Singing Over the Bones


From the Introduction – Singing Over the Bones The archetype of Wild Woman resides in the guts, not in the head. She can track and run and summon and repel. She can sense, camouflage, and love deeply. She is intuitive, typical, and normative. She is utterly essential to women’s mental and soul health. She is the female soul. Yet she is more; she is the source of the feminine. She is all that is of instinct, of the worlds both seen and hidden -she is the basis. She is intuition, she is far-seer, she is deep listener, she is loyal heart. She encourages humans to remain multilingual; fluent in the languages of dreams, passion, and poetry. She is the voice that says, “This way, this way.” She is the one who thunders after injustice. She is the one we leave home to look for. She is the one we come home to. She is the things that keep us going when we think that we’re done for. To adjoin the instinctual nature does not mean to come undone, change everything from left to right, from black to white, to move the east to west, to act crazy or out of control. It does not mean to lose one’s primary socializations, or to become less human. It means quite the opposite. The wild nature has a vast integrity to it. It means to establish territory, to find one’s pack, to be in one’s body with certainty and pride regardless of the body’s gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one’s behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one’s cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as we can. La Loba (Wolf Woman), the old one, the One Who Knows, is within us. She thrives in the deepest soul-psyche of women, the ancient and vital Wild Woman. She describes her home as that place in time where the spirit of women and the spirit of wolf meet —the place where her mind and her instincts mingle, where a woman’s deep life funds her mundane life. It is the point where the I and the Thou kiss, the place where women run with the wolves. The Creation Mother is always the Death Mother and vice versa. Because of this dual nature, or double-tasking, the great work before us is to learn to understand what around and about us and what within us must live, and what must die. Our work is to apprehend the timing of both; to allow what must die to die, and what must live to live. You can dent the soul and bend it. You can hurt it and scar it. You can leave the marks of illness upon it, and the scorch marks of fear. But it does not die, for it is protected by La Lobain the underworld. She is both the finder and the incubator of the bones. People do meditation to find psychic alignment. That’s why people do psychotherapy and analysis. That’s why people analyze their dreams and make art. That is why many read Tarot cards, cast I Ching, dance, drum, make theater, pry out the poem, and fire up the prayer. That’s why we do all the things we do. It is the work of gathering all the bones together. Then we must sit at the fire and think about which song we will use to sing over the bones, which creation hymn, which re-creation hymn. And the truths we tell will make the song. There are some good questions to ask till one decides on the song, one’s true song: What has happened to my soul-voice? What are the buried bones of my life? In what condition is my relationship to the instinctual Self? When was the last time I ran free? How do I make life come alive again? Where has La Loba gone to? Go back and stand under that one red flower and walk straight ahead for that last hard mile. Go up and knock on the old weathered door. Climb up to the cave. Crawl through the window of a dream. Sift the desert and see what you can find. It is the only work we have to do. You wish psychoanalytic advice? Go gather bones.


 Clarissa Pinkola Estes Ph.d 




 How do you persoally listen and integrate the wild woman archetype in your life? When did you first meet your wild woman. what is your persoanl story? How would you like to integrate her more into your life  and if so what actions would you take? How do you see yourself expressing the wild woman archetype in your life? Where is she present in your life? Where can you feel her? Where can you find her? She dwells within you and all of us all women everywhere. She is calling us even now in our dreams….. Joy Hellman

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