Learning about the Burning Woman archetype and feminine power

My therapist recommended a book to me a couple weeks ago, Burning Woman, by Lucy H Pearce.

The kindle version was only $6.50 and so I bought it and started reading it. And holy cow – the way the entire book resonated with my own life experiences, my own life journey, was mind-boggling. It was seriously transformational for my understanding of how I fit into the greater picture of creation.

For the last few years, I had thought that my own journey – from working my ass off my whole life, trying to be “good,” trying to be the best I could be, trying to please everyone else, to finally achieving this incredible success that thrilled me and made me feel so alive and purposeful but also too consumed by it, with my health seriously declining because of my obsession, even while feeling like I was making a difference in the world and positively impacting so many people, especially being a role model for young women to become more powerful…to then suddenly and shockingly be betrayed by almost everything and everyone I loved and worked so hard for, having it all torn out from under me, with me lost and confused and devastated…to then slowly, slowly, slowly, working my way back from that, to find new and better peace and purpose and grounding than I ever had before…

This is NOT just MY journey. This is the Burning Woman archetype. And multitudes of powerful women in our world have the same exact story. 

Much of the reason for this same story is that the patriarchy rules our world. And Feminine power, the Feminine divine, has been suppressed. I had been told, before my fall, by numerous women how grateful they were that I was so “unapologetically female,” that I “owned my power” as a woman, and that I wasn’t afraid to be me. And unfortunately, the patriarchy cannot handle powerful women.  

While the first half of the book talks about this archetype, other parts of the book resonated with me for my current focus on turning inward and focusing on my connection to all of creation. Here are just a few excerpts from the book, Burning Woman.

“Let go of your persona, your worldly identities, and experience yourself intimately as an integral part of the endless darkness, the sea of infinite creative potential. The more you know yourself in this way, the more rooted in your source power you will be. And the less power the world – its threats, judgements and controls – will exert on you.” 

“Going dark is an important regular practice for Burning Women. It serves to disconnect us from the outer world, from the racing, chattering mind and incessant doing, and reconnect with self/Source. We fully recharge and revitalize when we allow ourselves to go dark. We can truly sense what we burn for.” 

“But be warned, sister: in the darkness, the mind is not our friend. The first way to find ease in the dark is to quiet the mind, perhaps through breathing techniques or mindfulness practice. In the light, we believe we are our thoughts. In the dark, we learn that we have the choice to listen to and believe our thoughts. We learn that they are a river running over the top of a deep dark chasm of being. We are not the river. We do not control the river. It takes consistent practice and unlearning.”

“We are not taught to deal with the process of inner transformation. But our souls are pushing us to go dark…so that they can emerge more fully. Transformation cannot and will not ever happen by mental force or in the realm of the mind. Transformation happens in the dark zone. It requires that we walk into the dark, away from everything that makes us feel safe and defines us.”

“Our power is not based on possessions or external prestige, but something far deeper and stronger: our power is a natural force, connected to the force of nature, rooted in our bodies. Our power is the power of life itself. And it is innate to us.”

“Declutter your house, your mind, your diary. Declutter your obligations. Anything not rooted in authenticity, anything which takes you away from your center. That demands you be other than who you are must go. Until you find yourself surrounded by space. And still there is more to shed.”

While many of the ideas throughout this book are not entirely new to me, reading the whole book itself was a powerful way for me to more fully awaken into the ideas. It has helped me to see my place in this world, see my values more clearly, see my purpose, at a time when I have been questioning my purpose. And for that, I am grateful and I feel much more at peace than I have in a very long time.

In my next blog entry, I will talk about what the book shares regarding the “Good Girl” archetype and why I have finally rejected it over the last couple of years.

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