With civilization comes the un-wilding of the once free-roaming, intense, high spirited, exalted feminine principle. When we say “feminine” we are not strictly talking about females. The feminine energy is present in each of us, no matter our pronouns. When we civilize (refine, polish, sophisticate, humanize) our culture, we reap the benefits and the drawbacks. We’ve gotten glorious art and greater self-awareness and knowledge of our world through literature, philosophy, history, and certain technology advances. However, there has also been an almost clinical impulse towards crushing the original feminine archetype. An obvious place for the re-wilding to begin is in the wild. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, wrote: “Go out in the woods, go out. If you don’t go out in the woods nothing will ever happen and your life will never begin.” When we get immersed in the wild, our ideas about womanhood start to change from refined and polished to wild, unrestrained, and natural, like the earth.
Back to the Wilderness, Back to Our Wild Selves
When we get back to nature, we realize that we contain that same power, wildness, and potential for growth. Nature is mysterious, dark, light, and life-giving. In short, nature is everythingness. In getting in touch with the wildness of this vast expanse of interconnected phenomena, we get in touch with ourselves. Both nature and women have been used as resources in our modern world. When we immerse ourselves in nature, we reclaim our innate power and natural instincts. This kind of re-wilding is just as, if not much more, powerful than anything that a book or a set of societal standards can teach us about our feminine natures. It’s time to start redefining womanhood from a wilder perspective, and as Estes wrote, “if you have never been called a defiant, incorrigible, impossible woman, have faith. There is yet time.”
RedCliff Ascent is a therapeutic wilderness program, nestled between two mountain ranges in the high desert of Enterprise, UT. We focus on adolescents ages 13-17 who are struggling with various challenges from anxiety and depression, to school abandonment and the need to reconnect with their family. With over 25 years of experience, RedCliff uses a relational model and narrative therapy to drive an outcome and an evidence-based approach. RedCliff Recovery offers an experience like no other through a proven, 12-step, adventure-based wilderness program. For more information, call us today: 801-921-8488.