Your monthly period, a project, a relationship: everything begins, grows and ends to make way for something new. Western culture has only a few rituals left to support women in life transitions. Menopause, miscarriages and menstruation are often treated as cause for shame and embarrassment. It’s really too bad, because by honoring your body and the changes it goes through, you can feel and feed your feminine strength. Are you looking for ways to make more room in your life for your feminine energy? This might be the ritual for you.
Western society is strongly oriented around external markers: achievements, financial success or an obsessions with looking young. These are all expressions of the male energy that is dominant in our society. So when change happens, most people tend to look only at the outside of a situation and judge that. It explains why menstruation is sometimes called “dirty” and why any kind of loss is seen to be a personal failing. The transitions in a woman’s life often go hand in hand with intense emotions, which makes others consider them undesirable—something that should be gotten over with as quickly and as quietly as possible. Feminine energy, by contrast, is hidden below the surface. Meaning is found at a deeper, more profound level. Feminine energy is soft and open; it’s the receptive cradle of life. Seen from this gentle perspective, the periods of change in a woman’s life are times of natural transition. It is at these crucial moments in life that the gates are open and you can find your true essence.
Rituals are valuable tools for going through a transformation with attentiveness and love. A ritual connects practical earthly things with all things spiritual and with the divine. In order to give direction to the energy thus created, you can start with an intention: a sentence or phrase that gives your entire being the message that you are open to this change. It’s not hard to make up your own ritual. You can use the natural elements for it: earth, wind, water and fire. They can be found everywhere around you. You can use candles, stones or your own breath; or choose herbs, crystals and/or oils that appeal to you. Feminine energy has a deep connection with water, the moon and sounds. When you perform a ritual during a new or waxing moon, it boosts new beginnings. A full moon is the best moment to express gratitude for what there is and confirm it. During a waning moon you can let go of what no longer serves you. To get you started, we’ll describe five transition rituals below. If you don’t have all the ingredients, pick something that appeals to you from your pantry, your garden or from nature. If you take something home from nature, spend a moment asking if that’s okay and saying thank you. You don’t have to use all the materials or ingredients described; you can make your ritual as simple or as elaborate as you feel is best.
Menstrual cycles connect women deeply with the moon, with nature and with feminine energy. We tend to complain about PMS and monthly discomfort, but if you study your cycle a bit more, you may discover that these symptoms are a wake-up call for physical or emotional needs that warrant attention. If you have a lot of cramps, for example, is there something you should relax more about? Menstrual cycles are what makes being a woman extra special. Not only because you can create new life, but also because this cycle makes you aware that you can “recreate” yourself every month. Honoring your body, your femininity, and your connection to the greater whole with a ritual is a simple way to understand your cycle better, and to discover which messages it tries to send you. The first period is the moment when a girl becomes fertile and her development as a woman begins. Most young girls prefer not to pay too much attention to it. But a small ritual, like running a bath with loving care, can give extra meaning to this moment for a mother and daughter. The human body consists of water to a large extent, and so it responds strongly to energetically charged water. If a little blood flows into the water, that’s a bonus; menstrual blood is a huge source of power. You can do this ritual together or alone. If you don’t have a bathtub, make a footbath instead.
Run a bath and light a candle for yourself or your daughter. Put the ingredients in the water and stir with slow movements in the shape of a horizontal eight (a lemniscate). Now light the sacred wood using the candle. Bless yourself, the water and the room with the smoke. Express your intention out loud, for example, “I am quiet inside.” You can also work with sounds. Put a singing bowl next to the bath and tap it lightly. Or sing to the water when you’re in the bath. Stay as long as you want in this bath of energy you have created. Afterwards you bury the quartz and herbs in your garden and you thank them.
This ritual is part of ‘Ceremonies For Life – Five Feminine Rituals’, an article from issue 18 ‘Find your source of energy’.
Source: sarah domogala photography ernie enkelaar styling cyn ferdinandus
A bathhouse in the Middle East, a mask from Japanese rice water or a sand stamp... Read more
World-famous psychotherapist Irvin Yalom (89) has been together with his wife for... Read more