Exploring The Wild Woman Archetype: Tarot Spread & Journal

*Disclaimer: This is the way in which I personally uncover and work with the wild woman archetype in my own life. It is a self-exploration and research expedition into the soul. There are many ways to get in touch with the wild woman archetype and I do suggest finding the way that works best for you.


“Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.”Estes.

“The way to maintain one’s connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the choice of mates and lovers. A lover cannot be chosen a la smorgasbord. A lover has to be chosen from soul-craving. To choose just because something mouthwatering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.”Estes.

The Wild Woman archetype was named by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes in her book, Women Who Run with The Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.

It is my own understanding after researching the archetype that the Wild Woman is the natural and instinctive psyche. It is the parts of ourselves that remain untouched by what is unnatural. It is the parts of ourselves that cannot be marketed to or controlled. It is the woman before society domesticated us and taught us how to think, feel, and act. It is the woman before we were told what we had to be. Society has reinforced habits and behaviours in us that otherwise may not be there. The Wild Woman is the shedding of years of molding. 

A Wild Woman is many things, as it is unique to the soul of each woman:

Mother – lover – fighter – liberator – wise woman – medicine woman – primal goddess – witch – sister – daughter  – creator – intuitive – healer – cosmic embodiment of massive empowerment.

“Why do women keep trying to ben and fold themselves into shapes that are not theirs? I must say, from years of clinical observation of this problem, that most of the time it is not because of deep seated masochism or malignant dedication to self-destruction or anything of that nature. More often it is because this woman simply doesn’t know any better. He is unmothered.” Estes.


Unlike other archetypes that have possible causes this archetype was not created, it was and is at the beginning of it all, it is an archetype that become covered with other archetypes and masks worn by the individual. The wild woman is what is left after everything else has been stripped away.  The question is now what caused this archetype, but how to go about removing the layers that repress it.


“The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.” Estes.

“Go out in the woods, go out. If you don’t go out in the woods nothing will ever happen and your life will never begin.” Estes.

Uncovering the Wild Woman is first coming to and allowing yourself to recognize it. There may be some apprehension at first, when we are confronted with this archetype it means letting go of a lot of what we once believed about ourselves. It asks us to shed all of the layers of ourselves that have been handed to us from the world around us. First, we must come to accept that we have been living a less than wild life and find our way back to our wild nature. 

Know that you don’t need permission from anyone to re-wild yourself.  Darling, the decision to do so is all yours. It will be both a fast unravelling and a slow becoming. Coming back to your whole natural wild self is a journey. 

Find YOUR wild woman. The wild woman that is unique to you. You don’t have to do or be like anyone else, you don’t need to fit in. You decide what beauty means to you, what love looks like in your life, what womanhood means, what wild is.

“A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving.” Estes.

“If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don’t worry, there is still time” Estes.

Self-compassion is needed during the process of uncovering. Be patient, be kind, be loving with your wild woman.


For this spread there are a few options for you. I choose to only work with the major arcana but you can use all the cards if you wish. Remember that when working with both the masculine and feminine energies of the cards that they all may have a message for the Wild Woman.

In this spread the goal is to become acquainted again with your inner Wild Woman and to shed the layers that are hiding the archetype.

Card 1: “Hello Wild Woman” this card represents meeting and greeting your inner wild woman. Explore this card, the good – the bad – empowering elements that live within you.

Card 2: “Shedding” this card is about insight into what you need to shed to come back to the natural and re-wild yourself. This could be limitations, societal or family rules/beliefs, fear etc.

Card 3: “Cremation” this card gives insight into how to cremate and let go of the things you need to shed.

Card 4: “Embrace” this car gives insight on how to embrace the Wild Woman within and bring her forth.

Card 5: “Connection” represents the recognition of the Wild Woman and calling her in. How can you build a deeper connection with the nature of yourself?

Card 6: “Message” this card is a message from your inner Wild Woman right now. What does she have to tell you?


  • What does wild mean to me?
  • When is the last time I felt wild?
  • When was the last time I made a decision solely for myself?
  • How can I connect and trust my intuition more?
  • How does my intuition show itself to me?
  • Where do I feel most authentic in my life?
  • How can I live more authentically?


While uncovering and exploring the Wild Woman archetype it is important to find a way to work through emotions, thoughts, and resentments that may come up. The Wild Woman is a powerful energy that lives within the very soul of each woman – finding it again is like coming home. The tarot spread provided above is a great way to meet the Wild Woman inside of you and begin the process of exploration and re-birthing. There are many ways to explore, heal, and bring forth the Wild Woman and it is important to find the way that works best for you.

Some additional ways to get in touch with this archetype:

  • Trust your intuition and instincts. Find trust in yourself. When does your intuition speak to you? How can you begin to listen to it more?
  • Allow the deep expression of emotion and sexuality in your life. Experience in full all levels of your humanness.
  • Create, build, and birth things from you. Creativity is wild indeed.
  • Connect with nature by taking hikes, meditating in the woods, looking up at the stars.
  • Do the things you feel called to do and catch “the voice”, the one that tells you that you “can’t”
  • Chant- dance – sing – drum.

It is my hope that these worksheets help you to come into the wild primal part of who you are. The part that offers no apologies for fully living and loving and being human.


 Woman Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Ballantine Books, 1992.

 © 2020 Whiskey Stevens

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