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Wild Witch of the West


If I am honest I am not entirely sure where "Wild Witch of the West" came from and I'm still discovering who/what it means. At this moment it is my personal brand, but also alias and identity of a woman I want to be. The play on words of "Wicked Witch of the West" is intentional as reclaiming the word "witch" as a symbol of power and independence versus evil feel important to me as a woman. While the phrase Wild Witch of the West speaks volumes, each word holds meaning to me based on its etymology.



The wild woman archetype is something I identify with closely, it could be my Sun-Uranus quirky, wacky self, but ultimately the wild woman to me is someone in touch with the instinctual and primal element of being human. (Insert here a bunch of stuff about Clarissa Pinkola Estes book, Women Who Run With the Wolves and my Wild Women Circle Series.) This part of me craves running barefoot in the woods, naked, howling at the full moon. It craves the feeling of lunacy and the madness it evokes of freedom and self-expression.



The etymology of the word itself speaks volumes to be about how we have misunderstood this powerful archetype. She is a wise and awake woman, not an angry outcast. A witch serves as a bridge between the cosmos and Earth, she walks between worlds and uses ritual and ceremony to do so. The pentagram is a symbol of four elements (earth, air, water, fire) and the totality of the cosmos as ether or aether and speaks to the Hermetic idea of "as above, so below." This basic idea of the macrocosm mirroring the microcosm is the basis for witch hood (and astrology).



The sun sets in the west, and so does the dream world and the night. In the medicine wheel it is associated with the element of water and emotions. In the United States, the West Coast (aka "Best Coast") symbolizes a place of pioneers and the edge of the world in search of freedom and a new life. Elsewhere in the world the west represents enlightenment, "Journey West" in Chinese Buddhism, or the afterlife, such as with ancient Egyptians or Celts. Astrologically the area of the natal chart with the West is the house of relationships and also what part of ourselves we tend to project. In my personal heroine's journey I continually moved west from Virginia, Texas, Colorado, then California and in that way it serves as a reminder of my own evolution and search for wholeness/individuation.

{Image by Regina Felice Garcia at Badass Women Photography}

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