Chapter 1 is all about the Howl. In fact, Clarissa Estes names the chapter ‘The Howl: Resurrection of the Wild Woman.’
“There is an old woman who lives in a hidden place that everyone knows in their souls but few have ever seen.”
This time reading, I understand that it is that place that is taught to you when learning to Journey (Shamanic Journeying). There is a place in your soul, it is a judge of how your spirit is. It can be some place you have physically seen or been to, some place of your own making. It is where you start your Journey, whether you go to the lower world or the upper. For me, this hidden place of the old woman, is that soul home inside of each of us. We have to go out and find it inside of ourselves.
I say go out and find it because it usually takes some outside influence to even know that we need to seek it. Then we go looking for that entrance to our soul home and the old woman there.
“She (La Loba/Wolf Woman) collects and preserves especially that which is in danger of being lost to the world. ....But her specialty is wolves.”
“..when the last bone is in place and the beautiful white sculpture of the creature is laid out before her, she sits by the fire and thinks about what song she will sing.”
Does this mean the song is as important as the bones? If we are singing over our own bones what we sing about and how we sing is just as important as the bones we see and bring back into a whole wild woman.
“And still La Loba sings so deeply that the floor of the desert shakes, and as she sings, the wolf opens it’s eyes, leaps up, and runs away down the canyon.”
Our most primal screams always come out deep and gravely. Tantrists teach women that their best, longest lasting, and hardest orgasms happen when our moans and cries are in the deeper registers. I’ve found that to be true. At my angriest, my voice drops, my screams deepen, the dominant parts of me are in a deeper register. If the deepest healing comes from the most primal parts of ourselves and that primal part is our bones, then singing from the deepest places and in the deepest registers we have drags that healing up to us. It won’t matter if we consciously recognize it, part of our Selves is ready to sing over the bones, to bring the deepest healing, to become the Woman we were meant to be.
“We all begin as a bundle of bones lost somewhere in a desert, a dismantled skeleton that lies under the sand. It is our work to recover the parts.”
This made me think of the sand. What is the sand that our worn down bones are hidden under? For me, it’s the remnants of our lives: all of our memories, mistakes, triumphs, fallout from our choices: good and bad, everything we’ve lived, seen, smelled, touched, tasted. It scours us to the bone, to the primal.