The waxing and waning moon, the ebb and flow of the ocean, and the beautiful cycles that flow through Woman.
We interact with and respond to the sun, the moon and the stars through our hormonal system. They flow with the forces of nature all within and all around us. Our cycles allow for a renewal of our mental, physical and emotional health, and a deepening of our relationship to ourselves and others. Our sacred cycles take us on our inner and outer journeys, releasing what no longer serves us, while (re)awakening us to guidance from the higher realms.
Through archaeology and anthropology we have learned that menstruation was central to the development of human civilizations. What does this look like and how can we relate to this today?
Women responded to their time of bleeding in the moon cycle by going within to listen and receive guidance. They went into supportive and nurturing spaces and were supported and protected by their tribes. Once their cycle had ended and their physical strength had returned, they stepped out of their sacred moon cycle space to share with their tribes what they had experienced and what was revealed during this sacred monthly vision quest. What they shared, was not necessarily about reproduction per se. It was also about the creation of all and the Universe, and about directions and guidance for their livelihoods.
We see the necessity, in the world within us and the world outside of us, to continue with these practices. Why suppress the nature of our very being, which is truly what sustains us?
In thinking of all the information that we receive through great teachers, Gurus and Avatars who are accessing the higher realms, it becomes then so very clear that this is a valuable practice for our society. The deeper we read and learn about the sacred masculine great Ones, the more is revealed of their respect and reverence of the Goddess. They communed with her and sought out her guidance while embracing the medicine of the feminine to help heal All. Our beloved Adi Da spoke and wrote of this in great detail, and our beloved Sri Ramakrishna embodied it. These are only a few of many examples.
Us women too seek out the sacred masculine to support our life journeys, and in fact it is needed. We must all rise up and support each other. In competition, we ultimately destroy what is sacred. In collaboration and unity, we support and birth a new society that benefits all. All are included. We embrace all our unique medicine we bring forth into the world. First and foremost, we respect one another. Our true heart power gives birth to new creation when we support the feminine and the masculine. Both can benefit from going within and following the cycles of nature.
“The perception of the sanctity of all nature is closely connected to the perception of natural cycles. Solstices and equinoxes, full moons and new moons, are special times for Goddess rituals and celebrations. A deeper sense of the cycle of birth, aging, and death has led to a greater understanding and acceptance of change and transformation in each of our lives, as well as to the enactment of new passage rites for previously ignored major markers in women’s lives such as menareche [the first menstrual bleeding] and menopause. The colloquial ‘curse’ is now understood to be a blessing.” (Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone)
A young girl, enters her initiation into womanhood biologically through her first menses, when she joins the tribe of women who share and nurture “the mysterious power of being able to bleed without dying and to give birth to new life”. This is truly a time of celebration. In traditional agricultural societies, the young woman took her first nourishing blood to the fields, symbolizing her feminine ability to restore earth through fertility. This was also a demonstration that she could now bring forth life from her womb in the same way the earth brings forth life from its deep, dark interior. (Illumination: The Shaman’s Way of Healing by Alberto Villoldo)
Initiation through life passages are opportunities for great inner and outer growth. We can create incredibly loving, powerful and supportive rituals to mark these passages in our lives, which are important and empowering to establish. We birth a new identity through initiation. Letting go of one life stage while being born into a new one is an important invitation for growth and service. This does not necessarily happen without pain, yet it is in the wound where deep and lasting change can manifest. These transitions are felt deep within the soul, and they are truly essential for our soul-growth.
As a woman, completing these rites of passage into womanhood, initiates us into self-reliance, empowerment, and also establishes a readiness and determination within us to face the challenges successfully that life presents us with day-in-and-out.
We live in times where perpetual youth is idolized and nearly worshiped. Yet, does this empower us? Does this empower a man and a woman, truly? Is this clinging to an image of what youthfulness appears to be actually healthy, healing or even empowering? I believe, in all things, there must be health, healing and empowerment. If something does not fall within that criteria, we must let it go like an autumn leaf falling to the ground turning into nourishing compost for the tree.
For both, women and men, do we really want to create resistance to the stages of our lives that empower us to become an elder, sage, God and Goddess? The wisdom of these great life stages might not at first appear to be desired in a materialistic society, yet it is deeply needed. We make the rules, and we can break any that are not life sustaining. In fact, we must.
When we complete our initiation into sagehood, younger men and women are not seen as competition and older men and women are not seen as less valuable. Instead, we begin to mentor each other. We can all learn from one another. At any age one can be a visionary and a wise soul. When we mentor each other, we are all open to growth, and thus for life. As we enter sagehood, all previous identities are integrated. Both men and women serve the community and partnerships while maintaining great leadership roles as a valuable individual of great knowledge.
During this phase for women, a woman entering perimenopause now begins to embrace a new cycle of being a mother to all. If this woman never had children of her own, she can embrace the opportunity to mother in another way by nurturing and bringing forth what is valuable to her unique soul. This initiation into a new cycle of life serves as an awakening and is an important step. Again, developing rituals can help us in this process when we are emotionally attached to the previous self. Through creating a ritual, we can ease our emotions, comfort our soul, and create space for ourselves during this sensitive time. The ritual will take us where we need to go.
It is time that all women embrace and love their menstrual/moon cycle, and this includes the time of releasing it into menopause. Although many of us live in societies that have created a false image around our moon cycles to be taboo, ugly and more a nuisance towards material productivity, the truth is that it is a great blessing. It gives us women the ability to live within the sacred cycles of the cosmos all while honoring and blessing the All.
This sacred cycle opens us up to honor our energetic, sexual, emotional, and spiritual needs each and every month. For this we may be truly grateful, and recognize just how blessed we are indeed.
In all aspects of life, as animals and nature too reveal, by giving into our natural cycles in life, and embracing them with love, all of us women and men are transformed from the inside out.
We are seeing and recognizing in our societies a need for both the feminine and the masculine. Both are needed, divine and sacred. Men too have their own life passages of initiation and cycles. It is something I am still learning about and I appreciate all the open men in my life who teach me about them. We must all stay open and support each other. We must all allow our inner voice; our emotional, physical, spiritual and mental needs, to come forth and be nurtured and supported. We must move into deeper compassion and acceptance, and ultimately into deeper love.
This is a call to all men, support your mothers, lovers, wives, daughters and sisters during this sacred time. Support and honor the mother of your children. Not all women have been reawakend to understand and nurture this sacred time and practice, and you can help. Support yourself and your needs at all times too, and continue to teach us how we can best support and honor you.
This is a call to all women, support yourself, your needs and each other during this sacred time. Honor yourself. As much as possible, take this time off for yourself. This is not a time to be the giver to all, which we naturally are. It is a time to be a giver to your feminine soul. You will teach the people in your lives to support you, and you will also attract a nurturing support system in others as you lead the way.
It is when women overwork and overdo during this time, when she does not take care of her soul, that great pain and mood imbalances can occur. While the discomfort may be there also while we rest and nurture ourselves, the more you take care of your soul and enter into your sacred womb during this time, the more you embrace it and become a gift to yourself and all. The more this time becomes not just bearable but wonderful. Please, nurture and love yourself during this time, and accept nothing but love and nurturing support from the outside. Our societies will need to relearn this and you can teach them.
We give thanks to the sun, moon, stars and all the great known and unknown planets in our cosmic Oneness for which we are a part of the whole.
We give thanks to true and divine sisterhood and all the love and support birthing through these bonds.
We give thanks to the sacred men in our lives who know how to honor, embrace, support and welcome this inner world of woman. We give thanks to brotherhood. We love and support you as you too love and support us.
We give thanks to the divine men who know how to honor themselves too.
We give thanks to all life for it is life which births forth through woman and creates us all.
Thank you great and loving Universe.
We give thanks. We honor. We respect. We birth forth existence with the love and protection of our Earth family.
Take the next step on your sacred path beloveds, and know we are united in our feminine and masculine strength.