In pre-pandemic days, I traveled to the Republic of Palau in Micronesia where, unlike in our modern Western culture, there are still rituals for girls on the cusp of womanhood, an experience announced by a girl’s first menstrual period.
Many ancient cultures held the feminine in high esteem and had rituals dedicated to the different phases in a woman’s life: the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. When a girl becomes a Maiden with the onset of menarche, what do we do in our Western culture to support that most profound experience? Not much.
For many of us, the experience of morphing into a woman’s body was probably the first huge physical and archetypal transition we experienced. If our first experience of coming into the body of a woman was not seen for the awe-inspiring event it is, worthy of celebration, is it any wonder that we are so vulnerable to body shaming?
In a culture that suggests PMS is a premenstrual syndrome rather than valued as pre-menstrual sensitivity is it any wonder that negative body image has become the norm?
Today, when these feminine archetypes begin to rise up from the depths of our being and express themselves in our lives, there is often much distortion, since our Western culture offers little support for dealing with these powerful energies.
Those cultures that have maintained rituals and ceremonies for the feminine remind us it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you want to learn more, hop on the waiting list for the upcoming course 4 Faces of the Feminine Psyche
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