In honor of Mother’s Day, this post is about women’s rites of passage. Today much has changed and gone from our lives are the teachings of our elders, who too often are being hidden away. Their initiations taught an individual what was coming and what was expected at different stages of their lives.
Yet, we see on every horizon the glimmer of hope and promise for a better future. Women throughout the world are struggling to understand the true essence and meaning of their lives, and it is women who are taking the lead in shaping the future they design.
It is truly inspiring and profound seeing shamans and medicine people all over earth coming forward to help return our world to the knowledge and wisdom of the ancient ways that it had turned its back on. These wisdoms have been preserved and handed down from shaman to apprentice, from mother to daughter, and father to son, in an unbroken chain of tens of thousands of years. This truly is an amazing time to be alive.
Recently on PBS they featured a special on “Kinaalda, celebrating maturity of girls among the Navajo.” This is an honorable “girl to woman” ritual. Finding ways to participate or do your own sacred ceremony, while transitioning and honoring something special happening in your life beyond the expected, is like giving yourself a gift. Mom’s today have access to puberty kits and gifts for their daughters. How wonderful!
I’ve been with girlfriends around a campfire while we wrote notes then burned them. Each one of us releasing a hurt or a prayer. Simple and profound. We found a way to honor each other’s struggles. For myself, I am embracing my doyenne self and the wisdoms that come with it. The opportunities present themselves and come alive in my blog. And isn’t this what it means to by wise, by recognizing and acting on them in the most appropriate and beneficial way?
Somewhere modern societies have lost the “sacred” ways of honoring the stages, the cycles of our lives. We have baptisms, we have confirmations and bar/bat mitzvahs, we have graduations and retirement parties. But do we honor the puberty or the menopause of women and the magnificence of their souls? Do we honor men in their roles as protectors? That’s why “shamanism” is resurfacing with renewed rites. That’s why women are again finding their voices in ancient stories and in the brave new faces emerging across the globe.
Blessings to all mother’s, and their daughter daughters.