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
“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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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).
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).
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.
“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.
- 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.
- 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;
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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
2 thoughts on “Woman Most Wild, 3 Keys to Liberating the Witch Within”
Hi Susanne, Yours is such a great review of “Woman Most Wild” that I’ve added the title to my Amazon wish list! I was delighted to read your evaluation about re-connecting to nature … the moon, sun and life. What a wonderful reminder to check in with the moon, to witness where she is in her cycle, and pay attention to our own by aligning ourselves. I love that you award it such a high mark, I’m deeply curious, interested now! Blessings always, Deborah.
HI Deborah, thank you for your comment. Last night, on Netflix I watched a documentary about the life of Maya Angelou. A lot of it was about how poetry had lend her a helping hand in the most difficult circumstances.
It made me think about how your poetry about the archetypes in the tarot also describes the rising and declining cycle of the life within the human psyche. I have never before looked at the tarot as describing a natural cycle, but you know so much more about it as I do. I am quite sure you will describe and capture that rhythm in your lovely poetry.