Storytelling and Myths are Important Therapeutic Resources

Storytelling and Myths are Important Therapeutic Resources

Women who run with the Wolves was written by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I love this book. It took me a while to read it and every now and then I pick it up and remind myself of the wisdom in the stories. I am using this book as a reference and background for my writing in this blog.

According to the author of the above book, I am a laughing woman, with grey, yellow, and black hair, gathering the bones of my soul at an instinctual level, and singing over them in reclamation. Pinkola Estés says that there is knowledge in your bones and that change is required, and an emergence begins with an earthquake within which will rock your world psychologically. She speaks about reclaiming all aspects of the feminine, the pure and impure, the light and darkness. Reclaiming the natural self in all its beauty and ugliness. In this work we make choices for our outer and inner world. The process of reclamation is important and powerful work. Being a natural woman is being naked as the day you are born. Taking time away from the world to let your hair down just sitting and being.

Storytelling and Myths are Important Therapeutic Resources

Reclaiming is a life-long mission and with any reclamation work focus is required. Wishing to manifest your longings in the outer world requires focus. Any project needs you to make up your mind to do something, and to have worked out the steps required to earth this dream. To bridge the inner and outer world, to make it happen, the more you focus, the more you can manifest your hopes. The lack of focus as in the fairy tale of Little Match Girl, and we freeze with pain of longing for warmth. To thaw out is a huge threat to us, because we feel the pain of loss, until we come to belonging and into connection with ourselves.

Being with real people, we trust, who endorse our dreams, or activities, and support us, is very important. We must take our ideas to a place where there is support for them and that is the first step of focus, finding people who can help us. We may have a wonderful idea, and we need vital, moist, get down dirty support to earth it. Surviving, thriving, and healing, we, like plants, all turn towards the sun, so find people who have warmth for your creative life, and love for you and wish the very best for your life.

To focus, means to know what to do when you lose your path, to help you gather your energies in a cauldron, really like a pestle and mortar, a container, to put things in to, to get from one place to another. We must take our ideas to a place where there is support for them and containment. Find support. Sometimes as women, we do not know how to get, how to ask for support, how to say – I need your help and support right now.

In the story of The Three Gold Hairs, when the old man is lost and his exhausted candle goes out, the beautiful old woman in the rocking chair takes him in her arms, and says ‘there, there’ and rocks him all through the night whispering ‘there, there’. She plucks three hairs from his head in the morning and onto the tiles they go – making the sound – Ding, Ding, and the now, little child in her arms runs to the door, into the sky and becomes the sun. When we lose focus the last thing we need to do is run around, but sitting, and rocking the idea, is the thing that renews our patience, peace and comforts and centers our ideas. Siting and breathing, re-grounding, coming back into yourself, instead of reacting, deciding not to do anything except to sit, breathe and rock. Sometimes our ideas get stale and outdated, and the cycle from fatigue, the tiny light, is going out, the idea is ending, something new must happen, fire from the old woman, the comfort, the rocking must occur before the new emergence and new beginning can emerge.

Some ideas must be thrown away. The three hairs in the story signify a wake-up call, that invites something, throw away to gain meaning, it will renew itself. An ancient process of feminine manifestation is at work. This is where your pleasure to write, to sing, to create, not to be afraid to see what is before you, stopping, looking, smelling, feeling, and tasting using all our senses, including intuition, are essential to reclaim yourself. When we express our voice, values, imagination, stories, ancient memories that go into the deep known, and unknown, then we will touch the bones, sing over them, and bring them back to life.

There are natural rhythms and relationships, and being alone in the woods in nature, awareness of cycles, being in circles of women, we tune into the blood of passion, thought, ideas, and the ideas and wisdom of the older women. We also tune into the blood in younger women, to their energy, commitment, and action. There is an order, instinctual rhythm, creative cycles, emotional cycles, hot, cold, warm, cool etc. and this all needs to be allowed to be.

Living the archetype of natural woman- with a mate you can educate, knowing a craft and art in relationships, also knowing your mate will not complete you, you know that you need time to be with, and without, you need lots of space, and connection through the soil and soul. Your true mate is within you not without. In fairy tales kissing the Prince represents kissing the inner masculine. Relationship with self is priority. Otherwise, you get lost, captured, have your wings clipped, eyes that no longer look in all directions, no antennae, and become a dead woman! A destructive relationship or mate crashes all ideas, love these people but do not be with them.

It is important to release rage. The wild creature and creative instinct in you are full of rage, it is normal to feel rage if oppressed. Release, through a healthy conduit that carries your creativity and carries your passion is essential. Do not be blocked with rage, release it as part of your history and wholeness. The picture may always be there, but you can put away the album. With patience and love you can forgive, beginning with yourself. Forgiveness is like a marker or a cross that marks a loss, a transition, a life changing event, person, time. A marker to show that life stopped at this point. We have all had little deaths, cut offs, and tragedies. Look at the small and big deaths in your life.

You might like to take time to make a loss history graph. Reflect on roads not taken, ambushes, places and times that need mourning. Take time to remember, bless, and let go. This is a time to make a psychic decision to remain bitter or not. Your dreams may be crumpled up and broken, it is then you need to return to the instinctual cycle and lick your wounds. You can create markers for dark times, like love notes to your suffering, ‘pinning things’ to the earth, so they do not follow you around, this way you put your rage to rest so you can create and be with your wild woman again.

We need to support life fulfilling and life-giving urges, invitations from within. In this fertile ground we connect with the opportunities to be what deep down in our bones we know. We meet the Rocker of Dreams and we do not get lost in fantasy like the Little Match Girl. May you have a mate who reverberates with your rhythm. Please forgive a little, forget a little, and create a lot, and the grandmothers of your great, great, granddaughters will remember and honour you.

Above all, as Pinkola Estés writes “If you don’t go out in the woods, nothing will ever happen, and your life will never begin”.  I hope you take the first step, today, to reclaiming your authentic self and that the stories you tell yourself will guide you there.

As I stated in the beginning, I am paraphrasing some of the beautiful wisdom off Clarissa Pinkola Estés in her book Women who run with Wolves and I hope it connects us, you, and I today, to each other and takes us into the deep recesses and resources of our instinctual wild woman self.


Christine Moran  


Pinkola Estés, C. (1992) Women who run with the Wolves. UK. Rider,

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