wisdom

Connect with Nature and Find Your Wild Feminine Archetype.

I have always felt a special connection to Artemis, the venerated Greek deity, whose Roman name was Diana.

The daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo, she was the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, childbirth, wild animals and virginity. In images, she is often depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrow.

I first felt the connection with her some years ago whilst in the woods where hazelnut trees lined the leafy paths through the dark forest. At the time, I didn’t know that she was mythologically linked to these woodland beings.

I sat on the soft forest floor and connected to the supple, red-trunked trees. I was surprised and excited by the way they picked up my soul. I let them take my spirit with them as they navigated the forest at high speed with such innate knowledge of the wilderness. They were the forest — quick and wild.

Artemis is part of every nuance and lifeform that makes up the forest. The forest is so highly feminine in her deepest, wildest aspects. I was honored to have been shown hazel’s secret and to have found my wild feminine Artemis archetype.

I have always remembered this tree journey. Years later I was awoken by Marion Woodman’s words in her book, Pregnant Darkness, when she talks about Artemis:

“Artemis personifies dynamism in the nature spirit, a psychic pattern that orients us to our original nature, which for the alchemists was a central goal of the work.

Artemis the virginal, triune goddess of the phases of the moon, great huntress… she roams in the forest, protects all the newborns of the forest, is midwife to all birthing women and animals, she guards the life of the wild forest. Untamable, true to her nature, she has both killing and life preserving ways.

She lives in the soul and attends to the natures of the waters, so they remain true and wild. She fights to uncover and bring to birth the original nature of the soul.

A personification of the yin mysteries, she personifies the powerful force in nature that continually re-directs consciousness to the autonomous and incorruptible essence of the living soul that informs all life…”

Artemis is said to have a silver throne with a wolf skin on it. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in Women Who Run with the Wolves, says:

“Healthy wolves and healthy women share certain psychic characteristics, wolves and women are relational by nature, inquiring, possessed of great endurance and strength, they are deeply intuitive… separation from their wild nature causes women to become confused and lose their way.

And when women hear the term wild woman, it is like the fairy-tale knock at the door of the deep female psyche and an old, old memory is stirred and brought back to life.

The memory is of our absolute, undeniable, and irrevocable kinship with the wild feminine, a relationship which may have become ghostly from neglect, buried by over-domestication, outlawed by the surrounding culture, or no longer understood anymore.

We may have forgotten her names, but in our bones we know her, we yearn toward her; we know she belongs to us and we to her. A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal and loving.”

Artemis, the Wolf, Diana and the Black Goddess, among others, are archetypes that are often so deeply buried within us that we do not recognize them.

They are the place in our psyches where we feel deeply, and our instincts are strong and speak to us loudly. They help us make the link between our modern personas and our wild selves.

I personally feel lucky, now that I am older and wiser, that my wild self always spoke in a strong voice within. It is this wolf-like aspect that has always led me to keep listening to my buried inner nature as well as nature itself. It is this energy that I carry with me which gives me the desire and calling to put nature and wildness back in their central role and redeem this lost part of the Sacred Feminine.

The wild feminine aspect is not just a part of women, but a part of the anima of the masculine psyche. It is from this part of ourselves that we can so easily connect with nature. It is nature within us, the unseparated part of our psyche, that understands the language of plants and animals.

It is through our inner wild woman — through experience, our senses, symbols and inner intuitive knowing beyond the intellect — that we can discover the mysteries of nature and realize we are an integral part of nature.

It is in this part of ourselves we become aware of our deepest ecological selves, where we feel whole, wild, primal, and in touch with the seasons and nature’s rhythms. It is here that we are in contact with the Great Mother, with the moon, with our wholeness.

Artemis feels and experiences the world through an enlarged, diffused kind of awareness that incorporates all rather than separating. She symbolizes lunar consciousness, unifying and seeing the connections and symbolism with the universe. Nature merges with the self.

By connecting to this part of ourselves, we become more ourselves, ensouled and happy to be in contact with our core selves that nourish us. The rhythms of life and the darkness are no longer denied existence. They are integrated and honored in nature, and as an essential, sacred part of ourselves.

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Cathy Skipper is a French-trained herbalist, aromatherapist and teacher. She lives and works both in New Mexico and Europe. She guides healers and therapists in ways to heal their own wounds and find their personal myth in order to help others. Cathy believes, for men and women to embrace the Divine Feminine within, women need to lead the way. She is devoted to transforming the way women experience menopause. Using intuitive plant communication, art and inner journey work, she leads them through their own authentic inner journeys. Cathy is the author of two books, Aromatic Medicine and The Alchemy of Menopause. She is co-founder of the online school AromaGnosis with her husband Dr. Florian Birkmayer, where they teach courses such as Intuitive Plant Communication, The Wounded Healer, The Alchemy of Menopause, and more.

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