Browsing Tag


The Yaga Squint + Ongoing Intuition

From Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

[The Yaga’s] land is the underworld of the psyche. The too-good mother’s land is that of the topside world. Although sweetness can fit into the wild, the wild cannot long fit into sweetness.

When women integrate this aspect of the Yaga, they change from accepting without question every tinker, every barb, every dadoo, every everything that comes their way. To gain a little distance from the sweet blessing of the too-good mother, a woman gradually learns to not just look, but to squint and to peer, and then, more and more, to suffer no fools.

…Some women are afraid this deep knowing via instinct and intuition will cause them to be reckless or thoughtless, but this is an unfounded fear.

Quite the contrary; lack of intuition, lack of sensitivity to cycles, or not following one’s knowing, causes choices which turn out poorly, even disastrously.

…Intuition is not to be consulted once and then forgotten… It is to be consulted at all steps along the way.

Moana for the Win

I know I’m late to this party– I’m late to a lot of them.

I finally watched “Moana” after catering to my 7-year-old son’s repeated soundtrack requests.

I was blown away.

Not so much by the story as by the kind of story: it’s so female-focused. Not only is there no romance, there are some other big notables:


Moana’s mom is not an overprotective bear

I liked elements of “Brave,” but was irritated that the mom was the one who enforced societal oppression. I appreciated that Moana didn’t have to fight her mom in order to find herself.


The ocean is a main character

What’s more feminine than the water that birthed all life… and which ebbs and flows and follows the moon?


Grandmother safeguards Moana’s purpose

The three feminine stages of life are maiden, mother, crone. I loved the symbolism of the crone using her wisdom, experience, patience and irreverence to affirm the maiden.

The mission is to save the Creation Goddess

To restore the heart!! This is exactly what’s next in our culture: restoring the power and honor of the Divine Feminine.

Moana doesn’t set out to fight Maui. She doesn’t go out to slay monsters. She goes out to heal the wound that is birthing the monsters and destruction. Imagine what our world will look like when we make decisions that aren’t about conquering but about healing.


‘You’re a princess, not a wayfinder’

Maui explicitly calls out the elephant in the room: ‘you wear a skirt, you have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess, you’re not a wayfinder.’ THANK YOU, Disney, for finally getting past the damsel nonsense.

In “Brave” the heroine is fighting against being a damsel. In “Moana” the heroine (and the ocean) squash the damsel limitations in about two minutes of screen time– and we get to go on with the adventure, not questioning our heroine’s legitimacy.


The dark side of the Divine Feminine

Te Ka spews lava, rage, destruction. You know those hypercritical mothers-in-law in sitcoms? That’s the same thing. That’s the Divine Feminine devalued, powerless. That’s how I feel when I bump up against sexism and division of labor.

This might actually be the most powerful element of the story: the acknowledgement that what seems evil, what we think we must conquer (or at least avoid), is actually wounded and needs our help to become whole again.

She’s not a waif

Wll, at least not by Disney standards. Pretty cool to compare Moana and Ariel dolls:

The Leftovers:

A few irritating old Disney standards were still present.

Male/Female body ratio

I know Maui is a demigod, but he (and the chief) are four times the size of most of the female characters.

This is still drawing pretty hard on the old Atlas Bodybuilding standard:


Doe eyes

Although Moana isn’t quite as doe-eyed as other Disney girls, the cute-baby-animal thing is still going strong.

Why is this a problem? Because babies (animal and human) have extra big eyes for their head-size, which is why we think they’re so cute. But babyish cuteness is one thing that reinforces the attitude that females are small, weak, in need of protection, etc. Not helping the revolution.

Read more about “Baby Schema” here.


Sassy hips

She’s nowhere near as sexualized as Elsa from “Frozen,” but I think we could get rid of the little hip pop without losing any of her spunk.


That said, this is the first time in my life I’ve ever told people that they really should watch a Disney animated movie.

And the best bonus of all is hearing my son sing not only “You’re Welcome,” but walk around the house belting out “I am Moana!”

Moana for the win.