The spiritual journey that make throughout our lives is one initially of exploration and then of transformation and finally integration.
But what if we encounter problems along the way whilst trying to assimilate our life experiences into our psyches – what happens then?
And what do we do with all that dark, suppressed, raw and disassociated material? How do we even find a way through to it in the first place?
A Dark Road
The unspoken and tragic history of women, throughout time, is one related to the constant struggle to resolve this dark matter, to resonate to the power that resides dormant within themselves and, ultimately, to resolve it and give birth to a more meaningful expression of themselves.
This was the challenge presented to writer Dominique Christina who, in her book This is Woman’s Work openly and honestly shares her experiences of having lived for many years trapped within a self-suppressed, introverted persona.
In her prolonged struggle to become free of its confinement she encountered aspects to her own Shadow-Realm which she neither recognized nor, at first, embraced.
Over time, she did awaken to the reality that resided within herself and came to accept that there were in fact a number of diverse personas, all archetypal energy forms, trapped within her psyche.
This is Woman’s Work is a collection of her personal experiences trying to resolve and integrate as many as twenty widely differing aspects of herself.
This, however, may not be the end of the story for, as Christina herself admits,
With the archetypes, I tried to capture the energy patterns that I have experienced and or observed most persuasively, with the understanding that the list is by no means exhaustive. There could easily be fifty more,
The Shadow Woman
In revealing her first archetypal power,the ‘Shadow Woman’ the author explains how it is perhaps the foremost energy pattern that most woman have to deal with along the road to empowerment.
The author explains further:
This archetypal energy is tricky because it is purposefully hidden, intentionally tucked away and guarded.
From this point forward, in her book, Christina dedicates a chapter to each of the archetypal energies that she has identified as being resident within her shadow realm.
She describes the nature of each in poetic terms at first, then in way of personal reflection as well as by listing their attributes. She also includes one or more exercises that the reader can follow by way of aiding their integrate as well as an example of each archetype as it is outwardly encountered in areas such as popular and classic literature.
Types of Archetypes
Most of the characteristics that the author identifies in her book are, by their very nature, wild, rebellious and challenging.
They feature attributes such as those required in order for a woman to compete in a male-dominated, hierarchal society, as well as some centered upon creative action and others that call upon reflection and contemplation.
Most of all they all form patterns of energy that when expressed make women powerful within a world that undermines that power and yet which, at the same time, feeds off its resourcefulness and intuitive insights.
In concluding her book the author exhorts women to be in love with who they are – to praise themselves for being whom and what they are; for ultimately this is the way to integrate all of the disparate parts of themselves so as to fuse them into something unique and special in this world.
This is Woman’s Work is a book aimed solely at women and in particular at those who seek the pathway that leads through to their souls.
As a male I instinctively feel that I have no right in intruding upon the sacredness of this book nor to comment upon its validity or authority – which presents something for a challenge for me as I am essentially charged with the task of evaluating this work.
In light of the fact that I have to write something about it I shall offer my impressions of it from something akin to an arms length – and, of course, from the slightly skewed perspective of a man.
Firstly, I would say that this is a book that so evidently fulfills a vital function in a world that is fast seeking to homogenize women, dumb them down and turn them into one-dimensional, catwalk, cardboard cutouts.
Secondly, I would say that too many women take on the very fixed role that is offered to them by society as an easy option. Finding out who and what you are requires hard work and dedication no matter what sex you are.
In This is Woman’s Work readers are presented with the undeniable fact that women are universally more complex than they allow themselves credit. Now I do not mean that in any condescending way but simply as a statement of psychological fact.
What is also certainly true – and one gathers so clearly from reading this book, is that women, through their complex internal structure are infinitely more varied and interesting than their male counterparts.
So from my limited perspective I would consider this book to be a celebration of the potential of womanhood, a recognition of her darker aspects and an important commentary regarding the re-emergence of the Goddess energy as it continues to rise throughout all societies all over the world.
I personally enjoyed This is Woman’s Work immensely – mainly for its for its honesty but also for its beguiling endorsement of the female psyche in all its forms.
This may indeed be women’s work but men are beholden to them and must stand back and to let them through because like it or not the tide is certainly turning. Armed with the philosophy and guidance of such writers such as Dominique Christina we run the risk of being trampled upon if we fail to get out of the way.
This is Woman’s Work is a rich and empowering commentary on the hidden potential of the sacredness of women. It reveals the fact that we are faced with one of the most important social dilemmas of our age – how to integrate the repressed aspects to our selves. It is women who hold the keys to planetary transformation and this is a book to show them how and why they should not be afraid to exercise that right.