Woman Most Wild, 3 Keys to Liberating the Witch Within

Woman Most Wild, three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within
by Danielle Dusky
New World Library, 2017, $10.84 paperback ISBN-13: 9781608684663; kindle $13.51 ISBN-10: 1608684660
reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn

witch
Click here to buy the book and support Mindfunda


We are the living feminine, Sister, and we have a cosmically sanctioned right to check in and check out in accordance with our inner resources” (page 12).

Years ago I wanted to be part of a witches coven. I called the number, and an antagonised woman whispered to me: “Please don’t call me at work”. I knew at that moment that this was not the group for me. How can you be a witch and want to keep it secret? So you can imagine that my hopes grew into an internal flame when I got the review copy of this book. And indeed, I love it.

Witch Within

Twenty-five years  after the publication of Women Who run with the Wolves this book promises to help you unleash your inner Witch. Woman Most Wild is clearly inspired by this classic. The inner Wolf-Woman is celebrated as an ideal role model. This book does not use (mythological) stories as often as Women Who Run with the Wolves did. In this book you, as a (female) reader are spoken to in a very direct way by the writer, as if she is sitting next to you.

Danielle explains that there are not one, not two, but three keys to unlock the broom closet and fly away to kiss the moon.

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Cartoon: S media cache

 

Danielle says on page 4: “I call you out as a Witch but offer you no religion. Instead, what I offer you in these pages are glimpses of how your soft and perfect being may be infused with the marrow of ritual, magick, and circle-craft”.

In the book magic is spelled with -ck, it is the archaic spelling, not a typo.

“By magick, I mean both the mysterious interconnectivity of the cosmic web that permits alchemical changes in the human community and the outcome of your own agency in creating shifts in your world” (page 85).

This is a wonderful promise. You don’t only get to know yourself better, you also get the promise to learn some magic.

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Susanne dressed up as the World Wide Witch 
Photo: Bhaskar Banerji

 I like that. An affordable book, with 242 pages of practical advice and guided meditations.

Witch and the Inner Cycles

The three keys that Danielle Dusky describes, all have to do with (re)connecting with the cycles of nature. The cycle of the moon, the cycle of the sun, the cycle of the seasons, and the cycle of life.

I truly discovered the power of the moon after reading A woman’s Book of Dreams written by Connie Kaplan. It made me appreciate the connection between the moon and dreams.

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Illusion of the Square
Leonardo da Vinci drawing sketch

(Re)Connecting with the cycles inside your body and outside in nature, you will be confronted with inner pain. “A true healer promises nothing. She digs deep, calls forth, and busts open” (page 114).

 

The 3 keys to unlock your broom closet are:

  • your wild rhythm;
  • your wild ritual;
  • and your wild cycle.

 

Key #1: Witch and the Wild Rhythm

 

The wild rhythm is to be found in the moon, the sun and in the blood. I really like the thorough knowledge of cycles. This knowledge will help you hear the music to dance to while living your life.

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Photo found on Flickr

Danielle talks with ease about the cycles of the moon and how they affect each woman.

“Living in alignment with lunar changes will serve you so much more than living in accordance with any calendar. Your soul will be nourished every time you invoke the essence of a lunar phase, harnessing the warrior-woman energy of a new moon, the sheer, electric force of a full moon, the release and acceptance that comes with the waning phase, and the oh-so-potent thick void of a dark moon” (page 17).

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Cartoon: Calvin & Hobbs

With the same ease she talks about how the sun, the seasons affect each woman.

“While the moon calls you to surrender to your soul’s purpose on Earth, the sun begs you to remember your role in the cosmic dance” (page 35).

Finally  the chakra’s are discussed as another manifestation of the cycle of the body.

“The bones of our social structures are hard and masculine, but the marrow, my love, the juicy marrow is feminine. The bones have forgotten what lives and breathes inside them — the Maiden’s sensuality, the Mother’s generative creativity, and the Wise Woman’s intuitive knowing — but harvest the marrow, Sister, for you truly are a Woman Most Wild” (page 82).

Key #2: Witch and the Wild Ritual

Rituals are important for the human psyche. One of the best books I have read about rituals is The Power of Ritual, written by Robbie Davis Floyd and Charles Laughlin.

But this key describes a specific kind of ritual, one that constitutes magick. First of all, Danielle Dusky acknowledges how almost all contemporary women are too  busy (we have to take care of our homes, our jobs and our children).

witch

The rituals Danielle describes are filled with a wisdom that resonates with me as reader. If you are interested in creating magic, in healing (and honestly, who isn’t?) this book will be very useful.

Another very important point that is addressed is the mother wound. I know I have one. Even though I honour my mother for all the work she has done during her life, I always missed the feeling of being loved accepted and honoured by her. I have made a conscious effort to make my children feel blessed and loved.

“We women have suffered the loss of the powerful feminine divine. With deity presented to us solely in its male form, we stand as orphaned sis- ters who share the same wound. Very often this wound manifests in the unconscious placement of lofty expectations on our own human mothers; we are looking to them to ll a great void, a void they too feel as women, and a void that can only be lled with a thorough embrace of the divine feminine on a social level” (page 112).

Key #3: Witch and the Wild Cycle

The last key is the Wild Cycle. “I am calling you out now as a Wolf-Woman who can and will find her pack” Danielle promises on page 149.

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Art found on martinekenblog.tumbler.com

“The Witches’ Circle is unique in structure as well as function, with feminine energy bolstered through both deep communication and magick work” (page 154)

We can only dream about such a circle of supporting women and Danielle urges us to visualize such a circle into existence.

CONCLUSION

PRO

  • This is a book about healing: reconnecting with the cycles of nature;
  • The cycles of life are discussed in-depth with very practical exercises;
  • I am convinced that this book can help you hear the soft whisper of the tune of your own song;
  • If you are interested in discovering your personal myth, this book has some good exercises for it, like writing the story of your life as an epic myth titled “The Woman Most Wild”;
  • The book makes a promise with every key, which is not only clever marketing, it is also a very clear statement of what to expect before reading a segment;
  • If you are, or want to become a priestess you will appreciate the practices in this book.

 

CON

  • This is not a book for everyone. It is aimed at a specific target group of women. This can easily also be a Pro, I am aware of that;
  • Danielle Dusky assumes there is a predestined path for everybody to wake up to. This will not ring true for everyone, even though it is a charming and appealing assumption;

 

Mindfunda verdict:

9/10

 

Click here to buy Woman Most Wild, three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within and support Mindfunda.

 

I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 

The lean mean dream washing machine

What if we could create a database filled with dreams about dreaming? Dreamed up by people who seriously look at their dreams for inspiration? I would buy a copy of it right away! Here is the first onset to it.

I wonder how working with dreams would change if everybody who seriously works with dreams would submit their dreams about dreaming into a giant database. In the ideal world someone clever would analyse those dreams and perhaps we could come up with a whole different view about dreams and dreaming. This is one of the dreams I had that tought me something about dreams: I dream about a man explaining to me that dreams are like washing machines.

dream

 

You take dirty clothes (your way of acting in the world) put them in the Self: did you ever notice that the door of the washing machine is mandala shaped?

dream
mandala

 

You choose the temperature. What emotional temperature do you need to wash your emotions clean? Clean enough to handle them during the day time? Is it going to be nightmarish hot so all the conducts, all the habits of waking life are washed up and sterilized? Or will it be a smoothly wash just to get your way of living refreshed?

You add detergent. An aide to resolve the dirt on your way of acting in the world. To wash away the smell of living day by day. What is your detergent? And how much are you going to use? Are there any stains on your clothes that need some extra care? A solvent that gets the difficult stains out? Some books about dreaming can help you do that. The most recent one I read was written by Justina  Lasley.

Wake up to your dreams

Justina her detergent is the Dream Synergy method. Emotions (the water in the machine), Characters (the stain-solution) and Beliefs (the temperature you choose). For more information see my interview with Justina.

But there are many more good dream detergents. Dream groups like Connie Kaplan mentions.

Woman’s book of dreams


If you are lucky enough to get involved in a dream group (several of them are online) you get different views on your dream. That gets your creative juices flowing. Connie’s second method of interacting with dreams is tuning in with the moon. She talks about how the moon and the woman (wo-moon) merge energies. The energy of the moon colors the meaning of your dream.

Ok back to the washing machine. So you picked together your filthy clothes, choose a temperature, added some detergent and… It all starts tumbling! Everything is jumbled upside down. Meshed around. Beaten up in a steady rhythm. Gently, but firmly. There is no stopping our mean lean washing machine.

In the middle there is… A mandala. the symbol of the Self in Jungian terms. The dream selves tumble round and round, while the mandala closes off the process, so no cloths fall out. Jean Raffa told me about the Mandorla: two mandala’s enclosing.

Healing the sacred divide

 

This middle place where light and dark touch is where the healing begins she told us.

At the end of the washing process the machine begins to turn around real quick. It is in its spinning cycle. Spinning tales, spinning connecting energies. In such a fast way that all the water, all the emotion is pulled out. Things are often put up side down in dreams. To spin your head around. To make you see that different angle that you otherwise would have missed.

Wanna share a dream about dreaming with me? I might just put it in a database and create that dream book we all are longing for.

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Please sign up for my YouTube channel to enjoy all the beautiful Mindfunda interviews with inspiring people. People like Jean Benedict Raffa, Anne Baring, Connie Kaplan, Ralph Metzner, Stanley Krippner and P.M.H. Atwater, Catherine Wikholm about her book the Buddha Pill and Justina Lasley about her book Wake Up to Your Dreams: Transform Your Relationships, Career, and Health While You Sleep!

GRAB YOURSELF A FREE E-BOOK AND LEARN ALL ABOUT MUTUAL DREAMING USING THIS LINK
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Can I quote you on this? A list of the 7 best quotes

 

quote
Today’s Mindfunda is about quotes. Don’t you love it when you are reading a good book and a chapter starts with the perfect quote? In this Mindfunda I will give the top list of my favorite quotes.

Quote #1

‘There is no such thing as spiritual integrity without emotional integrity. Like it or not, we need to own up to our honest feelings and figure out what to do with them’.

quote
Jean Raffa

Jean Benedict Raffa in Healing the Sacred Divide (click to read more about Jean and her work). To see her interview with Mindfunda click here.

Quote #2

‘No sailor controls the sea. Only a foolish sailor would say such a thing. Similarly, no lucid dreamer controls the dream. Like a sailor on the sea, we lucid dreamers direct our perceptual awareness within the larger state of dreaming’.

Robert Waggoner in Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple. (click to read more about Robert and his work). To see his interview with Mindfunda click here.

Quote #3

‘When you look into a mirror, you know on some level that you are seeing the reverse reflection of yourself. However, the apparent accuracy of the reflection convinces you that you are seeing the real thing. When we look at our dreams without our sisters, we look into a reverse mirror. As dreamers we must know when we are seeing in reverse.

quote
Connie Kaplan

Connie Kaplan in The Woman’s Book of Dreaming (click to read more about Connie and her work). To see her interview with Mindfunda click here.

Quote #4

‘Myth is not an empirical science which has yielded considerable information about the natural world; indeed, it appears to be its polar opposite. However, the same shamans who told their communities imaginative stories about the origins of the world also used trial and error, as well as logical deduction, to determine which herbs had healing qualities, which substances would alter consciousness, which path hunters should pursue to find game, which changes the weather might take, and which direction would be the most propitious when it was time for a tribe to relocate’

Stanley Krippner in ‘Introduction: Some Perspectives on Myth’. The Humanistic Psychologist 22 (2), 122-123 Click here to read about Stanley Krippner. To see my Mindfunda interview with him click here.

Quote #5

‘Alchemy was the secret tradition which taught that the priceless treasure spoken of in so many myths and legends of the ancient world lies within our own human nature – unrecognised, despised, neglected. It transposed the images of mythology and in particular the myth of the sacred marriage and the divine birth to the human soul. The alchemist descended into the depths of his soul to experience a death and rebirth, to be transmuted from lead into gold, to redeem the treasure buried in the primal matter of his instinctual life and to be reunited with the divine ground of the Soul personified by the feminine image of Divine Wisdom’.

quote
Anne Baring

Anne Baring in ‘Dream of the Cosmos.’ Click here to read more about Anne and her work. To see my Mindfunda interview with her click here.

Quote #6

‘The Gods themselves require additional knowledge, gained, it seems , from the underworld, to interpret great and significant dreams which indicate the destiny of gods, kings and man’

Hilda Davidson, quoted in ‘The Well of Remembrance’ written by Ralph Metzner. Click here to read more about the Well of Remembrance. To see my Mindfunda interview with Ralph Metzner click here.

Quote #7

‘The only real death that ever occurs is when a dream we cherish dies’

P.M.H. Atwater. Click here to read more about all her work on near death experiences. To see the Mindfunda interview with her click here.

 

quote

 

I would like to encourage you to sign up for my youtube channel: Two more interviews will be uploaded soon. Justina Lasley talks with Mindfunda about her methos of working with dreams and her new book ‘Wake up to your dreams’. Make sure you have your own dream(s) ready because she will take you through her easy method of finding out more about your dreams.

Catherine Wikholm will talk with Mindfunda about the merits AND the dark side of meditation. She has used meditation and yoga as a way to improve the life of prisoners and did scientific research about the results.
You can subscribe using this link.

Twitter: @susannevandoorn

 

Moon tribute: Connie Kaplan about ‘The woman’s Book of Dreams’

The Moon has an effect on dreams. We have known that for a long time, even though we might not realize it consciously. I spoke with Connie Kaplan about the effect the moon has on dreaming. Watch the complete interview on Mindfunda’s YouTube channel so you can enjoy it too (don’t forget to subscribe).

Connie is a woman who “dreamed herself awake”. During a time she was burned out, she dreamed and she kept on dreaming. She shares that valuable information with you in her books and in the interview.

 

Connie’s book “The Woman’s book of dreams” is divided into five parts. The first part is about astrology. Connie broke down in 1986 and rebuilt herself using dreams, spiritual guidance and the power of the moon. If you listen to the interview you can enjoy her energy and her wisdom.

The Moon is affecting dreams

In the first part she talks about how the moon affects dreaming. This made her distinguish several types of dreaming that might shed a new light on the dreams in your dream journal. She talks with us about the 13 types of dreaming she recognizes and how they can help you.

If you have a dream circle, or think about starting one, you should really take a look at the interview. Connie Kaplan describes a very powerful method (buy The woman’s book of Dreams if you want to know all about it). It has been the method that I use myself. The power of silence can really intensify the messages a dreamer comprehends about a dream in a dream circle, Not speaking when you have nothing to say is a spiritual act.

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The woman’s book of dreams Connie Kaplan

A thing almost all of us do while working with dreams, is projecting our problems of the past on them. Connie Kaplan talks about re-dreaming the past in a powerful way. She discusses the myth of Persephone, queen of the real of the death with us because that is a recurrent myth for women everywhere. Taken into the dark Persephone takes charge and becomes queen.

The dreaming of the future is a thing we all know. But often we do not talk about it. We ignore it or reason it away. Connie talks about an extraordinary coincidence that happened in her dream group. A mutual insight her dream group had into an important future catastrophy.

And the last subject is about giving the gift. It is Connie’s calling to help you embrace your contract of life. The most important clause in your contract giving your gift. Embracing yourself and enjoying life.

This and nore is discussed in my recent interview with Conny Kaplan. I hope you enjoy watching the complete  interview!

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I have a twitter account: @susannevandoorn, you are welcome to join me there. Sign up for my monthly newsletter and grab yourself a mutual dreaming ebook.

 

Major Tom: dreaming in space

Ever since being mesmerized by Bowie’s Ground Control to Major Tom we all have been wondering what it would be like to fly, eat, sleep and dream in space.
On today’s Mindfinda nice film where the astronauts of Expedition 30 where they answer a question about dreaming in space (in the film it is at about 3:06).
Expedition 30′ s crew members Andre Kuipers, Dan Burbank and Donald Petit.

Dreaming in space is not so different as dreaming on earth. Donald Petit says: “In my dreams there is always a certain level of discontent: on earth I dream of flying and in space I dream of walking…
I think that is a healthy thing. Recent research (2014) by Arnulf suggest that dreaming about failing a test makes you perform the test even better.

major tom
Dream of the cosmos

I recently talked with Anne Baring about her book Dream of the cosmos. She asks us: if the cosmos is a living entity, what would it dream of? A thought provoking question. I hope you give it some thought. You might want to read about my interview and look at the YouTube films (Don’t forget to sign up for my channel because interviews with Robert Waggoner about his newest Robert waggoner Lucid dreaming plain and simple Lucid dreaming Plain and simple and an interview with Connie Kaplan about her Womans’s book of dreams is about to be uploaded (doing some final editing)

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10 Dream books you should read

I have been working with dreams for several years now, and I read a lot of dream books. But sometimes there is that one book that really has a special edge. A way you have not looked at dreams before. Here is my list of 10 dream books you should read i.e. I can recommend all of you to buy and read. Please let me know if you agree with my choices. If one of your personal favorite dream books is absent, let me know by using the comment section below the blog.

  • Dream books tip #1: ‘Creative Dreaming’ by Patricia Garfield:
    Years ago, in the eighties, I read this book, in one night. It was the first book ever that discussed dreams as creative material. I fell asleep and had my first lucid dream (a dream you have while being aware that you are dreaming). This is not only about lucid dreams however. It is about getting the most out of a dream to make your life better. Patricia was criticized for not being scientific and for not having visited the Senoi people she wrote about. But that does not change the fact that this book gives you a method you can use that will change your dream-life. Patricia was on the panel I organized on the conference of the International Organisation of the Study of Dreams (IASD) in 2014 click here
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #1
Dream books tip #1: Creative dreaming – Patricia Garfield

 

  • Dream books tip #2: ‘Extraordinary dreams and how to work with them’ written by Stanley Krippner, Fariba Bogzaran and Andre Percia de Carvalho. This book gives you such a good insight in all the different types of dreams: creative dreams, Lucid dreams, Out of body dreams, healing dreams, mutual dreams… It is carefully organized and there are a lot of references to very good research about dreams. There is even a paragraph about “Working with dreams within dreams”.  I have only come across this phenomena in books about dreams in Frederik van Eede’s Dromenboek  (A Dutch lucid dreamer and writer who was in the same circle as Carl Gustav Jung).
    This book will give you so much information about dreams, your head may spin. read it one chapter at a time so you will digest all the information in it. After all these years it is still a source of reference for me.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #2
Dream books tip #2: Extraordinary dreams and how to work with them

  • Dream books tip #3: ‘a Branch of the Lightning Tree’ Stanley Krippner came over in 2013 to do a workshop Personal Mythology in Utrecht. Identifying mythological themes in your life and your dreams can give you so much more understanding. About yourself, about the situation you are in and about the steps you can take. Reading  a Branch of the lightning tree written by Martin Shaw has taught me a lot about distilling mythological information out of stories. Dreams are stories told by the night. So even though this book is not about dreams, it will help you understand them better.

 

Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #3
Dream books tip #3: A branch from the lightning tree

 

  • Dream books tip #4: ‘Active Dreaming’ – Robert Moss is an excellent writer. He knows how to tell a story. When he came to Utrecht to give a workshop Active dreaming, people were glued to his lips. His books are filled with useful well researched information. Robert has written a lot of books and they are all good. I have chosen Active dreaming because I like the exercises in them. There are coincidence games in it, the mapping of your energy path, a low maintenance plan for your health… It is just a very good book. A dream is something to act upon and Robert gives you the keys to unlock the secrets in them.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #4
Dream books tip #4: Robert Moss Active Dreaming


  • Dream books tip #5: Another book that changed my way of looking at dreams is the ‘Woman’s book of dreams’. The knowledge Connie Kaplan shared about the moon and dreaming is something I have never read before in any other book.  She connects dreaming with astrology. It made me grab my dream notes and look at what sign the moon was in while I had these dreams. In that way I made discoveries about myself, my dreams and their content that I would not have been able to make without reading this book. She also discusses a way of working with dream groups that I have used several times. One time, before doing a workshop with pregnant women and their dreams I took this book out of my closet in a dream. It made me change my workshop in the “Connie Kaplan” way and it was a good decision. In the workshop some very profound discoveries were made and people were able to engage with each other on a deeper level because of the method I used.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #5
Dream books tip #5: The woman’s book of dreams Connie Kaplan

 

  • Dream books tip #6: ‘Lucid Dreaming’ – Robert Waggoner is a very experienced lucid dreamer. But what is so intriguing about this book is that he helps you to shift perspective. He asks you who the writer of your dream story is (you can read more about this perspective here). A lot of people who are involved in dreaming are against lucid dreaming. A dream should take its natural course. Don’t mess with it because that would be messing with the natural psychological process that dreams are made off. But Robert simply asked “Does the sailor control the sea?” and shows us that no lucid dreamer ever fully controls the content of the dream. And he has some other thought-provoking suggestions and experiences to share.

 

Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #6
Dream books tip #6: Lucid Dreaming Robert Waggoner

 

I have not read his newest book ‘Lucid dreaming plain and simple’ yet.
He wrote it together with Caroline McCready. But it is on my list. I plan to do an interview with him and put it on this blog, so stay tuned!

Mindfunda.com: dream books runner-up
Dream books runner-up: Lucid dreaming plain and simple Robert Waggoner and Caroline McCready

 

  • Dream books tip #7: Robert Gongloffs’ book ‘Dream Exploration’ changed my way of working with dreams because he taught me to take a step back. In this book you will find a matrix that enables you to look at the theme of a dream. Not focus so much on the meaning of a single symbol but look at the greater picture.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #7
Dream books tip #7: Dream Exploration Robert Gongloff

 

  • Dream books tip #8: I used to think alchemy was mighty interesting but beyond my understanding. So many old manuscripts, very hard to read and even more difficult to understand. Then a friend of mine gave me a copy of Monika Wikmans’ ‘Pregnant Darkness‘. She leads you through the alchemical process using dreams and symbols. Reading this book gave me so much more understanding of the path of transformation we all have to travel in live. It is well written and the examples she shares with us make us reconsider our own dream material.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #8
Dream books tip #8: Pregnant Darkness Monika Wikman

 

  • Dream books tip #9: Communing with the Gods’ is a well documented anthropological exploration into dreams. Charles Laughlin takes the reader on a journey to explore his neuroanthropology of dreaming. An attempt for a cross-fertilization between neurology, psychology, sociology and anthropology. Ambitious yes, but very interesting. I wrote about this book before you can read it here. The way Charles Laughlin builds the evidence for his Neuroanthropology of dreaming will give you a new way of looking at dreams.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #9
Dream books tip #9: Communing with the gods Charlie Laughlin
  • Dream books tip #10: Last but not least, my translation of Vasily Kasatkins’ classic ‘A theory about Dreams’. You can hear my presentation about it in this link. The reason why this book will change your vision on dreams is that it makes the relationship between the body and the dream content crystal clear. Even a hard-core scientist as psychiatrist Vasily Kasatkin was convinced that dreams are the early indicators of physical illness. A dream can safe your life.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #10
Dream books tip #10: ‘a Theory about Dreams’ – Vasatli Kasatkin translated by Susanne van Doorn

Did you enjoy this list of Dream books? Please use the comments box below to share your thought!