Inviting The Wild

Feb 19th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles

There is a Wild Woman in me.

For a long time, she has been buried, beneath uncomfortable roles and uncertain acceptance. I knew her fleetingly as a teen, as a twenty-something. She called to me from the Earth on Lammas day and sang sweet songs through the trees as they greened in Springtime. I came closest to her one Beltane when I danced and shrieked and sang and stamped on a hillside, celebrating the turning of the Wheel and the fertility of the Land around me; the heather breathed pollen into an air rich with coming Summer and I was carried on its waves of warmth to a place inside me I’d never visited. It was intoxicating.


9 months later I had a baby.


Suddenly I was the Mother. In desperation, to deal with this sudden shift in identity, I clamoured to bring her close to me. The Mother came and wrapped me up in a sweetness and a steadiness that was very different to the Wild Woman. It was nourishing and warm and determined but it was also binding and bloating and fearful and so very tired. She brought with her a whole new set of responsibilities and possibilities which awoke in me anxieties that shook me to my core.

Soon the Mother had become a jailor and I lost the way into the Wild. I was bogged down in the cloying embrace of hearth and home, baby and breast. I lost the sharp, far-reaching sight of the Huntress and instead embraced that which was closest to me all the tighter. My heart beat slower; syrupy with lack of use. It became easier to forget the call of the Wild, replacing it with baby cries and mindless chatter; to replace the Land with virtual landscapes that reached so far but offered so little spiritual sustenance. The call to feel, to dance, to know became terrifying.


Three years passed.

This year, a seed has been stirring.


Now I am seeking the Wild Woman once again.


I wrote her invitation in rose petals and womb blood; called to her with poetry that speaks to me of witch winds and creative fire.

I open myself, daily, in a practice still glossy with newness; but rooted so deeply, so firmly in my pelvis it is already grubby with dirt, writing itself on my bones and becoming the semaphore, the beacon, the clarion call that will guide her home.

And She is answering.

The soles of my feet are weighted down by her determination; holding ground, standing firm, staying in moments I would have fled from before.

My heart pounds, pumping blood that is warmed with a heat I haven’t felt for eons; heat that expands my body beyond itself and towards the body of another; an invitation, a longing, all its own.

Her red-wine words are layered beneath my own, bringing clarity, surety and a richness that hint at magic. Thought and my conversation are reuniting in a full-bodied flow of ruby rightness. It tastes sweet and powerful on my tongue.

And I am hearing the birds and sighing with the wind and tasting the season’s turn on my tongue once more. Beneath my bared feet the land is muddy and rich as it opens to new life and as I open myself I sense the Wheel’s turn within and without me.


But it is not all sweetness, this return to the Wild Woman.


Sometimes She answers in temper and stubbornness; a refusal to let even those I love to bend my iron will.

She guards my boundaries ruthlessly and occasionally leaves the needy out in the cold.

Sometimes She fills me so full of myself that I worry at the narrowness of my gaze, the sharpness of my tongue. Is She leading me down paths that, while bringing my closer to myself, will take me further from those I love?


I can not know.

All I can do is trust.


And here lies the difference between this invitation, this practice and those I have experienced in the past; it is not simply learning a theory, digesting words, downloading enlightenment through information. Seeing the path is not the same as walking upon it. My feet need contact with wild Land, my lungs need to breathe whipping winds and my mind needs to let go of its old notions of ‘learning’ how to know my soul and dare instead to meet it, face to face. So, I am turning inward instead of outward, listening for my Wild soul and watching as it gallops free, on paws and pumping haunches. Daring to follow in its wake, stumbling and tripping as I do so, until I run as fast, scent as strongly and begin to understand that the divide between mind and soul is as ineffable as that between Earth and Sky.


This is dirty work.

But I am glad to be doing it.


Inviting The Wild



Keli is a green-spirited Celebrant and writer based in Derbyshire, UK. She creates ceremonies and holds space for deep connection with the Land and our unique lives and enjoys exploring her own connections through poetry, prose and original stories. Find out more at Keli Tomlin Ceremonies.


Photo credits:

1) Kitty Terwolbeck Reindeer skull via photopin (license)

2) leavingorbit Red via photopin (license)



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