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los ovarios


“…she sings from the knowing of los ovarios, a knowing from deep within the body, deep within the mind, deep within the soul.” –Clarissa Pinkola Estes


A woman brings me a dream in which she goes to the doctor for a minor bladder irritation and is told that, while there, she might as well have her ovaries removed.  After all, says the dream doctor, she isn’t actually using her ovaries—she doesn’t need them—so why not simply have them out.

What a funny, horrifying dream. 

The ovaries sing a woman’s truth.  That’s what Jungian analyst Clarissa Estes says.  They sing the essence of who we are.  Ovaries are fertile and creative—they are the source of our actual babies as well as out paintings, our poetry and essays, our gardens and on and on.  From our ovaries we release seeds—eggs actually—of life and vitality and possibility.  Our ovaries link us to the mysteries of the deep feminine and to the endless fecundity of nature and our female bodies.  For this dreamer to be told that she might as well have them out because she no longer has need of them (she had, in fact, already birthed her children) is like saying she might as well give up on living in a creative,  joy-filled way.

The doctor in the dream was male, of course.  Which is not to say that men are bad—but rather that the voice inside our head—the authoritative, rule bound, critical voice is often male.  We all have these messages inside us—men and women alike.  We all have ways in which we trample on the delicate small voice of our own feminine instinct.   (The ovaries are small, by the way, only about 3 cm—or as someone once told me, the size of a large Greek olive).

We also have so little in our culture to support a feminine based way—a way of being instead of doing, a way of slow unfolding, of relatedness, of process.  In fairy tales, the feminine is often spinning or weaving or sewing or cooking—rhythmical activities that require patience and a watchful waiting—an ever attentive stance toward whatever it is that might be trying to emerge. The feminine is lunar and meandering and sometimes vague.   She does not thrive in an overly analytic, linear, logical environment where her moonlit wisdom can easily be made to feel foolish and fanciful.  She longs for healing and connection while the more masculine drive strives to fix and move on.  It is small wonder that our little Greek olive ovaries can feel weak and undervalued in our masculine dominated culture.

The good news is that the dreamer refused the offer of having her ovaries removed.  She knew instinctively—and that is precisely how the feminine does know—that something was very wrong with a medical office that would so casually and callously remove such a precious part of her body as a matter of course.  She was repelled by the doctor in the dream and deeply upset.  These are good signs.  We need to question the authority of the voices—both internal and external–that would do damage to our souls, that would violate the essence of who we truly are, that would tell us we have no right to live or dance or sing.  As Estes tells it the ovaries do sing.  They sing the truth of our being.

One Response to “los ovarios”

  1. sandra gardner says:

    lovely, poignant and true.

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