La Loba: The Bone Collector

Women Who Run With The Wolves wolf
Basic thoughts and idea inspired by text starting at page 25. I urge you to read along with me as I re-read this. I would love a dialog on its contents!

I have started reading Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book, “Women Who Run With The Wolves“, again. I realized that I had forgotten much of what she had written and needed to re-read it to be able to intelligently walk you through its pages.

In many cultures, ancient and present day, there is always an old woman who represents the feminine intuition–our wildish nature. Clarissa writes of this old Woman and helps us to understand that she is in our most hidden recesses. For ease we will just adopt one of Estes’ terms for her and call her La Loba: Wolf Woman. cactus1

Ms Estes writes: “The sole work of La Loba is the collecting of the bones. She collects and preserves those things that are in danger of being lost to the world.” She finds them and keeps them until you are ready to be restored again. So, when I talk of La Loba, I am referring to those parts of you that were lost, given away, or stolen. I am referring to those “bones” that we need to bring back to us, (in symbolic terms).

Ms Estes likens the psyche to a desert. We search for that part of us that always survives despite our experiences–our life force. This is no different than the spiritual search we are familiar with. They can be one and the same.

I am reminded of the Monty Python movie about the Holy Grail. In one scene two knights face off on a river bank. They fight–one hacking off an arm. The wounded knight replies: “It’s just a flesh wound…I’ve had worse!” The fight continues until the remaining arm is hacked off. Again he denies his wound and utters boastfully: “It’s just a flesh wound…I’ve had worse!” He urges the knight to fight on. His left leg is severed–then his right. He hurls verbal attacks at the knight, scoffing at his injuries and threatening to attack him with what little he has left. This reminds me of many of us who deny our pain, deny our wounds until there is little left that makes us women.

So, we must sing over the bones. We must finally grieve the loss, but in doing so, we use a song that comes from the soul and invites that part of us that has been missing to once again takes its rightful place. Our feminine spirit never dies. It just lays dormant until we wake it by breathing life’s breath over it. It lies as if dead until we waken it by living life to the fullest and daring to dream. Que La Sabe means: One Who Knows. No matter how we try to repress our thoughts and feelings, we know.

Ms Estes explains that we “arrive at our destination through deep meditation, dance, writing, painting, prayermaking, singing, drumming, active imagination, or any activity which requires an intense altered consciousness…she arrives there by deeply creative acts through intentional solitude, and by practice of any of the arts.” This is one of the reasons I use collage to start the creative juices flowing.

So, for you who wonder what this all means, let me invite you to search your own psychic desert and take the journey to self discovery and finding your true self.



~ by womenstudycenter on January 14, 2009.

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