Who is a woman before socialization? Why do we struggle in relationships? Why do we suffer? How can we find abiding peace?
By midlife, a woman may become conscious of some of the ways culture has overdomesticated her, and she may have become aware of her own wild, instinctual animal nature. The wild woman archetype within a woman's psyche is an expression of her innate, soulful essence. Many women within patriarchy become socialized in a way that leads them to be overly "civilized" or overly "domesticated" almost from birth and that domestication affects how they express their sexuality and conduct relationships. When a woman becomes conscious of the wild woman archetype, she then becomes free to explore sexuality and relationships on her own terms. Paradoxically, the struggles experienced in relationships and with sexuality may be the catalysts that bring her into deeper engagement with psyche and into the realm of the wild woman archetype. This is explored as a process of psychological development that occurs at midlife in relation to Carl Jung's notion of individuation. The psyche has an impetus towards unification and wholeness-towards becoming an in-divisible whole.
Relationships can serve as the alchemical vessels of a woman's psychological transformation. Tracking the Wild Woman Archetype finds that the paradoxes and impossibilities of love serve to create a more profound woman who is more conscious of the manifold world of unconscious archetypes. It tracks the process of individuation and alchemical transformation through the study of texts, the author's lived experience, and imaginal ways of knowing, such as dreams, synchronicities, and active imaginations.
Stacey Shelby, Ph.D, is an author, speaker and depth psychotherapist. She is also a Registered Clinical Counselor (RCC) in Canada, a certified clinical dream tender, and she has studied in shamanic and yoga traditions. She has a thriving clinical practice in Squamish, British Columbia, where she works with adults in various stages of personal transformation. She is gifted at working with the symbolic language of the soul and she is dedicated to honoring the soul as it presents in the lived experience of daily life.
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