A great quote from Clarissa Pinkola Estes about what she calls the ‘Life/Death/Life Mother ‘ and her healing powers of transformation; of how she can be found in the stories and myths of cultures across the planet. ‘La Loba’ is the Wolf Woman who gathers the bones and sings over them to bring them back to life – literally re-membering them with her magical song – a powerful image of the Crone as not only the midwife of souls but she is who is the catalyst for renewal and rebirth.
There is an old woman who lives in a hidden place that everyone knows in their souls but few have ever seen. As in the fairy tales of Eastern Europe, she seems to wait for lost or wandering people and seekers to come to her place.
…She calls herself many names: ‘La Huesera’, Bone Woman; ‘La Trapera’, The Gatherer; and ‘La Loba’, Wolf Woman.
…The sole work of La Loba is the collecting of bones. She collects and preserves that which is in danger of being lost to the world.
…La Labo parallels world myths in which the dead are brought back to life. In Egyptian mythos, Isis accomplishes this service for her dead brother Osiris, who is dismembered by his evil brother, Set, every night. Isis works from dusk to dawn each night to piece her brother back together again before morning, else the sun will not rise. The Christ raised Lazarus, who had been dead so long he ‘stinketh’. Demeter calls forth her pale daughter Persephone from the Land of the Dead once a year. And La Loba sings over the bones.
…When La Loba sings, she sings from the knowing of ‘los ovarios’, a knowing deep within the body, deep within the mind, deep within the soul. The symbols of seed and bone are very similar. If one has the root stock, the basis, the original part, if one has the seed of corn, any havoc can be repaired, devastations can be resewn, fields can be rested, hard seed can be soaked to soften it, to help it break open and thrive.
To have the seed means to have the key to life. To be with the cycle of the seed means to dance with life, dance with death, dance into life again. This embodies the Life and Death Goddess in her most ancient and principled form. Because she turns in these constant cycles, I call her the Life/Death/Life Mother.
If something has been lost, it is she to whom one must appeal, speak with, listen to. Her psychic advice is sometimes harsh or difficult to put into practice but always transformative and restorative.
…La Loba. the old one in the desert, is a collector of bones. In archetypal symbology, bones represent the indestructible force. They do not lend themselves to easy reduction. They are by their structure hard to burn, nearly impossible to pulverize. In myth and story they represent the indestructible soul-spirit. We know the soul-spirit can be injured, even maimed, but it is nearly impossible to kill.
You can dent the soul and bend it. You can hurt it and scar it. You can leave the marks of illness upon it, and the scorch marks of fear. But it does not die, for it is protected by La Loba in the underworld. She is both the finder and the incubator of bones.