by Star Despres: Reclaiming the Ancient Feminine…


This is my story of an unplanned and unchartered rite of passage. My journey of pain and anguish that led to deep insights about the nature of my own truth as a woman in these times. This is happening for me at a time of monumental change for women, some have called it the 4th wave of feminism, where we finally emerge back into our equal and rightful place. A time of readdressing a healthy balance where all beings have the liberty to sit in their full sovereignty. This is my gift to other women, and of course for men, as we are all learning to navigate this powerful transition into the new paradigm.


During an intense Full Moon several months ago, I made a vow to my womb. I promised to no longer abandon her and to finally face the darkness and wounds I had been hiding there for over twenty years. At almost forty-seven years old I am deep in the throes of the feminine mysteries and the complex experience of perimenopause.

In some way, I actually welcomed the descent as I knew it was coming. This journey would be one of those pivotal moments I’d look back on once I’d come through the fire – a turning point which saw me spiral very quickly into the dark void within. For months on end, I cried a river of tears. So many tears for the countless times I had betrayed and abandoned my true self. For the countless ways many cultures have betrayed and abandoned women for thousands of years.

Everything was up for questioning. My entire life intricately sifted through and offered to the purifying flames for release. Alone in the dark, I offered myself up for sacrifice and metaphorically burned again and again into the purification fire. Parts of myself that were not serving my evolution were set ablaze. This was no ordinary fire but what felt like an insatiable inferno, greedily devouring not only the wounds of my womb but also those of my feminine lineage, the hundreds and thousands of women who have suffered before me.

There were days and weeks where I feared I would rage for eternity; feared there would be nothing left. I flipped the bird at the patriarchy, over and over again, as shackles were unshackled and bindings unbound. What I discovered in the raging fire was how deep and old this conditioning runs. I met parts of myself that I thought were free and sovereign, only to discover on digging deeper they were still chained and enmeshed deep in the roots of an outdated patriarchal spell.

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There were days and weeks where I feared I would rage for eternity. Image: engine akyurt.

I consciously came undone and felt all-consuming anger, so much I thought it would tear me apart. I felt it for all the women who have been lied to, ridiculed, manipulated and tricked. The women who’ve been oppressed, repressed and suppressed. The women who’ve been tamed, domesticated, subdued and ‘toned down’. The women who’ve been made to play the subservient, servant and maid. The women who were persecuted for their wisdom and knowledge. The women that were forced to turn on each other to survive – a rift in sisterhood we are still healing. The stories we tell about what it means to be a woman and for all the silenced stories.

When the fire subsided, I found myself asking; where are our stories? Where are the stories of the wise women; the crones? Where in our culture are the powerful, inspiring, knowledgeable wise woman showing us the way? Where are the female elders, revered and respected? As I searched for these stories as a guiding light in the dark, I became acutely aware that in western culture, women have often been written out of the story once we are no longer productive ‘child bearers’. Our ageing bodies, silver hair and life wisdom are mostly hidden away, covered up, denied and coloured as we try desperately to hold on to our youth and acceptable place in society. Our true life experiences remain unshared as we disappear into society’s invisible wilderness.

I asked myself why this happens? The clear answer that came is a culture that worships the maiden as the only valuable representation of woman. As daughters of the patriarchy we still live within a society that bows down at the altar of beauty, youth, productivity and ‘doing’. I felt abandoned by society’s imposed story. And yet, this fire within me ignited a determination to play my part in healing and re-writing this narrative.

I’ll admit, it’s been hard and I could have easily fled (many days I longed to), yet I allowed myself space and the permission to feel all of it. I floundered, played the victim and cowered; at times overwhelmingly afraid of the darkness. I screamed and cried for all who feel unworthy and not good enough. And then one day, like magic, I awoke, changed.

I am not the same woman I was during that Full Moon. I’ve been reborn and I’m rising as a rebirthed phoenix from the ashes – purged in the flames. My wise, wild woman and primal, instinctual nature are no longer numb. She is alive and she is on fire! The fire is no longer burning to purge, instead it is a creative spark and unwavering light, glowing deep in my womb, ready to fuel change. This fire is the Light.

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I’ve been reborn and I’m rising as a rebirthed phoenix from the ashes. Image: Julia Caesar.

What I now know is I will no longer tolerate being bound. I have valuable and useful qualities to facilitate lasting, positive change. I can be wild, untamed, unapologetic and unrelenting in my purpose. I am the expression and embodiment of fierce love, compassion, wisdom and a powerful light. My bones are strong and my blood has been purified. The holy grail of my womb has been cleansed and what was once was dry, drought-stricken terrain is sacred ground to a wild overgrown rose garden flourishing with life, wisdom and possibility.

I have cast away the lies and refuse to betray or abandon myself ever again. Deep in my blood and bones, I now know and trust I am a creatrix – feral, uncultivated, overgrown and free. I am a woman who runs with the wolves – a wild woman who leans into the ancient wisdom to heal myself and Mother Earth.

Waking into the light, washed clean once more, I have been effortlessly receiving potent and clear clarity on what it is that I am here to share. So, I have renewed my vow to be in sacred and loving service to the Goddess (a prayer I first whispered twenty-seven years ago) and to be in support of the healing and empowerment of the feminine on the planet in these turbulent times.

I have escaped from the garden with its white picket fences, suffocating neatness and stifling cultivated refinement, to instead walk the Red Road – the path of the wild unknown. To be in an alive conversation, a call and response to the NOW. I don’t know the specific details of what comes next and I don’t feel the need to. Instead, I choose to forever follow what lights me up and what is illuminated before me.

I know that there may be more dark nights to come, it’s the nature of the cyclic feminine and life itself. When that time comes I will be willing and ready once again to surrender and receive the gifts and sacred wisdom with my open, intuitive, wild-women heart.

So here I am with my silvers, a beautiful reminder of the initiation and rite of passage just journeyed.



Beloved Women and Sisters (and of course all the men who adapt and support women in their sovereign re-emergence).

What are your experiences in reclaiming the ancient feminine as you gather the years around you? What alchemy have your drawn-down into to re-discover your innate strength and clarity? What has given you hope as you remember that it’s time to come home? Please let us know in the comments below. Sharing your stories infuses the greater and truer female narrative.

Source: Uplift Connect