My Shiver Story – The Fiery Haired Girl

The yoga studio I belong to has been doing a monthly art journaling series on the book Women Who Run with Wolves. This month we discussed Shiver Stories & learned how to draw sigils.

My Sigil Board

Surrender to the Journey – this has been my mantra for the past month. The doodles show 2 different sigil designs based on this phrase.

This was a really fun exercise to practice being creative while having guidelines/format to help get started.

Shiver stories / temblon “overtly entertain but are meant to cause listeners to experience a shiver of awareness that leads to thoughtfulness, contemplation & action.”

Below is my fist attempt at my own Shiver Story:


During the first years of her life, the little fiery haired girl was labeled the vitality of her family. The only offspring of a generation (and unfortunately female) she recognized she was the heiress to all of her familial inheritance but also their deep psychological wounds.

She had an undeniable spark about her. The early days of her youth were filled with adventure, passion & creativity. She loved to be the center of attention and would entertain guests with stories and songs she composed. She embodied light, but soon realized that came with a cost. For there are always those waiting in the shadows to siphon from the most endowed.

She was often observed as possessing a nature that was both precocious and alluring. Her life story would be full of opposing dialectics, but none as deeply impactful as this. For to be a child, and to be viewed as alluring, can be an avenue to adult experiences.

She was studious and intelligent beyond her years. Being the only child in the fold, she spent her days alternating between fantastical realms in her imagination (informed by her voracious reading habits) and quietly observing the world of the adults.

As heiress of the bloodline it was important she know the family history as well as continue the faith. Educational years were spent in echo chambers of indoctrination. The consistency & intensity of the message was enough to brainwash the rest of her cohort into submission.

But the fiery little girl had the gift of sight. She could understand so clearly what the others did not. The pious nature, the devotion, the shall/shall nots – these were not rules that those around her endeavored to achieve full-heartedly as they so preached.

It was all as a masquerade. A set of rules that harbored spilt personalities – the public persona vs the private persona. You actions in public must prove to others that you are a devout follower. Meanwhile the behaviors that occurred in the privacy of home follow an entirely different playbook.

It was during this time that she learned to compartmentalize her life. She presented as ever so studious pupil in public, while walling off a part of her that knew the TRUTH.

As we all know this comes with a cost.

By adolescent the fiery haired girl had already begun to lose her vitality – even her hair had lost its once lustrous sheen. She saw the world as a desolate and cruel environment. As her mother watched her spark extinguish, she extended her daughter methods of coping with the pain. A modern miracle cure – a simple pill to provide relief.

Numbness ensued. It enveloped her and she persisted in this purgatory for the next two decades. Not dead (though her soul felt completely withered) but not alive either. Numb.

After years of disillusionment, one day she had enough. She was no longer willing to live in the in between. Continuing to merely survive in a medication induced haze was not worth the efforts and trials of existing.

She made a pilgrimage to the realm of her childhood. For years she had known it was all an ignis fatuus, but never had she seen it so clearly before. What had once felt like an imposing fortress was clearly a mirage – no more than wax paper and mirrors.

The king still presided over what remained of his court (as his life had lingered past its assumed expiration). A grin formed across his face as he recognized her approaching him. His favorite pet had returned. He rose to his feet and extended his arms – imagining a progridal son moment no doubt.

As she stepped over the hearth, she let out a blood curling scream. A wail of anguish first her own – then of her mother, her grandmothers, and every woman that came before her. In that instance the chamber burst into flames. The entire dwelling devoured in fire. The look in his eyes – animalistic fear – and then betrayal.

She knew that look. It was a mirror image to her own eyes so many moons ago.

She did not meet the fire with fear – she held her head high and allowed it to consume her. For she knew with it comes redemption. Drawing her final breath, she made direct eye contact and then she winked at him. Her destiny fulfilled.

Published by Jamie Schmidt, LPC

Just a human being on a journey of self discovery. Psychology + Spirit + Healing

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