I was absolutely certain that my son was going to be a girl, until the ultrasound proved otherwise.
“Look at his little turtle!”, exclaimed the tech, pointing to a wee acorn shape resting proudly under my baby’s cord.
It was true, there was no denying what there was visible proof for. I laughed, with all of my preconditioned ideas of b-o-y swirling around and taking root.
Subsequently, my extremely sensitive, creative and perceptive son and I were both absolutely sure that his sister would be a boy. Wrong again. We hung our heads low over taco salads after the appointment–how could my intuition be so off? Twice?
Affirmative: my instincts were unreliable.
It was later that year that I became aware of the Hanged Man archetype, running the show by confusing my intuition with contrary information. Suspended upside down, he appears a prisoner: helpless. But I noticed how comfortable he looked there-his foot placed gently behind his inner thigh in a sort of still, yet dancing tree pose. What was he trying to tell me about seeing things from polar vantage points? What could happen if I reframed some of my beliefs about myself to support, rather than imprison me? Believing that I could not sense my children’s sexes was only one of many “wrongs” that plagued my sense of confidence around intuiting the truth.
I introduced Hanged Man to Coyote, my totem and companion, as well as my chief guide into the Spirit World. Apparently, they already knew one another.
Coyote is no one’s prisoner. However, he bumbles around foolishly, bringing mischief and sometimes misery upon himself because of his mistakes, as folk tales go. He is a laughing Fool and a Trickster, busy for years teaching me about natural consequences, and also about how to be flexible, adaptable, and to be prolific. Coyote has single-handedly helped me rehabilitate the strict no-mistakes-allowed ethic that hitched a ride into adulthood by chuckling into my ear about every experience being an education in awareness.
If it’s a fact that women do not come factory equipped with esteem as men do, then Coyote and Hanged Man have brought me confidence where there once were few love notes being sent to me, from me. When I feel imprisoned by my own thoughts, I turn them upside down and test them from the opposite direction for new insight. When I feel myself wandering off-path outside of the map, I am reminded that there are no mistakes, and to follow my curiosity.
A wild woman is a gatherer of peculiar tools and misty insights. The knapsack next to my heart is warm with allies who, while unable to reveal my children’s genders to me, have taught me how to balance masculine and feminine energies within and create support around myself where there could otherwise be disparagement, and has been.
Up until labor day, I thought she might still be a boy, my daughter- because for what there is no proof of, I wouldn’t believe until I saw her myself: frogged up against my chest in our bathtub on the first day of Spring. My sweet little Persephone. Yet there was a boldness to her that I could detect right away, an uncanny aplomb that one might even call… ballsy.
Pixie Campbell is a mixed-media painter, writer and founder of the sold-out e-course SouLodge: A Sanctuary for Wild Women, designed to hold sacred space around the soulwork of women on the path.
This year she’s focusing her Eagle eye on collaborations with other vital, wild women, painting and writing a book.