Monday, 13 May 2019


Our ancestors believed that older women, crones, ‘healed’ the Earth.  Historically, the crone was an empowered wise woman, the embodiment of feminine wisdom; these women were honoured and respected as goddesses. I believe the word crone is derived from the old word crown, suggesting wisdom radiates from the head like a halo.  Crones were healers, herbalists, midwives, sages, leaders, whose knowledge was sought to guide others.  She represented the power of the tribe.  In myths she was stronger than any god.  In her Teutonic name, Elli or Old Age, she conquered Thor, the god of strength in a wrestling match.  Crones took charge of official sacrifices and religious rites, conducting ceremonies for each event from birth to death, setting up calendars for seasonal spiritual festivals, seeing life as cyclic rather than linear. The crone became relegated to the Wicked Witch and Hag archetype of our fairy tales.  Yet, this is a corruption of the original meaning of the word witch and hag originally derived from ‘wit’, denoting wisdom and ‘hagio’ meaning holy. 

Under Christianity, the woman-despising church stripped women of their spiritual prominence and mocked their songs, rituals and stories.  They were persecuted and executed as witches by a patriarchy who were jealous and threatened by their economic and social authority within society.  But the good news is, women are becoming empowered once again!  

Women are rediscovering their voices, bonding together to reclaim their feminine values born out of intuition and feeling, rather than the rational and the logical.  Rewilding women have a vision: to re-invigorate their authentic power and re-shape the world through the perspective of the feminine for future generations, a place of nurturing and healing.  Practising ancient arts: goddess worship, yoga, chanting, storytelling, weaving, singing, spinning, knitting, cloth making.   They are myth makers, gardeners, bee-keepers, herbalists, understanding that there is alchemy in mindful dancing and moon rituals, peace to be found in quiet places and blessings, knowledge gained through the study of shamanism, mythology, the Tarot, fairy tales.

I’ve been doing some of these things at a wonderful place: Ministry Of Yoga, an oasis in Crewe, where Shelley and Dan provide a sacred space to practice: yoga, elemental dance, led by Kerry-Ann, meditation and chanting.  Again, I’ve met fabulous people.  At MOY the community share knowledge, skills, thoughts and ideas.  

Louise and I shared a course: Creativity as Spiritual Practice.  And I’m running Creative Writing workshops there.  It’s a nurturing place: people working together, co-operating, sharing common values, practising mindfulness and compassion, caring for the environment: reconnecting with Wild Ways, so important these days, likewise having access to green spaces.  As the World Health Organisation says, walking in green spaces improves wellbeing and helps in the treatment of mental illness. 

In her ground-breaking book: Woman & Nature, Susan Griffin says: ‘It is observed that women are closer to the earth’. (p.9) Is this why women from all over the globe, from all walks of life and all ages, are taking the initiative to live Wild Ways and become guardians of the land once more?  Perhaps you’re one of these women?  If you’re reading this, the chances are, you are!

The late, Polly Higgins, international lawyer, described as one of the most inspiring figures of the green movement, was committed to criminalising ecocide-significant harm to the earth. She was the author of Eradicating Ecocide and creator of the first commercial trust fund for Earth. Following her death author and activist, Naomi Klein tweeted in April 2019: ‘Her work will live on.’

Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, is currently raising awareness of climate issues. Saying climate change is an ‘existential crisis’.  She staged a climate strike outside the Swedish parliament, inspiring thousands of young people across the world to carry out similar protests.  Since then, she’s become a global phenomenon, speaking at the Davos and United Nations. 

Founder of Women Fest: Tiana Jacout, says: ‘the festival’s roots date back via the Suffragettes and other freedom-fighter to the women of the ancient world.’  She created the festival to celebrate ‘women’s creativity and potential: it’s all about realising what we can do and what we can be, and it’s about sharing our gifts freely with one another to create a new spirit of womanly giving.’ 

She speaks of the ‘new wave of female empowerment ‘, adding: ‘It feels to me as though most of the problems we’re seeing come from patriarchy and an imbalance in the energies in the world, and this is all about working out how to rediscover our womanly power and put it to better and wider use, in a way that will benefit all of humankind.’ (Guardian: 01:07:18) 
‘To benefit all of humankind’, I agree, whole heartedly, but I’d like to add, to benefit all beings.  

Returning to WILD WAYS acknowledges that we’re not separate from nature, we’re part of it. 
Elli H. Radinger, who was once a lawyer, but gave up the profession to study wolves, says in her book: The Wisdom Of Wolves that she became aware of this interconnection of all things through the study of wolves:  
‘…we are all part of a whole.  Our ecosystem is a fine and sensitive network in which every plant and living creature has its place-even us.  If we take something out, the puzzle shifts’. 

Too true, there are serious implications for the loss of wildlife habitats, something that troubles me deeply, something I’ll return to in this blog. 

You see, I was a wild girl, but I lost my wild side and became ‘sanitized’. (Women Who Run With The Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, p. 10) Yet, by living Wild Ways, I’ve come full circle and found it again, but I’m not a girl anymore, I’m a wild woman!  

So, I guess this isn’t just a blog, it’s a journey, one of losing and finding, some of the places I’ve been to on my quest to rewild, and some of the wo/men I’ve met along the way.  Wo/men who’ve kindly shared their experiences, practices and stories with me.  Maybe you are one of them?  Welcome, I hope you enjoy keeping me company.  Let’s be on our Wild Way…


  1. What I find exciting about this is women using their femininity to lead, rather than trying to be like men. Ted Murray wrote a piece about this where he pondered on "what would happen ..... if cooperation and compassion were emphasised instead of competition and toughness. If understanding was favoured over shouting the loudest. If kindness was favoured over militarism." He conluded that "perhaps the only thing that can save the entire planet now is to shift away from the male dominated characteristics that are destroying the planet .... and instead adopt a more feminine approach of honouring Mother Gaia and protecting her and every living being with living kindness". This is a view of feminism that I can wholeheartedly embrace; for too long we have been encouraged to suppress this side of our nature in the name of "getting on".

  2. I couldn't agree more, Julie, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and views: much appreciated :-)