This is the third part of a series on the feminine archetypes that symbolize the four phases of our inner cycles. To view the previous posts in this series, click here:
Who Is the Wild Woman-Enchantress Goddess?
Moon Phase: Waning Moon
Sun Phase: Sunset
Harvest Phase: Harvest
When I was first learning about the four main feminine archetypes, the Wild Woman-Enchantress was the one I felt most disconnected from. I could feel her energy lurking around the edges of my soul, influencing me in intense ways, but never quite showing her face. I wasn’t sure how to interact with her, and how to let her wisdom in.
After many years of studying these archetypes, though, I now feel like I have come to understand her. But in true Wild Woman form, it’s not a solid understanding. It’s a fluid, flighty understanding that matches her energy, and that’s what I love about her so much. She cannot be defined, and, in a world that thrives on definition, that’s where her magic lies. Because she doesn’t allow herself to be defined, she can be anything she wants to.
She’s a kind of trickster. She has a plan, but it often doesn’t make sense to us. This is because she is operating from a different realm – a realm of infinite possibility – that we are not accustomed to. There are no straight lines in her world. But she invites us into her secret world, if we can handle the ride.
What Does the Wild Woman-Enchantress’s Energy Feel Like?
It is important to be able to recognize the energy of the Goddesses in our lives. In this way we can learn to call on them at times when we our intuition tells us their power is needed.
The Wild Woman-Enchantress’s energy is, well…wild. When she’s around, the days may feel stormy – chaotic and confusing, maybe darker, colder, and more tempestuous. We might feel afraid of this raw, unfiltered power. But in reality, there is nothing to fear, because the Enchantress reminds us that we are not IN the storm…we ARE the storm – and that power is OURS.
Just as a storm is essential for the health of the land, creating change in ecosystems and new opportunities for growth, the storm of the Enchantress is essential for us to clear out what is not serving us, and create space for our own growth.
When she appears for us, we can be sure that change is afoot. But the change is not happening TO us; WE are creating the change that we need, even if it doesn’t make sense and we find ourselves doing everything we can to claw our way back to our old life.
One of her favorite sensations is uncertainty. We often speak of uncertainty with hesitation, uneasiness, or even outright dread. But for the Wild Woman-Enchantress, uncertainty is exciting. It is a breath of fresh air, a blank canvas, a one-way ticket to somewhere she’s never been. In our own moments of uncertainty, she offers us her hand so that we can feel this same excitement, without the dread.
The Shadow Side of the Wild Woman-Enchantress
This archetype may be perhaps the most misunderstood and unappreciated of the four archetypes. However, she plays a powerful role in our lives and it is necessary to develop a better understanding of her in order to harness the energy she gives us.
Much of the misunderstanding may come from the fact that in today’s culture we are expected to always act and operate from either our Virgin-Warrior or Mother-Creator sides. When we feel this cultural pressure, we may inadvertently ignore or deny our inner Wild Woman while trying to meet the needs of our family, friends, and career.
We may also resist this phase if we feel most comfortable in our inner spring or summer, preferring their light and airy freedom. We may not want to face the deep and sometimes dark emotions that arise during our inner autumn. The inward pull we feel during this time is completely natural and needs to be honored for us to live our full lives.
The Wild Woman-Enchantress knows there cannot be life without death and knows we must learn this lesson as well. If we spend all our time avoiding death and looking the other way, she will try harder to get our attention.
The Wild Woman does not like to be ignored and is capable of creating utmost turmoil in our lives, dredging the darkest emotions we tried to run from, and releasing them as a self-destructive cascade in our path. When we deny her presence in our lives, whether intentional or not, she will make her presence known.
We may experience this as sadness, depression, dissatisfaction with our lives, or despair. Instead of succumbing to these emotions and letting them take over our lives, we must use these feelings as a sign that something needs changing – then move forward with making that change happen.
The Wild Woman-Enchantress’s Sacred Work
When this archetype shows up for us, it is our biggest challenge to let ourselves be vulnerable, to surrender control, to allow our Enchantress’s dark mirror to be held up for us to examine ourselves and make the necessary changes to allow us to grow in our next spring and summer. She challenges us most to love and accept ourselves, no matter what we see in her mirror.
She reminds us that we must also allow ourselves to feel wild if we need to feel wild. How are we to work with our emotions if we do not feel them fully? Pain is inevitable, but suffering is not. Suffering comes when we resist our emotions. But if we let go and allow ourselves to feel the tornado, we allow the energy to move through us, so it doesn’t get stuck.
We feel her life-changing energy when we are able to identify what is not working in our lives and make a plan to transform it. When we feel the gift of being able to see the big picture and re-evaluate, that is a gift from our Enchantress.
Logistically speaking, she may also invite us to focus on “finishing up” projects in order to prepare ourselves for this heavy work. When we get the impulse to purge things from our lives – whether it’s the moldy veggies in the back of the fridge, or a relationship that has run its course – that’s the Wild Woman-Enchantress telling us to make space, because something new is coming. We must not be afraid to aim our destructive energy at things that truly deserve it.
She also invites us to slow down – if we are too busy, we will miss the subtle insights she is trying to show us. She communicates with us in many different ways, but rarely directly. We need to keep all our senses open to receive her wisdom.
The Wild Woman-Enchantress in the Moon Cycle
The Wild Woman/Enchantress arises during our pre-menstrual phase and may show up for us as an emotional tornado if we have not been careful to pay attention to her whisperings as she approaches.
It should be noted that this phase may start out light, but during it, we are walking the transition into darkness. It is important to allow ourselves to adapt gradually as we step deeper into this phase, or we may feel suddenly out of control for “no reason” (at least that we can see).
After ovulation, our internal energy changes from waxing to waning, from being outwardly focused to inwardly focused. At this time, the Wild Woman-Enchantress summons our “inner critic” to visit us and hold up examples of ourselves to reflect on. If we don’t like what we see, we may try and avoid it at all costs, through anger, denial, addictions, or other self-harming behavior.
The key to this phase of our cycles is to be gentle on ourselves – it’s not a time to force things to happen, but rather to listen, receive, and integrate. Self-reflection is different than judgment.
Finding the Wild Woman-Enchantress Within You
Take some time to reflect and journal about where you see this Goddess within yourself. What experiences did you have in your young womanhood that indicate her power was moving through you? What experiences do you have now that indicate her presence? Where in your moon cycle do you feel her energy most strongly? How does it show up? Do you see signs of her shadow self either now or in your past? Why do you think her shadow was appearing at those times? What practices could you do to strengthen her energy inside you?