Giving Back Projections

Reflections from Bone:Dying into Life by Marion Woodman

Copyrighted photo by D. Bridge

“I know I have to defend myself against unconscious Negative Mother projections, have to rest, have to be very disciplined with food, and most of all have to find a place of leadership which is no longer archetypal Great Mother. And I have to do that before the negative projection sets in when I fail to open up the boundless energy I no longer have.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 156)

“I have shocked the women by the sharpness of cutting off old mothering instincts that would sap my energies and keep them infantile.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 158)

“…If an Inuit dislikes you he cares for you in a storm, makes you dependent. If he likes you, he allows you your independence. That in the Arctic can mean  your survival.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 164)

“I am aware of maturing masculine energy releasing more of my femininity out of the Mother archetype and into the Virgin, who is standing to her own hard-won values and feelings, however vulnerable she seems.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 164)

My reflection*:  In this section I have a sense of Marion reorienting herself to a new way of being in her work.  It is clear that she is sensing her waning energies and the need to change her presence in the world, in particular to move from the Mother archetype and the holding of the mother projection from others.  Now, I never met Marion, but in this reading I sense that at this time in her life she is preparing those who have depended on her to be able to move forward without her.  She is handing back to others the projections she has held for them and, in turn, is leaning more fully into the the Virgin archetype while allowing herself to also move into her own vulnerabilities.  In doing so, she models for us each how we must continue to grow and evolve as we move toward wholeness.

Woodman, M. (2000). Bone: Dying into Life. Penguin Books.

*This reflection was first published in a Facebook Group entitled BodySoul Rhythms – Continuing the Legacy of Marion Woodman

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