Let’s talk about the archetype of the predator, shall we?
Here’s how Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés introduces this archetype in chapter two of Women Who Run With the Wolves:
“In a single human being there are many other beings, all with their own values, motives, and devices. Some psychological technologies suggest we arrest these beings, count them, name them, force them into harness till they shuffle along like vanquished slaves. But to do this would halt the dance of wildish lights in a woman’s eyes; it would halt her heat lightning and arrest all throwing of sparks. Rather than corrupt her natural beauty, our work is to build for all these beings a wildish countryside wherein the artists among them can make, the lovers love, the healers heal.
But what shall we do with those inner beings who are quite mad and those who carry out destruction without thought? Even these must be given a place, though one in which they can be contained. One entity in particular, the most deceitful and most powerful fugitive in the psyche, requires our immediate consciousness and containment – and that one is the natural predator.”
You know this energy. It’s that nagging voice that shows up whenever you entertain the thought of moving toward something that lights you up. Whether this is a creative project, a new love interest, a bold career move, an open-hearted leap toward deeper connection in your relationship, etc.
We have many examples from leaders in the creative fields of how the voice of the predator shows up.
Elizabeth Gilbert offers this gem in Big Magic: “Who the hell do you think you are, trying to be creative? You suck. You’re stupid. You have no talent and you serve no purpose. Get back in your hole.”
And don’t forget Brené Brown’s Texas gremlins: “Look at you, big for your britches!”
WE BEGIN TO RECLAIM OUR POWER WHEN WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE PREDATOR IS A REAL FORCE, AND THAT THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE.
Soul Activist, Francis Weller, teaches that the function of the predator we all house within is to provoke a confrontation. In other words, the constant beatdown of the inner critic pushes you to the point of exclaiming, “Enough is enough!” It asks, “Are you going to show the f*ck up? Are you going to start L-I-V-I-N-G? Or are you going to keep hiding?”
THE CONFRONTATION WITH THE PREDATOR IS THE POINT WHEN THE PAIN OF STAYING PUT OR STAYING SMALL BEGINS TO OUTWEIGH THE FEAR OF LIVING THE LIFE YOU TRULY WANT TO LIVE
There isn’t just one of these critical points on the path to authenticity. Living a wildly creative life of your own choosing means meeting yourself at the edge of who you’ve known yourself to be in endlessly looping spirals.
It is a fact of life that we revisit our material, time and again, and that is by design. It is an invitation to grow deeper into ourselves. And from there, push outward into our fullness.
This is why we continually face the predator along the path.
There’s nothing like the predator to stoke the fires of transformation. And to elicit heat and courage from deep within you that allows you to break up with all the bullsh*t that keeps the real, wild beauty of you under lock and key.
We cannot yet know what this will look like for you. I will only tell you that I’ve my share of journal entries that began with: “I’m starting to get sick of my own shit…” And there was one time that it formed a complete entry.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés calls the confrontation with the predator “the beginning initiation.”
This is exactly what it is: the first leg of feminine initiation.
At our second gathering of Wildish over the Full Libra Moon, you will learn about the archetype of the predator through the lens of the classic fairytale Bluebeard.
I will teach you how to identify this energy at play in your own life, help you craft your confrontation, and then the best part, how to slowly – and dare I say, deliciously – dismantle him, removing, bit by bit, his carefully crafted barriers to your brilliance.
Because it is your birthright to shine your inner light for all the world to see.
And the world needs it. So desperately.
The initiation into your full, creative Feminine begins March 13th. I hope you’ll join me. Head here to sign up.
Until then, I’ll leave you with this clip from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes when Towanda finally takes the wheel of too-good Evelyn Couch’s Ford LTD and rams the rear-end of the red, convertible beetle belonging to the snarky, young women who swiped her parking spot at the Winn Dixie.
It is arguably the best predator-slaying scene Hollywood cinema has ever produced.
p.s. If you want even more of a lowdown on Bluebeard, have a listen to this episode of Roots of Lore where I got to dish with host Caitlin Brehm on this sly creature.