As I sit here in my Bondi home tuning into the huge initiation I have coming up in about 10 weeks I am feeling so deeply called to share about the importance of rites of passage.
As women we move through so many different cycles and energies in our lives, each complete with its own initiation and rite of passage. However as our lives have become faster and more disconnected from the earth some of us have lost the thread of remembrance of these celebrations of transition. What was once woven into the fabric of society has become forgotten wisdom... and I really feel called to help bring it back for my brothers and sisters and for our children... the keepers of the New Earth.
As women, when we are born we are in our maiden energy (from birth to child birth). We are young and experimental with the world, we have our innocence and our wildness and want to learn all there is the learn, embracing the Spring season of life. In this time we have two initiations: the first is Birth - sometimes thought of as out most powerful initiation in this physical realm signifying the beginning of our life in our chosen physical vessel. The second is Menarche - when we bleed for the first time (our first moon) and transition from girl to woman, awakening our sexuality and fertility.
And then comes the initiation I am in and rapidly approaching... and when I say initiation I do not mean in an ordeal / trial by fire kind of way but in a being welcomed into the next level of life and into the tribe of mamas across the galaxy sense. The next transition is from Maiden to Mother and the Summer phase of life.
As you can imagine I have been pondering this a lot in these months of my swelling belly. From the discovery of being pregnant and acknowledging that, despite my deep joy at creating new life, I was also faced with the impending death of part of myself. A self that I have loved (mostly deeply) for 36 years. Surrendering my beloved strong body and feeling the pains of separating abdominals, pubic symphysis and spreading thighs to make way for the life of another and letting go of some dreams and plans - perhaps forever or maybe just for a while - to follow the wind and allow myself to be steered on a new and exciting course. Tears have rolled as I've said goodbye to work projects and acknowledged that life is changing. For the better - of course - but I have to be honest and admit I have found it sad to farewell my beloved Maiden. Even my own Mama just mentioned to me that she had to get used to the pregnant version of me as she missed the old one a bit... and I have to agree...
Each time we birth a baby we go through this transition and deeper initiation, attuning to the mother energy, the energy of the Goddess, of Gaia and Source. This is perhaps the reason I have become so deeply connected to the earth in my work in the past few years as I was readying myself for taking this new step. I have to say it is a beautiful process, although heart wrenching at times but 100% worth it.
As we move out of our child bearing years we move into Maga and the end of our fertility... the Autumn of a woman's life. After many years of deep family focus her attention turns to the community and how she serves in the world. I have to say I have very much enjoyed watching my own Mother's blossoming in this way as a world traveller, humanitarian and living crystal in service to anchoring the light. She was solely focussed on me for so many years (and I have to say I am still deeply grateful for her unwavering support) and no I share her with many other "children" across the globe.
And as we grow weary we enter our Crone energy, retiring from the world into rest and stepping out of the busy-ness of life.
HONOURING IN SACRED CEREMONY
And how are these transitions celebrated you might ask? If you look at our current society you might notice that they often go by unnoticed other than by the women having the direct experience. And for me this feels sad and once again demonstrates our disconnection from our essence.... hence my feeling to write this to you to remind you of the importance of aligning with these natural rhythms of your life.
FIRST MOON RITE OF PASSAGE
In many cultures a girl's first moon (or menarche) is celebrated with a ceremony that lasts for days to help ground a sister in what it means to become a woman. Educating in the magical mysteries of moon blood and holding her in the love and support of her tribe and expelling and fear or shame around sexuality or her potency as a priestess.
When I think back to my first moon is was at a dance rehearsal and I felt shame and anxiety, deeply concerned that I had blood on my leotard. The conditioning of our society (as you well know) had taught us to feel that our moon is a hassle and dirty and certainly not a process to be celebrated. Girls are not taught to offer their moon blood back to the earth, to rest in this sacred time or to tune into our deeper connection with spirit. It is for this reason I feel called to offer First Moon Rites of Passage for the younger sisters in my community. Please let me know if this is of interest to you or for your daughters.
This has become a more common occurrence in our society and is such a beautiful ceremony of honouring of a mother as she prepares to birth her baby into the world. I am lucky enough to be experiencing not one but 3 blessingways in my pregnancy - 1 in Bali (at 28 weeks) that has already been where I was showered with blessings and messages of strength and wisdom, massaged and bathed in flower petals and bound with sacred string to be cut when the baby is earthside. Each goddess gifted with a candle to light when I am labouring to show her love and support. The next is in Byron Bay (at 32 weeks) and the grand finale in Sydney right before birth. Some might say I am greedy but I say I am happy to call in all the honouring I can! Never before have I felt more in my Queen energy and so open to receiving the love and great wisdom of the collective sisterhood.
I feel so lucky to be surrounded by a community that supports empowered natural birth, truly believing in the power of the body to bring babies into the world as we have been doing for centuries. Expelling the fear and reminding me of my strength and ability to move through the most natural yet mind blowing-ly incredible experience on the planet. I have to say I have found myself so entranced by the magic going on in my body that makes me feel like I am the most powerful woman on earth... and then I remember that 100s & 1000s of women are going through this process with me right now... it's wild how something so incredible is actually so everyday!
I truly wish that all women can feel as loved, honoured and supported as I do right now. To trust in the power of their own bodies and to open themselves to receive the love and support they deserve. It is for this reason that I am offering Blessingways to new mamas, to help build the strong energetic container to help carry them through this incredible initiation. This is my service to the sisterhood (right now in Sydney as I am here but in the future in Europe /the US and beyond depending on where we land) so please reach out if you would like my support.
Menopause is a transition I am yet to fully tune into as it feels far from where I am right now but one that need not go without it's own ceremonial recognition. I remember my Mum's face when a shamanic iridologist (I think you could call him that) told her that her pituitary was closing and that "the change" was upon her. The discomfort at the thought of going through the physical symptoms that out over medicalised society wants to cover up with hormones and pills. I feel that there is some emotional processing of letting go of our capabilities as a woman - our ability to bear children an this is something that space must be held for to remind women that they are valued and highly valuable even though their life at this time might be consumed with dealing with teenage children and other responsibilities.
And finally the phase of stepping into the slower years of the Crone. I always find it refreshing to visit cultures where the grandmothers are so revered as the wisdom keepers of the household and honoured and loved so deeply. Children gather at their feet to be told the stories and ancient myths, keeping the wisdom following as it is designed to. Although things may look a little different in our world when we are so busy and caught up in our own lives that the temptation to pop Gran in a nursing home and let her do her thing seems like the only way.
I'm sure I will be writing more about these rites of passage in coming weeks... with even more suggestions of ceremonies you can create yourself to honour these changes and natural seasons. Imagine turning up to our Grandmother's house and bowing before her in deep reverence, acknowledging her great wisdom. Can you image how that would make her feel?
I will leave this here for now as my baby is kicking me and my pelvis is sore from sitting in front of a computer... but please do ask me to come and create a ritual for you and your family. I would really love to support you.
Love, SJ x