La Loba

For the past couple of years I have been encountering/uncovering/welcoming/greeting a new part of me…  Or, perhaps it could be said that this part has been tracking, hunting and searching me out. That’s more likely the case.

This One I’m coming to know is wild. She bares sharp teeth to stand her ground. She pisses to mark her territory. She can be fiercely loving and ferociously aggressive. She’s not afraid to bite. When she feels an intuitive flash ripple through her body, her fur stands on end. Her inner ears alert her to what her outer ears have not yet picked up. She trusts her nose as she tracks wild scents. She is instinctive. She is feral.

“To adjoin the instinctual nature does not mean to come undone, change everything from left to right, from back to white, to move the east to west, to act crazy or out of control. It does not mean to lose one’s primary socializations, or to become less human. It means quite the opposite. The wild nature has vast integrity to it.

It means to establish territory, to find one’s pack, to be in one’s body with certainty and pride regardless of the body’s gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one’s behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one’s cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as possible.” – Dr. C.P. Estés


This One has been waiting a long, long time to emerge from the dark and fertile morass of her chthonic cave. With pupils dilating as they adjust to the light, she slowly emerges from her underground dwelling. She is dragging me along with her now, like a mother wolf who has her young by the scruff of the neck.

And she is not letting go.



PS.  Here is Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ telling of La Loba, Wolf Woman:

 La Loba

    There is an old woman who lives in a hidden place that everyone knows in their souls but few have ever seen.  As in the fairy tales of Eastern Europe, she seems to wait for lost or wandering people and seekers to come to her place.

    She is circumspect, often hairy, always fat, and especially wishes to evade most company.  She is both a crower and a cackler, generally having more animal sounds than human ones.

    I might say she lives among the rotten granite slopes in Tarahumara Indian territory.  Or that she is buried outside Phoenix near a well.  Perhaps she will be seen traveling south to Monte Alban in a burnt-out car with the back window shot out.  Or maybe she will be spotted standing by the highway near El Paso, or riding shotgun with truckers to Morelia, Mexico, or walking to market above Oaxaca with strangely formed boughs of firewood on her back. She calls herself by many names: La Huesera, Bone Woman; La Trapera, The Gatherer; and La Loba, Wolf Woman.

    The sole work of La Loba is the collecting of bones.  She collects and preserves especially that which is in danger of being lost to the world.  Her cave is filled with the bones of all manner of desert creatures: the deer, the rattlesnake, the crow.  But her speciality is said to be wolves.

    She creeps and crawls and sifts through the montañas, mountains, and arroyos, dry river beds, looking for wolf bones, and when she has assembled an entire skeleton, 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.

    And when she is sure, she stands over the criatura, raises her arms over it, and sings out.  That is when the rib bones and leg bones of the wolf begin to flesh out and the creature becomes furred.  La Loba sings some more, and more of the creature comes into being; its tail curls upward, shaggy and strong.

    And La Loba sings more and the wolf creature begins to breathe.

    And still La Loba sings so deeply that the floor of the desert shakes, and as she sings, the wolf opens its eyes, leaps up, and runs away down the canyon.

    Somewhere in its running, whether by the speed of its running, or by splashing its way into a river, or by way of a ray of sunlight or moonlight hitting it right in the side, the wolf is suddenly transformed into a laughing woman who runs free toward the horizon.

    So remember, if you wander the desert, and it is near sundown, and you are perhaps a little bit lost, and certainly tired, that you are lucky, for La Loba may take a liking to you and show you something – something of the Soul. 

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Photo by Robert Dewar

Photo by Robert Dewar

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