I am a person who has devoted her adult life to the Feminine Principle & the rise of women – for the good of all.

 

And…

 

I have a confession: The archetype of the Mother is foreign to me. I deeply appreciate and honor it in others (especially Mama Earth), but have never really had an easy time embodying it myself. I get a lot of understanding and feelings of awe from contemplating Motherhood, yet when I try it on for myself, it always has an unnatural, not-quite-right fit.

 

When asked to define my life phase in terms of Maiden, Mother, Crone Trine – I always feel bewildered – like, “Can I get some more options, please?!?”

 

So, it may not surprise you to learn that I have chosen not to have children.

 

For some of my sisters, even the most well meaning, this is confusing. I’ve heard countless variations on, “But Chris, it would be a shame for you of all people to miss out on the ultimate act of womanly creation.”

 

This sentiment has grown tiresome.
Why, I’ve asked myself, is this so troubling to me?

 

Well on one hand, receiving any form of unsolicited advice activates the Wild Woman rebel in me. (I can’t help myself).

 

But at a more fundamental level: Because it proposes a narrow definition of the Feminine, along with the idea that one possible life path (Motherhood) is more “womanly” than another.

 

This line of thinking causes so much internal friction for me that I am taking deep and steady breaths as I write this so as not to become irate.

 

Those who where at Wild Woman Fest ‘16, when our theme was Faces of the Feminine, may remember me saying: Don’t put the Feminine in a box. We explored Archetype after Archetype, dimension after dimension of our life as women – never landing on a finite definition of the Feminine, but rather leaving with an understanding of the expansive possibilities available to us.

 

Unfortunately, this “motherhood is the primary experience of the feminine” line of thinking does just that: it puts the Feminine & Womanhood in a box.

 

To equate one, albeit miraculous, function of the female body (the whole creative process of Motherhood) as something one must do in order to really “get” Womanhood is actually a deeply flawed line of thinking.

But wait. Let’s back up a bit.

 

I want to share with you a related vision I had at the age of 22. This was before I started getting serious with my studying or Yoga & the Divine Feminine, when my main relationship to Womanhood was through Feminism.

 

Something started happening to me at that time (age 22-23). I had a huge spiritual growth spurt that came on strong and ended up changing my whole life.

 

This initiation was accelerated by a vision I had of a Goddess with many arms and an instrument I did not recognize. She appeared with a gentle, yet powerfully radiant presence, and seemed to be beckoning me, calling me over. I was entranced.

 

But who was she?

 

I went to a spiritual book shop soon after. As I was walking down the isles my heart jumped as I saw her again!

 

This time on a postcard featuring a beautiful flowing river beside her. I flipped over card, and read her name: Saraswati.

 

I began to learn everything I could about her. Within the Hindu Pantheon she is considered the Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom, and learning. She is also childless.
I remember feeling heartened to know that there was a Goddess who inspired artists of all kind and wisdom seekers. She was my kind of Goddess! It wasn’t until much later that I realized one of the big teachings I received from connecting with her was this: you can be a Goddess with no connection to Motherhood at all. (Big sigh of relief.)

 

Over the years that followed, I’ve learned over and over from the women I love and serve that just as there are no two life paths that are exactly alike, there is no path of Womanhood or the Feminine that is exactly like another. There is no single or better entry point either.

 

I wanted to write to make this clear this Moon Cycle, with our Menstruation-centered theme: Reclaiming Our Blood.

 

You don’t have to bleed to be a woman, or to tap into your feminine creative superpowers.

Hello trans sisters.

Hello sisters who have had a hysterectomy.

Hello sisters in perimenopause & menopause.

Hello little sisters who are not yet your bleeding years.

Hello to anyone else who identifies strongly as a woman & does not bleed – for any reason under the sun.

 

The experience of bleeding can be a profound terrain of pragmatic learning & mystical connection for those who bleed.

 

And for those who don’t, there are infinite other entry points, inside and out, that can lead you toward the Feminine and your truest personal embodiment of Womanhood.

 

Just as I don’t personally utilize the Mother Archetype in my path, you may may not utilize Menstruation. You may contemplate it, you may challenge negative cultural beliefs around it, you may study it the way you might study something else in nature – to seek understanding & inspiration. Or not.
To each her own.

 

So, wherever you are on your path of the Wild Woman, I whisper this in your ear: Go wherever your inner guidance takes you, explore sincerely & seek your unique expression of the Feminine and Womanhood.

 

And to you, dear community: Let us celebrate the choices and experiences of our sisters, even if they are not OUR choices or experiences.

 

And for all of humanity, I shout this from the mountain tops:

 

Don’t put the Feminine or Womanhood in a Box!

Well…that felt good.

 

Thanks for listening. Xo

 

NOW, YOUR TURN:
Have you ever struggled to connect with some aspect of the Feminine or Womanhood that didn’t quite fit for you? What was it? And did grappling with it inspire growth or understanding of any kind? We would love to hear your experiences in the comments below!

 

Chris Maddox is the founder of The Wild Woman Project where she teaches women how to utilize the gifts of the Wild Woman Archetype in their everyday lives & how to lead women’s circles in their local communities. She is the organizer & facilitator of the beloved annual WILD WOMAN FEST, a women’s retreat-festival hybrid which fosters a deep connection to nature, a direct experience of the divine feminine & profound spiritual sisterhood among the women in attendance.

An ever student of the great mysteries of existence and nature itself, Chris believes women are holding innate gifts & tools that society at large needs – now more than ever. She is committed to helping women remember their special magic and to bring it forward into every corner of their lives, for the greater good of the planet.

Learn more & Get involved at TheWildWomanProject.com