). Since this concept is too abstract to be accurately measured, it is not taken very seriously in the filed of psychological sciences (as mentioned in this Verywell article).
This brings us to the definition in a more general humanity-context:
Rewilding means to return to a more wild or natural state; it is the process of undoing domestication.Found on Wikipedia
Here, we find again the idea of bringing back what once was. And also here, we find again the reference to nature.
These definitions do not fully help us understand what it all means on a personal level, however. For the last 5000 years or so, most of the planet has been living in patriarchal society patterns. What happened before that? Did the World really live in matriarchal structures during the Paleolithic era? If so, and I am a believer of this, it would seem that rewilding is also inextricably linked to the Feminine. I like explaining feminine rewilding as this:
Feminine Rewilding is the unconditional pursuit of feminine joy, autonomy, and expression of each and every body on this Planet, regardless of gender, in harmony with nature and other beings.Natalie Stoemmer
Feminine Rewilding is also the practice of seeing, hearing, and feeling what we know in our bones to be true – a way to know and trust our intuition as much as, or even more than, our logical brains. It is about trusting in the natural flow of beings and things, more than trusting in weilding power over other beings and things.
- It is the unlearning of cultural norms around the Feminine.
- It is the remembering of what I want my Feminine to be.
- And it is the wild inquiring of what the Feminine will be.
So far so good. But you might be wondering: how can this look in real life? Here’s some of my story:
I heard about rewilding for the first time, when I started looking for a coach or some kind of help to organize my job search activities (little did I know that I would be doing much deeper work than just “where do I want to work?”). It took a few months worth of classic coaching sessions for me to start thinking about my true female power. Around this time in my life, several things happened at the same time:
- I was forced into making the decision whether or not to cut communication with my mother because each of our encounters was becoming more and more explosive and painful.
- I was in the process of finding out what my next career move should be, based on Simon Sinek’s concept “Find Your Why”.
- I signed up for a casual dating app for the first time, after I had ended my last serious relationship 6 months prior to that.
How are these things connected?
A friend of mine recommended the book Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I picked it up and immediately something about it called to me. I flew over the introduction and could not wait to get into the first story. I was enthralled. Very quickly, I realized one significant thing: these stories will lead me into my depths and force me to do a lot of work. I cannot imagine anyone reading those and not feeling a sense of dejá-vu or resonation in their own lives. No matter what stage of life you are in, the myths and stories in this book will speak to you.
This awakening – or becoming more aware – to what was going on inside me, made the following things happen:
- I suddenly started having profound and elaborate dreams again. I hadn’t had any weird, big dreams since I was a teenager.
- More and more interesting people started coming into my life (by way of my casual dating and a budding curiousity for every- and anyone). I also had a few people leave my life, as my previously non-existent boundaries and core value systems started shaping.
- I started questioning everything, even more than ever before.
- I was going to quit my 9-5 job in a toxically masculine environment, without an alternative ligned up. (!!)