Annette Müller is a women’s embodiment and empowerment guide, a green Witch, and a maverick entrepreneur. She was initiated in the Wise Woman Tradition of healing and is the founder of Wild Nettle, a brand with a mission to nourish people with simple healing remedies.
As a radical advocate for women’s rights, Annette mentors women worldwide in transmuting their shame into their pathway to freedom. Her work is shamanic and somatic, spiritual and scientific.
She is also currently studying to become a professor of Modern Matriarchy and is the co-founder of RICHUAL, a sacred events company that brings conscious parties to Cape Town and the world.
In episode #15 of the Future Females Show, hosted by Media Personality & Transformational Coach, Susana Kennedy, and Co-Founder & CEO of Future Females, Lauren Dallas, Annette shares her thoughts on healing through the 4 shamed archetypes.
What is an embodiment guide, and what are some of the work and practices that you do?
Ultimately, my work focuses on being in your body. I want to invite us to experience our bodies. It seems so simple but so many of us live so much in our heads and due to a life that’s lived on a phone, or due to trauma we actually disassociate from experiencing the aliveness of our bodies.
Here is a practice…
I want you to take this opportunity to wiggle in your chair. There’s been a lot of energy and a lot of emotions, so just wiggle and start tapping on your collarbones and start sounding – take a deep breath in and sigh it out. Another deep breath in, and sigh it out. How much energy are you storing in your chest? Are you holding your breath? Just feel your heartbeat and take a moment to actually experience your body.
By doing this practice I can feel the nerves and the tingling on my chest, and so to ground myself before I speak to you I am inviting this practice because ultimately my work is to bring women into their bodies, to allow them to experience the joys and pleasures and pain of what it means to be a human in a body.
You use the 4 shamed archetypes. What are archetypes and how do you use them?
Carl Jung actually spoke about archetypes. It is the collective unconscious symbols, behaviors, traits, and parts of our personality or the way that we operate. I created, through an amazing teacher that I met, these modern archetypes. We are living in a modern era and when I work with women I can see that there is still a lot of shame around particular archetypes.
I have always called myself a witch – that is actually how I define myself – and that used to trigger and scare people, and I realised that there are these archetypes in the feminine that have been shamed to really oppress women and take away power. So the four archetypes that I like to work with are the Witch, the Bitch, the Slut, and the Dyke.
Ultimately if I were to redefine and really look at where the power lies in these archetypes, the Witch was pre-patriarchy the Healer – the woman who knew how to connect with the earth, the woman who was spiritually connected and received intuitive messages and who trusted those messages. It is triggering. I know many people might think they can not believe I would even use those words. I realise that that is how we as women hold back from these powerful parts of ourselves – that a woman is not afraid of her pleasure or ashamed of being a woman who enjoys her pleasure. A Bitch is a woman who can speak her truth and that is triggering to a culture that has brought women up to fear these powerful aspects of who they are.
The Dyke is a woman who loves women. All of us here are realising that we have been brought up in a culture that has separated us and has plotted us against each other. If you look at the Dyke through the lens of patriarchy, it assumes women are having sex with women because men think if women are close, they must be having sex, but actually, the Dyke is just a woman who loves women. She is able to be intimate with her sisters, she empowers them, she helps them to rise, and she supports their businesses.
It is really about finding the shame in women to then actually move through that.
How do you use these archetypes to get to a point of celebrating those parts of ourselves as the unity of the divine feminine?
It is important to understand that we often look at the divine feminine as just Love and Light, but we have been speaking a lot about the Shadow and the shamed parts of ourselves. I like to think of myself as an agent of the dark feminine because without the Shadow we cannot be whole, and what is hidden in the Shadow is what actually directs our life. If there is a part of you that you have shamed, for example not being allowed to be pleasurable because it is gross or slutty, you are denying an aspect of your femininity or your womanhood. Oftentimes women will sneakily follow me on social media, but actually they are triggered and annoyed by what I do because it is quite out there, and then slowly but surely they realise that there is a Witch inside of them that knows they are a Healer but they are so terrified of being burned or shamed by a culture that fears their spiritual gifts – that is how I work with women.
A word is a spell and I use these words because words hold power. A lot of my work starts literally with the word, which then brings you in to realise there is this Slut part of you that is really triggered and that wants to explore that. Then I do work of embodiment which looks at touching your body, feeling your skin, breathing, slowing down and receiving. If the Bitch calls you it is about stopping being the nice girl where you are constantly going outside of yourself to serve others but inside you are dying. You become resentful, you get exhausted, and you are constantly swallowing sand. I am here to help women stop swallowing sand.
When something is really triggering for a woman, how do you help her find her way so that she can start inviting it into her being?
It is a beautiful journey. I have been studying trauma and somatics and I realised that it is a slow process. You cannot quick fix anything. Part of my work is working with the earth and the elements, and so we have to release the shame and the rage. The Bitch is fucking ugly, frankly. In a culture that has, for centuries, oppressed us, we do not talk about what happened to women before the patriarchy – it just is a construct we all live by. But there is trauma and pain there. I say to women they have to get their hands in the soil and scream. They have to cry and bleed their period blood onto the earth – as crazy as that sounds! That is your connection to Gaia, your minerals are what you serve her through this connection of reciprocity. It is pretty radical and it is about returning the feminine mysteries, and the feminine education that was lost, stolen or burned.
I do not look for my people, they come to me when they are ready. I trust that when someone feels the call to embody the parts of themselves that they have hidden in the dark, they will find their way.
What is the benefit of Shadow work, and how does one start?
There is a quote by Jung that says: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” We think that we are manifesting our life from the conscious mind but actually it is our belief systems that live in the unconscious that create our reality.
Until you look in the dark corner and the hidden closets, your manifestations won’t come true. What will manifest is the splinter in your toe because that is the belief system, the shamed part of you that needs to be integrated in order to be whole and free. It is all good and well to do the Love and Light, but we have to look at the other elements too.
Think of it simply as, when we experience trauma, a part of us splits. It is like a split in the psyche and we fear and shame that part. And that is the part that we carry around, but we hide it. Healing is the process of turning to her and embodying, integrating, acknowledging, forgiving, and accepting – that is the process of true healing.
What would you say is the first step that women can take to accessing that part of themselves?
I always start with the simplest thing and that is waking up in the morning and actually connecting to your heart and your body – placing your hand on your chest. We have ideas of who we are or what we think we want based on external constructs (parents, culture, ideas or the media), and our true desires live inside of our bodies. If you can take a moment when you wake up in the morning – tune in, take a breath and really ask yourself what is it that you truly desire. Sometimes it is the simplest things like feeling loved or nourished. Do those things first because then you will actually pursue the thing you truly desire rather than trying to do and get all these external things that do not really validate us.
True validation comes from the connection we have to ourselves – including the pain that is felt in that morning when you feel like there is a lot of grief in your heart that needs to be processed.
How do we integrate or act on the desires that maybe do bring a little bit of shame to ourselves?
People always ask me how I felt so free to call myself a Witch or do the work that I do. I do not get comments on my Instagram posts anymore because I have energetically integrated and loved myself deeply enough to not let it come into my realm. It really is the process of coming back inwards. Journaling is a great tool of learning about yourself.
If you feel triggered by other people, think about the people (the company) you keep. We are creating our reality. It is our responsibility to acknowledge where things are not working and that is the boundary boss (the Bitch). It is having the resilience to know that there is death, change and endings to facilitate the rebearth. I always think of nature – we avoid change, we avoid simple things like letting go of a relationship or a job, or changing our eating habits. We have to allow the process of letting go in order to actually embody and find these other parts of ourselves.
Shame dies on exposure. When you expose your spheres or the parts of you that are shamed, there is no more energy around it – there is nothing left. If I expose parts of me that I am so terrified of people finding out, I am free. Our truth is really our magnetism and how we want to attract things to our life. So, speak truth because truth is magnetic. In a world of masks and bullshit, frankly, truth stands out. Part of that process in the morning when you wake up and really asking yourself what is truth and where are you lying to yourself each and every day – you are trapped because you are not telling the truth.
You are responsible for your truth, nobody else can give that to you.
Can you talk a little bit about the work that you do with women?
I do lots of different things. If you really want to come and play and have fun, I actually just started a business with my partner called RICHUAL. What I do, ultimately, is I create spaces for people to come and just be in their body. We return the simple practices of singing and dancing. We tend to think that healing is so complex but actually it is really simple. We did it as indigenous people – we danced, had full moon ceremonies, lit candles, prayed, etc. Everything I do is really returning that ancient wisdom.
What is the end state for you?
I guess it is just freedom and liberation for all, and connection because when we are connected to our bodies we care and we do not harm each other, we do not throw our litter on the ground, we honor the waters that we drink, we care about the food that we eat, and everything else that seems so big out there we start to shift just with the little tiny movements each day.
Finally, how do you get to that full body orgasm state?
Receiving is the full body orgasm. It is about calming the nervous system enough for us to actually receive. You cannot experience a full body orgasm if you cannot feel your heart or your belly. It is a journey of meeting the different parts of yourself that are numb or painful or disassociated from you. Ultimately, pleasure is multifaceted and I like to not focus on the orgasm because the whole journey to the orgasm is beautiful.
Watch the show episode video here: