The “Woman in a Cage” Phenomenon

April 21, 2023
Kate Joyner

One of the images I repeatedly hear of when working with women is the woman in a cage. It’s quite uncanny how the image repeats itself, an obvious stirring with the collective psyche. 

I know this place. I lived in this place for many years. I lived the excruciation of carrying so much on the inside only to feel like it had no place to go on the outside. With no outer reciprocal field, I hid: I was the one who had locked herself away. 

The expression of the feminine wild has for a long time been lost in the collective unconscious. But as a very force of nature she cannot be banished, she can only be exiled to the margins. There in the cage, she rattles and spits and writhes for her own emancipation.

When women reach this point of recognising that they can no longer live the caged life, that’s when the journey begins. The journey of reclamation, the journey of remembrance, the journey into complete union with the totality of being a woman.

When we first encounter her locked in the cage, she seems a little scary and she evokes a palpable terror with her promise to wreck our lives as we have known them. The integration of this other half of our soul transforms each woman to embrace the qualities that have been exiled.

Her sexuality, her hunger, her appetite, her desire, her longing, her raw unfettered emotions, her capacity for prophesy, are all expressions of her wild and in this wild is her connection to her heart, her soul and the soul of the world. 

The wild caged one has been left to fester in the dungeon of the unconscious psyche. We must turn to her with a healthy vessel, a key and a willingness to let the storm take us. 

For what has been banished is not less than the force we need to change the world. In her is our capacity for the truest love of our lives. This is the love that brings us into union with the pulsing cosmos of creation. No wonder she has been banished, for unleashed she would be the demise of our current world order. 

A woman who has unlocked herself from the cage, you see her when she comes. You see her in her body, radiating, confident, free. A woman integrated in her heart, sex and soul is the magic the world is waiting for.

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