A tale of a "Wild Woman Archetype”
by Madelyn Soldner Sullivan
Once upon a time, not so far from here, there lived a young maiden with long, wavy brown hair and a sparkle in her eye. She loved to go outdoors and play in the snow especially. Riding fast on her snowboard down the hillsides and through the forests, she imagined herself a bird in flight. Some years passed and the maiden fell in love with a man who also lived for the wild freedom of mountains like herself. They both loved playing more than anything, and together they flew across snowfields above the clouds.
One day they moved to a village by the sea to play in the warm sun and sand, spending much of their days gliding across the waves. They soon settled into the beach life and started a family. She became the mother of two beautiful children and for some time she lived happily with her family in their beach cottage making a home.
Like most mothers of her time, she found herself always busy with something: helping and playing with her children, volunteering at school, answering emails, being available to friends and family as a compassionate ear, researching the 1,000 parenting books that are must reads, finding the best food for her family to eat, making sure the laundry is done, the kids are fed and everything looks good from the outside.
The mother lived in this way until one particular Thanksgiving Day she fell quite ill. At first the mother thought she was sick with the flu, but the symptoms persisted for several weeks and she became concerned it might be more serious. So she went to the doctors seeking help. They poked and prodded, tested and questioned her, but could not find anything a miss. The mother was growing quite concerned and at the edge of despair. She could barely take care of herself, let alone tend to the needs of her family and community.The experts pronounced her "fine," yet she felt in her body and soul that she was ominously ill.
She was terrified her life would never return to normal and lived trapped by her fear for many many moons. She sank deeper into her frozen state until she became so still she finally heard the quiet voice of her intuition. She began to carve out a small space for herself. And as she carved away time each day to listen to her body and her feelings, she began to create new things. Things that seemed silly and absurd and totally impractical! One particular time she began to paint, and as she washed watery colors onto the canvas an image of a Bull emerged through. The mother was a little frightened of the mysterious image, but she needed to find the meaning of this curious creature appearing before her like a messenger. She began to read books about ancient symbols and the books by wise elders, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung.
The symbol she unearthed was of an ancient fertility goddess. The shape of the bull's horns representing the crescent moon, the symbol for feminine wisdom, creativity, and power. The mother became fascinated with stories and images of such archetypal figures. But she was not satisfied to just look and see the symbols on a page. Her spirit urged her to bring them into the third dimension. So without hesitation or fear she made herself a headdress having no knowledge of how, using real bull horns, leather, a knife and a little logic.
As she put the piece on her head for the first time and looked in the mirror she saw a mother with a giant pair of horns on her head. Imagining herself wearing it to pick up her children from school with all the other mothers looking at her made her laugh. How absurd she felt! But she looked harder and saw through the mirror to her deeper self looking back at her and laughing with her. She laughed out loud until tears streamed down her face from laughing so hard. Her heart was filled with the passion and laughter of creativity.
The young maiden had returned to her heart. She felt once again that thrill of flying down a snowy mountain side, but this time she was in the wild mountains of her own creativity and authentic Self. She began to see the world with new eyes. Symbols and secret meanings were everywhere she looked. Now she had the voice of her inner maiden as a guide and the eyes of a crone who could see the deeper wisdom of life.
From that day forward the mother was healed. She became the triple goddess of creation: Maiden, Mother and Crone. She knew that her medicine was to make these wild creations for people to wear on their heads. She knew that she was not the only mother who was sick and needed healing. She knew many things, but mostly she knew that she was a maker of things.
And so it was, that the mother became an illuminator of archetypes. She traveled the lands making magnificent crowns, head peices and adornments to heal the hearts of women where ever she went.
And so it was then, as it is now. She can still be found doing her good work to this very day. And if you are down at the shore on a summery day, you just may spot her with her love and their young ones gliding along the shimmering waves.