Women Turned to Stone: Confronting Fear

Aquatic II, Vasalisa Romanenko

Aquatic II, Vasalisa Romanenko


Greetings, dear readers!

The following is a continuation of our blog series “Reflections from the Heart of the Feminine.” If you’re just joining us you may want to start here.


Quotation from Chapter 7 for Reflection and Discussion:

I have worked with woman after woman who was intelligent, capable, even professionally trained, and yet was still paralyzed when it came to pursuing her life with a sense of authenticity and security, grounded in her own ability. I am even more saddened to see how our ability to love and be loved, and to be whole people in relationships, has been frozen by the Death Motherʼs influence in our families and in our society.

Not only have I seen this in the people I work with, but I have experienced it myself. I have questioned my own ability to believe in myself, in my potentials, and in my own success, not for years, but for decades. And I have wondered if I would ever really know what love is and if I would ever really experience it.

Questions for Journaling and Group Discussion:

Have you ever experienced becoming “paralyzed in normalcy”?

How do you understand our statement that “…the Death Mother gives us a frightening picture of the outside world, but she also gives a terrifying countenance to our own inner world”?

Does it make sense to you that the “writhing snakes of rage” are the first emotions we need to face, and then once they are faced and transformed, they become the source of our strength and life?

To get a good introduction to the Death Mother archetype, watch Massimilla’s lecture on the topic:


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2 Responses to “Women Turned to Stone: Confronting Fear”

  1. Cyberstar

    I think that the statement of “the Death Mother gives us a frightening picture of the outside world” (and of course same with the innerworld) is spot on. It took me a decade of psychotherapy to decode what had happened to me and to picture what is going on with my mother. Sadly enough my mum is a controlling mother in such a way that her “care” for me can be described as a combination between Muchhaussen by proxy syndrom and gaslighting. She thinks what is right for me. A few years ago when I communicated to her that I didn’t want to have contact with her for a while, her fury overwhelmed me. I coudn’t have done that without the support of my psychotherapist. My mums fear was to overwelming for me, to keep standing in my own shoes. Thank God my therapist helped me through this very difficult time.
    I suspect my mum to be autistic. What are your thoughts of the Death Mother and autism?

    • Dr. Bud Harris

      Dear Cyberstar,
      We are very sorry to hear of your most difficult experience with your mother. Your question is interesting but we have no knowledge or experience about autistic mothers. However, from what you wrote your mother sounds more disturbed than that. We certainly wish you the best on your healing journey.
      Massimilla and Bud

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