What do you think of when you hear the word witch? Through centuries of persecution, our society has been indoctrinated into thinking that witches are evil villains. Author and proud witch Danielle Dulsky debunks this interpretation and reveals the true nature of Witchcraft: an ancient spiritual path that rejects religious dogma in favor of female empowerment and a deep reverence for the Earth. In a collaborative, conversational tone, Woman Most Wild reclaims the Earth-centered power of aligning with our wildest, freest selves to create an inclusive world for all.
The three keys to liberating your inner witch and owning your power are:
• Wild Rhythm: aligning yourself with the cycles of nature
• Wild Ritual: understanding the importance of ritual and ceremony
• Wild Circle: bonding with like-minded seekers
Dulsky’s tools for embracing and experiencing the power of these keys, including moon rituals, healing meditations, yoga postures, circle work, and Goddess encounters, will guide you toward joining the cosmic dance befitting the divine, limitless woman you are.
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Woman Most Wild
Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within
By Danielle Dulsky
New World LibraryCopyright © 2017 Danielle Dulsky
All rights reserved.
The Holy Moon and Your Witch Consciousness
Every living aspect of our natural world embodies the masculine and the feminine, including you, my Sister-Witch. The philosophy of Tantra teaches us that both the masculine and feminine energies are divine, with the feminine being immanent within all things. The sun and moon are the celestial reflections of these two polarities, with the sun as the pulsating, ever-burning masculine and the moon as the mysterious, ever-spiraling, and oh-so-cool feminine. By day the sun feeds our hunger for action and clear vision. By night the moon quenches our thirst for intuitive foresight and shortly lived cycles of birth, fullness, and emptiness. Both the solar and lunar rhythms of this world are cyclical, and we, as human beings, are fed by each of these Earth-sustaining bodies; the masculine is our spicy sustenance, and the feminine is our chill mineral water. We eat of the sun and drink of the moon; both nourish our bones and our blood.
In this chapter I will share with you the clean essence of the moon's cycles as they live within your wild nature, but the most critical piece of information is this: Just as the moon is an alchemical celestial body that, to our Earthly perspective, is always in a state of change, so, too, is the Witch a creature of ever-spiraling transformation. You have no one way to be, and this chapter offers you glimpses of a woman's cyclical nature. You may read a certain passage and wonder if the image I present of a woman weeping in the dark could possibly be lived out by the same woman who was dancing by a fire in the woods on previous pages; I say yes. By all that is blessed and holy, yes. We take for granted the ways of the moon, but we understand the symbiotic relationship between the bright fullness of fruition and the nail-thin silver sliver of near-nothingness as a perfect metaphor for how changeable we are. To be in flux is the feminine's nature, and such is the way of lunar life. You must give yourself permission to change constantly, every sleep a restful sort of moonlit labor during which you give birth to a new version of yourself just as the sun rises.
Your Witch consciousness is very much bound to the rhythm of Mother Moon. Intuitively, you have known the promise of the waxing lunar cycle, like a well-built wood stack crackling just after the kindling is lit. The height of the flames, like so much unbridled energy and surging heat, you have known as the full moon essence, with the dying fire akin to the waning lunar cycle. After the fire has completely fizzled and there is naught but smoking ash, you are in dark moon time. Each of these four phases is framed within the enduring boundaries of the twenty-nine-day period, and each of these four phases is mirrored within your energetic womb.
Your age matters not. These moon beats live inside you regardless of your stage of life or status in the world, as do the archetypes of the sensual Maiden, creative Mother, and wise Crone. Know these time-worn concepts of the Triple Goddess nature not as successive life phases, for such predictability is the stuff of linear time. You can liken your inner Maiden to your rawest sexuality and fluid emotionality, your inner Mother to generative work and high-fire creativity, and your inner Crone to your deep intuitive, receptive nature. Even a young girl embodies Crone, just as a wise elder holds much sensuality. Women are the spiral dance, and our time does not move in straight lines.
Living in alignment with lunar changes will serve you so much more than living in accordance with any calendar. Your soul will be nourished every time you invoke the essence of a lunar phase, harnessing the warrior-woman energy of a new moon, the sheer, electric force of a full moon, the release and acceptance that comes with the waning phase, and the oh-so-potent thick void of a dark moon. These rhythms are already internalized within you, Woman. You need only acknowledge them as part of your truest self, allow them to inform your movements through the world, and learn what they have to teach you.
Before you continue reading this chapter, take a moment to recall your childhood memories of the moon. Remember the intrigue of that changeable gray-white celestial body with the mystery-laden face and soft blue halo. Remember the moon before you learned to take it for granted. Just in this moment, be that restless little girl again who cannot sleep and looks longingly out her window, wondering how she knows this maternal light so intimately.
Drinking Moon Milk: A Lunar Meditation
As you read this now, flip your palms skyward and tilt your head back just a bit. Lift your gaze, and sense the energy around you. Visualize the perfect moon above you, regardless of whether you know its current phase. Sense the celestial body's steady path around the Earth, and know this moon as the essence of the primal, ancient feminine. Envision the lunar energy field as vibrating with a soft diamond-white glow and, now, with every inhale, pull the moon's essence into you. Down, down, down the moonlight descends, entering your third-eye center, the intuitive space between and above your brows, with every inhale. As you exhale, let this diamond-light get more vibrant. Inhaling, draw the moon essence deep into your being, slowly being filled with these vibrations all the way down to your roots. Exhaling as the moon milk fills your sweet, soft body, let the brilliant energy glow brighter, and brighter, and brighter still. Inhaling and exhaling. Breathing in the moon and letting the moon breathe you.
Drink in this moon milk with all that you are. Surrender to lunar replenishment. You glow now with Goddess light, with all the divinity of the cosmos. Woman, what an amazing beauty you are! Let the lunar light nourish every cell, bone, muscle, and organ in your body. Let Her burn away your insecurities, your guilt, your shame, your fears. Just for now, just in this very moment, let the moon have its way with you.
Swallow this moon milk and feel your inner Witch revel inside your ribs. You are bringing the juice back into her veins now, and she tells you this: There you are, Woman! I have been waiting for so long! Let me show you the Old Ways. I will remind you of sacred sensuality and the soul-food of a night spent wild. I will deepen every experience with my womb-wise intelligence, and I will tell you of your power. Remember who you are, a Woman Most Wild, a Witch liberated, and the Goddess embodied. Stay fed and full, my Sister, for this is only the beginning. Your inner Witch is wide awake now. Let's learn of your sacred rhythms and make her dance!
A woman craves practical knowledge of her soulful cycles, for she intuitively understands that she will not open her eyes tomorrow morning as the same woman she was today. Many of our bumpiest scars stem from our neglect of our cyclical nature; such patterning, when combined with the pervasive social rejection of our changeable nature, has dug a deep chasm into our self-awareness. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, in her treatise on the wild woman archetype, Women Who Run with the Wolves, emphasizes the importance of women's cycles, arguing against the notion of women's entire lives being compartmentalized into three seasons of girl, woman, and elder: "We cannot allow ourselves to sleepwalk wrapped in this flimsy and unobservant fabrication, for it causes women to deviate from their natural and soulful cycles." A bone-deep fear of change runs rampant in our patriarchal society, dear Sister, and you may have noticed even those who truly love you act out a desire to keep you static. Honor your cycles, knowing they are far more complex than those described here. Accept your righteously alchemical nature. Drink the lunar nectar, and reclaim your nature as a mother-loving shape-shifter, and hear me when I tell you that you were born to be ever-changing.
Let The Witch Speak!
Hearing Her Womb-Voice under the Moon
The Witch thinks, speaks, and prays with Her whole body. Sense the location of your thoughts now, my love. Do they live just at the crown of your head? Perhaps a few inches lower? Feel where your thinking mind is centered, and now begin to pull your thinking mind down to your third eye, that space of reception where your most authentic vision lives, and then lower to your throat center. Here is the place of truth, story, and voice. Pull your thinking mind down even deeper to your heart, where you will sense the energy of compassion and gratitude, then even farther to your solar plexus, where your very ego and identity reside, surrounded by the fire of your will and self-esteem. Finally, let your thinking mind drop down to your sacral center, between your hip bones. Here you are at the source of your womb-wisdom and your Witch voice.
Ask of your sacral center only one question now, and let it be this: What do I need to know right at this moment, under this moon? Let the answer bubble up from that sacred, sacral space and climb through your energy centers to your throat. The voice that whispers from your lips now is your womb-voice. Even if you do not have a physical uterus, your energetic wise womb remains and has much to say. Do not let this womb-voice startle you, Woman, for it may say things that both shock and inspire. Can you hear the tone in which your womb-voice is speaking? Can you hear it echo from your pelvic bowl as if the Goddess herself were howling from inside an ancient cave temple? Let her speak. Give her permission — not that she needs it — to tell you of your wild worth.
Learning to hear this holy voice, your truest voice, is a vital skill that will serve you well, my love; it is the very technology of feminine guidance. Once your inner Witch knows you are listening, she will speak louder and more often. She will offer you guidance when you need it,though not necessarily when you are looking for it, and she will teach you her language. Know that she may not speak in words you know; she may speak through energetic pulses in your body, sudden glimpses of images in your wild psyche, or subtle feelings that could easily be ignored, were you less still and aware. Find just enough presence every night to hone the ways of deep listening, trusting this practice is part of your holy birthright and devoting a small part of yourself to hearing your inner voices as the moon waxes and wanes.
The New Moon's Spark
Your Lunar Dawn
The new moon bubbles in your blood as if your very body were a cauldron of skin-framed, magickal brew. The earliest days of the new moon phase are marked by a subtle sense that your creativity and sensuality have been somehow heightened. An awareness of a slow build both within and outside you can render even the wisest woman anxious and hypervigilant; being aware of this lunar phase is therefore vital to your identity as a creatrix. Artist you are, Woman, regardless of whether you are birthing new life in your womb, carefully shaping a bit of clay, cooking up some hearty soup, or decorating your hearth for a holiday. All this, and every infinitesimal act on the creative spectrum, is the hallmark of new moon fire.
The subtle and blatant bursts of creativity you feel as the moon waxes are a sort of internal spring, if we were to liken this lunar energy to a solar season. New growth stirs underground in late winter and erupts from Gaia's mud at the vernal equinox. The new moon is a mini-spring every month, with the warrior-woman energy writhing within you like so many red fire serpents. Honor this time as an energetic growth period. Do not cage your inner warrior, for she needs to be set loose now and then.
I hear you, my Sister, when you say desire can seem unladylike. I understand you when you say that you are no warrior, but I am telling you that this lunar dawn is a fertile time for starting all things new. As the moon waxes, you may become so full with creative energy, your prana Shakti, that you feel you may well explode like a violent volcano. Be the Maiden Goddess at this time and honor your sensuality by feeling, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing everything. Your wild woman spirit is inextricably bound to your sacred sexuality, and the new moon holds the very essence of well-purposed passion.
Painting the Wild New Moon: A Creative Dive
Gather these materials, Woman: a blank canvas and bright paint mixed from nontoxic natural elements. Put on no music; hear the night. Drink no wine; taste the iron of passion's fire. Burn no sacred herbs; smell the rawness of your unwashed artist's passion. This void of a canvas calls you to dive deeply into the inferno of the creatrix. Do it now!
Muster your creative mania and slather the vibrant thick color on your fingers. Pull, poke, and pinken that canvas in motions that no artist has ever made before. This is your masterpiece. Do not overthink it. Just paint as if you were the Goddess coloring the world for the first time. Every line, however unbeauteous seeming, is pure in its right to be there. Stomp and spit on the thing if it feels right, my love. You can do no wrong here, and those hands of yours know exactly how to move. Forget the outcome, though it may hang on your walls as a beacon of your rawest and most unbridled creativity. For now, there is nothing except you and this work. Paint yourself to life and then to death, and do it over and over again.
The new moon calls you to break down barriers and fight your way, sword drawn, through crowds of naysayers, even if these obstacles exist only in the confines of your psyche. If you find yourself assessing or judging your work, stop painting and recenter. Let yourself be fed by the waxing lunar energy until you can consume no more, and then collapse onto the floor with a tired, paint-splattered body and an invigorated soul. You have colored the wild new moon brightly, my love. Now rest, high on the passion of the Priestess who has reclaimed her art.
For Your Consideration: As the Moon Grows ...
Consider this: The waxing moonlight casts a milky glow on your soul's path, illuminating your next steps. Ask yourself these pertinent questions, and be sure to listen deeply to your inner Witch. She is concerned, above all else, with your soul's wandering path, for she wants your wildness to be fuel for purpose and fulfillment. Human beings across gender lines are told that discipline and control are the stuff of true success, but consider your wild liberation as the sharpest knife, positioned to slash through all that tethers and confines your greatest potential. Furthermore, consider the ebbs and flows of your many cycles as clues to your purpose in this sacred community of ours; if an area of your life is always waning when another is always waxing, what does this tell you of your path? If we are always unlearning limiting beliefs while gaining layers of knowledge that support our freedom, then what does your inner Witch have to say about uncovering the soul beneath the ego? Ask yourself these questions in a quiet space, and listen not for the loudest inner voice; listen to the soft whisper of the womb-heart as she answers.
1. What area of your life is waxing right now? Financial abundance? Sensuality and self-care? Sacred work? Love? Voice? Creativity? Spirituality?
2. What area of your life is in a period of fullness? You'll feel this fullness as pure power. This is an area of your life in which you feel you are a formidable force of nature, unstoppable even in the face of adversity.
3. What area of your life is waning, forcing you to let go of something? This letting-go part of the cycle demands acceptance and grace, even when the thing you are releasing weighed on your freedom.
4. Now, and this may be challenging, my Sister, what area of your life is in a dark moon phase right now? You are no longer letting go but rather sinking into a void of sorts. The dark moon period tends to be marked by fear that this thing that is gone may never return, that the black of midnight will endure forever, but this, dear Witch, is not the case.
5. Finally, choose the area of your life that seems most pertinent to your soul's purpose right now, regardless of which cyclical phase that area may be in. Harvest your memories, seeing if you can trace a cycle of waxing, fullness, waning, and darkness. Have you lived through a full cycle yet? If so, how many months or years did the phases last? Can you predict any future phases, and, if so, what can you do to prepare for this transformation?
Women often have an undernourished need to take stock of the deep self, and, when they do, such assessments can be unwittingly bound to supposed-tos and can result in the automatic scrawling of angry to-do lists that overburden and severely demotivate. Your wild woman spirituality serves you well in these soul-centered evaluations, for the voice of judgment is quieted by the songs of the feminine divine. How can you be so wrong or off the mark if you are the essence of the cosmos? The moon does not berate herself as she wanes, digging her lunar claws into the past, weeping for how beautiful she was when she was full. The natural fallow times are just as honorable as your phases of abundance, my love, and your inner Witch and wild woman know this well. Be patient, and know that all is coming.
Excerpted from Woman Most Wild by Danielle Dulsky. Copyright © 2017 Danielle Dulsky. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Key 1: Your Wild Rhythm,
Chapter 1: The Holy Moon and Your Witch Consciousness,
Chapter 2: The Righteous Sun and Your Priestess's Fire,
Chapter 3: The Wild Feminine and Your Blood Rhythms,
Chapter 4: Hallowed Yoga and Your Energy Alchemy,
Key 2: Your Wild Ritual,
Chapter 5: Circle-Casting and Your Wild Ecology,
Chapter 6: A Priestess-Healer's Spellwork,
Chapter 7: The Wild Goddess Ministry,
Chapter 8: Prayerful Pathworking and Deep Being,
Key 3: Your Wild Circle,
Chapter 9: The Blessed Magick of Circle-Craft,
Chapter 10: The Witch's Medicine and Midwifing the Circle,
Chapter 11: The Wild Council and Pack Life,
Chapter 12: Benediction of the Liberated Wolf-Woman,
Appendix: Moon Rituals for Lone Wolf-Women and Witches' Circles,
About the Author,