Howl Often: Women Who Run With the Wolves part two


July 31, 2012 by Vicki

            Women Who Run With the Wolves advises us to live naturally as women. We need to learn to listen to our own instincts which still tell us what we need to know. We need to learn from the animals around us how to best live our lives and heal our psyches. I write to examine the second part of Clarissa Pinkola Estes Women Who Run With the Wolves. I, also, write to challenge myself and my readers to live our lives to the fullest and remember our natures.

I found the hardest part of Women Who Run With the Wolves to read dealt with the need to return to one’s home. Home, in this case, is not necessarily a physical location but rather a spiritual/psychological one. Every woman has a different way of returning home, and each one of us hears the call when it is time to go home, however, a thousand reasons to delay leaving always exist. We believe that our families will self-destruct if we are not there to guide them; that meals will not be cooked, homework will not be finished and jobs will not be done. Yet, despite all this, when the call sounds, we must make the time to return. If we don’t, then we slowly dry out and fade away. I believe all women know this feeling; the feeling that you don’t really exist in your own skin anymore. You do the jobs that have to be done, but half or more of you just doesn’t live anymore. You stop reading or writing or painting or knitting. You don’t want to hang out with your girlfriends anymore. You have less patience with your spouse, family or children. If we do not heed the call to return then we become worse then useless to those we care about, including ourselves.

How do we return? For every woman it is different. I know for myself that it is sometimes enough just to be alone with my music playing and candles and incense burning. Sometimes, however, the only thing that works is for me to get away from the city and into the quiet of the woods, preferably near water. I don’t have to touch the water but I need to be near the water. Then I can return home to my own Self and renew my own connections.

Shameful secrets block our way to return home. Anytime, we hide something shameful from the world, we also hide it from ourselves. We try to avoid doing or seeing anything that will remind us of our secret. It can be a secret of our own or a secret of someone else both will block our return. Both force us to change the way we behave and our Self is thus blocked. We cannot be natural and hide something from the sun. Wolves will bury bones but it is only a matter of time before those bones will see the light of day again. Share your secrets with those you trust to treat them with compassion, understanding and true listening. Anything less will only damage us further.  So Women Who Run With the Wolves tells us to share our secrets, share them with your sisters and share them with your tribe.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes identifies all women as belonging to one tribe; The Scar Tribe. All of us have scars from the lives and secrets we have lived. She suggests that we identify our age by our scars instead of by our years. Those scars tell more about our maturity than how many years we have lived on this planet. She also tells us how to live our lives like the wolves. She suggests starting with the last one.

  1. Eat
  2. Rest
  3. Rove in between
  4. Render loyalty
  5. Love the children
  6. Cavil in moonlight
  7. Tune your ears
  8. Attend to the bones
  9. Make love
  10. Howl often

(Estes, P.498)

Howl out your secrets, your hurts, your goals and your dreams. Let the world echo with our howling as we reclaim what is our birthright. I, thoroughly, recommend Women Who Run With the Wolves and hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have. Howl often, my sister of the Scar Tribe. Howl loud and proud.

7 thoughts on “Howl Often: Women Who Run With the Wolves part two

  1. Kate says:

    wow, this is your best yet

  2. […] reading Women Who Run with the Wolves, I can’t help wondering what the retelling of stories means for women everywhere. Obviously, […]

  3. […] be happy unless our lives are our own. Other books that we have read, such as Eat, Pray, Love and Women who run with the Wolves, have shown us both how difficult claiming your own life can be and also the means that different […]

  4. […] Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes changed the way that I viewed my own life and challenged me to push the […]

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