Some weeks ago I received a book in the mail from a lady called DeAnna L’am. Her book is designed to support women who wish to guide the young women in their lives, be they daughters, grand daughters, nieces or friends, on their journey into womanhood. She wrote ‘I feel deeply called to bring a message of empowerment to girls and to women around the world’.
DeAnna’s book is called Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls into Womanhood. It describes the authors own journey with menstruation and then proceeds to share some beautifully thought out suggestions for supporting young women in this important transition.
I have attended a number of menarche rituals myself but I had never considered creating my own. DeAnna suggests that this is a crucial step on the journey to being of service to our own young women. I would now add that it is an important step on any women’s journey to feeling thoroughly comfortable and at home with her womanself.
I discussed the idea with the other women of my women’s group. Although most of us are now approached the end of our menstrual lives we discovered that not one of us had had any sort of event to mark the onset of our bleeding. Every one was keen to attend.
Strangely enough DeAnna’s book was nowhere to be found when it came time for me to prepare the ritual, so I had to rely on my memory of her suggestions, on the menarche rituals that I had attended and my own sense of what would serve us all.
I woke up on the morning of the appointed day feeling strangely excited. I had a busy day ahead and I wasn’t really conscious of why I felt excited, but as the day progressed it seemed more and more as if some part of me was very excited about the coming evening's events.
I found a most
glorious length of red velvet and set up a luscious red pathway leading to
a circle of red satin with an altar in the middle. This was surrounded by
cushions and on the far side I created a throne for the ‘maiden’.
Before we entered the ritual space each of us took some time to revisit and share what we remembered of our first period. Then we felt into and wrote down what we wished had been said to us at the time when we shed our first menstrual blood.
We prepared to enter ritual space, cast our circle and set our intention. One at a time each of us was taken out of the circle and prepared to re-enter as the maiden. As the maiden we were led down the red velvet walkway to the entrance to the circle. Here we called on all those women that we wanted present to witness our ceremony. The air felt thick with feminine presence as the women were called in. Then the maiden was seated in the throne, her feet massaged and her hair stroked while one woman read to her the words that she had written. The effect was astonishingly powerful.
I felt as if layers of shame and discomfort dropped away from me. It was quite tangible. It felt as if I finally belonged, and was acknowledged as belonging, to the circle of women. And the power and value of that sense of belonging became wonderfully apparent.
Since that day I have moved with a new grace and sense of assurance. I have, almost instantly, attracted a new lover in to my life and I feel deliciously relaxed and at home in my femininity. I have become a woman.
Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls into Womanhood is available from the yOni.com unique gifts for her shop. See also our Rites of Passage in a box kits, Celebrating the Cycle and our series of articles on feminine rites of passage in the Menstrual Lodge.
Synonyms for menstruation.
This and other cards of Margaret Kalms artwork are available in the yOni gift shop