I’m aware that many people don’t get why I talk about the peri-menopause and menopause so much. In fact some of my men friends have told me they’ve unfollowed me because I mention it so much and I question this as they have wives/girlfriends similar age to me wouldn’t it be useful to know more. I think I’ve said before that my other half is good he’s supportive and understanding other than once asking me if I was going to go mad like one of his aunties. I said who knows but hopefully not. I see it as a rite of passage when a woman stops her bleeding years for some of us this can take a while for some it can be a sudden stop whether due to trauma or illness. It can be something you fly through, or struggle through (one of my passions is supporting and guiding women through this part of their life) It’s when we step into the next phase of our life. A friend once said to me when she stopped bleeding that her womanliness had been taken away from her. Others are glad to see the back of their periods – this is definitely a discussion for another day! This week marked me being a year free of bleeding and therefore seen as stepping out of peri-menopause and into menopause. Interesting too, if you read my recent blog it might interest you too, if this year hadn’t been a leap year, my year of no bleeding would have landed on my natal moon! I don’t believe that’s a coincidence. I believe there is a whole load of natal moon magic weaved into our lives and this is going to be an exciting new workshop offered in partnership with Jennie of Nurturing Touch in the hopefully not too distant future.
Back to the transition, the change, the rite of passage. Did you celebrate yours? Do you wish you had? It used to be common place for a girl’s Menarche to be celebrated, as she stepped from child to adult; from girl to woman. Traditionally she’d be stepping from Maiden to Mother, and then in time she’d step into her Crone years. But here’s the thing, I don’t feel ready to be a Crone. My peri-menopause has taken a while I’ve had many years of hot flushes, irregular bleeds but at the age of 53 do not feel ready to be a Crone. I’d also like to think that I’m not yet in my Winter which begs another question how do you go from Maiden – Spring, to Mother – Sumner to Crone – Winter? What happened to Autumn?! It’s becoming more popular to talk about a woman’s monthly cycle as her seasons – Winter she bleeds, Summer she ovulates and Spring and Autumn are in between. This is why I was so pleased to discover Jane Hardwicke-Collings many years ago. Those of you who follow me/my blogs will have heard/seen me mention her many times. She introduces the Maga “After Mother, before Crone…is the time of the Maga – the Matriarch, the Enchantress, the Harvest Queen…” – Autumn Woman Harvest Queen this so resonates with me.
It had always been on my mind to celebrate this time, I have previously done a healing of my Menarche ceremony and something a friend said stirred something and a small intimate ceremony was decided upon. This was just the beginning of a whole roller coaster of emotions, doubts anxieties, uncertainties. Who do I know that gets this rite of passage? Who would want to come? Who would feel comfortable? Who do I know? Emotions, tears, old wounds of not being good enough, not being liked, fear of upsetting people I don’t invite, fear of people’s beliefs and energies all mixing in one room, I find it stressful enough organising a ski holiday let alone something like this. Jennie of Nurturing Touch and Katharine of Orange blossom Old Ways have kindly taken over the organising if only they could also take over the inviting! Hand in hand with the emotions surfacing from the Fairy Tale Medicine course I’m also doing it’s been a tricky couple of weeks, with emotions and memories being rife. Also being aware right now that we are being told what we can and cannot do that deep fear and anxiety is instilled in many Should we meet? Should we wear face masks? – this of course is a whole other debate too, which I really don’t’ want to get into. Anyways I swing from a small intimate ceremony with just half a dozen of us to inviting a whole host of people and many places in between. I think we’ve landed on the former, I’ve got til next Friday to change my mind which is also perfect timing – having not only my natal moon playing a part but also Lammas. Lammas is the first harvest festival of the year, so what better time than to celebrate my Autumn Woman Harvest Queen? At which point I must say there will be a crown – I will be crowned Harvest Queen, anyone who knows me will know how ridiculously happy that makes me!! And I can’t believe that I didn’t think of it someone else did!
Back to the whole emotional who should I invite it’s made me question so much, review, reflect, but wouldn’t this time anyway? We’re all, or at least many of us in a time of deep reflection and re-evaluation of our lives; throw in a rite of passage well that’s just a recipe for tears, swearing and all sorts surely?! It has made me realise that over recent years the paths that I’ve taken have led me to form deep strong bonds with women I’ve not known long but have been in sacred space with, deep sharing and knowing, many of them scattered across the world. Leading to many an interesting conversation of how some friends we’ve known forever, don’t often see but when we do it’s like yesterday. I had one of those magical moments, last weekend FaceTiming with an old school friend chatting away while I was baking and prepping for a BBQ. Usually we’d be in her kitchen doing this for some gathering or other to celebrate someone or something.
Then another conversation that I’ve been having with someone quite a bit recently about something that is going on in her life about how friends can come and go; how friends can be with us for a season. As we change and grow some friendships are lost along the way, but remembering the good times we’ve shared, the laughter and the tears. It might be that friends who we partied the night away with fall along the wayside as we grow, settle down, re-build our values and beliefs in different directions. You might have many rebirths along the way – the subject of our current Fairy Tale – The Handless Maiden – The Mother of Rebirth, and so that’s what I realise I’m at a rebirthing from Mother (if though I’m just a dog mum and have been a cat mum) I have birthed many creative projects, ideas, so here is Rebirth from Mother to Maga the next chapter harvesting all that I have learnt along the way.