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Navigating your Wild Woman phase (aka Perimenopause) without HRT

Although there’s more of a conversation around Menopause, especially with the attention that Davina McCall's book ‘Menopausing’ has received in the national conversation, it’s still so hard to get up to date accurate information. This is due to it being a “women’s issue” and our western medical model is firmly rooted in patriarchal systems which traditionally have forever shunned anything to do with Women’s wellness. It all comes down to funding (basically there is none!) for research & like every other important rite of passage for a woman it gets dropped like a hot potato!

Considering every single woman goes through it why are there still so many myths about what it is and isn’t, how HRT has changed or not, hormones & lifestyle. Why do we still have to work so hard to get the information? It’s not like it’s some big secret although it can often feel like that.

This is not some HRT bashing blogpost, if it reduces suffering and symptoms and it’s right for you, there is absolutely no judgement or shaming - but I want to outline, from a yogic perspective, some implications when going down the HRT route.

  1. You treat physical symptoms with medicine

  2. Which assumes you are ill, or have a disease that needs to be treated with medication

  3. In the same way that how we birth our children has become medicalised - so has this important rite of passage for women

  4. It ignores the fact that we are more than just a physical vessel, we are multilayered and Eastern approaches recognise that mind body & spirit are inextricably intertwined

Following on from this perspective, the medical approach does not acknowledge the mental, emotional, socio-psychological & spiritual changes taking place and definitely can not treat these more subtle hidden feminine aspects of the holistic woman.

I find it extremely helpful to draw together the shamanic & the scientific approaches to try to bridge the two for a more complete picture - we are complex beings so any treatment should be personalised, bespoke and as whole or holistic as possible.

Let’s consider the Wild Woman archetype here, which relates to the scientific & masculine label of ‘Perimenopause’.

What exactly is the wild woman archetype, why should we care, and how should we channel her?

The wild woman archetype is the least easily definable of all the four feminine archetypes – maiden, mother, wild woman, and wise woman.

But she is the one I want to connect with every day. The beauty of the wild woman but also what makes her so indefinable – is that she contains traits of all the other archetypes (witch included!). She can be flirtatious and untouchable like the maiden, fiercely protective like the mother (all women go through this phase whether a biological mother or not), and deeply knowing like the wise woman. She embodies all four and is definitely having the most fun. 

She is freedom.

She is the woman I wanted to be when I was 17, but didn’t have the life experience or confidence to embody her. 

She is highly sexed but treats her body as sacred. She is uber-feminine but also a tomboy. She is an anarchist and activist, teacher and leader. She is an individual non-conformist. She is a brave, strong, powerful, divine goddess.

When your own mother tells you as a teenager that you won’t truly know who you are, or feel confident in your own skin until you are in your forties – it is the emergence of the wild woman archetype that she is evoking. And guess what? She was right.

When we evolve into wild women, we are at a time in our lives when we are once more transitioning. Perhaps our children no longer need us quite so much, perhaps we are looking to make a change in our careers. Maybe a marriage has ended. Maybe we are having a second sexual awakening as the hormones of menopause and perimenopause course through our veins. Either way, we are questioning the norm. We are creating new boundaries. Forming new opinions about what is and isn’t ok. How we want to be treated, and what’s not acceptable. What we need from ourselves and from our relationships, and what we do not. 

The thing that really sets the wild woman archetype apart, and the reason that perhaps she is having an uprising, is because she is intuitive and instinctual. For a very long time, women have been told to quieten their natural abilities to listen to more than just the thinking mind. To tune into their ‘inner knowing’ and not let reason and rationality drown that voice out. But the witch – that is essentially what she is – is having an awakening.

She will no longer be quietened. She has a valuable voice to add and she demands to be heard. She is ready to be unleashed.

Luckily – although there is a lot of work still to be done – society is starting to come around to the fact that women cannot be put into boxes. They are not just wives, mothers and caretakers. They work, they fight, they have sex for fun! 

So how can you connect to your own wild woman? 

1 – Get out into nature. Connect with earth mother. Feel the ground under your feet and the wind in your hair. 

2 – Connect with her history. Read the stories of those that have come before you. I highly recommend Woman Who Run with The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes as a place to start. 

3 – Be a creatrix. Get creative in whatever way you know how. Draw, paint, garden, dance, write…do something from the heart.

4 – Do something every day that brings you joy. No matter how small. This act of self-love cannot be underestimated.

5 – Learn how to say no.

If you would like to explore your own inner wild woman in a safe space, check out my 8 week course starting 26th June.

We will be journeying from crown to root in the radical opposite direction to the upward journey of the masculine. Will you join me in the descent!

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