Descansos according to Clarissa Pinkola Este in her book ‘Women who run with wolves’ means death markers. She goes on to say ‘that women have died a thousand times before they are twenty.’ But if they are still alive then, how can they be dead?
Of course she is not talking about the death of the physical body, although in some cases that is the result, but she is talking about the death of the soul. Often from the day we are born, women are being told to be quiet, to be lady-like, to stop doing this or that and yet much of what we are doing is living fully in the soul.
I watch my two tiny granddaughters and as yet they are not part of the world, they have their own world where anything and everything is possible. Where Princesses and Princes live in white castles and the sun shines all day, every day. But i know that in the not too distant future they will have to learn that fairy castles do not really exist.
Women have their hopes and dreams dashed to the rocks, destroyed often by others. They lose their belonging, their soul, their spirit. They begin to believe that the world is right and they should be quite, meek, mild and submissive, but this is not so, women need to learn to let go of the past and move on into the dark with faith, so that they can create a new life, a new start. When the soul continually dies due to put down and abuse, then women live in fear and hide who they really are in case they are not accepted. However the only person they need to be accepted by, is themselves.
Clarissa suggests that women, either work one on one with a healer or in a group and create a time line of their life and although you do not need to name every death, she suggests that you place a marker for the little soul deaths in your life and others for big deaths that have taken place. These can be anything that has left a negative mark on your life or have left you in fear to live fully. It could include roads not taken, paths cut off, ambushes, betrayals and even physical deaths. She suggests that by marking these deaths of the soul it will allow us to mourn them and so release us from them to a freer future, so we can truly live.
She adds the words ‘Forgotten’ for all the deaths that the women cannot remember and ‘Forgiven’ for all the ones that have been forgiven and let go. Then take each death and allow yourself to heal from the damage. Women are like birds in a cage who desire to be free. It is only in working through forgiveness of ourselves and others that we can be free to be our true creative selves.
So today take some paper and begin to mark the soul deaths through your life and then begin to believe you can be free to find the wild woman inside of you.