This is the fourth in a five part series on The Mysterial Sequence. To receive insight and support, join us here.
This series on The Mysterial Sequence outlines a developmental pathway that I’ve spent two decades decoding, which helps women unlock their innate potential.
And then return to this fourth gate: The Maiden Wound.
I am most passionate about the awakening of consciousness and leadership capacity in women today. Two decades of my work were spent researching with hundreds of women in my University Certificate Leadership Programs. From that body of work, a new developmental pathway was discovered, very specific to women, which showed five distinct ‘nodes’ along the pathway, in which either a feminine (Yin) or Masculine (Yang) essence was awakening.
Through this journey of the five gateways, we saw a release of limiting beliefs, awakening of liberating beliefs, and ultimately a powerful balance of a woman’s Feminine and Masculine capacities. Through this transformation and empowerment, women seemed to become a more true match for these complex times. I am deeply honored and continually inspired to teach The Mysterial Sequence in my online programs.
The Maiden Archetype
To arrive here in the pulsing energy of The Maiden is a significant step forward when the healthy Father Archetype has been cultivated within. Many of us have tried to access the freedom and joyful creativity that comes with The Maiden essence. But because we have not fully prepared the way for this fiery, volatile force, it has led to painful and unintended consequences.
This, as you can imagine, constitutes a threat to the powers that be. We have created a society that honors The Father’s values of order, rationality, and linear thinking. It’s no wonder that The Maiden has been repressed in Modern and Traditional consciousness, domesticated into a virginal daughter or debased into a sex object.
The Maiden Archetype is both creative and unpredictable because it opens us to the power of our dynamic Feminine life force, a libidinal surge very closely connected to our sexuality. The Maiden harnesses the flaming energy of The Hero to bring her creativity out into the world, but unlike the focus of The Hero, this blazing Yin archetype likes to break things open. She seeks connection and intimacy with others, unconcerned with rank, status, or differences. She rides the carrier wave of her intuition and doesn’t take herself too seriously.
The Maiden’s Grand Entrance
While the Maiden archetype is an ancient and universal pattern of innocent aliveness, she is a relative newcomer in terms of influencing the direction of modern society. She burst on the scene in the 1960’s as flower power, sexual freedom, psychedelic art, hunger for diversity and change, and a flat rejection of the Establishment (a.k.a. The Father Archetype). The energy she brought created an explosion of creativity, innovation, social breakdown and transformation.
For many women who worked hard to fit into the structures of the patriarchy, it is very challenging when this second force of the Feminine activates in the psyche. All of a sudden the world in which they were once happy feels suffocating and limiting. They don’t know what happened to their joy, aliveness and dreams, and they want them back. It is a very confusing time.
Without a developmental model that shows The Maiden as a natural step forward (as The Mysterial Sequence does now), women either repress this dynamic force or totally over-identify with it. They often feel they have failed or been on the wrong path, numbing down this firey essence with work, TV, food, anti-depressants, and more. We want to turn off this flame, that is trying to engage with and move us to the next level of our potentiality.
Another common assumption when The Maiden energy comes online is wanting to ‘go back’ to being a free, young girl. Women often falsely believe that the only way to reclaim this essence is to leave everything that they’ve worked to build in their life during The Father Archetype timeframe – their marriage, career, employer, etc. They want to break things up and loosen the hold of the structures in their life that they feel imprisoned by. They want to find their wild self – either again or for the first time. It’s a beautiful lighting up of the Maiden gate.
The Maiden Wound
The Maiden Wound doesn’t trust intuition, and leans back into The Father Archetype’s rational logic. From the imbalanced shadow side of The Maiden Archetype arises the core limiting belief:
“I am not free to express myself fully.”
An overdeveloped Maiden energy may express by way of:
- Sexual promiscuity
- Excessive bohemian experience as a wild free child out there in the world
- Thrill seeking
- Inability to stay with the challenges of transformation
Conversely, lack of access or expression of The Maiden energy results in:
- Fear of change or our wild nature
- Feel shame of body and it’s sensuality
- Puritanical rigidity, cutting off or shaming deep pleasure and desire
- Keeping a tight lid on your life force – not coloring outside the lines
- Holding onto things longer than they serve
- Assume specific ‘shoulds’ around sexuality, feeling we aren’t normal
- Allow ourselves to be objectified
It is interesting in today’s world to see the shadow Masculine return – wanting to dial things back, shut down women’s rights, stop globalization and the spread of more feminine values. This is why it is essential for us each to traverse the first three gates, in order to welcome and work with The Healthy Maiden energy.
The Healthy Maiden Archetype
When The Maiden is awakened and balanced, the Liberating Belief emerges and grounds:
“I am free to express my true nature.”
In its healthy expression, The Maiden is the transformative awakening of imagination and spontaneity. It is the playful, sensual and sexual, “Aha!,” inchoate and wild part of ourselves that shakes things up and awakens our joy and liberates our passion. This is the place where we stand up in the joy of our own creativity with the dance with life.
She is passionate, fun loving, spontaneous, curious, imaginative, intuitive, and adventurous. She is full and unfettered creativity in expression. She knows how to flow. She is surprised by what she says, does, by life, and by the quality of relationships that unfold around her. It’s about how we connect in relationship in more intimate and sensual ways with the world and with those in our world.
With The Maiden on board you work to live, not live to work. Your life becomes a creative experiment that you enter boldly into every day, curious to see what you will invent. And joy is not a fleeting experience, earned after a lot of hard work and lost as soon as you return to the grindstone. Along with an increased ability to be with the difficult moments of life, you are ready to playfully engage in the fun of living. You recognize that this is your birthright.
The Father archetype helps you to find your purpose and stand in your own true authority. When you bring The Maiden into partnership with The Father essence, the passion and courage that you need to step forward in the direction of your dreams comes online.
Finally you become able to “get on your path,” which can mean changing jobs, starting new ventures, or going back to school. Some set off on adventures of life and love they had only dared to dream before.
“Within every woman there lives a powerful force,
filled with good instincts,
passionate creativity, and ageless knowing.
She is the Wild Woman,
who represents the instinctual nature of women.
But she is an endangered species.”
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PHD and author of Women who Run with the Wolves
As always, thank you for exploring with me. I invite you to explore the next and final gate in The Mysterial Sequence: The Crone Wound. I hope to have a chance to engage with you in this unfolding Mysterial movement.
This series is intended to whet your appetite – you can go deeper with the work in order to unravel from the shadow holdings of each Archetype and fully activate your potentiality in this life.