Untamed and Embodied with Tertia Riegler

#35: Descent into the Underworld, your Wild Woman and the Good Girl

October 03, 2023 Tertia Riegler Episode 35
Untamed and Embodied with Tertia Riegler
#35: Descent into the Underworld, your Wild Woman and the Good Girl
Show Notes Transcript

When your wild woman calls to you, it is because you are ready to receive the gifts that she brings.


The wild woman carries the gifts of liberation.  The gifts of fierce self-agency.  And the gifts of being connected to the greater cycles of life.


It's my experience that your wild woman can only be fully received once you have made your descent into the underworld.  


The underworld is the realm of the dark goddess.  She brings us face to face with those parts of us that have to die so that we can be reborn.


Meeting our wild woman usually goes hand in hand with choosing who we are becoming. 


In this hyper-masculine patriarchal world, our wild woman has been accused of being too unpredictable, too cyclical, too hormonal, and too emotional.  


It is praised and preferred that we stay good girls since our wild woman is simply too much.


And so when our wild woman starts to wake us up, to call us to her so that we can return to our truth it can feel scary, and even painful as we go against what we’ve been taught.


In this episode,  I talk about how the underworld may be a place of liberation instead of a place to fear, and share  2 underworld journey nuggets that I hope will support you no matter where you are on your path towards embodying your truth and freeing your self-expression.   I share:

  • The wild woman and your evolving identity
  • Embracing the process of transformation and letting go of outdated parts of ourselves
  • Events and circumstances that may launch our descent into the underworld
  • The tussle between the good girl and the wild woman
  • Surrender as a path to shortening your time in the underworld
  • Reorienting our perception of time 


Links

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When your wild woman calls you, it's because you are ready to receive the gifts that she brings and most of us reject or even fear what she has to offer. Welcome to episode two in Season two with me Terre. In this episode, we are chatting about how meeting our wild woman often goes hand in hand with choosing who we are becoming. And in the becoming of something new, it necessitates the dying off of the outdated, the out used, the no longer relevant parts of ourselves in exchange for who we want to become as we move through the world. So a warm welcome. If you are someone who has heard your wild woman calling and you've been running away from it, I can totally relate to that and welcome Aswell. If you are someone who is right now in the nebulous space where the old parts of you are dying off, but you're becoming is not yet fully formed,

Hi and welcome to the Untamed and Embodied Show. I'm your host, Tertia regular feminine embodiment coach, and here to help you cultivate a life of radiance, everyday pleasure and unapologetic self-expression. Join me every week as I share how you can tap into your feminine flow so you can come home to yourself and live your life from a place of inner freedom and aliveness.

Social media might make you believe that our wild woman is some boho chic, feather, adorned, sexy, long legged look that you wear and you get bonus points if your hair is all messy and tangled. In the greatest cycle of the time of the feminine rising, I think we are only really babies when it comes to discovering and embodying our feminine power. And so I feel that what we see on social media is almost like a teenager trying to find out where she belongs. So it's like the adolescent phase that we are going through as we are growing up into our sovereignty and into our self agency. What I do know is that the wild woman carries in her the gifts of liberation. She carries in her the gifts of fierce self-agency and the gifts of being connected to the greater cycles of life. I feel in this hyper-masculine world, this very patriarchal orientated world, a wild woman has been accused of being too unpredictable and being too emotional and being too cyclical and too hormonal and simply too much.
And so when she starts to awaken, when she starts calling, when she wakes us up and calls us to her so that we can return to our truth, it feels scary and it even feels painful as we go against what we've been taught as we go against the conditioning and the socialisation that's in our D N A. Now, I believe that your wild woman can only be fully received once you've made your descent into the underworld. And in this episode today I want to talk about how the underworld may be a place of liberation instead of a place of fear. And I want to share with you two underworld journey nuggets that I hope will support you no matter where you are in your path towards embodying your truth and freeing yourself expression. Let's dive in. Maureen Murdoch in her book, the Hero's Journey explains that this initiation into the underworld, this awakening call of our wild woman, it's also known as the Dark Knight of the Soul or meeting with a dark goddess.
This is usually precipitated by a life-changing event of some kind. So something that happens in your life that really turns your world on its head. My initiation into the underworld happened when I became a mother for the first time, and actually there was an intersection of three big changes in my life. I moved to a different country, my identity change from a business owner who had a in-person practise with a very comfortable income to becoming someone who was now financially dependent on my husband and I also became a mom. So these were three very big changes that happened all at the same time. And I went into what I now recognise as an extended dark night of my soul, which lasted for about three years. And what I learned in this time is meeting with the dark goddess. When we experience that dark night of our soul, it brings to us face to face with those parts of us that have to die so that we can be reborn.
It brings us face to face with those parts of us that have been very uncomfortable to face and relate to and acknowledge. But it is on the other side of that, that our liberation lies. And in my case, my immature maiden was holding on for dear life. She did not want to let go. The immature maiden, by the way, is central to the good girl syndrome, which I'll talk about a little bit more later. But this good girl syndrome is it binds so many of us. And before I dive into that, I want to share with you what Maureen Murdoch describes as some of these life-changing events that may cause our life to turn on its head and catapult us into the underworld, the death of a child, the death of a parent, the death of a spouse. It's a heart-wrenching experience that we don't wish unto anyone.
And part of navigating our way through that grief is also navigating the labyrinth of the underworld. There's a big life changing that happens when a certain role that we inhabit in life ends. So this may mean when we stop being a girl, as we start our bleed, when we stop being a maiden, as we enter into modern motherhood, when our role of lover or spouse ends all of these roles and identities that we attach ourselves and that we attach meaning to, when those are no longer there, it becomes very challenging for us to define who we are in this space, which plunges us into that labyrinth. When we experience a life-threatening illness or an accident, so often it brings us to a place where our priorities shift without us even attending to that or contemplating it. It's something that happens as a result when we lose our self-confidence, when we lose our livelihood, when we lose the way that we have been, the way that we have operated in the world, the label that we have attached to ourself, when that is gone, again, we find ourselves in darkness.
A geographical move can also catapult us into the underworld, which is what happened with me. And what is so interesting here is you may be mistaken to think that the life-changing event is something unexpected that happens, but that is not always the case. If I look at my story, for example, I knew and I made the decision together with my husband. We together decided that we were going to move to another country. We were going to uproot, take what we could with us and leave everything else behind and start in a new country and see where that took us. And of course, this was preceded by him receiving a job offer. So that was the impulse that caused us to decide to move. So even though I had made the decision that I wanted to move, the grief and the loss of what I have left behind was something that still moved through my body and that contributed to me entering into this dark night of my soul.
So it may not always only be those things that happens outside of our own decision makings, it's also the choices that we make consciously and on purpose that can open the pathway into our descent. Another example that Maureen mentions is the inability to finish a degree. So the dream that we set out for ourselves, the desires that we have when something brings an end to that, when we are unable to continue with what we thought is going to be our life path forward. Confronting addiction is another one that she mentions. And here of course we are not going to go into addiction in this episode, but there are so many layers that are part of why we disembody and why we use an addiction of any type as a coping mechanism. And then once that coping mechanism is no longer there, then we are faced or we are forced rather to face whatever it is that led us towards reaching for that coping mechanism in the first place.
And of course a very simplified explanation that I'm sharing with you, but just to give you an idea and then also a broken heart. A broken heart where you are cracked wide open and everything that you have known up until that point no longer is. So I'm sure you can agree with me as we look at these is that it is not such a strange thing after all for us to enter into this dark night of the soul. It's not such a strange thing for us to enter into the underworld, to descend, to meet the goddess. And yet it is something that we fear. It's something that has been made evil and scary and woo and something that we simply don't talk about. And I feel that it is such a natural evolution and when we are able to view it from this lens to really see it as part of how our soul journeys to find its wisdom because that's what lies on the other end of the descending into the underworld through the pain and the anguish and whatever it is that we experience while we come closer to our truth while we rip and get stripped from those things that aren't who we are and that don't serve us.
On the other side of that is an ascent. There is integration then of the wisdom that we've gained in our journey which we can then use as we move forward in the world. So if I were to imagine the underworld in this context that I'm sharing with you today, I see that there is the dark goddess, she is centre and then with her is the good girl on the one side and the wild woman on the other side. And it's almost definitely a tussle between the good girl and the white wild woman because only one of them will ascend. So the good girl and the wild woman, I see that they are both aspects of us. They are both aspects that are alive in you, but for many of us, the good girl is very strongly entrenched. And like anything is the more you practise a certain action.
Imagine if you are going to the gym, if you are only going to lift weights with your one arm and do bicep calls, you're going to get a really beautiful bicep but only on one arm. And it's the same with the good girl way in us as well. Her ways are very well established. The pathways are very well worn. The neural pathways we are her without even knowing that this is what we are doing and sometimes without being able to help ourselves, we are really well trained and versed and we have exercised that muscle of being the good girl. Now I'm very familiar and I'm sure that many of you can relate to this. I'm very familiar with the tension that I'm holding in my body against fighting against this good girl tendency and then catching myself being her in order to be loved. And so I think it's important to mention at this point that this tendency that we have to be the good goal.
This is not something that we do on a mental level. It's really something that is conditioned into us. It's something that we have inherited from our mothers and our grandmothers and our great-grandmothers. So it's really in our D n a and we act in these ways without really giving it much thought until we don't. And that is the moment that our wild woman wakes up and calls to us. Now, some of the ways in which the good goal might take over your actions is, or rather, let me state it like this. The biggest way that I believe the good goal takes over your actions is that you self abandon. Now, self abandonment means that we compromise ourselves in order to be popular, in order to be accepted. So what do we do? We stay quiet, we become agreeable, we self abandon when we are unable to hold healthy boundaries.
Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking a boundary is a mental or an energetic line that I draw in the sand to say, this is my boundary, that's your side. This is my side. Please don't cross it. What I want to offer is that boundaries live in our body. The truth of our boundaries live in our body. So if we know our inherent worth, if we know our inherent value, if we truly are rooted in our own sovereignty, then our boundaries happen. As a result of that, we are able to uphold these boundaries and exude these boundaries and mentalize these boundaries and energise these boundaries by virtue of us being connected to our truth. But we can only do that if we are in touch with our own inner wisdom which resides in the body. Another way that we self abandon is that we look to outside authority.
We look to other people's opinions. And in the process what it means is that we override, deny, ignore our own intuition, our own inner voice, our own inner wisdom. Now perhaps the most vivid knowing that I have of being agreeable and overriding my own intuition within my twenties when I stayed in a certain situation and the details aren't important here, but I stayed in a certain situation even though it was very clear that it wasn't serving me in any way, shape or form, it was the last thing that I wanted. However, I felt very responsible towards all the other people involved. I didn't want to inconvenience anyone. And so I ignored my inner voice. It was a classic case of what would the people say and I valued their opinion more than my own wellbeing. And that's the good girl dynamic right there. So our good girl and our wild woman cannot live equally strong at the same time.
And when we descend into the darkness, we come face to face with the fears of letting the good girl lose her power. And I'm putting power in inverted comm here because that is not real power. The good goal doesn't hold any power. It's a perceived power. So we fear what will happen if we start using our full voice. What will happen when we start rocking that boat real hard? What will happen if we devote ourselves to unam ourselves, to unravelling the internal systems of oppressions that we carry? Who are we going to piss off? Who are we going to disappoint? What will the people say? These are valid questions and questions that I find many of us really battle with. And so I have two nuggets that may support you in this journey. So the first nugget is letting go. Control may shorten your time in the underworld, controlling our environment, controlling all the things around us.
This is a very effective mechanism that we have to ensure our safety. So we control material things, for example, where you walk at night, you take care of your physical safety, you lock your car when you are in a parking lot at the mall, that ensures the safety of your material possessions. But what we also try to do is we try to control the people in our lives. So we try to control our children or our partner. And what's important to note here is we control them so that we can feel a certain way. And then we also control things that we have no direct control over what the government is doing or perhaps what is unfolding in our culture. Now the key to why we try to be in control is first of all, it's an illusion of safety that we create. And as I mentioned earlier, it's because we want to feel a certain way or we don't want to feel a certain.
So we want to feel safe, we want to feel love, we want to feel valued. We want to feel like we belong and that we are a part of something. We don't want to feel lost, we don't want to feel abandoned, we don't want to feel rejected, we don't want to feel challenged. And so we end up expanding a lot of energy on the things that are outside of our control and it looks like resisting the way that things are. And this in the context of what we are discussing today. It looks like our good goal screaming, don't screw this up. Stay where you are. Stay safe. Hold on for dear life. When the dark goddess is ready to receive us on our journey towards her, we get stripped from the things that we hold on to that we identify with and we get stripped from those things that we know and find comfort in.
And here's the thing, even when we are not feeling fully fulfilled or happy or even particularly satisfied with our needs being met, the situation and the context of that is a known. And so that is still more of a comfort than what is in the unknown. Now, if you've ever been in an experience or a situation like I've just mentioned, you may find that your experience was became a point where the pain of the unknown was preferable and not as large as the pain of the known. And that's when you let go control by making the decision that you couldn't before or you took the action that you couldn't before and you let it go and you let it be and you surrendered. You softened yourself, you softened your resistance, you softened the exertion of fighting and being in protective mode and you surrendered. So the nugget that I want to share with you here is that when we orient to letting go consciously, when we orient to surrendering, it reduces the pain.
And even sometime you want to call that pain agony. It reduces the agony of wandering around in the labyrinth of the underworld. Feeling lost. I know from personal experience, and perhaps you can relate to this as well, is as long as we are trying to control the outcome, as long as we are resisting what is happening in our time in the underworld, we keep on walking in circles, you always come back to the same point. You might have the illusion of things are getting better and then you find yourself again at the feet of the dark goddess. So how do we let go of control? If I had the answer to that, I would be a millionaire, billionaire, trillionaire. This is an exploration that everyone needs to discover and excavate and investigate within themselves. I can give you pointers. If I had to name it, I would call it an acceptance of a softening into and opening to receive.
Those are the three terms that I would use to describe what letting go of control or letting go of being controlling is perhaps a better way to put that, what that feels like. So this is an exploration that you can embark on your own and perhaps a good starting point for you would be to contemplate, reflect or journal on where are you holding on tight, where are you resisting what? Where are you despairing of things being the way that they are? What is it that you fear the most? And to illuminate that a little bit more, you can also ask if that happens, if then what? Often you'll find that if we look at what is under the bed, we stop being scared of something hiding there. And this brings me then to nugget number two and nugget number two is an invitation to reorient.
Nugget two is it takes as long as it takes. So what I want to point out here is that the soup pot that we live in, this hyper-masculine world, we have all bought into the patriarchal view of time and deficiency. We believe that things need to get done in a certain amount of time. We believe that there are certain time aspects allocated to things. For example, three years is way too long to be stuck in the underworld. The mantra is get on with it. Take a little time to get used to the way that things are now and get on with it, move forward, get the job done. This is such a disservice because what this view of time and efficiency get the most done in the shortest time possible. What that causes is that we bypass our own feelings. We bypass what is really true for we bypass our inner wisdom, we override our intuition, we strengthen that muscle of the good girl picking up only doing bicep calls only with one arm.
Here is a piece of feminine wisdom that I want to share with you. It takes as long as it takes. There's a rhythm and a pace to nature. When you see a new seedling poking its head out of the soil, pulling on the seedling, that precious tender little shoot, pulling on that to make it grow faster so that it can become a big strong plant, that's not going to work because it's going to die. If we look at butterflies, the pain and the struggle that they have of fighting their way out of the cocoon so that they can spread their wings, when we cut open the cocoon to set them free without them squeezing through that small little hole, they never get a chance to fully form their wings, to push the power into the extremities that they need to fly. And so the caterpillar can take as long as it takes to come out of that cocoon to turn into that butterfly.
When we try to make things happen faster than what they are, we don't only bypass what is our truth, but it also leads to despair. It makes us think that there's something wrong with us. Why can't I shake this? And so we can easily fall into these negative thought loops that says, something is wrong with me. I should be over this by now. Why can't I feel better? What is the matter with me? What is going on? Why can't I just get on with it? These negative self-critical thought loops activates our nervous system. It puts us into a stress response. It makes us feel more overwhelmed and more unable to cope in our own lives. And so the invitation is to reorient your idea of how long something should take. And I feel we can turn to mother nature for inspiration here. I believe that there is great value in aligning our lives with the cycles.
And here I'm speaking of both our internal cycles, our inner seasons, and the outer seasons or outer cycles, our wild woman. It's fully in tune with nature. That's what it means to be wild. It doesn't mean crazy or dangerous or dramatic or provocative. It could, but it doesn't mean that it means wild, as in untamed wild as in following a different agenda than the one preached by this hyper-masculine world. And so I'm curious if you feel into a world where you are aligned with your cycles. So if you are still bleeding, how you would align with your cycles is to plan your activities so that they are aligned with your energy levels as they fluctuate through your cycle. If you are not bleeding, it looks like following the phases of the moon to guide you in terms of what activities to choose. Now, if you feel into this, do you feel that this is possible for you or does it feel out of reach?
If you feel into a world where your focus and energy expresses in the same way as the seasons of the year, for example, we are an autumn now where I live in the northern hemisphere, and traditionally autumn is a time of harvest. So in the feminine way, this is a time where energy and focus is given to what has been planted during the year that you can now harvest, you can reap the fruits from. And so I'm curious, what is your crop of wisdom and learnings that you bring from the year so far? What is it that you can harvest? This is a time of abundance. Where can you see and experience and feel into the abundance that is already in your life? And as I'm sharing this with you, I'm curious, do you feel drawn to this or are the deeply entrenched hyper-masculine ways shouting, there's no time to reflect now, come on, push through to the end.
There's only three months left until the end of the year and you better make it count. Time is running out. And I ask these questions not to label. I ask these questions for you to get an insight into your own orientation towards time and efficiency and how long you are supposed to and putting that in air quotes. Again, how long are you supposed to be in a certain season of your life in the terms of season? It may be helpful for you to think of our time in the underworld as the season of winter. This is especially in the northern hemisphere, this is usually a time of darkness. It's a time of cold. Things seem dead, things are dying, things are rotting. So the winter season would align with our time in the underworld. So this brings me then to the close of our episode today. I hope that this been supportive, shifting your orientation so that it can make your time in the underworld easier, but not only that, also so that it can put fire in your belly as you heat the call of your wild woman. If you enjoyed this episode, I'd be so grateful if you could leave a review wherever you are listening. It really helps other people to find the podcast and I would love to hear from you. I.