This blog goes with Healing Thru Tarot Podcast Ep. 46: Rewilding: Healing with the Wild Woman Archetype + Review of the Wild Woman Oracle. In this blog, I’ll discuss the wild woman archetype and how she can help us tap into our wild side. I’ll review the Wild Woman Oracle by Rockpool Publishing. And I’ll share with you a custom spread that I created for healing with the wild woman archetype.
I’m loving this archetype series that we’ve been exploring the past year. Healing with each of these archetypes is helping us reconnect with the wisdom each of these archetypes share with us, and it’s helping us connect with our true essence as we shed the layers of conditioning that we’ve built up over the past few decades.
An archetype is a representation of a complete idea that can be conveyed through just a single word or image. That simple representation can evoke a complex set of perceptions, emotions, and behaviors that individuals across all cultures and historical eras can recognize. They are universal symbols that we can all tap into through the collective unconscious, first described by Carl Jung. And they carry wisdom and valuable life lessons that are timeless. It’s a universal language shared by all human beings since the beginning of time. It’s comforting to know that it’s a symbolism that we share with our ancestors who walked the earth long before us and that will continue on long after we've passed.
Let’s explore the Wild Woman Archetype to see what she represents for us all and how she can help us connect to a part of ourselves that may have been dormant for most of our lives in this modern world we live in.
The Wild Woman is often called the wolf woman, the woman at the end of the world, the woman of the woods, and in psychology she would best represent our id. She's unmuzzled, free to speak her mind without hesitation or fear. That’s something we’ve been working through on several podcast episodes and blogs when healing our blocked throat chakras and past lives of persecution when speaking out against authority carried a death sentence. So the wild woman is an archetype that can help us heal those past traumas and regain our voice, our power, and our own authority.
This archetype doesn’t feel the need to ask permission. She moves through the world knowing her power and her place, which has no restrictions from her view. She’s a rebel by nature. She can’t be forced into a box or chained and tamed. She’s a free spirit who must roam, explore, and take up as much space as she needs. She doesn’t cower or hide in the shadows out of fear of repercussions.
The wild woman is a free, strong, empowered, and uninhibited being who is instinctive, intuitive, unashamed, powerful, and in tune with her body and the signals it sends. She can sense danger and deception by listening to her bodily sensations. Her gut guides her, not the overactive logical brain that most of us are used to.
She trusts herself and has confidence in her ability to protect and defend herself. She is no victim. She is no damsel in distress that needs saving. She stands firmly in her personal power and doesn’t apologize for her existence or her feelings or needs. The wild woman doesn’t get caught up in facades and masks she has to wear out in the world to fit everyone’s expectations of who she needs to be. She’s wild and free and spontaneous. She’s connected to her own needs and doesn’t feel guilt or shame about her wants and desires. She doesn’t bend to fit societal norms like many expect us to do in today’s modern, everchanging society. So, to connect with the wild woman we would need to drop all pretenses and disguises we use to mask our true nature. She’s all about authenticity.
She’s curious, she always questions authority, and she fights social conditioning. She doesn’t conform to the norms of society. She will always march to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t feel the need to fit any mold of what society says she should look like. She loves her body, no matter the form and she always feels comfortable in her own skin. And she understands the power her body has for self-healing. She trusts it to do its job to protect her, hold her, and heal her through the many phases of life. She has no hang ups about aging. She chooses to age naturally without interfering in that natural process.
Her power is in her roar as she howls at the moon beside the wolves. She is one with nature and the animal kingdom. That’s why I like to work with the Moon card in the tarot to channel her essence. There’s a wildness to the Moon card because it represents a shedding of our inhibitions. Under the light of a full moon, we take more risks, we’re bolder, we’re less inhibited and more spontaneous. This is a time when our inner wildness dares to show itself. Just look how free the woman looks in the above Moon card from The Bonestone and Earthflesh Tarot
I also think about the Strength card when working with the wild woman. I see her as the beast in the upright version of the card as well as the woman who walks beside the beast unafraid. Society may try to tame her, but only she is able to reign her own power in. She is both beast and lion tamer here. In the reversal of the Strength card, the wild woman would have shifted too far into her wild nature with no ability to control the intensity or negative consequences of her extreme lack of self-discipline. The above photo is the Strength card from The Light Seers Tarot, and I love this version as it shows the woman and lion merged as one.
If we look at the knights in the tarot without gender labels, I think the Knight of Wands and Knight of Swords could represent aspects of the wild woman. They are both warriors, courageous but also impulsive, rash, and raring to charge off into battle. The wild woman may not seek out all battles in all areas, but there may be a few where she would have no problem joining the fight. And she’s fearless so she’d be an ideal warrior you’d want to join your cause. The Queen of Wands is the only queen that I equate with the wild woman. We’ve talked at length about the Queen in Wands in many episodes/blogs because she’s my favorite card to work with. She also can’t be tamed and has that same rebellious, defiant nature that the Wild Woman represents. Any of these tarot cards would be suitable to pathwork with to connect and commune with the Wild Woman’s energy.
She teaches us to break free from whatever and whomever is holding us down, silencing us, and restricting us. Think of the Devil and 8 of Swords cards in the tarot here. The Devil represents where we are restricted by our inner critic, others, or our vices. The 8 of Swords represents how we restrict ourselves and sabotage our progress. When thinking about the wild woman, I think about how she can help us break free from these restrictions whether they are imposed by ourselves or others. Any of these tarot cards would be suitable to connect and commune with the wild woman energy.
To connect with the wild woman, drop down into your body and let the expectations of the world around you melt off your shoulders. Turn off your logical brain that has been trained to overthink every moment of the day and let your bodily sensations guide you. Tune into your gut instinct and listen to your body. Just be. Release the desire to people please or contort yourself into a version of yourself that you think others want to see. Release the stress of trying to juggle too many responsibilities that keep you drained and depleted. Release all the burdens others have placed on your shoulders that you never asked for and that you reluctantly took on despite your body screaming that you couldn’t carry any more on your shoulders. And release calls from loved ones to tone down your weirdness so you won't embarrass the family. Drop the need to fit in and gain approval of others. Let your freak flag fly. Your uniqueness is your superpower. Why hide or suppress it?
No more pretending, hiding, or stifling emotions that need to be process. Instead, let those repressed thoughts and emotions bubble up to the surface naturally and process them as they come. Just be with them in the moment and listen to what your body has to say. Your body has a way of guiding you through the self-healing process if you allow it.
Your intuition will soar once you’re able to drop the pretenses. Once you reconnect with your inner wild side, you may notice more intuitive hits and gut reactions that alert you to dangers you had missed before. Notice all the signals your body sends you. We’ve been ignoring these signals for too long. They are calling out to you for a reason. What have you lost by ignoring your gut instincts in the past? What has silencing this wild side or your most basic urges cost you?
Reconnecting with the wild woman can help you regain your power, sensuality, independence, and a comfort within your own skin that many of us have lost. We’re often inundated in this modern, technological world with messages and images of who we ought to be, what we should look like, how we should sound, and how we should act within the world. Over time, we've learn to suppress our own urges, needs, and desires in order to fit in or not cause waves. But slowly, people are waking up to the realization that to feel free and in control of your own life, you need to follow your own inner guidance and instincts and tune out the influx of toxic and harmful messages about who we should be. Lean into what you want not what you ought to do or be. Stop repressing your urges and emotions. Stop containing yourself or restricting yourself based on the expectations of others.
I’ve noticed the term “rewilding” has popped up a lot recently. This concept of reconnecting with this wild side that we’ve repressed is gaining steam. Women and men working on their feminine sides are regaining their power, breaking their silence, and rejecting the notion that we need to be seen and not heard.
If you want to learn more about the wild woman archetype, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, a Jungian psychoanalyst, writes about her in Women who Run with the Wolves. She focuses on how the wild woman has been repressed the more we as humans have become disconnected with our true nature during this modern age. In her book she says, “The feral woman is usually extremely hungry for something soulful.”
I often write scenes in my fictional divination book series, The Divining Sisters, that embody the wild woman. Anytime my characters are tapping back into a past memory of a witch life where the coven sisters dance under the full moon in the woods, this is the archetype I’m inspired by. There’s a perfect short scene I can share with you from Book 2 in my Divining Sisters Series which is called We Divine Three (shown below)
In this scene Hazel, one of the sisters, is sketching the full moon over the Witch House in Salem Massachusetts. During her drawing session, she falls into a trance where she reconnects with a memory of dancing under the full moon with her past coven. This vision helps her tap into her inner wild woman. That scene is below.
Scene from We Divine Three: The Divining Sisters Book 2
As Hazel sketched, visions of a trio of witches danced through her mind’s eye.
One of the women drummed as they all danced around a small bonfire in the middle of a wooded area. She kept sketching as she channeled their powerful synergy onto the page.
The three figures danced in unison and chanted in one rhythmic voice. Entranced, Hazel rocked back and forth to the rhythm of the chant along with them.
Soon, she was inside the drumming circle as a rush of adrenaline coursed through her veins. Every cell in her body buzzed with a wildness she’d never experienced in this lifetime. She howled at the moon and cackled.
The crisp night air tickled her skin as the moonbeams kissed her bare arms. She threw her arms in the air and howled again. The echo of her chants bounced off the trees and reverberated around her body. The forest was alive, and she was one with every living creature. She swayed to the beat of the pulse of the trees as the insects added their song to the symphony of the forest.
As the coven wove their enchantments in the night air, they bewitched the entirety of the wooded area outside their home. They continued to dance around the fire. She caught quick glimpses of the faces of the other women engaged in this lunar ritual. The connection between the coven sisters seemed impenetrable. The magnetic pull extending from her core out to theirs was powerful, like they were tethered to each other. This connection held her tightly in the circle and created a security that she didn’t want to disconnect from.
The chanting became softer as the vision started to fade, “So say we, we divine three, so mote it be.”
If you resonate with that scene, you might enjoy my series, The Divining Sisters. It’s very witchy and mystical. I’ll talk more about where you can get my books at the end of this blog with links provided.
Rockpool Publishing sent over the Wild Woman Oracle for me to review and share with you, and it was love at first sight for me with this deck. This is my favorite new oracle in years. It came at a time when I was deep into shadow work, and I needed darker decks to help me explore the darkness and learn how to use it to my advantage with my healing journey.
This gorgeous 36 card deck is illustrated by Cheyenne Zarate who is also the creator and writer of the guidebook. Cheyenne is a pen and ink artist of Ukrainian descent who lives in Canada. The cards are edged in black and have the most beautiful gold and black images. It’s stunning as you can see below.
This deck was born after the deck creator went through a dark night of the soul herself. And in that time, she delved into reading stories of the wild woman archetype. She says that each image in this deck is accompanied by a tale that marks a significant step on her journey. And she wants to inspire others as they wade through their own dark night of the soul. This deck introduces us to stories of wild women she’s chosen to highlight who have struggled with significant losses, struggles, challenges, and even victories on their journeys. Each has their own unique way of dealing with trials and tribulations. Cheyenne wants these stories and these cards to help you rewrite your own story.
I love how the messages in this deck help me to reframe the difficult times I’ve struggled with by giving me examples of how others have navigated these same choppy waters that I face now. Often these stories model empowering ways to rise to the occasion and show us how to extract lessons from our own challenging times. Cheyenne says this deck will help us awaken our true, free, and soulful selves. Each card centers around a powerful story of strong inspiring feminine figures from history, mythology, folklore, or pop culture. The symbolism for each card is detailed along with the message this card offers us. We’re also provided with a question for self-reflection for each card. On the card itself we are given a keyword and card title.
For instance, we have Hekate, Queen of the Crossroads with the keyword The Unknown (shown above). Hekate asks us what important decision we’ve been avoiding due to the fear of the unknown. And Medusa is paired with the keywords Sacred Rage and asks us how we can channel our sacred rage to create something beautiful and empowering. These cards are fantastic for exploring the dark feminine archetypes and help us connect with our inner wild feminine side. I love that Rockpool doesn’t shy away from exploring the darker themes in life. We need tools such as this one for shadow work as they can help us heal these shadow aspects within each of us. I know a lot of people are critical about oracle decks because so many of them are all love and light. There isn’t a lot of range in oracle decks for some readers. But this deck is perfect to use when you’re in those darker moments in life and you need a meatier message or a message or story that resonates with the vibration you’re at in that moment. It makes me feel better when the deck I’m using meets me where I am.
Decks that acknowledge the struggle we’re in are a breath of air and help to give us guidance on extracting the lesson in the darker moments. And we each have masculine and feminine aspects within us, so this deck can be used by anyone. There are even some modern witchy cards which I love (shown below).
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with this deck to explore my own inner wild woman. This is hands down my favorite oracle deck I’ve received in a long time. Thanks to Cheyenne for creating this deck and thanks to Rockpool Publishing for sending it over for me to work with and share in this episode. It’s a perfectly dark, witchy deck to use if you are in your own dark night of the soul.
If you throw this spread for yourself, I'd love to see the photo of your spreads. Please tag me on Instagram @healingthrutarot and please use #HTThealingwiththewildwomanarchetypespread
I’ll be taking off the summer months and will return with new podcast episodes in September 2023 when we’ll cover healing with the dark goddesses, healing the witch wound, using tarot for writing and for preparing for national novel writing month which we call nanowrimo and more topics!
Autumn is also the time of year I’ll be releasing the 3rd book in my fictional divination book series, The Divining Sisters, so now’s a great time to start the series and catch up on book 1 and 2 to be ready for the 3rd installment for the autumn months.
You can find the eBook and paperback of The Call of the Cards which is book 1 in The Divining Sisters Series and We Divine Three which is book 2 on Amazon. And the eBooks are also on Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, Scribd, Smash words, and more. You can even put in a request for the eBook thru your library. The Ebook is $4.99 and the paperback is $14.99
I have a dedicated website for my books which is author.heatherhardison.com and that’s where I post updates on book releases, book quotes, photos of the book covers, and fun things like my Spotify playlists for each book. I carefully curate those to express the energy of each book so please check those out.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see updates on the book releases there. I have 2 instagram accounts I’m healingthrutarot for all my podcast and tarot posts and I have an author account called heatherhardisonauthor
I can’t wait to drop book 3. This series just get witchier with each installment. See you in September Cardslingers!
Books and Decks shown in this blog or recommended - click on title to purchase: The Wild Woman Oracle, Women Who Run With The Wolves, The Light Seers Tarot, Bonestone and Earthflesh Tarot (out of print)
Link to Podcast Episode 46 on Spotify for Podcasters click here
A Spread for All Seasons - 17 custom spreads
Healing and Mental Health Spreads Vol. 1 - 15 custom spreads
Healing and Mental Health Spreads Vol. 2- 15 9-card spreads
Shadow Work Spreads and Workbook - 20 spreads
Click here to purchase any of these spread ebooks
Other relevant Podcast Episodes - Click here to listen.
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