Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

From Dr. E.: Blessing-Poem, “Hymn of Gratitude, For We Are Pleased by Dangerous Old Women and Their Wild and Wise Daughters”

In Blessing-Poems from Dangerous Old Woman fireside, The Good Souls on May 1, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Dear Souls: Here is an excerpt from a blessing poem with nine staves: this is the first stave in “Hymn of Gratitude, For We Are Pleased by Dangerous Old Women and Their Wild and Wise Daughters.”

I’d like you to just lean back in your chair, take a deep breath. It’s so nice to breath, isn’t it, speaking of el viento, the wind. Inspiratus finds a hard time getting into people who are breathing shallowly or tightly… you know those who go: huff, huff, huff, huff?

Have you ever noticed when you’re upset and suddenly breathing like a little locomotive, huff, huff, huff, huff? Take a deep breath now: Ahhhh! Place your hand on your heart, or leave your hands open in your lap, palms upward, and relax back. Just relax for a bit now…

“Hymn of Gratitude, For We Are Pleased by Dangerous Old Women and Their Wild and Wise Daughters.”

by CP Estés

For all the elders of the world,

each and every kind ever created,

those who have been carried gently by the waves,

and those who have been half-wrecked

by any number of storms and squalls,

those who have clung to the wreckage long enough

to make it halfway in,

and thence to have gained landfall.

For the elders,

who in all their variegations,

in all their sorrows and talents,

who now stand shy or certain,

semi-disheveled or pulled together,

but nonetheless hip-wide and proud.

For the tribes of the grand elder women,

in all their feathers and pelts,

and all their leaves and skins and skirts,

and all their las ropas guerreras,

their warrior full-dress,

in their wings and sashes and shawls,

with their ceremonial broaches and necklaces,

and staves of authority,

in all their athletic and tender pride,

in all their beaks and tails

and tulle and toile,

all flashing and sashaying,

and all their sauntering and sensuality,

in all their unexpected and outrageous behaviors,

and all their eccentricities,

in all their tribal paint and lace and denim,

in all their clan colors and insignias of power,

all their fierce and gentle blood and shining eyes.

For all their conserving and sacrificing and generous ways,

for their supreme caring

that decency, creative life, and care for the soul

should not vanish from the face of this earth.

For all this blessed beauty within them,

for them let us pray strength and healing,

straight down into their courage bones forever…

…let us be granted that we stand in their danger

… forever


And a little woman.



The image is of Las Madres y Abuelitas Sagradas para Los Desaparecidos: The blessed mothers and grandmothers of ‘the disappeared.’  They have gathered in the Plaza de Mayo … they who have fought for human rights and decency by relentlessly demanding justice for their children and and grandchildren, killed or “disappeared” (this means tortured, murdered and dumped over mountains or bulldozed into unmarked mass graves in the outback) during the junta dictatorships of Argentina that killed 30,000 people during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Over 30 years later, continuing today, the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo are additionally using DNA testing to reunite now adult “lost children,” with their blood families–  babies who were taken away from their parents and given to other families sanctioned by the dictatorship.

There are mothers, grandmothers, fathers and grandfathers, brothers and sisters and friends of ‘the disappeared’ active worldwide, wherever there has been a dictatorship, a killing war, a forced migration, slave labor, death camps, a vigilante militia, an ethnic cleansing, a move to socially ‘improve’ the poor by removing their children from them, where children and adults have been seized to be trafficked, or ‘harvested,’ taking their bodily organs against their wills for illegal organ transplants. Africa, Europe, North America, South American, Central America, Asia, Australia, Island Nations, all have souls continuing to seek ‘the disappeared.’

Let us pray: May they all live long and strong.

May we all ever stand in the danger of those who protect the souls of human beings. May we ever learn from them the fierce and the gentle ways of the soul.


“Hymn of Gratitude, For We Are Pleased by Dangerous Old Women and Their Wild and Wise Daughters,” a blessing-poem by CP Estés, Copyright ©2007, 2010, All Rights Reserved, including but not limited to electronic, performance, theatrical, musical, graphic, film, commercial, derivitive. Uses: You are welcome to use this blessing poem in non-commercial ways without adding to nor deleting any part, just using the work in its entirety along with author’s name and this copyright notice attached. Thank you. Other permissions: Ngandelman@aol.com

  1. I did exactly as you asked, one hand on heart and read these words aloud to myself. And my eyes made tears. And my heart lurched for what is to come and what has already passed. Thank you.

  2. gracias mil gracias!

  3. So Beauty-full.
    Deep Thank you.

  4. Thankyou dear Dr E for another Soul-touching poem.

    I love elderly women so much….when I was in Ukraine, my heart used to break at all the ‘Babushkas’ sitting on the streets, selling a few half-dead vegetables in hope of sustaining themselves. I would put Ukrainian money in little hand-written notes and give the to them. Someone said to me ‘Roni, you can’t break your heart over every Babushka’…Oh but I can…I do…I will…and what is within m y reach I will do for them.a.and what is not within my reach can be carried on a prayer by the Goddess and taken up by someone within their reach. Than kyou for honouring these onderful wise old women. We have much to learn from many of them. When people think some of the elderly have become hard or bitter etc, it is just the overculture of their time, with the overculture of ours on top..under that is wisdom and such stories!! And a smile and a welcome and an ear and a hug can more than melt what lies over!!!
    Thankyou again, and see you at DOW.

    Much love, Roni

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