Wildlife and the Wild Woman are both endangered species.
Over time, we have seen the feminine instinctive nature looted, driven back and overbuilt. For long periods it has been mismanaged like the wildlife and the wildlands. For several thousand years, as soon and as often as we turn our backs, it is relegated to the poorest land in the psyche. The spiritual lands of Wild Woman have, throughout history, been plundered or burnt, dens bulldozed, and natural cycles forced into unnatural rhythms to please others.
It’s not by accident that the pristine wilderness of our planet disappears as the understanding of our own inner and wild nature fades. It is not so difficult to comprehend why old forests and old women are viewed as not very important resources. It is not such a mystery. It is not so coincidental that wolves and coyotes, bears and wildish women have similar reputations. They all share related instinctual archetypes, and as such, both are erroneously reputed to be ingracious, wholly and innately dangerous, and ravenous…
Healthy wolves and healthy women share certain psychic characteristics: keen sensing, playful spirit, and a heightened capacity for devotion. Wolves and women are relational by nature, inquiring, possessed by a great endurance and strength. They are deeply intuitive, intensely concerned with their young, their mates and their pack. They are experience in adapting to constantly changing circumstances; they are fiercely stalwart and very brave.
Yet both have been hounded, harassed, and falsely imputed to be devouring and devious, overly aggressive, of less value than those who are their detractors. They have been the targets of those who would clean up the wilds as well as the wildish environs of the psyche, extincting the instinctual, and leaving no trace of it behind. The predation of wolves and women by those who misunderstand them is strikingly similar.
-Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.,Women Who Run With the Wolves