Copyright: All artwork/content protected under ©2007-2011 Lynne Ciacco

All content herein copyright © Lynne Ciacco

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wild Woman and Friends

This watercolour is based on a dream and a conversation I had a couple of days ago.  The dream involved a dark man who stole everything I owned after I unlocked my door and let him in.  The conversation talked about the book Women Who Run With the Wolves, particularly about confronting and befriending the animus.  Yesterday I made a fast pencil sketch of those elements. 

©2011 L.Ciacco, Wild Woman and Wolf Befriending Animus, watercolour on paper, 13.5 x 10.5 in.

And then I looked for unexpected details, discovering a little masked man bearing a large heart, and a yellow bird stretching its wings. For some reason, I added three shapes that became burning candles stuck in the hair of the animus.

 I painted in the main colours and then today I painted the details and nuances.  It took a lot longer than I had anticipated.  But digging usually does. 

Last night, just before going to sleep, I picked up Women Who Run With the Wolves, which I haven't read in several years, and opened it to a page that was bookmarked.  Here is a quote that jumped out at me:

"There is a tremendous correlation between women who are afraid to create, making their ideas manifest in the world, and their dream images of injured or injuring men.  Conversely, the dreams of women strong in outer manifesting ability often feature a strong male figure who consistently appears in various guises."
Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Obviously, I don't have trouble creating, but making my ideas manifest in the world is quite a different matter.

By turning the painting on its side (and squinting a bit), it looks as though Wild Woman is being embraced by a Being in a long, striped, fringed shawl. Do you see it?  Hmmm, maybe I should paint that version...

Do you ever write down or draw images and scenarios from your dreams?  Can you even remember your dreams when you wake up?  Is there a recurring male figure who visits you in your dreams? 

P.S.  About those 3 candles?  I just read "So the animus travels the road between two territories and sometimes three:  underworld, inner world, and outer world."  Coincidence?



  1. I just finished reading The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. The book includes a lot of history as well as fleshing out new territory. I became angry reading the book because it was so obviously written by a man, for men, about men. As you point out, male and female psychologies, spirits, and energies are quite different from one another. Thank goodness!

    I love the rich vibrant colors and fluidity of movement. The 2 different angles give a different thrust to the message.

    You really cover some amazing inner ground. If there were only a map. But I guess we must chart our own territory and we can use or own and others creative endeavors like breadcrumbs in the wilderness.

    You lead me to new places!

  2. Stickup,
    Good thing you've got those new hiking boots!

    There are universal clues and signposts for us to follow but, ultimately, we must make our own road--or soul--maps, I think. Makes for fascinating exploring.

    I must admit, there was a time when I read only books written by women (even if they had male protagonists) because I was fed up with the male point of view. I'm over that now, but there is definitely a difference. Vive la différence? Yes, I think so. Yin and yang to make the wheel turn.

    If you haven't read Women Who Run with the Wolves, I highly recommend it. Although I have the impression that your own Wild Woman is alive and well and ready to kick ass as need be.

  3. Interesting Gestalt - the striped embrace was the first thing I saw.

  4. DCW,
    Perhaps this indicates a healthy relationship with your Inner Prisoner?

    But seriously, it is interesting that the embrace is what you first noticed. Seems that it must point to a very positive connection to your inner animus...but you're a male, so I don't know if maybe you're seeing the figure as the anima instead?

    The Doctor is In: That'll be 5 cents, please.

  5. Anonymous1/09/2011

    What stood out for me was the crocodile? either under or besde the female figure - she's actually holding it. Marion Woodman talks about the archetype of the crocodile in her book "Dancing in the Flames"...

    "We are “trapped light” when we are trapped by the “unconscious ideas that we’ve been taught” such as “I am this or I am that. I am not good at this. I am meant to be fat or slow or lethargic.” These are all part of the armor that keeps us tied to the ground.

    But this trapped light can be released when matter is brought into motion. We are not only talking about physical motion but creative motion, the meaningful activity which we all know is capable of birthing the unknown or suppressed self, the self trapped by inertia and fear. Marion Woodman, calls this inertia “the Great Mother crocodile,” that prefers “sleeping in the mud to transforming in the fire”

    Also the candles carried by the animus... Irene de Castillejo, another Jungian, describes the positive animus as "torchbearer". She says he throws light on things and enables a woman to focus her concentration, among other things. She sees him as "holding aloft his torch to light the way, throwing its beams into dark corners and penetrating the mists which shield the world of half-hidden mystery where, as women, we are so very much at home."

    This piece of art and the dream are so FULL! There's the masked man with large heart and golden bird... So much there! GREAT WORK you're doing. It's bound to be fruitful.

    from Andrée